Literary Terms a Literatus** Should Know (Literatus - a literary person; pl., literati)

Mitchell – IB Literature

1. - an extended in which a person, abstract idea, or event stands for itself and for something else, usually a or spiritual concept more significant than the actual

2. Alliteration - the repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of words (“dew drops”)

3. - a brief, indirect reference to a historical or literary (or other artistic) figure, event, or object

4. Ambiguity - the state of having more than one possible meaning

5. Anapest - a foot where a stressed syllable follows two unstressed syllables (“understand”)

6. Anaphora - a type of parallelism created when successive phrases or lines begin with the same words; the repetition can be as simple as a single word or as long as an entire phrase

7. - the or force which opposes the

8. Anti- - a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would typically make him/her a hero/ heroine

9. Apostrophe - a in which someone or some entity (usually absent), some abstract quality or a nonexistent personage is directly addressed as though present (“Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!”) 10. Archaism - a word or phrase (or a particular meaning of a word or phrase) that is no longer in common use and is considered extremely old fashioned; can also be a literary style modeled on older works to achieve a desired effect

11. - an image, descriptive detail, pattern, or character type that frequently occurs in literature, , , or religion and can be universally recognized

12. Aside - a remark directed to the that characters onstage don’t hear

13. Assonance - the repetition of internal vowel sounds (“each evening”)

14. Aubade - a poem about dawn; a morning love-song; or a poem about the parting of lovers at dawn

15. Ballad - a narrative poem that tells a story and imitates traditional folk styles

16. Bildungsroman - a dealing with the development of a young person, usually from adolescence to maturity

17. Blank verse - unrhymed iambic pentameter

18. Cacophony - language that is harsh-sounding and difficult to pronounce

19. Cadence - the rhythmical movement of writing when it is read aloud

20. Caesura - a pause within a line of that contributes to the line’s rhythm

21. Canon - works generally considered by scholars to be essential for study

22. - the conclusion of a which involves the death of the hero (usually after the )

23. Catharsis - the release of emotions by the audience at the end of a tragedy

24. Chorus - a group of characters in Greek tragedy who comment on the of a without participation in it

25. Cinquain - a five line stanza

26. Climax - the moment of great tension in a story which marks the turning point

27. - a humorous scene or incident that alleviates tension in a serious work

28. Complication - the part of the plot in which the entanglement caused by the develops; the knot to be untied during the resolution

29. Conceit - an extended metaphor with complex logic that governs an entire poem or passage

30. Conflict - the struggle within the plot between two opposing forces

31. Connotation - the emotional implications and associations that a word may carry

32. Consonance - repetitive sounds of consonants within a sentence or phrase; in poetry, it can manifest as slant rhyme (words like “worth”/“breath” or “poem/same”)

33. Couplet - two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme and have the same meter

34. Crisis - a turning point in the action of a story that leads to the climax

35. Criticism - the analysis, study, and evaluation of individual works of art, as well as the formulation of general principles for the examination of such works

36. Dactyl - one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables (“desperate”)

37. Denouement - French word used to describe the falling action of a story

38. - an improbable means by which an author too easily resolves a story

39. - simply put, word choice

40. Dirge - a song expressing mourning or grief (as would be performed at a funeral)

41. Dissonance - harsh and inharmonious sounds which cause a marked breaking of the poetry

42. Dramatic - a discrepancy between what a character believes/says and what the audience knows

43. Dynamic character - a character who undergoes some kind of change due to the action in the plot

44. Elegy - a mournful lyric poem written to commemorate someone who has died

45. Ellipsis - the deliberate omission of a word or of words which are readily implied by the context (“And he to England shall along with you” -from )

46. End rhyme - rhyme that comes at the end of lines

47. End-stopped line - a poetic line that has a pause at the end, often with punctuation

48. English sonnet - a type of poem that consists of three quatrains and a concluding couplet (written in abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme; also known as Shakespearean sonnet

49. Enjambment - when a thought in poetry continues to the next line; also called a “run-on line”

50. - a long narrative poem characterized by elevated language and heroic deeds

51. Epilogue - a concluding statement in a play made to the audience

52. Epiphany - an event in which the essential truth or nature of something (person/situation/object) is suddenly perceived

53. Epithet - adjective expressing a quality/attribute considered characteristic of a person/thing (“swift-footed ”)

54. Euphony - language that is pleasing to hear (“cellar door”)

55. - narrative device that provides background and information about characters

56. External rhyme - a rhyme scheme composed of lines using end rhyme

57. Farce - a form of humor featuring slapstick comedy and extravagant dialogue

58. Feminine rhyme - words that rhyme and are both stressed on the first syllable (“butter/gutter”)

59. Flat character - a character with only one or two qualities; not psychologically complex

60. - a character who, by contrast, illuminates the distinctive traits of another

61. Foot - the metrical unit by which a line of poetry is measured

62. - Hints of what is to come in the action of a play or a story

63. Free verse - a poetic style that doesn’t follow established patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza

64. Haiku - Japanese poem consisting of three phrases of 5, 7, then 5 syllables, usually involving nature or the juxtaposition of two different images or ideas

65. - the tragic flaw or misfortune that brings about a hero’s downfall

66. Heptastich - a seven line stanza

67. Hero - the central character who engages the reader’s interest and empathy

68. Hubris - excessive pride or self-confidence that leads to a character’s downfall

69. Hyperbole - a bold exaggeration

70. Iamb - a poetic foot where one stressed syllable follows an unstressed syllable (“Nicole”)

71. - words, phrases, or figures of speech that address the senses

72. - the common strategy of beginning a story in the middle of the action

73. Internal rhyme - where words rhyme within the line (“Sam McGee was from Tennessee…”)

74. Italian sonnet - a type of poem which is divided into two parts: an octave (rhyming abba abba) and a sestet (rhyming cde cde); the octave raises the question, states a problem, or presents a brief narrative, and the sestet answers the question, solves the problem, or comments on the narrative (also known as a Petrarchan sonnet)

75. Juxtaposition - arrangement of two or more ideas/characters/actions/settings/phrases/words side-by-side for the purpose of comparison, contrast, rhetorical effect, , or character development

76. Litotes - an understatement meant for rhetorical effect (“I was not a little upset”)

77. Lyric - type of poem that expresses the emotions/thoughts of a single speaker

78. Masculine rhyme - words that rhyme and are both stressed on the 2nd syllable (“contend/defend”)

79. Measure - a metrical grouping (such as a type of foot)

80. Metaphor - a direct comparison of two unlike things (“my love is a red, red rose”)

81. Meter - rhythmic patterns of stress in a poem

82. Metonymy - substitution of one word for another object/ idea to symbolize that object/idea (“the pen is mightier than the sword”)The substitution of one word for another object or idea which it

83. Monologue - a speech by one person directly addressing an audience

84. - a pattern in literature, specifically the recurrent presence of certain character types, objects, settings, or situations

85. Neologism - a newly coined word or expression

86. Octave - a poetic stanza of eight lines, usually forming part of a sonnet

87. Ode - a formal lyric poem that expresses lofty emotions about a serious subject

88. Onomatopoeia - words that are spelled how they sound

89. Oxymoron - the combination of contradictory terms to produce a paradoxical effect (“jumbo shrimp”)

90. Paradox - a statement that seems to be contradictory but actually makes sense

91. Parallelism - the use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in structure or in meaning

92. - a literary or artistic work that imitates the style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule

93. - an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period

94. Pastoral - a poem involving rustic people or a rural ; in a contemporary sense, a means of expressing complex ideas in a simple way

95. Pentameter - a line of poetry consisting of five feet

96. Persona - a speaker created by the writer to tell a story or speak in a poem

97. Personification - endowing animals, ideas, abstractions, and inanimate objects with human qualities or human form

98. Picaresque - a usually structureless and episodic chronicle marked by realism and uninhibited expression

99. - when the outcome is the logical and necessary result of the actions and principles of major characters; an apt symmetry of fortune (“the hangman is hanged”)

100. Point of view - the vantage point from which the author tells a story

101. Prologue - the opening speech or dialogue of a play that provides an exposition

102. Prose - the ordinary language people use in speaking and writing (as opposed to verse) 103. Protagonist - the chief character in a work (also known as the hero/heroine)

104. Pun - a play on words where a word or phrase has two different meanings at the same time (“If we don’t hang together, we’ll hang separately”)

105. Pyrrhic foot - a foot of two unaccented syllables, occurring most often as variants in iambic verse (in “the evil that men do”, “-il that” is pyrrhic)

106. Quatrain - a four line stanza

107. Refrain - one or more words repeated at intervals in a poem (“nevermore” in “The Raven”)

108. Repetition - the repeating of lines to create a certain effect

109. Reversal - the point at which the action of the plot turns in an unexpected direction for the protagonist

110. Round character - a complex, fully developed character who reflects human experience

111. - a literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridicules vices, stupidities, and follies

112. Scansion - the process of measuring stresses in a line to find a metrical pattern

113. Sestet - a stanza with exactly six lines

114. Sestina - a fixed form of poetry consisting of 36 lines made famous by E. Bishop

115. Slant rhyme - refers to words that almost rhyme (farm, yard) or appear to the eye to do so (said, paid); also known as approximate rhyme, imperfect rhyme, near rhyme, half rhyme, oblique rhyme, and off rhyme

116. Simile - comparison between two unlike things using like or as

117. Soliloquy - a dramatic speech in which a character “thinks aloud”

118. Spondee - a poetic foot consisting of two stressed syllables (“death row”)

119. Stanza - a grouping of lines in poetry

120. Static character - a character who doesn’t change or grow throughout the work

121. - a flat, stereotypical character, such as the “dumb blonde”

122. Strophe - a structural division of a poem with stanzas of varying line-length, usually in an ode or free verse poem

123. - the use of a word/phrase/description which represents a deeper meaning than the word itself

124. Synecdoche - figure of speech where the whole signifies the part or part signifies the whole (“Nice wheels!”)

125. Synesthesia - a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one sense (hearing, seeing, smell, etc.) at a given time

126. Syntax - the ordering of words into meaningful patterns of language

127. Syzygy - two coupled feet serving as a unit, usually as part of iambic pentameter (“land’s_sharp”)

128. Tableau - an interlude during a scene when all performers on stage freeze in position, then resume action as before

129. Tercet - a three line stanza

130. - a message or truth about life conveyed by the author through events in the story; not simply the subject of a literary work, but rather a statement that the text seems to be making about that subject

131. Thesis - an assertion put forward as a premise to be proved with supporting evidence; must be arguable and not merely factual (also known as a claim)

132. - the attitudes implied in a literary work toward the subject and the audience

133. Tragedy - traditionally a story that recounts an important individual’s downfall

134. Tragic flaw - often used interchangeably with the term hamartia; leads to hero’s downfall

135. Trochee - a poetic foot consisting of one stressed then one unstressed syllable (“Mitchell”)

136. - the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than the literal (metaphor, irony, etc.)

137. Verbal irony - a figure of speech where a person says the opposite of what she means (sarcasm)

138. Verisimilitude - the semblance of truth or reality in literary works

139. Verse - a line of metrical writing, a stanza, or poetry in general

140. Villanelle - form of poetry used by Thomas in “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”

141. Volta - the turn in thought from problem to solution in a sonnet