45 terms

English, Literary terms

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Denotation
The specific meaning of a word or phrase
Connotation
The feeling or emotion suggested by a word
Alitteration
Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words
Assonance
Repetition of vowel sounds
Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like what they mean
Literal language
Words that mean exactly what they say
Figurative language
Words that mean more than or something different than what the words themselves say. This category includes metaphors, similes, personification, and hyperbole
Simile
A comparison between 2 unlike objects - uses like, as, or than
Metaphor
A comparison between 2 unlike objects - states or implies one is the other
Personification
Giving human qualities to animals or objects
Symbol
An object, sign, or image that is used to stand for something else; in literature, symbols are generally connected to the theme
Allusion
A reference to something (from literature, history, popular culture) the author expects the reader to know
Hyperbole
Exaggeration or overstatement
Oxymoron
Putting two opposite words together
Paradox
Seems contradictory—it cancels itself out—but is true
Imagery
Sensory language. Words that appeal to the 5 senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching
Character
Person or animal in the story
Archetype
A universal character or symbol; a typical example
Characterization
How the author reveals a character's thoughts or personality
Protagonist
Main Character
Antagonist
Opposes the main character
Foil
A character who is the opposite of another character
Cliche
An idea or expression that has become boring and overused
Climax
Turning point in the plot of the story when something happens that leads the story to its resolution; often the highest emotional point in the story
Resolution
The end of the story; the way the conflict is resolved; also called the denouement.
Conflict
A struggle or problem that drives the plot of a story
Setting
time and place of a story
Theme
The main idea or message
Flashback
Action that interrupts to show an event that happened at an earlier time
Foreshadowing
The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature
Point of View
Which narrator tells the story
Idiom
A figure of speech that does not make sense if taken literally
Mood
The emotion YOU (the reader) feel when reading
Tone
The author's attitude toward the subject and/or the audience
Bias
Characteristics of the author that influence his/her viewpoint
Rhetorical Question
The author asks a question but doesn't expect an answer
Understatement
Making something seem less important than it is
Irony
The opposite of what you expect or what is said
Pun
A play on words
Satire
Makes fun of something in order to improve it
Parody
Imitates or copies something serious, in a funny way
Dialogue
A conversation between 2+ characters
Aside
In drama, a comment directed to the audience that can't be heard by the other characters onstage
Monologue
One character reveals his or her thoughts through an extended speech
Soliloquy
A character, alone onstage, speaks his or her thoughts aloud
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