AP Poetry/AP English Literature Summer Terms

Allegory
symbolic narrative in which surface details imply secondary meaning

Alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginnings of words.

Anapest
two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one

Antagonist
character or force against which main character struggles

Assonance
repetition of similar vowel sounds in a line or sentence of poetry

Aubade
love lyric in which speaker complains of arrival of dawn when he must leave his lover

ballad
narrative poem written in 4-line stanzas; characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style

blank verse
line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter

caesura
pause within a line of verse

character
imaginary person living in a literary work

characterization
means by which author presents and reveals characters

connotations
The personal and emotional associations called up by a word that go beyond its dictionary meaning.

convention
A customary feature of a literary work such as the use of rhyme in a sonnet.

couplet
A pair of rhymed lines that may or may not constitute a separate stanza in a poem.

Dactyl
A stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones

denotation
dictionary meaning of a word

dialogue
conversation of characters

diction
selection of words in a literary work

dramatic monologue
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener

elegy
A lyric poem that laments the dead.

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

enjambment
A run-on line of poetry in which logical and grammatical sense carries over from one line into the next

epic
A long narrative poem that records the adventures of a hero

epigram
brief witty poem, often satirical

figurative language
A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words

foot
A metrical unit composed of stressed and unstressed syllables

free verse
Poetry without a regular pattern of meter or rhyme

hyperbole
figure of speech involving exaggeration

iamb
unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one

imagery
concrete representation of a sense impression, feeling, or idea

irony
A contrast or gap between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen. In verbal irony characters say the opposite of what they mean. In irony of circumstance or situation the opposite of what is expected happens. In dramatic irony a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to other characters,

literal language
form of language in which a writer mean exactly what their words denote

lyric poem
A type of poem characterized by brevity, compression, and the expression of feeling

metaphor
a comparison between essentially unlike things WITHOUT using ‘like’ or ‘as’

meter
measured pattern of rhythmic accents in a poem

metonymy
A figure of speech in which a closely related term is substituted for an object or idea

narrative poem
poem that tells a story

narrator
voice and implied speaker of a fictional work

octave
an eight-line unit, which may constitute a stanza or a section of a poem, as in the octave of a sonnet

ode
A long, stately poem in stanzas of varied length, meter, and form

onomatopeia
The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe. Words such as buzz and crack are onomatopoetic

open form
A type of structure or form in poetry characterized by freedom from regularity and consistency in such elements as rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern.

parody
A humorous, mocking imitation of a literary work

personification
The endowment of inanimate objects or abstract concepts with human qualities or actions

plot
organization of incidents in literary work

protagonist
main character of literary work

quatrain
4 line stanza in a poem

rhetorical question
a question to which an overt answer is not expected

rhyme
The matching of final vowel or consonant sounds in two or more words

rhythm
The recurrence of accent or stress in lines of verse

romance
A type of narrative fiction or poem in which adventure is a central feature and in which an idealized vision of reality is presented

satire
A literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridicules vices, stupidities, and follies

sestet
A six-line unit of verse constituting a stanza or section of a poem; the last six lines of an Italian sonnet

soliloquy
An extended speech in a play in which a character alone onstage expresses his thoughts

sonnet
A fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter

spondee
A metrical foot represented by two stressed syllables

style
The way an author chooses words, arranges them in sentences or in lines of dialogue or verse, and develops ideas and actions with description, imagery, and other literary techniques.

subject
What a story or play is about

subplot
A subsidiary or subordinate or parallel plot in a play or story that coexists with the main plot.

symbol
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself

synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for the whole

syntax
The grammatical order of words in a sentence or line of verse or dialogue

tercet
3 line stanza

theme
The idea of a literary work abstracted from its details of language, character, and action, and cast in the form of a generalization.

tone
The implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work.

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