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AP Literary Terms
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1. The grammar of meter and rhythm in poetry
2. A narrative told by a character involved in the story - using first-person pronouns such as I and we.
3. A sharp - caustic expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt; different from irony - which is more subtle
deus ex machina
4. The repetition of two or more vowel sounds in a group of words or lines in poetry and prose
5. A comedy that contains an extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness - although it may have a serious - scornful purpose.
6. An extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places
7. The structural form of a line of verse as revealed by the number of feet it contains. For example: monometer = 1foot; tetrameter = 4 feet; pentameter = 5 feet - and so forth
8. A poem or prose selection that laments or mediates on the passing or death of something or someone of value
9. A parody of traditional epic form. It usually treats a frivolous topic with extreme seriousness - using conventions such as invocations to the Muse - action-packed battle scenes - and accounts of heroic exploits.
10. A brief explanation - summary - or evaluation of a text or work of literature
11. A work of fiction of roughly 20 -000 to 50 -000 words--longer than a short story - but shorter than a novel
12. The dictionary definition of a word
13. The language of a work and its style; words - often highly emotional - used to convince or sway an audience
14. The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning
15. A kind of poetry without rhymed lines - rhythm - or fixed metrical feet
16. The total environment for the action in a novel or play. It includes time - place - historical milieu - and social - political - and even spiritual circumstances
17. Deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formality - objectivity - simplicity - and restraint
18. A group of two or more lines in poetry combined according to subject matter - rhyme - or some other plan
19. A work of literature dealing with rural life
20. Overstatement; gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect
21. Poetry written in iambic pentameter - the primary meter used in English poetry and the works of Shakespeare and Milton
22. French term for the world of books - criticism - and literature in general
23. A statement that seems self-contradictory but is nevertheless true
24. The emotional tone in a work of literature
25. A story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived
26. A locution that addresses a person or personified thing not present
27. A story containing unreal - imaginary features
28. The general form - pattern - and manner of expression of a work of literature
29. A return to an earlier time in a story or play in order to clarify present action or circumstances.
30. 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
31. A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words - clauses - or sentences: 'They promised freedom but provided slavery'
32. 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
33. An adjective or phrase that expresses a striking quality of a person or thing - ex. sun-bright topaz - sun-lit lake - sun-bright lake
point of view
34. A rendering of a quotation in which actual words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased
35. The quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that suprise and delight by their unexpectedness; the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the foibles of the passing scene
36. Grating - inharmonious sounds
37. Providing hints of things to come in a story or play
38. A form of verse or prose that tells a story
39. A highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time
roman a clef
40. A witty or ingenious thought; a diverting or highly fanciful idea - often stated in figurative language
41. A novel in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the action
42. A pause somewhere in the middle of a verse - often (but not always) marked by punctuation
43. A term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish
44. A figure of speech that compares unlike objects
45. A story in which the narrative or characters carry an underlying symbolic - metaphorical - or possibly an ethical meaning
46. In literature - the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem
novel of manners
deus ex machina
in medias res
47. 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
48. A version of a text put into simpler - everyday words
49. A belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creativity
50. A mild or less negative usage for a harsh or blunt term; i.e. 'pass away' instead of 'die'
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