120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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