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Literature Glossary

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

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Climax

Definition:

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?