English Lit Quick Guide Glossary

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English Lit Quick Guide Glossary




With the GCSE exams looming, what could be more useful than a quick quide to all those complicated literary terms. Check out the Glossary Quick Guide to text analysis.



Alliteration- repetition of similar consonant sounds, e.g. 'green grass growing'


Assonance - repetition of similar vowel sounds, e.g. profound roundel


Colloquial - informal speech


Dialect - language that is specific to a region, e.g. 'lass' for 'girl' or 'wain' for 'child'. Also used to include accent (the voice used in speech) and structure (the way words are put together to form speech or a sentence).


Empathy - putting yourself in the position of the other person rather than sympathy, which is feeling for a person, e.g. 'I knew what she was going through as I lost my job last year as well'


Irony - saying the opposite of what you mean for dramatic effect


Metaphor - saying that one thing is another thing, e.g. Peter is a poet. Unlike 'simile' where you say that one thing is like another thing, e.g. Peter speaks like a poet.


Onomatopoeia - a word whose sound mimics the meaning, e.g. bang, crash, whallop


Personification - describing an inanimate object as having human characteristics, e.g. 'the earth moved for him when they met'


Rhyme - using words that have similar sounds, e.g. round, found, pound, hound


Simile - describing one thing as being like another, see metaphor for examples


Soliloquy - when a character in a play speaks alone to the audience




This really is a rough guide at the moment but I intend to add to it very soon.







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