Literary Terms Project

Flashback
Definition:
A device in the narrative of a novel by which an event taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work.

Examples:
In the Odyssey, Odysseus has a flashback about his 10 year journey at sea and all he encounters when he returns to his homeland in the beginning of the story. After the flashback the storyline picks up right back to his returning to his homeland.

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus has a flashback of him unknowingly killing his father when he is experiencing recognition that he has killed his father and had incest with his mother.

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In Spiderman 3, Spiderman has a flashback as he remembers what he went through when his grandfather died.

Couplet/Heroic Couplet
Definition:
A pair of successive line of verse, especially a pair that rhymes, that are of the same metrical length./A stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, especially one forming a rhetorical unit and written in an elevated style.

Examples:
Or call it winter, which being full of care,
Makes summer’s welcome, thrice more wished, more rare.
Shakespearean Sonnet #56 (HC)

A Monk there was, one of the finest sort/Who rode the country;hunting was his sport. (HC)

“Oh my!” the portly gent called out. “I cannot find my hair.
I washed and put it out to dry, and now it isn’t there!”
Sudden Baldness – Denise Rodgers (C)

Onomatopoeia
Definition:
A word that imitates a natural sound

Examples:
“He can go like a train. Choo choo, choo choo!”
Mr.Brown Can Moo! Can You? – Dr.Seuss

Wheel on The Bus
The wipers on the bus go Swish, Swish, Swish

Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

Imagery
Definition:
The use of language to form mental images

Examples:
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus is explaining to Hermia that is better for her to be married than to live and die and Nun when he says, “But earthlier happy is the rose distilled/Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,/Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness. The dying rose is a symbol for Hermia if she does refuse to marry Demetrius and become a Nun, while he says she can be happy marrying Demetrius and makes the image of the rose being distilled.
Chaucer uses imagery in Canterbury Tales when he is describing the Miller. He writes, “A thumb of gold, by God, to gauge an oat!” He is using the image of the Miller actually having a gold thumb to portray his characteristic of being greedy.
In an airing Yoplait Commercial, a wife is on the phone talking to a friend about the different flavors of yogurt while he husband is shown in the background. He listens to the conversation and begins imagining eating all of the delicious meals that he hears his wife talking about and starts looking in the fridge for the food that he thinks in there.