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Glossary of English 10 Final Exam Lit Terms

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Exposition
The general atmosphere, time, place, main characters, and opening conditions of the play(Act I)
Exciting Force
Something happens that starts the action of the play moving(Act I)
Rising Action
A series of actions usually covering more than one act. During the rising action the hero of the play is the active force trying to make things work out as he or she intended. (Act I, II, III)
Climax
The protagonist reaches the peak of his/her power and a distinct change occurs in him/her as well as in the direction of the action. Things begin to go against the protagonist, who seems to be following a downward path. (Act II)
Falling ACtion
Covers several scenes and shows all the ways the main events are going against the main character. At this time, the antagoinst begins to rise in power. The conflict between the protagonist and the antagoinst becomes the essence of the play. (Act III, IV, V)
Moment of Final Suspense
The moment when things begin to look as if they will go the way of the protagonist again. He/she momentarily believes that tragedy will be adverted. (Act V)
Catastrophe
Complete downfall of protagonist, either through death or some other devistating circumstnace. If the protagonist is a villain, then the catastrophe will be seen by the audience as a good thing. (Act V)
Paradox
A statement that seems to contradict itself but in fact reveals some element of truth.
Tradgedy
A dramatic work that presents the downfall of a dignified character who is involevd in historically or socially significant events.
Tragic hero
Main Character in a tragedy (Macbeth) has a tragic flaw.
Tragic flaw
Quality that leads to his/her distruction. (ambition)
Solliloquy
A speech in a dramatic work in which a character speaks his/ her thoughts aloud. (usually on the stage alone) purpose is to reveal characters inner thoughts and feelings to audience.
Motif
Recurring word, phrase, image, object, idea, or action in a work of literature. (Macbeth- blood, sleep and water)
Imagery
Refers to words and phrases that create vivid sensory experiences for the reader
Aside
A remark spoken in an undertone by a character either to the audience or another character.

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