Literary Glossary: S

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A story or argument that brings folly to light through the use of sarcasm and wit.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Satire"


The location of a story’s action.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Setting"


A comparison of two seemingly dissimilar things using "like" or "as."

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Simile"

Slave Narrative

An account of a slave’s experience, usually told as a memoir, biography, or oral history.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Slave Narrative"


A prominent playwright and poet (1564-1616) generally considered to be one of the finest contributors to literature in the English language.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Shakespeare"


A dramatic technique reveals the inner working of the character to the audience or reader. It is used not only to convey the development of the play but also to provide an opportunity to see inside the mind of a certain character.  

There are distinction between three literary techniques: monologue; soliloquy; aside. Like soliloquy, a monologue is a speech, but the purpose and presentation is different. In a monologue, a character usually makes a speech in the presence of other characters, while in a soliloquy, the character speaks to himself or herself. In doing so, the character keeps these thoughts from the other characters in the play. An aside is a short comment by a character towards the audience relating something about another character, usually without that character knowing about it.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Soliloquy"


Popularized by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch, who established the custom of presenting a problem, situation, or incident in the octave, followed by a resolution in the sestet. In Petrarch's work, these were usually problems, situations, and incidents arising from his love for the unattainable Laura. When English poets began imitating Petrarch's sonnets in the early 16th century, they continued this thematic focus on the pleasures and frustrations of love. But English poets eventually developed a more flexible sonnet form which could be divided into octave and sestet, in the manner of Petrarch, or into three quatrain-length variations on a theme followed by an epigrammatic couplet. More information about the Petrarchan and English sonnet forms (and other varients) is provided in "Poetic Form: Sonnet" via the EDSITEment-reviewed Academy of American Poets.

For practice with the two popular forms, use the EDSITEment Parts of a Sonnet worksheet to test your knowledge [PDF - Acrobat reader required].

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Sonnet"


Designates a chapter, a passage or a portion of poetic lines in a literary work. The term is primarily reserved for poems and songs.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Stave"


A literary technique in which the character’s thoughts are revealed in a free-associative manner intended to replicate as closely as possibly the free range of an individual’s thought process.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Stream-of-consciousness"


An object or other entity used to represent or suggest something else that is either implicitly or explicitly associated with it. Symbols take the form of visual images, words, and gestures used to convey an idea or belief. All human cultures use symbols to express underlying ideals and structures.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Symbol"


An offshoot of Romanticism that originated with a group of French poets in the late 19th century and spread across the arts. Formed as a reaction against Realism, Symbolism centered on individual emotional experience and a belief that truth could be obtained through the poet’s rendering of individually significant symbols in metaphorical language. Symbolist poets include Charles Baudelaire and are identified with the Decadent movement.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Symbolism"