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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.



The climax is the most intense part of the story—when everything hits the fan, and you're not quite sure yet how it's all going to play out. On Freytag's triangle, a diagram we use to talk about the structure of a plot, the climax is right there at the tippy top. It's the turning point, the point of no return, the moment when everything changes.

A few of our favorite climactic literary moments:

What are your favorites?