Terms for AP Lit Flashcards Preview

AP Lit > Terms for AP Lit > Flashcards

Flashcards in Terms for AP Lit Deck (114):
1

Abstract

Complex style, discussing intangible qualities like good/evil, rarely uses examples to support its points

2

Academic

Describing style, dry or theoretical writing

3

Accent

Stressed portion of a word in poetry

4

Aesthetic

Adjective meaning something appeals to senses or noun meaning coherent sense of taste/style

5

Allegory

Story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside of the tale itself

6

Alliteration

Repetition of initial consonant sounds

7

Allusion

Reference to another work or famous figure (can be historical allusion or popular allusion)

8

Anachronism

Taken out of time

9

Analogy

Comparison usually involving 2+ symbolic parts, used to clarify an action or relationship

10

Anecdote

Short narrative

11

Anthropomorphism

When inanimate objects are given human characteristics (different than personification because personification has the non-human quality/thing take a human shape)

12

Anticlimax

Occurs when action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect

13

Antihero

Protagonist (main character) who is markedly unheroic (morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or other bad qualities)

14

Aphorism

Short + usually written witty saying

15

Apostrophe

Figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that isn't human

16

Archaism

Use of deliberately old-fashioned language to create a feeling of antiquity

17

Aside

Speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience as though momentarily stepping out of the action on the stage

18

Assonance

Repeated use of vowel sounds

19

Ballad

Long, narrative poem (usually very regular in meter/rhyme), usually has naive folksy quality

20

Pathos

When the writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity + sympathy

21

Bathos

Effect of anticlimax when an attempt to create feeling fails + seems ridiculous

22

Black humor

Use of disturbing themes in comedy

23

Bombast

Pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language (trying to use more sophisticated words to sound more eloquent but it comes off poorly)

24

Burlesque

Broad parody that takes a style or form + exaggerates it to ridiculousness

25

Cacophony

Use of deliberately harsh + awkward sounds in poetry

26

Cadence

Beat or rhythm of poetry in a general sense (ex: iambic pentameter)

27

Canto

Name for a section division in a long work of poetry (divides poem like chapters in a book)

28

Caricature

Portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of personality

29

Catharsis

Refers to "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences having lived (vicariously) through the experiences on stage

30

Chorus

Group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage + comment on it (in Greek drama)

31

Classic

Accepted masterpiece

32

Coinage (neologism)

New word usually invented on the spot

33

Colloquialism

Word or phrase used in everyday conversational English that isn't a part of "accepted" English

34

Conceit

Startling or unusual metaphor or metaphor developed + expanded on over several lines

35

Controlling image

When the image dominates/shapes an entire work

36

Connotation

Everything that the word suggests or implies

37

Denotation

Word's literal meaning

38

Consonance

Repetition of consonant sounds within words

39

Couplet

Pair of lines that end in a rhyme

40

Decorum

Character's speech being styled to his/her social station, in accordance with the occasion

41

Diction

Author's choice of words

42

Syntax

Ordering + structuring of words

43

Dirge

Song for the dead

44

Dissonance

Refers to grating of incompatible sounds

45

Doggerel

Drude, simplistic verse, often used in song/rhyme

46

Dramatic irony

When the audience knows something that the characters do not

47

Dramatic monologue

When a single speaker in literature says something to a silent audience

48

Elegy

Type of poem that meditates on death/morality in a serious/thoughtful manner

49

Epic

Very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style

50

Epitaph

Lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place

51

Euphemism

Word or phrase that takes the place of a harsh, unpleasant, or impolite reality

52

Euphony

When sounds blend harmoniously

53

Farce

Extremely broad humor

54

Feminine rhyme

Lines rhymed by their final 2 syllables

55

Foil

Secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of the main character, usually by means of contrast

56

Foot

Basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry (formed by a combination of 2/3 syllables, either stressed or unstressed)

57

Foreshadowing

Event or statement in a narrative that in miniature suggests a larger event coming later on

58

Free verse

Poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme/metrical pattern

59

Genre

Sub-category of literature

60

Gothic

Supernatural horrors + unknown terrors are an important part of the plot

61

Hubris

Excessive pride or ambition that leads to the main character's downfall

62

Hyperbole

Exaggeration or deliberate overstatement

63

In medias res

Meaning "in the middle of things" (ex: starting book in middle of a war)

64

Interior monologue

Term for novels + poetry referring to mental talking that goes on inside a character's head (more coherent than stream of consciousness)

65

Inversion

Switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase

66

Irony

Statement that means the opposite of what it seems to mean

67

Lament

Poem of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or over some other intense loss

68

Lampoon

Satire

69

Loose sentence

Complete before its end

70

Periodic sentence

Not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase

71

Lyric

Type of poetry that explores that explores the poet's personal interpretation of + feelings about the world

72

Masculine rhyme

Rhyme ending on a final stressed syllable

73

Melodrama

Form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very good/pure and the villain is very bad

74

Metaphor

Comparison or analogy stating that one thing is another

75

Simile

Comparison using like or as

76

Metonym

Word used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with

77

Nemesis

Protagonist's arch enemy or supreme + persistent difficulty

78

Objectivity

Treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events

79

Subjective

Uses the interior or personal view of a single observer + is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses

80

Onomatopoeia

Words that sound like what they mean

81

Parable

Story that instructs (ex: fable or allegory)

82

Paradox

Situation or statement that seems to contradict itself but doesn't upon closer inspection

83

Parallelism

Repeated syntactical similarities used for effect

84

Parenthetical phrase

Phrase set off by commas that interrupts the flow of a sentence w/ some commentary/added detail

85

Parody

Work that results when a specific work is exaggerated to ridiculousness

86

Pastoral

Poem set in tranquil nature (more specifically one about shepherds)

87

Persona

Narrator in a non-first-person novel ("shadow-author" is the author's persona)

88

Personification

When an inanimate object takes on human shape

89

Plaint

Poem or speech expressing sorrow

90

Point of view

Perspective from which the action of a novel or narrative poem is presented

91

Omniscient narrator

3rd person narrator who sees into characters' minds + understands all action going on

92

Limited omniscient narrator

3rd person narrator who generally reports only what 1 character sees

93

Objective narrator, camera eye narrator

3rd person narrator who only reports on what would be visible to a camera (doesn't report on characters' thoughts unless they are directly spoken)

94

1st person narrator

Narrator who tells the story from his/her point of view, can be unreliable

95

Stream of consciousness technique

Method is like the first person narration but instead of the character telling the story, the author places the reader inside the main charcter's head + makes the reader privy to all of the charactr's thoughts as they scroll through his/her consciousness

96

Prelude

Introductory poem to a longer work of verse

97

Protagonist

Main character of a novel or play

98

Pun

Usually humorous use of a word in such a way to suggest 2+ meanings

99

Refrain

Line or set of lines repeated several times over the course of a poem

100

Requiem

Song of prayer for the dead

101

Rhapsody

Intensely passionate verse or section of verse, usually of love/praise

102

Rhetorical question

Question that suggests an answer

103

Satire

Exposes common character flaws to the cold light of humor

104

Soliloquoy

Speech given by a character alone on the stage

105

Stanza

Group of lines roughly analogous in function in verse to the paragraph's function in prose

106

Stock characters

Standard or cliched character types (ex: drunk, miser, foolish girl, etc.)

107

Suspension of disbelief

Demand made of a theater audience to accept the limitations of staging + supply the details w/ their imaginations

108

Symbolism

Device in literature where an object represents an idea

109

Thesis

Main position of an argument (central connection, will be supported)

110

Tragic flaw

Weakness of a character in an otherwise good/great individual that ultimately leads to their demise in a tragedy

111

Travesty

Grotesque parody

112

Truism

Way too obvious truth

113

Utopia

Idealized place (imaginary community of peace, prosperity, + happiness)

114

Zeugma

Use of a word to modify 2+ words, but used for different meanings (ex: she broke his car + his heart)