120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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