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Literary Terms

Terms all tenth graders must know and 9th graders should know. Good luck!

conflictstruggle between opposing forces
internal conflictstruggle with emotions and desires
protagonisthero, main character moves the action forward
dynamic charactercharacter changes throughout the story
suspenseanticipation of what is going to happen next
settingwhere the story takes place
climaxhighest point in the story
genrekind or type
onomatopoeiaword sounds like what it means
similecomparing 2 unlike things using like or as
flashbackpast events are revealed
subject1 or 2 words about the poem/story
situationbeginning, middle, and end of the story
iambic pentameter5 iambs in a line of poetry
balladsong that tells a story
haikujapanese poem that contains 3 lines with 5, 7, and 5 syllables
dramatic ironyreader/audience knows something that the character does not
directorinterprets the wish of the playwright
thememessage or main idea
static charactercharacter remains the same throughout the story
antagonistvillain, goes against the main character
iambunstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
playwrightperson who writes the play
asidewords spoken by a character directly to the audience
moodatmosphere, climate, emotion
ironycontrast between what is expected and what really happens
prologueintroduction to a play
couplets2 lines of poetry that rhyme
blank verseunrhymed iambic pentameter
speakerperspective of the poem
metaphorcomparing 2 unlike things without using like or as
personificationanimal or object takes on human characteristics
alliterationrepetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words in a line
external conflictstruggle against someone or something
toneauthor's attitude
symbolreal object used to represent an idea
oxymoron2 words with opposite meanings put together for special effect
imageryappeals to the senses, such as color and sounds
tragedyinvolving serious action, defeat of the protagonist
situational ironycontrast between what sould seem appropriate and what actually happens
verbal ironywriter says one thing but means something totally different
foilcharacter who is used as a contrast to another character
proseordinary speech
assonancerepetition of vowel sounds
oxymorontwo opposites placed together for effect
sonneta 14 lyric poem
epic poemnarrative poem that tells the events of a her0
infereducated guess
flat characterone ot two traits, which can be described in two words
round characterlike a real person, has many character traits
apostropheaddressing an object or thing as if it were a real person
free verseno rhyme or meter used
plotseries of related events
foreshadowevents hint at what will happen later in the story
expositionpresentation of chars. and explanation of background
resolutionoutcome of complication
allusionreference to a well know idea, place, or statement
apostropheaddressing an object as if it were an person
punplay on multiple meanings of words
rhyme schemeletters assigned to the end rhyme
parallelismrepetition of words, phrases,or sens. that have the same grammatical structure or state a similar idea

English teacher
Science Hill High School AC
Johnson City, TN

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