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Lit terms

AP exam practice

TermDefinition
aesthetics consideration of nature and perception of beauty in the arts
allegory lierature with two or more levels of meaning, meant to create ideas not necessarily pertinent to the immediate plot
ambiguity A statement with either more than one meaning or no clear way in which it was intended to be understood
anaphora repetition of a word or phrase at the start of clauses or sentences
aphorism a brief, generally wise statement about life
apostrophe someone absent, dead, or nonhuman is addressed as if it were able to reply
asyndeton leaving out a conjunction such as a comma when listing something.
chiasmus introduction of things/people/ideas in a certain order but discussion of them in the reverse order that they were presented in
colloquialsim communication meant to imitate/display informal speech or dialect
conceit far-fetched comparison between two things
deus ex machina unrealistic event or divine intervention which resolves plot
didactic literature meant to convey ideas about morality or philosophy
epigraph quotation at the beginning of a work
epithet word or phrase used for description which immediatly precedes or follows its subject ---Ex: much-beloved cake
exegesis critical interpretation of an *especially biblical* text
homily short discussion of a moral or religious theme
idiom figure of speech "raining cats and dogs"
interpolation altering a text by inserting new material
malapropism Misuse or distortion (usually comical) of a word or phrase. Generally close to the intended word but very wrong in meaning.
metonymy/synecdoche s=part to whole (give him a hand) ; metonymy=subject to closely related subject (white house=President)
pathetic fallacy Attributing human attitudes or actions to nature or inanimate objects
polemic An attack on someone or something
rhetoric language used in a persuasive manner and which may be exaggerated or irrational
stock character stereotypical character
trope The use of words in a non-literal sense
vernacular use of regional language or dialect
vignette brief description of a thing or event; also a small illustration
litotes An affirmative expressed using a negative (ex - you won't be sorry)
Created by: sami536 on 2014-04-23



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