11th grade honors english literary terms Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Allegory
A form of extended metaphor. Objects, persons, actions in a narrative are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. A story with two meanings, literal and symbolic.
Alliteration
The repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words.
Allusion
A brief, sometimes casual, reference to a person, event, or place, real or ficticious, or to a work of art. May be drawn from history, geography, literature, or religion.
Analogy
The comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship. Ascertain the relationship between the first so you can choose the correct second pair.
Anastrophe
Inversion of the normal syntactic order of words.
Antithesis
Opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction.
Aphorism
A brief saying embodying a moral, a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words.
Apostrophe
When an absent person, an abstract concept, or an important object is directly addressed.
Archetype
An original model or pattern from which other later copies are made, in character, action, or situation that represents common patterns of human life. Recur in different times and places in myth, literature, folklore, fairy tales, dreams, artwork, and religious rituals.
Assonance
The repetition of vowel sounds but not consonant sounds.
Cacophony
Harsh, discordant sounds. Opposite of euphony.
Caesura
Natural pause or break.
Characterization
The method used by a writer to develop a character. Includes showing appearance, displaying actions, revealing thoughts, letting character speak, getting the reaction of others.
Chiasmus
A type of rhetoric in which the second part is syntactically balanced against the first.
Circumlocution
The use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression; a roundabout or indirect manner of writing or speaking.
Conflict
The struggle found in fiction. May be internal or external and is best seen in man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self.
Connotation
An implied meaning of a word.
Denotation
The literal meaning of a word, the dictionary meaning.
Deus ex Machina
(God out of a machine) An improbably contrivance in a story. Descrives artificial or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction to untangle a plot. Negative, implies lack of skill of the writer.
Diction
The choice of a particular word as opposed to others.
Doppelganger
A ghostly double of another characte,r especially if it haunts its counter part. "Double walker," like a carbon copy of a character with a different soul. Does not have to look like its counterpart.
Epithet
A short, poetic nickname. Often in the form of an adjectival phrase, attached to the normal name. Often includes compounds of two words.
Euphemism
The subsitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend the listener. May be a description of something rather than the name to avoid revealing secret or holy names to the uninitiated. Some intended to be funny.
Euphony
Soothing and pleasant counds. Opposite of cacophony.
Foil
A character that contrasts another character, often the protagonist, that highlights certain qualities of the protagonist.
Foreshadowing
The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature.
Hyperbole
Exaggeration or overstatement. Opposite of understatement.
Image
Language that evokes one or all of the five senses.
Internal Rhyme
Rhyming within a line.
Inversion
Another word for anastrophe.
Irony
Implied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant. Three kinds. Verbal, dramatic, and situational.
Juxtaposition
When one theme, idea, or person is paralleled to another.
Malapropism
An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
Metaphor
Comparison of two unlike things using the verb "to be" and not using "like" or "as" as in a simile.
Metonymy
Using a vaguely suggestive, physical object to embody a more general idea.
Motif
A conspicuous recurring element, such as a type of incident, a device, a reference, or verbal formula. Appears frequently in literature.
Mood
The emotional attitude the author takes towards their subject. Similar to tone.
Nemesis
In classical mythology, the patron goddess of vengeance; expression denotes a character who brings about another's downfall.
Onomatopoeia
Aword that imitates the sound it represents.
Oxymoron
Putting two contradictory words together.
Paradox
Reveals a kind of truth which at first seems contradictory. Two opposing ideas.
Periphrasis
Adding in superfluous words to extend the message you are trying to give.
Personification
Giving human qualities to animals or objects.
Puns
The usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word with a similar sound.
Pathetic Fallacy
Literary device wherein something nonhuman found in nature performs as though from human feeling or motivation.
Point of View
A piece of literature which contains a speaker who is speaking either in the first or third persons, or omniscient.
Plot
The structure of a story. The sequence in which the author arranges events in a story.
Prologue
In Greek tragedy- the action or set of speeches before the first entry. In literature- a section of any introductory material before the first chapter.
Rhyme Scheme
The pattern of rhymed words in a stanza or generalized throughout a poem, expressed in alphabetic terms.
Rhyme
A pattern of words that contain similar sounds.
Rhythm
A movement of uniform recurrence of a beat or accent. In poetry, a recognizable pulse, gives shape and beat.
Satire
A literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with intent of correcting, or changing, the subject.
Setting
Determining time and place in fiction.
Simile
The comparison of two unlike things using like or as.
Spoonerism
The shuffling of the first letters of words to make different words and therefore change the actual meaning of the sentence, or produce humorous nonsensical sound.
Stanza
The grouping of lines in a poem.
Stream of Consciousness
Phrase used by William James in 1890 to describe the unbroken flow of thought and awareness of the waking mind; special mode of narration that undertakes to capture the full spectrum of character's mental process.
Symbol
Using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning.
Synecdoche
When one uses a part to represent a whole.
Synesthesia
Involves taking one type of sensory input and co-mingling it with another separate sense in an impossible way. Results in talking about how a color sounds, or how a smell looks.
Syntax
The way in which linguistic elements are put together to form phrases.
Theme
The general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express. All of the elements in literary terms contribute to this. Often stated in a single sentence.
Tone
The attitude a writer takes towards a subject or character.
Understatement
Used to understate the obvious.
Versimilitude
The appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true.
Verse
A line of poetry.
/ 66
Term:
Definition:
Definition:

Leave a Comment ({[ getComments().length ]})

Comments ({[ getComments().length ]})

{[comment.username]}

{[ comment.comment ]}

View All {[ getComments().length ]} Comments
Ask a homework question - tutors are online