For writers, literary devices are used as narrative techniques, which add texture and excitement to their written story. These techniques grip the imagination of the reader and convey information to them in an energetic way. Literary devices are used by screenwriters, poets, and novelists, so as to underscore meaning in their texts. Once you recognize literary techniques, you will appreciate and understand whatever you read and watch.


To understand and identify literary devices, you simply have to follow the guide below:


Review the Different Forms of Literary Devices

Literary devices take different faces in the English language. These include metaphors, similes, allusions, dictions, epigraphs, euphemism, imagery, foreshadowing, and personification. The literary devices also cover protagonists and antagonists.


  • Metaphors are used by writers when they compare one event with another event. For example: The classroom was a prison.


  • Similes are also like comparisons, but differ from metaphors in that they use the word “like” or “as” in their sentence. For example: She danced around like a fairy.


  • Allusions are used by writers when the events of another story are referred in their story. These can be done by highlighting famous books, or more common, texts used from the Bible. For example: She looked at her baby with the eyes of Mary for Jesus.


  • Dictions are the choice of words an author has for a single term. For example: I stabbed the fork in his hand. Other words used can be poked, gouged, or


  • Epigraphs are quotations an author uses in their writing, mostly in italics. It stands apart from the test, rather than being included as in allusions.


  • Euphemism is used when an author implies harsh terms or offensive events in milder phrases. For example: He took it below the belt.


  • Imagery is used when authors write words that depict sensory details for tones they evoke. For example: The smell of his breath was like whisky, that made me dizzy and swirl on my feet.


  • Foreshadowing is when authors hints vaguely about where the story is headed. The author can hint at the end or on an upcoming event in the story without fully elaborating on it.


  • Personification is when nonhuman subjects are given human characteristics. For example: The fire leapt up and bit the leg of the table.


  • Protagonist is the main character of the story. It can be a good or bad character, around who the story revolves.


  • Antagonist is the counterpart of the protagonist, and the main cause of conflict in the story.


Identify the Setting

In a literary device, a setting detonates the timeframe and the place in which the story is laid out. Classical works usually were set in the 16th or 17th century, but a setting can vary no matter what time it was written in.


Explore Themes

The theme of a literature is the main idea or central message. There can be one main message or more than one in n art.


Recognize Allegory

This is when a story is symbolizing something other than its title.


Wait for the Climax

This is when the protagonist will confront their biggest obstacle, or when the plot reaches its peak or twist.