CLEP – Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: April 22, 2019

alliteration
Repetition of a constanant sound – do or die; safe and sound. A common use for alliteration is emphasis.

It occurs in everyday speech in such prhases as “tittle-tattle,” “bag and baggage,” “bed and board,” “primrose path,” and “through thick and thin” and in sayings like “look before you leap.”

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allusion
a reference in one literary work to a character or theme found in another literary work.a brief reference to a person, event, place, or phrase. The writer assumes will recognize the reference. For instance, most of us would know the difference between a mechanic’s being as reliable as George Washington or as reliable as Benedict Arnold.

Allusions that are commonplace for readers in one era may require footnotes for readers in a later time.

antagonist
character struggles against somone or something – man against himself; mand against man; man against society; man against nature.

assonance
Repetition of vowel sounds

apostrophe
A direct address to a person, thing, or abstraction, such as “O Western Wind,” or “Ah, Sorrow, you consume us.” Apostrophes are generally capitalized.

artifice
cunning; ingenuity; craftiness

bathos
extreme anticlimax

climax
the point where crisis comes to point of greatest intensity and is resolved

dialog
conversation used to reveal characters and advance plot

didactic
strong, lectruing voice

droll
amusing in an odd way

enjambment
the running of one line of poetry into the next without a break for the rhyme or syntax

exposition
opening; beginning portion of plot which background information is set forth

fie
term used to express mild disgust; annoyance

foreshadowing
using hints or clues to suggest what will happen later; builds suspense

homonym
work sounds the same but spelled differently – they’re and there

iaconic
expressing much in a few words; concise

irony
conflict between appearance and reality; Romeo & Juliet – audience knows she’s sleeping, Romeo thinks she’s dead.

languid
slow and relaxed; lazy andpeaceful; sluggish in character

metaphor
Comparing two unlike things that have something in common – “I think the sun is a flower that blooms for just one hour”. Implicit comparison between two unlike things.

metonymy
Word represents something else which it suggests – a ‘herd’ of cows refered to as fifty ‘head’; head represents herd.

orthodoxy
customary

onomatopoeia
Word which imitates a sound – bang; pop; hiss; sizzle

parallelism
an arrangement of the parts of a composition so that elements of equal importance are balanced in construction.

personification
something non-human given human characteristics

poetic drama
a narrative involving conflict

protagonist
character struggles toward or for somone or something

resolution
end of plot

rising action
dramatic complications

sardonic
mockin; cynical;sneering

simile
as a metaphor but uses ‘like’ or ‘as’.

soliloquy
speech while alone, or talking to self

symbolism
object represents idea

synonym
work with the same meaning

synecdoche
part used for the whole or the whole for the part

monologue
speech by one person

falling action
post climax

foils
character who enables us to see one or more other characters better – Tom Sayer (romantic) for Huck Finn (realism).

allegory
standing for qualities or concepts rather than for actual personages.Figurative treatment of one subject disguised under another subject.

fable
a short moral story (often with animal characters)

parable
a simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson

dramatic monlogue
a speech delivered by a character expressing emotion towards an unresponsive audience

fabliau
a short metrical tale, usually ribald and humorous, popular in medieval France.

feminine rhyme
a rhyme of two syllables, one stressed and one unstressed, as “waken” and “forsaken” and “audition” and “rendition.” Feminine rhyme is sometimes called double rhyme or internal rhyme.

ode
a lyric poem with complex stanza forms

chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed (“Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.”)

emblemism
Used to gie an image a “concrete” reality: a gold-edged love poem for example.

oxymoron
A statement with two parts which seem contradictory; examples: sad joy, a wise fool, the sound of silence, or Hamlet’s saying, “I must be cruel only to be kind”

meter – iambic
a foot consisting of an unaccented and accented syllable. Shakespeare often uses iambic, for example the beginning of Hamlet’s speech (the accented syllables are italicized), “To be or not to be. Listen for the accents in this line from Marlowe, “Come live with me and be my love.” English seems to fall naturally into iambic patterns, for it is the most common meter in English.

meter – trochaic
Trochaic: a foot consisting of an accented and unaccented syllable. Longfellow’s Hiawatha uses this meter, which can quickly become singsong (the accented syllable is italicized): “By the shores of GitcheGumeeBy the shining Big-Sea-water.

“The three witches’ speech in Macbeth uses it: “Double, double, toil and trouble.”

meter – anapestic
Anapestic: a foot consisting of two unaccented syllables and an accented syllable. These lines from Shelley’s Cloud are anapestic: “Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tombI arise and unbuild it again.”

elision
a deliberate act of omission, The omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable to preserve the meter of a line of poetry

paradox
(logic) a self-contradiction.That when we live no more, we may live ever – a situation where she and her loved one are both alive and dead. No one can be both alive and dead, so this is a paradox.

anecdote
short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)

realism
This was the new style of literature that focused on the daily lives and adventures of a common person. This style was a response to Romanticism’s supernaturalism and over-emphasis on emotion

euphemism
an inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive

tragic irony
a tragedy that starts good and ends bad. The opposite may also hold true

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