8th Grade Literary and Vocabulary Terms

176 terms by baxd01 

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Alliteration

the repetition of initial sounds, as in "scorching summer sensations."

Allusion

reference to a well-known person, place, thing, idea, event, etc.

Analogy

a comparison of two or more similar objects, suggesting that if they are alike in certain respects, they will probably be alike in other ways as well

Antagonist

a character who opposes the main character

Anthology

a published collection of works or parts of works by an author or several authors

Assonance

the repetition of vowel sounds

Ballad

a narrative passed on in the oral tradition

Bard

a poet, Shakespeare is sometimes referred to as the Bard

Bibliography

a list of written sources of information

Characterization

method the author uses to acquaint readers with characters

Indirect

learn about characters through what they say, what others say about them, and what they do

Direct

directly told through exposition

Main Character

the most important figure in a literary work.

Minor Characters

the "support cast" for the most important figure in a literary work.

Dynamic Character

a figure in a story that undergoes important changes as a plot unfolds.

Static Character

a figure in a story who remains the same no matter what.

Cliché

an overused, predictable, and therefore uninteresting expression or idea

Climax

The point of greatest interest in a story or play.

Colloquial

of speech and informal writing, conversational

Conflict

the struggle between opposing forces.

Connotation

meaning suggested by a word beyond its definition, what a reader believes the word means

Consonance

repetition, at close intervals, of final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words

Couplet

a rhymed pair of lines

Denotation

a dictionary definition

Dialect

a major subdivision of a language

Dialogue

conversation carried on by the characters in a literary work

Elegy

usually a lyric poem on death or some other somber subject.

Epic

a long narrative poem recounting the exploits of larger-than-life character in important and heroic acts

Euphemism

use of a less direct, less offensive word or phrase

Fable

a short, simple story that teaches a lesson. It usually includes animals that talk and act like people

Farce

literature based on a highly humorous and highly improbable plot

Fiction

writing from a writer's imagination. It can be inspired by actual events or completely made up.

Figurative Language

using figures of speech to heighten meaning i.e. metaphor, simile, personification

Flashback

interruption in the narrative to show an episode from the past

Foil

someone who serves as a contrast or challenge to another character

Folk Tale

the customs, legends, songs, and stories of a people or nation once handed down in the oral tradition

Foreshadowing

a hint to the reader of what is to come

Genre

a form or type of literature: novel, short story, poem, play, etc.

Humor

a quality that provokes laughter or amusement.

Hyperbole

an extreme exaggeration

Idiom

in language, a customary expression, "She has rats in her hair."

Imagery

the sensory details that relate to the senses and create pictures in our minds

Invocation

calling upon a divine power for aid. Many poems begin with an invocation asking for inspiration

Irony

a contrast between what appears to be and what really is.

Jargon

language of a trade or profession

Memoir

a form of autobiographical writing in which a writer shares his or her own personal experiences and observations of significant events or people.

Metaphor

an implied comparison, "A green plant is a machine that runs on solar energy"

Meter

A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem.

Monologue

in drama, an extended speech by one person alone, with or without an audience

Mood

the emotions the literature makes the reader feel

Moral

a lesson that a story teaches.

Myth

a traditional story connected with religion of a people usually explaining something in nature

Non-fiction

writing about real people, places, things, and events. Essays, news stories, speeches, etc.

Novel

a long work of fiction.

Ode

a lyric poem usually composed in complex stanza form and generally intended to praise or commemorate

Onomatopoeia

words that sound like the thing being spoken about, Boom, Crack, Sizzle, Screech

Parable

a brief fictional work that teaches a lesson

Paradox

statement that seems contrasting to common sense yet may be true: "Coach said it was a good loss."

Paraphrase

rewording

Parody

a form of literature intended to mock a particular literary work or its style, a comic effect is intended

Personification

giving human qualities to non-living objects

Plagiarism

LITERARY THEFT, when a writer duplicates another writer's work without giving proper credit

Poet Laureate

the officially recognized or chief poet of a nation

Poetic Devices

terms used to describe features of a poem

Poetry

a kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination. _____ is usually arranged in lines, often has a regular pattern of rhythm, and has a regular rhyme scheme.

Point of View

the relationship between the teller of the story and the characters in it.

Prose

literary writing not marked by rhyme or meter

Protagonist

main character

Pun

a play on words; a humorous way to use a word

Repetition

repeating a word or phrase to stress its importance, especially in poetry

Rhetoric

the art of persuasion by speech or writing

Rhyme scheme

pattern of rhyme in a stanza

End rhyme

the rhyming of words at the ends of lines of poetry

Internal Rhyme

a rhyme that happens inside a line of poetry ("use a log to hit a hog")

Rhythm

the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables

Rising Action

the stage of the plot that develops the conflict, or struggle.

Satire

a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing the way things are.

Short Story

a work of fiction that centers on a single idea and can be read in one sitting.

Simile

a comparison using like or as, "She stood in front of the altar, shaking like a freshly caught trout."

Soliloquy

in drama, a speech in which character does not address others, but rather speaks aloud to himself

Sonnet

a type of short poem, usually 14 lines, popular in English since the Renaissance

Speaker

the person talking in a poem, not always the poet

Stanza

a group of two or more lines that form a unit in a poem.

Continuous Poetry

the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning, as paragraphs are in prose.

Stanzaic Poetry

poet writes in a series of stanzas; repeated units having the same number of lines, usually the same meter, and often an identical rhyme scheme

Fixed Poetry

traditional pattern that applies to a whole poem (i.e. haiku in Japan, and sestinas in France) In English poetry only two fixed forms have really taken hold: Limerick, Sonnet

Shape Poetry

made to look like the topic which it addresses (i.e. mountain, swimming laps)

Style

a manner of expression characteristic of the author

Symbol

something concrete that represents something else

Tall Tale

a humorously exaggerated story about impossible events, often involving the supernatural abilities of the main character.

Theme

the main idea of a piece of literature as it applies to human beings in general, not the plot

Tone

the author's attitude toward the subject matter

Tragedy

literature in which the character suffers disaster after a serious struggle but faces his or her downfall with heroic stature

Trilogy

a group of three related works

Understatement

a technique of creating emphasis by saying less than is actually or literally true.

Vernacular

the native language of any particular place

Voice

a unique use of language that allows a reader to "hear" a human personality in a writer's work.

Vignette

written or verbal sketch of a brief scene or incident

clutch

verb: to clasp or hold tightly

prodigy

noun: a person with an exceptional talent

liable

adjective: likely to

sidekick

noun: a close friend

crouch

verb: to stoop with bent knees

acute

adjective: sharp or keen

conceive

verb: to think of

vex

verb: to disturb or annoy

stifled

adjective: smothered

crevice

noun: crack

stealthily

adverb: cautiously; secretly

audacity

noun: shameless daring or boldness

vehemently

adverb: with intense emotion

derision

noun: ridicule

hypocritical

adjective: false or deceptive

lark

noun: a carefree or spirited adventure

junction

noun: a place where two roads meet

sinister

adjective: suggesting or threatening evil

assurance

noun: a guarantee or pledge

monotony

noun: tedious sameness

impromptu

adjective: unplanned

ajar

adjective: partially open

tentatively

adverb: uncertainly or hesitantly

tremor

noun: nervous trembling

commence

verb: to begin

beckon

verb: to signal to come

gnarled

adjective: roughened, as from age or work

ominous

adjective: threatening

Rorschach test

noun: the name of a personality test that uses inkblot designs

sensation

noun: a state of great interest and excitement

tangible

adjective: able to be seen, touched, or understood

specialization

noun: a focus on a particular area of study

absurd

adjective: ridiculously unreasonable

refute

verb: to prove as false

impair

verb: to weaken or damage

proportional

adjective: having a constant relation in degree or number

peril

noun: danger

grimace

noun: a facial expression of pain or disgust

fate

noun: a power that is thought to determine the course of events

credulity

noun: a disposition to believe too readily

compensation

noun: something, such as money, received in payment

resignation

noun: acceptance of something that is inescapable

apprehension

noun: nervousness

disgruntled

verb: to make unhappy

foreboding

noun: a sense of impeding misfortune

fortify

verb: to make strong

indignantly

adverb: angrily

pandemonium

noun: wild uproar or noise

remorse

noun: sorrow or regret

unabashed

adjective: obvious or bold

ramble

verb: to talk at length or aimlessly

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