100 terms

AP English Cookbook

STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

Allegory
A narrative or description having a second "deeper" meaning beyond the surface layer. There is a literal meaning to the narrative or description which also represents a higher meaning often relating to a system of principles or ideas. Ex. In Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne, the character Faith represents a young woman named Faith as well as the possession of Christian faith.
Alliteration
The repetition of a consonant sound in a line of poetry. The consonant sound is used in more than one word in the line of poetry and the repeated consonant comes at the beginning of each word. Ex. Footloose and fancy free. The repeated f sound makes this alliteration.
the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of a word. Ex. Mirror - moon, kick - candy, pray - approval.
Allusion
A reference to something in history, previous literature, the Bible, or mythology.
Biblical Allusions
Anchronism
Something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time. The sword is an anachronism in modern warfare.
Analogy
A comparison based on a similarity between two things.
Anaphora
The repetition of an opening word or phrase in a series of lines.
Antagonist
any force aligned against the protagonist
can be persons
may be conventions of society
could be protagonist's own character traits
Apostrophe
Addressing someone absent or dead or something inhuman as if it were alive and present and could reply.
Aside
A combination of a monologue and a soliloquy in which a character reveals his or her thoughts as if there were no other characters on stage. The character speaks to the audience, but the other characters are not meant to hear what is said.
Assonance
The close repetition of middle vowel sounds between different consonants Example: F ade / P ale
Assimilation
The process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture completely.
Ballad
A short narrative poem written in a songlike stanza form.
Caesura
A pause within a line of poetry. Usually a dash or comma will indicate the reader should pause.
Direct Characterization
is when the author tells us the information about the character.
Indirect Characterization
is when the author shows the reader the character and some determination or inference about the character is made by the reader.
Dynamic Character
a changing character; one who undergoes an awakening of some kind or gains some insight. Ex. Elizabeth Proctor from Miller's The Crucible as she concludes she is somewhat to blame for her husband's affair as she has been a suspicious and cold wife feeling she could not be loved (due to her plainness) by a man like John.
Flat Character
a simple character with only a few traits. Ex. Paris from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Round Character
a complex character with many qualities and traits. Ex. Romeo from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Static Character
a character remaining the same throughout; does not experience change or grow as an individual. Ex. Paris from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as he does not waver in his betrothal to Juliet and remains unchanged even by her death.
Colloquial Language
Conversational or informal speech. Such speech may contain slang or non-standard grammar usage.
Conceit
An extended metaphor or simile often yoking together two apparently unconnected ideas
Conflict: man vs man
where conflict is between people
Conflict: man vs himself
where conflict is psychological, character grapples with her values/morals or some situation affecting his life
Conflict: man vs nature
where conflict is between protagonist and the elements of nature
Connotation
The meaning a word suggests beyond its basic dictionary definition or denotation.
Consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds at the end of a word. Ex. Spook—plaque—sticker.
Denotation
The literal definition of a word as opposed to an implied meaning (connotation).
Dialogue
The conversation between characters in a play or poem. Dialogue helps to develop a character.
Diction
The choice of words an author uses to create an intended response and to reflect a particular style.
Drama
A story performed by actors for an audience.
Drama: realistic convention
in drama is a convention which preserves the illusion of actual, everyday life. An example is the use of furniture one would find in a family home in the play A Doll House.
Drama: non-realistic convention
in drama is a convention which departs from preserving the illusion of actual, everyday life. An example is when Romeo and Juliet their love for each other. They speak in iambic pentameter and at one point a perfect sonnet. This way of speaking is not true to actual, everyday life, so it is a non-realistic convention.
Enjambment
The employment of "run-on" lines which carry the completion of a statement from one line to anther without rhetorical pause.
Envoi
The part of a complex poem that ends with 3 lines which include repeated end words sprinkled in the middle of the lines and then concluding the lines using some of the same 6 end words.
Euphemism
A type of understatement replacing an offensive term with a more mild one less likely to offend or be thought of as harsh. An example is substituting the term "downsizing" for "lay-off."
Existentialism
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.
Figurative Language
Words that are not used in their ordinary meaning such as similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole and understatement.
Flashback
Action that shows better understanding by interrupting to show an event that happened in the past. Soap operas often use flashbacks.
Foil
A minor character whose situation or actions parallel a major character's. By contrast, the minor character illuminates distinctive qualities of the major character. An example would be Mercutio as foil to Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio makes light of every situation using bawdy and witty language in his comments on romance. His character emphasizes Romeo's romantic view of love and his lovesick nature.
Foreshadowing
A method used to build suspense by providing hints of what is to come.
Hamartia
"An act of injustice" either unknowingly or for the greater good to be achieved.
Hubris
Excessive pride or self-confidence.
Hyperbole
An extreme exaggeration in order to emphasize a truth.
Iambic Pentameter
A rhythmical pattern of syllables consisting of poetic lines of five feet of unstressed and stressed syllables. An iamb is a metrical unit made up of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable (like the word goodbye with bye being the stressed syllable.) Pentameter is a line that has 5 feet.

These lines in iambic pentameter are from "Sonnet 18," by William Shakespeare. The feet are separated by slashes and the stressed syllables are in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS while the unstressed syllables are in lower case letters. Shall I / com PARE/ thee TO / a SUM / mer's DAY?
Thou ART / more LOVE / ly AND / more TEM / per ATE (Sonnet 18)
Imagery
The representation through language of sense experience. It grounds the poem in the concrete and the specific. It provides the details that appeal to and stimulate our senses and through which we experience the world around us. We see the colors of the sunrise; hear children laugh and sing; we feel the cool breeze on our skin; we smell the delicious aroma of apple pie baking in the oven; we taste the sweetness of chocolate and the tartness of lemonade. Poems also have such details that trigger our memories, stimulate our feeling, and capture our imaginations. Auditory imagery (a sound) Olfactory imagery (a smell) Gustatory imagery (a taste) Tactile imagery (a touch) Organic imagery (an internal feeling) Kinesthetic imagery (movement or tension in the muscles)
Dramatic Irony
When the audience knows something the character does not. Ex. In The Scarlet Letter Hester asks Reverend Dimmesdale to help her persuade the governor to allow her to keep her daughter Pearl. The audience knows Dimmedale is the father, but the governor does not.
Situational Irony
When there is a disparity between appearance and reality or when a disparity exists between an actual situation and what is appropriate or when there is a situation with a recognizable oddity. Ex. The owner of an airline wins a free plane ticket. This is situational irony as it is ridiculous that he has one the very thing he does not need. An odd situation or what is inappropriate for this airline owner has occurred creating situational irony.
Verbal Irony
saying one thing but meaning the opposite. Ex. Upon attempting to enter a friend's room, you see dirty clothes, food wrappers, books, sports equipment and other paraphernalia blocking the doorway. You say, "What a clean room you have here." Clearly, the room is not clean, and you do not mean your friend's room is clean, but you make your point with verbal irony.
Italian Sonnet
The Italian sonnet is divided into two sections by two different groups of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines is called the octave and rhymes:
a b b a a b b a
The remaining 6 lines is called the sestet and can have either two or three rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways:
c d c d c d
c d d c d c
c d e c d e
c d e c e d
c d c e d c In English all sonnets make use of iambic pentameter as a common practice although there have been variations.
Literary Criticism
A close reading or interpretation of a text using different methods to arrive at meaning.
Lyric Poem
A poem that expresses the observations and feelings of a single speaker. There are different types of lyrics that include elegies, odes, and sonnets.
Metaphor
A word that compares one thing or idea to another. Example, My love is a rose.
Meter
The combination of stressed and unstressed syllables creating rhythm.
Metonymy
A figure of speech characterized by substituting an aspect or detail from the experience or closely related to the experience to represent the whole experience. Ex. Using the words "the crown" to denote the king.
Monologue
A speech given by one person often alone on the stage. The actor speaks directly to the audience and is conscious of having a listener.
Mood
The overall pervading feeling or emotion of the poem itself that is intended to influence the reader's emotional response. The feeling the reader receives when reading a work.
Motif
The repetition of an idea or theme. An example is the repetition of the reference to light and darkness in The Heart of Darkness.
Narrator
The person telling the story.
Ode
A lyrical poem of elaborate metrical form and expressing enthusiastic emotion.
Onomatopoeia
A word that imitates the sound it represents.
Example: "bang", "click", "buzz" and "pop"
Overstatement
An exaggeration of language in order to reveal a truth
Paradox
A contrasting statement or phrase which illuminates a truth or insight. An example is evil innocence. This is a contradictory phrase which can illuminate a poignant truth when applied to specific instances.
Paraphrasing
Utilizing other authors' ideas in the forwarding of one's ideas. However, even when paraphrasing, one must give credit to the original author.
Personification
Giving human qualities to an inanimate object.
Example, the skies wept in sadness.
Plot
The sequencing of events in a piece of fiction.

how the author arranges the events of the story and moves along the action

may use suspense

may employ coincidence

may include different types of conflict

may use irony

always includes a conflict needing to be resolved
Omniscient
all knowing. The author knows everything the characters are thinking and feeling and can relate any piece of information desired to the reader.
Third Person Limited
when the author tells the story from one character's perspective. Everything a reader learns is told from how this character sees it.
First Person
when one of the characters tells the story using the first person.
Objective
when the author tells the story using third person but is limited to reporting what the characters say and do. The author doesn't give any commentary on character behavior; he/she merely presents the story.
Protagonist
The main character embroiled in conflict.
Quoting
Using another's exact words either to add authority to the concept, theory, or information one is trying to portray or because that author has stated so clearly what one is wishing to add to one's document that one could not say it better oneself.
Realism
A method or technique in fiction which provides an accurate portrayal of life. Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is an example of realism.
Refrain
A repeated work, phrase, or line or group of lines, normally at some fixed position in a poem written in stanzas.
Regionalism/ Local Color
Stories refer to works recognizing the differences of specific areas of the country by focusing on the characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other particular features of the region.
Repetition
When words or phrases are repeated for a stronger emphasis.
Rhyme Scheme
The pattern of rhyming words in a stanza.
Example: Once upon a midnight dreary (a)
While I pondered weak and weary (a)
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore; (b)
While I nodded nearly napping, (c)
Suddenly there came a tapping (c)
As of someone gently rapping, (c)
Rapping at my chamber door. (b)
Satire
Humorous writing or speech that is meant to point out the errors, lies, foibles, or failings. Its purpose is to inform and reform human behavior or society and its social institutions.
Scene
A minor division of a play. An act may have several scenes.
Setting
The particular time and place of a story.
Shift
A change in perspective or moving from one line of thought to another often signaled by words like: if, but, however or therefore.
Simile
A comparison of two unlike things using the words "like" or "as."
Ex: "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun."
Ex: "the sea roared like a wounded beast.
Soliloquy
A speech given by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is unaware of anyone present who may be listening. Example: Hamlet's soliloquy that begins with "To be or not to be."
Sonnet
A fourteen-line lyric poem that focuses on a single theme.
Shakespeare wrote the "Elizabethan sonnet" also known as the "Shakespearean sonnet." This type of sonnet consisted of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. The meter was iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg. Often the quatrain verses build upon a theme with the final couplet providing a conclusion and insight into the meaning of the poem.
Stanza
The division of a poem into lines or units often arranged in groups such as lines of four, six or eight.
Sestina
A complex form of a poem that consists of 6 stanzas for the body of the poem with each line ending in 1 of 6 chosen end words.
Stereotype
A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image. The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.
Stichomythia
A line-for-line, verbal fencing match, used by the principal characters who retort sharply to each other, echoing their opponent's words and figures of speech. It is a play on words.
Stream of Consciousness
A literary technique presenting the thoughts of a character as they occur.
Symbol
Something having a literal meaning as well as another meaning beyond the literal. Authors may use symbols in their works to represent people, places or ideas that have special meaning. The flag is one well-known example of a symbol. It can represent a country, a group, a state, or a concept.
Authors often use colors symbolically. Birds are often used as symbols - the dove representing peace, and the eagle standing for courage. The meaning of a symbol is usually not directly stated but must be inferred by the reader. For this reason, a symbol may be used several times to reinforce its meaning in the story.
Syntax
The pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language. Authors and poets manipulate the order of words to create meaning and purpose. An example from Patrick Henry's speech to the Continental Congress is "Give me liberty or give me death!" By placing contrasting phrases right next to each other, Henry has created emphasis of his idea that liberty must be gained at any cost.
Tercets
A group of three lines of verse, often rhyming together or with another triplet.
Theme
The overall meaning of the work - the point the author has made, the questions or issues he or she has raised. The theme is rarely directly stated or explicit, but is usually stated indirectly, requiring the reader to draw conclusions.
Thesis Statement
A sentence stating your point of view on a topic. The thesis statement serves as a summary of the argument you will make in the rest of your paper.
Tone
The attitude an author conveys about the subject he is writing.
Understatement
A figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or saying what one means with less force than the situation requires in order to reveal a truth.
Universality
How the theme of a novel or play applies to individuals, transcending race, class, gender, and other systems which tend to segregate individuals.
Verisimilitude
Creating an accurate and truthful portrayal of something.
Villanelle
A fixed form poem consisting of 19 lines divided into 5 stanzas of 3 lines each called tercets and closing with a stanza of 4 lines called a quatrain. This form includes a repeating refrain and a rhyme scheme depending on only 2 rhyming sounds throughout the poem. The pattern of rhyme expresses the following scheme: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2. A1 is a repeated line rhyming with a and A2. A2 is a repeated line rhyming with a and A1.
Voice
Two different areas of writing employ this term. One refers to the relationship between a sentence's subject and verb (active voice and passive voice). The second and more common definition refers to the total "sound" of a writer's style based on diction, syntax, and figurative language.
Verb List
Expresses
Uses
Gathers
Identifies
Demonstrates
Analyzes
Supports
Recognizes
Seeks
Makes
Evaluates
Articulates
Strives for
Establishes
Finds