Key Vocabulary

Alliteration:

Repeating the same consonant sounds in words. E.g. “living laughing love”

Ambiguity:

When something is ambiguous, it could mean more than one thing (see also polysemic)

Bathos:

The contrasting of elegant, formal language with colloquialism and slang. “Her Majesty /is Well Fit!!!”

Colloquialisms:

Slang or informal language, used in familiar, informal contexts. It is the opposite of formal language.

Connotation:

The associated of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”

Dramatic monologue:

A poem in which someone other than the poet is speaking; we hear a character (persona) talking

Dramatic irony:

When the reader is aware of something that a character in a narrative is not.

Elegy:

A poem of lamentation (sorrow), concentrating on the death of a single person

Enjambment:

Where lines of poetry are not stopped by punctuation at the end, but run over onto the next line

Foreshadowing:

The suggestion of an idea of event which is later to take place later in a narrative or poem

Hyperbole:

An extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

Iambic Pentameter:

A line of poetry with 10 syllables – a stressed syllable follows an unstressed one

Imagery:

The use of images or descriptive language, especially similes and metaphors. Also, animal, nature, colour imagery.

Juxtaposition:

Putting two or more unusual ideas together – describing a beautiful necklace which sits round the neck of a wrinkled, ugly old hag!

Lexical Fields:

Groups of words, linked together by a central theme or connotation. ( eg, Hit, Bleed, Pain, Kick are all in lexical field of violence)

Metaphor:

A kind of image in which something is described as though it was something else. E.g. “my lover’s words were shooting stars”

Microcosm:

Literally meaning ‘small world’, when a setting within a narrative represents an entire society. (Eg, Jones’ farm in ‘Animal Farm’ actually represents England)

Motif:

A repeated phrases, event or idea that occurs across a whole text.

Onomatopoeia:

A word which sounds like the sound it describes. E.g. “Boom”, “splash”

Oxymoron:

When contradictory terms are brought together in what is at first sight an impossible combination e.g. loving hate, sweetheart bastard

Parallelism:

A balanced pair of clauses or sentences, expressing a similar or contradictory idea. (Eg, It was the best of times it was the worst of time)

Pathetic Fallacy:

When the weather creates a tone reflecting the emotions of the characters within a narrative.

Personification:

A type of metaphor where something non-human is described as if it has human characteristics.

Repetition:

When words or phrases occur more than once within a short passage or chapter.

Rhyme:

A rhyme occurs when words share the same stressed vowel sound and subsequent consonant(s): she/tea, way/delay, sheet/treat

Sibilance:

Recurrence of sounds which hiss (s sounds) Ships that pass in the night, and speak to each other in passing.

Simile:

A type of image where something is compared to something else using the words “like” or “as”

Sonnet:

A 14-line rhyming poem with a regular number of syllables in each line

Stanza:

A group of lines, like a paragraph in poetry

Symbol:

Something which represents something else; a heart often symbolises love

Syntax:

The length, shape and function of sentences. See below

Transferred Epithet

The movement of an adjective or description from one noun to another. “The cold mountain shivered in the distance. His heart froze.”

Verbal irony:

Often linked to sarcasm: when the literal phrase is the opposite of the implied meaning.