AP Literature Terms 3

Continuous Form
That form of a poem in which the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning.

Couplet
Two successive lines, usually in the same meter, linked by rhyme

Dactyl
A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables

Dactylic Meter
A meter in which a majority of the feet are dactyls.

Denotation
The basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word.

Denouement
That portion of a plot that reveals the final outcome of its conflicts or the solution of its mysteries.

Deus Ex Machina
The resolution of a plot by use of a highly improbable chance or coincidence.

Developing Character
(see Character) a character who during the course of a story undergoes a permanent change in some distinguishing moral qualities or personal traits or outlook

Didactic Writing
Poetry, fiction, or drama having as a primary purpose to teach or preach

Dilemma
A situation in which a a character must choose between two courses of action, both undesirable.

Dimeter
A metrical line containing two feet

Direct Presentation of Character
That method of characterization in which the author, by exposition or analysis, tells us directly what a character is like, or has someone else in the story do so.

Double Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated vowel is in the second last syllable of the words involved (for example, politely-rightly-sprightly)

Dramatic Convention
Any dramatic device which, though it departs from reality, is implicitly accepted by author and audience as a means of representing reality.

Dramatic Exposition
The presentation through dialogue of information about events that occurred before the action of a play, or that occur offstage or between the staged actions; this may also refer to the presentation of information about individual characters’ backgrounds or the general situation in which the action takes places.

Dramatic Framework
The situation, whether actual or fictional, realistic or fanciful, in which an author places his or her characters in order to express theme.

Dramatic Irony
(see Irony) (theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play

Dramatic Point of View
(See point of view) , point of view in which the narrator is not a character and can only report what is seen and heard

Dramatization
The presentation of character or of emotion through the speech or action of characters rather than through exposition analysis, or description by the author.

Duple Meter
A meter in which a majority of the feet contain two syllables. Iambic and trochaic are both this.

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