AP Literature Poetry Terms

Topics: ArtComedy

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Last updated: November 24, 2019

ALLEGORY
story or poem in which characters, settings, and events stand for other people or events or for abstract ideas or qualities

ALLITERATION
repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together

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ALLUSION
reference to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion politics, sports, science, or another branch of culture. An indirect reference to something (usually from literature etc.).,

ANALOGY
Comparison made between two things to show how they are alike,

ASSONANCE
the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds especially in words that are together

CHIASMUS
In poetry, a type of rhetorical balance in which the second part is syntactically balanced against the first but with the parts reversed.

Coleridge: “Flowers are lovely love is flowerlike.” ,

CONCEIT
an elaborate metaphor that compares two things that are startlingly different. Often an extended metaphor.

CONNOTATION
the associations and emotional overtones that have become attached to a word or phrase in addition to its strict dictionary definition.,

COUPLET
two consecutive rhyming lines of poetry.,

DICTION
a speaker or writer’s choice of words.,

ELEGY
a poem of mourningusually about someone who has died. This is great praise or commendation alaudatory speech, often about someone who has died.

EXPLICATION
the meaning of a text, act of interpreting or discovering usually involves close reading and special attention to figurative language.

FARCE
a type of comedy in which ridiculous and often stereotyped characters are involved in silly far-fetched situations.

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
Words which are inaccurate if interpreted literally but are used to describe.

Similes and metaphors are common forms.

FLASHBACK
a scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time.

FOIL
A character who acts as contrast to another character. Often a funny side kick to the dashing hero or a villain contrasting the hero.

FORESHADOWING
the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.

FREE VERSE
poetry that does not conform to a regular meter or rhyme scheme.

HYPERBOLE
a figure of speech that uses an incredible exaggeration or overstatement for effect. “If I told you once I’ve told you a million times.

…”

IMAGERY
the use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person , a thing a place, or an experience.,

IRONY
a discrepancy between appearances and reality.,

VERBAL IRONY
occurs when someone says one thing but really means something else.

SITUATIONAL IRONY
takes place when there is a discrepancy between what is expected to happen or what would be appropriate to happen, and what really does happen.

DRAMATIC IRONY
is so called because it is often used on stage. A character in the play or story thinks one thing is true but the audience or reader knows better.

LITOTES
is a form of understatement in which the positive form is emphasized throughthe negation of a negative form: Hawthorne— “…the wearers of petticoat and farthingale…

stepping forth into the public ways and wedging their not unsubstantial persons if occasion were, into the throng…

“,

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

METAPHOR
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of such specific words of comparison as likeas, than, or resembles.,

IMPLIED METAPHOR
does not state explicitly the two terms of the comparison:

EXTENDED METAPHOR
is a metaphor that is extended or developed as far as the writer wants to take it. (conceit if it is quite elaborate).

METONYMY
a figure of speech in which a person, place, or thing, is referred to by something closely associated with it. “We requested from the crown support for our petition.” The crown is used to represent the monarch.

MOOD
An atmosphere created by a writer’s diction and the details selected.

ONOMATOPOEIA
the use of words whose sounds echo their sense. “Pop.” “Zap.

“,

OXYMORON
a figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase. “Jumbo shrimp.” “Pretty ugly.

” “Bitter-sweet”

PARADOX
a statement that appears self-contradictory, but that reveals a kind of truth.,

PARALLEL STRUCTURE
the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures

PERSONIFICATION
a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings thoughts, or attitudes.,

QUATRAIN
a poem consisting of four lines, or four lines of a poem that can be considered as a unit.

REFRAIN
a word, phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated, for effect, several times in a poem.

RHYTHM
a rise and fall of the voice produced by the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in language.

RHETORICAL QUESTION
a question asked for an effect, and not actually requiring an answer.

SIMILE
a figure of speech that makes an explicitly comparison between two unlike things using words such as like, as , than, or resembles.,

SOLILOQUY
a long speech made by a character in a play while no other characters are on stage.

SYNECDOCHE
a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole.

“If you don’tdrive properly you will lose your wheels.” The wheels represent the entire car.,

THEME
the insight about human life that is revealed in a literary work.,

TONE
the attitude a writer takes toward the subject of a work, the characters in it, or the audiencerevealed through diction, figurative language, and organization.,

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