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Final Exam Literary Term Required Knowledge 2011

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Literary Terms Excel File

Required Literary Term Knowledge for the Final Exam 2010
ALLITERATION the deliberate repetition of initial consonant sounds; e.g. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. 
ALLUSION brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art. Casual reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event.
ANAGNORISIS the tragic hero realizes his/her mistake
ANAPHORA The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs.
ANTITHESIS opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction.
APOSTROPHE  is when an absent person, an abstract concept, or an important object is directly addressed.
BLANK VERSE A line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
CATASTROPHE final clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot
CATHARSIS the emotional closure in tragedy, which is meant to cleanse the audience of their emotions of pity and fear
CHARACTERIZATION the method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes (1) showing the character's appearance, (2) displaying the character's actions, (3) revealing the character's thoughts, (4) letting the character speak, and (5) getting the reactions of others.
CONFLICT the struggle found in fiction. Conflict/Plot may be internal or external and is best seen in (1) Man in conflict with another Man: (2) Man in conflict in Nature; (3) Man in conflict with self.
CONNOTATION The personal or emotional associations called up by a word that go beyond its dictionary meaning, an implied meaning of a word
DIALOGUE discussion between two or more people
FOOT (METER) The metrical unit by which a line of poetry is measured. A foot usually consists of one stressed and one or two unstressed syllables. An iambic foot, which consists of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable ("away"), is the most common metrical foot in English poetry. 
FORESHADOWING use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature
HAMARTIA a mistake
HUBRIS excessive pride or arrogance; the quality in a character that most often brings about their downfall in tragedy
HYPERBOLE an exaggeration of the truth for dramatic effect
IAMBIC PENTAMETER A metrical pattern in poetry which consists of five iambic feet per line. (An iamb, or iambic foot, consists of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.)
IMAGERY (SENSORY DETAILS) figurative language that evokes one or all of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching; used to create particular mental images
IRONY the discrepancy between expectation and reality. The three forms of irony are: situational irony, where a situation features a discrepancy between what is expected and what is actualized; dramatic irony, where a character is unaware of pivotal knowledge which has already been revealed to the audience (the discrepancy here lies in the two levels of awareness between the character and the audience); and verbal irony, where one states one thing while meaning another. Verbal irony is the lowest form of irony. The difference between verbal irony and sarcasm is exquisitely subtle and oft contested, but exists nonetheless. The concept of irony is too often misunderstood in popular usage. Unfortunate circumstances and coincidences do not constitute irony (nor do they qualify as being tragic). 
JUXTAPOSITION when the author places two themes, characters, phrases, words, or situations parallel to one another for the purpose of comparison, contrast, or rhetoric. 
METAPHOR a direct comparison using the verb "to be," and not using like or as, when one thing is said to be another; an association of two completely different objects as being the same thing; intent of giving clearer meaning to one of them. Often forms of the "to be" verb are used, such as "is" or "was", to make the comparison; eg. The moon was a ghostly galleon / Tossed upon the cloudy sea (Noyes) 
METER The recurrence of a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables; Metrical patterns are determined by the type and number of feet in a line of verse; combining the name of a line length with the name of a foot concisely describes the meter of the line. Rising meter refers to metrical feet which move from unstressed to stressed sounds, such as the iambic foot and the anapestic foot. Falling meter refers to metrical feet which move from stressed to unstressed sounds, such as the trochaic foot and the dactylic foot. See also accent, foot, iambic pentameter, line.
MOOD emotional feelings of a READER as he/she reads a piece of literature (the mood was created by the WRITER + the READER)
OXYMORON two contradictory words together; eg. hot ice, cold fire, wise fool, sad joy, military intelligence, eloquent silence
PARADOX a seeming contradiction that surprisingly reveals a kind of truth with its pithiness. Two opposing ideas; eg.  Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage; something that seems contradictory on
the surface, but on closer inspection actually holds a truth.
In Macbeth...."Fair is foul and foul is fair"; "lesser than he but
greater"; "not so happy, yet happier"
In 1984..."War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is strength"
PARALLELISM Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses
PERIPETEIA  the reversal of fortune from high to low
PERSONIFICATION  A figure of speech which endows animals, ideas, or inanimate objects with human traits or abilities; eg. And twilight silver footed creeps / Down the dimming paths (Alex Waugh) 
PLOT the series of events in a piece of literature
POINT OF VIEW The author's point-of-view concentrates on the vantage point of the speaker, or "teller", of the story or poem; 1st person:  the speaker is a character in the story or poem and tells it from his/her perspective (uses "I"); 3rd person limited: the speaker is not part of the story, but tells about the other characters but limits information about what one character sees and feels; 3rd person omniscient: the speaker is not part of the story, but is able to "know" and describe what all characters are thinking.
PUN figure of speech which consists of a deliberate confusion of similar words or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or serious
RHETORICAL QUESTION A question asked that does not require an answer; eg. Could I but guess the reason for that look? 
RHYMING COUPLET a pair of lines which end-rhyme expressing one clear thought
SETTING The time and place of a literary work that establishes its context.
SIMILE A figure of speech which compares  two seemingly dissimilar objects using a specific word or comparison such as "like", "as", "as thought", or "than".
STRETCH RHYME an "almost" rhyme
SYMBOLISM the applied use of symbols: iconic representations that carry particular conventional meanings. 
SYNECDOCHE when a part or portion of something represents the whole item or idea
THEME general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express
TONE author’s implied attitude toward the reader or the people, places, and events in a work as revealed by the elements of the author’s style: serious, humorous, sarcastic, ironic, satirical, tongue-in-cheek, solemn, objective
TRAGIC FLAW the quality of a character that brings about that person’s downfall
UNDERSTATEMENT when the obvious is “played down” for comic or dramatic effectbvious
VERISIMILITUDE The appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true

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