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terms

Terms

undefined, object
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rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhymes in a stanza or poem.
flat character/round character
'flat' character does not change in the course of a story or play; a 'round' one develops and alters
types of conflict
the tension or opposition in a situation between characters, or within one character, or between a character and society/environment
Neo-classicism
adherence to the virtues of classical art, literature, and music.
pathos/logos/ethos
rhetorical techniques that appeal to the audience's sense of compassion/reason/fairness respectively in seeking to persuade.
limited/limited omniscient/omniscient narrator
an omniscient narrator moves from character to character, place to place, and episode to episode with complete freedom, giving himself access to his characters' thoughts and feelings. Limited narration occurs whenthis is not the case, and limited omniscient narration combines limited and omniscient styles of narration.
symbol
something that stands for something else due to a relationship, association, or convention.
imagery
representation of objects, feelings, or ideas, either literally or through figurative language
Transcendentalism
philosophical and literary movement in 19th century New England based on belief in the unity and divinity of creation, the innate goodness of every human being, and the supremacy of insight over logic for giving knowledge of profound truths.
onomatopoeia
the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it.
protagonist/antagonist
the protagonist is the principal actor or character/the antagonist opposes the protagonist.
alliteration
of consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables.
Enlightenment
a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that celebrated reason.
stage directions
notes incorporated in a play's script to indicate a character's appearance, personality, and manner; the actor's movements; details of location, scenery, and effects.
theme
a key idea explored in a work, either directly or indirectly.
simile
figure of speech involving comparison between two unlike entities. Unlike the metaphor, the resemblance is explicitly indicated with the words "like" or "as." Explicit comparison.
denotation/connotation
the most literal and limited meaning of a word/the suggestion or implication evoked by a word or phrase.
exposition
at the start of a play the dramatist often needs to give essential information about the plot and what has 'already happened': this is all exposition.
pun
a humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications.
foreshadowing
the technique of arranging events and information in a narrative in such a way that later events are prepared for or shadowed beforehand, so as to give thematic and structural unity.
situational irony
when the audience understands the implication and meaning of a situation on stage but
aside/soliloquy
a short passage spoken in an undertone or to the audience/a speech, often long, in which a character, alone on the stage, expresses her or her thoughts and feelings.
mood
a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.
reliable/unreliable narrator
a reliable narrator is entirely trustworthy as a guide to the truth of his story. An unreliable narrator is not entirely trustworthy, and may exaggerate, distort, or lie.
gothic
late 18th and early 19th-century style of fiction characterized by the use of medieval settings, a murky atmosphere of horror and gloom, and mysterious and violent incidents.
assonance
relatively close juxtaposition of similar sounds, especially of vowels.
epithet
a word or phrase used to express the characteristic of a person or thing.
abstract/concrete
a sentence is abstract if it deals with a class of things or persons, e.g., 'All men are liars'. On the other hand 'Smith is a liar' is a concrete statement
conceit
an elaborate or strained metaphor
scan
to read or mark so as to show metrical structure
epiphany
a usually sudden perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.
personification
figure of speech in which human characteristics are attributed to something non-human.
antithesis
contrasting ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction, as in this speech of Brutus from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more."
inference
the vocabulary used by a writer.
end rhyme
a rhyme that occurs in the last syllables of verses
resolution
those events which form the outcome of the climax of a play or story.
local color
use of detail peculiar to a particular region to add interest and authenticity to a narrative.
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter verse. The standard verse form in English poetry.
romance
a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural.
slant rhyme
two words that have only their final consonant sounds and no preceding vowel or consonant sounds in common (such as parable and shell).
epigram
short, ingenious poem treating concisely and often satirically a single thought or event.
mood
the atmosphere of a work of art.
epithet
a word or phrase used to express the characteristic of a person or thing.
style
the awareness of an unexpected difference between appearance and reality things.
tone
the reflection of a writer's attitude, manner, mood, and moral outlook in his work.
1st person narrator
tells a story from the first person ("I") point of view, as one of the characters in the story. people's stupidity or vices.
3rd person narrator
one who tells a story from the third person point of view. The author chooses a character and relates the story in terms of that character.
subjective/objective point of view
subjectivity suggests that the writer is primarily concerned with describing personal experiences and feelings. Objectivity suggests the writer is 'outside' and detached from what he is writing about.
internal rhyme
rhyme between a word within a line and another word either at the end of the same line or within another line.
nemesis
(Greek 'retribution') punishment that overtakes a tragic hero.
satire
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices.
metaphor
figure of speech in which a word or phrase denoting one kind of object or action is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. Implied comparison.
voice
an opinion or attitude of an author, or a means by which it is expressed.
Romanticism
18th to mid-19th century cultural reaction against Enlightenment emphasizing the subjective, irrational, imaginative, spontaneous, and emotional
oxymoron
a word or group of words that is self-contradicting.
thesis/personal essay/analytical essay
a statement put forward to be proved/an essay concerning one's personal (as distinct from public or professional) life/an essay making/use of logical reasoning in order to prove a thesis on a specific topic.
iambic pentameter
a line of poetry of five feet, each composed of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable, as in the word because.
diction
characteristic manner of expression in prose or verse; how a particular writer says
free verse
poetry that is not organized by a regular metrical scheme, but according to the cadences of speech and image.
novel
a fictional prose narrative of considerable length that deals imaginatively with human experience through a connected sequence of events involving a group of people in a specific setting.
romantic
as a literary concept, characteristic of Romanticism - see Literary Concepts 4.
paradox
1. An apparently self-contradictory statement, the underlying meaning of which is revealed only by careful scrutiny. 2. A statement contrary to received opinion.
elegy
a mournful poem, typically a lament for the dead.
dramatic irony
awareness of an unexpected difference between words and their meaning. the characters do not.
couplet/quatrain
two successive rhyming lines/a stanza of four lines.
genre
a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural.
purpose
the reason for which a work of art is produced.
rhetoric
the art of using language for persuasion, in speaking or writing.
picaresque
an early form of novel, usually a 1st person narrative, relating the adventures of a rogue who drifts from place to place in an effort to survive.
setting
the where and when of a story or play. In drama the term may refer to scenery or props.
vernacular
native language. It can also be used to distinguish between a 'literary' language and a dialect.
verbal irony
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize
sonnet
a fixed verse form consisting of fourteen lines, typically five-foot iambics rhyming according to a particular scheme.
Puritanism
a group of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to simplify and regulate forms of worship.
eye rhyme
an imperfect rhyme in which two words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently (such as come and home).
literal/figurative
the primary meaning of words/language which uses figures of speech, e.g., metaphor, simile, alliteration, simile, alliteration
audience
the reader/viewer/listener of a work of art.
climax
part of a story or play at which a crisis is reached and resolution achieved.
monologue
a single person speaking alone, with or without an audience.
plot
the plan, design, scheme, or pattern of events in a play, poem, or work of fiction.
dialect
a language or manner of speaking peculiar to a region.
dialogue
1. The speech of characters. 2. A literary genre in which 'characters' discuss a subject.

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