Literary Terms


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the fourth part of plot, in which the complications are untangledfalling action
part of plot that provides setting, introduces characters, and establishes situationexposition
time and place of a storysetting
struggle between opposing forcesconflict
device where a scene from the past is inserted into the presentflashback
a reference--whether explicit or implicit--to history, the Bible, myth, literature, painting, music, and so onallusion
a character or force that opposes the main characterantagonist
comparison of two unlike things in which no word of comparison is usedmetaphor
the high point, or turning point, in a story--usually the most intense point in the plotclimax
a character struggles with himself or herselfinternal conflict
second part of the plot where the situation gets complicated or the conflict intensifiesrising action
the action or the sequence of related eventsplot
great difference in what was expected and what happenedsituational irony
main character or hero of the storyprotagonist
a comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison (like or as) is usedsimile
the reader sees a character's mistakes or misunderstandings, but the character himself does notdramatic irony
giving hints and clues of what is to come later in a storyforeshadowing
person, place, or thing used to represent something elsesymbol
when someone says one thing but means something completely differentverbal irony