English Literature: Sound and Sense All Literary Terms

Flashcard maker : Kelly Fisher
Masculine Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel sound is in the final syllable of the words involved
Metaphor
A figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two things essentially unlike.
Meter
The regular patterns of accent that underlie metrical verse; the measurable repetition of accented and unaccented syllables in poetry
Metonymy
A figure of speech in which some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience
Monometer
A metrical line containing one foot
Octave
An eight-line stanza; first 8 lines of a sonnet
Onomatopoeia
The use of words that supposedly mimic their meaning in their sound
Overstatement
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used in the service of truth
Oxymoron
A compact paradox in which two successive words seemingly contradict each other.
Paradox
A statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements
Paradoxical statement
A figure of speech in which an apparently self-contradictory statement is nevertheless found to be true
Paraphrase
A restatement of the content of a poem designed to make its prose meaning as clear as possible.
Pentameter
A metrical line containing five feet
Personification
A figure of speech in which human attributes are given to an animal, an object, or a concept.
Prose meaning
The part of a poem’s ‘total message that can be separated out and expressed through paraphrase
Prose poem
Usually a short composition having the intentions of poetry but written in prose rather than verse
Quatrain
A four-line stanza; a four-line division of a sonnet
Refrain
A repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines, normally at some fixed position in a poem written in stanzaic form
Rhetorical pause
A natural pause, unmarked by punctuation, introduced into the reading of a line by its phrasing or syntax
Rhyme
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds in important or importantly positioned words
Rhyme scheme
Any fixed pattern of rhymes characterizing a whole poem or its stanzas.
Rhythm
Any wavelike recurrence of motion or sound
Run-on line
A line that has no natural speech pause at its end, allowing the sense to flow uninterruptedly into the succeeding line.
Sarcasm
Bitter or cutting speech; speech intended by its speaker to give pain to the person addressed
Satire
A kind of literature that ridicules human folly or vice with the ostensible purpose of bringing about reform or of keeping others from falling into similar folly or vice
Scansion
The process of measuring metrical verse, that is, of marking accented and unaccented syllables, dividing the lines into feet, identifying the metrical pattern, and noting significant variations from that pattern.
Sentimental poetry
Poetry that attempts to manipulate the reader’s emotions in order to achieve a greater emotional response than the poem itself really warrants.
Sestet
A six-line stanza; last six lines of an italian sonnet
Simile
A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two things essentially unlike. The comparison is made by using like or as.
Sonnet
A fixed form of fourteen lines, normally iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme conforming one of two main types.
Stanza
A group of lines whose metrical pattern is repeated throughout a poem.
Stress
Another term for accent.
Structure
The internal organization of a poem’s content
Symbol
A figure of speech in which something means more than what it is. Able to be read both metaphorically and literally.
Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole. A type of metonymy.
Tercet
A three-line stanza exhibited in many poetic forms
Tetrameter
A metrical line containing four feet
Theme
The central idea of a literary work
Tone
The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject, the audience, or himself; the “emotional coloring of the work”
Total meaning
The total experience communicated by a poem. It includes all those dimensions of experience by which a poem communicates and it can be communicated in no other words than those of the poem itself.
Trimeter
A metrical line containing three feet
Trochee
A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by one unaccented syllable
Understatement
A figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrents
Verse
Metrical language; opposite of prose
Villanelle
A nineteen-line fixed form consisting of five tercets rhymed aba and a concluding quatrain rhymed abaa, with line 1 and 3 of the first tercet serving as refrains in an alternating pattern through line 15 and then repeated as lines 18 and 19.
End Rhyme
Rhymes that occur at the ends of lines
End-Stopped Line
A line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation
English Sonnet
A poem rhyming ababcdcdefefgg. Its content or structure parallels rhyme scheme: Three quatrains and a concluding couplet
Euphony
A smooth, pleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds.
Extended Figure
A figure of speech sustained or developed through a considerable number of lines or through a whole poem.
Extended Metaphor
A metaphor sustained or developed through a considerable number of lines or through a whole poem.
Extended Simile
A simile sustained or developed through a considerable number of lines or through a whole poem.
Feminine Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel is in either the second or the third-last syllable of the words involved
Figurative language
Language employing figures of speech; language that cannot be taken literally or only literally.
Figure of Speech
Any way of saying something other than the ordinary way; more narrowly, a way of saying one thing and meaning another
Foot
The basic unit used in the scansion or measurement of metrical verse.
Form
The external pattern or shape of a poem, describable without reference to its content.
Free Verse
Nonmetrical poetry in which the basic rhythmic unit is the line, and in which pauses, line breaks, and formal patterns develop organically from the requirements of the individual poem rather than from established poetic forms.
Hexameter
A metrical line containing six feet.
Hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
Iamb
A metrical foot consisting of one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable
Iambic meter
A meter in which the majority of feet are iambs
Imagery
The representation through language of sense experience
Internal Rhyme
A rhyme in which one or both of the rhyme words occur(s) within the line
Irony
A situation, or a use of language, involving some kind of incongruity or discrepancy (General Term)
Verbal Irony
A figure of speech in which what is meant is the opposite of what is said.
Irony of situation
A situation in which there is an incongruity between actual circumstances and those that would seem appropriate, or between what is anticipated and what actually comes to pass
Italian sonnet
A sonnet consisting of an octave rhyming abbaabba and of a sestet using any arrangement of two or three additional rhymes, such as cdcdcd or cdecde
Accent
A syllable given more prominence in pronunciation than its neighbors
Allegory
A narrative or description having a second meaning beneath the surface one.
Alliteration
The repetition at close intervals of the initial consonant sounds or beginning vowels of accented syllables or important words
Allusion
A reference, explicit or implicit, to something in literature or history
Anapestic
A metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by one accented syllables
Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply
Assonance
The repetition at close intervals of the vowel sounds of accented syllables or important words
Aubade
A poem about dawn; a morning love song; a poem about the parting of lovers at dawn
Ballad
A fairly short narrative poem written in a songlike stanza form
Blank Verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter
Cacophony
A harsh, discordant, unpleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds
Caesura
A speech pause occurring within a line
Connotation
What a word suggests beyond its basic dictionary definition; a word’s overtones of meaning
Consonance
The repetition at close intervals of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words
Couplet
Two successive lines, usually in the same meter, linked by rhyme
Dactyl
A metric foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables
Denotation
The basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word
Didactic poetry
Poetry having as a primary purpose to teach or preach
Dimeter
A metrical line containing two feet
Dramatic irony
A device by which the author implies a different meaning from that intended by the speaker in a literary work.
Duple meter
A meter in which a majority of the feet contain two syllables. Iambic and trochaic are both examples of this meter.

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