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Lit Terms - Wood

Alliteration succession of similar consonant sounds, “round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran”
Assonance succession of similar vowel sounds, “eager beaver”, “holy smoke”, “eyes like sapphires shining bright”
Connotation overtones, suggestions of additional meaning
Denotation a meaning defined in a dictionary, some words have many different ones
Epiphany a moment of enlightenment or understanding
Lyric a short poem with a musical feel, expresses thoughts and feelings of a single person
Motif an element that recurs throughout a narrative eg. Image, idea or action
Narrative a poem that tells a story, one of the 4 types of poems (lyric, dramatic, didactic)
Epic long narrative often telling story of legendary or mythic hero
Onomatopoeia represent a thing using a word that imitates the sound, zoom, whiz, crash, bang
Bildungsroman Apprenticeship Novel depicts a youth that struggles toward maturity forming new views of the world and philosophy of life
Epistolary Novel story is told by letters written from one or more characters
Picaresque Novel presents the life of a likable scoundrel who is at odds with respectable society
Novella a prose narrative longer has a short story but shorter than a novel (30,000-50,000 words)
Exposition opening portion of story, sets the scene, introduces main characters, provides background
Foreshadowing indication of what is to come
Conflict a complication
Denouement Resolution – the outcome or conclusion
Flashback retrospect – a scene relived in a character’s memory
Protagonist main character, not necessarily brave or with good qualities
Antagonist character set against main character or hero
Hero brave, good qualities, not always perfect
Antihero lacking the traditional hero attributes, tend to be loners
Foil contrasting character, illuminates another one
Stock Character stereo typed character: mad scientist, prince charming, greedy explorer
Flat Character has only one outstanding trait or feature
Round Character portrayed in greater depth, in more detail
Objective view Does not enter the mind of any character, just describes events
Third Person Limited Can see into the mind of one
Third Person Omniscient Can see into the minds of all
Literally the true meaning
Figuratively implied meaning, or comparison
Apostrophe a way of addressing someone, or something, that is not usually spoken to “Death, ain’t you got no shame?” or ”Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour”
Hyperbole (Overstatement) exaggeration “aster than empires, and more slow”
Understatement implying more than is stated
Metonymy the name of a thing is substituted for that of another closely associated with it “between the cradle and the grave” meaning “birth and death”
Synecdoche a kind of metonymy, use a part of a thing to stand for the whole of it, “she lent a hand”
Transferred Epithet a kind of metonymy, attributes some characteristic of a thing to another thing closely associated with it. “drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds” sheep bells don’t get sleepy, but sheep do
Paradox a statement that seems contradictory, but on reflection makes some sense. “… day brought back my night” a blind man wakes from a dream
Personification a thing, animal, or abstract term is given human qualities, “the wind stood up and gave a shout”
Metaphor states one thing is another “your fingers are sausages”, “my love is a rose”, often implies more than one characteristic is similar
Simile comparison of two things, usually with “like” or “as”, expresses similarity between dissimilar things
Diction word choice
Allegory a description, usually narrative, in which persons, places, and things are employed in a continuous and consistent system of equivalents
Allusion a brief, indirect reference in a text to a person, place or thing. May be an initial quotation or a phrase borrowed from another work. Imply a common set of knowledge for reader and writer
Deus ex machina (a god from a machine), a god lowered to the stage to resolve human conflict. Now refers to forced or improbable device in plot resolution
In media res in the midst of things, skip over exposition and jump into the middle of action
Dramatic Poetry presents the voice of an imaginary character speaking directly. A poem written as a speech made by a character
Didactic poetry a poem written to state a message or teach a body of knowledge
Foot accent
Closed form poet follows a pattern
Open form follows no established pattern, or symmetry. Often uses white space for emphasis
Blank Verse iambic pentameter, line of 5 iambs. Does not have stanzas. Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Tennyson’s “Ulysses”
Free Verse from open form, not limited by meter or rime
Limerick short comic verse of 5 anapestic line, aabba
Villanelle 5 stanzas of aba followed by 6th stanza of abaa
Sestina 6 six-line stanzas, repeats 6 end word
Meter when stresses fall at fixed intervals
Iambic alternate stressed and unstressed syllables, “but soft, what light through yon-der wind-dow breaks?”
Trochaic stressed syllable followed by unstressed one, “dou-ble, dou-ble, toil and trou-ble”
Anapestic 2 unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one, “now this is the Law of the Jun-gle – as old and as true as the sky”, “on a boat”
Dactylic one stressed syllable followed by 2 unstressed, “Puss-y cat, puss-y cat, where have you been?”
Exact Rhyme sounds following the vowel have to be the same, red:bread, wealthily:stealthily,
Slant (Rhyme near rime, off rime) final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different. Sun:bone:moon:green
Connsonance rimed words have the same beginning and ending consonant, but different vowel, chitter:chatter, spoiled:spilled
End Rhyme comes at the ends of lines
Eye Rhyme spellings look alike but are pronounced different – rough and dough, idea and flea
Scansion describes rhythmic pattern in a poem by separating the metrical feet, counting the syllables, marking the accents, and indicating the pauses. Useful when analyzing the sound of a poem
Syllabic verse poet establishes a pattern or a certain number of syllables to a line. Can be rimed or not usually with stanzas Dylan Thomas’s “Fern Hill”
Sonnet 14 lines of iambic pentameter, rime scheme
Italian Sonnet (Petrarchan) abba, abba for 8 lines, octave – often states a problem; adds new rime sounds in the last 6 lines, sestet – presents the solution
English Sonnet (Shakespearean) 4 clusters: abab, cdcd, efef, gg
Spenserian Sonnet abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee
High Comedy relies on wit and word play
Epigram a witty statement that memorably expresses some truth, “I can resist everything except temptation”. “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”
Comedy of Manners a witty satire set in elite or fashionable society
Low Comedy emphasis on physical action, visual gags, and verbal jokes
Burlesque humorous parody or travesty of another play
Farce desendant of Commedia dell’arte; humorous play whose action is usually fast-moving and improbable
Commedia dell’arte Italian – Harlequin, a clown; Columbine, his peppery sweetheart; Pantaloon, a doddering duffer
Madrigal short, secular songs for 3 or more voices.
Orchestra level circular “dancing space”
Skene stage house, originally a place for costume changes. Was the backdrop
Picture-frame stage holds the action within a proscenium arch; most commercial theaters today
Proscenium Arch a gateway standing in front of the scenery
Troubadours minstrels, wrote poems and traveled about singing them
Enjambment poetry moves to next line without punctuation
Created by: nlwood



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