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Literature & Poetry Analysis Terms (A.P. English)
Terms in this set (65)
A narrative or description having a second meaning beneath the surface. A story, fictional or nonfictional, in which characters, things, and events represent qualities or concepts. The interaction of these characters, things, events is meant to reveal an abstraction or a truth. These characters, etc. may be symbolic of the ideas referred to.
The repetition at close intervals of initial and identical consonant sounds.
Assignment of something to a time when it was not in existence, e.g. a cell phone used by a Biblical figure.
An analogy is a comparison to direct parallel case. When a writer uses an analogy, he or she argues that a claim reasonable for one case is reasonable for the analogues case.
An indirect reference to something (usually a literary text) with which the reader is expected to be familiar. Allusions are usually literary, historical, Biblical, or mythological.
An event or situation that may be interpreted in more than one way. Also, the manner of expression of such an event or situation may be ambiguous. Artful language may be ambiguous. Unintentional ambiguity is usually vagueness.
A brief recounting of a relevant episode. Anecdotes are often inserted into fictional or nonfictional text as a way of developing a point or interjecting humor.
Recurrent designs, patterns of action, character types, themes, or images which are identifiable in a wide range of literature
A dramatic convention by which an actor directly addressees the audience but it is not supposed to be heard by the other actors on stage
The sense expressed by the tone pf voice and/ or the mood of a piece of writing : the feelings the author holds towards his subjects, the people in his narrative, the events, the setting or even the theme. It might even be the feeling he holds for the reader.
A narrative poem that is, or originally was, meant to be sung. Repetition and refrain (recurring phrase or phrases) characterize the ballad.
the verse from that most resembles common speech, blank verse consists of unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter. Many of Shakespeare's plays are in blank verse.
A pause in a line verse, indicated by natural speech patterns rather than due to specific metrical patterns
ordinary and informal language, the local vernacular. For example, using "gotta", or "woulda"
Humorous speeches and incidents in the course of the serious action of a tragedy; frequently comic relief widens and enriches the tragic significance of the work.
language that describes specific, observable things, people or places, rather than idea or qualities
Rather than the dictionary definition (which is denotation), connotation is the associations implied by a word; implied meaning (connotation) rather than literal meaning (denotation)
the language and speech idiosyncrasies of a specific area, region, or group of people
Word choice particularly as an element of style, used to persuade or convey tone, purpose, or effect. Different types and arrangements of words have significant effects on meaning.
A formal sustained poem lamenting the death of a particular person. Note: this is not the same as a eulogy, which is a speech usually spoken at a funeral about the deceased.
A quotation or aphorism at the beginning of a literary work suggestive of a theme.
A major character's important moment of realization or awareness
A term used to characterize a person or thing. A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title or a person.
Background information provided by a writer to enhance a reader's understanding of the context of a fictional or nonfictional story.
The use of a word or phrase that is les direct, but is also considered less distasteful or less offensive than another
A word or words that are inaccurate literally, but describe by calling to mind sensations or responses that the thing describes evokes. Figurative language may be in the form of metaphors or similes, both non-literal comparisons.
A character constructed around a single idea or quality; a flat character is immediately recognizable. Also referred to as a static character.
A character whose traits are the opposite of another and who thus points up the strengths and weaknesses of the other character
language that is lofty, dignified, and impersonal
A literary form or type; classification.
Overwhelming pride or insolence that results in the misfortune of the protagonist of a tragedy. It is the particular form of tragic flaw that result from excessive pride, ambition, or over confidence.
Conscious exaggeration used to heighten effect. Not intended literally, hyperbole is often humorous.
a metrical foot in poetry that consists of n unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable; often iambics are used in sets of five called iambic pentameter
The use of images, especially in a pattern of related images, often figurative, to create, a strong unified sensory impression.
language that is not as lofty or impersonal as formal diction.; similar to everyday speech
generally speaking, a discrepancy between expectation and reality
Dramatic, Verbal, and Situational
A comparison of two things , often unrelated. A figurative verbal equation results where both "parts" illuminate one another. Metaphors may occur in a single sentence , as a controlled image of an entire work, as obvious or implied.
Dead Metaphor- so overused that its original impact has been lost
Extended- One developed at length and involves several points of comparison
Mixed- when two metaphors are jumbled together, often illogically
The more or less regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry; this is determined by the kind of "foot" (i.e. iambic) and by the number f feet per line (I.e. pentameter)
An atmosphere created by a writer's word choice (diction) and the details selected. Syntax is also a determiner of mood because sentence strength, length, and complexity affect pacing.
A frequently recurrent character, incident, or concept in literature.
The use of a word whose pronunciation suggests its meaning. (I.e. buzz, hiss, slam)
A short story from which a lesson may be drawn
Juxtaposing two contradictory/ opposite terms, like "wise fool"
A seemingly contradictory statement or situation which is actually true. This rhetorical device is often used for emphasis of simply to attract attention.
Sentence construction which places in close proximity two or more equal grammatical constructions.
An exaggerated imitation of a usually more serious work for humorous purposes. The writer of a parody uses the quirks of style of the imitated piece in extreme or ridiculous ways
Sentence that places the main idea or central complete thought at the end of the sentence, after all introductory elements- e.g. "Across the stream, beyond clearing, from behind a fallen tree, the lion emerged."
A writer often adopts a fictional voice to tell a story. Persona or voice is usually determined by a combination of subject matter and audience.
Figurative language in which inanimate objects, animals, ideas, or abstractions are endowed with human traits or human form
System of actions represented in a dramatic or narrative work
Point of View
The perspective form which a fictional or nonfictional story is told. First-person, third-person, or third-person omniscient points of view are commonly used.
A character drawn with sufficient complexity to be able to surprise the reader without losing credibility. Also referred to as a dynamic character.
A type of verbal irony in which, under the guise of praise, a caustic and bitter expression of strong and personal disapproval is given. Sarcasm is personal, jeering, and intended to hurt.
A work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way. Satire doesn't simply abuse or get personal (as with sarcasm). Satire usually targets groups or large concepts rather than individuals; its purpose is customarily to inspire change
Locale and period in which the action takes place
When a character in play speaks his thoughts aloud- usually by him or herself
Conventional character types that recur repeatedly in various literary genres. For example, the wicked stepmother or Prince charming.
Stream of Consciousness
Technique of writing that undertakes to reproduce the raw flow of consciousness, with the perceptions, thoughts, judgement, feelings associations, and memories presented just as they occur with out being tidied into grammatical sentences or given logical and narrative order.
The choice in diction, tone, an syntax that a writer makes. In combination they create a work's manner of expression. Style is thought to be conscious and unconscious and may be altered to suit specific occasions. Style is often habitual and evolves over time.
A thing, event, or person that represents or stands for some idea or event. Symbols also simultaneously retain their own literal meanings. A figure of speech in which a concrete object is used to stand for an abstract idea- e.g. the cross of Christianity
In grammar, the arrangement of words as elements in a sentence to show their relationship
A central idea of a work of fiction or nonfiction revealed and developed in the course of a story or explore through argument
a writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organized of the sentence and global levels. When identifying tone, an adjective must also preclude the word "tone".
tragic error in judgement; a mistake act which changes the fortune of the tragic hero from happiness to misery; also known as hamartia
Deliberately representing something as much less than it really is.
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