AP Terms I
|Amplification-|| involves repeating a word or expression while adding more detail to it, in order to emphasize what otherwise might be passed over.|
Example: "He showed a rather simple taste, a taste for good art, good food, and good friends."
|Anaphora-|| the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines.|
Example: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..." - A Tale of Two Cities
|Antistrophe-|| repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses.|
Example: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child." I Cor. 13:11
|Antithesis-|| the presentation of two contrasting images. The ideas are balanced by word, phrase, clause, or paragraphs. |
Example: "To be or not to be..." "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country..."
|Aphorism-|| a terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle. (If the authorship is unknown, the statement is generally considered to be a folk proverb.) This can be a memorable summation of the author's point.|
Example: "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."
|Aposiopesis-|| a form of ellipse by which a speaker comes to an abrupt halt, seemingly overcome by passion (fear, excitement, etc.) or modesty. |
Example: "why, you..." "Why, I'll..." Get out, or else--"
|Apostrophe-||a figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or personified abstraction, such as liberty or love. The effect may add familiarity or emotional intensity.|
Example: William Wordsworth addresses John Milton as he writes, "Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee."
|Archaism-|| use of an older or obsolete form.|
Example: I saw thee in the next room.
|Assonance-|| repetition of the same sound in words close together.|
Example: Fleet feet sweet by sleeping geese.
|Cacophony-|| harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage in a literary work.|
Example: "And squared and stuck there squares of soft white chalk, And with a fish-tooth, scratched a moon on each."
|Connotation-|| the interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal meaning.|
Example: The wall in Frost's "Mending Wall" refers to the emotional barrier which prevents interaction between neighbors.
|Denotation-|| the literal or dictionary meaning of a word.|
Example: In Frost's "Mending Wall", the wall is the physical boundary separating the two neighbors.
|Didactic-|| From the Greek, this literally means "teaching." These works have the primary aim of teaching or instructing, especially the teaching of moral or ethical principles.|
Example: Proverbs and Parables in the Bible
|Epigraph-|| the use of a quotation at the beginning of a work that hints at its theme. |
Hemingway begins The Sun Also Rises with this.
|Farce -|| a kind of comedy that depends on exaggerated or improbable situations, physical disasters, and sexual innuendo to amuse the audience.|
Example: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. The characters are stereotypical and he makes fun of the elite.
|Invective||a verbally abusive attack.|
|Metonymy||a figure of speech that replaces the name of something with a word or phrase closely associated with it. (suits = management).|
|Motif||the repetition or variations of an image or idea in a work used to develop theme or characters.|
|Paradox|| A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense, but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity. |
Example: The first scene of Macbeth closes with the witches' cryptic remark "Fair is foul, and foul is fair...."
|Parallelism||This refers to the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to give structural similarity.|
|Pathos||the aspects of a literary work that elicit pity from the audience. An appeal to emotion that can be used as a means to persuade.|
|Pedantic||a term used to describe writing that borders on lecturing. It is scholarly and academic and often overly difficult and distant.|
|Sarcasm||a comic technique that ridicules through caustic language. Tone and attitude may both be described as this in a given text if the writer employs language, irony, and wit to mock or scorn.|
|Satire||a mode of writing based on ridicule, that criticizes the foibles and follies of society without necessarily offering a solution.|
|Synecdoche|| a figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative of the whole. |
Example: ("All hands on deck" is an example.)
|Syntax||the grammatical structure of prose and poetry.|
|Understatement||is the opposite of hyperbole; it is a deliberate minimizing done to provide emphasis or humor. In William Least Heat Moon's "Nameless, Tennessee" (p. 164), Miss Ginny Watts explains how she asked her husband to call the doctor unless he wanted to be "shut of" (rid of) her. Her husband, Thurmond, humorously replies: "I studied on it."|
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