Literary Terms

long narrative poem with a larger than life hero

In Medias Res
in the middle of things; starts with action

a word or phrase used to characterize a person/place/thing

a compound noun that replaces another noun such as ring-giver for king

Epic Hero
a huge ego; faces life and death struggles

anglo-Saxon oral poet

External Conflict
when a character stuggles against some outside force

Internal Conflict
a struggle within the mind of a character

a reference to another piece of literature, religion, cultural fact, historical figure that lend meaning to the story

when someone or something represents something greater than itself

Frame Story
a plot structure that includes the telling of a story within a story

Direct Characterization
the writer makes explicit statements about a character

Indirect Characterization
the writer reveals a character through his/her words, thoughts, and actions and through what other characters think and say about that character

a type of persausive writing or speaking in which logic or reason is used to influence a reader’s or listener’s ideas or actions. Does not resort to emotional appeals

language that makes something seem less important than it really is

Dramatic Irony
occurs when readers or viewers know something that the characters do not

Situational Irony
exists when the outcome of a situation is the opposite of expectations

Verbal Irony
occurs when the meaning of a statement is the reverse of what is meant

figure of speech in which a non-human figure is given human characteristics

poetry that idealizes the simple lives of shepherds in a rural setting. Often exaggerates the rural pleasures and the innocence of country people living in harmony with nature

End Rhyme
the rhyming of words at the ends of lines

Internal Rhyme
rhyme that occurs within a single line of poetry

the repitition of consonant sounds, generally at the begginnings of words

the repitition of the same or similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds

a group of lines forming a unit in a poem or song

two consecutive, rhymed lines of poetry that follow the same rhythmic pattern

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

stanza of four lines

a six-line stanza

the “word pictures” that writers create to evoke an emotional response. Appeal to the 5 senses

Carpe Diem
a Latin phrase meaing “seize the day”; in other words, “makes the most of each moment”

A lyric poem of fourteen lines, typically written in iambic pentameter and usually following strict patterns of stanza divisions and rhymes

Shakesperean Sonnet
consists of three quatrains followed by a couplet

a figure of speech that uses like or as to compare seemingly unlike things

a figure of speech that compares or equates two seemingly unlike things to help readers perceive the first thing more vividly

a humorous imitation of a literary work that aims to point out the work’s short comings.

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