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AP Lit Terms: 225

5 Steps: page 225

allegory A work that functions on a symbolic level.
alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds.
allusion A reference to another piece of literature, history, pop culture, etcetera contained in a work.
anapest A metrical pattern of two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllables. (--/)
antagonist The force or character that opposes the main character, the protagonist.
apostrophe Direct address in poetry. Yeat's line "Be with me Beauty, for the fire is dying" is a good example.
aside Words spoken by an actor intended to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on stage.
aubade A love poem set at dawn which bids farewell to the beloved.
ballad A simple narrative poem, often incorporating dialogue that is written in quatrains, generally with a rhyme scheme of "a b c d"
blank verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter. Most of Shakespeare's plays are written this way.
cacophony Harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage of a literary work.
caesura A break or pause within a line of poetry indicated by punctuation or extra spacing and used to emphasize meaning.
catharsis According to Aristotle, the release of emotion that the audience of a tragedy experiences.
character One who carries out the action of the plot in literature. Major, minor, static, and dynamic are types of characters
climax The turning point of action or characer in a literary work, usually the highest point of tension.
comic relief The inclusion of a humorous character or scene to contrast with the tragic elements of a work, thereby intensifying the next tragic event.
conflict A clash between opposing forces in a literary work, such as man vs. man; man vs. nature; man vs. God; man vs. self.
connotation The interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal definition.
convention A traditional aspect of a literary work, such as a soliloquy in a Shakespearean play or a tragic hero in a Greek tragedy.
couplet Two lines of rhyming poetry; often used by Shakespeare to conclude a scene or important passage.
dactyl A foot of poetry consisting of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. (/--)
denotation The literal or dictionary meaning of a word.
denouement The conclusion or tying up of loose ends in a literary work; the resolution of the conflict and plot.
deus ex machina A Greek invention, literally "the god from the machine" who appears at the last moment and resolves the loose ends of a play. Today, the term refers to anyone , usually of some stature, who untangle, resolves, or reveals the key to the plot of a work.
diction The author's choice of words.
dramatic monologue A type of poem that presents a conversation between a speaker and an implied listener. Browning's "My Last Duchess" is a perfect example.
elegy A poem that laments the dead or a loss. "Elegy for Jane" by Roethke is a specific example. Gray's "Elegy in a Country Church Yard" is a general example.
enjambment A technique in poetry that involves the running on of a line or stanza.It enable the poem to move and to develop coherence as well as directing the reader with regard to form and meaning. Walt Whitman uses this continuously.
epic A lenghthly,elevated poem that celebrates the exploits of a hero. "Beowulf" is a prime example. The term can also be applied to prose works.
epigram A brief witty poem. Pope often utilizes this form for satiric commentary.
euphony The pleasant, mellifluous presentation of sounds in a literary work.
Created by: dwilliamsRHS



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