We explain what literary resources are, the types of literary resources there are, and some of their characteristics.
What are literary resources?
It is called literary resources or also rhetorical figures to the twists and special strategies that the authors of literature print on the language in their works, with the purpose of providing them with greater expressive power or greater beauty. It is, therefore, special uses, other than ordinary, of language.
With this, we do not refer specifically to the verse, or to the visual effects that some poems are intended to achieve by distributing the text on the sheet, but to ways of saying things, to methods to vary the common way of using language.
It should be clarified that all literary works are written in a language that is out of the ordinary or far from the common, not only in verse but also in prose. But even so, the use of literary resources gives a unique, unique stamp to the work; something that is part of the style of each writer.
It must also be said that many of these literary resources can occur in the common language, as forms of play, emphasis, or enhance what has been said, but it is not the usual use of the spoken language. The jokes, oral histories, and various forms of expression are abundant in such ingenious twists of the language.
Types of literary resources and examples
- M etáfora or simile. It consists of replacing a reference with another with which there is a similarity link, establishing a comparison between them from a common feature, or defining one from the other. When this occurs through a link (a “like”, for example), we will talk about a simile; when not, metaphor. For example: “The ruby of your lips” is a metaphor, because it compares someone’s lips with rubies based on their reddish color; the same “Your red lips like rubies”, which would be a simile given the presence of “like.”
- M etonymy. It consists of an exchange of referents, just like the metaphor, but whenever there is a relationship of the part for the thing, the effect for the cause, or the thing for its origin. For example: “We read Cervantes” (the author for his work) or “We went to eat Chinese” (nationality for the thing).
- H ipérbole. It consists of poetic exaggeration: one whose meaning is to highlight the explicit meaning of an idea. For example: “Bruno was long like a flagpole.”
- P personification. It occurs when we give inanimate objects or animals certain unique features of humanity. For example: “The trees in the garden were leaning towards us with curiosity.”
- Or oxymoron. It implies the joining of two logically opposite terms, that is, two words whose senses normally could not coexist. For example: “The icy heat of your eyes” or “The bright night without stars.”
- H ipérbaton. It is based on the alteration of the customary order of the sentence, to highlight some of its meanings through syntax. It is typical of poetry, although not exclusive. For example: “A kiss to your cheek yesterday I gave.”
- A náfora. It is a repetition at the beginning of two or more sentences, which produces a melodic or emphatic effect with respect to what has been said, usually associated with the intensity of a feeling. For example: “That night we walked along the path. That night we checked that there was no one at the end. ”
- Or nomatopeya. Widely used in everyday speech, this resource consists in the representation through the spoken language of the sound of something or of an animal. For example: “knock, knock, knock, the door rang” or “I could not stand the constant ticking of the clock.”
- E lipsis. Ellipsis is essentially omission, that is, deliberately avoiding saying certain things or giving certain information to the recipient. This lack, however, does not prevent the sense of what has been said but provides agility, speed, or rhythm to the prayer. That omitted can be a name, a subject, an action, or a reference that is part of comparison and is tacit. For example: “Paula took the path on the right, Maria the one on the left” (avoid repeating “path”); or also: “I woke up bathed in sweat, she wrapped and totally dry” (avoid repeating “wake up”).
- A literation. This is a phonetic resource, that is, of sound. It occurs when a phrase is deliberately constructed that hides the repetition of a sound. It is common in tongue twisters, sapwood, and riddles because only by paying attention to the sound and not to the meaning can the response be recomposed. It can also be used to print an internal melody to the sentence. For example The popular riddle “I tell you and I tell you, I repeat it again” (in the repetition the word “cloth” hides; or in the phrase “the classic clarinets were heard” (the repetition of the first syllable induces at a particular rate).
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