Literary Terms


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falling actionthe fourth part of plot, in which the complications are untangled
expositionpart of plot that provides setting, introduces characters, and establishes situation
settingtime and place of a story
conflictstruggle between opposing forces
flashbackdevice where a scene from the past is inserted into the present
allusiona reference--whether explicit or implicit--to history, the Bible, myth, literature, painting, music, and so on
antagonista character or force that opposes the main character
metaphorcomparison of two unlike things in which no word of comparison is used
climaxthe high point, or turning point, in a story--usually the most intense point in the plot
internal conflicta character struggles with himself or herself
rising actionsecond part of the plot where the situation gets complicated or the conflict intensifies
plotthe action or the sequence of related events
situational ironygreat difference in what was expected and what happened
protagonistmain character or hero of the story
similea comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison (like or as) is used
dramatic ironythe reader sees a character's mistakes or misunderstandings, but the character himself does not
foreshadowinggiving hints and clues of what is to come later in a story
symbolperson, place, or thing used to represent something else
verbal ironywhen someone says one thing but means something completely different