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98 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
ACCENT
The emphasis, or STRESS, given to a syllable in pronunciation.
ALLEGORY
A narration or description usually restricted to a single meaning because its events, actions, characters, settings, and objects represent specific abstractions or ideas.
ALLITERATION
The repetition of the same consonant sounds in a sequence of words, usually at the beginning of a word or stressed syllable.
ALLUSION
A brief reference to a person, place, thing, event, or idea in history or literature.
ABIGUITY
Allows for two or more simultaneous interpretations of a word, phrase, action, or situation, all of which can be supported by the context of a work.
ANTAGONIST
The opponent of the protagonist. Gives rise to the conflict in a story.
ANTIHERO
A protagonist who has the opposite of most of the traditional attributes of a hero.
APOSTROPHE
An address, either to someone who is absent or to something nonhuman that cannot understand.
ARCHETYPE
Universal symbols that evoke deep and unconscious responses in a reader.
ASSONANCE
The repetition of internal vowel sounds in nearby words that do not end the same.
BALLAD
A song, transmitted orally from generation to generation that tells a story and that eventually is written down.
BLANK VERSE
Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
CAESURA
A pause within a line of poetry that contributes to the rhythm of the line.
CARPE DIEM
Seize the day.
CATHARSIS
"purgation." The release of the emotions of pity and fear by the audience at the end of a tragedy.
CHARACTER
A person presented in a dramatic or narrative work.
CHARACTERIZATION
The process by which a writer makes the character seem real to the reader.
CLICHE
Overused idea or expression.
COLLOQUIAL
Informal diction that reflects casual, conversational language, and often involves slang expressions.
COMEDY
A word intended to interest, involve, and amuse the reader or audience, where no terrible disaster occurs, and ends happily for main characters.
CONFLICT
The struggle within the plot between opposing forces.
CONNOTATION
Associations and implications that go beyond the literal meanings of a word.
CONTEXTUAL SYMBOL
Setting, character, action, object, name, or anything in a work that symbols go beyond conventional symbols. Gain context from story.
CONTROLLING METAPHOR
A metaphor that runs through the entire work and determines the form or nature of that work.
CONVENTION
A characteristic of a literary genre that is understood and accepted by audiences.
CONVENTIONAL SYMBOL
Meanings that are widely recognized by a society or culture.
COUPLET
Two consecutive lines of poetry that usually rhyme and have the same meter.
CRISIS
A turning point in the action of a story that has a powerful effect on the protagonist.
DENOTATION
The dictionary meaning of a word.
DENOUEMENT
The resolution of the plot following the climax.
DEUS EX MACHINA
Latin for "God in the machine." Any improbable means by which an author provides a too-easy resolution to a story.
DIALOGUE
Verbal exchanges between characters.
DOGGEREL
A derogatory term used to describe poetry whose subject is trite and whose rhythm and sounds are monotonously heavy-handed.
DRAMATIC IRONY
Creates a discrepancy between what a character believes or says and what the reader or audience member knows to be true.
DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
A type of lyric poem in which a speaker addresses a distinct but silent audience imagined to be present in the poem in such a way to reveal a dramatic situation.
ENGLISH SONNET
"Shakespearean sonnet", organized into three quatrains and a couplet.
ENJAMBMENT
In poetry, when one line ends without a pause and continues into the next line for its meaning.
EUPHONY
Language that is smooth and musically pleasant to the ear.
EYE (SIGHT) RHYME
Words that look alike but not rhyme at all.
FIRST PERSON NARRATOR
Presents the view of only one character.
FIXED FORM
A poem that may be categorized by the pattern of its lines, meter, rhythm, or stanzas.
FLASHBACK
A narrated scene that marks a break in the narrative in order to inform the reader or audience member about events that took place before the opening scene of work.
FLAT CHARACTER
Embodies one or two qualities, ideas, or traits that can be readily described in a brief summary.
FOIL
A character in a work whose behavior and values contrast with those of another character in order to highlight the distinctive temperament of that character.
FOOT
The metrical unit by which a line of poetry is measured.
FORESHADOWING
The introduction early in a story of verbal and dramatic hints that suggest what is later to come.
FREE VERSE
Poems characterized by their nonconformity to established patters of meter, rhyme, and stanza.
HAMARTIA
"some error or frailty" that brings about misfortune to a tragic hero.
HEROIC COUPLET
Couplet written in rhymed iambic pentameter.
HUBRIS/HYBRIS
Excessive pride or self-confidence that leads a protagonist to disregard a divine warning or to violate an important moral law.
HYPERBOLE
A boldly exaggerated statement that adds emphasis without intending to be literally true.
IAMBIC METER
Consists of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable.
IMPLIED METAPHOR
A metaphor where the terms being compared are not so specifically explained.
IN MEDIA RES
Describes the common strategy of beginning a story in the middle of the action.
IRONY
Literary device that uses contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true.
ITALIAN SONNET
"Petrarchan Sonnet," is divided into an octave, and a sestet.
LIMITED OMNISCIENCE
Occurs when an author restricts a narrator to a single perspective of either a major or minor character.
METAPHOR
Figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, without using the words like or as.
METER
A rhythmic pattern of stresses that recur in a poem.
METONYMY
Type of metaphor in which something closely associated with a subject is substituted for it.
MIRACLE PLAY
A medieval drama portraying events in the lives of saints and martyrs.
MORALITY PLAY
Something viewed as exhibiting a struggle between good and evil and offering a moral lesson.
MYSTERY PLAY
A medieval drama based on scriptural events especially in the life of Jesus.
NARRATOR
The voice of the person telling the story, not to be confused with the author's voice.
OBJECTIVE POINT OF VIEW
A third-person narrator who does not see into the mind of any character.
OCTAVE
A poetic stanza of eight lines, usually forming one part of a sonnet.
OEDIPUS COMPLEX
Describes a psychological complex that is predicated on a boy's unconscious rivalry with his father for his mother's love and his desire to eliminate his father in order to take his father's place with his mother.
OMNISCIENT NARRATOR
An all-knowing narrator who is not a character in the story and who can move from place to place and pass back and forth through time, slipping into and out of characters as no human could in real life.
ONOMATOPOEIA
The use of a word that resembles the sound it denotes.
OXYMORON
A condensed form of paradox in which two contradictory words are used together.
PARADOX
A statement that initially appears to be contradictory but then, turns out to make sense.
PARAPHRASE
A prose statement of the central ideas of a poem, in your own language.
PARODY
A humorous imitation of another, usually serious, work.
PLOT
An author's selection and arrangement of incidents in a story to shape the action and give the story a particular focus.
PROTAGONIST
The main character or a narrative.
PUN
A play on words that relies on a word's having more than one meaning or sounding like another word.
QUATRAIN
A four-line stanza.
REALISM
The representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form.
SARCASM
A strong form of verbal irony that is calculated to hurt someone through false praise.
SATIRE
The literary act of ridiculing a folly or vice in order to expose or correct it.
SCANSION
The process of measuring the stresses in a line of verse in order to determine the metrical pattern of the line.
SETTING
The physical and social context in which the action of the story occurs.
SIMILE
A figure of speech that makes an explicit comparison between two things by using words such as like, as, than, appears, and seems.
SITUATIONAL IRONY
Exists when there is an incongruity between what is expected to happen and what actually happens due to forces beyond human comprehension or control.
SOLILOQUY
A dramatic convention by means of which a character, alone onstage, utters his or her thoughts aloud.
SONNET
A fixed form of lyric poetry that consists of fourteen lines, usually written in iambic pentameter.
STANZA
A grouping of lines, set off by a space, that usually has a set pattern of meter and rhyme.
STOCK CHARACTER
Characters that embody stereotypes like the "dumb blonde" or "mean stepfather."
SUBPLOT
The secondary action of a story, complete and interesting in its own right, that reinforces or contrasts with the main plot.
SYMBOL
A person, object, image, word, or event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond the usually more abstract than its literal significance.
SYNECDOCHE
A metaphor in which part of something is used to signify the whole.
SYNTAX
The ordering of words into meaningful verbal patterns such as phrases, clauses, and sentences.
THEME
The central meaning or dominant idea in a literary work.
THESIS
The central idea of an essay.
TONE
The author's implicit attitude toward the reader or the people, places, and events in a work as revealed by the elements of the author's style.
TRAGEDY
A story that represents courageous individuals who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a dignity that reveals the breadth and depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, and even death.
UNITIES
One of the three principles of dramatic structure, stating that a drama should have but one plot, which should take place in a single day and be confined to a single locale.
VILLANELLE
A type of fixed form poetry consisting of nineteen lines of any length divided into six stanzas: five tercets and a concluding quatrain.