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English Vocab Words

English Vocab Words

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Published by irregularflowers
A list of important literary, theatrical, and poetic terms for the AP English 4 test
A list of important literary, theatrical, and poetic terms for the AP English 4 test

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Published by: irregularflowers on Jul 16, 2010
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English Vocab Words1.Didactic – aims to teach the reader some lesson2.Absurd, the (literature, theater of) – 20
th
century works that depict theabsurdity of the modern human condition. Depict the individual as isolatedand alone, without religious, philosophical, or cultural roots. Tied toexistentialism:-Post modern idea, taking into account the events of the 21
st
century-Man becomes the center of the universe, assigning of value to theindividual-Describes a sense of being adrift in the world, rootless, lack oconnectivity3.Accent – in poetry, the stress placed on a syllable of a word. Used to provideemphasis, to create rhythmic patterns, or to create regionalism-Three kinds: word accent (entire word stressed), rhetorical accent (used tocreate patterns), metrical accent (used for poetry)4.Act: major divisionScene: subdivisionLine: basic unit of prose/ verse5.Allegory – the presentation of an abstract idea through more concrete means. The author expects the reader to recognize the existence of a second—adeeper—level of meaning. A kind of extended metaphor6.Alliteration – the repetition of sounds in a sequence of words7.Allusion – an indirect reference to a person, place, thing, event, book, thearts, or history8.Anachronism – something that is not placed in its correct historical timeperiod. The author places an event, thing, or person in a time when it couldnot have existed9.Anagnorisis – used in the Poetics to refer to the moment in a drama when theprotagonist “discovers” something that leads to or explains a reversal of fortune10.Anapest – a metrical foot of poetry consisting of two unstressed syllablesfollowed by one stressed syllable11.Antistrophe – the second stanza of a classical Greek Ode-Strophe – first stanza (chorus dances)-Antistrophe - second stanza (chorus dances in opposite direction)-Epode – third stanza (chorus stands still)12.Aphorism – a concise, pointed statement that purports to reveal a truth orprinciple. Aphorisms can be attributed to a specific person, once authorship islost, the term to describe this is proverb13.Maxim – a statement giving behavioral advice14.Apostrophe – a figure of speech in which the speaker directly addresses aperson who is dead or otherwise not physically present, an imaginary personor entity, something inhuman, or a place or concept, or abstract idea
 
15.Archetype – the original model from which something is developed or made.In literature, character types16.Ballad – a poem that recounts a story, composed to be sung-Simple stanzas-Refrains-Incremental repetition-Dialogue used to create character-Employs ballad stanza: a four-line stanza characterized by abab rhymescheme17.Beast fable – a story in which the principal characters are animals18.Blank verse – unrhymed iambic pentameter. Replicates the natural patternsof English speech19.Burlesque – a type of comedy that employs distortion and exaggeration toevoke ridicule. Usually trivializes some lofty subject through the glorificationof a related lowly or commonplace one. An instrument of satire20.Caesura – a pause in a line of poetry. Produced by a natural speaking rhythmrather than meter21.Scansion – the analysis of poetic meter22.Classicism – a general term that calls to mind certain characteristics aspraised in critical writings from the Greeks and Romans. Classicism refers tothe values, beliefs, and attitudes reflected in classic writings such as poems,plays, and orations23.Cliché – a hackneyed expression that has lost its impact24.Climax – highpoint of the action25.Comic relief – a humorous scene or passage inserted into an otherwiseserious work intended to provide an emotional outlet and change of pace forthe audience as well as to create a contrast that emphasizes the seriousnessof the work. Can occur in situations or characters26.Connotation – the associations evoked by a word that go beyond its literalmeaning27.Dactyl – a metrical foot in poetry consisting of an accented syllable followedby two unaccented syllables28.Dirge – a song or poem sung at a funeral, written to lament or commemoratesomeone’s death. Dirge and elegy are sometimes used interchangeably, butan elegy is a lament on the general subject of death. Elegies are almostalways spoken, not sung29.Dissonance – harsh, discordant sounds in any kind of writing. Cacophony is arelated term. Used to create a specific effect—discord, agitation, unrest,disquiet, alarm, etc.30.Double rhyme – words of two syllables in which identical unstressed syllablesfollow rhyming stressed syllables, called feminine rhyme31.Masculine rhyme – rhymes involving stressed single syllable words32.Hexameter – six metrical feet33.Haiku – Japanese verse form, three unrhymed lines, 17 syllables
 
34.Hymn – song of praise, usually in verse. Usually written in stanzas andrhymed35.Idyll – a narrative work (usually in verse) that depicts and exalts pastoralvirtues and scenes. Implied comparison between the joys of the simple rurallife and the bustle and corruption of the city36.In medias res – latin for “in the middle of things.” The literary technique of beginning a narrative in the middle of the action. Primarily associated withepics. Used to hook the reader by beginning at an exciting point in the story.Prior events told through flashback or exposition37.Invocation – a direct and explicit request for help in writing (usually in verse)to a divine entity-Calliope : muse of music-Clio: muse of history-Urania: muse of astronomy-Thalia: comedy-Euterpe: lyric poetry-Melpomene: tragedy-Terpsichore: choral songs / dances-Erato: love poetry-Polyhynia: sacred poetry38.Italian sonnet – 14 lines, 1 octave, abba abba, 1 sestet cde cde or cdcdcd.Originated in 14
th
century Italy. Uses iambic pentameter39.Shakespearean sonnet – 3 quatrains abab cdcd ef ef or gg40.Lexicon – dictionary, the vocabulary of a particular subject41.Light verse – satiric, witty, playful verse written to amuse. Distinguished bytone rather than subject matter42.Local color – the depiction of distinctive characteristics of a particular region—a dialect, dress, mannerisms, culture, etc. helps the reader envision andunderstand a moral dilemma faced by characters.43.Loose sentence – uses a series of clauses---meaning clear from 1
st
clause.Uses conjunctions and a combination of dependent and independent clauses44.Periodic sentence – not syntactically complete until the final punctuation45.Malapropism - the erroneous substitution for the correct word of a similarsound but very different in meaning46.Medieval – collapse of the Roman Empire – the Turkish invasion of Constantinople in 1453 which caused the migration of Greek scholars towestern Europe-Chivalric ideals, courtly love, primacy of the church, stable moral/ civicorder, the crusades / inquisition, limits on the power of the king47.Melodrama – originally only drama accompanied by music. In Victoriantheater, came to mean a play which emphasized conflict between pure goodand pure evil. The goal—to elicit an emotional response from the audience-Improbable situations, malevolent intrigue, despicable villains, moralindignation

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