AP Literary Terms

vuripute's version from 2016-10-07 01:04

Section 1

Question Answer
Alliteration It is a stylistic device in which a number of words occur close together in a series, having the same first consonant sound.
Allusiona brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
Anaphora the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect
Antagonista character or a group of characters which stand in opposition to the protagonist or the main character.
Anecdotea short and interesting story or an amusing event often proposed to support or demonstrate some point and make readers and listeners laugh.
Antithesis a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence for achieving a contrasting effect.
Anthromorphismattributing human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object
ApostropheA character detaches himself from the reality and addresses an imaginary character in his speech.
Archetype a typical character, an action or a situation that seems to represent such universal patterns of human nature.
Asidea part of an actor's lines supposedly not heard by others on the stage and intended only for the audience.
Assonance two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds.
Balanced Sentencea sentence consisting of two or more clauses that are parallel in structure.
Blank Verseunrhymed verse, especially the unrhymed iambic pentameter most frequently used in English dramatic, epic, and reflective verse.

Section 2

Question Answer
Cacophonyharsh discordance of sound; dissonance
Caesuraa break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyself ‖ presume not God to scan.
Caricatureany imitation or copy so distorted or inferior as to be ludicrous.
Characterizationportrayal; description:
Chiasmusa reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in “He went to the country, to the town went she.”
Colloquialism the use of informal words, phrases or even slangs in a piece of writing.
Conceit two vastly different objects are likened together with the help of similes or metaphors.
Conflict involves a struggle between two opposing forces usually a protagonist and an antagonist.
Connotation the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning:
Consonance repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase.
Coupleta pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair that rhyme and are of the same length.
Dialecta special variety of a language
Dialogueconversation between two or more persons.
Dictionstyle of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words
Didacticintended for instruction; instructive

Section 3

Question Answer
Elegya mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.
Epicnoting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style
Epigrama short, often satirical poem dealing concisely with a single subject and usually ending with a witty or ingenious turn of thought.
Epigraph in the form of a poem, quotation or sentence usually placed at the beginning of a document or a simple piece having a few sentences but belongs to another writer.
Epistrophe the repetition of a word or words at the end of two or more successive verses, clauses, or sentences
Epitheta characterizing word or phrase firmly associated with a person or thing and often used in place of an actual name, title, or the like, as “man's best friend” for “dog.”
Euphemismthe substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.
Euphonyagreeableness of sound; pleasing effect to the ear, especially a pleasant sounding or harmonious combination or succession of words
Foil a character that shows qualities that are in contrast with the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the other character.
Foreshadowingto show or indicate beforehand; prefigure
Free Verseverse that does not follow a fixed metrical pattern.
Hero of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
Byronic Hero is a melancholy and rebellious young man, distressed by a terrible wrong he committed in the past.
Tragic Herowho is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat
Hyperboleobvious and intentional exaggeration.

Section 4

Question Answer
Idiom a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words. An interesting fact regarding the device is that the expression is not interpreted literally. The phrase is understood as to mean something quite different from what individual words of the phrase would imply. Alternatively, it can be said that the phrase is interpreted in a figurative sense.
Imageryto use figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses.
In Medias Resin the middle of things.
Inversion also known as anastrophe, is a literary technique in which the normal order of words is reversed in order to achieve a particular effect of emphasis or meter.
Ironya figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words.
Juxtaposition two or more ideas, places, characters and their actions etc. are placed side by side in a narrative or a poem for the purpose of developing comparisons and contrasts.
Litotes a figure of speech which employs an understatement by using double negatives or, in other words, positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite expressions.
Memoira record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
Metaphor a figure of speech makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things or objects that are poles apart from each other but have some characteristics common between them.
Meter poetic measure; arrangement of words in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic lines or verses.
Metonymytakes the place of the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated
Monologuea prolonged talk or discourse by a single speaker, especially one dominating or monopolizing a conversation.
Motivationproviding with a reason to act in a certain way

Section 5

Question Answer
Narrativea story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
Onomatopoeiathe formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
Oxymorona figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”
Parablea short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
Paradoxa statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
Parallelismthe use of components in a sentence that are grammatically same or similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter.
Parody an imitation of a particular writer, artist or a genre exaggerating it deliberately to produce a comic effect.
Personification a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes.
Plot the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
Point of Viewthe position of the narrator in relation to the story, as indicated by the narrator's outlook from which the events are depicted and by the attitude toward the characters.
Protagonistthe leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
Punthe humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.
Quatraina stanza or poem of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes.
Rhythm a patterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form.
Similea figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, draws resemblance with the help of words “like” or “as”.
Soliloquyan utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character's innermost thoughts)
Suspensea state or condition of mental uncertainty or excitement, as in awaiting a decision or outcome, usually accompanied by a degree of apprehension or anxiety.

Section 6

Question Answer
Symbolsignify ideas and qualities by giving them meanings that are different from their literal sense.
Synecdoche a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part.
Synesthesiapresent ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc. at the same.
Syntaxa set of rules in a language, which shows and how different parts of sentence are put together in such an order that it conveys a complete thought.
Theme a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work which may be stated directly or indirectly.
Tonean attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience
Tragedy kind of drama that presents a serious subject matter about human suffering and corresponding terrible events which is treated in a dignified manner.
Understatement a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is.
Unityabsence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.
Vernacularthe language or vocabulary peculiar to a class or profession.