Upgrade to remove ads
AP LIT Literary Terms 2015
Terms in this set (159)
vocabulary that signifies a concept, quality, or abstract idea
(love, success, freedom, good)
a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.
an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.
Uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language. (double meaning)
A thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another. (ancestors)
A punctuation mark ( ' ) used to indicate either possession (e.g., Harry's book; boys' coats) or the omission of letters or numbers (e.g., can't; he's; class of '99).
An act of attributing a custom, event, or object to a period to which it does not belong.
1. The use of a word referring to or replacing a word used earlier in a sentence, to avoid repetition, such as do in I like it and so do they.
2. The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.
A person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.
A disappointing end to an exciting or impressive series of events.
A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.
A very typical example of a certain person or thing, an original that has been imitated.
An aside happens when a character's dialogue is spoken but not heard by the other actors on the stage. Asides are useful for giving the audience special information about the other characters onstage or the action of the plot.
In poetry, the repetition of the sound of a vowel or diphthong in non-rhyming stressed syllables near enough to each other for the echo to be discernible.
The omission or absence of a conjunction between parts of a sentence.
A writer's attitude toward his subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization.
A sentence made up of two parts that are roughly equal in length, importance, and grammatical structure.
In each stanza, ballad metre needs to rhyme only the second and fourth lines, in the form A-B-C-B (where A and C need not rhyme), while common metre must rhyme also the first and third lines, in the pattern A-B-A-B.
A blank verse is a poem with no rhyme but does have iambic pentameter. This means it consists of lines of five feet, each foot being iambic, meaning two syllables long, one unstressed followed by a stressed syllable.
A harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.
A pause or break in the middle of a line.
A picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.
Is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration
Characterization is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character. Characterization is revealed through direct characterization and indirect characterization. Direct Characterization tells the audience what the personality of the character is.
Words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form.
A unit of grammatical organization next below the sentence in rank and in traditional grammar said to consist of a subject and predicate.
A sequence of propositions or ideas in order of increasing importance, force, or effectiveness of expression. Turning point of a story or play.
A play or writing characterized by its humorous or satirical tone and its depiction of amusing people or incidents, in which the characters ultimately triumph over adversity.
Comedy of Manners
A comedy that satirizes behavior in a particular social group, especially the upper classes.
Comic episodes in a dramatic or literary work that offset more serious sections.
A statement/reason that a situation is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
A witty or ingenious thought; a diverting or highly fanciful idea, often stated in figurative language.
Concrete words are nouns; they describe things you experience through your senses: smoke, mist, a shout.
An incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests.
The suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase.
A way in which something is usually done, especially within a particular area or activity. Behavior that is acceptable to most members of a society.
Two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit.
A metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables or (in Greek and Latin) one long syllable followed by two short syllables.
The literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests.
The resolution that occurs at the end of a play or work of fiction
An individual feature, fact, or item.
*Devices of Sound
Rhyme, Assonance (agreement of vowel sounds), Repetition of consonant sounds in consonance, and alliteration.
The choice of words in oral and written discourse.
A term used to describe fiction, nonfiction or poetry that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model of correct behavior or thinking.
A temporary departure from the main subject in speech or writing.
A literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
A poem in the form of a speech or narrative by an imagined person, in which the speaker inadvertently reveals aspects of their character while describing a particular situation or series of events.
A poem or prose selection that laments or mediates on the passing or death of something or someone of value
Three periods (. . .) indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation
A term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause often indicated by a mark of punctuation.
The continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause.
A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
An author's concluding words.
A short poem with a clever twist at the end, or a concise and witty statement.
A short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.
A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
An adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.
A mild or less negative usage for a harsh or blunt term. (ex. he passed away)
The quality of being pleasing to the ear, especially through a harmonious combination of words.
The process of analyzing a literary work in order to reveal its meaning.
Writing or speech primarily intended to convey information or to explain; a detailed statement or explanation; explanatory treatise.
A comedy that contains an extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purpose.
In contrast to literal language, this implies meanings. It includes devices such as metaphors, similes, and personification, etc.
A return to an earlier time in a story or play in order to clarify present actions or circumstances.
An easily recognized character type in fiction who may not be fully delineated but is useful in carrying out some narrative purpose of the author.
A kind of poetry without rhymed lines, rhythm or fixed metrical feet.
A secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast.
An event or statement in a narrative that suggests, in miniature, a larger event that comes later.
Arrangement and style in literary composition.
A secondary story or stories embedded in the main story.
A very ugly or comically distorted figure, creature, or image.
Two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter.
A metrical line containing six feet.
A metrical foot consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.
Visually descriptive or figurative language. Word or words that create a picture in the reader's mind.
Issues a command.
Out of keeping or place; inappropriate; unbecoming, inconsistent.
A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.
When the opposite of what you expect to happen, does happen. Intended meaning is the opposite of what is stated.
The diction used by a group which practices a similar profession or activity.
In accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical.
A particular form of understatement, generated by denying the opposite of the statement which otherwise would be used.
A sentence that is complete before its end. follows customary word order of English sentences, main clause comes first and the subordinate clause follows. i.e. subject-verb-object
Having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a song-like outpouring of the poet's own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry.
Making an implied comparsion, not using "like," "as," or other such words.
A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated (such as "crown" for "royalty").
A way of varying poetic meter by taking a single foot of the normal meter and replacing it with a foot of different meter.
Using words to restrict or add to the sense of a noun. Changes made to improve
A recurring subject, theme, or idea in a literary work.
A character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which impels a character to act.
A person, animal, or thing telling the story or giving an account of something.
The methods involved in telling a story; the procedures used by a writer of stories or accounts (examples: point of view, manipulation of time, dialogue, or interior monologue)
A particular time or instance of an event.
An eight line stanza.
A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject.
Omniscient Point of View
The point of view where the narrator knows everything about the characters and their thoughts - told in the 3rd person.
A figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words.
A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase. (ex. Foolishly smart)
A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.
A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
Repetition of the same pattern of words or phrases within a sentence or passage to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance.
A work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule.
A line of verse consisting of five metrical feet
A sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end.
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told
Deliberate use of many conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted. Hemingway and the Bible both use extensively. Ex. "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"
Refers to the pitch, loudness, tempo, and rhythm of language. (the meaning of a written sentence, punctuation)
Chief character in a dramatic or narrative work, usually trying to accomplish some objective or working toward some goal.
A joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.
The quality of being reliable, dependable, or trustworthy.
A line or set of lines repeated several times over the course of a poem.
Repeating a word, phrase, or idea for emphasis or rhythmic effect
*Resources of Language
Refers to all devices of composition available to a writer: diction, syntax, sentence structure, and figures of speech
A question to which the audience already knows the answer; a question asked merely for effect with no answer expected.
The devices used in effective or persuasive language. Examples include contrast, repetitions, paradox, understatement, sarcasm, and rhetorical question
Correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry.
A regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem
A stanza of seven lines of heroic or five-foot iambic verse, rhyming ababbcc.
A series of events that builds from the conflict. It begins with the inciting force and ends with the climax.
A type of narrative fiction or poem in which adventure is a central feature and in which an idealized vision of reality is presented.
A character who demonstrates some complexity and who develops or changes in the course of a work
The use of irony to mock or convey contempt, mockery
A work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way. It doesn't simply abuse (as in invective) or get personal (as in sarcasm). It targets groups or large concepts rather than individuals.
6 six-line stanzas ending with tercet; last words of each line in 1st stanza are repeated as last words in next stanza
The context in time and place in which the action of a story occurs.
A type of alliteration in which the "s" sound is repeated.
A comparison of two things using like or as.
Irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.
A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener.
14 line poem in iambic pentameter
A foot consisting of two stressed syllables ("dead set"), but is not a sustained metrical foot and is used mainly for variety or emphasis.
A fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
*Stream of Consciousness
A literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur.
The arrangement or framework of a sentence, paragraph, or entire work described in terms of stanza, form, and meter.
The author's choices regarding language, sentence structure, voice, and tone in order to communicate with the reader.
A form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise (statement), a minor premise, and a conclusion.
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.
A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in Cleveland won by six runs (meaning "Cleveland's baseball team").
Describing one kind of sensation in terms of another ("a loud color", "a sweet sound")
The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.
A three-line stanza rhymed aba, bcb, cdc.
A metrical line containing four feet
A unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work.
Focus statement of an essay; premise statement upon which the point of view or discussion in the essay is based.
A writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization on the sentence and global levels.
A dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.
A metrical foot in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed one.
A change in plot in which events or actions change the mood.
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration.
The structural form of a line of verse as revealed by the number of feet it contains. For example: monometer = 1foot; tetrameter = 4 feet; pentameter = 5 feet
A nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain.
Irony in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning.
How fully the characters and actions in a work of fiction conform to our sense of reality - the work has this trait if its is very realistic and believable - "true to life"
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
AP Lit Devices
Lit Terms Final
lit terms quiz
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
AP French - Useful vocabulary for the AP Exam Conv…
HOSA - Biomedical Lab Science (Equipment…
Section 1 Laboratory Careers Technology
HOSA Biotechnology Study Guide