How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

115 terms

prose & poetry

STUDY
PLAY
plot
The series of related events that make up a narrative, purposes are to convey meaning and to provide an enjoyable or moving reading experience.
conflict
A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions.
external conflict
A character struggles against some outside
internal conflict
A struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within a single character.
exposition
Background information on characters and events necessary for understanding the story.
setting
The time and place of events in a literary work.
To provide a time and place for the characters and events, • To aid in the understanding of characters and their actions, To create atmosphere, To facilitate plot development (to develop conflict)
four functions of setting
rising action
complications, Intensify the conflict(s) and create suspense.
technical climax
Turning point of the plot, where the protagonist changes or has an opportunity to change but does not. From this point, the outcome is determined.
falling action
Action that takes place after the climactic scene.
conclusion
Final event of the plot
resolution
The problems or mysteries of the plot are unraveled.
dramatic climax
The point of greatest interest or intensity in the story
foreshadowing
The use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot.
plotless short story
In some modern fiction, plot has a relatively minor function. These works may focus instead on characterization and point of view.
atmosphere
The mood or feeling in a work of literature, often affected by setting.
mood
The feeling a work of literature creates in the reader.
character
Fictional personality created by an author
characterization
The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.
expository
Telling, more direct, quicker, factual, characterization
dramatic
Showing, less direct, more time-consuming. The reader has to exercise her own judgment, putting clues together to figure out what a character is like, characterization
By describing how a character looks and dresses, By letting the reader hear the character speak, By showing the character's actions, By revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, By showing how other characters feel or behave toward the character
Methods of dramatic characterization
protagonist
Central character the reader focuses on; the person whose conflict sets the plot in motion.
antagonist
A character or force that blocks the protagonist
round
A character that has more dimensions to his/her personality; he/she is complex and multi-faceted, like a real person
flat
A character who is not well-developed, but rather one-dimensional; he/she has limited personality traits
dynamic
A character who grows, learns, or changes as a result of the story's action
static
A character that does not change much in the course of the story
foil
A character who is used as a contrast to another character; the contrast emphasizes the differences between the two characters, bringing out the distinctive qualities in each.
motivation
The reasons that cause characters to act as they do
narrator
The teller of the story
point of view
The vantage point from which a writer tells a story
first person
The narrator is a character in the story; uses the pronoun "I"
second-person
The narrator describes the reader's actions, using the personal pronoun "you." This point of view is rare.
third-person objective
The narrator in the dramatic point of view reports events in a way that is analogous to a motion-picture camera, or to what some call "a fly on the wall." An impartial report.
third-person omniscient
The narrator is outside the story, a god-like observer who can tell the reader what all the characters are thinking and feeling, as well as what is happening anywhere in the story.
third-person limited
The narrator is outside the story, but tells the story from the vantage point of only ONE character; the narrator can enter the mind of this chosen character but cannot tell what any other characters are thinking except by observation
theme
The central idea, message, or insight of a work of literature; most are implied rather than directly stated
Must be a complete declarative sentence, Must state a significant, general truth about life, people, human nature, or the world, Must clearly be brought out in the work
Guidelines for stating theme
tone
The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character; tone is conveyed through the writer's choice of words and details, nostalgic; factual; bitter; passionate.
writing style
Includes a writer's syntax (sentence structure) and diction (word choice)
symbol
A concrete thing, place, or event (more rarely, a person) that stands both for itself and for something abstract beyond itself
irony
A contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality; what is not expected
dramatic
When the reader or audience knows something important that a character in a story or drama does not know
situational
What actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate
verbal
When a speaker says one thing but means the opposite
pun
A play on the multiple meanings of a word, or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings
poetry
A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination.
narrative
a story told in verse form; ex. an epic
lyric
a brief, personal poem that is especially musical and filled with emotion; sonnets, odes, and elegies are types
sonnet
A fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, that has one of several rhyme schemes (Shakespeare's has three quatrains followed by a couplet; the most common rhyme scheme for this is abab cdcd efef gg
ballad
a type of poem that is meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature
simile
Two dissimilar things are compared using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"
metaphor
Two dissimilar things are compared WITHOUT using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"
direct metaphor
Directly compares two things with a verb such as "is"
implied metaphor
Suggests a comparison WITHOUT using "is"
extended metaphor
A metaphor that is developed over several lines or a whole poem
dead metaphor
a metaphor that has become so overused that we no longer realize that is a figure of speech—we simply skip over the metaphorical connection it makes.
mixed metaphor
The inconsistent mixture of two or more metaphors; a common problem in bad writing, and they can often be unintentionally funny
synecdoche
The word for a part of something is used to mean the whole
Metonymy
Substituting one closely related idea for another.
personification
Giving human or animate qualities to nonhuman or inanimate things
apostrophe
Addressing something nonhuman as if it were human
symbol
Something concrete used to represent something abstract.
literary allusion
A reference to a person, place, or thing from previous literature
hyperbole
Exaggeration for the sake of effect, for emphasis, not to be taken literally; overstatement.
irony
Saying the opposite of what is true
antithesis
Balancing or contrasting one thing against another for effect
paradox
An apparent contradiction which proves, upon closer examination, to be true
oxymoron
a two-word paradox, Ex: a guilty pleasure
alliteration
The repetition of the initial consonant sound in two or more words in a line of verse
consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds that are NOT at the beginning of words in a line of verse, Come live with me and be my love.
assonance
The similarity or repetition of vowel sounds in two or more words with different consonant sounds
onomatopoeia
The use of words that imitate the sounds they define
repetition
Repeating a word or phrase within a poem
pleasing to the ear, emphasizes idea, gives poem structure
3 reasons to use repetition
refrain
The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza
stanza
A group of consecutive lines in a poem that form a single unit; a division of a poem that is often referred to as a "paragraph of poetry"
couplet
2 line stanza
triplet
3 line stanza
quatrain
4 line stanza
quintet
5 line stanza
sestet
6 line stanza
septet
7 line stanza
octave
8 line stanza
rhyme
The similarity or likeness of sound at the ends of two or more words
end rhyme
Occurs between words found at the ends of two or more lines in a poem
internal rhyme
Between words, occurs within a single one of poetry
perfect rhyme
(exact rhyme) involves sounds that are exactly the same
imperfect rhyme
(approximate or slant or off rhyme) involves words that sound similar, but are not exactly the same
eye rhyme
Depends on spelling rather than sound; words that look like they should rhyme, but do not
rhyme scheme
The pattern or sequence in which end rhyme occurs throughout a poem. The first end sound is represented with an "a," the second end sound is represented with a "b," and so on. When the first sound is repeated at the end of another line within the poem, it is also designated as "a."
rhythm
The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in words in a line of poetry; may be regular or irregular
meter
A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
foot
A unit of meter, usually containing one stressed syllable and one or two or unstressed syllables; lines of poetry are classified according to the number of feet in a line
scansion
The process of marking lines of poetry to show the type of feet and the number of feet they contain
iambic foot
A two syllable foot with the stress on the second syllable; the most common foot of the English language, unstressed stressed
Trochaic foot
A two syllable foot with the stress on the first syllable
Spondaic foot
Two stressed syllables. Used rarely, for emphasis.
Pyrric foot
Two unstressed syllables; this type of foot is rare and is found in between other types of feet
Anapestic foot
Three syllables with the stress on the last syllable
Dactylic foot
Three syllables with the stress on the first syllable
monometer
1 foot per line
dimeter
2 feet per line
trimeter
3 feet per line
tetrameter
4 feet per line
pentameter
5 feet per line
hexameter
6 feet per line
heptameter
7 feet per line
octameter
8 feet per liner
rhymed verse
Consists of a verse with end rhyme and regular meter
blank verses
Consists of unrhymed iambic pentameter
free verse
Consists of lines of poetry that do not have a regular rhythm and do not rhyme regularly
denotation
The literary, dictionary definition of a word.
connotation
All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests