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25 Cards in this Set

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Affective fallacy
The fallacy of confusing a work of literature with its effects on the reader. To a New Critic, meaning exists in the words of the text, and can therefore be observed objectively. Its emotional effect on actual readers is irrelevant. Any one reader's private reactions to a text are likely to be biased and uncritical
Allegory
Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.
Allusion
Allusion is a stylistic device in which one references an object or circumstance that has occurred or existed in an external context. In the most traditional sense, allusion is a literary term regarding the use of previous texts, though the word also has come to encompass references to or from any source, including film, art, or real events.
Archetype
Archetypal literary criticism is a type of critical theory that interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths and archetypes. An archetype is a generic, idealized model of a person, object or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned or emulated. In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to
A stereotype—personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type; or
An epitome—personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such example.
Black humor
A technique often used in literature of the absurd, in which characters cope with events and situations which are simultaneously comical, brutal, and horrifying. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humor uses devices often associated with tragedy and is sometimes equated with tragic farce.
Blank verse
Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter.
Canon
It refers to what are considered the most important works in a national literature or period: authors widely read and studied are accepted as "canonical," while those not accorded the same degree of respect are outside the canon. There's no sharp line of demarcation between what is in and what is out. Much feminist criticism, for instance, has been an effort to introduce or restore previously neglected women writers to the canon.
Carpe diem
A Latin term meaning, "seize the day." This is a traditional theme of Poetry, especially lyrics. A carpe diem poem advises the reader or the person it addresses to live for today and enjoy the pleasures of the moment. It was widely used in 16th- and 17th-century love poetry
Catharsis
The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe. The audience faces the misfortunes of the protagonist, which elicit pity and compassion. Simultaneously, the audience also confronts the failure of the protagonist, thus receiving a frightening reminder of human limitations and frailties. Ultimately, however, both these negative emotions are purged, because the tragic protagonist’s suffering is an affirmation of human values rather than a despairing denial of them
Closure
When a work has a sense of finality, completeness, and resolution when you finish it, we say that it has a high degree of closure. If there is a sense that all the loose ends have not been tied up, and that issues remain unresolved or perhaps irresolvable, then we say it resists closure or doesn't have much closure.
Comedy
The traditional plot of comedy is the reverse of tragedy. The protagonist, usually an ordinary person, has a problem. The plot of the play is an extrication from the problem and improvement of circumstances. The reversal of fortune is from bad to good; the falling action becomes a rising action with a happy ending.
Conceit
In literary terms, a conceit is an extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs an entire poem or poetic passage. By juxtaposing images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison
Connotation
The linguistic term used for the associations which may be usually evoked by the word, or which may be evoked by a specific context, as opposed to the literal sense of a word or its strict dictionary definition, which is called its denotation. The emotions, values, or images associated with a word. The intensity of emotions or the power of the values and images associated with a word varies.
Couplet
A couplet is a pair of lines of verse that form a unit. Most couplets rhyme AA, but this is not a requirement.
Decorum
The appropriateness of an element of an artistic or literary work, such as style or tone, to its particular circumstance or to the composition as a whole.
Dramatic Monologue
A species of lyric poetry in which the speaker is a persona created by and clearly distanced from the poet; the speaker's character is revealed unintentionally through his or her attitudes in the dramatic situation. Furthermore, the speaker may address and interact with silent listeners, usually not the reader.
Elegy
A mournful, contemplative lyric poem written to commemorate someone who is dead, often ending in a consolation. In Greek and Roman poetry, a poem written in elegiac verse
Epic
The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, which retells in a continuous narrative the life and works of a heroic or mythological person or group of persons.
Epigram
Epigram A brief, pointed, and witty poem that usually makes a satiric or humorous point. Epigrams are most often written in couplets
Epigraph
A quotation on the title page of a book or a motto heading a chapter or section of work
Foil
A foil character is either one who is opposite to the main character or nearly the same as the main character. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast, and perhaps by setting up situations in which the protagonist can show his or her character traits.
Genre
A category of literary forms (novel, lyric poem, epic, for example).
Hyperbole
A boldly exaggerated statement that adds emphasis without in-tending to be literally true, as in the statement "He ate everything in the house." Hyperbole (also called overstatement) may be used for serious, comic, or ironic effect.
Iconography
Readily recognizable image or visual symbol used to stand for a specific idea important to a culture or religion. Go over again.
Imagery
Imagery is any poetic reference to the five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste). Essentially, imagery is a group of words that create a mental image. Such images can be created by using figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, personification, and assonance.