1. Abstract
    An abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research
  2. Adage
    A saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language
  3. Allegory
    A story in which the narrative or characters carry an underlying symbolic, metaphorical, or possibly an ethical meaning
  4. Alliteration
    Repeating a consonant sound in close proximity to others, or beginning several words with the same vowel sound
  5. Allusion
    A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another passage of literature, often without explicit identification
  6. Ambiguity
    Any wording, action, or symbol that can be read in divergent ways
  7. Anachronism
    Placing a person, event, item, or verbal expression in the wrong historical period
  8. Analogy
    A comparison that points out similarities between two dissimilar things
  9. Analysis
    A method by which a thing is separated into parts, and those parts are given rigorous, logical, detailed scrutiny, resulting in a consistent and relatively complete account of the elements of the thing and the principles of their organization
  10. Anecdote
    A short narrative account of an amusing, unusual, revealing, or interesting event
  11. Anglo-Saxon
    Used to refer to Old English
  12. Annotation
    A brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of literature
  13. Antagonist
    A character or force in a work of literature that, by opposing the protagonist produces tension or conflict
  14. Antithesis
    A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences, as in:

    • "They promised freedom but provided slavery."
    • "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
  15. Aphorism
    A short, pithy statement of a general of a generally accepted truth or sentiment
  16. Apollonian
    In contrast to Dionysian, it refers to the most noble, godlike qualities of human nature and behavior
  17. Apostrophe
    The act of addressing some abstraction or personification that is not physically present
  18. Archetype
    An original model or pattern from which other later copies are made, especially a character, an action, or a situation that seems to represent common patterns of human life
  19. Assonance
    Repeating similiar or identical vowels (especially in stressed syllables) in nearby words
  20. Ballad
    A simple narrative verse that tells a story that is sung or recited
  21. Bard
    Ancient Celtic poet, singer, and harpist who recited heroic poems by memory; synonym for poet
  22. Bathos
    The use of insincere or overdone sentimentality
  23. Belle-lettres
    French term for the world of books, criticism, and literature in general
  24. Bibliography
    A list of works cited or otherwise relevant to a subject or other work
  25. Bildungsroman
    A German word referring to a novel structured as a series of events that take places as the hero travels in quest of a goal
  26. Blank verse
    Poetry written in iambic pentameter, the primary meter used in English poetry and the works of Shakespeare and Milton; it is blank because the lines generally do not rhyme
  27. Bombast
    Inflated, pretentious language used for trivial subjects
  28. Burlesque
    A work of literature meant to ridicule a subject; a grotesque imitation
  29. Cacophany
    Refers to the use of words that combine sharp, harsh, hissing, or unmelodious sounds
  30. Caesura
    A pause separating phrases within lines of poetry
  31. Canon
    An approved or traditional collection of works
  32. Carpe diem
    Refers to a common moral or theme in classical literature that the reader should make the most out of his life and enjoy it before it ends
  33. Catharsis
    An emotional discharge that brings about a moral or spiritual renewal or welcome relief from tension or anxiety
  34. Classic
    A highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time
  35. Classical/classicism
    Deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formality, objectivity, simplicity, and restraint
  36. Climax
    Refers to an artistic arrangement of a list of items so that they appear in a sequence of increasing importance
  37. Colloquial
    A word or phrase used every day in plain and relaxed speech, but rarely found in formal writing
  38. Coming-of-age story/novel
    A novel in which an adolescent protagonist comes to adulthood by a process of experience and disillusionment
  39. Conceit
    An elaborate or unusual comparison, especially one using unlikely metaphors, simile, hyperbole, and contradiction
  40. Connotation
    The extra tinge or taint of meaning each word carries beyond the minimal, strict definition found in a dictionary
  41. Consonance
    Special type of alliteration in which the repeated pattern of consonants is marked by the changes in the intervening vowels (i.e., the final consonants of the stressed syllables match each other but the vowels differ)
  42. Couplet
    Two lines, the second line immediately following the first, of the same metrical length that end in a rhyme to form a complete unit
  43. Denotation
    The minimal, strict definition of a word as found in a dictionary, disregarding any historical or emotional connotation
  44. Denouement
    Refers to the outcome or result of a complex situation or sequence of events, an aftermath of resolution that usually occurs near the final stages of the plot
  45. Deus ex machina
    An unrealistic or unexpected intervention to rescue the protagonists or resolve the story's conflict
  46. Dialect
    Sounds, spelling, grammar, and diction employed by a specific people as distinguished from other persons either geographically or socially
  47. Diction
    The choice of a particular word opposed to others by the author
  48. Dionysian
    As distinguished from Apollonian, the word refers to sensual, pleasure-seeking impulses
  49. Dramatic irony
    Involves a situation in a narrative in which the reader knows something about present or future circumstances that the character does not know
  50. Elegy
    A poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on the passing or death of something or someone of value
  51. Ellipsis
    The artful omission of a word implied by a previous clause
  52. Elliptical construction
    A sentence containing a deliberate omission of words ("May was hot and June the same"; was is omitted from the second clause)
  53. Empathy
    A feeling of association or identification with an object or person
  54. End-stopped
    In poetry, a line ending in a full pause, often indicated by the appropriate punctuation such as a period or a semicolon
  55. Enjambment
    A line having no pause or end punctuation but having uniterrupted grammatical meaning continuing on to the next line
  56. Enlightenment
    The philosophical and artistic movement growing out of the Renaissance and continuing until the nineteenth century
  57. Epic
    A genre of classical poetry; a poem that is a long narrative about a serious subject, told in an elevated sense of language, focused on the exploits of a hero or a demigod, has a vast setting, etc.
  58. Epigram
    A short verse or motto appearing at the beginning of a longer poem or the title page of a novel, at the heading of a new section or paragraph of an essay or other literary work to establish mood or raise thematic concerns
  59. Euphony 
    Attempting to group words together harmoniously, so that the consonants permit an easy and pleasing flow of sound when spoken
  60. Epithet
    A short, poetic nickname - often in the form of an adjective or adjectival phrase - attached to the normal name
  61. Eponymous
    A term for the title character of a work of literature
  62. Euphemism
    Using a mild or gentle phrase instead of a blunt, painful, or embarassing one
  63. Exegesis
    Scholarly or theological interpreation of the Bible
  64. Expose
    A piece of writing that reveals weaknesses, faults, frailties, or other shortcomings
  65. Exposition
    The use of authorial discussion to explain or summarize background material rather than revealing this information through gradual narrative detail
  66. Explication
    The interpretation or analysis of a text
  67. Extended metaphor
    A series of comparisons between two unlike objects
  68. Fable
    A brief story illustration human tendencies through animal characters
  69. Falling action
    The action in a play or story that occurs after the climax and that leads to the conclusion and often to the resolution of the conflict
  70. Fantasy
    Any literature that is removed from reality
  71. Farce
    Form of low comedy designed to provoke laughter through highly exaggerated caricatures of people in improbable or silly situations
  72. Figure of speech/figurative language
    A deviation from what speakers of a language understand as the ordinary or standard word use of words in order to achieve some special meaning or effect
  73. First-person narrative
    • A narrative told by a character involved in the story, using first-person pronouns such as and we.
  74. Flashback
    A method of narration in which present action is temporarily interrupted so that the reader can witness past events
  75. Foil
    A character that serves by contrast to highlight or emphasize opposing traits in another character
  76. Foot
    A basic unit of meter consisting of a set number of strong stresses and light stresses
  77. Foreshadowing
    Suggesting, hinting, indicating, or showing what will occur later in a narrative
  78. Formal diction
    Consists of a dignified, impersonal, and elevated use of language; it follows the rules of syntax exactly and is often characterized by complex words and lofty tone
  79. Frame
    The result of inserting one or more small stories within the body of a larger story that encompasses the smaller ones
  80. Free verse
    Poetry based on the natural rhythms of phrases and normal pauses rather than the artificial constraints of metrical feet
  81. Genre
    A type of category of literature or film marked by certain shared features or conventions
  82. Gothic novel
    A type of romance popular between 1760 up to the 1820s that has influenced the ghost and horror story
  83. Harangue
    A forceful sermon, lecture, or tirade
  84. Heroic couplet
    Two successive rhyming lines of iambic pentameter; second line is usually end-stopped
  85. Hubris
    Negative term implying both arrogant, excessive self-pride or self-confidence, and a lack of some important perception or insight due to pride in one's abilities
  86. Humanism
    A Renaissance intellectual and artistic movement triggered by a "rediscovery" of classical Greek and Roman language, culture, and literature
  87. Hyperbole
    Exaggeration or overstatement
  88. Idyll
    A composition in verse or prose presenting an idealized story of happy innocence
  89. Iambic
    A lightly stressed syllable followed by a heavily stressed syllable
  90. Imagery
    Includes "mental pictures" that readers experience with a passage of literature
  91. In medias res
    The classical tradition of opening an epic not in the chronological point at which the sequence of events would start, but rather at the midway point of the story
  92. Indirect quotation
    A rendering of a quotation in which actual words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased
  93. Informal diction
     Represents the plain language of everyday use, and often includes idiomatic expressions, slang, contractions, and many simple, common words
  94. Invective
    Speaking or writing that attacks, insults, or denounces a person, topic, or institution, usually involving negative emotional language
  95. Irony
    Trope in which a speaker makes a statement in which its actual meaning differs sharply from the meaning that the words ostensibly express 
  96. Juxtaposition
    The arrangement of two or more ideas, characters, actions, settings, phrases, or words side-by-side or in similar narrative moments for purposes of comparison, contrast, rhetorical effect, character development, or suspense
  97. Kenning
    In this poetic device, the poet creates a new compound word or phrase to describe an object or activity
  98. Lampoon
    A coarse or crude satire ridiculing the appearance or character of another person
  99. Light verse
    A variety of poetry meant to entertain or amuse, but sometimes with a satirical thrust
  100. Litotes
    A form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity (ex. He is not a bad dancer.)
  101. Loose sentence
    A sentence that follows the customary word order of English sentences, i.e., subject-verb agreement. The main idea of the sentence is presented first and is then followed by one or more subordinate clauses
  102. Lyric poetry
    Personal, reflective poetry that reveals the speaker's thoughts and feelings about the subject
  103. Maxim
    A proverb, a short, pithy statement, or aphorism believed to contain wisdom or insight into human nature
  104. Medieval
    Period of time roughly a thousand years long between the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Renaissance; marked by the disintegration of classical Greco-Roman culture
  105. Melodrama
    A dramatic form characterized by excessive statement, exaggerated emotion, sensational and thrilling action, and an artificially happy ending
  106. Metaphor
    A comparison or analogy stated in such a way as to imply that one object is another one
  107. Metaphysical poetry
    The work of poets, particularly those of the seventeenth century, that uses elaborate conceits, is highly intellectual, and expresses the complexities of love and life
  108. Meter
    A recognizable though varying pattern of stressed syllables alternating with syllables of less stress
  109. Metonymy
    Using a vaguely suggestive, physical object to embody a more general idea
  110. Middle English
    The version of English spoken after the Norman conquest from 1066 but before 1450 or so
  111. Mock epic
    A long, heroicomical poem that merely imitates features of the classic epic
  112. Mode
    The general form, pattern, and manner of expression of a work of literature
  113. Montage
    A quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea
  114. Mood
    The emotional tone of a work of literature
  115. Moral
    A brief and often simplistic lesson that a reader may infer from a work of literature
  116. Motif
    A phrase, idea, or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature
  117. Muse
    One of the ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts. The imaginary source of inspiration for an artist or writer
  118. Myth
    An imaginary story that has become an accepted part of the cultural or religious tradition of a group or society; often used to explain natural phenomena
  119. Narrative
    A form of verse or prose that tells a story
  120. Narrator
     The "voice" that speaks or tells a story
  121. Naturalism
    A term often used as a synonym for realism; also a view of experience that is generally characterized as bleak and pessimistic
  122. Non sequitur
    A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before
  123. Novella
    A work of fiction of roughly 20,000 to 50,000 words - longer than a short story but shorter than a novel
  124. Novel of manners
    A novel focusing on and describing the social customs and habits of a particular social group
  125. Ode
    A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject
  126. Old English
    The Anglo-Saxon language spoken in what is now England from approximately 450 to 1150 AD
  127. Omniscient narrator
    A narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight of characers, setting, background, and all other elements of the story
  128. Onomatopoeia
    The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning
  129. Ottava rima
    An eight-line rhyming stanza of a poem
  130. Oxymoron
    A term consisting of contradictory elements juxtaposed to create a paradoxical effect
  131. Parable
    A story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived
  132. Paradox
    A statement that seems self-contradictory but is nevertheless true
  133. Parallel structure
    Two or more words, phrases, or clauses that are similar in length and grammatical form
  134. Parody
    An imitation of a work meant to ridicule its style and subject
  135. Paraphrase
    A version of a text put into simpler, everyday words
  136. Pastoral
    A work of literature dealing with rural life
  137. Pathetic fallacy
    Faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects
  138. Pathos
    That element in literature that stimulates pity or sorrow
  139. Pentameter
    When poetry consists of five feet in each line, it is written in pentameter; each foot has a set number of syllables
  140. Periodic sentence
    A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end - in other words, the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support
  141. Persona
    The role or facade that a character assumes or depicts to a reader, a viewer, or the world at large
  142. Personification
    A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics
  143. Petrarchan sonnet
    A sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba, followed by a sestet with the rhyme pattern cdecde or cdcdcd
  144. Plot
    The interrelationship among the events in a story: the plot line is the pattern of events, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution
  145. Picaresque novel
    An episodic novel about a roguelike wanderer who lives off his wits
  146. Point of view
    The relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to the story or subject matter of a poem
  147. Post-modernism
    A general (and often hotly debated) label referring to the philosophical, artistic, and literary changes and tendencies after the 1940s and 1950s up to the present day
  148. Prosody
    The grammar of meter and rhythm in poetry
  149. Protagonist
    The main character in a work of literature
  150. Pseudonym
    Also called "pen name/nom de plume"; false name or alias used by writers
  151. Pulp fiction
    Novels written for mass consumption, often emphasizing exciting and titillating plots
  152. Pun
    A humorous play on words, using similar-sounding or identical words to suggest different meanings
  153. Quatrain
    A four-line poem or a four-line unit of a longer poem
  154. Realism
    The depiction of people, things, and events as they really are without idealization or exaggeration for effect
  155. Refrain
    A line or set of lines at the end of a stanza or section of a longer poem or song--these lines repeat at regular intervals in other stanzas or sections of the same work
  156. Renaissance
    A period of cultural, technological, and artistic vitality during the economic expansion in Britain in the late 1500s and early 1600s;  rediscovered and redistributed the legacy of classical Greco-Roman culture by renewing forgotten studies and artistic practices
  157. Rhetoric
    The language of a work and its style; words, often highly emotional, used to convince or sway an audience
  158. Rhetorical stance
    Language that conveys a speaker's attitude or opinion with regard to a particular subject
  159. Rhyme
    The repetition of similar sounds at regular intervals, used mostly in poetry
  160. Rhyme scheme
    The pattern of rhymes within a given poem
  161. Rhythm
    The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of poetry
  162. Roman a clef
    French for a novel in which historical events and actual people appear under the guise of fiction
  163. Romance
    An extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places
  164. Romanticism
    Refers to the artistic philosophy prevalent during the first third of the nineteenth century (about 1800-1830). Typically asserts the unique nature of the individual, the privileged status of imagination and fancy, the value of spontaneity over "artifice" and "convention," the human need for emotional outlets, the rejection of civilized corruption, and a desire to return to natural primitivism and escape the spiritual destruction of urban life
  165. Sarcasm
    A sharp, caustic expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt; different from irony, which is more subtle
  166. Satire
    A literary style used to poke fun at, attack or ridicule an idea, vice, or foible, often for the purpose of inducing change
  167. Scan
    The act of determining the meter of a poetic line. The pattern is called scansion. If a verse doesn't "scan," its meter is irregular
  168. Sentiment
    A synonym for view or feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in literature
  169. Sentimental
    A term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish
  170. Sestina
    A poem with six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet, all stanzas having the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern, and with all six words appearing in the closing three-line envoi
  171. Setting
    the total environment for the action in a novel or play; includes time, place, historical milieu, and social, political, and even spiritual circumstances
  172. Shakespearean sonnet (English sonnet)
    A sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg
  173. Simile
    A figurative comparision using the words like or as
  174. Sonnet
    A popular form of verse consisting of fourteen lines and a prescribed rhyme scheme
  175. Speaker
    The narrative or elegiac voice in a poem (such as a sonnet, ode, or lyric) that speaks of his or her situation or feelings
  176. Stanza
    A group of two or more lines in poetry combined according to subject matter, rhyme, or some other plan
  177. Stream of consciousness
    A style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind
  178. Structure
    Framework of a work of literature; the organization or over-all design of a work
  179. Style
    The manner in which an author uses and arranges words, shapes ideas, forms sentences, and creates a structure to convey ideas
  180. Subplot
    A subordinate or minor collection of events in a novel or play, usually connected to the main plot
  181. Subtext
    The implied meaning that underlies the main meaning of a work of literature
  182. Symbolism
    The use of one object to evoke ideas and associations not literally part of the original object
  183. Synecdoche
    A figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole or the whole signifies the part
  184. Syntax
    The organization of language into meaningful structure; every sentence has a particular syntax, or pattern of words
  185. Theme
    The main idea or meaning, often an abstract idea upon which a work of literature is built
  186. Title character
    A character whose name appears in the title of the novel or play; also known as the eponymous character
  187. Tone
    The author's attitude toward the subject being written about; the characteristic emotion that pervades a work or part of a work - in other words, the spirit or quality that is the work's emotional essence
  188. Tragedy
    A form of literature in which the hero is destroyed by some character flaw and a set of forces that cause the hero considerable anguish
  189. Transcendentalism
     An American philosophical, religious, and literary movement roughly equivalent to the Romantic movement in England. The transcendentalist philosophy is not systematic or sharply defined, but it generally stresses individual intuition and conscience, and it holds that nature reveals the whole of God's moral law.
  190. Trope
    The generic name for a figure of speech such as image, symbol, simile, and metaphor
  191. Verbal irony
    A discrepancy between the true meaning of a situtation and the literal meaning of the written or spoken words
  192. Verse
    A synonym for poetry; also a group of lines in a song or poem or a single line of poetry
  193. Verisimilitude
    Similar to the truth; the quality of realism in a work that persuades readers that they are getting a vision of life as it is
  194. Versification
    • The structural form of a line of verse as revealed by the number of feet it contains (ex. monometer = 1 foot, tetrameter = 4 feet)
  195. Victorian
    Of or relating to the reign of Queen Victoria
  196. Villanelle
    A French verse form calculated to appear simple and spontaneous but consisting of nineteen lines and a prescribed pattern of rhymes
  197. Voice
    The real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker; active and passive voice refer to use of verbs - verbs in active express an action performed by its subject; passive when an action is performed upon its subject or when the subject is the result of the action 

    • Passive: The leaves were raked by the crew.
    • Active: The crew raked the leaves.
  198. Wit
    The quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that surprise and delight by their unexpectedness; the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the foibles of the passing scene
Card Set
English IV vocab