Literary Terms

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Author:
a.poche
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35095
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Literary Terms
Updated:
2010-09-22 23:29:29
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AP Literature
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list of literary terms you should learn
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  1. a word free from limitations or qualifications (best, all, unique, perfect)
    absolute
  2. a fimiliar proverb or wise saying
    adage
  3. an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue
    ad hominem argument
  4. a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions
    allegory
  5. the repition of initial sounds in successive or neighboring words
    alliteration
  6. a refrence to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
    allusion
  7. a comparison of two different things that are similar in some way
    analogy
  8. the repition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences
    anaphora
  9. a brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event
    anecdote
  10. the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers
    antecedent
  11. a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced
    antithesis
  12. a concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often by ryhme or balance
    aphorism
  13. a figure of speech in which one directly address an absent or imaginary person or abstraction
    apostrophe
  14. a detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unnconcious and to evoke a response
    archetype
  15. a statement of the meaning or main point of a literary work
    argument
  16. a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
    asydeton
  17. a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast
    balanced sentence
  18. insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity
    bathos
  19. a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed (Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.)
    chiasmus
  20. an expresssion that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off
    cliché
  21. the point of highest interest in a literary work
    climax
  22. infromal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing
    colloquialism
  23. a sentence with one independent clause and one dependent clause
    complex sentence
  24. a sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions
    compund sentence
  25. a fanciful, particularly clever extended metaphor
    conceit
  26. details the relate to or describe actual, specific things or events
    concrete details
  27. the implied or associative meaning of a word
    connotation
  28. a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases
    cumulative sentence
  29. a sentence that makes a statement or declaration
    declaritive sentence
  30. reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therfore, the sun will rise on Tuesday morning.)
    deductive reasoning
  31. the literal meaning of a word
    denotation
  32. a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammer or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
    dialect
  33. conversation between two or more people
    dialouge
  34. the word choices made by the writer
    diction
  35. having the primary purpose of teaching or instructing
    didactic
  36. a situation that requires a person to decide bewteen two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives
    dilemma
  37. harsh, inharmonius, or discordant sounds
    dissonance
  38. a formal poem presenting a meditation on death or another solemn theme
    elegy
  39. the ommision of a word or phrase which is gramatically necessary but can be deduced from the context (Some people prefer cats; other, dogs.)
    ellipsis
  40. a long narrative poem written in elevated style which presents adventures of characters of high positions and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nation
    epic
  41. a brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying
    epigram
  42. a saying or statement on the titie page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work
    epigraph
  43. a moment of sudden revalation or insight
    epiphany
  44. an inscription on a tombstone or a burial place
    epitaph
  45. a term used to point out a characteristic of a person. Homeric ______ are often compund adjectives (swift-footed Achilles) that become an almost formulaic part of a name. ______ can be abusive or offensive nut are not so by definition. For example, athletes may be proud of their given ______(The Rocket)
    epithets
  46. a formal sppech praising a person who has died
    eulogy
  47. an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
    euphemism
  48. a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated by an exclamation mark
    exclamatory sentence
  49. an interjection to lend emphasis; sometimes, a profanity
    expletive
  50. a brief story that leads to a mroal, often using animals as characters
    fable
  51. a story that concerns an unreal world or contains unreal characters; a ____ may be merey whimsical, or it may present a serious point
    fable
  52. language employing one or more figures of speech (simile, metaphor, imagery, etc)
    figurative language
  53. the insertion of an earlier event into the normal chronological order of a narrative
    flashback
  54. a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of history
    flat character
  55. the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work
    foreshadowing
  56. a story within a story. An example is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in which the primary tales are told within the "frame story" of the pi;grimage to Canterbury
    drame device
  57. a major category or type of literature
    genre
  58. a sermon, or a moralistic lecture
    homily
  59. excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist os a tragedy
    hubris
  60. intentional exaggeration to create an effect
    hyperbole

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