120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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