Literary Terms (2nd Trimester) - AP College Prep

The apotheosis of suffering.
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abstract
intangible ideas like emotions; frequently the subject of symbols
allegory
a poem or story with 2 levels of meaning: literal and figurative
alliteration
repetition of the initial consonant sound in a group of words
allusion
making a reference to a a well-known person or work
ambiguity
words that can be interpreted in more than one way; unclear
analogy
comparison between two things
anastrophe
inversion of the usual word order; unusual syntax
antagonist
person or object that attempts to thwart or stop the main character
antithesis
the exact opposite of something
aphorism
a brief statement of belief
aposiopesis
breaking off of speech, often indicated by dashes or ellipsis
apostrophe
when an absent or dead person, or an inanimate object, is addressed
assonance
repetition of vowel sounds within a line of poetry
audience
the person(s) addressed in a poem or work of literature
ballad
a short narrative poem meant to be sung
blank verse
unrhymed poetry that has a set, regular pattern, or meter
cacophony
words that together make harsh, discordant sounds
caesura
a short pause in the middle of a line of poetry, marked by a comma
cliché
overused expression that has lost its freshness and vividness
colloquialism
words that are particular to a region, time period, and/or group of people
complication
event(s) that worsen pre-existing conflicts
conflict
occurs between 2 characters, or a person and society, nature, self, or fate
connotation
the associations that a word brings to mind, despite its literal definition
consonance
the repetition of middle or end consonant sounds in a group of words
counter-plot
initiated by the antagonist as a form of offensive defense
couplet
two lines of poetry forming their own stanza
denotation
the literal, dictionary definition of a word
dialect
the accent, rhythm, and speed of speech depending on region or time
diction
the author's choice of words and their effect on a work
dysphemism
unnecessarily harsh or offensive synonym for an otherwise neutral word
elegy
mournful poem, lamenting a death
epic
poem of 1,000 lines or more, telling a story
epigram
a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise, witty statement
euphemism
softer, gentler way of saying something that may otherwise offend
euphony
when words that flow together easily and sound rhythmic
figurative language
words that are abstract and discuss the non-literal aspect of something
foil
the opposite of the main character, who emphasizes a character trait
foreshadowing
hints at future events
free verse
irregular, unrhymed poetry that follows no set meter or pattern
hyperbole
deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
imagery
use of graphic, vivid words that create mental pictures
internal rhyme
when two words in the same line of poetry rhyme
irony
when something unexpected happens
juxtaposition
the opposition or contrast of two antithetical objects, ideas, or people
kenning
a two- to three-word phrase that is a riddle, takes the place of a name
lyric
a short poem presented by a single speaker expressing basic emotions
metaphor
comparison between two things without use of a connective word
metonymy
replacing a noun with another noun -- i.e., 'suits' for professional people
monologue
long, formal speech made by a single speaker
mood/atmosphere
the feeling that a poem gives the audience, an overall impression
narrative poem
tells story or series of events at length; longer and more detailed than a ballad
narrator/speaker
the person or character who tells a story or poem to the audience
octave
the first eight lines of a sonnet; often broken into two quatrains
ode
a long, lyric poem, formal in style, serious in tone
onomatopoeia
the use of words to suggest actual sounds as heard by the ear
oxymoron
a figure of speech combining opposite ideas into one phrase
parable
a short story or poem that teaches a moral or religious lesson
paradox
an initially apparent contradiction that is actually true or possible
parody
the conscious, exaggerated imitation of a literary style, work, or author
personification
when nonhuman objects are given human characteristics
protagonist
the main character in a work of literature, may be either bad or good
quatrain
four lines of poetry forming their own stanza
refrain
a group of words, a line, or a group of lines repeated throughout a poem
repetition
the use of the same sound, word, phrase, or sentence to achieve emphasis
rhetorical question
used for literary effect, does not require an answer; answer is implied
rhyme (actual)
repetition of identical sounds regardless of appearance
rhyme (visual)
repetition of words that appear alike, though they do not sound alike
satire
writing that makes fun of humans to bring about social reform
scansion
identification of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
setting
time and place of action in a literary work
simile
comparison of two things using connective words "like" or "as"
sonnet
lyric poem, fourteen lines long, usually in rhymed iambic pentameter
stanza
a number of lines of verse forming a separate unit within a poem
structure
the framework of a poem as seen on the surface (rhyme, format, type)
subplot
story line that complicates or runs parallel to the main story line
symbol
a person, place, event, or item that has a literal and figurative meaning
synecdoche
when a whole is used to express a part, or a part is used to express a whole
theme
the central message or insight into life revealed in a literary work
tone
the attitude and feelings of an author expressed in a literary work
understatement
the presentation of something as less than it really is; restrained speech
verisimilitude
realistic characters and setting, not idealized, with flaws