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25 terms

AP Literary Terms (abstract - aside)

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abstract
An style (in writing) that is typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points.
absurd hero
Their outlook is this: determined to continue living with passion even though life appears to be meaningless.
academic
As an adjective describing style, this word means dry and theoretical writing. When a piece of writing seems to be sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis.
accent
Refers to the stressed portion of a word.
aesthetic
An adjective meaning "appealing to the senses."
allegory
A story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself.
alliteration
The repetition of initial consonant sounds.
allusion
A reference to another work or famous figure.
classical allusion
A reference to Greek and Roman Mythology such as, The Iliad.
topical allusion
Refers to a current event.
popular allusion
Refers to something from popular culture, such as a reference to a television show or a hit movie.
anachronism
Derived from Greek, It means, "misplaced in time."
analogy
A comparison. Usually analogies involve two or more symbolic parts, and are employed to clarify an action or a relationship.
anaphora
The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs.
anecdote
A short narrative, story.
antecedent
The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to.
anthropomorphism
When inanimate objects are given human characteristics.
anticlimax
Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect.
antihero
A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of unsavory qualities. The character lacks the qualities of the hero: skill, grace, honesty, courage, truth.
aphorism
Short and usually witty saying.
apostrophe
A figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that is nonhuman, or absent.
apothegm
A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.
archaism
The use of deliberately old-fashioned language.
archetype
The original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story patterns that are usually shared by people across cultures.
aside
A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage.