AP English Literature Vocabulary Terms 2016-2017

Topic: ArtConcerts
Sample donated:
Last updated: May 12, 2019
a saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical languageEX: A penny saved is a penny earned

ad hominem
an argument addressing the person instead of the issueEX: how can you argue your case for vegetarianism when you are enjoying your steak?

Don't use plagiarized sources.
Get Your Custom Essay on "AP English Literature Vocabulary Terms 2016-2017..."
For You For Only $13.90/page!

Get custom paper
an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblancesEX: all animals are equal but few are more equal than others.

the repetition of one or more initial consonants in a group of words or lines in poetry or proseEX: the boy bent backwards by a banister

a reference to a person.

place, or event meant to create an effect or enhance the meaning of an ideaEX: chocolate was her Achilles heel

a vagueness of meaning to evoke multiple meanings and interpretationEX: each of us saw her duck

a comparison that points out similarities between two contrasting thingsEX: you are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard

the repetition at the beginning of clausesEX: I want my money right now, right here, all right?

a very short tale told by a character in a literary workEX: A mother tells her son a story about a family vacation when she was growing up

a character or force in a work of literature that, by opposing the protagonist, produces tension or conflictEX: the joker in batman

the noun that a pronoun replacesEX: Lily = she

contrasting ideas or images through the use of parallel structureEX: Many are called, but few are chosen.

brief saying embodying a moral, concise, statement of a principle or precept given in pointed wordsEX: The simplest questions are the hardest to answer.

when an absent person, abstract concept, or object is directly addressedEX: the star in twinkle little star

usage of any object or situation as it was originally made- big cliché, but one that never diesEX: the hero

a form of writing that makes a claim for a particular opinion or idea and supports it with evidenceEX: “social media has bettered society”

a device in which a character in a drama makes a short speech which is heard by the audience but not by other charactersEX: romeo speaks to the audience- reveals his thoughts

the repetition of vowel sounds in a literary workEX: Men sell the wedding bells

the omission of conjunctions that coordinate words and phrasesEX: without looking, breathing, making a sound

a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art

balanced sentence
a sentence that uses parallel structure and has clauses that are equally long and equally importantEX: Light is faster, but we are safer.

a story in a poetic form, often tragic love

an event often occurring as serious then transitions into of little significanceEX: MARY: John – once we had something that was pure, and wonderful, and good.

What’s happened to it?JOHN: You spent it all.

blank verse
poetry without rhyme, often resembles ordinary speechEX: Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

a pause in mid verse, often marked by punctuationEX: It is for you we speak, || not for ourselves:

central idea
the most important point in the authors text; the main idea

the way an author gives human-like qualities to a character to resemble an actual personEX: The patient boy and quiet girl were both well mannered and did not disobey their mother.

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversedEX: Never let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You.

a group of related words containing a subject that tells the readers what the sentence is about

overused, worn-out word or phrase; not literalEX: time will tell

a structural part of a plot and is at times referred to a crisisEX: when Romeo & Juliet die

use of slang or phrases in a piece of writingEX: y’all

type of dramatic work that is amusing and satirical in its tone, mostly having cheerful endings

complex sentence
sentence that combines one independent clause with at least one dependent clause

compound sentence
sentence that combines a least two dependent clauses joined by a comma, semicolon, or conjunction

a kind of metaphor that compares two very unlikely things in a surprising and clever wayEX: Marriage is like getting a root canal

concrete poetry
poem that visually resembles something found in the physical worldEX:

a word’s emotional content, not actual definitionEX:

the repetition of consonant sounds with differing vowel sounds in words near each other in a line or lines of poetryEX:

a characteristic of a literary genre that is understood and accepted by audiences because it has come to be recognized as a familiar techniqueEX:

a pair of rhyming lines in a poemEX:

a three syllable foot consisting of near stress and two light stressesEX:

declarative sentence
statement that can be affirmative, negative, or neutral; all distinguished by different non-manual markersEX:

deductive reasoning
uses facts, rules, definitions, or properties to reach logical conclusions from given statementsEX:

the literal meaning of a wordEX:

deus ex machina
a device used in Greek plays in which a god was lowered to the stage to solve the problems of the charactersEX:

attention to or treatment of a subject in individual or minute partsEX:

literary technique in which writers employ two or more characters to be engaged in conversation with each otherEX:

an author’s word choice when writingEX:

writing that is preach-like or seeks overtly to convince a reader of a particular point or lessonEX:

a message that departs from the main subject

the use of harsh sounding, unusual, or impolite words in poetry to create a disturbing effect

a form of literature that can be defined as a poem or song in the form of elegiac couplets, written in honor of the deceased

literary device used in narratives to omit some parts of a sentence or event, which gives the reader a chance to fill the gaps while acting or reading it out

A term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause often indicated by a mark of punctuation

An extended narrative poem that tells of the adventures and exploits of a hero that in generally larger than life and is often considered a legendary figure

A concise but ingenious, witty, and thoughtful statement

phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning

the character’s moment of realization or the character gaining knowledge

an inscription on a tombstone

adjectives expressing a characteristic

a writing to honor someone dead

a less offensive way of saying something offensive

exclamatory sentence
a sentence with strong feeling

an exclamation or oath

device used to introduce background information about events, settings, characters etc.

to the audience or readers

a fictional story that leads to a moral

a story that contains an unreal world or unreal characters

genre and the type of a comedy that makes the use of highly exaggerated and funny situations aimed at entertaining the audience

figurative language
a way of saying one thing but meaning another

first person(pov)
where the story is narrated by one character at a time

fixed form
A poem that may be categorized by the pattern of its lines, meter, rhythm, or stanzas

interjections of past events to provide background to current text

flat character
uncomplicated and doesn’t change

used to describe a character, it means that that character serves to highlight one or more attributes of another character, often the protagonist, by providing a contrast

a warning or indication of a future event

frame device
a story with in a story

free verse
does not have to rhyme, stanzas may be different lengths, lines are usually different lengths, there is no metrical pattern

a category of literary composition

focuses on the human body, and all the ways that it can be distorted or exaggerated: its aim is to simultaneously elicit our empathy and disgust

heroic couplet
Two successive rhyming lines of iambic pentameter

A line consisting of six metrical feet

literally “sermon”, or any serious talk, speech, or lecture providing moral or spiritual advice

extreme pride and arrogance shown by a character that ultimately brings about their downfall

the trope of exaggeration or overstatement

hypothetical question
A question, based on assumptions rather than facts, directed to an expert witness intended to elicit an opinion

iambic pentameter
A unit or foot of poetry that consists of a lightly stressed syllable followed by a heavily stressed syllable

term refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words

the “mental pictures” that readers experience with a passage of literature

in media res
describes a narrative that begins, not at the beginning of a story, but somewhere in the middle — usually at some crucial point in the action

inductive reasoning
statement is derived using facts and instances which lead to the formation of a general opinion

internal rhyme
a poetic device which can be defined as metrical lines in which its middle words and its end words rhymes with each other

A direct verbal assault; a denunciation

Dramatic: Audience perceives something that a character in lit does not know. Verbal: When an author says one thing and means something else. Situational: Discrepancy between the expected result and actual results.

a use of specific phrases and words by writers in a particular situation, profession or trade

When one theme or idea or person is paralleled to another

a story or narrative that lies somewhere between myth and historical fact and which, as a rule, is about a particular figure or person

a humorous or nonsense verse of five lines; from limerick a country in Republic of Ireland where the form is said to have originated

limited narrator
the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one character

literal language
the literal meaning of a word or phrase

literary license
when a poet or an author has got the freedom of changing the norms of a literary text and act differently and independently

A form of understatement in which positive form is emphasized through the negation of a negative form

loose sentence
One in which the main clause comes first, followed by further dependent grammatical units

A poem that does not tell a story but expresses the personal feelings or thoughts of the speaker

the act of using an incorrect word in place of one that is similar in pronunciation

maxim is a simple and memorable line, quote or rule for taking action and leading a good life

a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics

meter (iamb, trochee, dactyl, anapest)
a unit of rhythm in poetry, the pattern of the beats

type of metaphor in which an object is used to describe something that’s closely related to it

a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions

any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story

a reason behind a character’s specific action or behavior

a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation

A person who tells a story; in literature, the voice that an author takes on to tell a story

literary genre that started as a literary movement in late nineteenth century in literature, film, theater and art

non sequitur
literary device which include the statements, sayings and conclusions that do not follow the fundamental principles of logic and reason

the first 8 lines of a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. Usually presents a situation, an idea, or a question

a form of lyric poetry — expressing emotion — and it’s usually addressed to someone or something, or it represents the poet’s musings on that person or thing

omniscient (point of view)
literary technique of writing narrative in third person in which a narrator knows the feelings and thoughts of every character in the story; godlike

a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting; zap, pow, bang

an act of stating something more than it actually is in order to make the point more serious or important or beautiful

two contradictory words are together in one phrase.

In fact

a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson

a statement that contradicts itself and still seems true somehow

parallel structure
repetition of the same pattern of words or phrases within a sentence or passage to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance

Set off within or as if within parentheses; qualifying or explanatory

a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing

a quality of an experience in life or a work of art that stirs up emotions of pity, sympathy and sorrow

adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or. bookish

literary device that can be defined as a line in verse or poetry that has five strong metrical feet or beats

periodic sentence
emphasis and can be persuasive by putting reasons for something at the beginning before the final point is made

When a character or narrator through whom the author speaks in a literary work

a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes

literary term used to describe the events that make up a story or the main part of a story

point of view
refers to who is telling a story, or who is narrating it

conjunctions (e.g. and, but, or) are used repeatedly in quick succession, often with no commas, even when the conjunctions could be removed

the study of meter, intonation and rhythm of a poetic work

the central character or leading figure in poetry, narrative, novel or any other story

a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings

the reason an author decides to write about a specific topic

a verse with four lines, or even a full poem containing four lines, having an independent and separate theme

denotes a particular kind of subject matter, especially the representation of middle-class life

the conclusion of the story; the point in the plot at which the conflict comes to an end

any narrative in which there is an observable change in direction

a technique of using language effectively and persuasively in spoken or written form

rhetorical question
self-evident and used for style as an impressive persuasive device

rhyme (interior, slant)
a repetition of similar sounding words occurring at the end of lines in poems or songs

literary device which demonstrates the long and short patterns through stressed and unstressed syllables particularly in verse form

a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions

round character
complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader; very complicated, contrasts flat character

an ironic or satirical remark that seems to be praising someone or something but is really taunting or cutting

a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society by using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule

the process of analyzing a poem’s meter

A person or group that is made to bear blame for others

A dramatic sequence taking place within a single locale (or setting) on stage

consists of six lines that rhyme with a varying pattern

the time and place in which the story takes place

a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things

simple sentence
sentence containing only one independent clause and no dependent clauses

a grammatical mistake or intentional use of incorrect grammar in written language and speech

a popular literary device often used in drama to reveal the innermost thoughts of a character

It means a small or little song or lyric; 14 fourteen lines and is written in iambic pentameter

the voice behind the poem—the person we imagine to be saying the thing out loud

stage direction
Part of the script of a play that tells the actors how they are to move or to speak their lines

a division of four or more lines having a fixed length, meter or rhyming scheme

An author’s method of treating a character so that the character is immediately identified with a group

stock character
a stereotypical person whom audiences readily recognize from frequent recurrences in a particular literary tradition

a narrative mode or device that depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind

The way that the writer arranges the plot of a story

the literary element that describes the ways that the author uses words — the author’s word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, and sentence arrangement all work together to establish mood, images, and meaning in the text

aimed at expressing imaginative dreams and visions free from conscious rational control

a rhetorical term for a kind of ellipsis in which one word (usually a verb) is understood differently in relation to two or more other words, which it modifies or governs

a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion

A figure of speech where an object, person, or situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning. The actions of a character, word, action, or event that have a deeper meaning in the context of the whole story

literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part

characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc.

at a given time

determines how the chosen words are used to form a sentence

a repetitive use of phrases or words which have similar meanings

When four beats are placed together in a line of poetry

a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly

a short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence

an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience

A subject of discussion or conversation; A subdivision of a theme, thesis, or outline

the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances

hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest

turning point
a moment when the course of events is changed

A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is; A statement which lessens or minimizes the importance of what is meant; Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect

unreliable narrator
a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised

the way in which words or phrases are actually used, spoken, or written in a speech community

using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language

a word free from limitations or qualifications; argument—a statement of the meaning or main point of a literary work

It refers to the repetition of a word or words in successive clauses in such a way that the second clause starts with the same word which marks the end of the previous clause

a literary term for using one word to modify two other words, in two different ways

Figure of repetition in which the key word or words in one phrase, clause, or sentence is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases; repetition of a key word over successive phrases or clauses

Choose your subject


I'm Jessica!

Don't know how to start your paper? Worry no more! Get professional writing assistance from me.

Click here