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64 terms

Literary Terminology for Sophomore Honors English

For Montgomery's Honors English
STUDY
PLAY
Alliteration
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse
Allusion
an indirect reference to another work of literature, person, or event
Analogy
drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect
Antagonist
the character who works against the protagonist in the story
Aside
a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
Assonance
the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words
Bias
a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
Blank Verse
unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)
Characterization
achieved through description, thoughts, words, actions, and reactions of characters
Climax
high point of interest or suspense
Colloquialism
spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
Conflict
opposition in a work of drama or fiction between characters or forces (especially an opposition that motivates the development of the plot)
Consonance
repetition of consonant sounds in succsesive words
Dialect
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
Diction
style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words
Elizabethan Sonnet
a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg
Epic Simile
A simile developed over several lines of verse, esp. one used in an epic poem.
Epithet
any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality
Exposition
introduces the characters, setting, and basic situation (the beginning of a story)
Falling Action
events after the climax, leading to the resolution
Figurative Language
Writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is usually meant to be imaginative and vivid.
Flashback
a scene or event from the past that appears in a narrative out of chronological order, to fill in information or explain something in the present
Flat Character
a character who is not very well developed; has few identifiable characteristics
Foil
a character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of another
Foreshadowing
the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot
Free Verse
Poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme
Genre
particular variety of art or literature
Heroic Couplet
a couplet consisting of two rhymed lines of iambic pentamenter and written in an elevated style
Hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
Iambic Pentameter
a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable
Imagery
description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) and creates a specific image in the mind.
Irony
The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning
Dramatic Irony
(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play
Situational Irony
an outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected
Verbal Irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant
Jargon
vocabulary distinctive to a particular group of people
Literal Language
A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote.
Magic Realism
genre of meticulously realistic painting of imaginary scenes and fantastic images
Metaphor
a comparison without using like or as
Metonymy
substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in 'head-count' instead of 'people-count)
Mood
the overall emotion created by a work of literature
Motif
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work
Onomatopoeia
using words that imitate the sound they denote
Oxymoron
conjoining contradictory terms (as in 'deafening silence')
Paradox
apparently contradictory statement
Personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
Plot
the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.
Poetic Devices
terms used to describe features of a poem
Point of View
a mental position from which things are viewed
Protagonist
the principal character in a work of fiction. the main character.
Pun
a humorous play on words
Resolution
End of the story where loose ends are tied up
Rising Action
events leading up to the climax
Round Character
a character who is well developed by the author and who many characteristics. complex, many sided.
Setting
arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted
Simile
comparison using like or as
Soliloquy
speech you make to yourself
Style
the arrangement of words in a way that best expresses the author's individuality, idea, intent
Symbol
anything that stands for or represents something else
Synechdoche
A figure of speech in which a part of something stands for the whole (or less frequently the whole stands for one of its parts.)
Syntax
the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences. sentence structure.
Theme
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work
Tone
the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author
Understatement
a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said