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Stylistic device

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Template:Merge In literature and writing, a stylistic device is the use of any of a variety of techniques to give an auxiliary meaning, idea, or feeling to the literal or written.


The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form. For Example: clover with four leaves = luck. The allegory is similar to the symbol.


Repetition of a sound, normally a consonant, at the beginning of neighbouring words, to produce a rhythmic, and sometimes comic effect. For example: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." As is evident, this technique is a favorite in tongue twisters.


Direct or indirect reference to something or somebody the reader or listener is supposed to recognize and respond to. An allusion may be literary, historical, biblical, etc.


The repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds within stressed syllables of neighbouring words. For example: "Try to light the fire".


Also called Antithesis. The bringing together of opposing views, words or characters to emphasize their difference and usually to highlight one of the opposing elements. In contrasting two characters, the author may be showing the goodness of one by emphasizing the evil of another; in contrasting two ideas, a writer may be attempting to show how the idea he or she opposes is not as worthy of consideration as the idea he or she expounds. One form of contrasts is juxtaposition in which the writer places two quite different things together. The way in which contrast is used will show what the author or writer intended.

E.g. Of all mad Creatures, if the Learn'd are right, It is the Slaver kills, and not the Bite


An expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling to the listener than the word or phrase it replaces. For example, the use of "to pass away" as opposed to "to die".


Exaggeration is the use of a strong overstatement. It may be used to create either a serious or comic effect. A single phrase containing an exaggeration is called hyperbole (also overstatement).

Example: Nobody walks anywhere in America nowadays. (From: 'A Sedentary Nation', p. 180, l.8)


A metaphor is a comparison between two things which are basically quite different without using like or as. While a simile only says that one thing is like another, a metaphor says that one thing is another. (adj. metaphorical)

Example: All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players... (Shakespeare)


Personification is ascribing human characteristics to animals, ideas, or inanimate objects.

Example: Fog crept softly into the streets.


The repetition of identical or similar sounds, usually at the end of words.

For example, in the following lines from a poem by A.E. Housman, the last words of both lines rhyme with each other.

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough


Comparing two or more unlike things using like, as, or as if.

Example:Composing the heavens like a symphony.


Something that stands for something other than itself.

Example:The American flag standing for democracy.

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