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176 terms

8th Grade Literary and Vocabulary Terms

STUDY
PLAY
Alliteration
the repetition of initial sounds, as in "scorching summer sensations."
Allusion
reference to a well-known person, place, thing, idea, event, etc.
Analogy
a comparison of two or more similar objects, suggesting that if they are alike in certain respects, they will probably be alike in other ways as well
Antagonist
a character who opposes the main character
Anthology
a published collection of works or parts of works by an author or several authors
Assonance
the repetition of vowel sounds
Ballad
a narrative passed on in the oral tradition
Bard
a poet, Shakespeare is sometimes referred to as the Bard
Bibliography
a list of written sources of information
Characterization
method the author uses to acquaint readers with characters
Indirect
learn about characters through what they say, what others say about them, and what they do
Direct
directly told through exposition
Main Character
the most important figure in a literary work.
Minor Characters
the "support cast" for the most important figure in a literary work.
Dynamic Character
a figure in a story that undergoes important changes as a plot unfolds.
Static Character
a figure in a story who remains the same no matter what.
Cliché
an overused, predictable, and therefore uninteresting expression or idea
Climax
The point of greatest interest in a story or play.
Colloquial
of speech and informal writing, conversational
Conflict
the struggle between opposing forces.
Connotation
meaning suggested by a word beyond its definition, what a reader believes the word means
Consonance
repetition, at close intervals, of final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words
Couplet
a rhymed pair of lines
Denotation
a dictionary definition
Dialect
a major subdivision of a language
Dialogue
conversation carried on by the characters in a literary work
Elegy
usually a lyric poem on death or some other somber subject.
Epic
a long narrative poem recounting the exploits of larger-than-life character in important and heroic acts
Euphemism
use of a less direct, less offensive word or phrase
Fable
a short, simple story that teaches a lesson. It usually includes animals that talk and act like people
Farce
literature based on a highly humorous and highly improbable plot
Fiction
writing from a writer's imagination. It can be inspired by actual events or completely made up.
Figurative Language
using figures of speech to heighten meaning i.e. metaphor, simile, personification
Flashback
interruption in the narrative to show an episode from the past
Foil
someone who serves as a contrast or challenge to another character
Folk Tale
the customs, legends, songs, and stories of a people or nation once handed down in the oral tradition
Foreshadowing
a hint to the reader of what is to come
Genre
a form or type of literature: novel, short story, poem, play, etc.
Humor
a quality that provokes laughter or amusement.
Hyperbole
an extreme exaggeration
Idiom
in language, a customary expression, "She has rats in her hair."
Imagery
the sensory details that relate to the senses and create pictures in our minds
Invocation
calling upon a divine power for aid. Many poems begin with an invocation asking for inspiration
Irony
a contrast between what appears to be and what really is.
Jargon
language of a trade or profession
Memoir
a form of autobiographical writing in which a writer shares his or her own personal experiences and observations of significant events or people.
Metaphor
an implied comparison, "A green plant is a machine that runs on solar energy"
Meter
A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem.
Monologue
in drama, an extended speech by one person alone, with or without an audience
Mood
the emotions the literature makes the reader feel
Moral
a lesson that a story teaches.
Myth
a traditional story connected with religion of a people usually explaining something in nature
Non-fiction
writing about real people, places, things, and events. Essays, news stories, speeches, etc.
Novel
a long work of fiction.
Ode
a lyric poem usually composed in complex stanza form and generally intended to praise or commemorate
Onomatopoeia
words that sound like the thing being spoken about, Boom, Crack, Sizzle, Screech
Parable
a brief fictional work that teaches a lesson
Paradox
statement that seems contrasting to common sense yet may be true: "Coach said it was a good loss."
Paraphrase
rewording
Parody
a form of literature intended to mock a particular literary work or its style, a comic effect is intended
Personification
giving human qualities to non-living objects
Plagiarism
LITERARY THEFT, when a writer duplicates another writer's work without giving proper credit
Poet Laureate
the officially recognized or chief poet of a nation
Poetic Devices
terms used to describe features of a poem
Poetry
a kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination. _____ is usually arranged in lines, often has a regular pattern of rhythm, and has a regular rhyme scheme.
Point of View
the relationship between the teller of the story and the characters in it.
Prose
literary writing not marked by rhyme or meter
Protagonist
main character
Pun
a play on words; a humorous way to use a word
Repetition
repeating a word or phrase to stress its importance, especially in poetry
Rhetoric
the art of persuasion by speech or writing
Rhyme scheme
pattern of rhyme in a stanza
End rhyme
the rhyming of words at the ends of lines of poetry
Internal Rhyme
a rhyme that happens inside a line of poetry ("use a log to hit a hog")
Rhythm
the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables
Rising Action
the stage of the plot that develops the conflict, or struggle.
Satire
a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing the way things are.
Short Story
a work of fiction that centers on a single idea and can be read in one sitting.
Simile
a comparison using like or as, "She stood in front of the altar, shaking like a freshly caught trout."
Soliloquy
in drama, a speech in which character does not address others, but rather speaks aloud to himself
Sonnet
a type of short poem, usually 14 lines, popular in English since the Renaissance
Speaker
the person talking in a poem, not always the poet
Stanza
a group of two or more lines that form a unit in a poem.
Continuous Poetry
the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning, as paragraphs are in prose.
Stanzaic Poetry
poet writes in a series of stanzas; repeated units having the same number of lines, usually the same meter, and often an identical rhyme scheme
Fixed Poetry
traditional pattern that applies to a whole poem (i.e. haiku in Japan, and sestinas in France) In English poetry only two fixed forms have really taken hold: Limerick, Sonnet
Shape Poetry
made to look like the topic which it addresses (i.e. mountain, swimming laps)
Style
a manner of expression characteristic of the author
Symbol
something concrete that represents something else
Tall Tale
a humorously exaggerated story about impossible events, often involving the supernatural abilities of the main character.
Theme
the main idea of a piece of literature as it applies to human beings in general, not the plot
Tone
the author's attitude toward the subject matter
Tragedy
literature in which the character suffers disaster after a serious struggle but faces his or her downfall with heroic stature
Trilogy
a group of three related works
Understatement
a technique of creating emphasis by saying less than is actually or literally true.
Vernacular
the native language of any particular place
Voice
a unique use of language that allows a reader to "hear" a human personality in a writer's work.
Vignette
written or verbal sketch of a brief scene or incident
clutch
verb: to clasp or hold tightly
prodigy
noun: a person with an exceptional talent
liable
adjective: likely to
sidekick
noun: a close friend
crouch
verb: to stoop with bent knees
acute
adjective: sharp or keen
conceive
verb: to think of
vex
verb: to disturb or annoy
stifled
adjective: smothered
crevice
noun: crack
stealthily
adverb: cautiously; secretly
audacity
noun: shameless daring or boldness
vehemently
adverb: with intense emotion
derision
noun: ridicule
hypocritical
adjective: false or deceptive
lark
noun: a carefree or spirited adventure
junction
noun: a place where two roads meet
sinister
adjective: suggesting or threatening evil
assurance
noun: a guarantee or pledge
monotony
noun: tedious sameness
impromptu
adjective: unplanned
ajar
adjective: partially open
tentatively
adverb: uncertainly or hesitantly
tremor
noun: nervous trembling
commence
verb: to begin
beckon
verb: to signal to come
gnarled
adjective: roughened, as from age or work
ominous
adjective: threatening
Rorschach test
noun: the name of a personality test that uses inkblot designs
sensation
noun: a state of great interest and excitement
tangible
adjective: able to be seen, touched, or understood
specialization
noun: a focus on a particular area of study
absurd
adjective: ridiculously unreasonable
refute
verb: to prove as false
impair
verb: to weaken or damage
proportional
adjective: having a constant relation in degree or number
peril
noun: danger
grimace
noun: a facial expression of pain or disgust
fate
noun: a power that is thought to determine the course of events
credulity
noun: a disposition to believe too readily
compensation
noun: something, such as money, received in payment
resignation
noun: acceptance of something that is inescapable
apprehension
noun: nervousness
disgruntled
verb: to make unhappy
foreboding
noun: a sense of impeding misfortune
fortify
verb: to make strong
indignantly
adverb: angrily
pandemonium
noun: wild uproar or noise
remorse
noun: sorrow or regret
unabashed
adjective: obvious or bold
ramble
verb: to talk at length or aimlessly
foreman
noun: the leader of a work crew
grope
verb: to reach about with uncertainty
stoop
verb: to bend forward or down from the waist or middle of the back
contractor
noun: one who agrees to provide services for a specific price
irate
adjective: very angry
feeble
adjective: weak or faint
predicament
noun: an unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to free oneself.
propaganda
noun: information that supports a certain cause
deprivation
noun: the condition of not having one's needs met; a lack of
futility
noun: uselessness
sterile
adjective: barren; lacking vitality
languish
verb: to lose strength and vitality
counterpart
noun: one that has the same functions and traits as another
exotic
adjective: foreign; unusual; exciting
exploit
verb: to use for selfish purposes
impropriety
noun: an unsuitable or inappropriate act or quality
adequately
adverb: enough to satisfy a requirement or meet a need
eliminate
verb: to remove from consideration by defeating
annihilate
verb: to completely destroy or defeat
aggression
noun: hostile or destructive behavior or action
ban
verb: to prohibit
conviction
noun: a strong belief
insolent
adjective: insulting or arrogant
refrain
verb: to hold oneself back; to stop
diminish
verb: to become smaller or less
opposition
noun: the act of opposing or resisting
inertia
noun: resistance to motion, action, or change