120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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