120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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