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40 terms

Literary Terms

A list of literary terms from my Englisg class.
STUDY
PLAY
Alliteration
The repetition of initial vowel or consonant sounds.
Antagonist
The major character-in a narrative or drama who works against the hero.
Archetype
An original pattern or model from which all other things of the same kind are made.
Atmosphere
The overall aesthetic effect of a work of art.
Autobiography
The story of a person's life written by the person.
Bias
An inclination of temperament or outlook, especially a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.
Biography
The story or a person's lire written by another person
Character
A person or animal that takes part in the action of a literary work.
Characterization
The act or creating and developing a character by showing or telling what the character looks like, says, or does, as well as the wan other characters react to him or her.
Cliché
A phrase or expression that has become boring from too much use.
Climax
The highpoint of interest or suspense in a novel, story, or play.
Conflict
A struggle between opposing forces. Types are external and internal.
Dialogue
A conversation between characters. Quotation marks are usually used to indicate a speaker's words.
Diction
A writer's choice or words, phrases, sentence structures, and figurative language, which combine to help create meaning.
Euphemism
The substitution of an agreeable inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant
Figurative Language
Writing or speech that is used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things, [examples are metaphor, simile, and personification.
Flashback
A device used in literature to present action that occurred before the beginning or the story.
Foreshadowing
The use of clues that suggest events yet to occur. Helps to create suspense.
Hyperbole
Exaggeration or overstatement.
Imagery
Use in literature to create word pictures for the reader by using details or sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, or movement.
Irony
Literary techniques that portray differences between appearances and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention.
Malapropism
The usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase'; especially the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in context
Metaphor
A figure of speech that directly compares two unlike things.
Mood
The feeling evoked in the reader by a literary work or passage. Often can be described in one word such as light-hearted, frightening, or despairing
Narration
Writing that tells a story, or the act of telling a story.
Narrator
The speaker or character that tells a story.
Onomatopoeia
A word that imitates the sound it represents.
Oxymoron
Combination of two seemingly contradictory or opposite words in short phrase.
Personification
A type of figurative language is which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics
Plot
The sequence of events in a literary work. The four parts are exposition, complication, climax, and resolution.
Point of View
The narrative perspective from which a literary work is presented to the reader. Main types are 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person.
Protagonist
The central character of a story who serves as a focus for its themes and incidents and as the principal rationale for its development.
Pun
A play on words that have similar sounds but different meanings.
Realism
A nineteenth-century European literary movement that sought to portray familiar characters, situations, and settings in a realistic manner.
Rhyme
A situation in which words sound identical or very similar and appear in parallel positions in two or more lines of poetry.
Setting
The time and place of the action in a work of literature.
Simile
A figure of speech in which the words like or as are used to make a comparison between two basically unlike ideas.
Suspense
A feeling of curiosity of uncertainty about the outcome of events in a literary work.
Tone
The writer's attitude toward her audience and subject.
Understatement
To state or present with restraint especially for effect.