Literary Terms- Intermediate Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Absolute
a word free from limitations or qualifications ("best", "all", "unique", "perfect")
Ad hominem argument
an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue
Allegory
a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions
Analogy
a comparison of two different things that are similar in some way
Anaphora
the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences
Asyndeton
a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
Cliché
an expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off
Colloquialism
informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing
Conceit
a fanciful, particularly clever extended metaphor
Dialect
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
Dilemma
a situation that requires a person to decide between two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives
Epiphany
a moment of sudden revelation or insight
Epitaph
an inscription on a tombstone or burial place
Epithet
a term used to point out a characteristic of a person. Homeric epithets are often compound adjectives ("swift-footed Achilles") that become an almost formulaic part of a name. Epithets can be abusive or offensive but are not so by definition. For example, athletes may be proud of given epithets ("The Rocket").
Eulogy
a formal speech praising a person who has died
Euphemism
an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
Expletive
an interjection to lend emphasis; sometimes, a profanity
Hypothetical question
a question that raises a hypothesis, conjecture, or supposition
Invective
an intensely vehement, highly emotional verbal attack
Jargon
the specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or
Juxtaposition
placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast
Legend
a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually supernatural elements
Motif
a standard theme, element, or dramatic situation that recurs in various works
Motivation
a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which impels a character to act
Non sequitur
the inference that does not follow logically from the remises (literally, "does not follow")
Parable
a simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson
Parallelism
the use of corresponding grammatical or syntactical forms
Pathos
the quality in a work that prompts the reader to feel pity
Polysyndeton
the use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural
Rhetoric
the art of presenting ideas in a clear, effective, and persuasive manner
Rhetorical devices
literary techniques used to heighten the effectiveness of expression
Structure
the arrangement or framework of a sentence, paragraph, or entire work
Style
the choices a writer makes; the combination of distinctive features of a literary work
Syllogism
a three-part deductive argument in which a conclusion is based on a major premise and a minor premise ("All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.")
/ 34
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