9th Grade English Academic Vocabulary

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Alliteration
 The repetition of
consonant sounds at
the beginning of words.
Example:
Marilyn Monroe was a model
and a movie star.
Simile
 Figure of speech that makes
a comparison between two
things that are otherwise not
alike, using the words like
or as
Example:
1. Playing chess with Ashley is like
trying to outsmart a computer.

The activity “playing chess with Ashley” is
being compared to “trying to outsmart a
computer.” The point is that Ashley can
think in a powerful manner that
resembles the way a computer operates,
not that she is like a computer in any
other way.
2. His temper was as explosive as a
volcano.

His temper is being compared to a
volcano in that it can be sudden and
violent.
Metaphor
 A figure of speech that
•
•
makes comparison between
two things that are basically
unlike but have something in
common.
Similar to simile but does
not use like or as
Figurative language
Sandra Cisneros’s “My Name”
Esperanza, the narrator, describes her name.
“It means sadness,
it means waiting,” she says.
“It is like the number nine.
A muddy color.”
She also says it is like the
records that her father plays,
“songs like sobbing.”
Personification
 Human qualities are
attributed (given) to an
object, animal or idea.
Example
 The gray-eyed morn
smiles on the frowning
night.
Pun
 A pun is a play on
words that sound
alike but have
different meanings
to produce a
humorous effect.
Examples:
He bought a donkey because
he thought he might get a kick
out of it.
Romeo: “You have dancing
shoes with nimble soles; I have
a soul of lead” (Romeo and
Juliet)
Foil
 A character whose personality
and attitude contrast with those
of another character
 Highlights both character’s
traits
Example: an extremely shy character
might foil a very talkative one.
Aside
 Dramatic device in which a
character speaks his or her
thoughts aloud, in words
meant to be heard by the
audience but not by the
other characters.
Example:
Act 4: Scene 1
Romeo and Juliet
Friar Laurence [Aside] “I
would I know not why it
should be slowed. –
Look, sir, here comes the
lady towards my cell.”
~ William Shakespeare, from
Romeo and Juliet
Soliloquy
 A speech in which a
character speaks
thoughts aloud
 Generally, character is
on stage alone, not
speaking to other
characters
Example:
Act Two, Scene 3
Romeo and Juliet,
Friar Laurence has a
long soliloquy
Stage Direction
 an instruction written
into the script of a play
indicating stage actions.
 Part of the script of a
play that tells the actors
how they are to move or
to speak their lines.
Example: Enter, exit, and
exeunt are stage directions.
Tragedy
 A dramatic work that




presents the downfall of a
dignified character or
characters who are involved
in historically or socially
significant events
Kind of play in which events
turn out disastrously for the
main character or characters
Most often, the hero or
heroine dies
Events are set in motion by a
decision that is often an error
in judgment
Succeeding events are
linked in a cause-and-effect
relationship and lead
inevitably to a disastrous
conclusion, usually death
Dramatic Irony
 When the audience
knows something that
the characters do not
 Helps build suspense
Example:
The audience is aware of Romeo
and Juliet’s tragic demise long
before the characters face it.
Comic Relief
 A humorous scene or
speech intended to lighten
the mood
 Serves to heighten the
seriousness of the main
action by contrast
 Comic relief often takes
the form of a bumbling,
wisecracking sidekick.
Examples:
“Donkey” in Shrek
Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the
Carribean
The End
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