AP English Literature Terms Flashcards

Terms Definitions
grotesque
distorted
meiosis
intentional understatement
Denotation
The literal meaning.
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
stereotype
conventional pattern, expression, character, or idea
symbol
something that is simultaneously itself and a sign of something else.
euphony
the pleasant, mellifluous presentation of sounds in a literary work
moribund
on the point of death
decorum
dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
novel
a long work of prose fiction
humor
anything that causes laughter or amusement
litote
emphasizes its subject by conscious understatement
pyrrhic
identify type of foot: "up to"
epiphany
a sudden, powerful, and often spiritual or life-changing realizatio nthat a character reaches in an otherwise ordinary or everday moment
supercilious
having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
heroic couplet
Two end-stopped iambic pentameter lines rhymed with aa, bb, cc with the thought usually completed in the two-line unit
personification
identify element of style: "Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of the Big Shoulders."
homily/sermon
theological and/or moral speech, usu. delivered by a member of the clergy
realism
a 19th century literary movement in Europe and US that stressed accuracy in the portrayal of life, thus real life; focused on characters with whom middle-class readers could easily identify; in direct contrast with romanticism
appeal
One of three strategies for persuading audiences-logos, appeal to reason; pathos, appeal to emotion; ethos, appeal to ethics.
Narrative
a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
haiku
a compact form of Japanese poetry written in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, respectively
epistolary
a novel that utilizes the convention of letter writing; among the earliest novel forms
rationalization
the process of making something seem consistent with or based on reason
oxymoron
The association of two contrary terms: deafening silence
parody
a humorous imitation of a serious work
synecdoche
identify element of style: "my crib versus my house"
autobiography
the nonfictional story of a person's life, told by that person
In medias res
In the middle of things
Aside
speech directed to the audience that supposedly is not audible to the other characters onstage at the time
epigram
a concise, witty saying in poetry or prose; either stands
omniscient
a third person narration in which the speaker or narrator, with no apparent limitations, may describe intentions, actions, reactions, locations, and speeches of any or all of the characters, and may also describe their innermost thoughts
Narrator
The "voice" that speaks or tells a story.
meter
is the rhythmic pattern created in a line of verse. There are four basic kinds of this
masculine rhyme
occurs when the last stressed syllable of the rhyming words matches (grade/shade, defend/contend)
farce
a type of comedy in which ridiculous and often stereotyped characters are involved in far-fetched situations
oscillate
move or swing from side to side regularly
clause
A group of words containing a subject and its verb that may or may not be a complete sentence
metonymy
identify element of style: "the use of 'suits' instead of 'businessmen'"
suffragist
an advocate of the grant or extension of political suffrage, esp. to women.
genre
a type of literary work, such as novel or poem
Irony
The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
aubade
a love poem set at dawn which bids farewell to the beloved
antecedent
the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers.
totter
to walk or go with faltering steps, as if from extreme weakness.
verbal irony
the use of a statement that, by its context, implies its opposite
end rhyme
a rhyme that comes at the end of a line of verse. most rhyming poetry uses this
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