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50 terms

pre ap terms

a list of common ap literary terms for students
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alliteration
the repetition of initial identical consonant sounds or iny vowel sound in successive or closely associated syllables. Ex: fair breeze blew, the white foam flew...
allusion
a reference to another work of literature, person, or event
ambiguity
unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning, often misunderstood or interpreted in more than one way.
assonance
the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words
ballad
a type of poem that is meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature
blank verse
unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)
connotation
suggested or implied meaning of an expression
couplet
a stanza consisting of two successive lines of verse
diction
A writer's or speaker's choice of words
end rhyme
Rhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines of poetry
epic
a long narrative poem telling of a hero & deeds
figurative language
Language that employs one or more figures of speech to add color or richness to poetry.[examples are metaphor, simile, and personification.
free verse
Poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme
hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
iamb
a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables
image
A concrete representation of a sense impression, a feeling, or an idea, appeals to the 5 senses.
internal rhyme
rhyme between words that occurs within a single line of poetry
irony
A contradiction or incongruity between the implied and expected; verbal, dramatic, situational.
metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things WITHOUT the use of such specific words of comparison as like, as, than, or resembles
motif
a theme or idea in a work of art or literature that is developed or repeated
onomatopoeia
using words that imitate the sound they denote
oxymoron
n. a figure of speech combining apparently contradictory terms, e.g., visible darkness
pentameter
a verse line having five metrical feet
personification
the act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.
pun
a humorous play on words
quatrain
a stanza of four lines
stanza
a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
rhyme
Similarities in sound, especially with respect to the last syllable, echoing in poetry.
scansion
The process of marking lines of poetry to show the type of feet and the number of feet they contain as well as rhyme pattern.
sonnet
a verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme of : ababcdcdefefgg.
symbol
Anything that stands for or represents something else larger or more complex.
tone
the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author
theme
the statement expressed or implied that a text seems to be making about its subject
syntax
Organizational rules specifying word order, sentence organization, and word relationships; the grammar of a poem.
simile
A direct comparison made between two unlike things, using a word of comparison such as like, as, than, such as, or resembles.
rhyme scheme
A pattern of end rhymes in a poem; noted by assigning a letter of the alphabet, beginning with a, to each line; lines that rhyme are given the same letter.
paradox
A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
refrain
A regularly repeated line or group of lines in a poem or song
meter
A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
limerick
A 5 line humerous or bawdy poem rhyming in an aabba pattern.
haiku
A Japanese poem with 3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables, freq. about nature
end stopped line
A line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation.
denotation
Dictionary definition of a word
cliche
An expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off
foot
A unit of rhythm in verse consisting of a stressed and unstressed syllable pattern.
heroic couplet
Iambic pairs in poetry that rhyme at the end, very strict and formal in nature.
narration
The telling of the story.
point of view
The vantage point from which the story is told. 1st person uses I, me or my. 3rd person uses she, him, her or they. Rarely is 2nd person used.
repetition
Reiteration of a word, sound, phrase or idea in poetry.
style
The way a writer uses language, including diction, word choice, connotation,denotation, dialect, figures of speech etc.