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lit midterm vocab

Literature terminology that will be seen on the AP Lit exam.

QuestionAnswer
Antithesis A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of grammatical arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences. Ex: "They promised freedom but provided slavery" / "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"
Aphorism A short, pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment.
Apollonian In contrast to Dionysian, it refers to the most godlike, noble qualities of human nature and behavior.
Apostrophe Speaker addresses a person or thing that is not present.
Archetype An abstract or ideal conception of a type; a perfectly typical example; an original model or form.
Bathos The use of insincere or overdone sentimentality. "Bad pathos"
Allegory A story in which the narrative or characters carry an underlying symbolic, metaphorical, or possibly an ethical meaning.
Ambiguity A vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings of explanation.
Anachronism A person, scene, event, or other element of literature that fails to correspond with the time or era in which the work was set.
Bildungsroman A German word referring to a novel structured as a series of events that take place as the hero travels in quest of a goal.
Bombast Inflated, pretentious language used for trivial subjects.
Cacophony Grating, inharmonious sounds.
Caesura A pause somewhere in the middle of the verse, often (but not always) marked by punctuation.
Canon The works considered most important in national literature or period; works widely read and studied.
Catharsis A cleansing of the spirits brought about by the pity and terror of a dramatic tragedy.
Conceit A witty or ingenious thought
Deus ex machina In literature, the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem.
Elegy Poem that laments on death.
Enjambment The use of successive lines without break or punctuation in between them.
Euphony Pleasing, harmonious sounds.
Eponymous The word for the title character.
Exegesis A detailed analysis of a work of literature.
Explication The interpretation or analysis of a text.
Frame Structure that provides premise or setting for a narrative.
Hubris Excessive pride that leads to character's downfall.
Image A word or phrase that represents something that can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt.
Invective A direct verbal assault.
Litotes A form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity.
Metaphysical poetry The work of 17th century poets that uses elaborate conceits, is highly intellectual, and expresses the complexities of love and life.
Metonymy A figure of speech that uses the name of one thing to represent something else with which it is associated.
Motif A phrase, idea, or even that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature.
Ode A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject.
Synecdoche A figure of speech in which a art signifies the whole, or the whole signifies the part. Pig skin = football is also applicable.
Trope The generic name for a figure of speech such as an image, symbol, simile, and metaphor.
Verisimilitude Similar to the truth; the quality of realism that persuades the readers that they are getting a vision of life as it is.
Created by: 4ground