English Literary Terms Most Often Used

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ENGLISH LITERARYAs defined by the AP College Board 2010PowerPoint by Kristin Hipp AN INTRODUCTION TOL I T E R A RY A N A LY S I S .
Just as painters express ideas and feelings by arrangingcolors and images on a canvas literary artists conveyemotions and ideas through the skillful arrangement ofwords One of the most important concepts for studentsto understand is that writers make constant choices about.
how they use words phrases and sentences tocommunicate meaning and effect The AP Vertical Teams Guide forEnglish 13 ALLITERATION.
is the practice of beginningseveral consecutive orneighboring words with the samesound e g The twisting trouttwinkled below .
ALLUSIONis a reference to a mythological literary or historical person place or thing e g He methis Waterloo .
ANTITHESISis a direct juxtaposition ofstructurally parallel words phrases or clauses for thepurpose of contrast e g Sink.
or swim APOSTROPHEis a form of personification in which theabsent or dead are spoken to as ifpresent and the inanimate as if.
animate These are all addresseddirectly e g Milton thou shoulds t beliving at this hour ASSONANCEis the repetition of accented.
vowel sounds in a series ofwords e g the words cry and side have the samevowel sound and so are said tobe in assonance .
CONSONANCEis the repetition of a consonant soundwithin a series of words to produce aharmonious effect e g And each slowdusk is a drawing down of blinds The.
d sound is in consonance The s sounds is also in consonance are the facts revealed by theauthor or speaker thatsupport the attitude or tone.
in a piece of poetry or prose is word choice intended toconvey a certain effect FIGURES OF SPEECHare words or phrases that describe one.
thing in terms of something else Theyalways involve some sort of imaginativecomparison between seemingly unlikethings Not meant to be taken literally figurative language is used to produce.
images in a reader s mind and to expressideas in fresh vivid and imaginative ways FIGURES OF SPEECH CONTINUED The most common examples of.
figurative language or figures ofspeech used in both prose andpoetry are simile metaphor andpersonification FLASHBACK.
is a scene that interruptsthe action of a work toshow a previous event FORESHADOWINGis the use of hints or clues.
in a narrative to suggestfuture action HYPERB OLEis a deliberate extravagant andoften outrageous exaggeration .
e g The shot heard round theworld It may be used for eitherserious or comic effect consists of the words or phrases awriter uses to represent persons .
objects actions feelings andideas descriptively by appealingto the senses occurs in three types Verbal ironyoccurs when a speaker or narrator.
says one thing while meaning theopposite e g It is easy to stopsmoking I ve done it many times CONTINUED Situational irony occurs when a.
situation turns out differently fromwhat one would normally expect though often the twist is oddlyappropriate e g a deep sea diverdrowning in a bathtub is ironic .
I RO N Y C O NT I N U E D Dramatic irony occurs when a character orspeaker says or does something that hasdifferent meanings from what he or she.
thinks it means though the audience andother characters understand the fullimplications of the speech or action e g Oedipus curses the murderer of Laius notrealizing that he is himself the murderer.
and so is cursing himself METAPHORis a comparison of twounlike things not using like or as e g Time.
is money is the atmosphere orpredominant emotion in aliterary work MOTIVATION.
is a circumstance or set ofcircumstances that prompts acharacter to act in a certain wayor that determines the outcomeof a situation or work .
NARRATIONis the telling of a story inwriting or speaking ONOMATOPOEIA imitative harmony is the use of words.
that mimic the sounds they describe e g hiss buzz and bang Whenonomatopoeia is used on an extendedscale in a poem it is called imitative OXYMORON.
is a form of paradox thatcombines a pair of oppositeterms into a single unusualexpression e g sweet sorrow or cold fire .
occurs when the elements of astatement contradict each other Although the statement may appearillogical impossible or absurd itturns out to have a coherent.
meaning that reveals a hiddentruth e g Much madness isdivinest sense PERSONIFICATIONis a kind of metaphor that gives.
inanimate objects or abstractideas human characteristics e g The wind cried in the dark is the sequence of eventsor actions in a short story .
novel play or narrative POINT OF VIEWis the perspective fromwhich a narrative is told is the study of sound and.
rhythm in poetry THE PROTAGONISTis the central character of a drama novel short story or narrativepoem Conversely the antagonist is.
the character who stands directlyopposed to the protagonist is a play on words that are identical or similarin sound but have sharply diverse meanings Puns can have serious as well as humorous.
uses e g when Mercutio is bleeding to deathin Romeo and Juliet he says to his friends Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me agrave man REPETITION.
is the deliberate use of anyelement of language more thanonce sound word phrase sentence grammatical pattern or rhythmical pattern .
is the repetition of sounds in two or morewords or phrases that appear close to eachother in a poem End rhyme occurs at theend of lines internal rhyme within a line Slant rhyme is approximate rhyme A rhyme.
scheme is the pattern of end rhymes is the use of verbal irony in which aperson appears to be praisingsomething but is actually insulting it e g As I fell down the stairs headfirst .
I heard her say Look at thatcoordination is the time and place inwhich events in a shortstory novel play or.
narrative poem take place SHIFT TURNrefers to a change or movement ina piece resulting from anepiphany realization or insight.
gained by the speaker acharacter or the reader is a comparison of two different thingsor ideas through the use of the words like or as It is a definitely stated.
comparison in which the poet says onething is like another e g The warriorfought like a lion SOUND DEVICESare stylistic techniques that.
convey meaning through sound Some examples of sound devicesare rhyme assonance consonance alliteration and onomatopoeia STRUCTURE.
is the framework or organization of aliterary selection For example thestructure of fiction is usually determinedby plot and by chapter division thestructure of drama depends on its.
division into acts and scenes thestructure of an essay depends upon theorganization of ideas the structure ofpoetry is determined by its rhymeis the writer s.
characteristic manner ofemploying language SUSPENSEis the quality of a short story novel play or narrative poem.
that makes the reader oraudience uncertain or tenseabout the outcome of events is any object person place or action that hasboth a meaning in itself and that stands for.
something larger than itself such as a quality attitude belief or value e g the land turtle inSteinbeck s The Grapes of Wrath suggests orreflects the toughness and resilience of themigrant workers .
SYNECDOCHE metonymy is a form of a metaphor Insynecdoche a part of something is used tosignify the whole e g All hands on deck Also the reverse whereby the whole can.
represent a part is synecdoche e g Canadaplayed the United States in the Olympic hockey SYNECDOCHE CONTINUED Another form of synecdoche involves the.
container representing the thing beingcontained e g The pot is boiling Inone last form of synecdoche the materialfrom which an object is made stands forthe object itself e g The quarterback.
tossed the pigskin In metonymy thename of one thing is applied to anotherthing with which it is closely associated e g I love Shakespeare means the arrangement of.
words and the order ofgrammatical elements in ais the central message of a literary work It isnot the same as a subject which can beexpressed in a word or two courage survival .
war pride etc The theme is the idea theauthor wishes to convey about that subject Itis expressed as a sentence or a generalstatement about life or human nature CONTINUED .
A literary work can have more than one theme andmost themes are not directly stated but are implied The reader must think about all the elements ofthe work and use them to make inferences orreasonable guesses as to which themes seem to be.
implied An example of a theme on a subject ofpride might be that pride often precedes a fall is the writer s or speaker s attitudetoward a subject character or audience and it is conveyed through the author s.
choice of words and detail Tone can beserious humorous sarcastic indignant objective etc UNDERSTATEMENT meiosis litotes is the opposite of.
hyperbole It is a kind of irony thatdeliberately represents something asbeing much less than it really is e g Icould probably manage to survive on asalary of two million dollars per year .
Not meant to be taken literally, figurative language is used to produce images in a reader’s mind and to express ideas in fresh, vivid, and imaginative ways. Figures of speech (continued) The most common examples of figurative language, or figures of speech, used in both prose and poetry, are simile, metaphor, and personification.

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