120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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