Prolepsis

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(This page forms part of a Course in Figures of Speech. You can find an introduction to it at Figures of Speech course. This page can stand on its own, as well. You may have accessed it from a page on a particular example.)

Prolepsis is a Figure of speech used mostly in fiction, although it exists in other kinds of narrative as well. It is hinting at what is going to happen later on in the story. "Little did he suspect, when he first saw her, that their fates were to be linked together" is an example of prolepsis. There is also an adjective: proleptic.