AP Vocab

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Terms in this set (103)
Antecedentthe word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers.Anthropomorphismthe attribution of human characteristics to animals or inanimate objectsAnticlimaxA disappointing end to an exciting or impressive series of eventsAntiheroa protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)AphorismA brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life.Apostropheaddress to an absent or imaginary personArchaismThe use of deliberately old-fashioned language.Asidea line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stageAssonancethe repetition of vowel soundsAtmosphereThe emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene.BalladAny popular narrative poem, often with epic subject and usually in lyric form.Black humorThe use of disturbing themes in comedy.Bombastspeech or writing that sounds grand or important but has little meaningBurlesquea theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humorCacophonyharsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonanceCadencerhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or wordsCaesuraA pause within a line of poetryCantoa major division of a long poemCaricaturedrawing, imitation, or description that ridiculously exaggerates peculiarities or defectsCatharsisan emotional or psychological cleansing that brings relief or renewalChorusIn Greek drama, the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.Colloquialisminformal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writingConceita fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objectsConnotationthe implied or associative meaning of a wordConsonanceRepetition of consonant soundsCouplettwo consecutive lines of poetry that rhymeDecorumconformity to accepted standards of conduct; proper behaviorDenotationThe dictionary definition of a wordDictiona writer's or speaker's choice of wordsDirgea song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead personDissonanceharsh or grating sounds that do not go togetherDoggerelbadly written or trivial verse, often with a singsong rhythmDramatic Irony(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the playDramatic monologueWhen a single speaker in literature says something to a silent audience.Elegya formal poem presenting a meditation on death or another solemn themeEnjambmentthe continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pauseEpica long narrative poem written in elevated style which present the adventures of characters of high position and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nationEpitapha brief statement written on a tomb or gravestoneEuphemisma mild, indirect, or vague term substituting for a harsh, blunt, or offensive termEuphonyany agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) soundsFarcea comedy that contains an extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purposeFeminine Rhymelatter two syllables of first word rhyme with latter two syllables of second word (ceiling appealing)Foila character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of anotherFootthe basic unit of rhythmic measurement in a line of poetryForeshadowingthe use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plotFree Verseunrhymed verse without a consistent metrical patternGothic Novela novel in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the actionHubrisExcessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedyHyperbolea figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humorInterior Monologuea narrative technique that records a character's internal flow of thoughts, memories, and ideas; a longish passage of uninterrupted thoughtInversionthe reversal of the normal order of wordsIronya contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happensLampoonridicule with satireLyricof or relating to a category of poetry that expresses emotion (often in a songlike way)Masculine Rhymefinal syllable of first word rhymes with final syllable of second word (scald recalled)MelodramaA form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure.Metaphora figure of speech comparing to unlike things without using like or asMetonyma word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated withNemesisThe protagonist's arch enemy or supreme and persistent difficulty.Objectivityan impersonal presentation of events and charactersOnomatopoeiaThe use of words that imitate soundsOxymorona figure of speech consisting of two apparently contradictory termsParablea simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lessonParadoxa statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.Parallelismthe use of a series of words, phrases, or sentences that have similar grammatical formParodya work which imitates another in a ridiculous mannerPastorala literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)Pathosa quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow)Personathe speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of writingPersonificationthe act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.PlaintA poem or speech expressing sorrowProtagonistthe main character in a literary workPuna play on words, often achieved through the use of words with similar sounds but different meaningsRefrainthe repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanzaRequiema song of prayer for the deadRhapsodyAn intensely passionate verse or section of verse, usually of love or praise.Rhetorical Questiona statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answeredSatirea literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derisionSimilea figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with 'like' or 'as')Soliloquyin drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audienceStanzaa fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poemStock Charactersstandard or cliched character types: the drunk, the miser, the foolish girl, etc.Subjectivitya personal presentation of events and characters, influenced by the author's feelings and opinionsSubjunctive MoodA grammatical situation involving the words "if" and "were," setting up a hypothetical situation.Summarya brief statement that presents the main points in a concise formSymbolisma device in literature where an object represents an idea.ThemeThe main idea of the storyThesisThe primary position taken by a writer or speakerTragic Flawthe character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfallTravestya grotesque or grossly inferior imitationTruisman obvious truthUtopiaan imaginary place considered to be perfect or idealZeugmaWhen a word is used with two adjacent words in the same construction, but only makes literal sense with one of them