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Contempl Litarture

Vocabulary words

TermDefinition
Absurdism: A type of drama that includes actions that lead in no predictable direction.
Accents: The prominent syllables in words.
Active voice: The subject of the sentence carries out the action of the verb.
Allegory: A narrative in which the characters, actions, or settings stand for a secondary meaning, often with a moral implication.
Alliteration: The repetition of consonant sounds in a text.
Anapestic: Anapestic: One foot of poetry with two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable.
Antagonist: Antagonist: The character in a literary work with whom the protagonist is in conflict
Assonance: Assonance: The repetition of vowel sounds in a text.
Aubade: A lyric poem in which the speaker laments the coming of the morning and the parting from his lover
Audience: The readers of an essay.
Ballad: A narrative poem in four-line rhymed stanzas.
Biographical criticism: A literary theory stating that the reader can derive a work's meaning by studying the biography of the writer.
Canon: A body of works considered as definitive in a particular field of study.
Catastrophe: The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the tragic ending.
Catharsis: The audience's purging of the feelings of sorrow and pity at the end of a tragedy.
Characterization: The way a writer represents and reveals a character.
Climax: The point of greatest tension in a work of fiction, also called the turning point.
Close reading: Reading a work of literature to attempt to decipher the emotion, meaning, and quality of the text.
Closed form: Poetry that has restricted structure, including meter, rhyme scheme, and number of lines.
Common knowledge: Information that almost everyone knows
Complications: Events in works of literature that complicate the story; usually resolved by the end of the text.
Conflict: An event in a work of literature that complicates the story; usually resolved by the end of the text.
Connotation: The implied meanings and associations of a word.
Context: The surroundings, such as connotation and author, of a work of fiction that determines its meaning.
Critical theory: The perspectives through which readers analyze literature.
Critical thinking: The process of thinking about and analyzing a work of literature
Cultural studies: Theories that study the role of society in literature.
Dactylic: One foot of poetry with one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables.
Dangling modifier: A phrase that is unclear as to whether it modifies the subject or the object of the sentence.
Database: An organized collection of information.
Deconstruction: A theory that studies and questions the existence of and imbalance in binary opposites.
Denotation: The dictionary meaning of a word.
Dialogue: Conversation between one or more characters in a literary work.
Diction: The chosen words in a literary work.
Drama: A genre of literature that is intended to be performed by actors on a stage.
Editing: The process of adjusting a written work by rewriting and condensing text.
Elegy: A lyric poem that is a lament for the dead.
Enjambment: A sentence or thought that is carried from one line of poetry to the next.
Epic poem: A long narrative poem that tells the stories of a heroic character.
Epigram: A short poem that is witty and often satirical.
Essay: A written analysis of a subject, usually containing an argument.
Exposition: The first stage of a work of fiction that provides background information necessary for understanding the story.
Fable: A form of short fiction that includes animals that speak and act as rationally as humans.
Fairy tale: A form of short fiction that includes supernatural characters or events.
Falling action: The stage of a work of fiction that follows the turning point; characterized by a decrease in action and conflict.
Feminist criticism: A literary theory that studies the role and position of women in literature and the literary field.
Fiction: A work of literature in prose, poetry, or drama that is based on the writer's imagination, not on fact.
Figurative language: A form of language in which the words imply more than their literal meanings.
First person point of view: A story told from the point of view of one of the story's participants.
Folk ballad: A ballad passed orally from person to person.
Foot: One unit of stressed and unstressed syllables.
Formalism: A literary theory stating that the reader can derive meaning by exclusively studying the form of the work.
Genre: A type or category of literature based on structure and writing technique.
Groundling: A common person who could not afford tickets for seats at Elizabethan theater and so stood in front of the stage.
Iambic: One foot of poetry with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
Imagery: Figurative language that evokes a mental picture and stimulates the five senses.
Irony: A contrast or discrepancy between one thing and another.
Irony of circumstance: A contrast or discrepancy between what the characters think is happening and what is actually happening.
Legend: A form of fiction that recounts the astounding achievements of real or imagined characters.
Limited omniscient point of view: A story told from the point of view of a narrator who is not a participant in the story but can see the thoughts and feelings of only one of the characters.
Literal language: A form of language in which the words mean exactly what the words denote.
Literary ballad: A more stylistically polished ballad.
Literary nonfiction: Nonfiction that meditates on, analyzes, or evaluates subjects and experiences that are factual; its sole purpose is not to inform.
Lyric poetry: Poetry that is characterized by the expression of emotion and the internal thoughts and feelings of the speaker.
Marxist criticism: A literary theory that studies the role of economics, politics, and power in literature.
Memoir: A genre of literary nonfiction whose subject matter is comprised of past events from the writer's life.
Metaphor: A comparison between two unrelated things that implies a connection without using verbal cues such as like or as.
Meter: The measured pattern of accents and syllables in a line of poetry.
Myth: A form of fiction that features ancient deities and often serves to explain the mysteries of nature.
Narrative poetry: Poetry that tells a story
Narrator: The voice and speaker in a work of fiction.
Nonfiction: A genre of literature that is based on fact.
Nonrealistic fiction: A form of fiction that includes supernatural or strange characters, settings, and other elements.
Novel: A form of fiction written in prose that is considerable in length.
Novella: A form of fiction written in prose that is usually between 50 and 100 pages in length.
Objective point of view: A story told from the point of view of a narrator who is outside of the story.
Ode: A long and formal lyric poem with varied stanzas.
Oedipus complex: The psychoanalytic theory that a child has an unconscious sexual desire for his parent of the opposite sex and harbors negative feelings for the parent of the same sex.
Omniscient point of view: A story told from the point of view of a narrator who is not a participant in the story but who can see the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters.
Open form: Poetry with no restricted structure.
Outline: A document that defines the basic structure of the essay.
Overgeneralization: A sweeping and oversimplified statement.
Parable: A form of short fiction that teaches a lesson, usually spiritual in nature.
Passive voice: The subject of the sentence receives the action of the verb.
Plagiarism: The act of taking credit for another person's words, thoughts, and ideas.
Play: A work of drama that is meant to be performed on a stage.
Playwright: An author who writes works of drama, also known as plays.
Plot: The sequence of incidents in a literary work.
Poem: A work of poetry in verse rather than prose.
Poetry: A genre of literature that employs the sound and rhythm of words to convey meaning; uses poetic tools, such as rhyme, language, and structure.
Point of view: The position from which a story is told.
Primary source: A direct source, such as a work of literature or a historical document.
Proofreading: The process of carefully evaluating a written work in order to find errors.
Prose: A form of writing that mimics ordinary speech and is presented in the form of paragraphs.
Protagonist: The major character in a literary work.
Psychoanalytic theory: A literary theory that studies a writer's or character's mind and mental state.
Realism: A movement that includes characters, settings, and other elements that seem real.
Realistic fiction: A form of fiction that includes characters, settings, and other elements that seem real.
Recognition: The point in a tragedy when the tragic hero realizes what has actually happened and why.
Resolution: The last stage of a work of fiction when conflicts are sorted out.
Revising: The process of adjusting a written work by reworking ideas and reorganizing text.
Rhyme: The matching of the final sounds in two or more words, usually at the end of a line of poetry.
Rhyme scheme: The pattern of repeated sounds at the end of lines of poetry.
Rhythm: The pattern of stress in a line of verse.
Romantic comedy: A genre of drama that includes a source of humor, usually mistaken identity and unexpected discoveries.
Satiric comedy: A genre of drama that includes a source of humor, usually the idiosyncrasies and shortcomings of humanity.
Secondary source: A written work that discusses a primary source.
Semiotics: The study of signs and symbols used by a culture to convey meaning.
Sestina: A 39-line lyric poem in iambic pentameter.
Short story: A form of short fiction written in prose that can generally be read in one sitting.
Simile: A comparison between two unrelated things that includes the word like or as.
Sonnet: A poem with fourteen lines in iambic pentameter.
Stage directions: The playwright's indication of how the actors should move and act on stage.
Staging: The way a play is presented on stage, including the position of the actors, the scenic background, the props, the costumes, the lighting, and the sound effects.
Stanza: A portion of a poem separated from another portion by a line break.
Structuralism: A critical theory that studies a culture's system of signs for designating meaning.
Style: A defined way of using and formatting language in a document.
Style guide: A handbook that contains style rules.
Stylistic: Of or related to the way an author chooses words and arranges them into sentences, paragraphs, and so on to convey meaning.
Subject and verb disagreement: A grammar term describing the situation in which the verb conjugation does not correspond with the subject (for example, "we was").
Symbol: An object, action, or event that stands for something beyond itself.
Syntax: The arrangement of words in a literary work.
Tales of ratiocination: Edgar Allan Poe's name for his detective stories
Theater: Works of drama or the performance of works of drama.
Thematic: Relating to the repetition of a theme in a work or portion of a work of literature.
Theme: The central idea in a work of literature that can be deduced from the work's plot, character, and language.
Thesis: The topic, argument, and personal point of view of an essay.
Thesis statement: The sentence that summarizes the topic and argument of the essay.
Third person point of view: A story told from the point of view of a narrator who is not a participant in the story but can see the thoughts and feelings of at least one of the characters.
Tone: The attitude of the writer toward the subject of a literary work.
Tragedy: A genre of drama that focuses on the sorrows and problems of life.
Tragic hero: The main character in a tragedy, usually an exalted character, who suffers a downfall.
Trochaic: One foot of poetry with a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable.
Turning point: The point of greatest tension in a work of fiction, also called the climax.
Verb tense disagreement: A grammar term describing the situation in which multiple verb tenses are used to refer to the same time (for example, "We bought food at the store and then eat it.")
Verbal irony: A contrast or discrepancy between what a character says and what a character knows.
Villanelle: A 19-line lyric poem with repeated lines throughout.
Voice: The speaker in a text.
Created by: Missyfaye
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