English AP Literary Terms II


Placing in immediately succeeding order of two or more coordinate elements, the latter of which is an explanation, qualification, or modification of the first (often set off by a colon).


The repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonsnt sounds especially in words that are together.


Commas used without conjunctionto separate a series of words, thus emphasizing the parts equally.


Constructing a sentence so that both halves are about the same length and importance. Sentences can be unbalanced to serve a special effect as well.


The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.

Indirect Characterization

The author reveals to the reader what the character is like by describing how the character looks and dresses, by letting the reader hear what the character says, by revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, by revealing the characters effe

Direct Characterization

The author tells us directly what the character is like. Romantic style literature relied more heavily on this form.

Static/Flat Character

One who does not change much in the course of a story.
Has only one or two personality traits. They are one dimensional, like a piece of cardboard. They can be summed up in one phrase. (Stereotype)

Dynamic/Round Character

One who changes in some important way as a result of the story's action.
Has more dimensions to their personalities - they are complex, just as real people are.


In poetry, a type of rhetorical balance in which the second part is syntactically balance against the firs, but with the parts reversed. In prose, this is called antimetabole.


A word or phrase, often a figure of speech, that has become lifeless because of overuse.


A word or phrase in everyday use in ocnversation and informal writing but is inappropriate for formal situations.


In general, a story that ends with a happy resolution of the conflicts faced by the main character or characters.


An elaborate metaphor that compares two things that are startlingly different. Often an extended metaphor.

Confessional Poetry

A twentieth century term used to describe poetry that uses intimate material from the poet's life.


The struggle between opposing forces or characters in a story.

External Conflict

Conflicts can exist between two people, between a person and nature or a machine or between a person and a whole society.

Internal Conflict

Conflict can be internal, involving opposing forces within a person's mind.