AP Lit Terms

  1. A prose or poetic narrative in which the characters, behavior, and even the setting demonstrates multilevels of meaning and significance.
    Death portrayed as "grim reaper"
  2. The sequential initial repetition of a familiar sound, usually applied to consonants, usually heard in closely proximate stressed syllables.
    Peter Piped Picked Peppers
  3. A reference to a literary or historical event, person, or place.
  4. The regular repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases or clauses.
  5. A brief story or tale told by a character in a piece of literature.
  6. Any force that is in opposition to the main character, or protagonist.
  7. The juxtaposition of sharply contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words, phrases, grammatical structure, or ideas.
  8. Recurrent designs, patterns of action, character types, themes, or images which are identifiable in a wide range of literature.
    ex femme fatale in works of literature
  9. A repitition of of identical or similar vowel sounds, usually those found in stressed syllables of close proximity.
  10. A style in which conjunctions are omitted, usually producing a fast-paced, more rapid prose.
    ex I came, I saw, I conquered
  11. The sense expressed by the tone of voice and/or the mood of a piece of writing; the feelings the author holds toward his subject, people, events, setting, and even the theme.
  12. A narrative poem that is, or was, meant to be sung.
  13. A common stanza form, consisting of a quatrain that alternates four beat and three beat lines.
    Ballad stanza
  14. The verse form that most resembles common speech, verse consists of unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter.
    Blank verse
  15. A pause in a line of verse, indicated by natural speech patterns rather than due to specific metrical patterns.
  16. A depiction in which a character's characteristics or features are so deliberately exaggerated as to render them absurd.
  17. A figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first two parallel clauses is reversed in the second.
    Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure -Byron
  18. Ordinary language, the vernacular.
    Depending on where you live a sandwich could be a hero, club, or hoagie
  19. A comparison of two unlikely things that is drawn out within a piece of literature, in particular an extended metaphor within a poem.
  20. What is suggested by a word, apart from what it explicitly describes, often reffered to as the implied meaning of a word.
  21. The repitition of a sequence of two or more consonants, but with a change in the intervening vowels, such as pitter-patter, splish-splash
  22. Two rhyming lines of iambic pentameter that together present a single idea or connection.
  23. The metrical pattern, as used in poetry, in which each foot consists of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones.
  24. A direct and specific meaning, often reffered to as the dictionary meaning of a word.
  25. The language and speech idiosyncrasies of a specific area, region, or group of people.
  26. The specific word choice an author uses to persuade or convey tone, purpose, or effect.
  27. A monologue set in a specific situation and spoken to an imaginary audience.
    Dramatic monologue
  28. A poetic lament upon the death of a particular person, ususally ending in consolation.
  29. The continuation of a sentence from one line or couplet of a poem to the next.
  30. A poem that celebrates , in a continuous narrative, the achievements of mighty heroes and heroines.
  31. That part of the structure that sets the scene, introduces and identifies characters, and establishes the situation at the beginning of a story or play.
  32. A detailed and complex metaphor that extends over a long section of a work.
    Extended metaphor
  33. That part of plot structure in which the complications of the rising action are untangled.
    Falling Action
  34. A play or scene in a play or book that is characterized by broad humor, wild antics, and often slapstick and physical humor.
  35. To hint at or present indication of the future beforehand.
  36. Language that is lofty, dignified, and impersonal.
    Formal diction
  37. Retrospection, where an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronology of the narrative.
  38. Poetry that is characterized by varying line lengths, lack of traditional meter, and non-rhyming lines.
    Free verse
  39. A type or class of literature such as epic or narrative.
  40. Overstatement characterized by exaggerated language.
  41. A metrical form in which each foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one.
  42. Broadly defined, any sensory detail or evocation in a work; more narrowly, the use of figurative language to evoke a feeling, to call to mind an idea, or to describe an object.
  43. Language that is not as lofty or impersonal as formal diction; similar to everyday speech.
    Ok bye hey huh
    Informal diction
  44. "in the midst of things"; refers to opening a story in the middle of the action, necessitating filling in past details by exposition or flashback.
    In media res
  45. A situation or statement characterized by significant difference between what is expected or understood and what actually happens or is meant. Often humorous sometimes sarcastic.
  46. Specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group. The computer industry, for example, has introduced much of this into our vocab.
    Geek, crash, interface.
  47. The location of one thing as being adjacent or juxtaposed with another. This placing of certain verbs side by side creates a certain effect, reveals an attitude or accomplishes some purpose of the writer.
  48. A perspective confined to a single character, whether a first-person or a third person; the reader cannot know for sure what is going on in the minds of other characters.
    Limited point of view
  49. A firgure of speech that emphasizes its subject by conscious understatement.
    "Not bad" as a comment about something especially well done.
  50. A sentence grammatically complete, and usually stating its main idea, before the end.
    "The child ran as if being chased by demons."
    Loose Sentence
  51. Originally designated poems meant to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre; now any short poem in which the speaker expresses intense personal emotion rather than describing a narrative or dramatic situation.
  52. A misleading term for theme; the central idea or statement of a story, or area of inquiry or explanation; misleading because it suggests a simple, packaged statement that preexists and for the simple communication of which the story is written.
  53. One thing pictured as if it were something else, suggesting a likeness or analogy between them. It is an implicit comparison or identification of one thing with another unlike itself without the use of like or as.
    "Juliet is the sun."
  54. The more or less regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. This is determined by the kind of "foot" and by the number of feet per line.
  55. A figure of speech in which an attribute or commonly associated feature is used to name or designate something as in.."The Whit House announced today..."
  56. A feeling or amibiance resulting from the tone of a piece as well as the writer/narrator's attitude and point of view. This effect is fabricated through descriptions of feelings or objects that establish a sense of fear, patriotism, sanctity, hope, etc.
  57. A recurrent device,, formula, or situation that often serves as a signal for the appearance of a character or event. For example, The Great Gatsby, the recurring image, or motif, of the color green is found throughout the novel.
  58. A textual organization based on sequences of connected events, usually presented in a straightforward, chronological framework.
    Narrative structure
  59. The "character" who "tells" the story, or in poetry, the persona.
  60. A poem written about or for a specific occasion, public or private. An epithalium is a wedding poem, for example.
    Ocassional poem
  61. A lyric poem that is somewhat serious in subject and treatment, elevated in style and sometimes uses elaborate stanza structure, which is often patterned in sets of three. Often used to praise or exalt a person, characteristic, quality, or object.
  62. Also called unlimited focus: a perspective that can be seen from one character's view, then another's, then another's, or can be moved in or out of the mind of any character at any time. The reader has access to the perceptions and thoughts of all the characters in the story.
    Omniscient point of view
  63. A word capturing or approximating the sound of what it describes; "buzz" is a good example.
  64. Exaggerated language; also called hyperbole.
  65. A figure of speech that combines two apparently contradictory elements, as in "wise fool" or "jumbo shrimp"
  66. A short fiction that illustrates an explicit moral lessin through the use of analogy. Many can be found in the bible.
  67. A statement the seems contradictory but may actually be true.
    "fight for peace"
  68. A work that imitates another work for comic effect by exaggerating the style and changing the content of the original.
    Weird AL Yankovic makes these
  69. The use of similar forms in writing for nouns, verbs, phrases, or thoughts; Jane likes reading, writing, and skiing.
    Parallel Structure
  70. A poem (also called an ecologue, a bucolic, or an idyll" that describes the simple life of country folk, usually shepards who live a timeless, painless (and sheepless) life in a world full of music, beauty, and love.
    Wuthering Heights
  71. A sentece which is not grammatically complete until the end.
    "The child, who looked as if she were being chased by demons, ran."
    Periodic sentence
  72. The voice or figure of the author who tells and structures the story and who may or may not share the values of the actual author.
  73. Treating an abstraction or nonhuman object as if it were a person by endowing it with human qualities.
  74. Also called Italian sonnet: a sonnet form that divides the poem into one section of eight lines (octave) and a second section of six lines (sestet), usually following the abba abba cde cde rhyme scheme throught the sestet's rhyme variables.
    Petrarchan sonnet
  75. The arrangement of the narration based on the cause-effect relationshipof the events.
  76. The main character in a work, who may or may not be heroic.
  77. A poetic stanza of four lines.
  78. The practice in literature of attempting to describe nature and life without idealization and with no attention to detail.
  79. The development of action in a work, usually at the beginning. The first part of plot structure.
    Rising action
  80. The repitition of the same or similar sounds, most often at the ends of lines.
  81. The modulation of weak and strong (stressed and unstressed) elements in the flow of speech.
  82. A form of verbal irony in which apparent praise is actually harshly or bitterly critical. For example, if the teacher says to a student who sneals into class, "Nice of you to join us today."
  83. A literary work that holds up human failings to ridicule and censure.
  84. The analysis of verse to show its meter.
  85. The time and place of the action in a story, poem, or play.
  86. Also called an English sonnet: a sonnet for that divides the poem into three units of four lines each and a final unit of two lines, usually abab cdcd efef gg.
    Shakespearean sonnet
  87. Another name for concrete poetry: poetry that is shaped to look like an object.
    John Hollander's "A State of Nature" is shaped like NY
    Shaped verse
  88. A direct, explicit comparison of one thing to another,usually using the words like or as to draw the connection.
  89. A monologue in which the character in a play is alone and speaking only to himself or herself.
  90. The person, not necessarily the author, who is the voice of a poem.
  91. A section of a poem demarcated by extra line spacing. Some distinguish a stanza, a division marked by thought rather than pattern, not unlike a paragraph in prose writing.
  92. A characterization based on conscious or unconscious assumptions that some one aspect, such as gender, age, or ethnic identity, religion, marital status, and so on, are predictably accompanied by certain character traits, actions, even values.
  93. One who appears in a number of stories or plays such as the cruel stepmother, the femme fatale, etc.
    Stock Character
  94. The organization or arrangement of the variuos elements in a work.
  95. A distictive manner of expression; each author's is expressed through his or her diction, rhythm, imagery, and so on. It's a writers typical way of writing.
  96. A person, place, thing, event, or pattern in a literary work that designates itself and at the same time figuratively represents "stands for" something else.
  97. When a part is used to signify a whole, as in All hands on deck!
  98. The way words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. Sentece structure and how it influences the way the reader receives a particular piece of writing.
  99. A verse form consisting of three-line stanzas in which the second line of each rhymes with the first and third of the next.
    Terza rima
  100. A generalized, abstract paraphrase of the inferred central or dominant idea or concern of a work; the statement a poem makes about its subject.
  101. The attitude a literary work takes toward its subject and theme; the tenor of a piece of writing based particular stylistic devices employed by the writer.
  102. A drama in which a character (usually good and noble and of high rank) is brought to a disastrous end in his or her confrontation with a superior force.
  103. A metrical form in which each foot consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.
  104. The third part of plot structure, the point at which the action stops rising and begins falling or reversing.
    Turning point
  105. A verse form consisting of 19 lines divided into 6 stanzas, 5 tercets (3-line stanzas) and one quatrain. The 1st and 3rd line of the first tercet rhyme, and this rhyme is repeated through each of the next 4 tercets and in the last 2 lines of the concluding quatrain.
  106. The acknowledged or unacknowledged source of the words of the story; the speaker; the "person" telling the story or poem.
Card Set
AP Lit Terms
Flashcards for lit