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34 Cards in this Set

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Used for poetic effect, a repetition of the initial sounds of several words in a group. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet.”
A reference in one literary work to a character or theme found in another literary work. T. S. Eliot, in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” alludes (refers) to the biblical figure John the Baptist in the line Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, . . . In the New Testament, John the Baptist’s head was presented to King Herod on a platter.
Blank Verse
A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter
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.
A person, or any thing presented as a person, e. g., a spirit, object, animal, or natural force, in a literary work.
The turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. The climax represents the point of greatest tension in the work. The climax of Antigone is when Creon, too late to avert tragedy, decides to pardon Antigone for defying his orders and burying her brother.
A literary work which is amusing and ends happily. Modern comedies tend to be funny, while Shakespearean comedies simply end well. Shakespearean comedy also contains items such as misunderstandings and mistaken identity to heighten the comic effect. Comedies may contain lovers, those who interfere with lovers, and entertaining scoundrels.
A stanza of two lines, usually rhyming. The following by Andrew Marvell is an example of a rhymed couplet:
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
The resolution of the plot of a literary work
Deus ex machine
A god who resolves the entanglements of a play by supernatural intervention. The Latin phrase means, literally, “a god from the machine.” The phrase refers to the use of artificial means to resolve the plot of a play.
Enjambment In poetry, when one line ends without a pause and continues into the next line for its meaning. This is also called a run-on line. The transition between the first two lines of Wordsworth’s poem "My Heart Leaps Up" demonstrates enjambment: My heart leaps up when I behold / A rainbow in the sky"
Narrative poem that tells of heroic achievements involving some kind of quest.
Figurative Language
Language used in a non-literal way to express a suitable relationship between essentially unlike things. The more common figures of speech are simile, metaphor, personification, and hyperbole.
A literary type or form. Drama is a genre of literature. Within drama, genre include tragedy, comedy and other forms.
GREE oh) the name for a western African singer/storyteller who recites oral history; also called a bard or jeli
Exaggeration for emphasis or for rhetorical effect.
“My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should got to praise
Thine eyes and on thine forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest. Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
Excessive pride which usually leads to the downfall of the tragic hero in Greek drama
Iambic pentameter
A line of five feet in which the dominant accent usually falls on the second syllable of each foot (di dúm), a pattern known as an iamb.
Irony takes many forms. In irony of situation, the result of an action is the reverse of what the actor expected. Macbeth murders his king hoping that in becoming king he will achieve great happiness. Actually, Macbeth never knows another moment of peace, and finally is beheaded for his murderous act. In dramatic irony, the audience knows something that the characters in the drama do not. For example, the identity of the murderer in a crime thriller may be known to the audience long before the mystery is solved. In verbal irony, the contrast is between the literal meaning of what is said and what is meant. A character may refer to a plan as brilliant, while actually meaning that (s)he thinks the plan is foolish. Sarcasm is a form of verbal irony.
*Situational Irony
*Dramatic Irony
*Verbal Irony
A short poem wherein the poet expresses an emotion or illuminates some life principle rather than describing a narrative or dramatic situation. Lyrics present a subjective mood, emotion, or idea. Often about love or death but can be about any experience that evokes emotional response. Also frequently characterized by musical qualities (originally designated poems meant to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre—ancient Greek string instrument)
A figure of speech wherein a comparison is made between two unlike quantities without the use of the words “like” or “as.” Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” has this to say about the moral condition of his parishoners:
There are the black clouds of God’s wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm and big with thunder;
The comparison here is between God’s anger and a storm. Note that there is no use of “like” or “as” as would be the case in a simile
A story handed down from the past that explains a belief or phenomenon The characters of myths are gods and goddesses, or the offspring of the mating of gods or goddesses and humans. Some myths detail the creation of the earth, while others may be about love, adventure, trickery, or revenge. In all cases, it is the gods and goddesses who control events, while humans may be aided or victimized. It is said that the creation of myths were the method by which ancient, superstitious humans attempted to account for natural or historical phenomena.
A literary device wherein the sound of a word echoes the sound it represents. The words “splash.” “knock,” and “roar” are examples. The following lines end Dylan Thomas’ “Fern Hill:”
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.
The word “whinnying” is onomatopoetic. “Whinny” is the sound usually selected to represent that made by a horse.
Oral Tradition
Passing a group of people’s history from generation to generation by telling the stories out loud instead of writing them down.
A figure of speech in which something nonhuman is given human characteristics.
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders:
Carl Sandburg’s description of Chicago includes shoulders. Cities do not have shoulders, people do. Sandburg personifies the city by ascribing to it something human, shoulders. “Justice is blind.” is another example
The structure of a story. Or the sequence in which the author arranges events in a story. The structure of a five-act play often includes the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution (Denouement) The plot may have a protagonist who is opposed by antagonist, creating what is called, conflict. A plot may include flashback or it may include a subplot which is a mirror image of the main plot. For example, in Shakespeare’s, “King Lear,” the relation ship between the Earl of Gloucester and his sons mirrors the relationship between Lear and his daughters.
Point of View
A piece of literature contains a narrator who is speaking either in the first person, telling things from his or her own perspective, or in the third person, telling things from the perspective of an onlooker. The perspective used is called the Point of View, and is referred to either as first person or third person. If the narrator knows everything including the actions, motives, and thoughts of all the characters, the narrator is referred to as omniscient (all-knowing). If the narrator is unable to know what is in any character’s mind but his or her own, this is called limited omniscience.
A piece of literature designed to ridicule the subject of the work. While satire can be funny, its aim is not to amuse, but to arouse contempt. Jonathan swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” satirizes the English people, making them seem dwarfish in their ability to deal with large thoughts, issues, or deeds.
The time and place in which a story unfolds. The setting in Act 1, of Shakespeare’s Othello, for example, is Venice, Italy. A drama may contain a single setting, or the setting may change from scene to scene
A figure of speech which takes the form of a comparison between two seemingly unlike quantities, and which uses the words “like” or “as” in the comparison, as in this line from Ezra Pound’s “Fan-Piece, for Her Imperial Lord:”clear as frost on the grass-blade,In this line, a fan of white silk is being compared to frost on a blade of grass. Note the use of the word “as.”
A lyric poem of fourteen lines whose ryhme scheme is fixed. The rhyme scheme in the Italian form as typified in the sonnets of Petrarch is abbaabba cdecde. The Petrarchian sonnet has two divisions: the first is of eight lines (the octave), and the second is of six lines (the sestet). The rhyme scheme of the English, or Shakespearean sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg. The change of rhyme in the English sonnet is coincidental with a change of theme in the poem. The meter is iambic pentameter.
Stock Character
A character recognizable mainly for his or her conformity to a standard (“stock”) dramatic stereotype: the wily servant, the braggart soldier, the innocent virgin, and so on. Most date from at least Roman times
The underlying meaning of the story, a universal truth, a significant statement the story is making about society, human nature, or the human condition. To say that a book's theme is "friendship" is not clear. A theme makes a general statement like "Friends can never be trusted if their own interests are opposed to yours."
Tragic flaw
A weakness or limitation of character, resulting in the fall of the tragic hero. Othello’s jealousy and too trusting nature is one example.