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Literary Terms Exam

TermDefinition
Allegory a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one
Satire the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues
Conflict a struggle between two opposing forces, typically between a protagonist and an antagonist.
Protagonist the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.
Antagonist a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.
Coming of Age the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood
Flat Character relatively uncomplicated character that does not change throughout the course of a work
Round Character complex character that undergoes development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader
Static Character one whose personality doesn't change throughout the events in the story's plot.
Dynamic Charcter someone who undergoes an important, internal change because of the action in the plot
Description A rhetorical strategy using sensory details to portray a person, place, or thing.
Dialogue conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie
Theme the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a TOPIC
Narrator a person who narrates (tells) something, especially a character who recounts the events of a novel or narrative poem
Unreliable Narrator a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised.
Point of View 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person. the narrator's position in relation to the story being told
Figurative Language language that contains or uses figures of speech, especially metaphors
Setting the place or type of surroundings where something is positioned or where an event takes place.
Symbol An object or action that means something more than its literal meaning
Tone the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc
Inference a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning
Foreshadowing be a warning or indication of a future event
Flashback a sudden, vivid memory of an event in the past
Plot the main events of a play, novel, movie, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence; storyline
Exposition giving certain details about a character's past
Inciting Moment the event or decision that begins a story's problem.
Rising Action a series of related incidents builds toward the point of greatest interest:comes after exposition
Climax/Crisis the most intense, exciting, or important point of something
Falling Action the part of a literary plot that occurs after the climax has been reached and the conflict has been resolved
Moment of Final Suspense the last thing in a story that is never completely resolved or answered
Denouement the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
Allusion A brief reference to a real or fictional person, event, place, or work of art
Alliteration the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words
Diction the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing
Metaphor A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things without using connection words, such as like or as
Simile A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two thing using connection words, such as like or as
Personification the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form
Hyperbole exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally
Imagery visually descriptive or figurative language
Sound imagery The use of certain words or phrases to describe a sound
Juxtaposition the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect
Parallelism ideas of equal worth with the same grammatical form (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
Synecdoche a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa
Memoir a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources
Irony a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words
Line single row of words in a poem; a verse
Stanza groups of lines together, seperated by spaces; conveys an idea
Couplet a stanza; 2 lines
Triplet a stanza; 3 lines
Quatrain a stanza; 4 lines
Quintet a stanza; 5 lines
Sestet a stanza; 6 lines
Septet a stanza; 7 lines
Octave a stanza; 8 lines
Types of Stanzas couplet, triplet, quatrain, quintet, sestet, septet, octave
Free Verse line of words with no specific number of syllables; can be anything
Blank Verse poetry without a rhyme scheme
Rhyme Scheme rhyming or pattern of rhyme
Limerick totally silly poem, 5 lines (there once was a boy named...)
Ballad A story/narrative in poetic form, 12-16
Haiku Japanese poetry that reflects on nature and feelings, 3 lines (5-7-5)
Cinquain does not rhyme, but has a special pattern that writers follow; 5 lines
Shape Poetry a poem whose form actually takes that shape of the object it is describing
Assonance the repetition of vowel sounds in a chunk of text
Consonance the repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowels, in a chunk of text
Onomatopoeia a word that sounds like what it means
Enjambment occurs when one line ends without a pause or any punctuation and continues onto the next line
Meter the measured arrangement of sound/beats in a poem
Rhythm the recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds in poetry
Created by: emma-sanders