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Literary Terms (Cliche-Inversion)

Cliche
is a word or phrase, often a figure of speech, that has become lifeless because of overuse

Colloquialism
a word or phrase in everyday use in conversation and informal writing but is inappropriate for formal situations

Comic Relief
the use of a comic scene to interrupt a series of intense dramatic moments

Conflict
the struggle between opposing forces or characters in a story

External Conflict
conflicts can exist between two people, between a person and nature or a machine, or between a person and a whole society

Internal Conflict
a conflict can be internal, involving opposing forces within a person’s mind

Connotation
the associations and emotional overtones that have become attached to a word or phrase, in addition to its strict dictionary definition

Consonance
repetition of internal or ending consonant sounds of words close together in poetry

Deus Ex Machina
improbable resolution involving the intervention of some outside force

Denotation
literal dictionary definition of a word

Dialect
a way of speaking that is characteristic of a certain social group or of the inhabitants of a certain geographical area

Diction
a speaker or writer’s choice of words

Explication
act of interpreting or discovering the meaning of a text, usually involves close reading and special attention to figurative language

Euphemism
word consciously chosen for its pleasant connotations – passed away instead of died

Fable
a very short story told in prose or poetry that teaches a practical lesson about how to succeed in life

Farce
a type of comedy in which ridiculous and often stereotyped characters are involved in silly, far-fetched sitiuations

Figurative Language
words which are inaccurate if interpreted literally, but are used to describe. Similes and metaphors are common forms

Flashback
a scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time

Foil
a character who acts as a contrast to another character. Often a funny side kick to the dashing hero, or a villain contrasting the hero

Foreshadowing
the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot

Hamartia
tragic flaw which causes a character’s downfall

Hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses an incredible exaggeration or overstatement, for effect

Hubris
tragic flaw of overwhelming pride

Idiom
an expression whose meaning is not understood from the literal translation – it is raining cats and dogs

Imagery
the use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, a thing, a place, or an experience

In Media Res
beginning in the middle of the action

Inversion
the reversal of the normal word order in a sentence or phrase

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