The mood or manner of expression in a literary work, which conveys an attitude toward the work’s subject, which may be playful, sarcastic, ironic, sad, solemn, or any other possible attitude. Tone helps establish the reader’s relationship to the characters or ideas presented in the work.
Poetry that blends criticism with humor to convey a message, usually through the use of irony and a tone of detached amusement, withering contempt and implied superiority.
Latin for “mask.” A fictitious character created by an author to be the speaker of a literary work.
In languages, a discrepancy between what is said and what is meant. In life, a discrepancy between what is expected and what occurs.
A mode of expression in which the speaker or writer says the opposite of what is really meant, such as saying “Great story!” in response to a boring, pointless anecdote.
A style of bitter irony intended to hurt or mock its target.
A situation in which the larger implications of a character’s words, actions, or situation are unrealized by that character but seen by the author and the reader or audience.
The contrast between a character’s position or aspiration and the treatment he or she receives at the hands of a seemingly hostile fate; also called irony of fate.