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Hoxie's Literary Terms

You know you haven't learned them yet!

Terms

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vantage point from which a narrative is told
Narrator Point Of View
repetition of consonant sounds
Consonance
the use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in grammatical structure or in meaning
Paralellism
a four-line stanza (quatre is french for four)
Quatrain
a person or animal who takes part in a piece of literature
Character
a figure that seems godlike in its magnificence or power
Apotheosis
use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning (crack, bang)
Onomatopoeia
an eight-line stanza
Octave
several phrases joined without using conjunctions between them (...that government of the people, by the people, for the people... - Preamble to Constitution Of The USA)
Asyndeton
a play on words. Involves using a word or a phrase that has two different meanings at the same time. ("The smell of the chicken coup was, indeed, most FOWL." not foul.)
Pun
a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement ("He would walk a million miles to see her smile.")
Hyperbole
a poem, usually a short one, that expresses a speaker's thoughts or feelings or describes something emotional
Lyric Poem
contrast between what is stated and what is really meant ("Sure, I would be glad to slave all night and not get paid!")
Irony
latin for the "Seize the day"
Carpe Diem
a narrative poem in which one or more characters speak
Dramatic Poem
a point in a literary work where something changes-the tone, the diction, the syntax, the point of view of the narrator
Shift
the attitude a writer takes toward his or her subject
Tone
when a question is asked that requires no one to answer it
Rhetorical Question
repeating the same wording at the beginning of phrases (Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition! - William Shakespear)
Anaphora
a figure of speech in which a part is used to stand for the whole. (A hand on the ranch)
Synecdoche
a poem of mourning, usually over the death of an individual, it may also be a lament over an event
Elegy
the general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express in a literary work
Theme
a sudden moment of enlightenment for a character
Epiphany
joining grammatical elements with "and" to build up a sense of labor or create an emphasis ("The Okies toiled and starved and cried and prayed.")
Polysyndeton
a group of lines in a poem, many poems are divided into stanzas that are separated by spaces
Stanza
a scene in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem that interrupts the action to show an
Flashback
opposites (big and small, dark and light)
Antithesis
figure of speech that substitutes something closely related for the thing actually meant (White House instead of the President of the U.S.)
Metonymy
a kind of narrative poem in which one character speaks to one or more listeners
Dramatic Monologue
words that, together, produce a word picture
Imagery
a five-line stanza (cinq is five in french, by the way)
Cinquain
a break in a line of poetry using grammatical tools such as a period, semi-colon, colon, or dash
Caesura
a purging of emotions; a cleansing of the spirit (used in Greek tragedies)
Catharsis
the part or parts of a work, both long or short, where the total meaning comes to light at once (epiphany for the reader)
Crux
a statement that reveals the truth but at first seems contradictory ("One must feel pain to appreciate life.")
Paradox
the "dictionary" meaning of a word
Denotation
writing that ridicules or holds up to contempt the faults of individuals or groups, it can be gentle or extremely harsh
Satire
language and its many shapes and forms, both oral and written
Rhetoric
a fourteen-line poem with a single theme
Sonnet
a list of items in a series
Cataloguing
a speech made by one character who is alone and thus reveals his/her private thoughts to the audience in an aside, a method to convey thoughts of a character
Soliloquy
to place side by side-usually creates special effects in literary selection
Juxtapose
the comparison of two unlike things using the words "like" or "as" (Her eyes were as blue as the sea)
Simile
figure of speech in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics
Personification
whatever is opposing the protagonist in a story, the bad guy
Antagonist
tells a story in verse
Narrative Poem
repetition of initial consonant sounds ("She sells sea shells down by the sea shore")
Alliteration
the untying of the plot, usually at the end of a work of literature, where all is explained
Denouement
a two-line stanza in which the ending words rhyme (I'm a poet, and I didn't even know it)
Couplet
a struggle between two opposing forces in a story, novel, play, or narrative poem
Conflict
a reference to a person, a place, an event, or piece of literature the writer expects the reader to know
Allusion
when an absent or dead person, an abstract quality, or something inhuman is addressed directly (Oh apple, why are you so bruised?)
Apostrophe
all the emotions and associations that a word or phrase may arouse (differs from person to person)
Connotation
the repetition of vowel sounds (Hear the mellow wedding bells. - Edgar Allan Poe, "The Bells" )
Assonance
character developement: actions, dialogue, direct narrator statement, what others say about a character
Characterization
clues in a literary work that suggest events that have yet to occur
Foreshadowing
rhythmical pattern of a poem, usually a set number of syllables per line of verse
Meter
figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms ("microsoft works" or "jumbo shrimp")
Oxymoron
a character who provides a contrast to another character, his or her opposite, to emphasize the characterization more clearly
Foil
the character on whom the action centers and with whom the reader sympathizes most
Protagonist
a seven line stanza
Heptastich
a deliberate understatement in the opposite sense ("he was not unmotivated")
Litotes
the time and place in which a story or poem occurs
Setting
a three-line stanza
Tercet
poetry not written in a regular rhythmical pattern; uses devices but is free, no ending rhyme
Free Verse
the ways words and punctuation combine in writing, the mechanics of a piece
Syntax
in poetry, the running together of lines of verse without ending punctuation
Enjambment
a recurring feature in a work of literature, generally occurs through a work and often is symbolic
Motif
regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem or stanza
Rhyme Scheme
a direct comparison of two unlike things ("the classroom is a jungle")
Metaphor
a six-line stanza
Sestet

Deck Info

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