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Literature Glossary

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

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.



Shmoop loves parakeets in Paraguay, peregrines in Peru, and parallelism in poetry (and prose).

See what we did there (nudge, nudge)? That's parallelism. Except, we kind of ruined it at the end there, with that parenthesis. Oops.

Parallelism is the similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses. Julius Caesar's famous words, "I came, I saw, I conquered," are an example of parallelism. Each clause begins with "I" and ends with a verb.

Fancy folks have been using this device for years to emphasize their points, drive home their arguments, and pack a big punch. You'll find it everywhere: in speeches, poetry, prose, and even songs.