AP English Literature and Composition Essential Terms Flashcards

Terms Definitions
allegory
a narritive that has second meanings
alliteration
same sounds
allusion
a reference to something in previous literature or history
ambiguity
different meanings/unclear
antagonist
any force in confict with protagonist
apostrophe
when someone absent/dead/ or a something is adressed
archetype
the quintessence of something
assonance
repetition of close vowel sounds within words to create mood. Long sounds and short. exampes: Poe with Elderado and Bells
ballad
short, narritive poem written in songlike stanze form
blank verse
unrhymed verse (poems)
cacophony
harsh, discordant arrangement of sounds
Example: I detest war because cause of war is detestful
caesura
a speech pause occurring in a line
I was the man. I suffered. I was there.
caricature
a representation in which subject's features are exaggerated for comic or absurd effect
characterization
ways in which a character is presented
comic relief
a light scene that follows a scene of seriousness
added emotions and seriousness
conceit
building up to something
connotation
other meanings besides dictionary reference
consonance
repetition of final consonant sounds at end, syllables, important words
star/door, concieve/ behoove
convention
a syntax or grammar rule
couplet
two successive lines linked by rhyme
denotation
dictionary meaning
dues ex machina
resolution of plot by a highly improbably occurrance
diction
style of writing characterized by choice of words
dissonance
an unresolved, discordant chord or interval
my sticky fingers click with a snicker
dramatic situation
specific actions or techniques to create a desired effect
elegy
a mournful, meloncholy, or plaintive poem
end rhyme
rhymes that occur at the end of lines
enjambment
running of thought without a syntatical break
epic poem
a long narrivitve telling of a hero's deeds
epiphany
when a character has a spiritual insight on life/ circumstances
euphony
smooth sounding choice of words
figurative language
language that cannot be taken literally, or only literally(metaphor, simile, imagery)
foil
a person or thing that makes another seem better by contrast: The straight man was an able foil to the comic
free verse
rhthyms from breaks and choice of author not assumed poetic rules
hubris
excessive pride or self confidence
hyperbole
obvious and intentional exaggeration
imagery
representation of a sense experiance
in medias res
in middle of things
internal rhyme
one or both rhyme words occur within line
irony
a situation or use of language involving incongruency or discrepency
verbal
dramatic: reader knows something that character does not
situational: unexpected occurrence coinciding with event
litotes
understatement, often unanswered with a negative
lyric poem
a short poem of song like quality
metaphor
a comparison of two unlilke things
meter
the repetition of accented and unaccentd syllables in poetry
metonymy
the use of something closely related for what is actually meant
mood
how the audience feels, not the tone
motif
a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc.
onomatopoeia
sound words (crackle, pop)
oxymoron
two successive words that are seemingly contradictory (giant shrimp)
paradox
a statement or situation containing contradictory elements
parallelism
repetition of syntax for rehetorical effect
parody
humerous/satirical imitation of something serious
persona
a person's perceived personality
personification
human attirbutes given to non human things
point of view
the angle of vision from which a story is told
1st person: use of I, directly in main character's head
2nd person: use of you
3rd limited: in main character's head, use of character's name and pronouns instead of I
3rd omniscient: In as many character's heads as author feels necessary, usually more distant
protagonist
central character in story
pun
use of a word for humor or ambiguity; play on words
rhythm
a recurrence of motion or sound
sarcasm
bitter or cutting speech
simile
a comparison between seemingly unlike things
use of like, as, then, similiar, resembles
sonnet
fixed form of 14 lines with rhyme scheme of italian or englisih
stanza
a group of lines whose metrical patternn is repeated throughout a poem
symbol
an object, person, etc. that means more than it appears to be
synecdoche
part used for a whole
syntax
patterns and formations of sentences and pharases
theme
central idea or unifying generalization
tone
speaker's attitude towards subject
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