Literary Terms

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Anonymous
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32471
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Literary Terms
Updated:
2010-09-02 18:40:43
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Hon English
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English Literary Terms
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  1. Form of discourse that explains, defines, and interprets. Also plot in which background information is set forth
    Exposition
  2. Follows exposition and leads up to climax
    purpose usually build suspense all the way up to climax
    Rising Action
  3. Problem in any piece of literature and often classified according to nature of protagonist/ antagonist
    Conflict
  4. Intuitive and sudden insight into reality and basic meaning of event
    Epiphany
  5. Point of greatest tension in work of literature and turning point in action
    occurs after rising action and before falling action
    Climax
  6. events following climax of drama/ novel where resolution/ clarification takes place
    Denouement
  7. scene inserted into play, novel, short story representing earlier event
    Flashback
  8. "into the middle of things" describes narrative that begins in middle usually at crucial point in action
    In Medias Res
  9. Person/ thing that appears/ introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provies contrived solution to apparently insoluble difficulty
    Deus Ex Machina
  10. statement that has 2 or more meanings or whose meanings are unclear
    Ambiguity
  11. emotions, values, images associated with word
    Connotation
  12. literal meaning of word, no emotions, values, or images associated with meaning
    Denotation
  13. author's choice of words, taking into account correctness, clearness, and effectiveness
    Diction
  14. ordering of words into meaningful verbal patterns such as phrases, clauses, and sentences
    Syntax
  15. inoffensive word/ phrase substituted for one considered offensive/ hurtful
    Euphemism
  16. short pithy saying expressing general truth
    Aphorism
  17. Brief, pointed, witty remark/ poem usually making satiric/ humorous point
    Epigram
  18. Time, place, physical details in which situation occurs
    includes background and atmosphere for characters in story
    Setting
  19. variety of language that distinguish other varieties of same language by features like vocab/ grammar
    Dialect
  20. local lifestyle, way of life in certain areas
    include slang, fig. of speech, and everyday activities
    Local Color
  21. attitude the writer takes toward subject/ character
    Tone
  22. Irony
    • verbal: author says something but means something else
    • dramatic: audience perceives something that characters don't know
    • situational: discrepancy between expected and actual results
    • cosmic: universe is against character (ex. heart surgeon gets heart attack vs. dentist gets heart attack)
  23. term used to ridicule/ make fun of human vice or weakness
    Satire
  24. view about life/ how people behave
    unifying/ dominant idea
    Theme
  25. recurrent thematic element in artistic/ literary work
    dominant theme/ central idea
    Motif
  26. "Seize the day" only enjoy present and don't worry about future
    Carpe Diem
  27. Figure of speech where term/ phrase is applied to something which is not literally applicable in order to suggest resemblance
    Metaphor
  28. fig. of speech in which two things that are different are compared using like or as
    Simile
  29. fig of speech where abstractions are given human characteristics
    Personification
  30. fig of speech where person not present/ personified nonhuman object is addressed
    Apostrophe
  31. fig of speech that makes reference to place, event, literary work, myth, work of art
    Allusion
  32. communicates message by means of symbolic figures, action, symbolic representation
    allegory
  33. fig. language that refers to whole thing by part of it
    synecdoche
  34. refer to whole thing when you mean specific thing associated with it
    Metonymy
  35. statement whose two parts seem contradictory yet make sense with more thought
    Paradox
  36. two contradicting words put together
    oxymoron
  37. something that represents or stands for something else
    symbol
  38. use of vivid/ figurative language to represent objects, actions, ideas
    Imagery
  39. descriptive expression, word, phrase expressing quality/ attribute
    epithet
  40. repitition of consonants at beginning of two or more words in line of poetry
    Alliteration
  41. repitition of vowel sound with neighboring words
    Assonance
  42. use of words to imitate sounds
    Onomatopoeia
  43. placing of sentence or a part against another to form balanced contrast of ideas
    Antithesis
  44. repitition of syntactic construction in successive sentences
    parallelism
  45. class/ category of artistic endeavor
    genre
  46. narrative composed of loosely connected incidents
    episodic novel
  47. novel written as series of documents
    epistolary novel
  48. genre characterized by distortion of appearance/ manner where atmosphere and characters are described as fantastic, bizarre, or monstrous
    Grotesque
  49. style of fiction that emphasizes grotesque
    Gothic
  50. genre where main character is rogue and depicts realistic corrupt society
    picaresque
  51. imaginary place/ state where condition of life is extremely bad
    Dystopia
  52. perfect place, esp. social, political, moral aspects
    utopia
  53. main character
    protagonist
  54. character in conflict with the protagonist
    antagonist
  55. character lead to realization of flaw which leads to downfall and has to suffer for his consequences
    Tragic hero
  56. the flaw which leads to a tragic hero's downfall
    tragic flaw
  57. a character who doesn't want to be hero but eventually is forced to become the hero
    Anti hero
  58. 3rd person story where reader knows things characters don't
    omniscient narrator
  59. narrator who has severely compromised credibility
    unreliable narrator
  60. narrator of story
    person
  61. unrhymed iambic pantameter
    blank verse
  62. no meter
    free verse
  63. taking apart work of literature and analyzing
    explication
  64. counting meter of rhythm
    scanning
  65. 2 rhymed iambic pantameter
    heroic couplet
  66. commonly used metrical line in traditional vrse
    iambic pantameter
  67. 14 line poem in iambic pantameter where every line rhymes with another
    sonnet
  68. regular rhythm of poem
    meter
  69. division of poems/ speeches
    stanza
  70. character who author speaks through, other side
    alter ego
  71. ghostly double of another character, counterpart
    Doppelganger

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