Ap Lit (A5) literary terms (Big Binder test stuff)


Shifts language


literary expression characterized by particular attention to rhythm, sound, and the concentrated, concrete use of language.

Narrative poem

A narrative poem tells a story in verse.


A song like poem that tells a story


The hero of the poem embodies the values and aspirations of the poets culture.

Dramatic Poem

A dramatic poem makes use of the conventions of drama.

Dramatic dialogue

A poem in which two speakers converse with one another

Dramatic monologue

A poem or speech in which an imaginary character speaks to a listener (soliloquy - say what you are thinking aloud without caring about who hears you.

Lyric poem

A lyric poem is a melodic poem that expresses the observations and feelings of a single speaker-Lyric poems focuses on a single unified effect


An elegy is a reflective poem that laments (mourns) the loss of someone of something Ex. How did it get so late so soon?It's night before it's noon.December is here before it's June.My goodness how the time has flewn.How did it get so late so soon.


An ode is a long, formal lyric poem, usually meditative, that treats a noble or otherwise elevated subject in a dignified manner. They are meant to honor people, commemorate events, respond to nature, or consider an aspect of human condition

Sonnet "Little Song

A lyric poem that consist of 14 fourteen lines and that follows one of several traditional rhyme schemes. -Schemes may address a range of themes, but love is the most common.


-Grouping of lines in a poem -Grouping could be useful or Arbitrary (Random)

Poetic shift

Movement from one tone or idea to another tone or idea-not all poems has a shift but many do -normally the meaning of the poem is in the poetic shift.


Is when the physical end of a line of poetry does not coincide with the grammatical end of a line of poetry.-it can emphasize the last word of a line or the first word of the next line -it can also create irony(what's expected doesn't occur)-it can make one element operate in two ways - an enjambement could be meaningful or arbitrary-The opposite of a an enjambment is an end stopped line.


A spirit of the time- General, cultural, artistic, religious, and philosophic climate of an era.Ex. WW2 is a zeitgeist

Dialect Clash

lashing of two voices a thesis meets an antithesis then they create a synthesis which is a new thesis which is a coil and this is an example of history

Human condition

A state of being human AKA its the stuff that makes us humans like,moralsability to think abstractthinking about the past creating art questionsdeath

Theme (and what are the 4 types)

-A theme is made up of two things a topic and what the author says (preaches) -it's the central idea or dominating thought, which results from other elements contained in fiction may be complex but it summarizes the author's purpose in writing the narrative 1-human nature(what images of humans are presented?)2-nature of society(Does the author present a society as life enhancing or destroying in the society?)3-human freedom (fate and freedom)(Do the characters have control of their lives, do others dictate that characters life?)4-ethicsAre the right and wrong clearly defined or does it drift into ambiguity


An object, picture or word which signifies something other than it self- no deep significance other than to represent.


A symbol is an object, place, character or event that represents something more or something other than itself.


A reservoir of the experiences of our species from the collective unconscious that make archetype. imagesa themea symbola charactera plot or a setting could be an archetype.transcended time and culture as asymbol like a tree as knowledge like buddha and eve in the bible.


The hero ventures forth from the normal world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder


Fabulous challenges and forces are encountered, and a decisive victory is won


The Hero returns to everyday life at a higher spiritual level and with the gifts gained along the way.

Rhythm (scansion)

describing the rhythms of poetry by dividing the lines into feet, marking the locations of stressed and unstressed syllables, and counting the syllables

concrete poetry

the physical shape of the poem matches the meaning of the poem

Line groups

lines that work together because of a rhyme scheme

couplet, tercet, quatrain, sestet, octave

a sequence of lines with a rhyme scheme 2, 3, 4, 6, 8


the creation and development of a character, developed through descriptions, speeches, actions, thoughts , and direct statements

direct characterization

the author directly tells the reader about the character

indirect characterization

author shows rather than tells about the character through external descriptions, internal descriptions, thoughts, speech, and other characters opinions.

A round character(types of character)

a complex character, usually showing more than one side to their development in the course of the play

A flat character(types of characters)

A stereotypical character; their character is not very well developed no depth.

A static character (types of characters)

A character who does not change during the story.

A dynamic character (character types)

A character that changes because of the events in the story.


the main character in a literary work,-"Who strives to achieve their desires"-


The opposing force that prevents the protagonist from achieving their desires.

Foil character

A character who shares many of the same qualities as the main character but is different in a significant way.


standard writing- not poetry

character arc

The growth, development, or simply change in a character during the course of a script.

Irony And all 4 of them

A literary device in which there is incongruity or discordance between what is spoken, thought, or believed about reality-verbal irony-dramatic irony-situational irony -cosmic irony-structural irony


the turn" usually at the conclusion of a poem and it either punctuates the message or shifts the idea of the entire meaning of the entire poem.

metaphysical conceit

Unlikely or startling comparison Ex: naming the beautiful women in the poem the thief as a thief.

Unobtrusive Narrator

There is no commentary from the narrator; the narrator is objective and detached from the story-Acts like a camera only shows what is happening

Unreliable Narrator

A Narrator who seems trustworthy at first, but the reader starts questioning the validity of the story being told. -Useful in creating certain types of irony