APLitTerms - AP English Literary Terms List/ Modes of...

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AP English Literary Terms List/ Modes of Poetry Literary Terms Abstract Complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, seldom uses examples to support its points. Academic Dry and rhetorical writing; sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis. Accent In poetry, the stressed portion of a word. Aesthetic Appealing to the senses; a coherent sense of taste. Allegory A story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself. Alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds. Allusion A reference to another work or famous figure. Anachronism "Misplaced in time." An aspect of a story that doesn't belong in its supposed time setting. Analogy A comparison, usually involving two or more symbolic parts, employed to clarify an action or a relationship. Anecdote A Short Narrative Antecedent The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to. Anthropomorphism When inanimate objects are given human characteristics. Often confused with personification. Anticlimax Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect. Antihero A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of other unsavory qualities. Aphorism A short and usually witty saying. Apostrophe A figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that is nonhuman. Archaism The use of deliberately old-fashioned language. Aside A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage. Aspect A trait or characteristic Assonance The repeated use of vowel sounds: "Old king Cole was a merry old soul." Atmosphere The emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene Ballad A long, narrative poem, usually in meter and rhyme. Typically has a naive folksy quality. Bathos Writing strains for grandeur it can't support and tries too hard to be a tear jerker Pathos Writing evokes feelings of dignified pity and sympathy. Black humor The use of disturbing themes in comedy. Bombast Pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language. Burlesque Broad parody, one that takes a style or form and exaggerates it into ridiculousness. Cacophony In poetry, using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds.
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Cadence The beat or rhythm or poetry in a general sense. Canto The name for a section division in a long work of poetry. Caricature A portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of personality. Catharsis Drawn from Aristotle's writings on tragedy. Refers to the "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences during a play Chorus In Greek drama, the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it. Classic
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2009 for the course ENGLISH 2322 taught by Professor Mr.kuzz during the Spring '09 term at École Normale Supérieure.

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APLitTerms - AP English Literary Terms List/ Modes of...

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