Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

180 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The same as stress. A syllable given more prominence in pronunciation than its neighbors is said to be accented.
A narrative or description that has a second meaning beneath the surface, often relating each literal term to a fixed, corresponding abstract idea or moral principle: usually, the ulterior meaning belong to a preexisting system of ideas or principles.
The repetition at close intervals of the initial consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words. Important words and accented syllables beginning with vowels may also be said to alliterate with each other inasmuch as they all have the same lack of an initial consonant sound.
A reference, explicit or implicit, to something in previous literature or history.
A metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by one accented syllable.
A meter in which a majority of the feet are anapests.
Anapestic meter:
Repetition of an opening word or phrase in a series of lines.
Any force in a story that is in conflict wit the protagonist. An antagonist may be another person, an aspect of the physical or social environment, or a destructive element in the protagonist’s own nature.
A figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply.
A term used for words in a rhyming pattern that have some kind of sound correspondence but are not perfect rhymes. Approximate rhymes occur occasionally in patterns where most of the rhymes are perfect and sometimes are used systematically in place of perfect rhyme.
Approximate rhyme:
The condition of a successful literary work whereby all its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose. In an artistically unified work nothing is included that is irrelevant to the central purpose, nothing is omitted that is essential to it, and the parts are arranged in the most effective order for the achievement of that purpose.
Artistic Unity:
A brief speed in which a character turns from the person being addressed to speak directly to an audience; a dramatic device for letting the audience know what a character is really thinking or feeling as opposed to what the character pretends to think or feel.
The repetition at close intervals of the vowel sounds of accented syllables or important words.
A poem about dawn; a morning love song; or a poem about the parting of lovers at dawn.
A fairly short narrative poem written in a songlike stanza form.
Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Blank Verse:
A harsh, discordant, unpleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds.
A speech pause occurring within a line.
A term used by Aristotle to describe some sort of emotional release experienced by the audience at the end of a successful tragedy.
The occurrence of an event that has no apparent cause in antecedent events or in predisposition of character.
Any of the persons presented in a story or play.
A character who during the course of a work undergoes a permanent change in some distinguishing moral qualities, personal traits, or outlook.
Dynamic Character:
A character whose distinguishing moral qualities or personal traits are summed up in one or two traits.
Flat Character:
A minor character whose situation or actions parallel those of the major character, and thus by contrast sets off or illuminates the major character; most often the contrast is complimentary to the major character.
Foil Character:
A character whose distinguishing moral qualities or personal traits are complex and many-sided.
Round Character:
A character who is the same sort of person at the end of a work as at the beginning.
Static Character:
A stereotyped character: one whose nature is familiar to us from prototypes in previous literature.
Stock Character:
The various literary means by which characters are presented.
A group of actors speaking or chanting in unison, often while going through the steps of an elaborate formalized dance; a characteristic device of Greek drama for conveying communal or group emotion.
The turning point or high point in a plot.
The chance concurrence of two events having a peculiar correspondence between them.
Comedy: A type of drama, opposed to tragedy, having usually a happy ending, and emphasizing human limitation rather than human greatness.
In a tragedy, a comic scene that follows a scene of seriousness and by contrast intensifies the emotions aroused by the serious scene.
Comic Relief:
Fiction written to meet the taste of a wide popular audience and relying usually on tested formulas for satisfying such taste.
Commercial Fiction:
A clash of actions, desires, ideas, or goals in the plot of a story or drama. Conflict may exist between the main character and some other person or persons; between the main character and some external force- physical nature, society, or “fate”; or between the main character and some other person or persons; between the main character and some external force- physical nature, society, or “fate”; or between the main character and some destructive element in his or her own nature.
What a word suggests beyond its basic definition, a word’s overtone of meaning.
The repetition at close intervals of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words.
That form of a poem in which the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning.
Continuous form:
Two successive lines, usually in the same meter, linked by rhyme.
A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables.
A meter in which a majority of the feet are dactyls.
Dactylic meter:
The basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word.
That portion of a plot that reveals the final outcome of its conflicts or the solution of its mysteries.
“God from the machine” The resolution of a plot by use of a highly improbable chance or coincidence (so named the practice of some Greek dramatists of having a god descend from heaven at the last possible minute- in the theater by means of a stage machine- to rescue the protagonist from an impossible situation.)
Deus ex machine:
Poetry, fiction, or drama having as a primary purpose to teach or preach.
Didactic writing:
A situation in which a character must choose between two courses of action, both undesirable.
A metrical line containing two feet.
That method of characterization in which the author, by exposition or analysis, tells us directly what a character is like, or has someone else in the story do so.
Direct presentation of character:
A rhyme in which the repeated vowel is in the second last syllable of the words involved; one form of feminine rhyme.
Double rhyme:
Any dramatic device which, though it departs from reality, is implicitly accepted by author and audience as a means of representing reality.
Dramatic convention:
The presentation through dialogue of information about events that occurred before the action of a play, or that occur offstage or between the staged actions; this may also refer to the presentation of information about individual characters’ backgrounds or the general situation (political, historical, etc.) in which the action takes place.
Dramatic exposition:
The presentation of character or of emotion through the speech or action of characters rather than through exposition, analyses, or description by the author.
A meter in which a majority of the feet contain two syllables.
Duple meter:
Writing that departs from the narrative or dramatic mode and instructs the reader how to think or feel about the events of a story or the behavior of a character.
Rhymes that occur at the ends of lines.
End Rhyme:
A line that ends with natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation.
End-stopped line:
A sonnet in which the content or structure usually parallels the rhyme scheme, falling into three coordinate quatrains and a concluding couplet; but it is often structured, like the Italian sonnet, into octave and sestet, the principle break in thought coming at the end of the eighth line.
English (or Shakespearean) sonnet:
A moment or event in which a character achieves a spiritual insight into life or into his or her own circumstances.
A smooth, pleasant sounding choice and arrangement of sounds.
That segment of the plot that comes between the climax and the conclusion.
Falling action:
A kind of fiction that pictures creatures or events beyond the boundaries of known reality.
A type of drama related to comedy but emphasizing improbable situations, violent conflicts, physical action, and coarse wit over characterization or articulated plot.
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel is in either the second or third last syllable of the words involved.
Feminine rhyme:
Language employing figures of speech; language that cannot be taken literally or only literally.
Figurative language:
Broadly, any way of saying something other than the ordinary way; more narrowly a way of saying one thing and meaning another.
Figure of speech:
A form of poem in which the length and pattern are prescribed by previous usage or tradition, such as sonnet, limerick, villanelle, and so on.
Fixed form:
A narrative poem designed to be sung, composed by an anonymous author, and transmitted orally for years or generations before being written down. It has usually undergone modification through the process of oral transmission.
Folk ballad:
The basic unit used in the scansion of measurement of verse. A foot usually contains one accented syllable and one or two unaccented syllables.
The external pattern or shape of a poem, describable without reference to its content, as continuous form, stanzaic form, fixed form, free verse, and syllabic verse.
Nonmetrical poetry in which the basic rhythmic unit is the line, and in which pauses, line breaks, and formal patterns develop organically from the requirements of the individual poem rather than from establishing poetic forms.
Free verse:
An ending in which events turn out well for a sympathetic protagonist.
Happy ending:
The actual rhythm of a metrical poem as we hear it when it is read naturally. The heard rhythm mostly conforms to but sometimes departs from or modifies the expected rhythm.
Heard rhythm:
A metrical line containing six feet.
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used in the service of truth.
A metrical foot consisting of one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable.
A meter in which the majority of feet are iambs. The most common English meter.
Iambic meter:
The representation through language of sense experience.
An ending in which the central problem or conflict is left unresolved.
Indeterminate ending:
That method of characterization in which the author shows us a character in action, compelling us to infer what the character is like from what is said or done by the character.
Indirect presentation of character:
A rhyme in which one or both of the rhyme-words occurs within the line.
Internal Rhyme:
A situation or a use of language involving some kind of incongruity or discrepancy.
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant.
Verbal Irony:
An incongruity or discrepancy between what a character says or thinks and what the reader knows to be true (or between what a character perceives and what the author intends the reader to perceive.
Dramatic Irony:
A situation in which there is an incongruity between appearance and reality, or between the actual situation and what would seem appropriate.
Irony of situation:
A sonnet consisting of an octave and a sestet using any arrangement of two or three additional rhymes.
Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnet:
A fixed form consisting of five lines of anapestic meter, the first two trimeter, the next two dimeter, the last line trimeter, rhyming aabba; used exclusively for humorous or nonsense verse.
Fiction written with serious artistic intentions, providing an imagined experience yielding authentic insights into some significant aspect of life.
Literary fiction:
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel sound is in the final syllable of the words involved. (dance-pants, scald-recalled)
Masculine rhyme (single rhyme):
A type of drama related to tragedy but featuring sensational incidents, emphasizing plot at the expense of characterization, relying on cruder conflicts (virtuous protagonist versus villainous antagonist), and having a happy ending in which good triumphs over evil.
A figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two things essentially unalike. It may take one of four forms:
(1) That in which the literal term and the figurative term are both named.
(2) That in which the literal term is named and the figurative term is implied.
(3) That in which the literal term is implied and the figurative term named
(4) That in which both the literal and the figurative terms are implied.
The regular patterns of accent that underline metrical verse; the measurable repetition of accented and unaccented syllables in poetry.
A figure of speech in which some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience. Not to be confused with synecdoche (the use of a part to represent the whole), metonymy is the use of something closely related for the thing actually meant.
Departures from the basic metrical pattern.
Metrical variations:
A metrical line containing one foot.
A rule of conduct or maxim for living expressed or implied as the “point” of a literary work.
The incentives or goals that, in combination with the inherent natures of characters cause them to behave as they do. In commercial fiction actions may be unmotivated, insufficiently motivated, or implausibly motivated.
An unusual set of circumstances for which the reader craves an explanation; used to create suspense.
In drama a character, found in some plays, who, speaking directly to the audience, introduces the action and provides a string of commentary between the dramatic scenes. The narrator may or may not be a major character in the action itself.
1. an eight line stanza 2. the first eight lines of a sonnet, especially one structured in the manner of an Italian sonnet.
The use of words that supposedly mimic their meaning in their sound.
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used in service of truth.
Overstatement (hyperbole):
A compact verbal paradox in which two successive words seemingly contradict one another.
A statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements.
A situation containing apparently but not actually incompatible elements. The celebration of a fifth birthday anniversary by a 20-yr-old man is paradoxical but explainable if the man was born on Feb. 29. The Christian doctrines that Christ was born a virgin and is both God and man are, for a Christian believer, paradoxes (that is, apparently impossible but true.)
Paradoxical situation:
A restatement of the content of a poem designed to make its prose meaning as clear as possible.
A metrical line containing five feet.
A figure of speech in which human attributes are given to an animal, an object, or a concept.
A word whose sound, by an obscure process, to some degree suggests its meaning. As differentiated from onomatopoetic words, the meanings of phonetic intensive do not refer explicitly to sounds.
Phonetic intensive:
A maker of plays.
The sequence of incidents or events of which a story or play is composed.
A situation in which an author gives the plot a twist or turn unjustified by preceding action or by the characters involved.
Plot manipulation:
The angle of vision from which a story is told.
Point of view:
The author tells the story using the third person, knowing all and free to tell us anything, including what the characters are thinking and feeling and why they act as they do.
Omniscient point of view:
The author tells the story using the third person, but is limited to a complete knowledge of only one character in the story and tells us only what the one character thinks, feels, sees or hears.
Third-person limited point of view:
The story is told by one of its characters, using the first person.
First-person point of view:
The author tells the story using the third person, but is limited to reporting what the characters say or do; the author does not interpret their behavior or tell us their private thoughts or feelings.
Objective (or dramatic) point of view:
Usually a short composition having the intentions of poetry but written in prose rather than verse.
Prose poem:
The central character in a story or play.
1. a four line stanza 2. a four-line division of a sonnet marked off by its rhyme scheme
Drama that attempts, in content and presentation, to preserve the illusion of actual, everyday life.
Realistic drama:
A repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines, normally at some fixed position in a poem written in stanzaic form.
Poetry using artificially eloquent language, that is, language too high-flown for its occasion and unfaithful to the full complexity of human experience.
Rhetorical poetry:
In natural speech, as in prose and poetic writing, the stressing or words or syllables so as to emphasize meaning and sentence structure.
Rhetorical stress:
Any wavelength recurrence of motion or sound.
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds in important or importantly positioned words.
assumes that the accented vowel sounds involved are preceded by differing consonant sounds.
Perfect rhyme:
when the preceding consonant sound is the same or if there is no preceding consonant in either word, or is the same word is repeated in the rhyming position.
Identical rhyme:
Any fixed pattern of rhymes characterizing a whole poem or its stanzas.
Rhyme scheme:
That development of plot in a story or play that precedes and leads up to the climax.
Rising action:
A line which has no natural speech pause at its end, allowing the sense to flow uninterruptedly into the succeeding line.
Run-on line:
Bitter or cutting speech; speech intended by its speaker to give pain to the person addressed.
A kind of literature that ridicules human folly or vice with the purpose of bringing about reform or of keeping others from falling into similar folly or vice.
The process of measuring verse, that is, of marking accented and unaccented syllables, dividing the lines into feet, identifying the metrical pattern, and noting significant variations from that pattern.
Unmerited or contrived tender feeling; that quality in a work that elicits or seeks to elicit tears through an oversimplification or falsification of reality.
1. a six-line stanza 2. the last six lines of a sonnet structured on the Italian model
The context in time and place in which the action of a story occurs.
A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two things essentially unalike. The comparison is made explicit by the use of some such word or phrase as like, as, than, similar to, resembles, or seems.
A speech in which a character, alone on the stage, addresses himself or herself; a soliloquy is a “thinking out loud,” a dramatic means of letting an audience know a character’s thoughts and feelings.
A fixed form of fourteen lines, normally iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme conforming to or approximating one of two main types- the Italian or the English.
A metrical foot consisting of two syllables equally or almost equally accented (true-blue).
A group of lines whose metrical pattern (and usually its rhyme scheme as well) is repeated throughout a poem.
The form taken by a poem when it is written in a series of units having the same number of lines and usually other characteristics in common, such as metrical pattern or rhyme scheme.
Stanzaic form:
Narrative that presents the private thoughts of a character without commentary or interpretation by the author.
Stream of consciousness:
The same as accent. A syllable given more prominence in pronunciation than its neighbors is said to be accented.
An unexpected turn in the development of a plot.
A completely unexpected revelation or turn at the conclusion of a story or play.
Surprise ending:
The quality in a story or play that makes the reader eager to discover what happens next and how it will end.
Verse measured by the number of syllables rather than the number of feet per line.
Syllabic verse:
Something that means more than what it is; an object, person, situation, or action that in addition to its literal meaning suggests other meanings as well.
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (usually body parts).
Presentation of one sense experience in terms usually associated with another sensation.
A three-line stanza exhibited in terza rima and villanelle as well as in other poetic forms.
An interlocking rhyme scheme with the pattern aba, bcb, cdc
Terza rima:
A metrical line containing four feet.
The central idea or unifying generalization implied or stated by a literary work.
The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject, the audience, or herself or himself; the emotional coloring, or emotional meaning, of a work.
A type of drama, opposed to comedy, which depicts the causally related events that lead to the downfall and suffering of the protagonist, a person of unusual moral or intellectual stature or outstanding abilities.
A metrical line containing three feet.
A meter in which a majority of the feet contain three syllables. Anapestic and dactylic are both triple meters.
Triple meter:
A meter in which the majority of the feet are trochees.
Trochaic meter:
A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by one unaccented syllable.
Trochee :
In metric verse, the omission of an unaccented syllable at either end of a line.
A figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants.
An ending that turns out unhappily for a sympathetic protagonist.
Unhappy ending:
Metrical language, the opposite of prose.
A nineteen-line fixed form consisting of five tercets rhymed aba and a concluding quatrain rhymed abaa, with lines 1 and 3 of the first tercet serving as refrains in an alternating pattern through line 15 and then repeated as lines 18 and 19.
of the stream of sound. The study of versification.
units of speech uttered with a single breath.
nasal sounds. Hums.
cacophony (example kick)
sudden release of breath (pop)
expulsion of breath
flows smoothly
poet restricts himself to a specific meter. This sometimes allows the poet to come up with something he may not have had before.
Heuristic function
the pace of the poem. Its speed. Affected by caesura or end stopped line
beginnings and endings of feet correspond. Nothing in line carries over.
end of one syllable and the beginning of the next have the same sound-> must slow down. Ex. Martha apple.
often internal and voice drops.
Feminine rhyme
approximate rhyme. (push rush)
Slant rhyme
perfect rhyme.
Full rhyme
Successive stresses slow you down. (Equal accents) Multiple spondees. Prominence of long syllables.
Monosyllabism usually speeds you up. May slow you down.
Successive stresses slow you down. (Equal accents) Multiple spondees. Prominence of long syllables.
Monosyllabism usually speeds you up. May slow you down.