120 AP Literary Terms

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Can you name the 120 AP Literary Terms?

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

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