2 ActA division within a play, much like chapters of a novel
3 AnalogyComparison between two things for the purpose of clarifying the less familiar of the two.
4 AsideLines that are spoken by a character directly to the audience
5 Blank verseNon-rhyming poetry, usually written in iambic pentameter. Most of Shakespeare’s plays are written in this form, which is very close to normal speech rhythms and patterns. Often Shakespeare will deviate from this form in order to make a point about the character’s state of mind or for other emphasis, like a change in the mood.
6 CatalystSomeone who drives the hero into action.
8 Comic reliefIn a tragedy, a break in the seriousness for a moment of comedy or silliness.
9 DialogueConversation between two or more characters
10 Double entendreA word or phrase with more than one meaning, usually when the second meaning is risqué
11 Dramatic ironyWhen the audience or reader knows something that the characters in the story do not know
12 EuphemismA substitution of a more pleasant expression for one whose meaning may come across as rude or offensive.
13 Figurative languageWriting or speech that is not meant to be taken literally; often used to compare dissimilar objects; figurative language includes metaphor, simile, personification, and hyperboleUsed to create vivid imagery and depth of meaning to convey a mood
14 FoilA character who is nearly opposite of another character; the purpose of a foil is to reveal a stark contrast between two characters, often the protagonist and antagonist
15 ForeshadowingHints of events to occur later in a story
16 IambA unit in poetry consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
17 Iambic pentameterA 10-syllable line divided into 5 iambic feet (one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable). This is the basic rhythm of Shakespeare’s verse.
18 IronyA contradiction between what is expected and what actually is – or appearance versus reality; includes verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony.
19 MonologueA long speech spoken by a character to himself, another character, or to the audience.
20 OxymoronWhen two opposite terms are used together
21 ProseNormal speech rhythm; Shakespeare often wrote certain characters speaking either in all verse or all prose, indicating some personality trait of the character. If the character deviates from his normal form, be aware of a changing state of mind Often prose signals a character slipping into insanity!
22 PunA play on words, especially those that sound alike, but have different meanings
23 Rhetorical devicesTechniques writers use to enhance their arguments and communicate more effectively.RepetitionAnalogyParallelismRhetorical questions
24 ReversalThe point at which the action of the plot takes an unexpected turn; usually the protagonist learns something about himself and might even regret his decisions, or realizes the affect his decision may have on himself or others
25 Rhyming coupletTwo rhyming lines at the end of a speech, signaling that a character is leaving the stage or that the scene is ending
26 SarcasmType of verbal irony; critical remark in the form of a statement in which literal meaning is opposite actual meaning; mocking and intended to hurt someone
28 SoliloquyThoughts spoken aloud by a character when he/she is alone, or thinks he/she is alone; generally assumed to be genuine
29 Stage directionsItalicized comments that identify parts of the setting or the use of props or costumes, give further information about a character, or provide background information; in Shakespeare’s plays, stage directions can also appear in brackets, parenthesis, and/or half-brackets
30 SuspenseExcitement or tension readers feel as they wait to find out how a story ends or a conflict is resolved
31 Tragic flaw/heroA tragic flaw is an error in judgment or a character defect that ultimately leads to his/her downfall.A tragic hero is a protagonist with a fatal flaw that eventually leads to his demise – usually of high social rank – usually faces downfall with courage and dignity.