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AP Literary Terms
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1. The Anglo-Saxon language spoken in what is now England from approximately 450 to 1150 A.D.
2. One of the ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts. The imaginary source of inspiration for an artist or writer
3. A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before
4. A subordinate or minor collection of events in a novel or play - usually connected to the main plot
5. A simple narrative verse that tells a story that is sung or recited
6. A novel in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the action
7. The works considered most important in a national literature or period; works widely read and studied
8. The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of poetry
9. A novel focusing on and describing the social customs and habits of a particular social group
novel of manners
10. In poetry - the use of successive lines with no punctuation or pause between them
11. The language spoken in England roughly between 1150 and 1500 A.D.
12. A synonym for poetry. Also a group of lines in a song or poem; also a single line of poetry
stream of consciousness
13. Also called figure of speech. In contrast to literal language - it implies meanings. Includes metaphors - similes - and personification - among others.
14. A pair of rhyming lines in a poem
15. A structure that provides premise or setting for a narrative
16. A belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creativity
17. The excessive pride that often leads tragic heroes to their death
18. A return to an earlier time in a story or play in order to clarify present action or circumstances.
19. A phrase - idea - or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in a work of literature
20. The high point - or turning point - of a story or play
21. A poem or prose selection that laments or mediates on the passing or death of something or someone of value
22. The suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase
23. A word or phrase representing that which can be seen - touched - tasted - smelled - or felt
24. A French verse form calculated to appear simple and spontaneous but consisting of nineteen lines and a prescribed pattern of rhymes
25. A term that describes characters' excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish
26. The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables found in poetry
27. A verse with five poetic feet per line
28. A direct verbal assault; a denunciation
stream of consciousness
29. A mild or less negative usage for a harsh or blunt term; i.e. 'pass away' instead of 'die'
30. A story containing unreal - imaginary features
31. A term for the title character of a work of literature
32. The general form - pattern - and manner of expression of a work of literature
33. 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.
novel of manners
34. A highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time
35. The main idea or meaning - often an abstract idea upon which a work of literature is built
36. French for a novel in which hisotrical events and actual people appear under the guise of fiction
roman a clef
37. That element in literature that stimulates pity or sorrow
38. A cleansing of the spirit brought about by the pity and terror of a dramatic tragedy
39. The interpretation or analysis of a text.
40. The total environment for the action in a novel or play. It includes time - place - historical milieu - and social - political - and even spiritual circumstances
41. Overstatement; gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect
42. A discrepancy between the true meaning of a situation and the literal meaning of the written or spoken words
43. 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
44. Three periods (. . .) indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation
45. Novels written for mass consumption - often emphasizing exciting and titillating plots
46. An adjective or phrase that expresses a striking quality of a person or thing - ex. sun-bright topaz - sun-lit lake - sun-bright lake
47. A brief explanation - summary - or evaluation of a text or work of literature
48. A quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea
49. The real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker
50. A vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings and interpretation
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