VDB Lit Terms Quiz 1

Created by robiswiththemob 

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abstract words

words used to discuss intangible qualities like good and evil

accent

the stressed portion of a word in poetry

ad hominem argument

argument that appeals to emotion rather than reason; may attack the messenger rather than the message

aesthetic

appealing to the senses (adj.), a coherent sense of taste (n.), the study of beauty (n.)

aestheticism

devotion to the idea of beauty in art

aleatory

an alogical poem seems composed by chance

allegory

a story in which each aspect has symbolic meaning outside the story

alliteration

repetition of initial consonant sounds

allusion

reference to a famous work or figure outside the poem

amplification

repeating a word, and adding more modifiers each time

anachronism

an object misplaced in time

anacoluthon

finishing a sentence with different grammatical structure from that with which it began

analogy

a comparison, involving two or more symbolic parts, employed to clarify an action or a relationship

anapestic

metrical measurement of two unstressed syllables and then one stressed one (u u ')

anaphora

repetition of the same words at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses

anecdote

a short story

antagonist

one that contends with or opposes another

antecedent

a word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to

anthropomorphism

inanimate objects are given human characteristics, but no human shape

anticlimax

an action produces far smaller results than one had led to expect, comic

antihero

a protagonist who is markedly unheroic

antimetabole

reversing the order of repeated words/clauses to intensify the sentence, present alternatives, or show contrast

antiphrasis

one word irony (calling a beautiful girl "ugly)

antistrophe

repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive lines

antithesis

juxtaposition of opposites, e.g., heaven and hell

aphorism

a short and witty saying

apocopated rhyme

a cut-off rhyme; last syllable of one of the rhymes is missing (pain/gainless)

apologia

a defense of one's opinions, actions, or life (Think Socrates' The Apology)

apologue

moral fable using animals to comment on human condition

aporia

expression of doubt about conclusions

aposiopesis

stopping abruptly and leaving statement unfinished

apostrophe

speech is directed to a nonhuman object or one that is not present

appositive

a noun or phrase placed next to another noun, for the purpose of further describing

archaism

use of deliberately old-fashioned diction

archetype

the original pattern or model of which all things of a similar nature are copies

ars poetica

a poem written on the subject of poetic art, usually explaining poet's reasons for writing

aside

a speech made by an actor to the audience as though momentarily stepping outside the action on stage

assonance

the repeated use of internal vowel sounds

atmosphere

the emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene

aubade

a love song or poem greeting the dawn

ballad

a long narrative poem in regular meter and rhyme

bathos

writing that strains for grandeur it can't support

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter

bildungsroman

a novel of self-development or personal formation

bombast

pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language

burlesque

broad parody that takes on a specific style and makes fun of it

cacophony

using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds

cadence

the beat or rhythm of poetry

caesura

a pause in a line of poetry (indicated or not)

camera eye narrator

third-person narrator who describes what would be visible to a camera; objective

canto

a section division in a long work of poetry

caricature

a portrait that exaggerates a facet of personality

carpe diem

the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future

catalogue

a complete enumeration of items, arranged systematically, with descriptive details

catharsis

cleansing of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived through the experiences on stage

Chaucerian stanza

7 lines, rhyme ababbcc

chorus

the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it

classicism

a tendency to reflect he principles manifested in the art of ancient Greece and Rome

climax

the point of highest tension, or a major turning point in a play

coinage

a new word, usually invented on the spot

colloquialism

a word or phrase used in everyday conversational English

conceit

an extended metaphor, developed and expanded upon over several lines

concrete poetry

a poem wherein shape of words and lines conveys the meaning

confessional poetry

makes frank, explicit use of incidents in the poet's life

connotation

the association with a word; the word suggests/implies meaning beyond the literal

consonance

repetition of consonant sounds within words

continuous form

a poem in which lines follow each other without stanza breaks

couplet

a pair of lines ending in rhyme

dactylic

a metrical measurement of one accented syllable and two unaccented (' u u)

decorum

the attitude one should display according to his social/economic status

denotation

a word's literal meaning

denoument

conclusion, the outcome of a plot

determinism

belief that man is fated to defeat under indifferent natural forces; emphasizes vanity of free will

deus ex machina

"god from the machine" - conflicts quickly resolved at end of last act, often by sudden introduction of a power who solves all

diacope

repetition of words before and after syntactical break (We will do it, I tell you, we will do it.)

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