English Terms

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Iambic Pentameter

Blank Verse

Couplet

Foreboading

Sonnet

Aside

Foil

Monologue

Soliloquy

Pun

Dramatic Irony

Crisis

Tragic Flaw

Climax

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When the audience or reader knows something important that a character in a play or story does not know

The turning point in the action when the outcome is irreversible (usually occurs in Act III of Shakespeare’s plays)

A play on the multiple meanings of a word, or on two words that sound the alike but have different meanings (one is humorous or ironic)

A fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter that has one of the several rhyme schemes; Shakespearean sonnet has three four-line units (quatrains) followed by a two-line unit (couplet)

A character briefly speaking his or her thoughts (1-2 lines) to the audience or another character (words are not to be overheard by the others onstage)

One character who contrasts sharply with another character

The weakness of character in the hero or heroine that leads to his or her downfall

A play’s most intensely emotional moment; when the audience or reader know how the conflict will end (final act in Shakespeare’s plays)

Line of poetry with five iambic units consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (10 syllable)

Two rhymed lines of poetry in iambic pentameter; most often used to express a completed thought (at the end of each act in Romeo and Juliet)

An unusually long speech in which a character who is onstage alone expresses his or her thoughts aloud

A feeling that something bad is about to happen

Unrhymed lines of poetry in iambic pentameter (most common form of verse in Shakespeare’s plays)

One character addressing a long speech to another character