Much Ado about Nothing Literary Devices

Dramatic Irony Definition
When the audience knows something that the characters do not know

Dramatic Irony Author’s Purpose
To allow readers to ask questions of characters’ choices and to create tension

Dramatic Irony Example
“Knowing the heat of a luxurious battle”; Claudio is implying Hero is unfaithful but we know she is faithful

Paradox Definition
Something that seems false but is actually true

Paradox Author’s Purpose
To make people dig deeper in his writing and wants to reveal a small piece but not the whole thing

Paradox Example
The title is a big example because it says there is a lot to do about nothing and there actually is

Oxymoron Definition
A figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear together(only two words side by side)

Oxymoron Author’s Purpose
To make the reader think and can call attention to irony

Oxymoron Example
“Thou pure impiety” (Not pure)

Hyperbole Definition
Exaggerated statement not meant to be taken literally

Hyperbole Author’s Purpose
To be humorous and to emphasize a point

Hyperbole Example
Beatrice talking to a messenger about Benedick saying, “O lord he will hang upon him like a disease”

Allusion Definition
A reference back to something

Allusion Author’s Purpose
To foreshadow a future event; adds layer of meaning

Allusion Example
“Loving Leander the good swimmer” as referring to Hero and Leander in Greek Mythology

Pun Definition
A play on words

Pun Author’s Purpose
To create humor

Pun Example
Beatrice “He is a valiant treacherman; he hath an excellent stomach”

Litotes Definition
Understanding a situation or action(opposite of hyperbole)

Litotes Author’s Purpose
To achieve emphasis by using double negatives

Litotes Example
Benedick says. “I would I could find in my heart that I have not a hard heart for truly I love none.

Blank Verse Definition
Unrhymed Iambic pentameter

Blank Verse Author’s Purpose
To produce a formal rhythmical pattern; To indicate a noble speaker

Blank Verse Example
“But fair be well most fair most foul farewell”

Symbolism of Place Definition
The use of setting to symbolize and represent ideas and or qualities

Symbolism of Place Author’s Purpose
To convey their point and to make use of every aspect and to make a point without actually saying it

Symbolism of Place Example
The garden with the vines and how man eavesdropping scenes occur in the garden

Archetype Definition
Recurring pattern or stereotype

Archetype Author’s Purpose
To allow audience to connect by understanding the generalization of a person or situation

Archetype Example
“I am a plane-dealing-villain” (Stereotypical bad guy)

Chiasmus Definition
Reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases

Chiasmus Author’s Purpose
To catch the reader’s attention and to produce artistic effect

Chiasmus Example
“How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping”

Apostrophe Definition
To address a real or imaginary entity; addressing someone that is not there or something that won’t talk back

Apostrophe Author’s Purpose
To emphasize or express emotion

Apostrophe Example
“O fate take not away thy heavy hand” Leonato addressing fate

Symbol Definition
An object or action that means something more than its little; always has to be a concrete object

Symbol Author’s Purpose
To refer to mythology or to represent anything to make things clear

Symbol Example
“In time the savage bull doth bear the yolk”; The masks

Foreshadowing Definition
A warning or indication of a future event

Foreshadowing Author’s Purpose
Used as preparation for the plot events; to avoid disappointing the reader

Foreshadowing Example
Don John plans to plot against Claudio despite hm being his brother

Anastrophe Definition
The inversion of the usual order of clauses

Anastrophe Author’s Purpose
To make rhyme or meter work

Anastrophe Example
“and on my eyelids shall conjection hang”

Personification Definition
Attribute of personal nature or characteristics to inanimate objects

Personification Author’s Purpose
To emphasize imagery or purpose that the reader can see in their head

Personification Example
Beatrice saying, “a star dance”

Synecdoche Definition
When you use a part to represent a whole thing

Synecdoche Author’s Purpose
To indirectly address something; to emphasize

Synecdoche Example
“Like the old tale of mr. fox” Benedick referring to old tale of mr. fox; body parts used as well

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Much Ado about Nothing Literary Devices. (2019, Feb 05). Retrieved from

Much Ado about Nothing Literary Devices
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