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Karens Literary Term

Karen's Literary Terms

allegory a narrative technique in which characters representing tings or abstract ideas are used to convey a message or teach a lesson
alliteration a poetic device where first consonant sounds or any vowel sounds in words or syllables are repeated. and in guise all of green, the gear and the man
allusion a reference to a familiar literary or historical person or event. describing someone as a "Romeo"
apostrophe a statement, question, or request addressed to an inanimate object or concept or to nonexistent or absent person. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
aside a comment made by a stage performer that is intended to be heard by audience but supposedly not by other characters
assonance the repetition of similar vowel sounds in poetry
conceit a clever and fanciful metaphor, usually expressed through elaborate and extended comparison
conflict the issue to be resolved in the story.
connotation the impression that a word gives beyond its defined meaning. horse and steed
denotation the definition of a word, apart from the impressions or feelings it creates in the reader.
Deus ex machina god out of a machine
dialogue conversation between people in a literary work. characters debate an issue or idea
diction the selection and arrangement of words
fable a prose or verse narrative intended to convey a moral. animals or inanimate objects with human characteristics often serve as characters in fables.
fairy tales short narratives featuring mythical beings such as fairies, elves, and spirits.
flashback scene relived in a character's memory.
first person narrator a story in which the narrator is a participant in the action. Refers to himself or herself as "I"
epic a long narrative poem usually composed in an elevated style tracing the adventures of a legendary or mythic hero.
end rhyme Rhyme that occurs at the ends of lines.
eye rhyme rhyme in which the spelling of the words appears alike, but pronunciations differ, sew:blew, brow:crow, said:laid, dough:rough, laughter and daughter, idea and flea
fiction contain factual information but made up by author.
figure of speech an expression or comparision that relies not on its literal meaning, but rather on its connotations and suggestions. "He's dumber than dirt"
flat character describes a character with only one outstanding trait. Stay the same throughout the story.
foreshadowing arranging events and information in such a way that later events are prepared for or shadowed, beforehand.
form the way the author expresses meaning rather than the content of that meaning.
free verse poetry that organizes its lines without meter. Usually not rhymed. No organizing
genre conventional combination of literary form and subject matter, usually aimed at creating certain effects.
hexameter a verse meter consisting of sex metrical feet, or six primary stresses, per line
imagery collective set of images in a poem or other literary work.
In medias res in the midst of things. Author starts the in the middle of the story.
Irony when a writer says one thing but means something quite the opposite. Discrepancy of meaning.
metaphor a statement that one thing is something else, which it is not. "Richard is a pig."
metonymy figure of speech in which the name of a thing is substituted for that of another closely associated with it. "The White House decided," meaning the president decided.
monologue an extended speech by a single character.
moral a paraphrasable message or lession implied or directly stated in a litereary work.
motif a n element that recurs significantly throughout a narrative. An image, idea, theme, situation, or action. A beautiful lady who turns out to be an evil fairy.
motivation what a character in a story or drama wants.
Onomatopoeia represent a thing or action by the word that imiates the sound associated with it. "crash, bang, pitter-patter."
parable a brief, usually allegorical narrative that teaches a moral.
persona "mask" fictitious character created by an author to be the speaker of a poem, story, or novel. Persona is always the narrator of the work and not merely a character in it.
personification a figure of speech in which a thing, an animal, or an abstract term is endowed with humane characteristics.
plot the particular arrangement of actions, events, and situations that unfold in a narritave.
protagonist the central character in a literary work.
antagonist conflict with the protagonist
sestet a poem or stanza of six lines.
setting the time and place of a literary work.
simile a comparision of two things, indicated by some connective, usually like, as, than, or a verb such as resembles. "Cool as cucumber"
soliloquy a speech by a character alone onstage in which he or she utters his or her thoughts aloud.
sonnet popular for love poetry. fourteen lines,
octave the first eight lines
quatrain a stanza consisting of four lines.
stock character A common or stereotypical character that occurs frequently. The mad scientist, the battle-scared veteran, or the strong but silent cowboy.
style all the distinctive ways in which an author genre, movement, or historical period uses language to create a literary work.
symbol a person, place or thing in a narrative that suggests meanings beyond its literal sense.
tercet a group of three lines of verse, usuallu all ending in the same rhyme.
theme a generallu recurring subject or idea conspicuously evident in a literary work.
third person narrator a type of narration in which the narrator is a nonparticipant. Referred to as "he," or "she," or "they."
tone the attitude toward a subject conveyed in a literary work.
tragedy serious and important actions that lead to a disastrous end for the protagonist.
tragic flaw a fatal weakness or moral flaw in the protagonist that brings him or her to a bad end.
tragic irony a form of dramatic irony that ultimately arrives at some tragedy.
tragicomedy a type of drama that combines elements of both tragedy and comedy
trimeter a verse meter consisting of three metrical feet, or three primary stresses, per line.
understatement an ironic figure of speech that deliberately describes something in a way that is less than the true case.
verbal irony a statement in which the speaker or writer says the opposite of what is really meant. When someone says "How grageful you are!" after you have just tripped on something.
verse single line in poetry or composition in lines of more or less regular rhythm.
slate rhyme a rhyme in which the final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different, as in letter and litter, bone and bean.
censorship the control of speech and other forms of human expression; it is often (but not necessarily) implemented by government intervention. The visible motive of censorship is often to stabilize or improve the society that the government would have control over.
eye rhyme rhyme in which the spelling of the words appears alike, but pronunciations differ, as in laughter and daughter, idea and flea
slate rhyme rhyme in which the final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different, as in letter and litter, bone and bean.
sestet six lines
sonnet love poetry, fourteen lines
round character described in depth and detail in a narrative
stock character popular character in a story does not have to be discribed. Common or stereotypical character that occurs frequently in literature.
flat character character with only one outstanding trait. Stay the same throughout the story
monologue an extended speech made by a single character
dialogue a conversation between two or more people
libel written defamation. radio, television broadcasts
slander spoken defamation. words, signs or gestures
propaganda Dissemination of information to manipulate public opinion.
eye rhyme spelling alike but pronunciation differs. laughter/daughter, flea/idea
exact rhyme identical sounds. go/slow, follow/hollow, disband/his hand
Haiku form that has three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.
tercet three lines of poetry
couplet a pair of lines of verse that form a unit. aa, bb, cc, dd, ee...I think I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree.
quintain five line stanza
quatrain four line stanza
bias rejection of ideas based on preconceptions rather than facts.
short story detailed scenes, well developed characters, realistic
tale summerized scenes; undeveloped characters/ usually lacks a clear moral
oxymoron loving hate, cold fire, sick health, beautiful tyrant.
irony form of speech in which the real meaning is concealed or contradicted by the words used. Brutus is an honorable man... Irony is that Brutus is not an honorable man.
Characterization The techniques a writer uses to create, reveal, or develop the characters in a narrative.
Hyperbole Exaggeration used to emphasize a point
Epiphany A moment of insight, discovery, or revelation by which a character's life is greatly altered. Generally occurs near the end of a story
Soliloquy In drama, a speech by a character alone onstage in which he or she utters his or her thoughts aloud
Created by: khmalone



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