120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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