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Ch 3: AP English: Rhetorical Devices

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons about rhetorical devices and learn about irony, metaphor, symbolism, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP English course.

AP English: Rhetorical Devices - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

What's in a word? Throughout written language, authors have used various rhetorical devices to help convey meaning in a piece of literature. In this chapter, you'll learn about these devices and how they are used. Each video contains various examples of the devices, from the plays of Shakespeare to famous poems. You'll see how each expression or device can persuade the reader into a particular frame of view or emotion. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Identify rhetorical devices such as irony, metaphor, personification, understatement, and more
  • Use rhetorical devices in your own writing
  • Understand the effects of each device on the reader
  • Recognize the use of devices in famous works of literature

VideoObjective
Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions and ExamplesLearn how these three types of illogical or worn-out expressions can deter meaning in prose.
What Is a Simile? - Examples, Definitions & TypesUnderstand how this type of figurative language works when compared with metaphors.
Types of Point of View: Limited, Objective & Omniscient NarrationExamine the ways narrative voice can affect a piece of literature.
What Is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & DefinitionsSee how authors use foreshadowing as part of the storytelling process.
What Is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & TypesUnderstand how to create a metaphor and how they work within prose and poetry.
Allusion and Illusion: Definitions & ExamplesExplore the important differences between illusion and allusion in literature.
Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & ExamplesSee how these two specific types of metaphors work and how to differentiate between the two.
Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & ExamplesLearn how writers use these types of figure of speech to add effect.
Types of Irony: Examples & DefinitionsUnderstand the different types of irony employed in literature what they add to a piece.
What Are Themes and Motifs?Examine the difference between overarching themes and recurring motifs in literature.
What Is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and DramaSee how this classic dramatic metaphor works in different types of literature.
Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & ExamplesUnderstand how allegories work and why authors would choose this form.
Consonance, Assonance and Repetition: Definitions & ExamplesExplore the way writers play with letter sounds to create different effects.
Understatement and Litotes: Differences, Definitions & ExamplesSee how understatement and a more specific version, litotes, can add effect in writing.
Euphemism: Definition & ExamplesLearn how these expressions can be used in place of more offensive or unpleasant ones.
Symbolism and Imagery in Literature: Definitions & ExamplesUnderstand how writers use symbols and images to create different effects.
Tone vs. Mood: Interpreting Meaning in ProseTake a look at examples to see the difference between tone and mood in literature.
Satire, Parody or Spoof: Types of Humorous WritingExplore these types of humor writing and define their differences.

19 Lessons in Chapter 3: AP English: Rhetorical Devices
Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

1. Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

Learn about cliches, paradoxes, and equivocations, and how they can weaken or strengthen certain types of writing. Explore examples of all three from literature and daily life.

Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

2. Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

Explore the simile and how, through comparison, it is used as a shorthand to say many things at once. Learn the difference between similes and metaphors, along with many examples of both.

Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

3. Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

Just who is telling this story? In this lesson, we'll look at point of view, or the perspective from which a work is told. We'll review first person, second person and third person points of view.

Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

4. Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

Learn how point of view, or the angle from which a story is told, impacts the narrative voice of a work of literature. Explore, through examples, how point of view can be limited, objective, or omniscient.

What is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & Definitions

5. What is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & Definitions

Learn about how authors use foreshadowing, both subtle and direct, as part of their storytelling process. Explore many examples of foreshadowing, from classical plays to contemporary stories.

What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

6. What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

Metaphors are all around you. They're the bright sparkling lights that turn plain evergreens into Christmas trees. Learn how to spot them, why writers write with them, and how to use them yourself right here.

Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

7. Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

Allusions and illusions have little in common besides the fact that they sound similar. Learn the difference between the two and how allusions are an important part of literature and writing - and how to spot them in text.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

8. Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

Would you lend your ears for a moment (or at least your eyeballs)? This lesson will explain what synecdoche and metonymy mean and how to spot them in a piece of prose or poetry.

Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples

9. Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples

In this lesson, explore how writers use personification to give human characteristics to objects, ideas, and animals. Learn about apostrophe, or when characters speak to objects, ideas, and even imaginary people as if they were also characters.

Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

10. Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

Discover, once and for all, what irony is and is not. Explore three types of irony: verbal, situational and dramatic, and learn about some famous and everyday examples.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

11. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.

What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama

12. What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama

In this lesson, learn about catharsis, a purging of feelings that occurs when audiences have strong emotional reactions to a work of literature. Explore examples of literary works which lead to catharsis, including tragedies.

Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & Examples

13. Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & Examples

Learn about allegories and how stories can be used to deliver messages, lessons or even commentaries on big concepts and institutions. Explore how allegories range from straightforward to heavily-veiled and subtle.

Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

14. Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the different ways authors repeat consonant and vowel sounds in their literary works. Learn about how writers use repeated words and phrases with well-known examples.

Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

15. Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the use of understatement as a way to draw attention to a specific quality or to add humor. Learn about litotes, a specific form of understatement, and discover examples from literature.

Euphemism: Definition & Examples

16. Euphemism: Definition & Examples

This lesson defines euphemisms, alternate language used in place of offensive language or when discussing taboo topics. Explore some examples of euphemisms in everyday language and well-known examples from literature.

Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

17. Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson you will learn how poets and authors use symbolism in their writing to make it more meaningful and interesting. Explore how descriptive writing called imagery appeals to the senses, adding to works of literature.

Tone vs. Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose

18. Tone vs. Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose

In this lesson, learn the difference between the tone and the mood of a piece of prose. Explore examples of how tone and mood are conveyed by authors through word choice and telling details.

Satire, Parody, or Spoof: Types of Humorous Writing

19. Satire, Parody, or Spoof: Types of Humorous Writing

Learn about how writers use satire, parody and spoof to make their readers laugh and think. Explore how these forms mock the conventions of specific literary works and genres.

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