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Flashcards in AP Lit Terms Deck (74):
1

Abstract

in writing; typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points

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Academic

adj; describing style; dry and theoretical writing

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Accent

in poetry; refers to stressed portion of a word; to BE or NOT to be

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aesthetic

adj; something that is appealing to the senses; artistic judgement; the study if beauty

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allegory

a story that has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself

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alliteration

the repetition of initial consonant sounds

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allusion

a reference to another work or famous figure

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anachronism

Greek; misplaced in time; a wristwatch in Julius Caesar

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analogy

a type of comparison

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anecdote

a short narrative

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antecedent

word, phrase, or clause that a pronoun refers to or replaces

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anthropomorphism

when something is given human like characteristics

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anticlimax

when an action produces far smaller results than anticipated

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antihero

protagonist that is unheroic; weak, cowardly, dishonest or any undesirable qualities

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aphorism

a short and witty saying

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apostrophe

when a speaker speaks directly to something that is non-human; Wilson the volleyball

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archaism

deliberate use of old-fashioned language to create a feeling of antiquity

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aside

speech made by an actor to the audience as though momentarily stepping outside of the action of the play; Myer's time outs

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assonance

the repeated use of vowel sounds; Old King Cole was a merry old soul

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atmosphere

emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene

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ballad

long narrative poem with regular meter and rhyme; has a naive folksy quality; distinguishes it from epic poetry

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bathos

trying to elicit tears from every hiccup

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pathos

evoking feelings of sympathy and pity

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black humor

use of disturbing themes in humor/comedy; suicide jokes

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bombast

using pretentious language to sound smarterer

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burlesque

a broad parody, takes style, form drama, and exaggerates it into ridiculousness

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cacophony

in poetry; harsh awkward sounds which are difficult to pronounce

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cadence

the beat or rhythm of poetry in a general sense

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canto

name for a section dividing a long work of poetry; poem into parts like the chapters of a book

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caricature

a portrait that exaggerates a facet of personality or appearance

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catharsis

from Aristotle; the cleansing of emotions an audience member experiences, having lived vicariously through the experiences on stage

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chorus

Greek drama; a group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it

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classic

"typical" or an accepted masterpiece

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coinage

a neologism (new word or phrase) invented on the spot; often people's names; that's such a Macy thing to do

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colloquialism

common everyday language; almost slang (non academic)

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complex; dense

two terms carrying similar meaning, suggesting a multitude or a variety of layers and meanings

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conceit

a startling or unusual metaphor, or a metaphor expanded over several lines

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controlling image

when a metaphor dominates the entire work

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connotation

the implied meaning of a word

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denotation

the literal meaning of a word

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consonance

harmony/agreement among components; repetition of consonants (ends of stressed syllables)

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couplet

pair of lines that end in rhyme or two consecutive lines that rhyme

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decorum

related to behavior, speech, according to occasion; Rules of decorum; decorum delegates!

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diction

the choice of words in a work

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syntax

the order of words in a work

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dirge

a song for the dead; sung slowly; melancholy

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dissonance

disagreement among sounds or ideas

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doggerel

cruel, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme

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dramatic irony

when the audience knows something that the characters on stage don't; Oedipus

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dramatic monologue

when a speaker in a play directly says something to a silent audience; breaking the 4th wall

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elegy

poem for the dead; or to mourn the loss of something

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enjambment

the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause

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epic

a long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style; deals with glorious or profound subject matter

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epitaph

lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place; on a tombstone

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euphemism

a word or phrase to sugar coat a harsh one; passed away instead of died

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euphony

when sounds blend harmoniously together

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explicit

to say something directly or clearly

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farce

modern; extremely broad humor
traditional; funny play/comedy

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feminine rhyme

when the last lines rhyme by their final two syllables

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foil

a secondary character whose purpose is to highlight a characteristic of the main character; usually by contrast

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implicit

to say or write something that is implied, but is never stated directly

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in medias res

in the midst of things

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interior monologue

in novels and poetry; refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head

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inversion

switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase; Yoda

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verbal irony

saying the opposite of what you mean/intend

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situational irony

a direct opposite result of what was expected

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lament

a passionate expression of grief or sorrow

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lampoon

to publicly criticize someone or something by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm; Ratatouille

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lyric

poetry; explores the poet's personal interpretation and feelings about the world

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masculine rhyme

a rhyme on the final stressed syllable

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melodrama

cheesy theater; where the good guy is GOOD and the bad guy is BAD; ProZD and Antman

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metaphor

directly comparing two things by saying that one thing IS the other

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simile

comparing two things by using LIKE or AS

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metonymy

a word that substitutes another word, while sharing similar attributes