Literary Terms

Created by ProbablyRandom 

Upgrade to
remove ads

Other Vocab for the Final.

Personification

a figure of speech in which something nonhuman is given human qualities.

Apostrophe

a figure of speech in which an absent or dead person, an abstract quality, or something inanimate or nonhuman is addressed directly.

Perfect Rhyme

rhyme in which the final sounds of the words are identical.

Approximate Rhyme

rhyme in which the final sounds of the words are similar but not identical.

Transcendentalism

a philosophy which holds that basic truths can be reached through intuition rather than through reason.

Internal Rhyme

rhyme occurring within the same line.

Simile

a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things through the use of a specific word of comparison, such as like, as, than, or resembles.

Metaphor

a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things which are basically dissimilar.

Aphorism

a terse, pointed statement expressing some wise or clever observation about life.

Terza Rima

ABA BCB CDC DAD AA
Dante's Divine Comedy...

Rite of Passage

a ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.

Free Verse

unrhymed verse that has either no metrical pattern or an irregular pattern.

Blank Verse

verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.

Hardboiled Fiction

distinguished by an unsentimental portrayal of crime, violence, and sex.

Dialect

the characteristic speech of a particular region or social group.

Sonnet

a lyric poem of fourteen lines, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter.

Stream of Consciousness

the style of writing that attempts to imitate the natural flow of a character's thoughts, feelings, reflections, memories, and mental images, as teh character experiences them.

Satire

a literary work which ridicules or makes fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting or changing the subject of the attack.

Local Color

the use of specific details describing the dialect, dress, customs, and scenery associated with a particular region or section of the country.

Naturalism

an extreme form of realism; a literary movement that seeks to reproduce everyday reality.

Pulp Fiction

lurid and sensational stories

Foreshadowing

the use of hints or clues in an narrative to suggest what action is to come.

Allusion

a reference to a person, a place, an event, or a literary work that a writer expects a reader to recognize.

Onomatopoeia

the use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning.

Alliteration

the repetition of similar sounds, usually consonants, in a group of words.

Assonance

the repetition of similar vowel sounds.

Microcosm

a representation of the world in a smaller entity.

Epigraph

a quotation or motto at the beginning of a chapter, book, short story, or poem that makes some point about the work.

Romanticism

Emotion; Individual experience; Egalitarian; Naturalism; Nature: beauty, mystery; Beauty; Mystery; Intuition; Emotional; Nationalism.

Neo-Classicism

Reason; Social, societal relations; Common values of society; Nature: a system of laws; Rational worldview; Form; Stateliness, dignity; Ancient Gr and Rom culture.

Paradox

a statement that reveals a kind of truth, although it seems at first to be self-contradictory and untrue.

Tone

the attitude a writer takes toward his or her subject, characters, and readers.

Mood

the prevailing feeling or emotional climate of a literary work, often developed, at least in part, through descriptions of setting

Symbolism

a literary movement that arose in France in the last half of the nineteenth century and that greatly influenced many English writers, particularly poets, of the twentieth century.

Verbal Irony

the literal significance of the speaker's words is the opposite of his or her intended meaning.

Dramatic Irony

the reader is aware of something of which the characters are not.

Situational Irony

the results of a situation is the opposite of what was expected.

(Greek) Chorus

a group of characters who speak or sing in unison.

Gothic Tale

a tale which includes some of the following elements: medieval settings; atmosphere of gloom, horror, desolation, decay; the irrational; mysterious and violent incidents.

Iamb

a poetic foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

Iambic Pentameter

the most common verse line in English and American poetry, consisting of 5 feet.

Frame Story

the overall unifying story within which one or more tales are related.

Couplet

two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme.

Conceit

a kind of metaphor that makes a comparison between two startling different things.

Theme

an idea that recurs or pervades a work of art or literature.

Monomyth

a hero's (or heroine's) quest or journey, following a certain patter that occurs frequently in myths and other literature.

Archetype

incidents, plots or characters that frequently appear in literature and represent some type of basic human experience.

Unity of Setting

a structural device in a work of literature in which the action takes place in the same location (setting) more than once, often at the beginning and the end of the work.

Ambiguity

the condition of admitting two or more meanings.

Tragic Flaw (Fatal Flaw)

a weakness in the main character that leads to his downfall.

Motif

a recurring feature (such as a name, an image, or a phrase) in a work of literature.

Literature

written works, especially those regarded as having artist merit.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set