Exposition: the first part of a plot that stages the scene, that introduces and identifies the characters, and establishes the circumstances at the beginning of a play or story. Added exposition is often distributed throughout the work (Mays A4).
Setting: the time and place of the action in a work of fiction, poetry, or drama. The spatial setting is the place or places in which action unfolds, the temporal setting is the time; thus, the same as plot time. General Setting is the time and place in which all action unfolds; whereas, particular settings are the times and places which individual episodes or scenes take place (Mays A10).
Conflict: a struggle between opposing forces. A conflict is external when it puts a character against something or someone outside of his or herself---another character or characters or something in nature or society. A conflict is internal when the opposing forces are two drives, impulses, or parts of a single character (Mays A3).
Rising Action: the second of the five phases or parts of plot, in which events complicate the situation that existed at the beginning of a work, intensifying the initial conflict, or introducing a new one (Mays A10).
Climax: the third part of plot, the point at which the action stops rising and begins falling or reversing; also called turning point or peripeteia (Mays A2).
Falling Action: the fourth of five phases or parts of plot, in which the conflict or conflicts move toward resolution (Mays A4).
Resolution: also called conclusion, the fifth and last phase or part of the plot, the point which the situation that was destabilized at the beginning becomes stable once more and the conflict is resolved (Mays A3).
Denouement: literally means, “untying” in Fr...
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...d levels of meaning. Elements of the literal level signify a figurative level that often imparts a lesson or moral to the reader (Mays A1).
Rhetoric: the art and scholarly study of effective communication, whether in writing or speech (Mays A9).
Diction: a choice of words often described as informal or colloquial if it resembles everyday speech, or as formal if it is instead lofty, impersonal, and dignified. Tone is determined largely through diction (Mays A3).
Syntax: word order; the way words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences (Mays A11).
Tone: the attitude a literary work takes towards its subject, especially the way this attitude is revealed through diction (Mays A12).
Imagery: imagery may be described as auditory, tactile, visual, or olfactory depending on which sense it is primarily appealing to---hearing, touch, vision, or smell (Mays A6)
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