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VDB Lit Terms Quiz 1

STUDY
PLAY
abstract words
words used to discuss intangible qualities like good and evil
accent
the stressed portion of a word in poetry
ad hominem argument
argument that appeals to emotion rather than reason; may attack the messenger rather than the message
aesthetic
appealing to the senses (adj.), a coherent sense of taste (n.), the study of beauty (n.)
aestheticism
devotion to the idea of beauty in art
aleatory
an alogical poem seems composed by chance
allegory
a story in which each aspect has symbolic meaning outside the story
alliteration
repetition of initial consonant sounds
allusion
reference to a famous work or figure outside the poem
amplification
repeating a word, and adding more modifiers each time
anachronism
an object misplaced in time
anacoluthon
finishing a sentence with different grammatical structure from that with which it began
analogy
a comparison, involving two or more symbolic parts, employed to clarify an action or a relationship
anapestic
metrical measurement of two unstressed syllables and then one stressed one (u u ')
anaphora
repetition of the same words at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses
anecdote
a short story
antagonist
one that contends with or opposes another
antecedent
a word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to
anthropomorphism
inanimate objects are given human characteristics, but no human shape
anticlimax
an action produces far smaller results than one had led to expect, comic
antihero
a protagonist who is markedly unheroic
antimetabole
reversing the order of repeated words/clauses to intensify the sentence, present alternatives, or show contrast
antiphrasis
one word irony (calling a beautiful girl "ugly)
antistrophe
repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive lines
antithesis
juxtaposition of opposites, e.g., heaven and hell
aphorism
a short and witty saying
apocopated rhyme
a cut-off rhyme; last syllable of one of the rhymes is missing (pain/gainless)
apologia
a defense of one's opinions, actions, or life (Think Socrates' The Apology)
apologue
moral fable using animals to comment on human condition
aporia
expression of doubt about conclusions
aposiopesis
stopping abruptly and leaving statement unfinished
apostrophe
speech is directed to a nonhuman object or one that is not present
appositive
a noun or phrase placed next to another noun, for the purpose of further describing
archaism
use of deliberately old-fashioned diction
archetype
the original pattern or model of which all things of a similar nature are copies
ars poetica
a poem written on the subject of poetic art, usually explaining poet's reasons for writing
aside
a speech made by an actor to the audience as though momentarily stepping outside the action on stage
assonance
the repeated use of internal vowel sounds
atmosphere
the emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene
aubade
a love song or poem greeting the dawn
ballad
a long narrative poem in regular meter and rhyme
bathos
writing that strains for grandeur it can't support
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
bildungsroman
a novel of self-development or personal formation
bombast
pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language
burlesque
broad parody that takes on a specific style and makes fun of it
cacophony
using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds
cadence
the beat or rhythm of poetry
caesura
a pause in a line of poetry (indicated or not)
camera eye narrator
third-person narrator who describes what would be visible to a camera; objective
canto
a section division in a long work of poetry
caricature
a portrait that exaggerates a facet of personality
carpe diem
the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future
catalogue
a complete enumeration of items, arranged systematically, with descriptive details
catharsis
cleansing of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived through the experiences on stage
Chaucerian stanza
7 lines, rhyme ababbcc
chorus
the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it
classicism
a tendency to reflect he principles manifested in the art of ancient Greece and Rome
climax
the point of highest tension, or a major turning point in a play
coinage
a new word, usually invented on the spot
colloquialism
a word or phrase used in everyday conversational English
conceit
an extended metaphor, developed and expanded upon over several lines
concrete poetry
a poem wherein shape of words and lines conveys the meaning
confessional poetry
makes frank, explicit use of incidents in the poet's life
connotation
the association with a word; the word suggests/implies meaning beyond the literal
consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within words
continuous form
a poem in which lines follow each other without stanza breaks
couplet
a pair of lines ending in rhyme
dactylic
a metrical measurement of one accented syllable and two unaccented (' u u)
decorum
the attitude one should display according to his social/economic status
denotation
a word's literal meaning
denoument
conclusion, the outcome of a plot
determinism
belief that man is fated to defeat under indifferent natural forces; emphasizes vanity of free will
deus ex machina
"god from the machine" - conflicts quickly resolved at end of last act, often by sudden introduction of a power who solves all
diacope
repetition of words before and after syntactical break (We will do it, I tell you, we will do it.)