Literary Terms

  1. allegory
    a story with two or more levels of meaning
  2. allusion
    a reference to a literary work
  3. anecdote
    a brief story to entertain
  4. antagonist
    a character that is against the main character
  5. characterization
    the way an author reveals characters (direct or indirect)
  6. climax
    the high point of interest or suspense
  7. conflict
    a struggle between opposing forces (internal of external)
  8. dialect
    the language of a particular region or group
  9. flashback
    information from the past
  10. foreshadowing
    a hint or clue about what is going to happen
  11. genre
    a type of literature
  12. hyperbole
    a deliberate exaggeration to make a point
  13. imagery
    words or phrases that appeal to the senses
  14. verbal irony
    means the opposite of what you say
  15. dramatic irony
    where the audience knows something that the characters don't
  16. irony of situation
    when what happens is the opposite of what is expected
  17. metaphor
    a direct comparison
  18. mood
    the feeling created in the reader
  19. personification
    when nonhuman subjects are given human characteristics
  20. plot
    the sequence of events
  21. point of view
    the author's position in the story (1st person participant, 3rd person observer, omniscient or restricted)
  22. protagonist
    the main character
  23. satire
    a literary work that ridicules
  24. setting
    the time and place of the story
  25. style
    the author's way of writting
  26. symbol
    stands for something else
  27. theme
    the main idea or central message
  28. tone
    the writers attitude toward the subject
  29. alliteration
    repetition of consonant sounds
  30. assonance
    repetition of vowel sounds
  31. ballad
    songlike poem that tells a story
  32. couplet
    pair of rhyming lines
  33. end rhyme
    rhyming words at the end of lines
  34. epic
    long narrative poem
  35. figurative language
    writing that's not literal
  36. inference
    conclusion drawn from hints or clues
  37. internal rhyme
    rhyme within a line
  38. metaphor
    direct comparison
  39. narrator
    speaker or character who tells the story
  40. onomatopoeia
    words that imitate sounds
  41. oxymoron
    paired opposites
  42. poetry
    literature written in lines
  43. rhyme scheme
    a pattern rhyming words
  44. free verse
    poetry without regular rhyme
  45. rhythm
    pattern of beats
  46. simile
    a comparison using like or as
  47. stanza
    grouping of two or more lines
  48. sonnet
    a fourteen line poem
  49. analogy
    comparison between two similar things
  50. aside
    a speech directly to the audience in a play
  51. author's purpose
    a writer's reason for writing
  52. dynamic character
    a character that changes in the story
  53. static character
    a character that stays the same in a story
  54. comic relief
    something humorous to break the tension
  55. connotation
    a word's meaning in a certain situation
  56. denotation
    a word's dictionary meaning
  57. cliché
    an overused expression
  58. epiphany
    a sudden understanding of something
  59. expository essay
    an essay that explains something
  60. narrative essay
    an essay that tells a story
  61. euphemism
    a good word instead of an inappropriate word
  62. fable
    short story with a moral
  63. foil
    a character who contrasts with another character
  64. pun
    a play on words
  65. prose
    writing in sentences and paragraphs
  66. meter
    the rhythmical pattern in a peom
  67. mythology
    an old story about gods and goddesses
  68. paradox
    a contradiction
  69. flat character
    character that is not fully described
  70. round character
    character that is fully described
  71. dialogue
    conversation between two characters
  72. dramatic convention
    an actors technique or actions
  73. epic simile
    an elaborate comparison of unlike subjects
  74. epigraph
    phrase or poem at the beginning of a document
  75. epithet
    term used to characterize someone or something
  76. persuasive essay
    writing done to convince someone
  77. extended metaphor
    comparison lasting several lines or a whole poem
  78. suspense
    feeling of uncertainty about the outcome
  79. haiku
    three line nature poem
  80. idiom
    a saying characteristic of a region
  81. invocation
    words asking for help or support
  82. literal language
    means just what it says
  83. lyric poetry
    musical verse expressing the thoughts of a person
  84. soliloquy
    long speech from a character that is alone on the stage
  85. narrative poetry
    poetry that tells a story
  86. parody
    a work created to mock something
  87. rhetorical question
    a question that doesn't expect an answer
  88. tragic hero
    a hero experiencing great misfortune
Card Set
Literary Terms