Stratford Literary Terms

  1. Allegory
    A story in which the characters, settings, and events stand for abstract or moral concepts
  2. Alliteration
    the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close together; found at the beginning of words
  3. Allusion
    A reference to an outside source such as mythology or religion
  4. Ambivalence
    Simultaneously conflicting feelings
  5. Analogy
    A comparison made between two things that unlike to show a commonality
  6. Anecdote
    a brief story about an interesting event; told to entertain or to make a point
  7. Antagonist
    the character or force that blocks the protagonist
  8. Antithesis
    something in direct contrast; a direct opposite
  9. Aphorism
    a terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle
  10. Apostrophe
    A figure of speech in which a speaker addresses the absent as if present
  11. Archetype
    A universal symbol; recurs in different works of literature
  12. Assertion
    A positive statement or decleration
  13. Assonance
    the repetition of similar vowel sounds that are followed by different consonant sounds in non rhyming words
  14. Atmosphere
    the emotional mood created by the entirety of a literary work
  15. Attitude
    A writer's intellectual position or emotion regarding his subject
  16. Audience
    one's readers and/or listeners
  17. Autobiography
    an account of the writer's own life
  18. Ballad
    A poem or song that tells a story
  19. Biography
    the account of a person's life written or told by another person
  20. Cacophony/Dissonance
    A harshness of sound
  21. Caesura
    a pause or break within a line of poetry, usually indicated by the natural rhythm of the language
  22. characterization
    the process of revealing the personality of a character in a story
  23. cliche
    A word of phrase that has become meaningless due to overuse
  24. Climax
    A moment of great emotional intensity in a plot; usually the moment when the conflict is decided one way or another
  25. Comedy
    a light form of drama, aiming primarily to amuse
  26. Comic Relief
    Comic scene or event that breaks up a serious play or narrative
  27. Conceit
    an imaginative comparison, usuall
  28. conceit
    an imaginative comparison, usually an extended metaphor or surprising analogy, between two dissimilar things
  29. Conflict
    A struggle or clash bewtween opposing characters or forces
  30. Connotation
    All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests
  31. Consonance
    the repetition of consonant sounds before or after different vowel sounds
  32. Denotation
    the dictionary meaning of a word
  33. Denouement/Resolution
    the outcome of a plot where the conflict is resolved
  34. Dialect
    the characteristic speech of a particular region or social group
  35. Dialogue
    conversation between two or more characters
  36. Diary
    a day-by-day record of events and thoughts kept by an individual; usually more personal than a journal
  37. Diction
    a writer's choice of words
  38. Drama
    the enactment of a sequence of events by actors who impersonate characters through spoken dialogue
  39. Epic
    a long narrative poem that relates the deeds of a hero who embodies the values of a society
  40. epithet
    a descriptive word or phrase that is commonly used to describe a person or thing
  41. essay
    a short piece of non-fiction prose that examines a single subject from a limited point of view
  42. Euphemism
    a more agreeable substitute for a generally unpleasant word or concept
  43. Euphony
    a quality of style marked by pleasing combinations of sounds
  44. exposition
    in a story, the introductory material which may create the mood, give the setting, and introduce the characters
  45. fable
    a brief fictional narrative told to present a moral or practical lesson; characters are animals
  46. farce
    a comedy in which ridiculous often stereotyped characters are involved in absurd situations
  47. Fiction
    narrative writing drawn from the imagination of the author rather than from history or fact
  48. Figurative Language
    language used for descriptive effect, not to be interpreted literally
  49. Figure of Speech
    a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of another, usually to achieve special effects or meaning
  50. Flashback
    a scene that interrupts the present action of the plot to move backward to tell what happened at an earlier time
  51. Foil
    a character who sets off another character in the plot by strong contrast
  52. Folk Tale
    a short narrative handed down through oral tradition with various tellers and groups modifying it so that it become a story of cumulative ownership
  53. Foreshadowing
    the use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot
  54. Genre
    a distinct type or category of literature; usually based on form
  55. Hyperbole
    a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotions, creating a comic, serious, or ironic effect
  56. Ideology
    doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual or group
  57. Imagery
    language that appeals to the senses; used to help the reader see pictures in his mind
  58. Inference
    a reasonable conclusion based on information presented
  59. Inversion
    the reversal of the normal word order in a sentence or phrase
  60. Irony
    A contrast between what is stated and what is meant or between what is expected to happen and what actually happens
  61. journal
    a day-by-day record of events and personal impressions kept by an individual; usually less intimate than a diary
  62. metaphor
    a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things without using a connective word such as like, as, than, or resembles
  63. Metonymy
    A figure of speech in which something closely related to a thing or suggested by it is substituted for the thing itself ( the crown for the king)
  64. Myth
    An anonymous traditional story that usually serves to explain a belief, custom, or mysterious natural phenomenon
  65. Mythology
    all of the myths of a particular society gathered together
  66. Narrative
    an account in prose or verse (poetry) of an actual or fictional event or a sequence of events; a story
  67. Narrator
    anyone who tells a story
  68. Nonfiction
    literary works other than fiction; true
  69. Novel
    a long, fictional prose narrative, usually more than 50,000 words; usually uses the same elements as a short story
  70. Onomatopoeia
    the use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning
  71. Oxymoron
    a contradictory combination of words; usually shorter than a paradox
  72. Paradox
    a phrase or statement that while seemingly contradictory or absurd may actually be true
  73. parallelism
    the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures
  74. Parody
    the imitation of a work of literature, art, or music for amusement or enlightenment
  75. Persona
    a voice not directly the author's but created by the author and through which the author speaks
  76. Personification
    a kind of metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it were human
  77. Plot
    the series of related events that make up a story
  78. Poetic Justice
    a just or fitting retribution or punishment
  79. Point of View
    The vantage point from which an author tells a story
  80. Prose
    the usual language of writing lacking the special properties of meter and form that define poetry; any language or writing that is not poetry or drama
  81. Protagonist
    the main character in fiction, drama, or epic poetry; the person whose conflict sets the plot in motion
  82. Pun
    a play on the multiple meanings of a word or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings
  83. Repetition
    repeating a word, phrase, sound, clause, sentence, or grammatical pattern or rewording the same idea to emphasize its importance and/or to create a particular effect
  84. Rhetoric
    the principles or methods of writing effectively
  85. Rhyme
    the repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together in poem
  86. Rhythm
    the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in language
  87. Rising Action
    in a story, all of the events that lead up to the turning point or climax
  88. Satire
    a style of writing that ridicules in a humorous or caustic manner human weakness, vice, or folly, often in order to bring about social change
  89. Setting
    the time and place of a story or play
  90. Short Story
    a relatively brief fictional narrative
  91. Simile
    a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things by using a connective word such as like, as, than, or resembles
  92. Speaker
    the imaginary voice or persona assumed by the author, usually in poetry
  93. Stereotype
    a fixed idea of a character or an idea that does not allow for individuality; often based on prejudices or biases
  94. Stream of Consciousness
    a writing style that tries to depict the random flow of thoughts, emotions, memories, and associations rushing through a character's mind
  95. style (1)
    an analysis of the choices an author makes in blending diction, syntax, figurative language and other literary devices. For example, styles may be flower, explicit, succinct, rambling, or commonplace, to name a few.  Some authors' styles are very quickly identifiable, such as Hemingway's plain style and Faulkner's lengthy, descriptive style.
  96. Style (2)
    A classification of authors to a goup, such as analyzing how an author's style reflects a certain historical period, and a comparison of authors to each other during a specific literary movement, such as the romantic, transcendental or realist movement
  97. Syllogism
    A deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises ("major" and "minor") that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion; valid only if both premises are accurate.
  98. Symbol
    A person, place, thing, quality, or event that stands both for itself and for something much broader than itself
  99. Synedoche
    a figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole (threads for clothes and wheels for cars)
  100. Syntax
    the way in which words are combined to make a sentence (sentence length, patterns, punctuation)
  101. Theme
    the idea or insight the author wants to convey about the subject; the writer's view of the world or a revelation about human nature; should be expressed in a complete sentence
  102. Tone
    the writer's attitude toward his subject, characters, and readers; usually conveyed through author's choice of words and details
  103. Tragedy
    a play, novel, or other narrative depicting serous and important events in which the main character comes to an unhappy end
  104. Understatement
    a figure of speech that consists of saying less than what is really meant
  105. Verisimilitude
    the use of details in such a way as to make something untrue seem to be true
  106. Voice
    the sound of a writer's work determined by stylistic choices such as sentence structure, diction, and tone
Card Set
Stratford Literary Terms