SAT II Literature Vocab

Topics: ArtComedy

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Last updated: April 30, 2019

allegory
a story with underlying symbols that really represent something else

alliteration
the use of a repeated consonant sound, usually at the beginning of a series of words

alusion
a reference to something or someone, usually literary

anachronism
the placement of a person or object in an inappropriate historical situation

analogy
a comparison of something to something else

anecdote
a short narrative, story, or tale

antagonist
the major character opposing the protagonist

anthropomorphism
the assignment of human attributes, such as emotions or physical characteristics, to nonhuman things

aside
a device through which the character addresses the audience directly

blank verse
an unrhymed poem with a regular meter

character
a person in a drama or novel

comedy
a play that is primariy for amusement or meant to provide laughter

diction
the author’s choice of words

elegy
a mournful and melancholy poem or song, usually to pay tribute to a deceased person

fable
a story that has a moral, usually involving animals as the main characters

farce
a satire that’s bordering on the silly or ridiculous

figurative language
language characterized by figures of speech, such as metaphors and similes, as well as elaborate expression through imagery

form
the rhyme scheme of a poem

free verse
a poem without regualr meter or line length

genre
a type, or category, of fiction or nonfiction

hyperbole
a deliberate exaggeration

indirect dialogue
language which communicates what was expressed in the dialogue, without using a direct quotation

irony
an expression of meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning

metaphor
a comparison that does not use the words “like” or “as”

meter
the rhythm of a poem

monologue
a long passage during which only one person talks

narrative
a literary representation of an event or story – the text itself

onomatopoeia
a word intended to simulate the actual sound of the thing or action it describes

oxymoron
a phrase in which the words are contradictory

paean
an expression of joyful praise

parable
a story that has a moral

paradox
a phrase that appears to be conmtradictory but which actually contains some basic truth that resolved the apparent contradiction

parrallelism
the repetition of sounds, meanings, or structures to create a certain style

parody
a literary work in which the style of an author is imitated for comic effect or ridicule

pastoral
a work that deals with the lives of people, especially shpeheards, in teh country or in nature (as opposed to people in the city)

pathos
something that evokes a feeling of pity or sympathy

personification
the assignment of human attributes to something nonhuman

perspective
the place from which the narrator or character sees things

plot
the events that happen in the story

point of view
the perspective from which a story is presented to a reader

protagonist
the main character, usually the hero

rhythm
the beat or meter of a poem

satire
the ridicule of a subject

simile
a comparison of two things using the words “like or “as”

soliloquy
a speech addressed to the audience where one character expounds upon his predicament

stage directions
authorial instructions inserted in parentheses to tell the actor or director how to act, move, or speak

stanza
a section of lines in a poem

style
the author’s unique manner of expressino; the author’s vice

surrealism/theather of the absurd
a style of play that doesn

tense
time perspective from which a piece is written (past, present, or future)

theme
the main idea of a piece of literature

tone
the style or manner of expression

tragedy
a play that is sad or addresses sorrowful or difficult themes

voice
the perspective from which a piece is written, most often first-person or third-person

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