ALLEGORY A figurative illustration of truths or generalizations about human conduct or experience in a narrative or description by the use of symbolic fictional

figures and actions which resemble the subject's properties and circumstances. Sidelight: Though similar to both a series of symbols and an extended metaphor, the meaning of an allegory is more direct and less subject to ambiguity than a symbol; it is distinguishable from an extended metaphor in that the literal equivalent of an allegory's figurative comparison is not usually expressed. ALLITERATION Also called head rhyme or initial rhyme, the repetition of the initial sounds (usually consonants) of stressed syllables in neighboring words or at short intervals within a line or passage, usually at word beginnings, as in "wild and woolly" or the line from Shelley's "The Cloud," I bear light shade for the leaves when laid Sidelight: Alliteration has a gratifying effect on the sound, gives a reinforcement to stresses, and can also serve as a subtle connection or emphasis of key words in the line, but alliterated words should not "call attention" to themselves by strained usage. ANALOGY An agreement or similarity in some particulars between things otherwise different; sleep and death, for example, are analogous in that they both share a lack of animation and a recumbent posture. Sidelight: Prevalent in literature, the use of an analogy carries the inference that if things agree in some respects, it's likely that they will agree in others. ANAPHORA (uh-NAF-or-uh) Also called epanaphora, the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases for rhetorical or poetic effect, as in Lincoln's "We cannot dedicate- we cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow this ground" or from Fitzgerald's The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End! ASSONANCE The relatively close juxtaposition of the same or similar vowel sounds, but with different end consonants in a line or passage, thus a vowel rhyme, as in the words, date and fade.

as in "The Chambered Nautilus. IMAGERY." Not intended to be taken literally. smell." by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Sidelight: Imaginative diction transfers the poet's impressions of sight. e." by Oliver Wendell Holmes. it is used as a means of emphasizing the truth of a statement.g. sounds in agreement with tone.. as images of disease. or "The Cloud. imagery is a variable term which can apply to any and all components of a poem that evoke sensory experience. Sidelight: Related images are often clustered or scattered throughout a work. While most commonly used in reference to figurative language. usually by using multiple comparisons between the unlike objects or ideas. Sidelight: Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" demonstrates the effectiveness of this device: metaphorically. such as boat and night." Sidelight: Consonance most often occurs within a line. corruption. or the words drunk and milk in the final line of Coleridge's "Kubla Khan. IMAGE The elements in a literary work used to evoke mental images. as in the words. the close repetition of the same end consonants of stressed syllables with differing vowel sounds. Sidelight: A type of hyperbole in which the exaggeration magnified so greatly that it refers to an impossibility is called an adynaton." it is sometimes referred to as consonantal rhyme to differentiate it from perfect rhyme and other types of near rhyme.CONSONANCE A pleasing combination of sounds. not only of the visual sense. HYPERBOLE (hi-PER-buh-lee) A bold. and also applies to the concrete things so imaged. and death are recurrent patterns shaping the tonality of . whether figurative or literal. cool and soul. sound. When used at line ends in place of rhyme. he compares a sandbar in the Thames River over which ships cannot pass until high tide. Also. but of sensation and emotion as well. "I'd give my right arm for a piece of pizza. taste and touch to the careful reader. EXTENDED METAPHOR A metaphor which is drawn-out beyond the usual word or phrase to extend throughout a stanza or an entire poem. in the third stanza of Emily Dickinson's "He Fumbles at your Spirit. deliberate overstatement. thus serving to create a particular tone. with the natural time for completion of his own life's journey from birth to death.

The cherished fields Put on their winter robe of purest white. volition. Are each paved with the moon and these. and mortality in John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale. lakes. Irony of fate is when a situation occurs which is quite the reverse of what one might have expected. The Seasons Sidelight: While most metaphors are nouns. It should also be noted that irony. as "The haughty lion surveyed his realm" or "My car was happy to be washed" or . "The Cloud" PERSONIFICATION A type of metaphor in which distinctive human characteristics. thereby suggesting a likeness or analogy between them.James Thomson. thus conveying a meaning that contradicts the literal definition. etc.Percy Bysshe Shelley.Edward Fitzgerald. as in Shelley's "Ozymandias." IRONY Verbal irony is a figure of speech in the form of an expression in which the use of words is the opposite of the thought in the speaker's mind. --. " the bad news is that the operation was successful. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! --.. and seas. verbs can be used as well: Till the calm rivers. object or idea. as when a doctor might say to his patient. as do the images of dissolution.Percy Bysshe Shelley. emotion. as The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one." Sidelight: The use of irony can be very effective.Shakespeare's Hamlet. providing it is reasonably obvious and not likely to be taken so literally that the reader is left with the opposite of what was meant to convey. but may become so when used as a vehicle for satire or sarcasm. --." Dramatic or situational irony is a literary or theatrical device of having a character utter words which the the reader or audience understands to have a different meaning. They can also emphasize a theme. --. .. honesty. e. but of which the character himself is unaware. . Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high. depression. of itself. is not bitter or cruel.g. "Ode to the West Wind" . are attributed to an animal. METAPHOR A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one object or idea is applied to another.

but differs in that it can appear at various places in the poem and may be only a partial repetition. in which case it may be termed incremental repetition."'Fate frowned on his endeavors." RHETORICAL QUESTION A question solely for effect. can Spring be far behind? setting (set-ting): the time. PUN A word play suggesting. Settings include the background. Sidelight: "The Cloud" is personified in Shelley's magnificent poem. By the implication that the answer is obvious. yet remarkably little detail is . generally pertinent to the central topic. A setting may be simple or elaborate. usually at regular intervals throughout a poem. . most often at the end of a stanza. actions. or Villon's "Des Dames du Temps Jadis. lend credibility or realism. used to create ambiance." Occasionally a single word is used as a refrain. place. and ages of the characters at milestones in their lives. with no answer expected. the different meanings of one word or the use of two or more words similar in sound but different in meaning. atmosphere or environment in which characters live and move. Settings in the Bible are simplistic. it is a means of achieving an emphasis stronger than a direct statement. Neville's: Eve was nigh Adam Adam was naive. If Winter comes. phrase. as nevermore in Poe's "The Raven. as in Spenser's Prothalamion. and circumstances in which a situation occurs. emphasize or accentuate. as in Poe's "Ulalume." ." Personification is commonly used in allegory. we read about the creation of the universe and the lives of the descendants of Adam. Settings enables the reader to better envision how a story unfolds by relating necessary physical details of a piece of literature. It is a type of refrain. or line in a poem. In the book of Genesis. Great detail is taken in documenting the lineage. O. physical details." Sometimes a refrain is written with progressive variations. with humorous intent. which is repeated verbatim. Wind. as in Mark A. or even distract the reader. REPETEND (REP-ee-tend) The irregular repetition of a word. organize. REFRAIN A phrase or line. and usually include physical characteristics of the surroundings. . as in Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind.

eye or skin color. In Genesis 20. Yet. enabling the reader to vividly envision even imaginary characters and actions like the travels of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit by J. like flag for country." in "The Cloud. physical appearance. Settings have a way of drawing the reader into a piece of literature while facilitating understanding of the characters and their actions.R. Understanding the setting is useful because it enables us to see how an author captures the attention of the reader by painting a mental picture using words. usually using like. height. we learn that because of her beauty. Abraham. Metaphor. Sidelight: Symbols can be subject to a diversity of connotations.R. SIMILE A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two essentially unlike things. as in Burns'." SYMBOL An image transferred by something that stands for or represents something else. Influenced by the connections between music and poetry. so both the poet and the reader must exercise sensible discretion to avoid misinterpretation. Tolkien. In recent literature. as in Robert Frost's "Acquainted With the Night. or Sara Teasdale's "The Long Hill. Red Rose" or Shelley's "As still as a brooding dove. weight. my luve's like A Red." in which night is symbolic of death or depression. we have no description of Sarah or Abraham·s hair. Simile.given about physical characteristics of the landscape and surroundings in which events occurred." in which the climb up the hill symbolizes life and the brambles are symbolic of life's adversities. or surroundings. Symbols can transfer the ideas embodied in the image without stating them. or autumn for maturity. Sarah·s identity is concealed to prevent the death of her husband. (See also Allusion) (Compare Allegory. Synecdoche) SYMBOLISM A late 19th century movement reacting against realism. as or than. it sought to achieve the effects of images and metaphors to symbolize the basic idea or emotion of each poem. . settings are often described in elaborate detail. "O. Detailed settings that were infrequent in some ancient writings like the Bible are common in today·s literature.