The glossary of literary terms for the ap English literature and composition exam Flashcard

Flashcard maker : Carmen Dawson
abstract
Complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points
Academic
Adj describing style, dry and theoretical writing, sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis
Accent
In poetry, refers to stressed portion of word, also matter of opinion
Aesthetic
“Appealing to the senses”, coherent study of taste, study of beauty
Allegory
Story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside of the tale itself
Alliteration
Repetition of initial consonant sounds, consonant clusters coming closely cramped and compressed
Allusion
Reference to another work or famous figure, topical: current event, or popular: something from popular culture
Anachronism
“Misplaced in time”
Analogy
Comparison, involve two or more symbolic parts and are employed to clarify an action or relationship
Anecdote
Short narrative
Antecedent
Word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to
Antagonist
Primary character in opposition to the protagonist or hero
Anaphora
Repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of word groups occurring one after the other
Anthropomorphism
Inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena are given human characteristics, behavior, or motivation
Anticlimax
Action produces far smaller results than one had led to expect, frequently comic
Antihero
Protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, and any other unsavory qualities
Anthropomorphism
Inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena are given human characteristics, behavior, or motivation
Anticlimax
Action produces far smaller results than one had led to expect, frequently comic
Antihero
Protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, and any other unsavory qualities
Aphorism
Short and usually witty saying
Apostrophe
Figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something nonhuman
Archaism
Use of deliberately old fashioned language, create feeling of antiquity
Aside
Speech made by actor to audience, as though stepping momentarily outside of the action on stage
Aspect
Trait or characteristic
Assonance
Repeated use of vowel sounds
Atmosphere
Emotional tone or background that surrounds the scene
Ballad
Long, narrative poem, usually in regular meter and rhyme. Typically has a naïve folksy quality, a characteristic that distinguishes it from epic poetry
pathos
When writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity or sympathy
Bathos
When writing strains for grandeur it can’t support and tries to jerk tears for every little hiccup
Black humor
Use of disturbing themes in comedy
Bombast
Pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language. When one tried to be eloquent by using the largest, most uncommon words
Burlesque
Broad parody, one that takes a style or form, such as tragic drama, and exaggerates it into ridiculousness. Parody and burlesque are interchangeable
Cacophony
In poetry, using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds
Cadence
Beat or rhythm of poetry in a general sense
Canto
Name for section division in a long work of poetry, divides like chapters in a novel
Caricature
Portrait that exaggerates a facet of personality
Catharsis
Cleansing of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived through the experiences presented on stage
Chorus
In drama, group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it
Classic
Typical, or an accepted masterpiece
Coinage
A new word, usually one invented on the spot, could be a name, neologism
Colloquialism
Word or phrase used everyday in conversational English that isn’t part of accepted “schoolbook” english
Complex, dense
Suggest there is more than one possibility in the meaning of words; there are subtleties and variations; multiple layers of interpretation; meaning both explicit and implicit
Conceit
Refers to a startling or unusual metaphor, or to a metaphor developed and expanded upon over several lines
Controlling image
When an image dominate and shapes the entire work
Connotation
Everything a else a word suggests or implies
Denotation
Literal meaning of a word
Consonance
Repetition of consonant sounds within words (rather than at the begging, alliteration)
Couplet
Pair of lines that end in rhyme
Decorum
Characters speech must be styled according to her social station and in accordance with the occasion. A bum should speak like a bum about bully things
Diction
The authors choice of words
Syntax
Ordering and structuring of the words
Dirge
Song for the dead, slow, heavy, and melancholy
Dissonance
Grating of incomparable sounds
Doggerel
Crude, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme. Limericks
dramatic irony
When the audience knows something that the characters in the drama do not
Dramatic monologue
When a single speaker in literature says something to a silent audience
Elergy
Type of poem that meditates on death or morality in a serious, thoughtful manner. Often use death of a recent loved done or noted person as a starting point. Also memorialize specific dead people
Elements
Basic techniques of each genre of literature
Enjambment
Continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause
Epic
Very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style. Glorious and profound subject matter
Epitaph
Lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place. A line or handful of lines, often serious or religious, but sometimes witty and even irreverent
Euphemism
Word or phrase that takes place of a harsh, unpleasant, or impolite reality. Ex: passed away for died
Euphony
When sounds blend harmoniously
Explicit
To say or write something directly or clearly
Farce
Extremely broad humor
Feminine rhyme
Lines rhymed by their final two syllables. Penultimate syllables stressed, final syllables unstressed
First person narration
Character in the story tells the tale from his/her point of view
Foil
Secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast
Foot
The basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry. Formed by a combo of two or three syllables, either stressed or unstressed
Foreshadowing
Event or statement in a narrative that in miniature suggests a larger event that comes later
Free verse
Poetry written w/out regular rhyme scheme or metrical pattern
Genre
Subcategory of literature
Gothic (novel)
Sensibility derived from gothic novels
Hubris
Excessive pride or ambition that leads to the main characters downfall
Hyperbole
Exaggeration or deliberate overstatement
Implicit
To say or write something that suggests and implies but never says directly or clearly. “Meaning” or “Between the lines”
In medias res
Latin for “in the midst of things”
Interior monologue
A term for novels and poetry, not dramatic literature. Refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a characters head. Related to stream of consciousness but not identical to. Stream of consciousness is looser and much more given to fleeting mental impressions
Inversion
Switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase. This type of messing with syntax is called poetic license
Irony
The hallmark is an undertow of meaning, sliding against he literal meaning of the words
Lament
Poem of sadness or grief over this death of a loved one or over some other intense loss
Lampoon
A satire
Loose sentence
Complete before its end
Periodic sentence
Not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase
Lyric
Type of poetry that explores the poets personal interpretation of and feeling about the world. When used to describe tone it refers to sweet, emotional melodiousness
Masculine rhyme
Rhyme ending on the final stressed syllables
Means, meaning
Discovering what makes sense, what’s important. Literal which is concrete and explicit, and then emotional
Melodrama
Form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain is mean and rotten, and the heroin oh so pure
Metaphor
Comparison or analogy that states one thing is another
Simile
Uses like or as
Metaphysical conceit
For metaphysical poems
Metonym
Word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with
Nemesis
Protagonists archenemy or supreme and persistent difficulty
Neologism
See coinage
Objectivity
Treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events
Subjectivity
Treatment uses the interior of personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observers emotional response
Omniscient narrator
Third person narrator who sees, like god, into each characters mind and understand all the action going on
Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like what they mean
Opposition
It means you have a pair of elements that contrast sharply
Oxymoron
Phrase composed of opposites; a contradiction
Parable
Like a fable or allegory, it instructs
Paradox
Situation or statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not
Parallelism
Repeated syntactical similarities used for effect

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