34 terms

NYS State English Regents Exam - Literary Terms/Elements

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Terms in this set (...)

Allusion
A reference to a statement, person, place, event, or thing that is known from literature, history, religion, myth, etc.
Catharsis
when a character experiences an emotional cleansing
Characterization
The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character. This can be done by describing the character's thoughts, feelings, speech and actions, revealing the reactions of other characters.
dynamic character
changes in an important way as a result of the conflict.
static character
remains the same.
Protagonist
The main character (hero) who opposes one or more forces in a story.
Antagonist
The character or force that comes into conflict with the protagonist.
Conflict
A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces or emotions.
External conflict
occurs when a character struggles against some outside force.
Internal conflict
occurs when a character struggles with emotions, needs or desires within himself.
Flashback
When the author interrupts the action of the story in order to recreate a scene from an earlier time.
Foreshadowing
The use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot.
Imagery
Language that appeals to the senses.
Irony
A contrast between expectation and reality - between what is said and what is really meant, between what is expected and what really happens, or between what appears to be true and what really is true.
Dramatic Irony
when the audience knows something a character does not know
Metaphor
A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things.
Mood
The overall atmosphere or feeling of a story.
Personification
A kind of metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it were human.
Plot
The series of events that make up a story.
Exposition
introduces the characters, setting, and background information
Narrative Hook
the conflict that drives the plot forward
Rising Action
the events that occur as the result of the narrative hook
Climax
the turning point
Falling Action
the events that occur as the result of the climax
Resolution
is the final outcome
Point of view
The position from which the events in a story are presented/observed.
First Person
restricted to his or her partial knowledge or experience, will not give access to other character's hidden thoughts.
Third Person Limited
confines our knowledge of events to whatever is observed by a single character or small group of characters.
Third Person Omniscient
shows an unrestricted knowledge of a story's events from outside or "above" them.
Setting
The time and place in which the action occurs in a story.
Simile
A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things by using a connective word such as like or as.
Symbolism
A person, place, thing or event that stands both for itself and for something beyond itself. (Universal symbols: dove=peace, heart=love)
Theme
The central idea or insight or a work of literature.
Tone
The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character. (ironic, serious, humorous, tender, angry, etc.)