Literary Terms for English Exam Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Literary Terms for English Exam Deck (32):
1

Alliteration 

the repetition of initial consonant sounds. 

Writers use them to give emphasis to words, to imitate sounds, and create musical effects 

2

Aside 

a short speech delivered by an actor in a play, expressing the character's thoughts. Traditionally, the aside the directed to the audience, and is inaudible to other actors 

3

Blank Verse 

Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines. used widely by Mr. Bill 

4

climax 

The high point of interest or suspense. The events that make up the rising action lead up to the climax. The events that make up the falling action follow the climax 

5

Comic Relief 

the inclusion of humorous scenes or characters in a serious drama. This eases the building of the emotional intensity 

6

conflict 

the struggle between opposing forces. Characters in conflict form the basis of stories 

 

There are two conflicts: external and internal

the main charcacter can struggle with outside force or within himslef 

7

Couplet 

a pair of rhyming lines, usually of the same length and meter. It generally expresses one idea

8

Figurative Language 

the writing or speech not to be interpreted literally. Often used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimlar things 

9

Foreshadow 

The use of clues that suggest events yet to occur, in a literary work. 

 

Helps create suspense, keep readers wondering and speculating about what will happen next.  

10

Imagery 

Language that appeals to one or more of the five senses 

11

Irony 

the general name given to literary techniques that involve differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention. In verbal irony, words are used to suggest the opposite of what they mean. 

In dramatic irony, there is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true. 

 

In irony of situation, an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader or the audience 

12

meter 

The meter of a poem is its rhythimical pattern. This pattern is determined by the number and types of stresses, or beats, in each line. To describe the meter of a poem, you must scan the lines. 

 

Scanning involves marking the stressed and unstressed syllables 

13

monologue 

A monologue is a speech by one character in a play, speech, or poem. 

 

 

PRince of Verona commands the families to stop fighting. 

14

oxymoron 

a phrase consiting of words that seem the opposite in meaning

15

pun 

a play (game) on words based on different meanings of words that sound alike 

16

rhyme scheme 

it is a regular pattern of ryhming words in a poem. The rhyme scheme of a poem is indicated by using different letters of the alphabet for each new rhyme. aabb=1122

17

similie 

a figure of speech where like or as is used to make a comparasion between to basically unlike things 

18

soliloquy 

a long speech expressing the thoughs of a cahacter alone or on stage. 

19

sonnet 

a 14-line lyric poem, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter. Shakespearean sonnet containts three quatrains and a coplet 

 

usually rhymes abab cdcd efef gg

the coplet just comments on the ideas in the predecing lines 

20

tragedy 

a work of literature, a play in particular, that results in the catastrophe for the main character. 

 

In Greek drama, the main character was a kings or hero, the cause of tragedy was a Hamartia, a characteristical weakness. 

Modern Drama: the ordinary guy is main, ans the source of evil is society. 

purpose of tragedy is to arouse fear, pity, and maybe to convey a sense of the grandeur and nobility of human spirit 

21

22

allusion 

An allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, a place, event, literary work, myth, or work of art, either ...
 

23

prose 

ordinary, everyday language 

 

not discourse 

24

tone 

the quality of a person's voice 

25

dialect 

the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people

26

allegory 

an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor
 

27

diction 

Diction, in its original, primary meaning, refers to the writer's or the speaker's distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression. ...

28

theme 

a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work; "it was the usual `boy gets girl' theme"

29

characterization 

the act of describing distinctive characteristics or essential features; "the media's characterization of Al Gore as a nerd"
 

30

syntax

the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences
 

31

rhetoric 

grandiosity: high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation; "the grandiosity of his prose"; "an excessive ornateness of language"
 

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