Language / 120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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