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249 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
abstract words
words used to discuss intangible qualities like good and evil
accent
the stressed portion of a word in poetry
ad hominem argument
argument that appeals to emotion rather than reason; may attack the messenger rather than the message
aesthetic
appealing to the senses, a coherent sense of taste, the study of beauty
aestehticism
devotion to the idea of beauty in art
aleatory
an alogical poem, seems composed by chance
allegory
a story in which each aspect has symbolic meaning outside the story
alliteration
repetition of initial consonant sounds
allusion
reference to a famous work or figure outside the poem
amplification
repeating a word, and adding more modifiers each time
anachronism
an object misplaced in time
anacoluthon
finishing a sentence with different grammatical structure from that with which it began
analogy
a comparison, involving two or more symbolic parts, employed to clarify an action or a relationship
anapestic
metrical measurement of two unstressed syllables and then one stressed one
anaphora
repetition of the same words at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses
anecdote
a short story
antagonist
one that contends with or opposes another
antecedent
a word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to
anthropomorphism
inanimate objects are given human characteristics, but no human shape
anticlimax
an action produces far smaller results than one had led to expect, comic
antihero
a protagonist who is markedly unheroic
antimetabole
reversing the order of repeated words/clauses to intensify the sentence, present alternatives, or show contrast
antiphrasis
one word irony (calling a beautiful girl "ugly")
antistrophe
repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive lines
antithesis
juxtaposition of opposites
aphorism
a short and witty saying
apocopated rhyme
a cut-off rhyme; last syllable of one of the rhymes is missing
apologia
a defense of one's opinions, actions or life
apologue
moral fable using animals to comment on human condition
aporia
expression of doubt about conclusions
aposiopesis
stopping abruptly and leaving statement unfinished
apostrophe
speech is directed to a nonhuman object or one that is not present
appositive
a noun or phrase placed next to another noun, for the purpose of further describing
archaism
use of deliberately old-fashioned diction
archetype
the original pattern or model of which all things of a similar nature are copies
ars poetica
a poem written on the subjec tof poetic art, usually explaining poet's reasons for writing
aside
a speech made by an actor to the audience as though momentarily stepping outside the action on stage
assonance
the repeated use of internal vowel sounds
atmosphere
the emotional tone or background that surrounds a scence
aubade
a love song or poem greeting the dawn
ballad
a long narrative poem in regular meter and rhyme
bathos
writing that strains for grandeur it can't support
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
bombast
pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language
burlesque
broad parody that takes on a specific style and makes fun of it
cacophony
using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds
cadence
the beat or rhythm of poetry
caesura
a pause in a line of poetry (indicated or not)
camera eye narrator
third-person narrator who describes what would be visible to a camera; objective
canto
a section division in a long work of poetry
caricature
a portrait that exaggerates a facet of personality
carpe diem
the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future
catalogue
a complete enumeration of items, arranged systematically, with descrptive details
catharsis
cleansing of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived through the experiences
Chaucerian stanza
7-lines, rhyme ababbcc
chorus
the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it
classicism
a tendency to reflect the principles manifested in the art of ancient Greece and Rome
climax
the point of highest tension, or a major turning point in a play
coinage
a new word, usually invented on the spot
colloquialism
a word or phrase used in everyday conversational English
conceit
an extended metaphor, developed and expanded upon over several lines
concrete poetry
a poem wherein shape of words and lines conveys the meaning
confessional poetry
makes frank, explicit use of incidents in the poet's life
connotation
the association with a word; the word suggests/implies meaning beyond the literal
consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within words
continuous form
a poem in which lines follow each other without stanza breaks
couplet
a pair of lines ending in rhyme
dactylic
a metrical measurement of one accented syllable and two unaccented
decorum
the attitude one should display according to his social/economic status
denotation
a word's literal meaning
denouement
conclusion; the outcome of a plot
determinism
belief that man is fated to defeat under indifferent natural forces; emphasizes vanity of free will
deus ex machina
"god from the machine" -conflicts quickly resolved at end, often by sudden introduction of a power who solves all
diacope
repetition of words before and after syntactical break (We will do it, I tell you, we will do it)
dialect
the characteristic speech of a particular region or group
diction
the author's choice of words
didactic
primary purpose is to teach
dirge
a song for the dead
dissonance
the grating of incompatible sounds
doggerel
crude, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme
dramaatic monologue
single speaking in literature talks to silent audience
dramatic poem
a poem that has a conflict
dualistic
two-valued, eg. good/evil
dystopia
opposite of utopia, society where social and technological advances have serve dto aid corruption
elegy
poem on death or mortality
encomium
a laudatory poem for a legendary or real person
enjambment
continuation of syntax over line break
enumeratio
listing parts, cause, effect, for added emphasis
epic
a long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style; often describes glorious or pround subject
epigram
a short poem intended to impart wisdom
epigraph
a quotation that is placed at the start of a work or section that expresses what will be said
epiphany
a sudden realization or comprehension of the meaning of something
epistle
a letter directed or sent to a group of people
epistrophe
repeat of same word(s) at the end of sentences
epitaph
lines that commemorate the dead at the burial place
epithalamium
a peom that is written for the bride; celebration of a wedding
epithet
a word preceding or following a name which serves to describe
epizeuxis
repetition of the same word for emphasis
eponym
substituting the name of a famous person for a description
eulogy
formal expression of praise, usually given a a funeral
euphemism
a word that takes the place of a more harsh or inappropriate word
euphony
sounds blending harmoniously
euphuism
elegant Victorian prose sytle (filled with alliteration and similes)
exemplum
citing an example
expletive
word interrupting syntax to give emphasis to words around it
expressionism
emphasizes the life of the mind and feelings rather than the realistic external details of everyday life
eye of the poem
the central focus of the poem
falling rhyme
feminine rhyme; ending with unaccented last syllable
farce
a comedy of unlikely, but possible, situations
feminine rhyme
falling rhyme, ending with unaccented last syllable
figurative image
representation of one thing by another
first person narrator
a character in the story who tells the tale from his/her point of view
flashback
a scene that interrupts the action to show an event that happened earlier
foil
a secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character
foot
basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry, formed by two or three syllables, stressed or not
foreshadowing
an event or statement that, in minature, suggests a larger event that comes later
free verse
poetry without regular rhyme or meter
genre
a sub-category of literature; categorizes literature by types
gothic
use of eerie themes and images
haiku
Japanese poetry with 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables
half rhyme
words that almost rhyme; slant rhyme
hamartia
tragic flaw or error which brings down the protagonist of a tragedy
Harlem Renaissance
flowering of African American art and music in the 1920s; center was in Harlem, New York
head rhyme
another word for alliteration
heptameter
poem of seven metrical feet
heroic couplet
a rhyming couplet in iambic pentameter
hexameter
poetic form of six metrical feet
homonyms
words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings
hubris
excessive pride/ambition which leads to character's downfall
hyperbaton
departure from normal word order; a form of inversion
hyperbole
exaggeration or deliberate overstatement
hypophora
raising a question then proceeding to answer it
iambic
a metrical foot with an unstressed first syllable and a stressed second syllable
in media res
a piece of writing that begins in the middle of the action
incongruity
the joining of opposites to create an unexpected situation
interior monologue
recording of mental talk in character's head
invective
speech/writing that abuses, denounces, attacks
inversion
switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase
irony
events turn out exactly the opposite of how they might be expected; saying the opposite of what is meant
lament
a peom of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or some intense loss
lampoon
a satire
linked rhyme
first syllable of a line echoes the last syllable of the previous line (on the rooftop/ stops the light)
literal image
concrete replication in words of an object or experience
litotes
type of understatement achieved by denying the opposite (i am not unkind)
local color
use of specific details describing dialect, dress, customs, and scenery associated with a particular region
loose sentence
a sentence complete before its end
lyric
poetry that explores the poet's personal interpretation of and feelings about the world
madrigal
a short lyric on love or pastoral themes
masculine rhyme
rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable
melodrama
cheesy theater; often emphasizes plot and action over character development
metabasis
brief summary of what has been said and what will follow
metanoia
modifies a statement by recalling it and expressing it in a better way
metaphor
comparison or analogy that states that one thing is anotehr
meter
rhythmic pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up feet
metonymy
a single characteristic used to describe something outside itself
mixed metaphor
combination of incompatible comparisons; trying to compare objects too dissimilar to carry off a comparison
mood
prevailing atmosphere created by language, tone, setting
motif
a recurring feature in a work of literature
narrative
a story peom
naturalism
emphaisis on man as animal, behaving strictly according to dictates of nature; emphasizes lack of free will and the sordid
neo-classicism
sees man as flawed w/flawed institutions; nature neither good nor evil; man need sto seek harmony with what is
neologism
coinage; forming a new word, usually spontaneously
nonce
open form poem (shape is unique to peom) written for a special occasion
novel of manners
novel describing social habits/customs of a social group
octave
eight line stanza
ode
long poem on a serious subject that develops its theme with dignified lanuage, intended to be sung
omniscient narrator
a third-person narrator who sees into character's heads
onomatopoeia
words that sound like what they mean
opposition
a pair of elements that constrast sharply
oxymoron
a phrase composed of opposites; a contradiction
palinode
a poem retracting a regretted derogatory statement
parable
a story told in prose or verse that illustrates a religious or ethical idea
paradigm
a formal plan or sequence of changes which acts as a model
paradox
a statement that seems contradictory, but is not
parallelism
repeated syntactical similarities used for effect
parenthetical
a phrase set off by commas that interrupts the flow of a sentence
parody
exaggering a specific work so that it appears ridiculous
pastoral
a poem set in a tranquil nature (ideally around shepherds)
pathetic fallacy
a cliched personification of nature (rain weeds)
pentameter
a line of verse containing five metrical feet
periodic sentence
a sentence that is grammatically incomplete until its final phrase
persona
the character created by the author to narrate
personification
inanimate objects or animals take on human shape
Petrarchan sonnet
14 lines/abba abba cde cde
picaresque novel
novel about a picara or rogue and vagabond
prelude
an introductory poem to a longer work of verse
private symbol
an author's personal symbol that the reader understands through the context
protagonist
the main character of a novel or play
public voice
a writer who is speaking for all people
pun
humorous use of a word in a way to suggest two or more meanings
pure rhyme
initial sounds of a word differ and the rest of the sound is identical
pyrrhic
a metrical foot with two unstressed syllables
quatrain
four-line stanza
quintet
five lines of poetry with no prescribed rhyme
realism
nature is benign and there is optimism that man can rise above his own animal nature if he wills
refrain
a line or set of lines repeated several times in a poem
requiem
a song of prayer for the dead
rhapsody
passionate verse or section of verse, usually addresssing love or praise
rhetorical question
a question that suggests an answer, and therefore doesn't need to be answered
rhetorical shift
a change in tone or attitude; key words include "but", etc
rhyme royal
ababbcc: sounds are staggered (abab) in first lines, then closely linked (bcc)
ridicule
words intended to belittle or generate contempt/laughter
rising rhyme
masculine rhyme; rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable
romanticism
man is good but institutions and their imposed orders are evil; nature is good; man can live in harmony w/nature
saga
generally long novels, often about several generations
sarcasm
ridicule expressed in ironic praise
satire
work in which human vice or folly is attacked with irony, derision or wit
scansion
analysis of a peoms's rhythm and meter
second intensity
weak poems that could have been better
septet
7 lines of poetry
sestet
a stanza or poem of six lines
sestina
a 6 line stanza ending with tercet; last words of each line in 1st stanza are repeated as last words in next stanza
Shakespearean sonnet
14 lines in iambic pentameter, abab cdcd efef gg
simile
comparison using as or like
slant rhyme
half rhyme
soliloquy
speech spoken by single character on stage
sonnet
14 rhymed lines of verse in iambic pentameter
Spenserian sonenct
14 lines, abab bcbc cdcd ee
spondee
a metrical foot with two stresed syllables
stanza
a unit within a longer poem
stock character
standard or cliched character types
stream of consciousness
reading sees inside main character's head and is privy to all character's conscious, random thoughts
subjunctive
setting up a hypothetical situation
surrealism
allowing the subconscious or dream-like imagery to guide the poem; leaps from image to image
suspension of disbelief
demand of audience to accept stage limitations and believe
syllogism
deductive reasoning
synecdoche
a type of metaphor wherein a part stands for the whole
synesthesia
a mixing of senses
tautology
a repetition so redundant as to be frozen with obvious foolishness
technique
styles, devices and diction used by author
tetrameter
a poetic line with four metrical feet
texture of poem
the sound of the poetic words in a piece
theme
general idea or insight about life that writer wishes to convey
tone
the attitude of the poet
transcendentalism
holds that basic truths can be reache dthrough intuition; transcends reason; the divine is in nature and people
travesty
grotesque parody
trochaic
a metrical measurement of one stressed syllable and one unstressed
trope
any figurative language
truism
a way too obvious truth
understatement
ironic minimalizing of fact
unreliable narrator
first person narrator is carzy, very young, or not entirely credible
utopia
an idealized place
verisimilitude
how precisely the characters/events in fiction match reality
vernacular
everyday spoken langugage of people in a particular region
villanelle
19 lines: 5 tercets (aba) + a quatran (abaa)
voice
associated with the basic vision of a writer, her general attitude toward the world
weak specification
imprecise, abstract language
wit
words that are intellectually amusing; delight that surprises
zeugma
word modifies two or more words for different meanings (the dance floor was square as was his personality)