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Literary Terms 1st semester

Terms

undefined, object
copy deck
epic
a quest story on a grand scale
paraphrase
put into your own words
explicate
explain
tragic hero
Aristotle's idea of a good, even great person who brings his own destruction through a flaw in his character
tragic scene of recognition
Aristotle's concept: the hero comes to understand something the audience has long understood
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
(a form of poetry that comes close to imitating the natural rhythms of Enlish speech)
iambic
a metrical foot that has one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable.
pentameter
each line of verse has five feet, so one line of iambic pentameter has five iambs
soliloquy
a meditative kind of speech in which a character, usually alone on stage and pretending that the audience is not present, thinks out loud
aside
lines unheard by the other characters on stage, esp. in Shakespeare
tragic reversal
Aristotle's concept in which the effect gained is the opposite of the effect intended
exposition
the introduction
denouement
the falling action (Act IV in a Shakespearean play)
resolution
conclusion
protagonist
the main character in a fiction, drama, or narrative poetry. Most protagonists are rounded, dynamic characters who change in some important way by end of the story.
climax
the point of the greatest emotional intensity or suspence in a plot. (usually where the conflict is decided)
antagonist
the character or force that opposes or blocks the protagonist, or main character, in a narrative
comic relief
a comic scene coming before or after a scene of high dramatic tension to relieve the emotions of the audience
foil
a character who sets off another character by strong contrast
motif
In literature, a word, character, object, image, metaphor, or idea that recurs in a work or in several works.
tone
The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character.
verbal irony
occurs when a writer or speaker says one thing but really means something quite different-often the opposite of what he or she said
("oh, i just love waiting in the rain")
situational irony
occurs when what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate
(expect palace, when u get there it is a dump)
satire
A kind of writing that ridicules human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform
ballad
a song or songlike poem that tells a story; most have a regular pattern of rhythm and rhyme, and generally have a refrain
caesura
a pause or break within a line of poetry, usually indicated by the natural rhythm of the language
foreshadowing
the use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot; builds suspense
persona
the "I" or first person narrator that is not necessarily the author
kenning
In Anglo-Saxon poetry, a metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly
allegory
a story in which the characters, settings, and events stand for abstract or moral concepts
alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds in non-rhythming words, especially at the beginning of words duch as "rough" and
"ready."
consonance
The repetition of final consonant sounds in non-rhythming words (i.e. "struts" and "frets");
can also mean repetition of consonant sounds in the middle of words such as in "solemn stillness."
assonance
the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in words that are close together. Assonance differs from exact rhyme because it doesn't repeat the consonant sound following the vowel.
(i.e. face and fade, NOT face and base)
oxymoron
a figure of speech that combines apparently contradictory or incongruous ideas
sonnet
a fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, that has one of several rhyme schemes
(two types: Italian, Patrarchan)
quatrain
a four-line stanza or poem or a group of four lines unified by a rhyme scheme.
(most common verse in Eng. poetry)
couplet
two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme.
octave
an eight-line stanza or poem or the first eight lines of an Italian, or Petrarchan, sonnet
(rhyme scheme abbaabba)
sestet
a six-line stanza or poem or the last six lines of an Italian, or Petrarchan, sonnet
(rhyme scheme cdcdcd)
conceit
a fanciful and elaborate figure or speech that makes a surprising connection between two seemingly dissimilar things

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