Literary Terms

  1. alliteration
    The repetition of consonant sounds. Consonant clusters coming closely cramped and compressed.
  2. allegory
    The device of using character and/or story elements symolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning.
  3. allusion
    A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, sucha as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art.
  4. ambiguity
    The multiple maning, either intentional or unintentional, or a word, phrase, sentence, of passage.
  5. analogy
    A similarity or comparison betwween two different things or the relationship between them.
  6. anaphora
    A sub-type of parallelism, when the exact repetition of words or phrases at eh beginning of successive lines or sentences.
  7. antecedent
    The word, prase, or clause referred to by a pronoun.
  8. antithesis
    The opposite or contrast of ideas; the direct opposite.
  9. aphorism
    A terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle.
  10. apostrophe
    A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love.
  11. archetype
    A character, an event, a stroy or an image that recurs in different works, in different cultures and in different periods of time.
  12. assonance
    The repeated use of vowel sound as in, "Old king Cole was a merry old soul."
  13. atmosphere
    The emotianl nod created by the entirety of a literary work, extablished partly by the setting and partly by the author's choice of object that are described.
  14. asyndenton
    The omission of a conjuction from a list('chips, beans, peas, vine, gar, salt, pepper')
  15. blank verse
    Refers to unrhymed iambic pentameter.
  16. caricature
    A verbal description, the purpose of which is to exaggerate or distort, for comic effect, a person's distinctive physical features or other characteristics.
  17. caesura
    A pause, metrical or rheoterical, ocurring somewher in the middle of a line of verse.
  18. clause
    A grammatical unit that containg both a subject and a verb.
  19. colloqualism
    The us of slang or informalities in speech or writing.
  20. conceit
    A fanciful expression, usually in the from of an extended metaphor or suprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects.
  21. connotation
    The non-literary, associative meaning of a word, the implied, suggested meaning.
  22. consonance
    The repetition of consonant sound withing words(rather than at their beginning, which is alliteration)
  23. couplet
    A pair of line in a verse. It usually consist of two lines that end rhyme and havfe the same meter.
  24. denotation
    The strict, literal, dictionary definition for a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color.
  25. diction
    Related to style, diction refers to the writer's word choice, especially with regard to their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness.
  26. elegy
    A type of poem that meditated on death or mortality in a serious, thoughtful manner.
  27. enjabment
    The effect achieved when hte syntax of a line of verse transgresses the limits set by the meter at the end of the verse.
  28. epigram
    • oringinally: an inscription on a monument or statue
    • now: short witty statement, especially one with two counterbalancing halves such as "Candy/Is dandy/But liquor/Is quicker."
  29. epigraph
    • (1)an inscription in verse or prose on a building, statue tomb, or coin.
    • (2)a short verse or motto appearing at the beginning of a longer poem or the title page of a novel.
  30. epitaph
    An inscription on a tomb or grave.
  31. epithet
    An adjective or phrase describing a person or thing.
  32. euphemism
    A more agreeable or less offensive substitute for a general unpleasent word or concept.
  33. extended metaphor
    A metaphor developed at a great length, occuring frequently in or throughout a work.
  34. figurative lenguage
    Writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is usually meant to be imaginative and vivid.
  35. figure of speech
    A device used to produce figurative lenguage.
Card Set
Literary Terms
Literary Terms for AP Literature