Ch 3: Elements of Literature

About This Chapter

The video and text lessons in this chapter will allow you to explore elements of literature and to learn the differences between several literary terms. A chapter examination will assess your comprehension of the information you've studied.

Elements of Literature - Chapter Summary

Discover the meanings of irony, allusion, allegory, synecdoche and similar words when you watch this chapter's online video lessons on literary terms and elements of literature. You'll have opportunities to offer examples of different types of literary terms and to understand their effects on literary pieces. Watching each of the lessons could assist you in:

  • Defining metaphor, catharsis, foreshadowing and literary motif
  • Exploring the use of synecdoche in literary works
  • Understanding the use of cliches, equivocations and paradoxes
  • Distinguishing between metaphors and similes
  • Learning about the use of personification and apostrophe
  • Examining the use of situational, verbal and dramatic irony
  • Identifying the differences between allusion and illusion
  • Learning about allegory such as parables and fables
  • Studying authors' use of repetition, consonance and assonance
  • Utilizing understatement, symbolism, euphemism and litotes
  • Understanding different types of narrators

Led by experienced literature professors and experts, the animated video lessons are short and illuminating. You'll learn visually as well as through the written transcripts that accompany the videos. Submit your questions for clarification and click on the links to related lessons or key terms. Each lesson has a corresponding quiz that tests your knowledge.

16 Lessons in Chapter 3: Elements of Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

1. 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.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

2. 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.

Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

3. 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

4. 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.

Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples

5. 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

6. 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.

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.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

8. 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.

Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

9. 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

10. 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 Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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