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CLEP Literary Techniques

Subjects : clep, literature
  • Answer 22 questions in 15 minutes.
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  • Match each statement with the correct term.
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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 description or characterization that exaggerates or distorts a character's prominent features - usually to elicit mockery.

2. The use of sentimentality - gushing emotion - or sensational action or plot twists to provoke audience or reader response.

3. A technique in which the author lets the audience or reader in on a character's situation while the character himself remains in the dark. One example is in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex - when Oedipus vows to discover his father's murderer - not knowing -

4. An author's persistent reminding of his or her presence in the work. By drawing attention to the artifice of the work - the author ensures that the reader or audience will maintain critical detachment and not simply accept the writing at face value.

5. A record of a character's thoughts - unmediated by a narrator.

6. A technique in which one understanding of a situation stands in sharp contrast to another - usually more prevalent - understanding of the same situation.

7. The perception of fate or the universe as malicious or indifferent to human suffering - which creates a painful contrast between our purposeful activity and its ultimate meaninglessness.

8. Similarities between elements in a narrative (such as two characters or two plot lines). For instance - in Shakespeare's King Lear - both Lear and Gloucester suffer at the hands of their own children because they are blind to which of their children

9. From the Greek word for 'feeling -' the quality in a work of literature that evokes high emotion - most commonly sorrow - pity - or compassion.

10. A wide-ranging technique of detachment that draws awareness to the discrepancy between words and their meanings - between expectation and fulfillment - or - most generally - between what is and what seems to be.

11. Latin for 'in the middle of things.' The term refers to the technique of starting a narrative in the middle of the action. For example - John Milton's Paradise Lost - which concerns the war among the angels in Heaven - opens after the fallen angels a

12. Greek for 'God from a machine.' The phrase originally referred to a technique in ancient tragedy in which a mechanical god was lowered onto the stage to intervene and solve the play's problems or bring the play to a satisfactory conclusion. Now - the

13. The use of specific types of words - phrases - or literary structures that are not common in contemporary speech or prose.

14. A prayer for inspiration to a god or muse usually placed at the beginning of an epic. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey both open with this.

15. A moment of recognition or discovery - primarily used in reference to Greek tragedy. For example - in Euripides' The Bacchae - Agave experiences it when she discovers that she has murdered her own son - Pentheus.

16. The liberty that authors sometimes take with ordinary rules of syntax and grammar - employing unusual vocabulary - metrical devices - or figures of speech or committing factual errors in order to strengthen a passage of writing.

17. The use of a statement that - by its context - implies its opposite. For example - in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar - Antony repeats - 'Brutus is an honorable man -' while clearly implying that Brutus is dishonorable.

18. A form of wordplay that displays cleverness or ingenuity with language.

19. A sudden and unexpected drop from the lofty to the trivial or excessively sentimental. It is sometimes used intentionally - to create humor - but just as often is derided as miscalculation or poor judgment on a writer's part. An example from Alexande

20. An implicit reference within a literary work to a historical or literary person - place - or event.

21. An author's deliberate use of hints or suggestions to give a preview of events or themes that do not develop until later in the narrative.

22. A sudden - powerful - and often spiritual or life changing realization that a character reaches in an otherwise ordinary or everyday moment.