SIMILES: Comparisons that use the word "like" or "as."
a) "The sledge was shaped like a great golden swan..."
b) "she was as pale as the Snow Palace in which she had always lived."
c) "'"She is like a white rose!" they cried'."
ALLITERATION: the repetition of initial consonant sounds
a) "It's quite clear that they love each other," said the little Page, "as clear as crystal!" and the King doubled his salary a second time. "What an honour!" cried all the courtiers.
(Remember: when it comes to alliteration, it's sound--not spelling--that counts.)
b) He was something of a politician, and had always taken a prominent part in the local elections, so he knew the proper Parliamentary expressions to use.
(One could also count the word "expressions," because its accented second syllable begins with the same "p" sound.)
IRONY: The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning.
a) When the King plays the flute "very badly," everyone shouts "Charming, Charming."
PERSONIFICATION: A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.
a) "The fireworks began to talk to each other."
ANTITHESIS: The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases.
a) "Your picture was beautiful," he murmured, "but you are more beautiful than your picture"
b) "She was like a white rose before...but she is like a red rose now"
REPETITION: Wilde also uses many doubled phrases, particularly in dialogue passages. Here are some examples.
a) "White rose, Red rose, Red rose, White rose"
b) "Charming! charming!"
c) "Romance is dead, Romance is dead, Romance is dead"
d) "Ahem! ahem!"