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Literary Glossary

Do you know your epigrams from your epithets? Paradox from parody? Can you give an example of irony? This is your literary lexicon.

Deus Ex Machina
Literally "god in the machine" (or "ghost in the machine" as The Police put it), deus ex machina is a literary device in which divine intervention is employed to get the protagonist out of a sticky situation or untangle an ugly plotline.

Bildungsroman

Action

Allegory

Denouement

Allusion

Analogy

Anecdote

Antagonist

Autobiography

Biography

Caricature

Character Sketch

Climax

Conflict

Dialogue

Diction

Didactic

Dramatic Irony
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.

Dramatic Monologue

Epic Poem

Epigram

Epistle

Epitaph

Epithet

Essay

Fable

Fairy Tale

Falling Action

Farce

Figure of Speech

Flashback

Foil

Foreshadowing

Genre

Hyperbole

Imagery

Irony

Metaphor

Mood

Motif

Myth

Narrative Arc - What is Narrative Arc in Literature?
Sometime simply called "arc" or "story arc," narrative arc refers to the chronological construction of plot in a novel or story. Typically, a narrative arc looks something like a pyramid, made up of the following components: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Narrator

Naturalism

Novel

Novella

Oxymoron

Parable

Paradox

Parody

Plot

Poetic Justice

Poetry

Point of View

Protagonist

Pseudonym

Quest

Realism

Resolution

Rising Action

Romance

Satire

Setting

Short Story

Slice of Life

Soliloquy

Stream of Consciousness

Style

Symbol

Theme

Tone

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