Literary Devices

What are Literary Devices?

Literary Devices are the tools that authors use to convey their meaning in works of language. The usage brings clarity and cohesiveness to the text.


There are 2 different aspects of Literary Devices that can be used to tell a story, they are: Literary Elements and Literary Techniques.

Literary Elements

Literary Elements are found in every piece of literature, and are used to develop the story. Some examples of Literary Elements are

  • Plot
  • Protagonist/Antagonist
  • Setting
  • Mood
  • Theme
  • Narrator
  • Dialogue
  • Conflict
  • Narrative Theme

Literary Techniques

Literary Techniques are used by authors to give the readers a bigger and broader understanding of they're trying to convey. Some examples of Literary Techniques are:

  • Imagery
  • Simile/Metaphor
  • Hyperbole
  • Allegory
  • Juxtaposition
  • Personification
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Allusion
  • Oxymoron
  • Anecdote
  • Irony

When do you use Literary Devices?

There's no set time to use a certain Literary Device, but authors often use them when they're describing something in detail (Personification, Imagery, Simile/Metaphor), or trying to compare one thing to another (Juxtaposition, Oxymoron, Irony).

Why do you (authors) use Literary Devices?

Authors use literary devices to invoke emotion from the readers and to add a layer of depth to their writings. If everything was just laid out in black and white- there wouldn't be any imagination or any sort of wonderment from the audience because everything already there and bland.

How do you use Literary Devices?

The only real, correct answer to this is "just make sure it makes sense". Instead of saying, "The room was silent", the author could use simile and compare the tension in the room like cutting cheese will a dull knife, or use Personification and cause dozens of eyes to fall on the clock.