120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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