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AP Literature and Compostion Vocab 2007


undefined, object
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A detailed analysis or interpretation of a work of literature.
A poet; in olden times, a performer who told heroic stories to musical accompaniment.
The repetition of similar sounds at regular intervals, used mostly in poetry.
A direct verbal assault; a denunciation
A piece of writing that reveals weaknesses, faults, frailties or other shortcomings.
The organization of languafe into meaningful structure; every sentence has a particular syntax, or pattern of words.
The act of determining the meter of a poetic line. The pattern is called scansion. If a vers doesn't "scan", its meter is irregular.
A narrative poem that tells of the adventures and exploits of a hero.
classical, classicism
Deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formality, objectivity, sumplicity, and restraint.
Pleasing, harmonious sounds.
figure of speech, figurative language
In contrast to literal language, figurative language implies meanings. Figures of speech include metaphors, similes, and personification, among many others.
The repetition of one or more initial consonants in a group of words or lines in a poem.
first-person narrative
A narrative told by a character involved in the story, using first-person pronouns such as I and we.
A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject.
ottava rima
An eight-line rhyming stanza of a poem.
A mode of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is stated, often implying ridicule or light sarcasm; a state of affairs or events that is the reverse of what might have been expected.
rhyme scheme
The pattern of rhymes within a given poem.
A synonym for poetry. Also a group of realism in a work that persuades readers that they are getting a vision of as it is.
A pause somewhere in the middle of a verse, often marked punctuation.
The interpretation or analysis of a text.
A statement that seems self- contradictpry but is nevertheless true.
The quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that surprise and delight by their unexpectedness; the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the foibles of the passing scene.
A French verse form calculated to appear simple and spontaneous but consisting of nineteen lines and a prescribed pattern of rhymes.
rhetorical stance
Language that conveys a speaker's attitude or opinion with regard to a particular subject.
A term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause often indicated by a mark of punctuation.
A term often used as a synonym for realism; also a view of experience that is generally characterized as bleak and pessimistic.
A verse with five poetic feet per line.
A saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language.
The author's attitude toward the subject being written about. The tone is the characteristic emotion that pervades a work or part of a work- the spirit or quality that is the work's emotional essence.
Providing hints of things to come in a story or play.
In contrast to Dionysian, it refers to the most noble, godlick qualities of human nature and behavior.
The generic name for a figure of speech such as image, symbol,simile and metaphor.
A brief and often simplistic lesson that a reader may infer from a work of literature.
A device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetry in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities, as in "ring-giver" for king and "whale-road" for ocean.
A witty or ingenious thought; a diverting pr highly fanciful idea, often stated in figurative language.
non sequitur
A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before.
A grotesque likeness of striking qualities in persons and things.
A poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on th passing or death of something or someone of value.
The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables found in poetry. See Chapter 4 for a full discussion of meter.
A term for the title character of a work of literature.
The emotional tone in a work of literature.
Three periods (...) indicationg the omission of words in a thought or quotation.
A figure of speech that compares unlike objects.
The high point, or turning point of a story or play.
A list of works cited or otherwise relevant to a subject or other work.
A form of vers usually consisting of three four-line units called quatrains and a concluding couplet. See chapter 4 for a discussion of sonnets.
The repetition of two or more consonant sounds in a group of words or a line of poetry.
An adjective or phrase that expresses a striking quality of a person or thing; sun-bright topaz, sun-lit lake and sun-bright lake are examples.
A subordinate or minor collection of events in a novel or play, usually connected to the main plot.
The main character in a work of literature.
An imaginary story that has become an accepted part of the cultural or religious tradition of a group or society.
The interrelationship among the events in a story; the plot line is the pattern of events, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.
falling action
The action in a play or story that occurs after the climax and that leads to the conclusion and often to the resolution of the conflict.
The implied meaning that underlies the main meaning of a work of literature.
loose sentence
A sentence that follows the customary word order of English sentences, i.e., subject-verb-object. The main idea of the sentence is presented first and is then followed by one or more subordinate clauses. See also periodic sentence.
The use of one object to evoke ideas and associations not literally part of the original object.
A character or force in a work of literature that by opposing the protagonist produces tension or conflict.
verbal irony
A discrepacny between the true meaning of a situation and the literal meaning of the written or spoken words.
A work of literature meant to ridicule a subject; a grotesque imitation.
An imitation of a work meant to ridicule its style and subject.
The language of a work and its style; words, often highly emotional, used to convince or sway an audience.
A person, scene, event or other element in literature that fails to correspond with the time or era in which the work is set.
A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics.
A unit of stressed and unstressedsyllables used to determine the meter of a poetic line.
A pair of rhyming lines in a poem. Two rhymong lines in lambic pentameter is sometimes called a heroic couplet.
A work of literature dealing with rural life.
A short tale often with nonhuman characters from which a useful lessons may be drawn.
A vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings and interpetations.
The use of insincere or overdone sentimentality.
A term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish.
roman á clef
French for a novel in which historical events and actual people appear under the guise of fiction.
A figurative comparison using the words like or as.
A form of verse or phrase that tells a story.
pulp fiction
Novels written for mass consumption, often emphasizing exciting and titillating plots.
The total environmental for the action in a novel or play. It includes time, place, historical milieu, and social, political and even spiritual circumstances.
Inflated pretentious language used for trivial subjects.
The suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase. Contrast with denotation.
title character
A character whose name appears in the title of the novel or play; also known as the epohymous character.
lyric poetry
Personal, reflective poetry that reveals the speaker's thoughts and feelings about the subject.
in medias res
A Latin term for a narrative that starts not at the beginning of events but at some other critical point.
A structure that provides premise or setting for a narrative. A group of pilgrims exchanging stories while on the road is the frame for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
omniscient narrator
A narrator with unlimited awareness understanding, and insight of characters, setting, background, and all other elements of the story.
French terms for the world of books, criticism, and literature in general.
The choice of words in oral and written discourse.
A sharp caustic expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt; different from irony which is more subtle.
A belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creative.
Grating inharmonious sounds.
Middle English
The language spoken in England roughly between 1150 and 1500 A.D.
elliptical construction
A sentence containing a deliberate omission of words. In the sentence "May was hot and June the same", the verb was is omitted from the second clause.
A locution that addresses a person or peronified thing not present. An example: "Oh you crule streets of Manhattan how I detest you."
A feeling of association or identification with an object or person.
A form of literature in which the hero is destroyed by some character flaw and a set of forces that cause the hero considerable anguish.
A term used to describe literary forms, such as novel, play, and essay.
A literary form in which events are exaggerated in order to create an extreem emotional response.
As distinguished from Apollonian, the word refers to sensual, pleasure-seeking impulses.
indirect quotation
A rendering of a quotation in which actual words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased.
dramatic irony
A ciricumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character.
light verse
A variety of poetry meant to entertain or amuse, but sometimes with a satirical thrust.
A simple narrative verse that tells a story that is sung or recited.
point of view
The relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to the story or subject matter of a poem. A story told in the first person has an internal poing of view; an observer uses an external point of view.
The role of facade that a character assumes or depicts to a reader, a viewer or the world at large.
Old English
The Anglo-Saxon language spoken in what is now England from approximately 450 to1150 A.D.
The dicitonary definition of a word, contrast with connotation.
The repetition of two or more sounds in a group of words or lines of a poem.
The resolution that occurs at the end of a play or work of fiction.
A phrase, idea, or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature.
One of the Ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts. The imaginary source of inspiration for an artist or writer.
pathetic fallacy
Faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects.
The excessive pride that often leads tragic heros to their death.
The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning. Example: bubbling, murmuring brooks.
An abstract or ideal conception of a type; a perfectly typical example; an original model or form.
A four-line poem or a four-line unit of a longer poem.
A figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole (fifty masts for fifty ships) or the whole signifies the part(days for life, as in "He lived his days under African skies.") When the name of a material stands for the thing itself, as in pigskin for football, that too is synecdoche.
novel of manners
A novel focusing on and describing social customs and habits of a particular social group.
A form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity. Example: He is not a bad dancer.
The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of poetry. See also meter.
periodic sentence
A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end. In other words, the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support. see also loose sentence.
A humorous play on words, using similar-sounding or identical words to suggest different meanings.
A return to an earlier time in a sort or play in order to clarify present actions or circumstances.
deus ex machina
In literature, the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem.
In poetry the use of successive lines with no punctuation or pause between them.
A brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of literature.
A foceful sermon, lecture, or tirade.
free verse
A kind of poetry without rhymed lines, rhythm, or fixed metrical feet.
A false name or alias used by writers.
The works considered most important in a national literature or period; works widely read and studied.
A saying or proverb expressing common wisdom or truth. See also adage and aphorism.
carpe diem
Literally, "seize the day'; enjoy life while you can a common theme in literature.
The manner in which an author uses and arranges words, shapes ideas, forms sentences, and creates a structure to convey ideas.
A mild or less negative usage for a harsh or blunt term; pass away is a euphemism for die.
A version of a text put into simpler, everyday, words.
Gothic novel
A novel in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the action.
The main idea or meaning, often an abstract idea upon which a work of literature is built.
A form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.
A German word referring to a novel structured as a series of events that teake place as the hero travels in quest of a goal.
Overstatement;gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect.
picaresque novel
An episodic novel about a roguelike wanderer who lives off his wits.
The depiction of people, things, and events as they really are without idealization or exaggeration effect. See also naturalism.
stream of consciousness
A style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind.
A comedy that contains an extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purpose.
A lyric poem or passage that describes a kind of ideal life or place.
A synonym for view of feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in literature.
A short pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment.
An abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research.
A story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived.
A literary style used to poke fun at, attack or ridicule an idea, vice, or foible, often for the purpose of inducing change.
A concise but ingenious, witty , and thoughtful statement.
A word or phrase representing that which can be seen touched, tasted, smelled or felt.
A comparison that points out similarities between two dissimilar things.
A cleansing of the spirit brought about by the pity and terror of a dramatic tragedy.
An extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places.
metaphysical poetry
The works of poets, particulary those of the seventeenth century, that uses elaborate conceits, is highly intellectual, and expresses the complexities of love and life.
The general form, pattern, and manner of expression of a work of literature.
mock epic
A parody of traditional epic form.
The element in literature that stimulates pity or sorrow.
extended metaphor
A series of comparisons between two unlike objects.
A reference to a person place, or event meant to create an effect or enhance the meaning of an idea.
A figure of speech that uses the name of one thing to represent something else with which it is associated. Example: "The White House says..."
The real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker . In grammar, active voice and passive voice refer to the use of verbs. A verb is in the activ evoice when it expresses an action performed by its subject. A verb is in the passive voice when it expresses an action performed upon its subject or when the subject is the result of the action. ACTIVE: The crew raked the leaves. PASSIVE: The leaves were raked by the crew. Stylistically, the active voice makes more economical and vigorous writing.
A group of two or more lines in poetry combined according to subject matter, rhyme or some other plan.
The background and events that lead to the presentation of the main idea or purpose of a work of literature.
The structural form of a verse as revealed by scansion.
A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of grammatical arrangement of words, clauses or sentences as in the following "They promised freedom but provided slavery." "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
A story containing unreal, imaginary features.
A highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time.
The grammar of meter and rhythm in poetry.
A quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea.
A mocking satirical assault on a person or situation.
A term consisting of contradictiory elements juxtaposed to create a paracloxical effect. Examples: loud silence, jumbo shrimp.

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