63 terms

literary terms

STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

antagonist
a person or a force in society/nature that opposes the protagonist, or a central character, in a story or drama
diction
a writers choice of words; an important element in the writers voice or style
foreshadowing
an authors use for clues to prepare readers for events that will happen later in a story
alliteration
the repetition of consonant sounds, generally, at the beginning of words
refrain
a line or lines repeated at intervals, in a poem or song usually at the end of a stanza
verbal irony
person says one thing, and means another
paradox
a situation of statement that appears to be contradictory, but is actually true, either in fact or in a figurative sense
syntax
the rules for creating grammatical sentences
hubris
overbearing pride of presumption, arrogance
imagery
descriptive language that appears to one or more of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell
metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things
mood
the emotional quality of a literary work
irony
a contrast or discrepancy between appearance and reality, or between what is expected and what actually happens
setting
the time and place in which the events of a literary work occur
static character
remains the same throughout the story
oxymoron
a figure of speech in which opposite ideas are combined
personification
a figure of speech in which an animal, object, a force of nature, or an idea is given human characteristics
round character
a character who shows varied and sometimes contradicted traits
connotation
the suggested or implied meanings associated with a word beyond a dictionary definition, or denotation
pun
a numerous play on words
simile
a figure of speech that uses like or as to compare seemingly unlike things
plot
the sequence of events in a narrative work
tone
an authors attitude towards his or her subject matter
dynamic character
a character that changes during the story
flat character
a character who reveals only one personality
protagonist
the central character in a literal work, around whom the main conflict revolves
point of view
prospective from which a story is told
hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
denotation
the literal, or dictionary, meaning of a word
theme
the main idea or message of a story poem, novel, or play often expressed as a general statement about life
characterization
the methods a writer uses to reveal the personality of a character
dialect
a variation of a language spoken by a group of people, often withing a particular region
foil
a character who provides a strong contrast to another character, usually a main character
epic poetry
a long narrative story
stock character
a character who represents a type that is recognized as belonging to a particular gene
epiphany
a sudden understanding of the meaning or essence of something
allusion
a reference to a well-known character, place, or situation from history, music, art, or another work of literature
archetype
an idea, character, story, or an image that is common to human experience across cultures and throughout the world
tragedy
a play in which a main character suffers a downfall
Homeric simile
an extended simile elaborated in great detail
genre
a category or type of literature
onomatopoeia
the use of a word or phrase that imitates or suggests the sound of what is described
situational irony
the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite do what is expected
figurative language
language that uses figures of speech, or expression that aren't meant to be taken literally
paraphrase
a restatement of a text of passage in another form or other words
monologue
a long speech or written expression of thoughts by a character in a literary work
first person
the narrator is a character in the story, referred to as "I"
dramatic irony
the audience or readers know information that the characters don't
dialogue
conversation between characters in a literary work
comedy
a type of drama that is humorous and typically has a happy ending
soliloquy
a dramatic device in which a character, along on stage, (or while under the impression of being alone), reveals his or her private thoughts or feelings as if thinking aloud
aside
in a ply, a comment that a character makes to the audience, which other character on stage don't hear
assonance
the repetition of same or similar vowel sounds within non rhyming words
symbolism
any person, animal, place, object, or event that exists of a literal level within a work but also represents something on a figurative level
flashback
an interpretation in the chronological order of a narrative to describe an even that happened earlier
juxtaposition
the placement of two or more distinct elements side by side in order to contrast or compare them
consonance
the repetition of consonant sounds, typically within or at the end of words that don't rhyme and proceeded by different vowel sounds
rhyme
the repetition of the same stressed vowel sounds and any succeeding sounds in two or more words
conflict
the struggle between opposing forces in a story or drama
satire
writing that uses humor or wit to ridicule the vices or follies of people or societies often to bring about change or improvement
couplet
two consecutive line of rhymed verses that work together as a unit to make a point or express an idea
antithesis
the technique or putting opposite ideas side b side in order to point out their differences or to draw attention to the superiority of one
omniscient
all-knowing