Literary Terms 1.doc

  1. A discourse
    a lengthy piece of writing or speech about a specific topic. More generally, a discourse is a domain of language use and meaning production
  2. Epithet
    a word or phrase that describes the attributes of a person or thing. It is often used as a substitute for the actual noun
  3. Epitaph
    a short speech or piece of writing celebrating someone’s life usually appears as a commemorative inscription on a person’s tomb or headstone
  4. Epigraph
    a quotation at the beginning of a literary work, typically related in theme to those which will be presented in the text
  5. Epigram
    a witty, short remark or saying
  6. Hamartia
    a defect in a protagonist’s character or a tragic flaw
  7. Intertextuality
    a relationship that exists between different texts that may be extrapolated by the writer or interpreter
  8. Malapropism
    the misuse of a word through confusion of a word that sounds similar the results typically allow for humor
  9. Magic realism
    an artistic or literary style that depicts mythological subjects in a realistic manner
  10. Metafiction
    a form of fiction, which emphasizes the nature of fiction, meaning the techniques and conventions used to write the genre
  11. Soliloquy
    an extended piece spoken by a character alone, usually on stage (thus, drama)
  12. Stream of consciousness narration
    the writing style conveying the author’s train of thought. This style often rapidly lists emotions that the writer or narrator is feeling at the time
  13. Stock Characters
    typically rely on cultural archetypes or names for their personality
  14. Pathos
    a mode of persuasion that appeals to the audience’s emotions (usually sadness). The term can also refer to dramatic performances by actors
  15. A round character
    one that is complex and realistic; protagonists would ideally be round characters
  16. A flat character
    a minor character with a lack of personality, usually used to advance a story
  17. Liminality
    the quality of the second stage of a ritual or initiation process. It is also a word that describes the quality of being between worlds, states, places, and so on. It is a change to participants, usually in social status
  18. Apologia
    a formal defense or justification of a belief, theory, or policy. This defense is usually written.
  19. Pathology
    any condition that is different from the norm. It is a term usually relating to medical sciences, but can be deployed more broadly to refer to normative assumptions and deviations from the norm
  20. Tone
    the character of something as an indicator or view of the person from whom it originated. In literature, authors create tones to evoke particular moods in readers
  21. Mood
    the state of mind that somebody or someone exhibits at a particular time
  22. Autodidact
    a person who has learned through self-education or self-directed study
  23. Anaphora
    the deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, lines, or paragraphs. It is a repetitive device in which the same phrase is recycled at the beginning of two or more lines
  24. Ideology
    a set of beliefs, values, and related ideas that provide a schema of a better society and a plan of action
  25. Parable
    a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson
  26. Weltanshauung
    a term derived from German and deployed in interdisciplinary forums suggests a personal or communal picture of the world and a philosophy of what is or should be.
  27. Trickster Figure
    found mainly in mythology, and in the study folklore and religion. A trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays pranks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and norms of behavior
  28. Frame narrative
    a narrative technique whereby a main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story—or for surrounding a single story within a story. One form of a frame narrative is a dream vision
  29. Free Verse(open-form poetry)
    refers to poems characterized by their nonconformity to established patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza. uses elements such as unregulated speech patterns, grammar, emphasis, and breath pauses for line breaks; it usually does not rhyme
  30. Verisimilitude
    the appearance or semblance of truth. Realistic fiction demands verisimilitude; otherwise, it would not be true-to-life and fail as a mimetic process
  31. Roman à Clef
    a novel that represents historical or famous events and characters under the guise of fiction
  32. Caesura
    a pause within a line of poetry that contributes to the rhythm of the line indicated by a double vertical line (||)
  33. Dystopia
    a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding
  34. Utopia
    the ideally perfect state, especially in its social and political and moral aspects
  35. Burlesque
    a form of indirect satire that imitates a serious literary work or genre but applies the imitated form to inappropriate subject matter
  36. High burlesque
    combines an elevated literary form with trivial subject matter
  37. Low burlesque
    combines an undignified form with a serious or lofty subject.
  38. Cacophony
    describes language that is discordant (unpleasant to hear) and difficult to pronounce
  39. Euphony
    represents a “good sound.” It refers to language that is smooth and musically pleasant to the ear; nursery rhymes
  40. Carpe Diem
    means "seize the day." emphasizes that life is short, time is fleeting, and that one should make the most of present pleasures.
  41. A cliché
    an idea or expression that has become tired and trite from overuse, its freshness and clarity having worn off. Clichés often anesthetize readers, and are usually a sign of weak writing
  42. Colloquial language
    refers to a type of informal diction that reflects casual, conversational language and often includes slang expressions
  43. Enjambment
    when one line ends without a pause and continues into the next line for its meaning. This is also called a run-on line
  44. Epiphany
    occurs in fiction when a character suddenly experiences a deep realization about him- or herself. It is a truth which is grasped in an ordinary rather than a melodramatic moment
  45. Hubris
    excessive pride or self-confidence that leads a protagonist to disregard a divine warning or to violate an important moral law
  46. Foreshadowing
    a literary technique that may be used to send the reader subtle clues about what will transpire later on in the text
  47. Res
    a Latin phrase that translates as “in the middle of things.”
  48. A pun
    a literary and rhetorical device which has reach beyond the textual realm to create humor in everyday life
  49. Tragicomedy
    a hybrid genre that combines elements of tragedy and comedy to create a sense of the unpredictability of life, which has both positive and negative traits (“ups and downs”)
  50. Discipline
    a field of scholarly inquiry. It has its own methodologies and conventions.
  51. Anagram
    emerges when the letters in a word, phrase, or sentence are rearranged to convey a new, unexpected, or secret meaning
  52. Anti-hero
    may initially be puzzling because they are protagonists that do not overtly embody typical heroic ideals
  53. Jeremiad
    known for his angry laments about the status quo. He issued threats about the imminent demise of society based on its appetites for sin and tendency toward unchecked abuses of power: used more generally to signify a prolonged, mournful lamentation or an angry attack on circumstances surrounding the writer
  54. A Pyrrhic victory
    a victory at great—even excessive—cost
Card Set
Literary Terms 1.doc
2nd terms quiz