AP English Literary Terms

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Lit Terms for the Lanese Midterm!

alliteration

repetition at close intervals of initial consonant words

assonance

repetition at close intervals of vowel sounds

consonance

repetition at close intervals of final consonant sounds

cacophony

harsh, non-melodic, unpleasant sounding arrangement of words

euphony

pleasant, easy to articulate words

onomatopoeia

use of words which mimic their meaning in sound

sibilance

hissing sounds represented by s, z, sh

allegory

characters are symbols, has a moral

apostrophe

someone absent, dead, or imagianary, or an abstraction, is being addressed as if it could reply

didactic poetry

poetry with the primary purpose of teaching or preaching

dramatic monologue

character "speaks" through the poem; a character study

elegy

poem which expresses sorow over a death of someone for whom the poet cared, or on another solemn theme

sonnet

14 line poem, fixed rhyme scheme, fixed meter (usually 10 syllables per line)

connotation

what a word suggests beyond its surface definition

denotation

basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word

diction

choice of words for effect

syntax

word order or grammatical appropriateness

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter

caesura

a natural pause in the middle of a line, sometimes coinciding with punctuation

couplet

two successive lines which rhyme, usually at the end of a work

enjambment

describes a line of poetry in which the sense and grammatical construction continues on to the next line

feminine rhyme

latter two syllables of first word rhyme with latter two syllables of second word (ceiling appealing)

free verse

no fixed meter or rhyme

iambic pentameter

70% of verse is written this way; ten syllables per line, following an order of unaccented-accented syllables

internal rhyme

repetition of sounds within a line (but not at the end of the line)

masculine rhyme

final syllable of first word rhymes with final syllable of second word (scald recalled)

meter

regularized rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables; accents occur at approx. equal intervals of time

refrain

repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines in a pattern

rhyme

repetition of end sounds

rhythm

wave-like recurrence of sound

stanza

group of lines

structure

internal organization of a poem's content

allusion

a reference to something in literature of history

anaphora

repetition of the same word or words at the start of two or more lines

archetype

a character or personality type found in every society

conceit

an extended witty, paradoxical, or startling metaphor

hyperbole

exaggeration, overstatement

imagery

representation through language of a sensory experience

irony

incongruity or discrepancy between the implied and expected; verbal, dramatic, situational

metaphor

implied or direct comparison

metonymy

symbolism; one thing is used as a substitute for another with which it is closely identified (the White House)

mood

the atmosphere suggested by the structure and style of the poem

oxymoron

compact paradoxl two successive words contradict each other

pace

tempo or rate implied by the structure and style of the poem

paradox

statement or situation containing seemingly contradictory elements

parallelism

presents coordinating ideas in a coordinating manner

persona

assumed speaker of the poem; typically used synonymously with 'speaker'

personification

giving a non-human the characteristics of a human

simile

comparison using 'like' or 'as'

style

an author's combined use of these ideas into a recurring pattern of usage

symbolism

something (object, person, situation, etc.) means more than what it is

synecdoche

symbolism; the part signifies the whole, or the whole the part (all hands on board)

theme

central idea

tone

writer's attitude toward the audience or subject, implied or related directly

understatement

saying less than one means, for effect

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