120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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