An abstract style (in writing) is typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good or evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points
As an adjective describing style, this word means dry and theorectical writing. When a piece of writing seems to be sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis, the writing is this.
In poetry, it refers to the stressed portion of the word. In "To be, or not to be," it fall on the first "be" and "not." It sounds silly any other way. But in poetry is often a matter if opinion. Consider the rest of Hamlet's soliloquy, "That is the question." The stresses in that portion of the line are open to a variety of interpretations.
Can be used as an adjective meaning "appealing to the senses." This type of judgement is a phrase synonymous with artistic judgement. As an noun, it is a coherent sense of taste. The kids whose room is painted black, who sleeps in a coffin and only listens to funeral music has this. The kid whose room is filled with pictures of kittens and daisies but who sleeps in a coffin and listens to polka music has a confused type of this. The plural noun, is the study of beauty. Questions like "what is beauty?" or "is the beauty always good?" fall into this catergory.
Is a story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself. Many have a allegorical quality. For example Aesop's "Ant and the Grasshoppper" isn't merely the the story of the hardworking ant and a care-free grasshopper, but it is also about different approaches to living the thrifty and the devil-may-care. It can also be read as a story about the seasons of summer and winter, which represent a time of prosperiity and a time of hardship, or even representing youth or age. True ones are even more hard and fast. Bunyan's epic poem, Pilgrim's Progress, is an example of the soul, in which each and every part of the tale represents some feature of the spiritual world and the struggles of an individual to lead a Christian life.
The repetition of initial consonant sounds. In other words, consonant clusters coming closely cramped and compressed—no coincidence.
A reference to another work or famous figure. A classical type is a reference to a famous older text such as the Bible, the Illiad, or Paradise Lost. Can be topical or popular as well. A topical type refers to a current event. A popular type refers to something from popular culture, such as a reference to a television show or a hit movie.
Is derived from Greek. It means "misplaced in time." If the actor playing Brutus in a production of Julius Caesar forgets to take off his wrist-watch, the effect will be this (and probably comic).
A short narrative.
A comparison. Usually involves two or more symbolic parts, and are employed to clarify an action or a relationship. Just as the mother eagle shelters her young from the storm by spreading her great wing above their heads, so does Acme Insurers of America spread an umbrella of
coverage to protect its policy-holders from the storms of life.
In literature, when inanimate objects are given human characteristics, this is at work. For example, In the forest, the darkness waited for me, I could hear its patient
breathing. . . it is often confused with personification. But personification requires that the non-human quality or thing take on human shape.
Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect. Is frequently comic. "Sir, your snide manner and despicable arrogance have long been a source of disgust to me, but I've overlooked it until now. However, it has come to my attention that you have fallen so disgracefully deep into that mire of filth which is your mind as to attempt to besmirch my wife's honor and my good name. Sir, I challenge you to a game of badminton!"
A protagonist (main character) who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of other unsavory qualities.
A short and usually witty saying, such as: "A classic? That's a book that people praise and don't read."
A figure of speech wherein the speaker speaks directly to something nonhuman or to someone or something
that simply cannot reply; a dead person, for instance. . In these lines from John Donne's poem "The Sun Rising"
the poet scolds the sun for interrupting his nighttime activities:
Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
The use of deliberately old-fashioned language. Authors sometimes use this to create a feeling of antiquity. Tourist traps use this with a vengeance, as in "Ye Olde Candle Shoppe"—Yeech!
A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's literary experience as a whole. Carl Jung used the term to refer to the generalized patterns of images that form the world of human representations in recurrent motifs, passing through the history of all culture. Since these are rooted in the collective unconscious, they may be conceived through the psychic activity of any individual, be it in the form of dreams, art works, the ancient monuments of religious activity, or the contemporary images of commercial advertising.
A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage. (See soliloquy.)
The repeated use of vowel sounds, as in, "Old king Cole was a merry old soul."
The emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene.
A long, narrative poem, usually in very regular meter and rhyme. Typically has a naive folksy quality, a characteristic that distinguishes it from epic poetry.
When writing strains for grandeur it can't support and tries to jerk tears from every little hiccup, that's this .
This is the use of disturbing themes in comedy. In Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the two tramps, Didi and Gogo, comically debate over which should commit suicide first, and whether the branches of the tree will support their weight. This is that.
A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Consider the following from "The Ball Poem" by John Berryman:
What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over-there it is in the water!
This is pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language. When one tries to be eloquent by using the
largest, most uncommon words, one falls into this.
Broad parody, one that takes a style or a form, such as tragic drama, and exaggerates it into ridiculousness. A parody usually takes on a specific work, such as Hamlet. For the purposes of the AP test, you can think of the terms parody and this as interchangeable.
In poetry, using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds.
The beat or rhythm of poetry in a general sense. For example, iambic pentameter is the technical name for a rhythm. One sample of predominantly iambic pentameter verse could have a gentle, pulsing this, whereas another might have a conversational this, and still another might have a vigorous, marching this.
A pause within a line of poetry which may or may not affect the metrical count (see also meter). In scansion, this is usually indicated by the following symbol (//). Here's an example by Alexander Pope:
Know then thyself,//presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind//is Man
The name for a section division in a long work of poetry. Divides a long poem into parts the way chapters divide a novel.
A portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of personality.
This is a term drawn from Aristotle's writings on tragedy. Refers to the "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived (vicariously) through the experiences presented on stage.
In Greek drama, this is the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.
It's noun, and its adjective, have a number of different uses. The noun can mean typical, as in oh, that was a "this type" blunder. It can also mean an accepted masterpiece, for example, Death of Salesman. Finally, the adjective can also refer to the arts of ancient Greece and Rome, and the qualities of those arts.
Is a new word, usually one invented on the spot. An author might, in a moment of creative need, coin the term pretarded to convey the sense that someone has been pretentious in an exceptionally stupid way. People's names often become grist for çoinages, as in, Oh, man, you just pulled a major Wilson. Of course, you'd have to know Wilson to know what that means, but you can tell it isn't a goodthing. The technical term for this is neologism.
This is a word or phrase used in everyday conversational English that isn't a part of accepted "school-book" English. For example, I'm toasted. I'm a crispy critter man, and now I've got this wicked headache.
A controlling image. In poetry, it doesn't mean stuck-up. It refers to a startling or unusual metaphor, or to a metaphor developed and expanded upon over several lines. When the image dominates and shapes the entire work, it's called a metaphysical this, or a controlling image.
The denotation of a word is its literal meaning. This is everything else that the word suggests or implies. For example, in the phrase the dark forest, dark denotes a relative lack of light. The this of the word is of danger, or perhaps mystery or quiet; we'd need more information to know for sure, and if we did know with complete certainty that wouldn't be this, but denotation. In many cases it eventually is so overwhelming in a word that it takes over the denotation. For example, livid is supposed to denote a dark purple-red color like that of a bruise, but it has been used so often in the context of extreme anger that many people have come to use livid as a synonym for rage, rather than a "this" description of it.
The repetition of consonant sounds within words (rather than at their beginnings, which is alliteration). A flock of sick, black-checkered, ducks.
A pair of lines that end in rhyme:
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near.
—From "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
In order to observe this, a character's speech must be styled according to her social station, and in accordance with the occasion. A bum should speak like a bum about bumly things, while a princess should speak only about higher topics (and in a delicate manner).
Pronounced Dee-noo-ma, this is that part of a drama which follows the climax and leads to the resolution, sometimes synonymous with resolution.
The author's choice of words. Whether to use wept or cried is a question of this. Syntax refers to the ordering and structuring of the words. Whether to say, "The pizza was smothered in cheese and pepperoni. I devoured it greedily," or "Greedily, I devoured the cheese and pepperoni smothered pizza," is a question of this.
This is a song for the dead. Its tone is typically slow, heavy, depressed, and melancholy.
This refers to the grating of incompatible sounds.
Crude, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme. Limericks are a kind of this.
A type of poem that meditates on death or mortality in a serious, thoughtful manner. Often use the recent death of a noted person or loved one as a starting point.
The imaginative projection into another's feelings, a state of total identification with another's situation, condition, and thoughts. The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without explicitly articulating these feelings. Fern empathizes with Wilbur; Charlotte empathizes with Wilbur.
The practice named by Ronsard in the 16th century of breaking the sense of a line by placing part of the phrase on the second line. A device in which the phrase end is no longer the end of the line. The practice of this causes a slight distress in the audience because the reader wants the
phrase break to come in the familiar place for the rhythm of the poem but it doesn't. Often the sense of the poem can be changed or emphasis given by creating this.
In a broad sense, it is simply a very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style. Typically deal with glorious or profound subject matter: a great war, a heroic journey, the fall of man from Eden, a battle with supernatural forces, a trip into the underworld, etc. The mock-"this" is a parody form that deals with mundane events and ironically treats them as worthy of this type of poetry.
Lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place. Is usually a line or handful of lines, often serious or religious, but sometimes witty and even irreverent.
A word or phrase that takes the place of a harsh, unpleasant, or impolite reality. The use of passed away for died, and passed gas for farted are two examples of euphemisms.
When sounds blend harmoniously, the result is this.
Today we use this word to refer to extremely broad humor. Writers of earlier times used this as a more neutral term, meaning simply a funny play; a comedy. (And you should know that for writers of centuries past, comedy was the generic term for any play; it did not imply humor.)
Lines rhymed by their final two syllables. A pair of lines ending with running and gunning would be an example of this. Properly, in this there is (and not simply a double rhyme) the penultimate syllables are stressed and the final syllables are unstressed.
A secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast. For example, an author will often give a cynical, quick witted character a docile, naive, sweettempered friend to serve as a this.
The basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry. Iis formed by a combination of two or three syllables, either stressed or unstressed. This includes the terms lamb, trochee, spondee, pyrrhic, anapest, dactyl which are types of this.
A light stress followed by a heavy stress (the winds)
A heavy stress followed by a light stress (flow - er)
two heavy stresses (Ex, the last two syllables of the line below)
When, in / dis - grace / with for - / tune and / men's eyes
Two unstressed syllables (See "on their" in the following line)
Now sleep - / ing flocks / on their / soft fleec - / es lie.
Two light stresses followed by a heavy (by the dawn's / ear - ly light)
A heavy stress followed by two light ones (Ex below)
green as our / hope in it, / white as our / faith in it
An event or statement in a narrative that in miniature suggests a larger event that comes later.
Poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme or metrical pattern.
A sub-category of literature. Science-fiction and detective stories are genres of fiction.
This the sensibility derived from gothic novels, a form that first showed up in the middle of the eighteenth century, had a hey-day of popularity for about sixty years, and hasn't really gone away. The sensibility? Think mysterious gloomy castles perched high upon sheer cliffs. Paintings with sinister eyeballs that follow you around the room. Weird screams from the attic each night. Diaries with a final entry that trails off the page and reads something like, No, NO! IT COULDN'T BE!!
The excessive pride or ambition that leads to the main character's downfall (another term from Aristotle's discussion of tragedy).
Exaggeration or deliberate overstatement.
In Medias Res
Latin for "in the midst of things." One of the conventions of epic poetry is that the action begins like this. For example, when The Iliad begins, the Trojan war has already been going on for seven years.
This is a term for novels and poetry, not dramatic literature. It refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head. It is related, but not identical to stream of consciousness. Tends to be coherent, as though the character were actually talking.Stream of consciousness is looser and much more given to fleeting mental impressions.
Switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase. When done badly it can give a stilted, artificial, look-at-me-I'm-poetry feel to the verse, but poets do it all the time. This type of messing with syntax is called poetic license. "I'll have one large pizza with all the fixin's"—presto chango instant poetry— "A pizza large I'll have one with the fixin's all."
This is one term you need to be very comfortable with for the AP test. It comes in a variety of forms, and you need to be able to recognize and be sensitive to it. Actually being able to name the specific type involved is not important. ETS doesn't care if you can see an example of tragic this and call it by name, they just want you to be able to see that it's this. The reason this shows up so much on the AP test is that it's a powerful verbal tool, and so good writers use it all the time. ETS also loves this because this is what makes writing good for good questions: strong readers detect this, weak readers do so less clearly. One definition of this is a statement that means opposite of what it seems to mean, and while that isn't a bad definition, it doesn't get at the delicacy with which the authors on the AP test use this. Simply saying the opposite of what one means is sarcasm. The hallmark of this is an undertow of meaning, sliding against the literal meaning of the words. Jane Austen is famous for writing descriptions which seem perfectly pleasant, but to the sensitive reader have a deliciously mean snap to them. It insinuates. It whispers underneath the explicit statement, "Do you understand what I really mean?" Think of the way Mark Antony says again and again of Brutus, "But he is an honorable man." At first it doesn't seem like much, but with each repetition the undertone of it becomes ever more insistent.
A poem of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or over some other intense loss. Lampoon. A satire.
Is complete before its end. (The term loose does not in any way imply that the these are slack or shoddy.) Example: Jack loved Barbara despite her irritating snorting laugh, her complaining, and her terrible taste in shoes.
Is not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase. Example:Despite Barbara's irritation at Jack's peculiar habit of picking between his toes while watching MTV and his terrible haircut, she loved him.
A type of poetry that explores the poet's personal interpretation of and feelings about the world (or the part that his poem is about). When the word is used to describe a tone it refers to a sweet, emotional melodiousness.
A rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable (a.k.a., regular old rhyme).
A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure. (It sounds dumb, but these types of movies make tons of money every year.)
A comparison, or analogy that states one thing is another. His eyes were burning coals, or In the morning, the lake is covered in liquid gold. It's a simple point, so keep it straight.
Is just like a metaphor but softens the fullout equation of things, often, but not always by using like or as. His eyes were like burning coals, or In the morning the lake is covered in what seems to be liquid gold.
The measure of a poetic line. There are many types of these, designated by the number of feet in a line. Can be measured and recounted by any numerical latin root (hepta, octa, etc.) followed by this base word.
five feet in a line
four feet in a line
three feet in a line
two feet in a line
six feet in a line
seven feet in a line
eight feet in a line
A poem in praise of something divine or expressing some noble idea. In' " 'This' on a Grecian Urn," English poet John Keats expresses his appreciation of the beauty and agelessness of a work by a Grecian artisan:
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
Refers to the substitution of one thing for another closely identified thing, like "the White House" signifying the activities and policies of the president.
The protagonist's arch enemy or supreme and persistent difficulty.
This type of treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events.
This type of treatment uses the interior or personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses.
Words that sound like what they mean. Boom. Splat. Arrgh. Scritch scritch scritch.
A phrase composed of opposites; a contradiction. Bright black. A calm frenzy. Jumbo shrimp. Dark light. A truthful lie. Some folks claim that military intelligence and House (of Congress) Ethics Committee are these also.
Like a fable, or an allegory, it is a story that instructs.
A situation or a statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not. This line from John Donne's "Holy Sonnet 14" provides an example:
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me,
The poet paradoxically asks God to knock him down so that he may stand. What he means by this is
for God to destroy his present self and remake him as a holier person.
A phrase set off by commas that interrupts the flow of a sentence with some commentary or added detail. Jack's three dogs, including that miserable, yapping little spaniel, were with
him that day.
The work that results when a specific work is exaggerated to ridiculousness.
When the writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity and sympathy, this is at work.