120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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