Group 1

  • Heroic Couplet: “Lines of iambic pentameter which rhyme in pairs: aa, bb, cc, and so on. [During the eighteenth century, poets often] wrote closed couplets, in which the end of each pair of lines tends to coincide with the end of a sentence or a self-sufficient unit of syntax. The sustained employment of the closed heroic couplet meant that two lines had to serve something of the function of a stanza” (Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms)
  • apostrophe: “a direct and explicit address either to an absent person or to an abstract or nonhuman entity” (Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms)
  • metaphor:comparison between two unlike things
  • simile:comparison between two unlike things using “like” or “as”
  • personification:a non-human thing is endowed with human characteristic
  • irony:a difference between the surface meaning of the words and the implications that may be drawn from them
  • alliteration: “repetition of a speech sound in a sequence of nearby words” (Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms)

Group 2: Rhetorical Figures

Zeugma: “in Greek means ‘yoking’; in the common present usage, it is applied to expressions in which a single word stands in the same grammatical relation to two or more other words, but with an obvious shift in its significance. Sometimes the word is literal in one relation and metaphorical in the other” (Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms)

“And now a bubble burst, and now a world” (Pope, Essay on Man 90)

Parallelism: “A rhetorical device used in written and oral compositions since ancient times to accentuate or emphasize words or images by using grammatically similar constructions. Words, phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and even larger structural units may be consciously organized into parallel constructions, thereby creating a sense of balance that can be meaningful and revealing . . . [it] invite[s] readers or audiences to compare and contrast the parallel elements.” (The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms 266)

“Whatever is, is right” (Pope, Essay on Man 294)

Chiasmus: “(derived from the Greek term for the letter X, or for a crossover) is a sequence of two phrases or clauses which are parallel in syntax, but which reverses the order of the corresponding words” (Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms)

“His time a moment, and a point his space.” (Pope, Essay on Man 72)

Anaphora: “the deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of each one of a sequence of sentences, paragraphs, lines of verse, or stanzas” (Glossary ). And another definition: “A rhetorical device involving the repetition of a word or group of words in successive clauses” (from The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, 4th edition 37)

“All Nature is but art unknown to thee;

All chance, cirection which thou canst see;

All discord, harmony not understood;

All partial evil, universal good:” (Pope, Essay on Man 289-292)