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Lit Terms for Jennifer

Terms

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allegory
a narrative in verse or prose in which literal events (person, place, thing) consistantly point to a parallel sequence of symbolic ideas. Has two levels of meaning: literal level that tells a surface story and symbolic level in which the abstract ideas unfold.
alliteration
the repetition of two or more consonent sounds in successive words in a line or verse of prose ( cool-cats)
allusion
indirect reference to any person, place or thing - ficticious, historical or actual
apostrophe
a direct address to someone or something. Often addresses something not often spoken to (O Mountain!)
aside
in drama a few words or a short passage spoken in an undertone or to the audience
characterization
the techniques a wtiter uses to create, reveal, or develop the characters in a narrative
conceit
a poetic device using elaborate camparisions, such as equating a loved one with the graces and beauty of the world.
conflict
the central struggle between two or more forces in a story. Generally occurs when someone or something prevents the protagonist from acheiving his/her goal.
connotation
an association or additional meaning that a word, imagem or phrase may carry, apart from its literal denotation or dictionalry definition.
denotation
the literal, dictionary meaning of a word.
Dues ex machina
latin for " a god from a machine" refers to the Greek playwrites frequent use of a god, mechanically lowered to the stage from the roof, to resolve human conflict with judgements and commands - Now refers to any force or device in plot resolution
diction
choice of words
concrete diction
involves a highly specific word chioce in the naming of something or someone
abstract diction
contains words that express more general ideas or concepts
epiphany
some moment of insight, discovery, a relevation by which a characters life, or view of life is greatly altered
flashback
retrospect-a scene relived in a characters memory
forshadowing
in plot construction the technique of arranging events and information in such a way that later events are prepared for, or shadowed, before hand. This can be used in order suggest sifnificant later events.
genre
a conventional combonation of literary form and subject matter usually aimed at creating certain effects. Implies a preexisting understanding between the artist and the reader about the purpose and rules of the work. Ex. fiction, non fiction, gothic, horror, dective tales
hyperbole
exaggeration used to express a point
imagery
the collective set of images in a poem or other literary work
In media res
a latin phrase meaning " in the midst of things" that refers to a narrative device beginning a story midway in the events it depicts usually at an exciting or significan t moment
irony
a literary device in which a discrepancy of meaning is masked beneath the surface of the language. Present when a write says on thing but means something quite the opposite - verbal and situaltional irony
metaphor
a statement that one thing is soemthing else, which, in a literal sense, it is not. creates a close association between the two entities and usually underscores some important similarity between them. ("Richard is a pig")
metonymy
fig of speech in which the name of a thing is substituted for that of another closely associated with it. for example when saying "the whitehouse decided" you could mean the president decided.
monologue
an extended speech by a single character - originated in drama - describes solo speech that has listeners.
moral
message, soemtimes stated at the end
motif
an element that occures significantly throughout a narrative. Can be an image, idea, theme, situation, or action. Ex a beautiful lady ion midevil romances who turns out to be an evil fairy
Motivation
what a character in a story or drama wants - the reasons the author provides for a characters actions. can be specific or implied
onomatapia
attempts to represent a thing or action by the woed that imitates the sound associated with it (crash, bag, pitter-patter)
persona
latin for "mask" a ficticious character created by an author to be a speaker of a poem, story or novel
personification
a figure of speech in which a thing, an animal or an abstract term is endowed with human characteristics. allows an author to dramatize the nonhuman world in tangible human terms
setting
the time and place of a literary work. may also include the climate and even the social psychological or spititual state of the participants
simile
a comparision of two things indicated by soem connective, usually LIKE, AS , THAN, or an verb such as RESEMBLES. Usually compares two things that initially seem unlike but are shown to have a significant resemblance. "Cool as a cucumber" and "My love is like a red, red rose"
soliloquy
in drama a speech, by a character alone onstage in which he or she stutters his/her thoughts aloud. Important in drama b/c it gives the audience insight into a characters inner life, private motivations and uncertainties.
style
individual traits or chracteristics of a piece of writing;indicates a mode of expression; the language a writer uses
symbol
a person, place or thing in a narrative that suggests meanings beyond its literal; sense. Usually contains multiple meanings and associations.
slander
a false or malicious statement about someone
libel
a false published statement that injures and individuals reputation or otherwise exposes him/her to public contempt
censorship
deleting parts of lit, plays, etc
bias
to influence in a particular, typically unfair direction
exact rhyme
a full rhyme in whuch the sounds following the initial letters of the words are identical in sound, as in hollow and follow, go and slow, disband and this hand
slant rhyme
final consonant sounds are different, as in letter and litter, bone and bean, also called off or near rhyme
end rhyme
occurs at the ends of lines, rather than with them - most common type of rhyme in Engish poetry
stanza
a recurring pattern of two or more lines of verse, poetry's equiv paragraph in prose - Basic organizational principal of most formal poetry
euphony
when the sounds of words working together pleases the mind and ears
cacophony
a harsh, disconnect sound
onmatopia
attempt to represent a thing or action by a word that imitates the sound associated with it - zoom!, whiz!, crash!, bang!
rhyme
occurance of stresses and pauses - this is part of the poems sound
stress (accent)
greater amount of force given to one syllable in speaking than is given to another
iambic pentameter
a line of 5 iambs - a meter especiall familiar b/c it occures in all blank verses, heroic couplets, and sonnets
slack syllables
unstressed
end stopped
when a line ends in a full pause
dactylic
a line made up primarily of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllable
monometer
1 foot
dimeter
2 feet
trimeter
3 feet
tetrameter
4 feet
pentameter
5 feet
hexameter
7 feet
octameter
8 feet
accentual meter
poet does not write in feet but instead counts accents-the idea is to have the same number of stresses in each line
quantitive meter
greek and latin poetry is measured by long and short vowel sounds
form
congiguration of all its parts
closed form
a poet follows soem sort of pattern , often falling into stanzas that indicate groups of rhymes - the poet who writes this way seems to strive for perfection
open form
no final "click" - poet views writing as a process - not striving for perfection - lets the poem discover itself as it goes along
blank verse
Shakespear, Milton, - has one line pattern
couplet
two line stanza - usually rhymed lines often tend to be equal in length whether short or long
heroic couplet
ends in light pause, named for its lighter use by Dryden and others in poems and epics of heroes
closed couplet
heavy ends stop
parallel
when the poet places a pair of words, phrases, clauses or sentences side by side in agreement or similarity
antithesis
words, phrases, clauses or sentences in contrast or similarity
tercet
a group of three lines
quatrain
a stanza consisting of four lines used in more rhymed poems than any other form
fixed forms
"traditional" verse forms inherits from other poems certain familiar elements of structure
conventions
expected features such as themes, subjects, attitudes or figures of speech
sonnet
fixed form that has attracted the largest # of noteworthy practitioners
English sonnet
rhymes in four clusters:abacdcefe- has three places where succession of thought is likely to turn in other direction- may follow one idea for 3 quatrians and then in the couplet, end in a surprise
Italian sonnet
Petrarchan - follows rhyme scheme abba, abba in its first 8 lines (octave) then adds new rhyme sounds in the last six lines - the sestet.
concrete
refers to what we can immediately percieve with our senses - dog, actor, chemicals
abstract
express ideas or concepts:love, time, truth
neoclassical period
Augustan age-period from about 1660 to the late 18th century
poetic diction
"system of words refined from the grossness of domestic use"
decorum
propriety
vulgate
speech not much affected by schooling
colloquial
casual converstaion or informal writing of literate people
general english
most literate and speech writing
formal english
proper and spoken on formal occasions
fiction
name for short stories not extremely factual, partially made up - the facts may or may not be true
fable
brief story that sets forth some pointed statement opf truth
parable
brief narrative that teaches a moral, its plot is plausibly realistic and, main characters are human rather than animals or natural forces
tale
sounds better than "story" - although they are the same
tall tale
folk story which recounts the deeds of a super hero or of the story teller
fairy tale
set in a world of magic and enchantment - sometimes the work of a modern author
dramatic situation
when a person is involved in some sort of conflict
exposition
opening portion that sets the scene, introduces the main characters tells us what happened before the story opened
complication
when a "new" conflict is introduced
protagonist
better term than hero but is the same
suspense
pleasurable anxiety we feel that heightens our attention to the story
antagonist
character who is playing the "bad" person
foreshadowing
indication of events to come
crisis
a moment of high tension
climax
moment of greatest tension
conclusion
resolution
plot
artistic arrangement of those events
summary
terse, general narration
scene
vivd or dramatic moment described in enough detail to create the illusion that the reader is practically there
narrator
the one from whose perspective the story is told
narrator (participant)
writing in the 1st person
narrator (non participant)
writing in the 3rd person
all knowing (omniscient)
the narrator sees into the minds of all (or some) of the characters, moving, when necessary, from one to another
editorial omniscient
when the narrator adds an additional comment or opinion
limited omniscient
selective-when a non participating narrator sees events through the eyes of a single character
impartial omniscient
narrator who presents the thoughts and actions of the characters, but does not judge them or comment on them
objective point of view
the narrator does not enter the mind of any character but describes events from the outside
innocent or naive narrator
character who fails to understand all the implications of the story
tone
whatever leads us to infer the authors attitude

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