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171 Cards in this Set

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abstract
abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research
adage
saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language
allegory
a story in which a second meaning is to be read beneath the surface
alliteration
repetition of one or more initial consonants in a group of words or lines in a poem
allusion
reference to a person, place, or event meant to create an effect or enhance the meaning of an idea
ambiguity
a vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings and interpretation
anachronism
person, scene, event, or other element in literature that fails to correspond with the time or era in which the work is set
analogy
comparison that points out similarities b/t two dissimilar things
annotation
brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of literature
antagonist
character or force in a work of literature that, by opposing the protagonist produces tension or conflict
antithesis
rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences
aphorism
short, pith statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment
Apollonian
refers to the most noble, godlike qualities of human nature and behavior
apostrophe
locution that addresses a person or personified thing not present
archetype
abstract or ideal conception of a type; a perfectly typical example; an original model or form
assonance
repetition of two or more vowel sounds in a group of words or lines of a poem
ballad
simple narrative verse that tells a story that is sung or recited
bard
poet; in olden times, a performer who told heroic stories to musical accompaniment
bathos
use of insincere or overdone sentimentality
belle-lettres
the world of books, criticism, and literature in general
bibliography
lsit of works cited or otherwise relevant to a subject or other work
Bildungsroman
novel structured as a series of events that take place as the hero travels in a quest of a goal
bombast
inflates, pretentious language used for trivial subjects
burlesque
work of literature meant to ridicule a subject; a grotesque imitation
cacophony
grating, inharmonious sounds
caesura
pause somewhere in the middle of a verse, often marked by punctuation
canon
works considered most important in a national literature of period; works widely read and studied
caricature
grotesque likeness of striking qualities in persons and things
carpe diem
enjoy life while you can, a common theme in literature
catharsis
a cleansing of the spirit brought about by the pity and terror of a dramatic tragedy
classic
highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time
classical, classicism
deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formality, objectivity, simplicity, and restraint
climax
high point, or turning point, of a story or play
conceit
witty or ingenious thought;a diverting or highly fanciful idea, often stated in figurative language
connotation
suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase
consonance
repetition of two or more consonant sounds in a gorup of words or a line of poetry
couplet
pair of rhyming lines in a poem.
heroic couplet
two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter
denotation
dictionary definition of a word
denouement
resolution that occurs at the end of a play or a work of fiction
deus ex machina
in literature, the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem
diction
choice of words in oral and written discourse
Dionysian
refers to sensual, pleasure-seeking impulses
dramatic irony
circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character
elegy
poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on the passing or death of something or someone of value
ellipsis
three periods (...) indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation
elliptical construction
sentence containing a deliberate omission of words
empathy
feeling of association or identification with an object or person
end-stopped
term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause often indicated by a mark of punctuation
enjambment
the use of successive lines with no punctuation or pause between them
epic
narrative or poem that tells of the adventures and exploits of a hero
epigram
concise but ingenious, witty, and thoughtful statement
euphony
pleasing, harmonious sounds
epithet
adjective or phrase that expresses a striking qulaity of a person or thing
eponymous
term for the title character of a work of literature
euphemism
mild or less negative usage for a harsh or blunt term
exegesis
detailed analysis or interpretation of a work of literature
expose
piece of writing that reveals weaknesses, faults, frailties, or other shortcomings
exposition
background and eventns that lead to the presentation of the main idea or purpose of a work of literature
explication
interpretation or analysis of a text
extended metaphor
series of comparisons b/t two unlike objects
fable
short tale often with nonhuman characters from which a useful lesson my be drawn
falling action
action in a play or story that occurs after the climax and that leads to the conclusion and often to the resolution of the conflict
fantasy
story containing unreal, imaginary features
farce
comedy that contains and extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purpose
figure of speech, figurative language
contrast to literal language, figurative language imlies meanings. figures of speech include metaphors, similes, and personification, among many others
first-person narrative
narrative told by a character involved in the story, using first-person pronouns such as I and we
flashback
return to an earlier time in a story or play in order to clarify present actions or circumstances
foot
unit of stressed and unstressed syllables used to determine the meter of a poetic line
foreshadowing
providing hints of things to come in a story or play
frame
structure that provides premise or setting for a narrative
free verse
kind of poetry without rrhymed lines, rhythm, or fixed metrical feet
genre
term used to describe literary forms, such as novel, play, and essay
Gothic novel
novel in which supernatural horros and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the action
harangue
forceful sermon, lecture, or tirade
hubris
excessive pride that often leads tragic heroes to their death
humanism
belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creativity
hyperbole
overstatement; gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect
idyll
lyric poem or passage that describes a kind of ideal life or place
image
word or phrase representing that which can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt
in media res
narrative that starts not at the beginning of events but at some other critical point
indirect quotation
rendering of a quotation in which acutal words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased
invective
direct verbal assault; a denunciation
irony
mode of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is stated, often implying ridicule or light sarcasm; a state of affairs or events that is the reverse of what might have been expected
kenning
device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetyr in which the name of a thing is replaced by on of its functions or qualities
lampoon
mocking, satirical assault on a person or situation
light verse
variety of poetry meant ot entertain or amuse, but sometimes with a satirical thrust
litotes
form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity
loose sentence
sentence that follows the customary word order of English sentences; the main idea of the sentence is presented first and is then followed by one or more subordinate clauses
lyric poetry
personal, reflective poetry that reveals the speaker's thoughts and feelings about the subject
maxim
saying or proverb expressing common wisdom or truth
melodrama
literary form in which events are exaggerated in order ot create an extreme emotional response
metaphor
figure of speech that compares unlike objects
metaphysical poetry
work of poets, particularly those of the 17th century, that uses elaborate conceits, is highly intellectual, and expressed the complexities of love and life
meter
pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables found in poetry
metonymy
figure of speech that uses the name of one thing to represent something else with which it is associated
Middle English
language spoken in England roughly between 1150 and 1500 A.D.
mock epic
parody of traiditional epic form
mode
general form, pattern, and manner of expression of a work of literature
montage
quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea
mood
emotional tone in a work of literature
moral
brief and often simplistic lesson that a reader may infer from a work of literature
motif
phrase, idea, or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature
muse
one of the ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts; the imaginary source of inspiration for an artist or writer
myth
imaginary story that has become an accented part of the cultural or religious tradition of a group or society
narrative
form of verse or prose that tells a story
naturalism
a view of experience that is generally characterized as bleak and pessimistic
non sequitur
statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before
novel of manners
novel focusing on and describing social customs and habits of a particular social groups
ode
lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject
Old English
Anglo-Saxon language spoken in what is now England from approximately 450 to 1150 A.D.
omniscient narrator
narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight of characters, setting, background, and all other elements of the story
onomatopoeia
use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning
ottava rima
eight-line rhyming stanza of a poem
oxymoron
term consisting of contradictory elements juxtaposed to create a paradoxical effect
parable
story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived
paradox
statement that seems self-contradictory but is nevertheless true
parody
imitation of a work meant to ridicule its style and subject
paraphrase
version of a text put into simpler, everyday, words
pastoral
ork of literature dealing with rural life
pathetic fallacy
faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or non-human objects
pathos
that element in literature that stimulates pity or sorrow
pentameter
verse with five poetic feet per line
periodic sentence
sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end; particulars are presented before the idea they support
persona
role or facade that a character assumes or depicts to a reader, a viewer, or the world, at large
personification
figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics
plot
interrelationship among the events in a story; pattern of events, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution
picaresque novel
episodic novel about a roguelike wanderer who lives off his wits
point of view
relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to the story or subject matter of a poem
prosody
grammar of meter and rhythm in poetry
protagonist
main character in a work of literature
pseudonym
false name or alias used by writers
pulp fiction
novels written for mass consumption, often emphasizing exciting and titillating plots
pun
humorous play on words, using similar-soundings or identical words to suggest different meanings
quatrain
four-line poem or a four-line unit of a longer poem
realism
depiction of people, things, and events as they really are without idealization or exaggeration for effect
rhetoric
language of a work and its style; words, often highly emotional, used to convince or sway an audience
rhetorical stance
language that conveys a speaker's attitude or opinion with regard to a particular subject
rhyme
repetition of similar sounds at regular intervals, used mostly in poetry
rhyme scheme
pattern of rhymes within a given poem
rhythm
pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of poetry
roman a clef
novel in which historical events and actual people appear under the guise of fiction
romance
extended metaphor about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places
sarcasm
sharp, caustic expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt (irony is more subtle)
satire
ltierary style used to poke fun at, attack or ridicule an idea, vice, or foible, often for the purpose of inducing change
scan
act of determining the meter of a poetic line
sentiment
synonym for view or feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in literature
sentimental
term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish
setting
total environment for the action in a novel or play; includes time, place, historical milieu, and social, political, and even spiritual circumstances
simile
a figurative comparison using the words like or as
sonnet
form of verse usually consisting of three four-line units called quatrains and a concluding couplet
stanza
group of two or more lines in poetry combine according to subject matter, rhyme, or some other plan
stream of consciousness
style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind
style
manner in which an author uses and arranges words, shapes ideas, forms sentences, and creates a structure to convey ideas
subplot
subordinate or minor collection of events in a novel or play, usually connected to the main plot
subtext
implied meaning that underlies the main meaning of a work of literature
symbolism
use of one object to evoke ideas and associations not literally part of the original object
synecdoche
figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole or the whole signifies the part
syntax
organization of language into meaningful structure; every sentence has a particular syntax, or pattern of words
theme
main idea or meaning, often an abstract idea upon which a work of literature is built
title character
character whose name appears in the title of the novel or play
tone
author's attitude toward the subject being written about; characteristic emotion that pervades a work or part of a work--the spirit or quality that is the work's emotional essence
tragedy
form of literature in which the hero is destroyed by some character flaw and a set of forces that cause the hero considerable anguish
trope
generic name for a figure of speech such as image, symbol, simile, and metaphor
verbal irony
discrepancy between the true meaning of situation and the literal meaning of the writtten and spoken words
verse
synonym for poetry; group of lines in a song or poem; also a single line of poetry
verisimilitude
similar to the truth; the quality of realism in a work that persuades readers that they are getting a vision of life as it is
versification
structural form of a verse as revealed by scansion
villanelle
verse form calculated to appear simple and spontaneous but consisting of 19 lines and a prescribed pattern of rhymes
voice
real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker
wit
quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that surprise and delight by their unexpectedness; the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the foibles of the passing scene