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AP Literary Terms

Subjects : english, ap, literature
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This is a study tool. The 3 wrong answers for each question are randomly chosen from answers to other questions. So, you might find at times the answers obvious, but you will see it re-enforces your understanding as you take the test each time.
1. A humorous play on words - using similar-sounding or identical words to suggest different meanings

2. A forceful sermon - lecture - or tirade

3. French term for the world of books - criticism - and literature in general

4. The total environment for the action in a novel or play. It includes time - place - historical milieu - and social - political - and even spiritual circumstances

5. Inflated - pretentious language used for trivial subjects

6. A novel focusing on and describing the social customs and habits of a particular social group

7. A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics

8. 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

9. The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables found in poetry

10. A term consisting of contradictory elements juxtaposed to create a paradoxical effect

11. A short tale often featuring nonhuman characters that act as people whose actions enable the author to make observations or draw useful lessons about human behavior

12. The emotional tone in a work of literature

13. A cleansing of the spirit brought about by the pity and terror of a dramatic tragedy

14. An extended narrative poem that tells of the adventures and exploits of a hero that is generally larger than life and is often considered a legendary figure - i.e. Odysseus - Beowulf - Homer's Iliad - Vergil's Aeneid.

15. A brief explanation - summary - or evaluation of a text or work of literature

16. A term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish

17. A vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings and interpretation

18. A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before

19. In literature - the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem

20. An extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places

21. A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main though only at the end. In other words - the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support.

22. Three periods (. . .) indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation

23. The works considered most important in a national literature or period; works widely read and studied

24. A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words - clauses - or sentences: 'They promised freedom but provided slavery'

25. A synonym for view or feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in literature

26. A circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character - ex. Oedipus Rex

27. One of the ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts. The imaginary source of inspiration for an artist or writer

28. A unit of stressed and unstressed syllables used to determine the meter of a poetic line.

29. 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

30. A short - pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment

31. A term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause often indicated by a mark of punctuation.

32. The work of poets - particularly those of the seventeenth century - that uses elaborate conceits - is highly intellectual - and expresses the complexities of love and life

33. The main character in a work of literature

34. Poetry written in iambic pentameter - the primary meter used in English poetry and the works of Shakespeare and Milton

35. The interpretation or analysis of a text.

36. An abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research

37. Grating - inharmonious sounds

38. 'In the middle of things'--a Latin term for a narrative that starts not at the beginning of events - but at some other critical point.

39. The repetition of two or more vowel sounds in a group of words or lines in poetry and prose

40. A poet; in olden times - a performer who told heroic stories to musical accompaniment

41. A figure of speech that compares unlike objects

42. A person - scene - event - or other element in literature that fails to correspond with the time or era in which the work is set

43. Faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects

44. Literally - 'seize the day'; enjoy life while you can - a common theme in literature

45. The general form - pattern - and manner of expression of a work of literature

46. A belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creativity

47. A character whose name appears in the title of the novel or play; also known as the eponymous character

48. A locution that addresses a person or personified thing not present

49. A poem or prose selection that laments or mediates on the passing or death of something or someone of value

50. A synonym for poetry. Also a group of lines in a song or poem; also a single line of poetry