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AP Eng 11 Lit Terms

Study guide for AP English 11 exam

QuestionAnswer
an extended metaphor, especially a story in which fictional characters and actions are used to understand and express aspects of concepts relating to human existence. Allegory
a statement which has two or more possible meanings or a statement whose meaning is unclear Ambiguity
A universal symbol that evokes deep, sometimes unconscious response in a reader. Usually this term has a common meaning to all readers because of shared cultural experiences. Anecdote
A brief statement which expresses an observation on life, usually intended as a wise observation. Aphorism
A figure of speech wherein the speaker speaks directly to something nonhuman. Apostrophe
the original model or pattern from which copies are made or from which something develops. Archetype
contrary ideas expressed in a balanced sentence. It is the juxtaposition of two words, phrases, clauses, or sentences contrasted or opposed in meaning in such a way as to give emphasis to their contrasting ideas and give the effect of balance Antithesis
describes an emotional feeling inspired by a work and is also called mood. The opening scene of a play or novel establishes this. Atmosphere
The elimination of conjunctions in a sentence or phrase to create a particular effect. Asyndeton
A simple song; narrative composition written in verse with a strong rhythm that is suitable for singing often with a repeated refrain. Ballad
A sentence that employs parallel structure of about the same length and importance. Balanced Sentence
Unrhymed iambic pentameter. Often unobtrusive and resembles the rhythms of ordinary speech. Blank Verse
comic imitation of a serious literary or artistic form that relies on an incongruity between a subject and its treatment Burlesque
The term in poetry refers to the use of words that combine sharp, hissing, harsh and unmelodious sounds. Opposite of euphony. Cacophony
The natural rhythm of a writing, often of a poem. It depends on the position of stressed and unstressed syllables. Cadence
The method used by a writer to describe a character. It includes the character's appearance, actions, thoughts, words, and reactions. Characterization
A literary scheme in which the author introduces words or concepts in a particular order, then later repeats those terms in reversed order. It involves taking parallelism and deliberately turning it inside out, creating a "crisscross" pattern. Chiasmus
A common phrase that has been overused and considered bad writing and bad literature. Cliché
A word or phrase used everyday in plain and relaxed speech, but rarely in formal writing. Colloquialism
An extended metaphor. Conceit
Associations and implications that go beyond the strict definition of a word. Connotation
A special type of alliteration where identical consonant sounds are preceded by different vowel sounds-- The final consonants in the word match. Consonance
A type of rhyme in which two lines in a row end with rhyming words. Couplet
Speech or writing that attempts to persuade an audience to take actions. Deliberative rhetoric
The strict definition of a word from the dictionary. Denotation
The specific facts in a literary work that describe the scene or the character-- the facts that help the reader picture the scene. Details
The conversation between characters in a literary work. Dialogue
The author's choice of words, which often determines the reader's reaction to the thing being described. Diction
A poem in which a speaker addresses either the reader or an internal listener at length, often revealing innermost thoughts and feelings of the speaker. Dramatic monologue
An obscure speech or writing that is difficult to interpret or figure out. It can also be a character that is hard to figure out. Enigma
Intended for display-- designed to impress. Epideictic diction
A long narrative poem in elevated or dignified language celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero. Epic
A short poetic nickname-- often the form of an adjective or descriptive phrase. Epithet
A technique in which a series of lines, phrases, clauses or sentences all end with the same word or words. Epistrophe
A short literary composition on a single subject, usually presenting the personal view of the authors. Essay
A mild or poetic phrase used in place of a more blunt or painful one. Euphemism
Using words that are smooth and musically pleasing to the ear- the opposite of cacophony. Euphony
In drama, the presentation of essential information regarding what has occurred prior to the beginning of the play. Exposition
When similes and metaphors are used and the author departs from what is accepted as the ordinary meaning of words to achieve a special meaning or effect. Figurative language
The point of view from the perspective of the speaker. First person
A technique in which the present action is interrupted so the reader can witness past events, often in the form of a character's memory. Flashback
The technique of giving a hint of what will happen later. Foreshadowing
A character who, by strong contrast, underscores the distinctive characteristics of another. Foil
Poetry based on the natural rhythms of phrases and normal pauses rather than the artificial constraints of metric feet. Free verse
Exaggeration and overstatement, often extravagant which may be used for serious or comic effect. Hyperbole
A speech or form of expression that cannot be understood from the individual words and would not translate to another language with the same meaning. Idiom
The "mental pictures" that a particular writing creates. Used often in poetry to convey a sense of sound, taste, touch, and smell. Imagery
A type of "stream of consciousness" in which the author depicts thoughts of a single individual in the same order in which these thoughts occur in the character's mind. Interior monologue
The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement or situation were the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea. Irony
Speech or writing that considers the justice or injustice of a certain charge or accusation. Judicial rhetoric
The time, place and historical context that dictates what an author writes and how it will be perceived; the opportune time and place to say or do the right thing. Kairos
A five line closed form poem with the pattern AABBA. Typically used in comic or bawdy voice. Limerick
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite. Litotes
A sentence that does not end with the completion of its main clause but continues with other subordinate clauses or other modifiers. Loose sentence
An autobiographical sketch, usually focused on the author's personal life and notable events. Memoir
A rhythm of accented and unaccented syllables organized into patterns called feet. The rhythm of a poem. Meter
Use of a vaguely suggestive, physical object to embody a more general idea. Metonymy
Imitation or repetition of something else rather than an attempt to duplicate the original. Mimesis
Can mean a character speaking out loud to himself or narrating an account to an audience with no other character on stage or the internal thoughts of the character. Monologue
A feeling, emotional state or state of mind that represents the dominant atmosphere or tone of a literary work. Mood
A conspicuous recurring element, such as a type of incident, device or reference that appears frequently in works of literature. Motif
Why a character acts the way he does; the driving force behind the action of a story. Motivation
A traditional tale of deep cultural significance to people, often dealing with gods or supernatural heroes and they are used to explain natural phenomena. Myth
A rhetorical device describing a comment that because of its lack of meaning to what follows, does not need to be said or does not make sense. Non sequitur
A lengthy lyrical poem, usually rhymed, that is addressed to a praised object, person or quality that is characterized by exalted style. Ode
A point of view in which the author is all knowing. Omniscient
The formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. Onomatopoeia
Figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side. Oxymoron
A brief, succinct story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. Parable
A statement that seems to contradict itself Paradox
The use of similar grammatical elements within a sentence or speech. Parallelism
The ordinary language that people use in writing. Means 'straightforward' in Latin. Prose
An external representation of oneself which might or might not accurately reflect one's inner self, or an external representation of oneself that might be accurate, but involves exaggerating certain characteristics and minimizing others. Persona
he structure and relationship of actions and events in literature. Plot
The way a story is told and who tells it. Point of view
The main character in a work, on whom the author focuses most of the narrative attention. Protagonist
A play on two words similar in sound but different in meaning. Pun
The art of persuasive argument through writing or speech. The art of eloquence and charismatic language. Rhetoric
In literature, a movement that championed imagination and emotions as more powerful that reason and systematic thinking. Romanticism
A narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family. Originally Icelandic. Saga
An attack on or criticism of any stupidity. When human vice or folly is attacked using ridicule, irony, and exaggeration. Satire
An outline of the plot of a dramatic or literary work. Scenario
Short prose narrative, often an entertaining account of some aspect of a culture written by someone within that culture for readers outside of it. Sketch
Recitation in a play in which a character reveals his thoughts to the audience but not to other characters in the play. Soliloquy
A lyric poem of fourteen lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to certain definite patterns. Sonnet
Writing in which a character's perceptions, thoughts, and memories are presented in a random form, without regard for logical sequence, chronology, or syntax. Stream of consciousness
An arrangement of lines of verse in a pattern usually repeated throughout the poem. Stanza
framework of a work of literature-- the organization or overall design of a work. Structure
A kind of metaphor in which a part of something is used to represent the whole. Synecdoche
The overall sentence structure. Syntax
The grammatical category of forms that designate a person or thing other than the speaker or the one spoken to. Third person
The writer's attitude toward his subject. Tone
A serious work in which the main character passes through a series of misfortunes leading to a final, devastating catastrophe. Tragedy
a rhetorical device or figure of speech involving shifts in the meaning of words. Also a short dialogue inserted into the church mass during the early Middle Ages as a sort of mini-drama. Trope
A technique that deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is, either for ironic emphasis or politeness. Understatement
The sense that all the elements in a piece of writing fit together to create a harmonious effect. Unity
The manner in which story is told so as to connect to readers on an emotional level. Voice
Created by: cemills418