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BC Prov. Exam Review

The Comprehensive List of Literary Terms for English 10 (B.C.)

TermDefinition
Alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds
Allusion an implied or indirect reference to something assumed to be known, such as a historical event or personage, a well-known quotation from literature, or a famous work of art
Antagonist the principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama
Aside a piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not heard by the other actors on stage
Atmosphere a distinctive but intangible quality surrounding a person or thing
Audience the spectators or listeners assembled at a performance
Ballad a narrative poem, often of folk origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain
Bias a personal and often unreasoned judgment for or against one side in a dispute; a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
Blank Verse a verse consisting of unrhymed lines, usually of iambic pentameter
Character an actor's portrayal of someone in a play; an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story)
Chronological Order a sequence according to time of occurrence
Cliche hackneyed, timeworn, or overused expression
Climax the major turning point of a story
Colloquial characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation
Comedy light and humorous drama with a happy ending; a popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance
Compare to consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous; to examine in order to note the similarities or differences of
Internal Conflict occurs when one is confronted with a problem that presents difficult choices. One must make a decision one way or another
External Conflict occurs when one faces someone else or some situation that is working against one's own desires or goals
Conflict tension usually created by the protagonist and the antagonist. Usually written as 'Man versus Man', 'Man versus Himself', 'Man versus Society', etc.
Connotation includes the emotions or associations that surround a word; an implied meaning of a word. Connotation may be either positive, negative, or neutral. For example, 'skinny' and 'slim' both mean 'thin'. 'Skinny' is negative, while 'slim' is positive
Contrast to set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences; to show differences when compared
Denotation the literal dictionary meaning(s) of a word as distinct from an associated idea or connotation
Description a statement that represents something in words; the act of explaining something using a variety of adjectives and imagery
Dialogue conversation between characters in a drama or narrative; a literary composition in the form of a conversation between two people
Direct Presentation develops the character(s) through description, exposition, interpretation, and commentary. The author directly tells the reader what the character is like.
Drama a prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action
Dynamic Character in literature or drama, a character who undergoes a permanent change in outlook or character during the story
Exposition the first part of a composition that introduces the themes; the part of a play that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action
Expository a mode of writing in which the purpose of the author is to inform, explain, describe, or define his or her subject to the reader
Falling Action the events of a dramatic or narrative plot following the climax
Figurative Language speech or writing that departs from literal meaning in order to achieve a special effect or meaning, speech or writing employing figures of speech
First Person Point of View uses 'me', 'my', or 'I'; the narrator does participate in the action of the story. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth
Flashback a literary or cinematic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative
Flat Character a literary character whose personality can be defined by one or two traits and does not change in the course of the story
Foil a character whose behaviour and qualities set off or enhance by contrast those of another figure (a character in sharp contrast to the protagonist, who is used to draw out the central character)
Foreshadowing to present an indication or a suggestion of events beforehand
Free Verse verse composed of variable, usually unrhymed lines having no fixed metrical pattern
Genre a category of artistic, musical or literary composition characterized by a particular form, style, or content
Hyperbole a bold, deliberate overstatement; a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect
Image a picture created in the reader's mind as a result of description and narration
Imagery the elements in a literary work used to evoke mental images, not only of the visual sense, but of sensation and emotion as well; often involves the use of simile, metaphor, or personification. Remember: Imagery = S.M.P.
Indirect Presentation develops the character through what s/he says, does, thinks and feels. We also learn about him/her through what other characters in the story say and feel about him/her. We then interpret his/her character for ourselves.
Irony a figure of speech in the form of an expression in which the use of words is the opposite of the thought in the speaker's mind; the opposite of what one expects to happen occurs
Jargon a characteristic language of a particular group; specialized technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject. For example, there is medical jargon and legal jargon
Limited Omniscient Point of View a narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor
Lyric of or relating to a category of poetry that expresses subjective thoughts and feelings, often in a songlike style or form
Metaphor a comparison that does not use 'like' or 'as'
Mood the poet's or persona's attitude in style or expression toward the subject
Narration a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program
Narrative a construct created in a suitable medium (speech, writing, images) that describes a sequence of fictional or non-fictional events
Narrator someone who tells a story
Objective Point of View the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
Omniscient Point of View a narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient. [Remember: ‘Omni’ means ‘all’]
Onomatopoeia strictly speaking, the formation or use of words which imitate sounds; sound words; example include 'buzz', 'zip', 'boom', 'woof', 'quack'
Paradox a statement which contains seemingly contradictory elements or appears contrary to common sense, yet can be seen as perhaps, or indeed, true when viewed from another angle
Personification a type of metaphor in which distinctive human characteristics are attributed to an animal, object, or idea
Persuasion communication intended to induce belief or action
Persuasive providing sound reasoning or argument
Plot the story that is told in a novel or play or movie, etc.; the sequence of events that occur in a story
Point of View the attitude or outlook of a narrator or character in a piece of literature, a movie, or another art form
Propaganda information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause
Protagonist the main character in a drama or other literary work
Refrain a phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza
Resolution the end result of a plot/story; may also be referred to as 'denouement'
Rhyme a type of echoing which utilizes a correspondence of sound in the final accented vowels and all that follows of two or more words, but the preceding consonant sounds must differ
Rhyme Scheme the pattern established by the arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem, generally described by using letters of the alphabet to denote the recurrence of rhyming lines. For example, 'a,b,a,b' or 'a,b,b,a'
Rhythm the pattern or flow of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables in accentual verse or of long and short syllables in quantitative verse
Rising Action the events of a dramatic or narrative plot preceding the climax
Round Character a complex literary character that is fully developed
Sarcasm witty language used to convey insults or scorn; cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound
Satire a literary work which exposes and ridicules human vices or folly. For example, 'Saturday Night Live' and 'The Daily Report' are satirical television shows.
Setting the time, place, and circumstances in which a narrative, drama, or film takes place. Setting can include: time and place; the historical, geographical, political, economic, social, or religious background; and, the atmosphere or tone of the story
Simile a figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two essentially unlike things, usually using like or as
Slang informal language consisting of words and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions
Sonnet a fourteen-line poem
Speaker the voice of a literary work
Stanza one of the divisions of a poem, composed of two or more lines usually characterized by a common pattern of meter, rhyme, and number of lines
Static Character a literary character that remains basically unchanged throughout a work
Stereotyped Character a character in a story that represents a widely held but fixed oversimplified image of a particular type of person or thing; a person or thing appearing to conform to generalized images of certain groups of people
Style the poet's individual creative process, as determined by choices involving diction, figurative language, rhetorical devices, sounds, and rhythmic patterns
Suspense pleasurable excitement and anticipation regarding an outcome, such as the ending of a mystery novel
Symbol an image transferred by something that stands for or represents something else
Theme the central idea of a piece of literature
Tone manner of expression in speech or writing
Tragedy a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great person; a drama, usually in verse, portraying a conflict between a strong-willed protagonist and a superior force such as destiny, culminating in death or disaster
Understatement the presentation of a thing with underemphasis in order to achieve a greater effect; restraint or lack of emphasis in expression
Created by: Lindsay Sommers Utian Lindsay Sommers Utian on 2008-03-06



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