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a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions


a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way

internal conflict

a problem or struggle within a character

external conflict

a character struggles against some outside force: another character, society as a whole, or some natural force


the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot


the context and environment in which something is set


the overall emotion created by a work of literature


form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly


the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.


someone who tells a story

round character

"fleshed out" - more sides and dimensions; varied and sometimes contradictory traits; complex, many different traits

flat character

"paper doll" - only 1 or 2 traits; can be described in 1 sentence


any writing that is not poetry; resembles ordinary language


the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author


A traditional story about gods, ancestors, or heroes, told to explain the natural world or the customs and beliefs of a society.


a form of nonfiction in which a writer tells the life story of another person

foil character

a character that shares a theme with another character, yet differs in the way it is represented.


a line spoken by an actor to the audience or to another actor but not intended for others on the stage


rewriting or restating another person's ideas or thoughts into your own words


a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.


a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work


a term, name, or picture in daily life that implies more than its apparent meaning
ex. a cross


a comparison between two different things without using "like" or "as"

extended metaphor

metaphor that is extended, A metaphor developed at great length, occurring frequently in or throughout a work.


extreme exaggeration


comparison between two different things using "like" or "as"

Homeric simile

simile that refers to everyday common events so many people can relate

dramatic irony

irony where the audience knows some crucial piece that the , occurs when another character(s) and/or the audience know more than one or more characters on stage about what is happening

verbal irony

A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant


Story of a person's life written by that person


the main character

stage directions

notes included in a drama to describe how the work is to be performed or staged


language that appeals to the senses


what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression


the literal meaning of a word


A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

figurative language

writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is usually meant to be imaginative and vivid

rhyme scheme

the pattern of rhyme in a poem


a word that imitates the sound it represents


A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.


the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words


the author's choice of words that creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning


the voice that communicates with the reader of the poem or play; the voice that talks to the audience


one's listener or readership; those to whom a speech or piece of writing is addressed


the character who works against the protagonist in the story


a release of emotional tension


a stanza consisting of two successive lines of verse, two consecutive rhyming lines of poetry


reference to another work of literature, event, person


in drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience


A work in which the protagonist, a person of high degree, is engaged in a significant struggle and which ends in ruin or destruction

tragic hero

A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy


a verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme


long speech by one person with events still occurring in the background


an original model or pattern


A recurring theme, subject or idea


short, witty statement about some truth or insight


a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period


long narrative poem expressing details of a hero's adventures


story written to be acted for an audience; action is usually by a character who wants something and takes steps to get it; OR a serious play that is neither comedy nor tragedy


in general, a story that ends happily


abbreviations, acronyms, trademarks, badges, product names, etc. that have a meaning given by society for common usage/intention; only signify objects they refer to
ex. Band-aid

appositive/appositive phrase

word or phrase placed beside a noun or pronoun to explain or identify it


an account based on the author's personal experiences

Deductive reasoning

Take known information, generalize, and apply
Large claim -> Apply to specific

Inductive reasoning

Take evidence, generalize, and conclude
Evidence -> Generalization

blank verse

not rhyming lines in iambic pentameter (5 units/feet)


14-line poem of rhymed iambic pentameter (5 units/feet)


pitting of 2 sides, concepts, objects, next to each other in order to analyze

interior monologue

2 perspectives of the same event placed together in contrast


affects whole piece, often deals w/ punctuation; "word order"

free associative thought

all thoughts and ideas connect without discrepancy/discrimination or knowing why, just flowing thought, can be incomplete

creative nonfiction

no restrictions other than stay generally true to fact
stylistic freedom;uses literary techniques of fiction

literary journalism

truth, strict guidelines, goes into the action, emotions, culture, everyday people, the humanity
immersion, accuracy, symbolism, voice, structure

Biographical, Historical, New Historical Criticism

Contextual meaning, look at author's life, time

Gender Criticism

Based on reader's gender/attitude towards gender; feminist view; highlight differences between men and women; see gender of author/characters and their roles; stereotypes

Reader Response

Reader's own response, personal meaning and interpretation of text

Class/Social Power Theory; Marxist

Society through economic factors; characters: economic statuses, roles, effects?


Analyze minds of author/characters

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