Tragedy A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.
Allusion references to existing work
Imagery references that trigger the mind to fuse together memories of sight (visual), sounds (auditory), tastes (gustatory), smells (olfactory), and sensations of touch (tactile). Images may be literal or metaphorical.
Simile A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, using like or as
Metaphor A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
Rhyme The repetition of sounds in two or more words or phrases that usually appear close to each other in a poem
Dramatic Irony: A special kind of situational irony in which a character perceives his or her plight (difficult situation) in a limited way while the audience and one or more of the other characters understand it entirely.
Rhythm The arrangement of stressed an unstressed syllables into a pattern. Rhythm is most apparent in poetry, though it is part of all good writing.
Apostrophe A figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or nonhuman is addressed as if it could reply.
Personification The attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form
Pathetic Fallacy The attribution of human feelings and responses to inanimate things or animals, esp. in art and literature.
Masque a type of elaborate court entertainment popular in the times of Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, and Charles I. The masque combined poetic drama, singing, dancing, music, and splendid costumes and settings
Oxymoron a figure of speech in which two contradictory words or phrases are combined to produce a rhetorical effect by means of a concise paradox.
Paradox a statement whose two parts seem contradictory yet make sense with more thought. It attracts the reader’s or the listener’s attention and gives emphasis.
Alliteration The repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more closely associated words or stressed syllables. Alliteration is not restricted to poetry.
Soliloquy a speech delivered by a character in a play or other literature while alone, or an utterance by a person who is talking to him/herself, disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present. This technique is frequently used to disclose a character’s innermost feeling, such as thoughts, state of mind, motives, and intentions or to provide information needed by the audience or reader.
Comic Relief a humorous scene, incident, or remark occurring in the midst of a serious or tragic literary selection and deliberately designed to relieve emotional intensity and simultaneously to heighten, increase, and highlight the seriousness or tragedy of the action
Hyperbole A rhetoricla figure in which emphasis is achieved through exaggeration.
Blank Verse Verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter, where each line usually contains ten syllables and every other syllable is stressed
Equivocate: be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
Beelzebub (Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell
Thane a feudal lord or baron
Feverous having or affected by a fever
Hecate (Greek mythology) Greek goddess of fertility who later became associated with Persephone as goddess of the underworld and protector of witches
Fife a small high-pitched flute similar to a piccolo; has a shrill tone and is used chiefly to accompany drums in a marching band
Lechery unrestrained indulgence in sexual activity
False Face a mask worn as part of a masquerade costume
Harbinger something that precedes and indicates the approach of something or someone
Golgotha a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified
Minion a servile or fawning dependant
Purge rid of impurities, oust politically, eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
Doff remove
Aleppo a city in northwestern Syria
Tarquin according to legend, the seventh and last Etruscan king of Rome who was expelled for his cruelty (reigned from 534 to 510 BC)
Pernicious exceedingly harmful, working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
Apparitions a ghostly appearing figure
Prophecy predict or reveal through, or as if through, divine inspiration