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64 terms

Literary Terms to know

STUDY
PLAY
Absurd
use of ridiculous situations to point out the meaningless of life in a worl which is without absolutes and in which man is given no dignity as a human
Allegory
story in which characters, action, and/or setting represent abstract concepts or moral qualities
Allusion
reference to a well-known person, event, story, place, or work of art meant to evoke certain associations
Analogy
comparison between two seemingly unlike items or situations to provide insight into the nature of one or both
Antagonist
character in conflict with the protagonist, often the villian
Anit-hero
flawed protagonist who lacks the conventional qualities of a classic hero
Archetype
image, story patterns, or character type used often enough to be recognized on its own and evokes an unconscious response
Atmosphere
emotional aura of a piece
Characterization
mean by which a writer reveals a character's personality
Direct characterization
telling you directly the idea of the character
Indirect characterization
through character's description, speech, actions, thoughts/emotions, and/or other character's views
Classical Comedy
play with a happy ending written to amuse, which appeals to the intellect; instructs people and society to be better by using humor
Classical tragedy
drama where the protagonist suffers disaster but in doing so attains heroic stature
Classic hero
protagonist who possesses superhuman qualities, aka a romantic hero
Climax
decisive point in the plot; the point of greatest intensity or interest; point where problems start to be resolved
Conflict
the struggle between two or more opposing forces kor characters in a plot; man vs man; man vs nature; man vs society
Connotation
the emotional meaning of a word
Denotation
the dictionary meaning of a word
Denouement
the resolution of the conflict
Dialogue
pupose of this is for characterization, exposition, mood, plot, theme, commentary on action
Diction
author's word choice
Drama
story told by means of dialogue
Dramatic irony
occurs when the audience or reader knows more than the characters
Dynamic character
character that experiences some kind of change in personality or attitude during the course of the story
Existentialism
belief that man merely exists upon birth, and his life has no meaning; life is meaningless; if there is a meaning the pepole create it; on meaning is the meaning you bring to it
Exposition
section of the plot that presents information essential to understanding the story
Fantasy
work that takes place in an unreal world, concerns incredible characters, or employs physical and scientific principles not yet discovered
Farce
comedy that depends on outlandish situations and often features slapstick
Figurative language
language that is not intended to be interpreted in a literal sense
Flashback
scene that interrupts the actions to show an event that happened earlier, providing background information
Flat character
one-dimensional character that is only known from one limited aspect
Foil
character established as opposite of another character to emphasize certain qualities of that other character
Foreshadowing
the use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot
Genre
a major category or type of literature
Grotesque
character who has become bizarre, usually through some kind of obsession with an idea, a value, or an assumption; usually one-dimensional and possesses one or more exagerated personality traits
Hyperbole
use of extreme exaggeration to either ezalt or diminish
Imagery
creating a mental picture through the use of words or phrases; use of five senses
Metaphor
comparison of two unlike things for descriptive purposes
Modernism
emphasizes new ways of expression and such themes as the chaotic and alienating nature of modern life
Mood
atmosphere; tone
Motif
a reoccuring feature that generally contributes to the theme or mood of a literary work
Novella
a short novel; longer than a short story
Paradox
statement that seems to be self-contradictory on the surface
Parody
the humorous imitation of a work of literature
Personification
giving a non-human thing human characteristics for descriptive purposes
1st person
the narrator is a character in the story "I"
3rd person limited
the narrator reveals thoughts, feelings, and observations of only one character "he" or "she"
3rd person omniscient
narrator isn't a character, but someone who stands outside the story and comments on the action
Protagonist
main character
Realism
tendancy to stress the limitations that everyday living imposes on humanity and to show how these limitations affect the nature of life
Resolution
end of a story
Round character
fully-developed character
Satire
technique used to ridicule a subject, usually some human foible or insitiution; use humor to encourage reform
Simile
comparing two unluike things for descriptive purposes while using like or as
Situational irony
refers to a happening that is the opposite of what is expected or intended
Static character
character that remains the same throughout the story
Structure
pattern that underlies a piece; important starting point when analyzing a work of literature
Style
author's use of language in terms of diction, syntax, figurative language, etc.
Suspense
quality of a literary work that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events
Sybolism
any object, person, place, or action that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something larger than itself
Syntax
use of sentence structure to enhance or reinforce imagery
Theme
the main idea of a story
Tone
the attitude and feelings an author expresses, which may be inferred from what he sayd and how he says it
Verbal irony
contrast between what is said and what actually is or meant