Poetic Devices | Figure of Speech | Literary Devices | Class 10, 11 and 12 |

Poetic Devices, Figure of Speech, Literary Devices, Class 10, Class 11, Class 12


Poetic Devices Class 12, Poetic Devices Class 11, Poetic Devices Class 10

Having gone through the MCQs The Third Level, The Enemy, Should Wizard Hit Mommy by John Updike from Vistas and The Last Lesson, Lost Spring, Deep Water, The Rattrap, My Mother at Sixty Six, An Elementary School Classroom School in a Slum, Keeping Quiet from Flamingo. It’s high time to have a look at the poetic/literary devices which are also known as Figure of Speech. Let’s have a look at them one by one for scoring higher in upcoming examination. 

We would love to see you scoring higher after reading the MCQ of Grammar, MCQ of Notice Writing, MCQ of Letter to the Editor, MCQ of Classified Advertisement, MCQ of Article Writing, MCQ of Business Letters. Besides, reading them will clear all your doubts about what kind of questions will be put up in the upcoming exams.

Watch Video of Poetic Devices/Literary Devices


  1. Simile: Compares one thing to another (of a different kind, and yet alike in some significant way)

For e.g.

  • wan, pale as a late winter’s moon. (My Mother at Sixty-Six)
  • Her face ashen like that of a corpse.
  • This world is like a rattrap.
  • He fought like a king


2. Metaphor: A word or phrase for one thing that is used in place of another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar. ‘Like’ or ‘As’ is not used in metaphor.

For e.g.

  • Life is a big roller-coaster ride.
  • Garbage to them is gold (Lost Spring).
  • He is the big fish who must be trapped.


3. Alliteration: The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of the words.

For e.g.

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • The sea washed their terribly transient toes. (Photograph)
  • He saw a spider and snake on the shelf.


4. Repetition: The repeated use word or word pattern.

For e.g.


5. Personification: The practice of representing an inanimate object or an abstract idea as a person, and endowing it with human traits.

For e.g.

  • The sun stretched its golden arms and greeted everyone with his kind smile
  • The trees were fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
  • I heard my heart cry at night.

You may also read : Formal Letters, Notice, Invitation, Classified Advertisement, Debate, Speech, Articles, Reports, Note Making, Poetic Devices  for better understanding.


6. Pun: The pun can use multiple meanings of the same word (homonyms) or different meanings of similar sounding words.

For e.g.

  • I am a mender of bad soles.
  • Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
  • People should stop moving their arms.


7. Antithesis: The juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance.

For e.g.

  • There was both Peace and War.
  • Good and Evil are the part of life.
  • Spicy food is heaven on the tongue but hell in the tummy


8. Onomatopoeia: The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named.

For e.g.

  • The dog barked all the night
  • They all clapped at the magnificent performance of the kids.
  • What a thunderclap those words to me. (The Last Lesson)


9. Assonance: The use of words that have the same or very similar vowel sounds near one another.

For e.g.

  • The fat cat had a smack. Alas! It was a tough nut to crack.
  • Well, it rises high into the bright blue sky.
  • Hear the mellow wedding bells


10. Oxymoron: The conjoining of two contradictory words.

For e.g.

  • I observed deafening silence there.
  • It was an intelligent donkey.
  • Have you ever seen a wise owl?


11. Synecdoche: It is a figure of speech wherein a part is made to represent the whole.

For e.g.

  • They came on their wheels.
  • Five brains are enough to deal with this problem
  • The ship was lost with all hands.


12. Epithet: It is an adjective or a phrase given to one for one’s quality.

For e.g. 

  • He was called Evans the break (Evans Tries an O-Level)
  • He called the white-haired Director.
  • They were hard-earning people.


13. Apostrophe: It is used to address a dead/absent person or thing.

For e.g.

  • Oh God ! Where are you staying?
  • Well Mr. Terror, what do you think you can do to me? (Deep Water)
  • Death, be not proud !


14. Metonymy : Substitution of one term for another.

For e.g.

  • I am reading Chetan Bhagat nowadays. (Here books of Chetan Bhagat have been substituted with Chetan Bhagat)
  • They were listening to Lata Mangeshkar.


15. Imagery: It creates a mental picture which is claimed an experienced by the poet/author.

For e.g.

  • Merry Children were spilling out of their homes. (My Mother at Sixty-Six)
  • Trees were sprinting at a great speed.


16. Hyperbole/Overstatement : Exaggeration of the fact by poet/author

For e.g.

  • He scored a goal and the entire world rose to greet him.
  • She winked and everyone, around her, fell down.


17. Euphemism: To use inoffensive expression instead of offensive one.

For e.g. 

  • My father died at the age of 64. (Offensive)
  • My father passed away at the age of 64. (Inoffensive)


18. Zeugma: Use of a word (Verb) in a sentence to modify other words.

For e.g.

  • She broke my phone and my heart.
  • He took his hat and his leave from there.


19. Consonance: Repetition of consonant sound at the end of words.

For e.g.

  • Slip slop and creek crock.
  • Tip top of shop


20. Paradox: A statement that seems absurd but has a deeper meaning.

For e.g.

  • Child is the father of a man.
  • Coward dies many times before their death but valiant dies only once.


21. Allusion: A passing reference to historical even or a play.

For e.g.

  • He picked the bow like Lord Rama and broke it into two pieces.
  • Don’t behave like a Scrooge (Character from Christmas Carol)


22. Refrain: It is a phrase or a line repeated at intervals in a poem, especially at the end of a every stanza.

For e.g.

  • Men may go, men may come but I go on forever. (The Brook)
  • Miles to go before I sleep. (Stopping by woods on a snowy evening)


23. Anaphora : It is the repetition of words at the beginning of successive clause.

For e.g.

Instead of calling me there

Instead of treating me well

Instead of speaking well

Transferred Epithet

24. Transferred Epithet : It is a figure of speech wherein adjective is transferred to other noun than it actually describes.

For e.g.

  • When aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie. (Here the adjective ‘Terrified’ has been used for hands in place of Aunt Jennifer} (Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers)
  • A sweet, unnoted young boy sitting at the back of dim class. (Here the adjective ‘Dim’ has been used for class instead of the room.)  (An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum)
  • Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales. (Here the word ‘Cold’ has been used for sea instead of cold-hearted man.)  (Keeping Quiet)


25. Contrast: It is a literary device through which the poet/writer/author differentiates between two persons/places/things or subjects.

For e.g.

  • Seemapuri is on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it. (Lost Spring by Anees Jung)
  • Young Trees sprinting and my children spilling out of their homes. (My Mother at Sixty-Six)


26. Symbolism : It is a poetic device using an action that means something more than its literal meaning

For e.g.


27. Irony: It is a literary device which helps up figure out the difference between reality and appearance.

For e.g.

  • His name suggests that he is lord of the universe but he is a ragpicker. (Lost Spring)
  • The operation is successful and he is dead. (The Tiger King)


28. Allegory: It is a narrative/story found in verse that has a purpose of elaborating an idea.


29. Parallelism: It is a literary device which shows the phrases having the same grammatical structure.

For e.g.

  • That’s one step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
  • Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.


30. Enjambment: It is a literary device wherein thoughts and ideas are carried over to the next line without any pause.

For e.g.

  • Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing. (Macbeth)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions related to Poetic Devices)

Question 1: What is a poetic device?

Answer: Poetic device is one of the forms of literary devices used in the poetry. It is used to build the mood or feeling of the reader and to add life to the poetry.

Question 2 : How many poetic devices are there in literature?

Answer: There are innumerable poetic devices in literature.

Question 3: Which is the best book to read poetic devices or literary devices or Figures of speech?

Answer: A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams

Question 4: What are the commonly used literary devices or poetic devices or figures of speech?

Answer: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Alliteration, Pun, Antithesis, Transferred Epithet, Oxymoron etc.

You may also go through other subjects like MCQs of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Music, Accountancy, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Political Science & English for having a strong hold on the subject with an intent to score higher in the first term examination to be held in the month of November/December. 

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