Beowulf Literary Terms

Alliteration
The repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close to one another.

Allusion
An indirect or passing reference to some event, person, place, or artistic work.

Canon
A Greek word that implies rule or law, and is used in literature

Allegory
A short moral story (often with animal characters), an extended narrative in prose or verse ;

Epic
A long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.

Epic Hero
The central figure in a long narrative who possess larger -than-life qualities such as bravery, loyalty, and heroism.

Foil
A character who sets off another character by strong contrast.

Kenning
In Anglo-Saxon poetry, a metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly.

Litotes
An understatement for rhetorical effect

Hyperbole
An exaggeration

Personification
The act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.

Simile
A figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)

Metaphor
A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things without using a connective word such as like, as, than, or resembles.

Caesura
A pause or break within a line of poetry, usually indicated by the natural ryhthm of the language.

Didacticism
Teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson

Dichotomy
A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different