AP Literary Terms (Ballad – Didactic)

Topics: ArtComedy

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Last updated: December 12, 2019

ballad
a long, narrative poem, usually in very regular meter and rhyme; typically has a naïve folksy quality, a characteristic that distinguishes it from epic poetry

bathos
when writing strains for grandeur, it can’t be supported and tries to create tears from every little hiccup

pathos
when the writing of scene evokes feelings of dignified pity and symphathy

bildungsroman
a novel that recounts the development (psychological and sometimes spiritual) of an individual from childhood to maturity, to the point where the main character recognizes his or her place in the world

black humor
this is the use of disturbing themes in comedy

blank verse
broadly defined, any unrhymed verse but usually referring to unrhymed iambic pentameter

bombast
this is pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language

burlesque
broad parody, one that takes a style or form, such as a tragic drama and exaggerates it into ridiculousness.

cacophony
in poetry, it is using deliberately harsh, awkward sounds

cadence
the beat or rhythm (iambic pentameter) of poetry in a general sense.

caesura
a pause in a life of poetry; is dictated not by meter but by natural speaking rhythm (sometimes it coincides with the poet’s punctuation, but occasionally it occurs where some pause in speech is available)

canto
the name for a section division in a long work of poetry; divides a long poem into parts the way chapters divide a novel

caricature
a portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates the facet of personality

catharsis
refers to the “cleansing” of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived (vicariously) through the experiences presented on stage

chiasmus
a figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second; may involve repetition of the same words

chorus
group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it

classic
means typical or accepted masterpiece

coinage
a new word, usually one invented on the spot

colloquialism
a word or phrase used in everyday controversial English that isn’t a part of accepted “school-book” English

complex
suggesting there is more than one possibility in the meaning of words (image, idea, opposition); there are subtleties and variations; there are multiple layers of interpretation; the meaning is both explicit and implicit

conceit
refers to the startling or unusual metaphor, or to a metaphor developed and expanded upon several lines

controlling image
when the image dominates and shapes the entire work

connotation
everything else that the word suggests or implies

denotation
the literal meaning of a word

consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within words (rather than at their beginnings)

couplet
a pair of lines that end in rhyme

decorum
a character’s speech that is styled according to their social station and in accordance with the occasion.

didactic
something that instructs or provides information for a particular purpose, teaches a lesson

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