What are literary devices?

What are literary devices?Literary devices: What are they?

What are literary devices?
The word “texts” is a catch-all for all the methods, modes, and tactics an author uses to improve their work. Humanity has developed quite a few of these written languages, which are still changing, over the ages of writings in hundreds of various languages.

Computer Storage Device. Also, read

A literary work:

A literary work may use both detailed and precise handling of words that are only used occasionally, as well as generic parts that recur frequently. A literary element is really anything that can transform uninteresting or bland writing into sumptuous, captivating prose. 

Literary procedures versus literary devices versus literary aspects
Let’s settle the debate over a few rival terminologies used to describe literary methods. Literary devices include both literary approaches and literary elements.

Setting, topic, mood, and allegory are examples of literary components, which are “big-picture” literary devices that appear across the entire piece.

Euphemisms and alliteration are examples of literary techniques, which are literary strategies that deal with certain words and phrases.

What literary devices to look for when reading?

To enjoy a good book, you don’t necessarily need to comprehend literary devices. Even if you are unfamiliar with the names of some literary devices, such as personification, onomatopoeia, and anthropomorphism, you can still enjoy reading about them.

The ability to recognize literary techniques, however, allows you to consider the beauty of a piece of writing and comprehend the author’s intentions. Understanding literary devices enable you to pick up on subtleties and put together a bigger picture that you might have otherwise missed.

Why it is necessary?

It is vital to become familiar with as many literary devices as you can in order to recognize them when reading. Knowing what to look for is the first step; after that, it merely takes practice through reading various works and literary genres. After some practice, you’ll be able to recognize literary devices without it impairing your reading experience or ability to concentrate.

How to effectively employ literary devices in writing?

You must first be able to spot literary devices “in the wild” before you can employ them in your own writing. Make sure you know what you’re searching for by reading the list below and then reading with additional attention. Discover how seasoned authors employ literary strategies.

The most crucial advice is to employ literary techniques naturally when you’re ready to experiment with them on your own. It’s better to utilize literary devices sparingly and only when they will have the most impact—like a musical cymbal crash! 

To appear more accomplished, inexperienced writers frequently cram literary devices into their work. The truth is that improper use of literary devices is more noticeable than proper use. Instead of shoving literary devices into situations where they don’t belong, wait for a time when they can happen naturally.

Visit Creative Writing 101: Everything You Need to Get Started for more details. 28 literary techniques with descriptions more information can be found at Creative Writing 101: Everything You Need to Get Started.

28 literary devices and their definitions:

Allegory Allegories are stories that, in order to convey a deeper meaning, totally depict something else, such as an important historical event or an influential ideology. The stories are frequently completely made up and only tangentially related to their sources, but occasionally specific characters stand in for actual historical figures.

Examples: One of the most well-known allegories ever written is George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which is about the 1917 Russian Revolution. A more contemporary example is the animated movie Zootopia, which is an allegory of prejudice in contemporary society.

Alliteration is a literary device where words that start with the same letter or sound are used again to create a comical or poetic impact.

Examples include Peter Parker, Matthew Murdock, Reed Richards, and Bruce Banner, all of which have alliterative names.

An allusion is a subtle reference to a non-story character, circumstance, setting, or piece of art. In order to avoid the necessity for an explanation, allusions are made to well-known subjects; the reader should already be aware of the reference.

Example: Haruki Murakami’s book 1Q84 makes reference to George Orwell’s 1984 in the title itself. The Japanese word for nine has the same pronunciation as the letter Q in the English alphabet.


A simple sentence can be made more meaningful by adding more elements, a process known as amplification.

“A person with decent thinking cannot ever be ugly,” for instance. You can have a double chin, a wonky nose, a crooked mouth, and protruding teeth, but if you think positively, they will radiate out of your face like sunbeams, making you constantly look beautiful. The Twits by Roald Dahl


In order to create a new word or phrase, the author rearranges the letters in an existing word or phrase to create an anagram.

An illustration of this is how the antagonist Hannibal Lector in the film Silence of the Lambs attempted to mislead the FBI by giving the suspect the name Louis Friend, which the protagonist later recognized was an anagram for “iron sulfide,” the scientific name for fool’s gold.


An analogy contrasts two things to highlight a similarity that may not be immediately apparent. What are literary devices?

Example: To further illustrate the context of when significant events occurred, Carl Sagan compares the entire history of the cosmos with a single Earth year in The Dragons of Eden.


Anthropomorphism is the process of making non-human entities, such as animals or objects, behave like people, displaying features like speech, thought, complicated emotions, and occasionally even donning clothing and standing up straight.

Examples include talking clocks, singing teapots, and other domestic items in the Beauty and the Beast movies, although most fairy tales depict animals that behave like people.

Antithesis juxtaposes two opposing and divisive emotions in order to emphasize both.

“One modest stride for man, one huge leap for mankind,” for instance. Armstrong, Neil


The word order of one of two parallel phrases is switched around using the literary device of chiasmus to convey a deeper meaning.

 What are literary devices?


Colloquialism is the use of everyday language, such as slang, in official writing to give the conversation a more genuine and natural feel. To convey the pronunciation, it frequently uses apostrophes and word respells.

For instance, “How are you?” asked Joey Tribbiani from Friends.


When a writer purposefully overuses language and employs complex phrase constructions, they are said to be circumlocuting. In other words, it refers to writing intentionally long and cryptic sentences.

Example: In Shrek the Third, Pinocchio avoids answering the Prince’s question honestly by using euphemisms.


An independent, previously published quotation that serves as the work’s introduction and usually has some thematic or symbolic significance is known as an epigraph. What are literary devices?

Example: Hunter S. Thompson’s novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which focuses primarily on drug misuse and escapism, begins with the Samuel Johnson phrase, “He who creates a beast of himself gets away from the misery of being a man.”

A euphemism is a mild and unoffensive word or phrase that, in the interest of pity or decorum, is used in place of a harsh, unpleasant, or painful one.

Euphemisms like “passing away” and “downsizing” are frequently used in ordinary conversation, but an excellent literary example can be found in Harry Potter, where the wizarding world refers to the evil Voldemort as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” out of fear of summoning him.


Using subtle analogies to allude to future events in a novel, foreshadowing is a method used to heighten suspense or pique the interest of the reader.

For instance, Luke Skywalker’s vision of himself wearing Darth Vader’s mask in The Empire Strikes Back foreshadows the later realization that Vader is, in fact, Luke’s father.


Exaggeration is used in hyperbole to give your words greater force, frequently to a ridiculous or implausible degree.

I had to wait at the station for ten days, which seemed like an eternity. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Writing that uses descriptive word choices to evoke the reader’s senses in order to help them more vividly and accurately recreate the scenario in their minds is referred to as imagery.

The barn, for instance, was very big. It was quite old. Both hay and manure could be detected in the air. It had the beautiful sweet breath of waiting cows and the sweat of weary horses. It frequently had a calm aroma, as though nothing negative could ever occur again in the world. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White


A metaphor is a figure of speech that contrasts two different things in order to highlight their similarities by stressing that they are the same, much like an analogy does.


“Everything is a stage,”

The men and women are all just players;

There are exits and entrances for them.

And one man performs multiple roles at once.

Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,”


The author’s goal in crafting a story is to elicit a certain emotional response. The tone and the details a writer chooses to depict, as well as the storyline and characters, all contribute to creating the atmosphere.

For instance, the literary atmosphere of vampires in Bram Stoker’s horror novel Dracula is frightful and menacing, while it is friendly and lighthearted in the comic movie What We Do In Shadows. What are literary devices?


A recurrent element in a story that has a symbolic or intellectual meaning is known as a motif. Although closely connected to the theme, motifs are particular things or occasions while themes are abstract concepts.

A theme that represents Lady Macbeth’s guilt in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is her concern with washing her hands.


Words that represent sounds and have pronunciations that resemble those sounds are referred to by the literary term onomatopoeia.

Example: The word “buzz” is really pronounced like the sound a bee makes when it is used to describe a buzzing insect.


An oxymoron is created when two opposing terms are combined to give them a deeper, more lyrical meaning.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” for instance. Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet


A paradox, like an oxymoron, combines two opposing ideas in a manner that, despite being illogical, nonetheless seems to make sense.

As an illustration, say, “I only know that I know nothing.” In Plato’s Apology, Socrates


Personification is when a writer uses a metaphor to give non-human entities, such as the weather or inanimate objects, human characteristics. Personification is purely symbolic, whereas anthropomorphism asserts that the objects in question actually behave like people.

The heart desires what it desires, or else it is unconcerned. Elizabeth Dickinson


Portmanteaux are literary terms created by merging two words.

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