AP English Literature and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition

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Section 1

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aside

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Last updated

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Date created

Mar 1, 2020

Cards (124)

Section 1

(50 cards)

aside

Front

a brief speech or comment that an actor makes to the audience, supposedly without being heard by the other actors on stage; often used for melodramatic or comedic effect

Back

interior monologue

Front

writing that records the conversation that occurs inside a character's head

Back

ode

Front

a long lyric poem, usually serious and elevated in tone; often written to praise someone or something

Back

allusion

Front

a reference to another work or famous figure assumed to be well known enough to be recognized by the reader

Back

foreshadowing

Front

the use of a hint or clue to suggest a larger event that occurs later in the work

Back

aphorism

Front

a short, often witty statement of a principle or a truth about life

Back

internal rhyme

Front

a rhyme occurring within a line of poetry, as in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven": Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Back

onomatopoeia

Front

the use of words that sound like what they mean, such as hiss and boom

Back

meter

Front

the repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in a line of poetry

Back

lyric

Front

a type of brief poem that expresses the personal emotions and thoughts of a single speaker (most common type of poetry)

Back

naturalism

Front

a literary movement that grew out of realism in France, the United States, and England in the nineteenth centuries; it portrays humans as having no free will, being driven by the natural forces of heredity, environment, and animalistic urges over which they have no control (Stephen Crane and Jack London)

Back

hubris

Front

the excessive pride or ambition that leads a tragic hero to disregard warnings of impending doom, eventually causing his or her downfall

Back

end rhyme

Front

a rhyme that comes at the end of lines of poetry; for example: Her voice, soft and lovely when she sings, Came to me last night in a dream. In my head her voice still rings, How pleasant last night must seem.

Back

dissonance

Front

the grating of sounds that are harsh or do not go together

Back

free verse

Front

poetry that is written without a regular meter, usually without rhyme

Back

ballad

Front

a long narrative poem that presents a single dramatic episode, which is often tragic or violent

Back

exposition

Front

the immediate revelation to the audience of the setting and other background information necessary for understanding the plot; also, explanation; one of the four modes of discourse

Back

anecdote

Front

a short, simple narrative of an incident

Back

epic

Front

a long narrative poem about a serious or profound subject in a dignified style; usually featuring heroic characters and deeds important in legends; two famous examples include the Iliad and the Odyssey, both written by the Greek poet Homer

Back

diction

Front

the author's choice of words that creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning

Back

imagery

Front

words or phrases that use a collection of images to appeal to one or more of the five senses in order to create a mental picture

Back

colloquialism

Front

a word used in everyday conversation and informal writing that is sometimes inappropriate in formal writing

Back

consonance

Front

the repetition of identical consonant sounds before and after different vowel sounds, as in boost/best; can also be seen within several compound words, such as fulfill and ping-pong

Back

inversion

Front

reversing the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase; used effectively in many cases such as posing a question: "Are you going to the store?" Often used ineffectively in poetry, making it seem artificial and stilted, "to the hounds she rode, with her flags behind her streaming"

Back

figurative language

Front

language that contains figures of speech such as similes and metaphors in order to create associations that are imaginative rather than literal

Back

assonance

Front

the repetition of vowel sounds between different consonants, such as in neigh and fade

Back

foil

Front

a character who, by contrast, highlights the characteristics of another character

Back

anachronism

Front

an event, object, person, or thing that is out of order in time; some of these are unintentional, such as when an actor performing Shakespeare forgets to take off his watch; others are deliberately used to achieve a humorous or satiric effect, such as the sustained anachronism of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Back

description

Front

the picturing in words of something or someone through detailed observation of color, motion, sound, taste, smell, and touch; one of the four modes of discourse

Back

metonymy

Front

a figure of speech that uses the name of an object, person, or idea to represent something with which it is associated, such as using "the crown" to refer to a monarch

Back

foot

Front

the combination of stressed and unstressed syllables that makes up the basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry

Back

irony

Front

a situation or statement in which the actual outcome or meaning is opposite to what was expected

Back

epigram

Front

a concise, witty saying in poetry or prose that either stands alone or is part of a larger work; may also refer to a short poem of this type

Back

narration

Front

the telling of a story in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama; one of the four modes of discourse

Back

discourse

Front

spoken or written language, including literary works; the four traditionally classified modes of this are description, exposition, narration, and persuasion

Back

euphony

Front

a succession of harmonious sounds used in poetry or prose; the opposite of cacophony

Back

mood

Front

the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage (not to be confused with tone)

Back

iamb

Front

one unstressed followed by one stressed syllable, as in dis-turb

Back

analogy

Front

a comparison of two similar but different things, usually to clarify an action or a relationship, such as comparing the work of a heart to that of a pump

Back

metaphor

Front

a figure of speech which one thing is referred to as another; for example, "my love is a fragile flower"

Back

accent

Front

the stress given a syllable in pronunciation

Back

gothic

Front

referring to a type of novel that emerged in the eighteenth century that uses mystery, suspense, and sensational and supernatural occurrences to evoke terror

Back

alliteration

Front

the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words that are close to one another; for example, "beautiful blossoms blooming between the bushes"

Back

objectivity

Front

an impersonal presentation of events and characters

Back

allegory

Front

an extended narrative in prose or verse in which characters, events, and settings represent abstract qualities and in which the writer intends a second meaning to read beneath the surface story; the underlying meaning may be moral, religious, political, social, or satiric

Back

blank verse

Front

poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter; a favorite form used by Shakespeare

Back

genre

Front

a type of literary work, such as a novel or poem; there are also subs such as science fiction novel and sonnet, without the larger ones

Back

cacophony

Front

harsh, awkward, or dissonant sounds used deliberately in poetry or prose; the opposite of euphony

Back

apostrophe

Front

the device of calling out to an imaginary, dead, or absent person or to a place, thing, or personified abstraction either to begin a poem or to make a dramatic break in thought somewhere within the poem (usually in poetry but sometimes in prose) Ex. "Oh, mountain!"

Back

hyperbole

Front

a deliberate exaggeration in order to create humor or emphasis

Back

Section 2

(50 cards)

romanticism

Front

a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement that began in the eighteenth century as a reaction against neoclassicism; the focal points of the movement are imagination, emotion, and freedom, stressing subjectivity, individuality, the love and worship of nature, and a fascination with the past

Back

couplet

Front

the simplest stanza, consisting of two rhymed lines

Back

cinquain

Front

five line stanza

Back

caesura

Front

a pause or break in a line of verse. Originally, in classical literature, this characteristically divided a foot between two works, usually near the middle of a line.

Back

synechdoche

Front

a figure of speech in which a part of something is used to represent a whole, such as using "boards" to mean "a stage" or "wheels" to mean "a car"

Back

villanelle

Front

a lyric poem consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain

Back

simile

Front

a figure of speech that uses like, as, or as if to make a direct comparison between two essentially different objects, actions, or qualities; for example, "the sky looked like an artist's canvas"

Back

tone

Front

the characteristic emotion or attitude of an author toward the characters, subject, and audience

Back

tercet

Front

three lines, usually having the same rhyme

Back

first person narrator

Front

a narrator, referred to as "I," who is a character in the story and relates the actions through his or her own perspective, also revealing his or her own thoughts

Back

stock character

Front

a standard character who may be stereotypes, such as the miser or the fool, or universally recognized, like the hard-boiled private eye in detective stories

Back

personification

Front

the attribution of human qualities to a nonhuman or inanimate object

Back

elision

Front

the omission of a letter or syllable as a means of contraction, generally to achieve a uniform metrical pattern, but sometimes to smooth the pronunciation; most such omissions are marked with an apostrophe. Alexander uses elision in "Sound and Sense": "Flies o'er th' unbending corn...."

Back

pastoral

Front

a poem about idealized rural life, or shepherds, or both; also called an idyll

Back

protagonist

Front

the main character of a literary work

Back

Petrarchan sonnet

Front

one of the most important types of sonnets, composed of an octave with an abba abba rhyme scheme, and ending in a sestet with a cde cde rhyme scheme; also called an Italian sonnet

Back

sestet

Front

six line stanza

Back

rhyme

Front

a similarity of accented sounds between two words, such as sad/mad

Back

persuasion

Front

one of the four modes of discourse; language intended to convince through appeals ot reason or emotion; also called argument

Back

parallelism

Front

the technique of arranging words, phrases, clauses, or larger structures by placing them side to side and making them similar in form

Back

realism

Front

a nineteenth-century literary movement in Europe and the United States that stressed accuracy in the portrayal of life, focusing on characters with whom middle-class readers could easily identify

Back

tragic flaw

Front

the one weakness that causes the downfall of the hero in a tragedy

Back

litotes

Front

a figure of speech in which a positive is stated by negating its opposite. Some examples of these: no small victory, not a bad idea, not unhappy. ________, which is a form of understatement, is the opposite of hyperbole

Back

stanza

Front

a group of lines in the formal pattern of a poem

Back

subjectivity

Front

a personal presentation of events and characters, influenced by the author's feelings and opinions

Back

oxymoron

Front

a figure of speech composed of contradictory words or phrases, such as "wise fool"

Back

theme

Front

the central idea or "message" of a literary work

Back

sarcasm

Front

harsh, caustic personal remarks to or about someone; less subtle than irony

Back

speaker

Front

the voice of a poem; an author may speak as himself or herself or as a fictitious character

Back

refrain

Front

a line or group of lines that is periodically repeated throughout a poem

Back

stereotype

Front

a character who represents a trait that is usually attributed to a particular social or racial group and lacks individuality

Back

existentialism

Front

a group of attitudes (current in philosophical, religious, and artistic thought during and after the Second World War) that emphasizes existence rather than essence and sees the inadequacy of human reason to explain the enigma of the universe as the basic philosophical question.

Back

attitude

Front

an author's, speaker's, character's opinion of or feelings toward a subject. Attitudes may shift either slightly or from on extreme to the other. Authors often create readers' attitudes by manipulating characters' attitudes.

Back

objective narrator

Front

a third person narrator who only reports what would be visible to a camera; thoughts and feelings are only revealed if a character speaks of them

Back

sonnet

Front

a fourteen-line lyric poem in iambic pentameter

Back

detail

Front

items or parts that form a larger picture or story. Authors choose or select details to create effects in their works or evoke responses from the reader.

Back

octave

Front

eight line stanza

Back

omniscient narrator

Front

a third person narrator, referred to as "he," "she," or "they," who is able to see into each character's mind and understands all the action

Back

terza rima

Front

a three-line stanza, supposedly devised by Dante with rhyme scheme aba bcb cdc ded and so forth. In other words one rhyme sound is used for the first and third lines of each stanza, and a new rhyme introduced for the second line, this new rhyme, in turn, being used for the first and third lines of the next stanza. The opening of Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" is written in this.

Back

symbolism

Front

the use of symbols, or anything that is meant to be taken both literally and as representative of a higher and more complex significance

Back

point of view

Front

the perspective from which a story is presented

Back

limited omniscient narrator

Front

a third person narrator who only reports the thoughts of one character, and generally only what that one character sees

Back

regionalism

Front

an element in literature that conveys a realistic portrayal of a specific geographic locale, using the locale and its influences as a major part of the plot

Back

syntax

Front

the structure of a sentence; the juxtaposition of words in a sentence. Discussion of syntax in a work could include discussion of the length or brevity of sentences, the kinds of sentences (declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative sentences, rhetorical questions; simple, complex, or compound sentences) and the impact on the reader of the author's choice of sentence structure.

Back

aubade

Front

a lyric about a dawn or a morning serenade, a song of lovers parting at dawn.

Back

quatrain

Front

four line stanza

Back

style

Front

an author's characteristic manner of expression

Back

stream of consciousness narrator

Front

like a first person narrator, but instead placing the reader inside the character's head, making the reader privy to the continuous, chaotic flow of disconnected, half-formed thoughts and impressions as they flow through the character's consciousness

Back

enjambment

Front

the continuation of a complete idea (a sentence or clause) from one line or couplet of a poem to the next line or couplet without a pause. This occurs in run-on lines and offers contrast to end-stopped lines.

Back

elegy

Front

a poem that laments the death of a person, or one that is simply sad and thoughtful.

Back

Section 3

(24 cards)

unreliable narrator

Front

a narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or otherwise distorted

Back

flat character

Front

rarely the central characters in a narrative. They stay the same throughout a story. (Opposite of dynamic characters)

Back

paradox

Front

a statement that at first strikes one as contradictory, but that on reflection reveals some deeper sense

Back

epistolary novel

Front

A novel in which the story is told by way of letters written by one or more of the characters.

Back

novella

Front

a prose narrative longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Ex. The Metamorphosis

Back

opposition

Front

A pair of elements that contrast sharply- not necessarily a conflict, but rather a pairing of images, whereby each becomes more striking and informative because it's paired in contrast to the other one.

Back

connotation

Front

an association or additional meaning that a word, image, or phrase may carry, apart from its literal denotation or dictionary definition.

Back

soliloquy

Front

in drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience

Back

flashback

Front

a scene relived in a character's memory

Back

carpe diem

Front

Latin for "seize the day." This phrase has been applied to characterize much lyric poetry concerned with human mortality and the passing of time.

Back

dynamic character

Front

A character who, during the course of the narrative, grows or changes in some significant way.

Back

antagonist

Front

the most significant character or force that opposes the protagonist in a narrative or drama. The antagonist may be another character, society, a force of nature, or even conflicting impulses within the protagonist

Back

dialect

Front

a particular variety of language spoken by an identifiable regional group or social class of persons. Usually used in literature in an attempt to present a character more realistically and to express significant differences in class or background.

Back

sestina

Front

A type of fixed form poetry consisting of thirty-six lines of any length divided into six sestets and a three-line concluding stanza called an envoy. The six words at the end of the first sestet's lines must also appear at the ends of the other five sestets, in varying order. These six words must also appear in the envoy, where they often resonate important themes.

Back

Shakespearean sonnet

Front

a sonnet consisting of three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg. Also called an English sonnet.

Back

epiphany

Front

a moment of insight, discovery, or revelation by which a character's life is greatly altered

Back

juxtaposition

Front

placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast

Back

eye rhyme

Front

Rhyme in which the spelling of the words appears alike, but the pronunciations differ, as in laughter/daughter and idea/flea.

Back

slant rhyme

Front

imperfect rhyme. Occurs when final sound of word at end of a line of poetry is the same as another, but preceding sound is different. Ex. wind/kind

Back

anaphora

Front

the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences,example: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right," (Lincoln's second inaugural address)

Back

conflict

Front

The central struggle between two or more forces in a story. This typically occurs when some person or thing prevents the protagonist from achieving his or her intended goal.

Back

deus ex machina

Front

"god from the machine" refers to the intervention of a supernatural being, such as a god, devil, or angel, to resolve a dramatic dilemma.

Back

motif

Front

an element that recurs throughout a narrative. A motif can be an image, idea, theme, situation, or action.

Back

denotation

Front

the actual dictionary definition of a word

Back