120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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