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80 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Allegory
a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms
Allusion
a passing or casual reference
Anachronistic
The representation of someone as existing or something as happening in other than chronological, proper, or historical order
Anecdote
a short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical
Antagonist
the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work
Antihero
Antihero- a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like
Antithesis
the direct opposite
Apostrophe
a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?”
Archetype
the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based
Aside
a part of an actor's lines supposedly not heard by others on the stage and intended only for the audience
Ballad
a simple narrative poem of folk origin, composed in short stanzas and adapted for singing
Bildungsroman
a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist
Blank Verse
unrhymed verse, esp. the unrhymed iambic pentameter most frequently used in English dramatic, epic, and reflective verse
Caesura
a break, esp. a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line
Chronological
arranged in the order of time
Climax
a decisive moment that is of maximum intensity or is a major turning point in a plot
Comedy
a dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict
Conceit
the use of such metaphors as a literary characteristic, esp. in poetry
Connotation
the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning
Denotation
a word that names or signifies something specific
Denouement
the final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel
Deus ex Machina
any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot
Dialect
a special variety of a language
Diction
style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words
Doppelganger
a ghostly double or counterpart to a living person
Dramatic Irony
irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play
Dramatic Monologue
a poetic form in which a single character, addressing a silent auditor at a critical moment, reveals himself or herself and the dramatic situation
Dystopia
a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding
Elegy
a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem
Enjambment
the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break
Epic
noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style
Epigraph
an apposite quotation at the beginning of a book
Epistolary
contained in or carried on by letters
Epitaph
a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person
Euphemism
the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt
Existentialism
a philosophical attitude associated esp. with Heidegger, Camus, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre, and opposed to rationalism and empiricism, that stresses the individual's unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices
Extended Metaphor
a metaphorthat is extended through a stanza or entire poem, often by multiple comparisons of unlike objects or ideas
Flashback
a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work
Foil
a person or thing that makes another seem better by contrast
Foot
a group of syllables constituting a metrical unit of a verse
Foreshadow
to show or indicate beforehand
Frame Tale
a secondary story or stories embedded in the main story
Free Verse
verse that does not follow a fixed metrical pattern
Genre
a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form
Hero
the principal male character in a story
Heroic Couplet
a stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, esp. one forming a rhetorical unit and written in an elevated style, as, Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study of Mankind is Man
Hubris
excessive pride or self-confidence
Hyperbole
obvious and intentional exaggeration
Imagery
figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images collectively
In medias res
Iin the middle of things
Introspection
the act of looking within oneself
Juxtaposition
an act or instance of placing close together or side by side
Metaphor
a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance
Metaphysical Poetry
designating or pertaining to the poetry of an early group of 17th-century English poets, notably John Donne, whose characteristic style is highly intellectual and philosophical and features intensive use of ingenious conceits and turns of wit
Meter
poetic measure; arrangement of words in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic lines or verses
Metonymy
a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people”
Modernism
modern character, tendencies, or values; adherence to or sympathy with what is modern
Mood
a distinctive emotional quality or character
Noble Savage
a primitive human as characterized in literature, representing natural goodness and simplicity when not encumbered by civilization
Ode
a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion
Onomatopoeia
the formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent
Oxymoron
a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly”
Paradox
a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth
Parallelism
agreement in direction, tendency, or character; the state or condition of being parallel
Parody
a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing
Pathetic Fallacy
the endowment of nature, inanimate objects, etc., with human traits and feelings, as in the smiling skies; the angry sea
Petrarchan/Italian Sonnet
poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment, of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes, being in the strict or Italian form divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet)
Picaresque
pertaining to, characteristic of, or characterized by a form of prose fiction, originally developed in Spain, in which the adventures of an engagingly roguish hero are described in a series of usually humorous or satiric episodes that often depict, in realistic detail, the everyday life of the common people
Polysyndeton
the use of a number of conjunctions in close succession
Propaganda
information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc
Protagonist
the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work
Pun
the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words
Quatrain
a stanza or poem of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes
Realism
a manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes
Retrospection
the action, process, or faculty of looking back on things past
Rhetoric
the undue use of exaggeration or display
Rhyme
identity in sound of some part, esp. the end, of words or lines of verse
Rhythm
atterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form
Romanticism
romantic spirit or tendency
Satire
a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule