54 terms

English- Literary Terms Quiz- 9-16-07

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Action
what happens in a story: the events or conflicts.
Allegory
a story in which people, things, and actions represent an idea or generalization about life.
Allusion
a reference in literature to a familiar person, place, thing, or event.
Analogy
a comparison of two or more similar objects, suggesting that if they are alike in certain respects, they will probably be alike in other ways as well.
Anecdote
a short summary of a funny or humorous event.
Antagonist
the person or thing working against the protagonist, or hero, of the work.
Characterization
the method an author uses to reveal or describe characters and their various personalities.
Climax
the high point, or turning point, in a story-usually the most intense point.
Conflict
the problem or struggle in a story that triggers the action.
Context
the set of facts or circumstances surrounding an event or a situation in a piece of literature.
Denouement
the final solution or outcome of a play or story.
Diction
an author's choice of words based on their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness.
Archaic Words
words that are old-fashioned and no longer sound natural.
Colloquialism
an expression that is usually accepted in informal situations and certain locations.
Didactic
literature that instructs or presents a moral or religious statement.
Dramatic Monologue
a literary work in which a character is speaking about him- or herself as if another person were present.
Epic
a long narrative poem that tells of the deeds and adventures of a hero.
Epithet
a word or phrase used in place of a person's name; it is characteristic of that person.
Exposition
writing that is intended to make clear, or explain, something that might otherwise be difficult to understand.
Falling Action
the action of a play or story that works out the decision arrived at during the climax.
Figurative Language
language used to create a special effect or feeling.
Figure of Speech
a literary device used to create a special effect or feeling by making some type of interesting or creative comparison.
Antithesis
an opposition, or contrast, of ideas.
Hyperbole
an exaggeration, or overstatement.
Metaphor
a comparison of two unlike things in which no word of comparison is used.
Metonymy
the substituting of one word for another that is closely related to it.
Personification
a literary device in which the author speaks of or describes an animal, object, or idea as if it were a person.
Simile
a comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison is used.
Understatement
stating an idea with restraint to emphasize what is being talked about.
Foil
someone who serves as a contrast or challenge to another character.
Foreshadowing
giving hints and clues of what is to come later in a story.
Genre
a category or type of literature based on its style, form, and content.
Imagery
the words or phrases a writer selects to create a certain picture in the reader's mind.
Irony
using a word or phrase to mean the exact opposite of is literal or normal meaning.
Motif
a term for an often-repeated idea or theme in literature.
Myth
a traditional story that attempts to explain a natural phenomenon or justify a certain practice or belief of a society.
Narration
writing that relates an event or a series of events.
Parable
a short, descriptive story that illustrates a particular belief or moral.
Paradox
a statement that seems contrary to common sense yet may, in fact, be true.
Parody
a form of literature intended to mock a particular literary work or its style.
Plot Line
the graphic display of the action or events in a story.
Point of View
the vantage point from which the story is told
Protagonist
the main character or hero of the story.
Pun
a word or phrase that is used in such a way as to suggest more than one possible meaning.
Resolution
the portion of the story where the problem is solved.
Rising Action
the series of conflicts or struggles that build a story toward a climax.
Sarcasm
the use of praise to mock someone or something.
Satire
a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun or human vice or weakness.
Setting
the time and place in which the action of a literary work occurs.
Soliloquy
a speech delivered by a character when he or she is alone on stage.
Stereotype
a pattern or form that does not change.
Theme
the statement about life a particular work is trying to get across to the reader.
Tone
the overall feeling, or effect, created by a writer's use of words.
Tragic Hero
a character who experiences an inner struggle because of a character flaw.