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Literary Terms Test Review

abstract languagerefers to things preceived through the mind, such as God, love
alliterationthe repetition of sounds
antagonistperson or force tha opposes the portagonist
archetypethe original model
balladnarrative poem that depends on regular verse patterns and strong rhymes for its effect
chorusa company of actors who comment (by speaking or singing in unison) on soceity
concrete languagerefers to things preceived through the senses
dialogueconversation between two persons or lines spoken by characters in a work of literature
dramadramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
epithetadjective word or phrase used as a noun
autobiographysomeone's account of his or her own life
conflicta struggle between two opposing forces
internal conflictperson verses self
denotationliteral or dictionary meaning of a word
ironycontrast between what is stated and what is meant or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen
expositionwriting that explains a subject or provides information
fictionmaterial that is invented or imagined
foreshadowingclues or hints at important plot developments that are to follow in a story
imagerywords or phrases that use description to create pictures, or images in the reader's mind
kenningan elaborate pharse that describes persons things, or events in a metaphorical and indirect way
local coloruse of specific details describing the speech, dress, customs and scenery associated with a particular region or section of a country
metaphorcomparison made between two things which are basically dissimilar, with the intent of giving added meaning to one of them
moralpratical lesson about right and wrong conduct often stated at the conclusion of an instructive story such as a fable
mythstory of uncertain origin and authorship that seeks to explain processes of nature,
narrative poetrypoetry that tells a story
novela long fictional narrative written in prose, usually having many characters and a strong plot
parableshort simple tale, usually about an ordinary familiar event, from which a moral or religious lesson is drawn
paraphrasea rewording of a text or of a passage from a text, often for the purpose of clarification or simplification
personificationa figure of speech in which something nonhuman is given human characteristics or feelings
plotsequence of related events that make up a story or a drama
protagonistthe central character in a story or drama, the one whom we, as readers are supposed to sympathize with
repetitionthe reappearance of a word or phrase, stanza or structure in a literary work
rhetoricart of using language for persuasion
rising actionseries of events in a drama that lead up to a turning point
satireliterary work which mocks or ridicules the stupidity or vices of individuals, groups, institutions, or society in general
short storyfictional narrative written in prose, which is shorter than a novel
soliloquydramatic convention in which a character makes an extended speech while alone on stage
stanzagroup of related lines that forms a division of a poem or a song
subplotplot in a story or play that is secondary to the main plot
symbolsomething which maintains its own meaning while at the same time standing for something broader thatn itself
toneattitude a writer takes toward the subject or the reader of a work of literature
transcendentalisma philosophy that basic truths can be reached by intuition
understatementrestrained statement in which less is said than is meant
allegorywork typically used to convey a literal and abstract meaning
allusionreference to a work of literature, art, music or to a well known historical event, person, or place
apostropheterm used to describe when the speaker addresses an absent or imaginary person
asidedramatic convention in which a character turns to speak a few words, directly to the audience or to another character, but is not supposed to be heard by others on the stage.
charactersPersons - or animals or natural forces represented as persons – in a work of literature.
comedyliterary work, generally amusing which usually ends happily because the hero or heroine is able to overcome obstacles and get what he or she wants.
coupleta pair successive rhymed lines of poetry
dictionwriter’s choice of words, particularly for clarity, effectiveness, and precision
epiclong narrative poem that usually centers on a single important character who embodies the values of a particular society.
figurative languagelanguage that is used to describe one thing in terms of something else; language that is not intended to be taken literally.
biographyaccount of someone’s life, written by another person
external conflictperson vs. nature, person vs. person
connotationsuggested meanings of a word or phrase; the meanings and feelings that have become associated with the word
dramatic ironydevice which allows an audience or a reader to know something that a character in a drama or story is unaware of.
essaybrief examination of a subject in prose, usually expressing a personal or limited view of the topic
falling actionAll the action in a play that follows the turning point.
flashbackscene in a story or play that interrupts the present action to tell about events that happened at an earlier time
hyperbolesaying more than what is literally true, usually for humor or for emphasis
ironycontrast or discrepancy between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen.
literal languagelanguage that states facts or ideas directly
lyric poetryverse, usually brief, which focuses on the emotions or thoughts of the speaker.
motifrecurring feature (such as a name, an image, or a phrase) in a work of literature
moodauthor or speaker’s attitude toward the subject or theme of a work
narrationkind of writing or speaking that relates a series of events.
narratorone who narrates, or tells, a story
oxymoronfigure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms, such as “living dead”.
paradoxstatement that reveals a kind of truth, although it seems at first to be a self contradictory and untrue
parodyimitation of a piece of literature or music or art, for amusement or instruction.
persuasionkind of speaking or writing that is intended to influence people’s actions.
poetrylanguage arranged in lines with regular rhythm and often with a definite rhyme scheme
punhumorous play on words, using either (1) two or more different meanings of the same word, or (2) two or more words that are spelled and pronounced somewhat the same but have different meanings
point of viewvantage point from which a narrative is told
resolutionmoment in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem when the conflict ends and the outcome of the action is clear
rhymerepetition of accented vowel sounds and all succeeding sounds in words that appear close together in verse
romanceterm used to describe a medieval tale dealing with the loves and adventures of kings, queens, knights, and ladies and including unlikely or supernatural happenings
settingtime and place in which the events of a literary work take place
similedirect comparison made between two unlike things, using a word of comparison such as like, as, than, such as, or resembles
sonneta lyric poem consisting of fourteen lines
stylewriter’s characteristic way of writing his or her choice of words, sentence structure, and use of imagery and figurative language
suspensesense of uncertainty or anxiety about the outcome of events in a story or drama
thememain idea expressed in a literary work; the central insight that the work gives us about human life
tragedyliterary work dealing with very serious and important themes, in which a dignified tragic figure meets destruction, usually through some personal flaw or weakness
turning pointmoment of highest emotional intensity in a plot, when the outcome of the conflict is finally made clear to us
vernaculareveryday spoken language of people in a particular locality, and writing that imitates or suggests such language

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