The key difference between literary devices and poetic devices is that literary devices are techniques a writer uses to convey his/her intended meaning to others, while poetic devices are a variant of literary devices used in poetry to convey the poet’s intention.
The main purpose of using such devices is to enhance the meaning of a work of literature. Though there are many such devices, we should always use them intelligently. If not, we will not be able to convey the correct meaning to the readers effectively.
What are Literary Devices
Literary devices are techniques writers use to express their ideas and enhance writing. For a work of literature to be interesting and effective, a plot, theme, and setting would not be enough. It needs other techniques or devices to gloss over what is being said. This is where literary devices become useful. Typically, when using a literary device, there are two meanings: the surface meaning and the intended meaning. These are similar to denotation and connotation. If literary devices are used accurately, not only the surface meaning but also the intended meaning can be expressed successfully. A single literary work can consist of several literary techniques since a combination of such multiple devices makes the overall piece of literature more outstanding.
Types of Literary Devices
- Point of view
Examples of Literary Devices from Literature
“The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest.”
(Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)
“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake…”
(William Shakespeare, Macbeth)
“But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must. …”
(William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”)
“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief…”
(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
What are Poetic Devices?
Poetic devices are a part of literary devices which add texture to a poem. We can describe them as the purposeful usage of words, phrases, and sounds to enhance the meaning of a poem. They focus on the sound, form, and structure of a poem. Therefore, poets use them to shape a poem, enhance its meaning, and express their intention successfully. There are various types of poetic devices.
Types of Poetic Devices
Examples of Poetic Devices from Literature
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”
(Edgar Allen Poe, “The Raven”)
“Hear the loud alarum bells—
Brazen bells!/ What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune….”
(Edgar Allen Poe, “The Bells”)
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.”
(Edgar Allen Poe, “Annabel Lee”)
“Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
(William Blake, “The Tyger)
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.”
(Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”)
What is the Difference Between Literary Devices and Poetic Devices?
The key difference between literary devices and poetic devices is that literary devices are techniques used by writers to convey their ideas in their literary works, while poetic devices are a variant of literary devices. In fact, poetic devices are a specific type of literary devices poets use in their work.
The following table summarizes the difference between literary devices and poetic devices.
Summary – Literary Devices vs Poetic Devices
Both literary devices and poetic devices are used in literature to polish the language, express ideas effectively, and make the work more interesting. The key difference between literary devices and poetic devices is that literary devices are techniques writers use to express their ideas effectively, while poetic devices are a variant of literary devices. There are many literary as well as poetic devices. If used effectively, they are capable of conveying the surface as well as the inside meanings successfully.
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