All Lit Terms Week 1-6

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allegory
narrative either in verse or prose, in which characters, action, and sometimes setting represent abstract concepts apart from the literal meaning of the story. Ex: Lord of the Flies
alliteration
the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. Ex: Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields
allusion
a brief reference in a literary work to a person, event, place in history, or to another literary work or work of art.
analogy
comparison made between two items, situations, or ideas that are somewhat alike but unlike in most respects.
anaphora
figure of repetition that occurs when the first word or set of words in one sentence, clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of successive clauses, or phrases. Ex: "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King - "With this faith we will be able to hew out...With this faith we will be able to transform...With this faith we will be able to work.."
antagonist
character in who opposes the chief character/protagonist.
apostrophe
figure of speech in which a speaker directly addresses someone or something that isn't present in the literary work. Ex: Macbeth by Shakespeare - "Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? / Come, let me clutch thee! / I have not thee not, and yet I see thee still."
archetype
character, an action,, or situation that represents universal patterns of human life. Often include a symbol, a theme, a setting, or a character that have a common meaning in an entire culture, or even the entire human race. Ex: Journey, Hero/Villain, Mentor
aside
in drama, a few words or a short passage spoken by one character to the audience while the other actors on stage pretend their characters cannot hear the speaker's words.
assonance
takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds. Ex: wedding bells
asyndeton
omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used. Ex: Friends for now, forever. In this example, the "and" is also omitted, but for a different effect: the lack of "and" makes the phrase sound more solemn and respectful of the friendship than "Friends for now and forever."
atmosphere
type of feeling that readers get from a narrative, based on details such as setting, background, objects, and foreshadowing. Ex: In literary works, atmosphere refers to setting background, objects, and foreshadowing.
ballad
narrative poem that usually includes a repeated refrain. Often written in quatrains with the rhyme scheme ABAB
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter (5 stressed syllables, 5 unstressed)
cacophony
use of words in poetry that combine sharp, harsh, hissing or unmelodious sounds and are used to convey unpleasantness. Ex: "The nasal whine of power whips a new universe.... / Where spouting pillars spoor the evening sky"
caesura
involves creating a fracture of sorts within a sentence where the two parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another; purpose is to create a dramatic pause. pause helps to add an emotional, often theatrical touch to the sentence and conveys a depth of sentiment in a short phrase. Ex: "I'm nobody! //// Who are you?"
carpe diem
seize the day; common moral or theme in classic literature means that one should enjoy life's pleasures while he/she is able
catharsis
means purification or purging of emotions (pity or fear); used by Aristotle to explain the impact of tragedy on the audiences...believed carthasis was ultimate end of a tragic artistic work and it makes its quality
chiasmus
scheme in which author introduces words or concepts in a particular order then later repeats those terms or similar. ones in reveresed or order Ex: Love as if you would one day hate, and hate as if you would one day love."
cliche
an expression or phrase that is overused; ex: better later than never
conceit
two vastly different objects are likened together with the help of similes, metaphors, or hyperboles; when the writer tries to make us admit a similarity between two things of whose unlikeness we are strongly conscious and for this reason, conceits are often surprising. Ex: In Forbidden Mourning, John Donne compares two souls in love to points on a compass
conflict
ex: man v. man, man v. nature, man v. self; can be internal or external
couplet
a pair of rhyming lines with identical meter
denotation
strict, literal meaning of a word (dictionary meaning)
denouement
literary device that can be defined. as the resolution of the issue of a complicated plot in fiction - it always resolves the conflict
direct characterization
when the author provides descriptions of the character and his/her traits
dynamic
a character who changes over time physically, mentally, socially, intellectually, or spiritually
flat
a character who's one dimensional
indirect characterization
reader has to deduce the characteristics of the character by observing his/her thought process, behavior, speech, way of talking, appearance, and way of communication with other character
round
a well-developed character with many traits
static
a character who does not change in any throughout the story
diction
author's choice of words or phrases in a literary work. Writers use diction to create an artistic effect and/or to create a particular tone, among other functions.
dramatic irony
important stylistic device commonly found in plays, movies, short stories and sometimes even poetry. It refers to a situation in which events or facts not knows to a character on stage or in a fictional work are known to another character, the audience, or the reader. Ex: Oedipus Rex or The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
dramatic monologue
a speech or verbal presentation given by a single character in order to express his or her collection of thoughts and ideas aloud. Often such a character speaks directly to audience, or to another character.
enjambment
continuation of a complete idea from one line of poetry to another without pause. lines usually do not have a punctuation mark at the end. It is a running on of a thought from one line to another without final punctuation.
elegy
mourning poem of lament for an individual or tragic event. Ex: "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman and "To An Athlete Dying Young" by A.E. Housman
epiphora
a stylistic device in which a word or phrase is repeated at the end of successive clauses. Ex: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child."
euphemism
using a mild, polite or indirect phrase instead of a blunt, embarrassing, or painful one. The euphemism is a useful tool that allows writer to a wrote figuratively about libelous issues. Ex: "kick the bucket" is a euphemism that describes the death of a person.
euphony
use of words and phrases that are distinguished as having a wide range of noteworthy melody or loveliness in the sounds they create. Ex: Success is counted sweetest / By those who ne'er succeed / To comprehend a nectar / Requires sorest need.
exposition
opening section of a narrative or dramatic structure in which characters, setting, theme, and conflict can be revealed.
flashback
interruption of the narrative to show an episode that happened before that particular point in the story.
foot
a measuring unit in poetry, which is made up of stressed and unstressed syllables.
free verse
a type of poetry that differs from conventional verse forms in that it is "free from a fixed pattern of meter and rhyme
hamartia
a tragic flaw, a lack of some important insight or some blondes that ironically results from one's own strengths and abilities.
hubris
in a hero, refers to arrogant, excessive self-pride or self-confidence or a lack of some important perception or insight due to prude in one's abilities
hyperbole
figure of speech involving great exaggeration. Ex: "I had to wait in station for ten days - an eternity."
iambic pentameter
a line of verse having five metrical feet
in medias res
a plot that begins in the middle of events and then reveals past through flashbacks. Cool because hooks audience immediately.
irony
contrast between what appears to be and what really is
juxtaposition
placing two ideas, words, or images side by side so that their closeness develops comparisons and contrasts, creating an original, ironic, or insightful meaning. Ex: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..."
litotes
figure of speech in which understatement is employed by using double negatives Ex: "not too bad" or "very good
metonymy
figure of speech in which a specific term naming an object is substituted for another word with which it is closely associated. Ex: "The pen is mightier than the sword."
meter
pattern of stressed an unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
motif
a recurring word, image, theme, object, or phrase that tends to unify a literary work or that may be elaborated into a theme
onomatopoeia
words used in such a way that the sound of the words imitates the sound of the thing being spoken of. "...he heard the clack on stone and the leaping, dropping clicks of a small rock falling."
paradox
statement, often metaphorical, that seems to be self-contradictory but which has valid meaning. Ex: "I must be cruel to be kind."
parallelism
when writer establishes similar patterns of grammatical structure and length. It adds balance and rhythm to sentences, giving ideas a smoother flow and thus persuasiveness, because of the repetition it employs. Ex: Keisha ran into my room, into my desk, and into my heart."
parody
a kind of burlesque that is a humorous imitation of serious writing, usually for the purpose of making the style of an author appear ridiculous.
persona
the speaker or narrator of a text or poem. Cannot be assumed to be the author.
polysyndeton
using many conjunctions to achieve an overwhelming effect in a sentence. Ex: "And Joshua, and all of Israel with him, took Achan the son Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen..."
prosody
mechanics of verse poetry - its sounds, rhythms, scansions and meter, stanzaic form, alliteration, assonance, euphony, onomatopoeia, and rhyme.
protagonist
leading character in a literary work
pun
a play on words; a humorous use of a word that has different meaning or of two or more words with the same or nearly the same sound but different meanings
satire
technique that employs wit to ridicule a subject, usually some social institution or human foible, with the intention of inspiring reform.
setting
the time, place, societal situation, and weather in which the action of a narrative occurs
situation irony
an occurrence that is contrary to what is expected or intended.
soliloquy
in drama, when a character is alone on stage and he/she speaks his/her thoughts aloud
sonnet
a fourteen line poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, "little song"
sonnet
a fourteen line poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, "little song"
stream of consciousness
method of narration that describes in words the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters.
stream of consciousness
method of narration that describes in words the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters.
symbol
a person, place, or object that represents something beyond itself
synecdoche
figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole. Ex: word "glasses refers to spectacles
synesthesia
a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc. at a given time
syntax
the way in which words and sentences are placed together in writing
theme
main idea or underlying meaning of a literary work
tone
author's attitude toward his or her subject matter and toward the audience
understatement
figure of speech that says less than one means .Ex: "It rained more than usual."
verbal irony
when words express something contrary to truth or someone says the opposite of what they really feel or mean.
villanelle
poetic form of five tercets (three lines are in a tercet) and a final quatrain (19 lines)
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