Metaphor and simile.
Comparisons. A simile uses the words “as” or “like”; a metaphor does not.
Examples: “He’s a pig” is a metaphor. “He looks like a pig” and “He’s as fat as a pig” are similes.
Attributing human or other animate characteristics to an inanimate object.
Example: Clouds cry.
Using one object to stand for something else or to mean something else. Actions can also be symbolic, such as washing hands to indicate non-involvement. Some symbols are universal, with generally accepted meanings, such as a crown to mean superiority or the color red to mean danger. Some are specific to a particular work of literature, such as the white whale in Moby Dick. Symbols, especially specific ones, often mean more than one thing.
Conveys the opposite of what is meant or what would be expected.
Examples: Saying “You’re so graceful!” to someone who has just tripped is verbal irony. A lifeguard drowning in a bathtub is irony of situation. A special kind of literary irony is when the reader (or viewer) knows something the character doesn’t. This is common in horror movies. An example of this is when the heroine runs to Jason for help, when we know he’s the slasher.
Sarcasm is verbal irony with attitude, with a mean edge.
Literary exaggeration. Examples: Gilgamesh and Enkidu carried thirty score pounds of weaponry. I’ll give you the moon and stars.
Rhythm and meter.
Rhythm is the up & down, high & low series of emphases in speech. All speech has rhythm, and each language has its own particular rhythm. Meter is regular rhythm, as in poetry or music.
Sounding alike at the end. Examples: may—say, patter—matter.
Sounding alike in the middle. Example: moody blues.