Rhetorical Device Cheat Sheet

Rhetorical Device Cheat Sheet
For Shakespeare’s Hamlet
KHS 3B 2014
Some of this is review.
Anything in italics will be seen a lot in the
Plot Chart:
Exposition: introduction to the characters and the world of
the play
Rising Action: Begins the moment that conflict is introduced
which is known as the Inciting Incident.
Climax: The moment that the conflict is resolved and there is
a change in the main character
Falling Action: The tying up of loose ends
Resolution: The final resting of the issues (not essential to the
story/play) What might lie ahead for the characters
Dynamic Character: Character that has a change throughout the work
The changes in Neville Longbottom, of the Harry Potter series, he goes from being a meak, unskilled ninny
to become the fastest-learning member of the DA and attempts to fight in the battle at the Ministry.
Hermione also undergoes some pretty big changes. She starts off as a bossy, insecure, neurotic, rule-abiding
little girl, best exemplified by equating being expelled from school with being killed. Ultimately ends up with
a number of to be lawful or good decisions, and chooses to be good — beginning with her lying to Professor
McGonagall about going after a troll in order to keep Harry and Ron out of trouble.
In the first two seasons of My Name is Earl, Earl goes from a greedy criminal jerk motivated by a
misinterpretation of the concept of karma to a genuinely selfless person.
Most of the cast of Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas himself started off as a cocky, immature young station
pilot with the delusion that no engine worked harder than he. But he learned from advice and his
experiences to be responsible, earning his own branch line and eventually becoming a wise engine in his
own right. Gordon learned to be less condescending towards other engines, and he, Henry, and James all
learned not to complain about other trains.
My Little Pony, all of the mane characters, while maintaining most of their defining flaws and
characterizations to some extent, have matured slightly and become more flexible. Twilight Sparkle in
particular started off aloof and uninterested in socializing to a warm leader who cares deeply about her new
friends and community. Rainbow Dash went from resenting her weaker comrades to nurturing and
motivating them (particularly noticeable in her treatment of Fluttershy), Applejack became less prideful and
more willing to accept help from others, and Fluttershy has shown more moments of strong will.
Static Character: Does not change throughout the work
Batman usually suffers from little character development except in some alternative continuity
stories like The Dark Night Returns.
Most comic book villains, at least after their tragic back stories. And that's part of what makes
them villains; they don't change. The Joker will always be a psychotic murdering clown, and he
shouldn't be anything else.
All of The Peanuts
James Bond
Joey from Friends
Sam from iCarly
Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory
Every one except Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and all the vampires in Twilight
Alliteration: repetition of same sound at the beginning of the
word: Clare clears cliffs. Bob’s Burgers. Sally sells seashells.
Consonance: The repeating of a consonant sound within a
word. Double double toil and trouble
Assonance: The repetition of the same vowel sound within a
word. Double double toil and trouble
Repetition: the repeating of a word or phrase to pull the
reader’s attention. (“Nevermore!”)
Anaphora: The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.
LINKIN PARK: Pushing Me Away
Why I never walked away?
Why I played myself this way?
Now I see, you're testing me, pushes me away
Why I never walked away?
Why I played myself this way?
Now I see, you're testing me, pushes me away
Enjambment: The lack of punctuation at the end of a line that serves to speed up the pacing.
a few lines from Keats' Endymion which demonstrate how enjambment works:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and asleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.(ll .1-5)
Iambic Pentameter: A form of writing in verse. It is characterized by the syllable count and the beats.
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality oe’ersways their power.
How with this sway shall beauty hold a plea
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
Iambic refers to the rhythm of the line which is defined by the up and down beats or the stress on the lines.
Iambic is the repeating pattern of stressed unstressed which is marked by a slash over the stressed (/) and a
U over the unstressed.
U /
U /
U /
U /
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
In Iambic pentameter, there are 5 feet per line marked by a full iamb (marked in the brackets)
U /
U /
U /
[Since brass], [nor stone],[ nor earth], [nor bound][less sea]
The stressed syllable receives the stress and the unstressed, downbeat, receives the unstressed.
The entirety of the play is written in iambic pentameter.
Personification: The endowing of human qualities onto a non-human
Onomatopoeia: A word that makes the sound it represents
Allusion: A passing reference to a person, place, thing, or common
element of everyday life.
Here are some examples that allude to people or events in literature:
“I was surprised his nose was not growing like Pinocchio’s.” This refers to the story of
Pinocchio, where his nose grew whenever he told a lie. It is from The Adventures of
Pinocchio, written by Carlo Collodi.
“When she lost her job, she acted like a Scrooge, and refused to buy anything that
wasn’t necessary.” Scrooge was an extremely stingy character from Charles Dickens’, A
Christmas Carol.
“I thought the software would be useful, but it was a Trojan Horse.” This refers to the
horse that the Greeks built that contained all the soldiers. It was given as a gift to the
enemy during the Trojan War and, once inside the enemy's walls, the soldiers broke out.
By using trickery, the Greeks won the war.
“He was a real Romeo with the ladies.” Romeo was a character in Shakespeare’s play,
Romeo and Juliet, and was very romantic in expressing his love for Juliet.
“Chocolate was her Achilles’ heel.” This means that her weakness was her love of
chocolate. Achilles is a character in Greek mythology who was invincible. His mother
dipped him in magical water when he was a baby, and she held him by the heel. The
magic protected him all over, except for his heel.
Biblical Allusions
There are many biblical allusions that are used in our everyday language and in
Here are a few examples:
“He was a Good Samaritan yesterday when he helped the lady start her car.”
This refers to the biblical story of the Good Samaritan.
“She turned the other cheek after she was cheated out of a promotion.” This
comes from teaching of Jesus that you should not get revenge.
“This place is like a Garden of Eden.” The Garden of Eden was the paradise
God made for Adam and Eve.
“You are a Solomon when it comes to making decisions.” This refers to King
Solomon, who was very wise.
“When the volcano erupted, the nearby forest was swallowed up in dust and ash
like Jonah.” Jonah was a person who was swallowed alive by a whale.
“It is raining so hard, I hope it doesn’t rain for 40 days and 40 nights.” This
makes a reference to the biblical story of Noah and the ark he built. He was told
by God that it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights and flood the land
Antithesis: A person or thing that is the direct
opposite of something else.
Duck Dynasty/Here Comes Honey Boo-boo
Evil twin idea…
Movies: The Wrestler revolves around the beauty found in the
"lower art" of wrestling while Black Swan revolves around the
horror found in the "higher art" of ballet
Foil: A person or thing that is the direct opposite of something else for
the purpose of offsetting and amplifying the other.
Watson (from Sherlock Holmes):S wouldn’t look so eccentric with out W
Ron & Hermoine (from Harry Potter): H wouldn’t look so put together and obedient with out R
Bob Ewell and Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird
Iron Man and Captain America
Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc
Beast and Gaston
Will and Jack from Pirates of the Caribbean
Marshall and Barney from How I Meet Your Mother
Rachel and Monica from Friends
Jewelers often put shiny metal foil underneath a gem to make the stone shine brighter. A literary foil is someone who
highlights another character's trait, usually by contrast, but sometimes by competing with him, making snarky remarks, or
egging him on.
Sidekicks often serve as foils to the hero by being something the hero himself is not (a calm and pragmatic sidekick when
the hero is hotheaded, for example). In the classic good-guy versus bad guy scenario, both the hero and villain can each be
considered the other's foil, in that each acts to show how the other behaves in certain situations.
Hyperbole: Over exaggeration
Understatement: Extreme downplaying
Metaphor: Comparison not using like or as
Simile: A comparison using like or as
Oxymoron: A contradiction that is nevertheless somehow
Parallelism: the sequencing of events or lives in a parallel
The House of the Rising Sun
"My mother was a tailor (she sewed your new blue jeans);
My father was a gambling man down in New Orleans."
Many folk songs have parallelism, especially the cumulative ones like
"The Twelve Days of Christmas“
"Hush, Little Baby, Don't Say a Word"
"She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain"
"What It's Like"
We've all seen the man at the liquor store beggin' for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
He asked a man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
"Get a job, you fuckin' slob"'s all he replied
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it's like [4x]
Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said, "Don't worry about a thing, baby doll, I'm the man you've been
dreamin' of."
But three months later he said he won't date her or return her call
And she sweared, "God damn if I find that man I'm cuttin' off his balls."
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin' through
the door.
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it's like [4x]
I've seen a rich man beg
I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I've seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
Smoked the finest green
I stroked the baddest dimes
At least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart
You know where it ends
Yo, it usually depends
On where you start
I knew this kid named Max
He used to get fat stacks
Out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late
He liked to get shit faced
And keep pace with thugs
Until late one night
There was a big gun fight
Max lost his head
He pulled out his Chrome .45
Talked some shit
And wound up dead
And now his wife and his kids
Are caught in the midst
Of all of his pain
You know it comes that way
At least that's what they say
When you play the game
God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose
Then you really might know what it's like [3x]
To have to lose…
Examples in Hamlet…..

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