120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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