120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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Definition/ExampleLiterary Term
A two syllable beat with a stressed and then an unstressed syllable
A word or group of words used to characterize a person.
A brief quotation at the beginning of a literary work
A statement of the opposite of what is meant. bitter or cutting speech
An interruption by the introduction of an earlier event or past experience
A story that explains the origins of God's heroes or natural phenomenon
Something that has a deeper meaning
An emotional cleansing through expression of emotion
Ex: All hands on deck
Ex: I'm so hungry that I could eat a horse
An all-knowing narrator
A reference to something in previous literature or history
Narrow in point of view or approach
A radical change in a character
The atmosphere or feeling a literary work gives the reader
A usually formal poem expressing sorrow or lamentation for the dead
Quality of being intentionally unclear
The writer's or speaker's attitude
Seize the day
A pause in a line of poetry
An element within a story that is out of its time frame
Latin for 'in the middle of things'
10 syllable line made up of 5 feet with each foot containing an unaccented followed by an accented syllable
A complex or far-fetched comparison
The main character or force which creates conflict
The ability of a work to appeal to a wide segment of the reading public
A humorous play depending on an exaggerated, improbable situation
A character who contrasts with the main character
Repetition of a line, stanza, or phrase
Ex: bittersweet living, living death, jumbo shrimp
Attribution of human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object
A four line stanza
A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two unlike things
A short narrative poem written in songlike stanza form
The art of effective communication, especially persuasive discourse
The struggle in the plot
A poem, play, or story that celebrates and idealizes a simple life
The use of humor to ridicule and expose the shortcomings and failings of society
The central idea of a literary work
Word Choice
Definition/ExampleLiterary Term
The stage setting of a play
Ex: All nerds wear glasses
A character centering about a single quality, one that does not grow or change during the action of the plot
Any writing that isn't poetry or drama
A form of satire that elevates low characters and low situations by using elevated language in literary traditions of the epic
Ex: FOR ti fy
A word's most literal and limited meaning
Compares an unfamiliar object or place by comparing it to the familiar
Hints of what is to come
A satirical imitation of a poem or other writing
A smooth, pleasant arrangement of sounds
The main character
A reasonable conclusion drawn by the reader
Elevating someone to the level of God
A sudden flash of insight
The expression of the opposite of what is intended
A rhetorical device consisting of a switch in the normal word order
A stereotypical character
The opposite of hyperbole
A witty, pointed, terse saying
The opposite of parallel construction
Ex: much of the spoken language in Huckleberry Finn
The events following the resolution of the final conflict of the plot
Language describing ideas and qualities rather than specific things. people, or places
Two succesive rhyming lines
A sentence that delivers its point at the end
The repeated use of the same grammatical structure in a sentence
Ex: My only love sprung from my only hate
Poetry with no fixed metrical pattern or representation
Ex: Arrayed and Said or Fine and Rhyme
A label given to a literary work whose main purpose is to give guidance in moral, ethical, or religious matters
Ex: 'she passed away' as opposed to 'she died'
A story where the conflict overcomes the main character
Two ideas presented closely together for contrast
A three beat rhythm with two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable
A harsh combination of sounds
The running over of a sentence from one verse or stanza to the next in poetry
A literary type classified by form and technique
Unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter
Traditionally a fourteen line love poem
Definition/ExampleLiterary Term
The perspective from which a story is told
A short speech made by an actor onstage to the audience
Ex: To sit in solemn silence'
A recording of the thoughts and emotional experience of a character on one or more levels of consciousness
'God from the machine'
The repetition at close intervals of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words
The telling of a story or an account of an event or series of events
One who changes as the result of actions in the plot
The time and place in which the action of the plot occurs
The arrangement of details in such an order that the unimportant suddenly appears at the point where the critical detail should be
A short pithy statement of a principle or precept
Extravagant language
The ryhtmical pattern of a poem
What a word suggests beyond its basic definition
A dramatic monologue
A figure of speech that replaces the name of something with a word or phrase closely associated with it
The true, actual events...not figurative
A simple one-dimensional character
Short story illustraing a moral or religious lesson
Humorous use of a word involving two interpretations of meaning
Ex: any soap opera
The use of a proper noun as a common name
Insolence, arrogance, or pride...leads to the protagonist's downfall
A literary form in which some or all of the characters are embodiments of abstract ideas. A story which carries a second meaning
A comparison using like, as, or so
A protagonist who carries the action of the literary piece but does not embody the classic characteristics of courage, strength and nobility
Ex: boom, crash, bang, jitterbug
An error in diction caused by the substitution of one word for another similar in sound but different in meaning
The quality of a literary work which appeals to emotion
A metaphor developed at length
Non-literal language
Ex: Owen goes over the ocean
The way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences
A character, situation or symbol that is familiar to people from all cultures because it occurs frequently in literature, myth, religion or folklore
Figure of speech where the subject is not alive
Any literary work with a happy ending
A short, emotionally expressive poem
The organizational pattern of a work
The way a writer uses language
Anything that appeals to the senses

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