A Basic Guide To Existing Literary Devices

Literary Devices pic
Literary Devices
Image: grammar.about.com

While working as a high school English teacher, Adam Wies also spoke at several universities on the work of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. In particular, he covered the authors’ writing styles and the literary devices that they utilized.

Here are some of the literary devices that are frequently used by writers:

1. Anaphora – When one repeats a word or a phrase at the beginning of several clauses. It can also be used at the beginning several paragraphs. This is used to express a poetic or rhetorical effect.

2. Epistrophe – When one repeats a word or a phrase at the end of several clauses. It can also be used at the end several paragraphs, and is similar, though still the opposite, of anaphora.

3. Parallelism – This is used to identify grammatical constructions in clauses or phrases that correspond each other. These are repeated syntactically to introduce a rhetorical effect.

4. Antithesis – This is the placement of contrasting ideas beside each other using a parallel structure. This is used to emphasize the difference between two ideas.

5. Polysyndeton – This is the use of successive conjunctions where commas might otherwise be used. It acts as a stylistic device that brings continuity and rhythm to a sentence.

6. Asyndeton – This style omits conjunctions between words, clauses or phrases. This is the opposite of a polysyndeton, which utilizes commas instead of conjunctions.

For an in-depth analysis of Dickens’ and Shakespeare’s use of literary devices, you may contact Adam Wies. His past speaking engagements covered Dickens’ Hard Times, Great Expectations, and Bleak House, as well as Shakespeare’s’ Macbeth, Hamlet and Henry V.


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