AP Literature Midterm Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Acrimony
Acerbity
Artifice
Trickery
Parfidy
(n.) treachery
trivia
insignificant matters
Capitulate
To surrender
Cavil
To quibble
dissonance
inharmonious, harsh sound
volatile
quickly changeable,easily vaporized
Brusque
Abrupt in Manner
Abtruse
(adj.) hard to understand
taciturn
antonyms: garrulous, loquacious, prolix, verbose
Denotation
A word's literal meaning.
CAJOLE
to persuade by flattery
Chiasmus
Inverted, criss-cross parallel structure (ABBA format)(ex, Mean what you say, and say what you mean)
Duplicity
(n.) double-dealing; deception; the act of being two-faced
simile
comparison using like or as
Hyperbole
The counterpart of understatement, deliberately axaggerates conditions for emphasis or effect.
ATROCIOUS
adj. provoking horror; exceptionally bad or displeasing; shockingly brutal or cruel
Bourgeois
Pertaining to the middle class
theme
generalized, abstract paraphrase of the inferred central of dominant idea or concern of the work
Lyric
Personal reflective poetry that reveals the speaker's thoughts and feeling about the subject
Eccentric
Not conventional; a little kooky; irregular
Alacrity
(n.) a cheerful eagerness; readiness to respond
hubris
exaggerated or extreme pride; main flaw
Antecedent
The noun that a pronoun replaces.
Consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds within words (rather than at their beginnings)
assuage
to ease,to mitigate,to make less painful or burdensome, to calm
Tone
the author or speaker's attitude toward the characters, events or audience conveyed by details and descriptive words used by the author.
AMELIORATE
verb: get better; to make better
Caesura
A pause separating phrases within lines of poetry
 
"England - how I long for thee!"
anthropomorphism
A version of personification, but instead of attributing human qualities to animals, it attributes human qualities and form to gods or goddesses
 
Zeus and Apollo are two common examples of gods that were given human attributes. The qualities often applied are those such as love, hatred, jealousy, etc.
flashback
retrospection, where are earlier event is inserted into the normal chronology or the narrative
caricature
a grotesque likeness of striking qualities in persons and things
novel
a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes
Amphibrach
A trisyllabic foot: ~ / ~
visceral
characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect:
Phenomenon
A rare or significant face or event
parody
a humorous imitation of a serious work
bathos
abrupt transition in style from the elevated to the commonplace; anticlimax
Metonymy
Very similar to synecdoche (and, in fact some rhetoricians do not distinguish between the two), in which the thing chosen for the metaphorical image is closely associated with (but not an actual part of) the subject with which it is to be compared.
Ambibranch
A poetic foot -- light, heavy, light
figurative language
language not intended to convey literal meaning, usually imaginative and vivid; a figure of speech (metaphor, simile, personification, etc.) is a device used to produce figurative language
euphemism
an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
ANACHRONISM
noun: an artifact that belongs to another time; a person who seems to be displaced in time; who belongs to another age; something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred
Local Color
Fiction and poetry focusing on characters, dialects, customs, and geography particular to a specific regionMark Twain uses the local color of the West in his works
Allusion
- A mention or reference to a previous, well-known thing - can be literary, historical, mythological, or biblical.
 
- "How the knave jowls it to the ground as if 'twere Cain's jawbone, that did the first murder!" is a biblical allusion found in the play Hamlet.
fable
legend or short moral story often using animals as characters
classical
deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formaility ovjectivity simplicity and restraint.
meter
the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables found in poetry.
Episodic Structure
A story broken down into episodes
parable
a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson
Genre
A major category or type of literature
Ethnocentric
Based on the attitude that one's own group is superior
diction
choice of words; style or manner of expression in words
Paradox
A situation or a statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not.
Epic
A very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style; typically deal with glorious or profound subject matter.
digression
A literary device in which the author creates a temporary departure from the main subject or narrative in order to focus on a related matter.
Vernacular
The everyday or common language of a geographic area or the native language of commoners in a country“Latin, for instance, has not been a vernacular language for about 1250 years.”
Rhetorical Question
Question asked for effect, not in expectation of a reply
satire
literary work that holds up to human failings to ridicule and censure
aphorism
a short pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or setiment
motif
a phrase, idea or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature.
Paean
Song of praise or a song of joy
ballad
a narrative poem, often of fold origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain
Quatrain
A four-line poem or a four-line unit of a longer poem
compunction
a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.
Aside
A device in which a character in a drama makes a short speech which is heard by the audience but not by other characters in the play.
Melodrama
A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure.
CIRCUMSCRIBE
verb draw a line around; to draw a geometric figure around another figure so that the two are in contact but do not intersect; restrict or confine, "I limit you to two visits to the pub a day"
Paradoxical statement
A figure of speech in which an apparently self-contradictory statement is nevertheless found to be true
eponymous
a term for the title character of a work of literature.
rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhymes within a given poem.
foreshadowing
device a writer uses to hint at a future course of action
end-stopped line
a line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation
in media res
refers to opening a story in the middle of the action
picture poem
a poem arranged on the page to evoke a particularly appropriate shape
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