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Alliteration

repetition of initial consonant sounds

Allusion

a reference to another work of literature, person, or event

Denotation

the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression

Connotation

the implied or associative meaning of a word

Dramatic Monologue

one character on stage giving thoughts and feelings

Foil

a character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of another

Iambic Pentameter

a poetic meter that is made up of 5 stressed syllables each followed by an unstressed syllable

Lyric

a short poem of songlike quality

Point of View

the perspective from which a story is told

Satire

language or writing that exposes follies or abuses by holding them up to ridicule

Soliloquy

in drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience

Aside

a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage

Tragedy

A serious form of drama dealing with the downfall of a heroic or noble character

Comedy

a humorous form of drama that often includes slapstick and satire

Protagonist

main character

Antagonist

the character who works against the protagonist in the story

Turning Point

the point in a work in which a very significant change occurs

Climax

Most exciting moment of the story; turning point

Resolution

End of the story where loose ends are tied up

Assonance

repetition of vowel sounds

Consonance

the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words

Chiaroscuro

the contrasting of light and darkness

Suspension of Disbelief

The demand made of a theater audience to accept the limitations of staging and supply the details with their imagination.

Arthurian Legend

legends in accordance with King Arthur and his court

Christ Figure

A character who sacrifices self for the good of another.

Direct Characterization

author directly describes character

Indirect Characterization

the writer reveals information about a character and his personality through that character's thought, words, and actions

Tragic Hero

A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy

Tragic Flaw

A weakness or limitation of character, resulting in the fall of the tragic hero

Stage Directions

The specific instructions a playwright includes concerning sets, characterization, delivery, etc.

Genre

a kind of literary or artistic work

Comic Relief

A humorous scene or speech intended to lighten the mood

Bildungsroman

coming of age story

Round Character

this character is fully developed - the writer reveals good and bad traits as well as background

Flat Character

a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

Static Character

a character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end

Dynamic Character

one whose character changes in the course of the play or story

Quixotic

very idealistic; impractical; caught up in romantic notions

MLA style

the documentation style maintained by the modern language association

Parenthetical Notation

an expression in parentheses

Hubris

excessive pride

Catharsis

(psychoanalysis) purging of emotional tensions

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