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75 Cards in this Set

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abstraction
a concept or value that cannot be seen (ex. love, honor) and which the writer illustrates by comparing it metaphorically to a known, concrete object.
absolute phrase
group of words which is almost a complete sentence and which adds information to the sentence; can be made into a sentence by adding was or were.
ad hominem argument
an argument that appeals to emotion rather than reason, to feelings rather than intellect (from the Latin meaning "to or against the man.")
allegory
a verse or prose narrative in which the characters,action, and sometimes setting represent abstract concepts apart from the literal meaning of the work.
alliteration
repetition of initial sounds (often consonant sounds)
allusion
reference to artistic, literary, scientific, or historical people, places or things to convey tone, purpose, or effect.
ambiguity
expression of an idea in such a way that suggests more than one meaning.
analogy
a comparison of two things to show how something unfamiliar is like something widely known.
anapest
a metrical foot that has two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable.
anecdote
a brief story that illustrates a point.
antagonist
the force or person working against the protagonist; the villain
antithesis
a contrast of ideas expressed in grammatically balanced statement.
antecedent
the word to which a pronoun refers
aphorism
a brief, clever saying that expresses a principle, truth, or observation about life
appositive
a noun which restates the noun preceding it
apostrophe
directly addressing someone dead, someone missing, an abstract quality, or something nonhuman as if he/she/it were present.
approximate rhyme
using words that have some sound correspondence but imperfect rhyme.
archetype
a character, situation, or symbol that is familiar to people from all cultures because it occurs frequently in literature, myth, religion, or folklore.
aside
private words by a character on the stage so that the audience hears the words but the other characters do not.
assonance
repetition of vowel sounds.
atmosphere
the mood of a work partly established through description of setting and partly through the objects chosen to be described.
attitude
the author's way of looking at a subject, implicit in the mode (tragedy, comedy, satire, romance) and essential to meaning.
ballad
a narrative poem with songlike qualities written in quatrains with the rhyme scheme abcb, usually in iambic pentameter.
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
cacophony
succession of harsh, discordant sounds in prose or verse to achieve a specific effect.
caesura
a pause in a line of verse, usually near the middle of the line.
characterization
the process by which the writer reveals the personalities of the characters; direct statement, physical description, dialogue, thoughts and feelings, actions, effect on others, others' reactions.
clause
a group of words with a subject and a verb; may be independent (main) or dependent (subordinate); a subordinate one may function as noun, adjective, or adverb in a sentence.
climax
the decisive or turning point in a story or play when the action changes course and begins to resolve itself.
closed couplet
two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme and represent a complete thought.
colloquialism
the use of slang or informalities in speech and writing; not generally acceptable in formal writing; should create a conversational tone.
comic relief
something said or done that provides a break from the seriousness of the work.
conceit
a juxtaposition that makes a surprising connection between two seemingly different things.
conclusion
a reaffirmation or restatement of the thesis; also expresses a final though about a subject, summarizes main points, uses a quotation, predicts an outcome, makes an evaluation, or recommends a course of outcome.
confessional poetry
poetry that uses intimate and painful, disturbing or sad material from the poet's life.
conflict
internal of external tension created by the struggle or by the outcome of the struggle.
connotative language
words which have an implied meaning, emphasizing feelings or subjectivity that surrounds the word.
contrast
a literary technique in which the author examines two opposites to create an attitude, to accomplish a purpose or affect, or to make an assertion.
control of a wide range of the elements of writing
mature diction, varied syntax, and effective organization to convey a clear and insightful evaluation, analysis, impression, or assertion.
couplet
two lines of poetry
dactyl
a metrical foot with one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables
deduction
deriving at a conclusion by making an inference from the premise
denotative language
the literal, dictionary definition of a word, emphasizing an objective tone
denouement
resolution of the plot
description
using vivid words to create a dominant impression of what the five senses are experiencing
dialogue
conversation between two or more characters.
diction
word choice.
didactic
a work in which the author's primary purpose is to instruct, teach or moralize.
digression
use of material unrelated to the subject of the work.
dilemma
a type of conflict in which both choices have negative connotations.
dramatic monologue
a poem in which the speaker addresses one or more listeners who remain silent or whose replies are not revealed.
economy
a style of writing characterized by brevity and conciseness.
elegy
a solemn, reflective poem, usually about death, written in a formal style.
ellipsis
omission of an element from a sentence so that the grammatical structure is incomplete but the meaning is clear; often appears in aphorisms, epigrams, proverbs, and maxims.
end-stopped lines
lines of poetry that end with punctuation marks.
enjambment
in poetry, the running over of a sentence from one verse or stanza to the next without stopping at the first.
epic
long narrative poem dealing with heroes and adventurers; having a national, world-wide, or cosmic setting; involving supernatural focuses, and written in a deliberately ceremonial style.
epigram
a short witty verse or saying, often ending with a wry twist.
epigraph
a motto or quotation at the beginning of a story, novel, or chapter, often indicating theme.
epistolary novel
a novel in letter form written by one or more of the characters.
euphemism
describing something distasteful in a positive way.
euphony
a choice and arrangement of words creating a pleasant sound.
exemplum
a short medieval story illustrating a moral.
exposition
one of the four major types of writing which explains; in drama, it is the initial part of the play when the background information is presented to the audience.
fable
brief tale which teaches a moral truth and which contains characters who are often animals.
figures of speech
imaginative comparisons (ex. metaphors, similes, personification, etc.) to convey tone, purpose, or effect.
fixed form
poems which have specific rhyme, meter, and/or stanza arrangement.
flashback
going back in time to reveal past history that is important to the work.
flat character
a one-dimensional character who remains the same throughout the work and about whom little is revealed.
foil
a character who contrasts another character.
foot
a unit of meter that contains a measure of syllables (ex. anapest, dactyl, iamb, spondee, trochee)
form
external pattern of the poem (ex. continuous form, stanzaic form, free verse, fixed form, blank verse)
foreshadowing
a literary technique in which the author gives hints about future events.
frame
a narrative device presenting a story or group pf stories within the context of a larger work.
free verse
poetry with no set rhyme and no set meter.