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AP Lit Terms: 227

5 Steps: page 227

TermDefinition
point of view The method of narration in a work.
protagonist The hero or main character of a literary work. The character the audience sympathizes with.
quatrain A four-line stanza.
resolution The denouement of a literary work.
rhetorical question A question that does not expect an explicit answer. It is used to pose an idea to be considered by the speaker or audience. (Earnest Dowson asks, "Where are they now the days of wine and roses?")
rhyme/rime The duplication of final syllable sound in two or more lines...it's a bit more complicated than that though.
rhyme scheme The annotation of the pattern of the line.
rhythm The repetitive pattern of beats in poetry.
romanticism A style or movement of literature that has it foundations in an interest in freedom, idealism, adventure, and escape.
satire A mode of writing based on ridicule, which criticizes the foible and follies society without necessarily offering a solution. (Johnathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" is a great example exposing the human condition.)
scansion Analysis of a poem's rhythm and meter
sestet A six line stanza, usually paired with an octave to form a Petrarchan sonnet
sestina A highly structured poetic form 39 of lines, written in iambic pentameter. It depends upon the repetition of six words from the first stanza in each of six stanzas.
setting The time and place of a literary work
simile An indirect comparison that uses the word "like" or "as" to link the differing items in the comparison. ("Your eyes are like stars.")
soliloquy A sopeech in a play which is used to reveal the character's inner thoughts to the audience. (Hamlet's "To be or not to be..." is one of the most famous soliloquies in literature.)
sonnet A 14-line poem with a prescribed rhyme scheme in iambic pentameter.
spondee A poetic foot consisting of two accented syllables, (--).
stage directions The specific instructions a playwright includes concerning sets characterization, delivery, etc.
stanza A unit of a poem similar in rhyme, meter, and length to other units in the poem. Equivalent to a paragraph in prose.
structure The organization and form of a work.
style The unique way an author presents his ideas. Diction, syntax, imagery, structure, and content all contribute to a particular style.
subplot A secondary plot that explores ideas different from the main storyline. (The main plot in "Hamlet" deals with Hamlet avenging the death of his father. The subplot has Hamlet dealing with his love for Ophelia.)
subtext Implied meaning of a work or section of a work
symbol Something in a literary work that stands for something else. (Plato has the light of the sun stand for truth "The Allegory of the Cave.")
synecdoche A figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative of the whole. ("All hands on deck" is an example.)
syntax The grammatical structure of prose and poetry.
tercet A three-line stanza.
theme The underlying ideas that the author illustrate through characterization, motifs, language, plot, etc.
tone The author's attitude toward his subject.
tragic hero According to Aristotle, a basically good person of noble birth or exalted position who has a fatal flaw or commits an error in judgment which leads to his downfall. The tragic hero must have a moment of realization and live and suffer.
trochee A single metrical foot consisting of one accented (stressed/long) syllable followed by one unaccented (unstressed/short) syllable (/-).
understatement The opposite of exaggeration It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.
villanelle A highly structured poetic form that comprises six stanzas: five tercets and a quatrain. The poem repeats the first and third lines throughout.
Created by: dwilliamsRHS