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AP Literary Terms
Transcript of AP Literary Terms
Similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them. More of an argument than one thing representing another like in a metaphor.
An indirect or direct reference to something, which should be commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art.
Character or story elements represent the literal meaning, as well as a figurative meaning. Carried throughout the story. Usually deals with moral truth or genralization about life/humanity.
AP Literary Terms
The Fault in Our Stars, comes from a line in Shakespeare's play in Julius Caesar where Cassius says, "The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings." Cassius seems to be saying that it's not fate that dooms men, but instead their own failings.
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, institution, or concept that stands in or represents opposition against which the protagonist(s) must contend. In other words, an antagonist is a person or a group of people who opposes a protagonist. (Wikipedia definition)
A type of parallelism--the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive lines or sentences.
a contrast or opposition between two things.
a figure of speech in which an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed by parallelism of words that are the opposites of, or strongly contrasted with, each other, such as “hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins”
The word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun.
"But it is the grandeur of all truth which can occupy a very high place in human interests that it is never absolutely novel to the meanest of minds;
exists eternally by way of germ of latent principle, in the lowest as in the highest, needing to be developed but never to be planted."
A short, concise statment expressing a general truth or moral principle.
A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or personified abstratction such as liberty or love.
Character, event, story, or image that recurs in different works, cultures, and periods of time. (adj. archetypal)
The repeated use of vowel sounds.
A form of repetition.
Unrhymed iambic pentameter
a verbal description, the purpose of which is to exaggerate or distort, for comic effect, a person's distinctive physical features or other characteristics
"Mr. Chadband is a large yellow man, with a fat smile, and a general appearance of having a good deal of train oil in his system. Mrs. Chadband is a stern, severe-looking, silent woman. Mr. Chadband moves softly and cumbrously, not unlike a bear who has been taught to walk upright. " Charles Dickins,
a pause in the middle of a line of poetry
Gramatical unit with a subject and a verb -- not always a complete sentence.
Use of slang or informalities in speech and writing (includes dialects.)
the non-literal meaning of a word/phrase; the implied meaning
a pair of lines in a verse--usually two lines that rhyme and have the same meter (beat)
The strict, literal definition of a word.
an author's word choices
Yay! You made it!
Writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is meant to be imaginative and vivid.
Figure of Speech
A device used to produce figurative language.
A type of poem that meditates on death or morality in a serious, thoughtful manner
Literary device in which the author gives a hint as to what will happen later.
Think scary music in a suspense film...
Categories into which literary works fit.
An exaggeration or overstatment usually with a comedic effect.
Sensory details used in order to create a word picture for the reader--appeals to one or more of the five senses.
To draw a reasonable conclusion from the text.
Contrast between what is expected and what is meant -- NOT the same as an unfortunate coincedence.
Potentially confusing words and phrases used in an occupation, trade, or field.
A form of understatement that makes an affirmative statement by denying the opposite. Opposite of hyperbole.
Short poem written with repetitious stanzaic form.
Any poem having the form or musical quality of a song.
Can be used as an adjective to describe prose with an outporing of intense feeling.
A sentence in which the
comes first, followed by
, such as phrases and clauses.
An implied comparison between two unlike things or a substitution of one for the other.
When the name of one object is substituted for that of another name or word closely related.
The prevailing atmosphere or emotional aura of a work--determined by setting, tone, imagery, and events of the work.
An obvious recurring element throughout a work of literature.
Arrangement of two or more things side-by-side for comparison, contrast, rhetorical effect, suspense, or character.
When the syntax of a line of verse does not stop at the end of the line, but rather continues into the line or lines following.
Short, witty statement, especially with counterbalancing halves.
Short, humorous poem usually written in couplets making a satirical point.
Different from an aphorism in that it is meant to be humorous.
An inscription on a tomb
An adjective or phrase describing a person or a thing.
an inscription on a building, statue, tomb or coin.
short verse or motto appearing at the beginning of a longer poem or the title page of a novel.
A more agreeable, less offensive way of saying something generally unpleasant.
A metaphor developed at length, occuring throughout a work.
The telling of a story. An account of an event or a series of events.
When the sound of a word imitates the natural sounds.
When two apparently contradictory terms are juxtaposed in order to suggest a paradox.
Statement that appears contradictory or opposed to common sense, but actually contains some degree of truth or validity.
The grammatical framing of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to give structural similarity.
A work closely imitating the style or content of another for comedic effect or in order to ridicule.
Opposite of a loose sentence. The
of a sentence is preceeded by a
dependent clause or phrase.
Giving human attributes or emotions to concepts, animals or inanimate objects.
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told.
Use of multiple conjunctions where they aren't strictly necessary.
All forms of fiction and nonfiction aside from poetry.
The duplication of any element in language: sound, word, prhase, clause, sentence, grammatical pattern, etc...
Term used to describe the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively. From the Greek meaning 'orator.'
The four major kinds of writing: exposition, narration, description, and argumentation
Greek meaning, 'to tear the flesh.' Bitter, caustic language meant to hurt or ridicule someone or something.
A work targeting human vices and follies or social institutions and conventions for ridicule or reform.
Devices used: wit, irony, parody, caricature, hyperbole, understatement, and sarcasm
Simply put -- the study of word meaning, their development, and how words relate to one another.
The way an author chooses words and crafts them together.
Latin meaning to hiss or whistle.
Repetition of the 's' or 'sh' sound.
Comparison betwen two objects or ideas using 'like' or 'as.'
Negative similes also exist: "My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun.' (Shakespearean Sonnet)
Originally a short poem often on the subject of love. Now referring to a 14 line poem written in iambic pentameter. Two major forms: Shakespearean and Petrarchan.
Form of deductive reasoning presenting two premises (a major and a minor) leading to a conclusion.
Anything that represents itself and stands for some else.
When part of something is used to represent the whole.
When one sensory experience evokes the experience of another. (Thinking about lice make your head itch.)
In literature it's the association of two or more different senses in the same image.
The way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences.
The lesson, central idea, or message an author intends in a work. The insight it offers into life.
The sentence or group of sentences which states the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or position. (The main idea of the work...)
The author's attitude toward the subject, audience, or both. Usually determined through examination of diction, syntax, and imagery.
Word or phrase that links different ideas.
Intelligent humor using language that surpises and delights. Suggests the speaker's intelligence and ability to perceive.
first person narrator
The story is told using the first person pronoun, "I," and is a character in the story.
third person narrator
Tells the story with third person pronouns, "he," "she," "it." Two subdivisions:
third person omniscient -- narrator with godlike knowledge; presents the thoughts and actions of all characters
third person limited omniscient -- narrator presents the thoughts and feelings of only one character and only the actions of all other characters.
“The long black nights, when the moon hides her face, when the stars are afraid, are not so black.
The silence that dwells in the forest is not so black.
There is nothing in the world so black as thy hair.”
Before Romeo drank the poison,
Juliet was waking up.
Juliet was waking up
before Romeo drank the poison.