How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

221 terms

ap eng. lit terms test ms. bolves

STUDY
PLAY
rhetorical figures
(Schemes) Changes in standard word order or patterns
figures of speech
The literary devices used to connote meaning beyond the dictionary definition
hero (heroine)
The protagonist, or main character, of a literary text
antagonist
The character who is opposition to the main character
protagonist
The main character
hubris
The name given the tragic flaw of excessive pride, which generally leads to the characters downfall
epiphany
A sudden insight or understanding
antihero
A protagonist who does not exhibit the traditional, heroic qualities usually associated with the main character
tragic flaw
The protagonists shortcoming that brings about his or her downfall
stock character
A type of flat character that embodies stereotypical qualities and becomes a type rather than a real person
static character
A character that stays the same during the course of a literary text
round character
A fully developed, multifaceted character that exhibits the complexity of a real person
foil
A character who serves as a contrast to another character
flat character
One that is not fully developed, one that is defined by singular qualities
dynamic character
One who goes through a change during the course of the text
methods of a characterization
The techniques a writer uses to develop a character
tone
Refers to attitude and is revealed by word choice
syntax
The manner in which a writer constructs a sentence and how it affects a readers understanding
sarcasm
The lowest form of verbal irony, usually with intent to harm
poetic license
The liberty a writer sometimes takes with the typical rules of grammar, punctuation, and/or syntax in order to fulfill his or creative process
persona
The speaker
passive voice
When the subject of a sentence is acted upon instead of committing an action
literal language
Refers to the denotative meaning of words
jargon
Refers to the specialized and often technical language and vocabulary of a particular group
Literal imagery
Descriptive, appealing to the senses and relating to concrete information
Figurative imagery
The use of figures of speech to describe abstract ideas, attempting to make the abstract more concrete
general diction
Refers to the speech of educated native speakers
concrete diction
Refers to the language that is marked by extensive details, creating clear images
colloquial diction
The word choice of everyday usage
explication
A detailed explanation of a literary text
analogy
The use of something more familiar to explain something new and/or complex
active voice
When the subject of the sentence is doing something, as opposed to being acted upon
abstract diction
The use of language in general terms
levels of diction
The formality of word choice (formal, general, colloquial, vulgate)
vulgate
The lowest level of diction
voice
A rather vague, metaphorical term used to refer to the distinctive features of a particular writer or text
style
The way in which a text is written (The message, material, and the medium are included)
denotation
The dictionary definition of a word
connotation
The association people have with words beyond the dictionary definition
diction
Word choice (Abstract or concrete and formal or informal)
polysyndeton
The deliberate use of a series of conjunctions, usually for emphasis
parallelism
The repetition of similar grammatical terms or syntactical patterns
juxtaposition
The positioning point of things close together or site by side
inverted sentence
Digress from the normal English pattern of subject, verb, object
epigram
A short poem with a brief, witty ending
aphorism
A concise, pointed statement that reveals a truth or principal
rhetorical question
A question asked for effect rather than to elicit an answer
antithesis
The placement of a sentence or one of its parts against another to which it is opposed
complex sentence
A sentence that contains one main clause and at least one dependent clause
compound sentence
A sentence that contains two or more main clauses
versification
Both the art of composing verse as well as the form of verse used in a particular poem
trochee
A form of poetical meter consisting first of one stressed syllable, followed by one unstressed (-~)
stanzaic form
Poems are divided into regular stanzas, or sections of lines of verse
spondee
A form of poetical meter consisting of two stressed syllables ( - - )
rhythm
The varying rate, intensity, pitch, and volume of speech
rhyme
Repetition of identical vowel sounds
meter
The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry
internal rhyme
Rhyme that occurs within a line of verse
iambic pentameter
Ten syllables of alternating stressed-unstressed
hexameter
Line of verse with six metrical feet
dissonance
Harsh, discordant sounds
consonance
Repetition of consonant sounds, following different vowel sounds
cacophony
Harsh Sounds
assonance
Repetition of identical or similar sounds followed by different consonant sounds
alliteration
Repetition of the initial sounds
stanza
A group of lines in a poem
metrical foot
The rhythmic unit in which a lie of verse in divided
heroic couplet
A pair of rhymic lines written in iambic pentameter
foot
The subdivision of a line of metrical verse
caesura
A break or a pause in a line of poetry
iamb
A form of poetical meter consisting of one unstressed and stressed syllable
euphony
Pleasing, harmonic sounds
dactyl
A form of accentual poetical meter, beginning stressed then two unstressed
anapest
Three syllables: Two unstressed then one stressed
narrator
The speaker that an author uses to present a story
third-person point of view
A story told by someone other than the character
rising action
Part of the narrative in which the plot becomes complicated
resolution
The final outcome of the plot
omiscient point of view
All knowing, third person
framing technique
The main story is in another story
falling action
The plot after the crisis
exposition
The part of the narrative in which you find out background information
conflict
The source of tension
climax
The point of the plot that achieves the greatest emotional intensity
stream of consciousness
A narrative technique in which an author attempts to capture the flow of thoughts and sensory impressions of characters as the pass though his or her mind.
satire
A form of writing that has a moral purpose
prolepsis
Anticipation
point of view
Refers to the angle from which a story is told
pathos
The effect of feeling pity or sorrow, based on a passage or text as a whole
foreshadowing
A technique of inserting material into a narrative that provides the reader with clues of future events
first-person point of view
A narrative being told from the perspective of a character who uses the word "I"
dialogue
The conversation between two or more characters in a literary text
catharsis
The emotional release an audience feels at the end of a tragedy
atmosphere
(Mood) the general feeling created by a text
epistolary novel
A novel in which the plot is developed solely though letters, diaries, journals, and blogs
epilogue
The final section of a text that occurs after the conclusion of the main plot
epigraph
The writing at the beginning of a narrative that tends to establish either tone or theme
anti-climax
A reversal of expectations, a kind of disappointment
picaresque novel
A realistic novel that resounds the adventures of a rogue
parable
A short, realistic story that teaches a moral lesson
limited narrator
One whose point of view is not all-knowing
flashback
A scene that interrupts the present action of the narrative in order to depict an earlier event
flash-forward
A scene that interrupts the present action of a narrative in order to preview future events
dystopia
The opposite of a utopia
digression
A temporary departure from one topic to another related topic
circular narrative
A narrative technique where an author gradually reveals information as the narrative is repeated
bildungsroman
A coming-of-age novel; A narrative that traces the physical, emotional, and/or spiritual development of the protagonist
theme
The main idea of a literary text
setting
The time and place in which a narrative takes place
reliability
Refers to the trustworthiness of a narrator
in media res
Means "in the middle of the action"
symbolism
Refers to the use of objects that have meaning in and of themselves to stand for, or represent, something else
onomatopoeia
The creation and use of words that sounds like what they mean
intertextuality
Refers to the interconnectedness of various literary texts
epithet
An adjective or phrase used to emphasize certain characteristics
anachronism
Something that exists out of place and time
allusion
An indirect reference to something
ambiguity
A sense of uncertainty that leaves the text open of interpretation
motif
A recurring element of a literary text that serves as a unifying element
intentional fallacy
Refers to the practice of basing interpretations on either the expressed of implied intentions of a writer
structuralism
A form of literary criticism that analyzes texts from the perspective that all texts are the results of an elaborate system of signs
reader-response criticism
Focuses on the transaction that takes place between the reader and the text
psychological criticism
Analyzes literature in terms of mental processes
New Historicism criticism
Focuses on when a text was created as well as the situation in which the text is currently being read
New Criticism
The name given to the type of literary criticism that focuses on a close reading of a text
Marxism criticism
The type of literary criticism that focuses on the struggle for power and its effect on social class
feminism criticism
The type of literary criticism that focuses on the role of women
existentialism
A modern philosophy that maintains that existence precedes essence, and everyone is responsible for his or her own actions
authorial intention
Refers to the motivations a writer had in writing a text
Archetypal criticism
A form of criticism focusing on patterns that exist across cultures and time periods
verse
Refers to a line of poetry, to differentiate between poetry and other less serious forms of metrical writing, or it is used to refer to poetry in general and specific poems.
crisis
(The turning point) The part of the plot where the conflict has intensified to a point where the fortunes of the protagonist begin to change, for the better or worse.
realism
Refers to any text that attempts to accurately portray life, in direct opposition of sensationalism or melodrama
nostalgia
A desire for the past, usually a condition that cannot be duplicated
narrative poetry
Refers to typed of poems that tell a story
melodrama
A form of narration that emphasizes plot or action at the expense of developing character
light verse
Refers to poetry that has neither a serious purpose nor a solemn tone
free verse
Refers to poetry that does not conform to any regular meter and does not rhyme
enjambment
Occurs when a complete thought extends over two more lines of poetry
drama
A literary form intended for performances before an audience
comedy
Can be broadly defined as any amusing and entertaining literary text. Refers to a specific type of drama, which contrasts with tragedy
carpe diem
Latin for "seize the day". The idea of living for the moment is a popular literary theme.
blank verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter and is the preferred English verse form
ode
An elaborate, formal lyrical poem
Italian Sonnet
(Petrarchan) A two-part sonnet that consists of an octave (eight lines) and a sestet (six lines)
interior monologue
A stream-of-consciousness technique in which the subjective thoughts of a character are revealed to the reader
end-stopped line
Occurs when the physical end of the line verse corresponds with a grammatical pause
elegy
A reflective poem that laments the loss of someone
autobiography
The nonfictionalized account of a person's life, told by that person
aside
A dramatic convention where a character onstage addresses the audience
anecdote
A brief story
act
A major division of a play or drama
tragedy
A serious drama that typically ends in disaster
sonnet
A 14-line lyric poem that typically follows a conventional rhyme scheme
soliloquy
When a character in a drama is alone onstage, speaking his innermost thoughts
Shakespearean Sonnet
(English sonnet) Consists of three quatrains and a couplet (abab cdcd efef gg)
Scene
The subdivision of an act in a drama
quatrain
A stanza consisting of four lines
pastoral
Refers broadly to any text with a rural setting
parody
A humorous imitation of either the style of a particular genre or the imitation of the specific literary text
monologue
An extended narrative delivered by a single speaker, though it may be heard or witnessed by others
lyric poem
A short poem that expresses the thoughts of a singular speaker
genre
A type of literature, such as a novel, play, or poem
eulogy
A formal statement of praise
couplet
Refers to two successive lines of rhyming verse
closed couplet
Two successive lines of rhymed verse whose meaning is complete
biography
The nonfictionalized account of a person's life, told by another person
ballad
Any poem that tells a story
conclusion
(Denouncement) The part of the plot in which the conflict is resolved
verbal irony
The contrast between what is said and what is intended
understatement
The deliberate misrepresentation of something by stating something in a way that is less than it truly is
synesthesia
Expressing one sensory sensation in terms of another
synecdoche
(A specific type of metaphor) The use of a part to represent the whole, or vise versa
personification
The giving of human characteristics to something nonhuman
metonymy
A specific type of metaphor, replacing the name of something with something closely related to it
meiosis
A form of understatement usually achieved by referring to something in terms of less importance that it usually deserves
irony
The contrast between appearance and reality
hyperbole
An over-exaggeration used to make a point
figurative language
The modification of literal language in order to achieve an intended effect
epistrophe
Repetition of final words, phrases, and/or clauses in successive lines or sentences
dramatic irony
The contrast between what a reader knows and what the character knows
cosmic irony
Irony of fate
chiasmus
Achieving contrast through reverse parallelism
asyndeton
The deliberate omission of conjunctions
simile
A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two things essentially unalike
apostrophe
The direct address to an inanimate, missing, or dead person or object
anthropomorphism
The giving of a human form to anything not human
anastrophe
(Hyperbaton) The name for the rhetorical figure of reversing word order to make a point
anaphora
The repetition of words, phrases, and/or clauses at the beginning of successive lines or sentences
oxymoron
The pairing of two opposites to create a compressed, emphatic paradox
extended metaphor
A comparison that is maintained and further developed throughout the text
Pun
A play on words that capitalizes on the similarity of spelling or pronunciation, usually for comic effect
Paradox
The statement that initially seems contradictory and nonsensical but upon further examination, makes sense
Metaphor
Comparing two objects by referring to one thing as if it were another
malapropism
The confused, usually comic, misuse of a word or words
euphemism
The substitution of a softer, gentler word or expression for something painful or unpleasant
conceit
An elaborate, extended metaphor or simile
trophes
Used to twist, or turn, the meaning of a word (Irony, metaphor, metonymy, personification, simile, and synecdoche)
myth
A story about the origin of a belief held by a particular culture
sisyphus
A king who offended Zeus and was forced to push a boulder to the top of a hill, only to have it roll back down again when he reached the top
phoenix
A bird that, at the end of its life, builds a nest and sets the next and itself on fire. It burns to death, and then rises from its own ashes.
job
An Old Testament man whose faith was severely tested by Satan
serpent
A symbol for the devil
Promised Land
The land of milk and honey, known as Canaan that God initially promises to Abraham and his descendents.
Apocalypse
Another name for the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Also, the end of time.
Genesis
The first book of the Bible and now refers to any beginning.
Exodus
The second book of the Bible. It recounts to journey of Moses and the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.
Covenant
An agreement, or contract, between God and his people.
Judgment Day
Occurs at the End of Time, during the Second coming, when Jesus will judge the living and the dead.
Armageddon
The name given to the final battle between God and the devil at the end of the world, as described in the book of Revelation.
disciples
followers
cherubim
Heavenly angels
thirty pieces of silver
Refers to the price paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus
wolf in sheep's clothing
Refers to false prophets
forbidden fruit
Refers to the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat
alpha and omega
The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; Used in conjunction, they represent God, who is the beginning and the end
an eye for an eye
Refers to an Old Testament principle of justice, where punishment was equal to the crime committed
turn the other cheek
What Jesus commanded his disciples to do, rather than Old Testament justice, which was an eye for an eye
Am I my brother's keeper?"
Refers to the Bible story of Cain and Abel, Adams and Eves son. Upon learning that God and accepted Abel's sacrifice and not his own, Cain killed Abel. When God asked where his brother was, Cain replied, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Garden of Eden
The site of Adam's and Eve's perfect existence, until their transgression and subsequent banishment.
Antichrist
The enemy of Jesus, who will appear on earth before the Second Coming of Christ.