AP English VDB Literary terms: dissonance–parable

dissonance
the grating of incompatible sounds; a non-harmonious chord

doggerel
crude, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme

doppelganger
seemingly exact doubles who appear often as a forecast of death or disaster

dramatic monologue
single speaker in literature talks to silent audience

dystopia
opposite of utopia, society where social and technological advances have served to aid corruption

elegy
lyric poem on death or mortality

encomium
laudatory poem for a legendary or real person

enjambment
continuation of syntax over line break

enumeratio
listing parts, cause, or effect for added emphasis

epic
a long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style; often describes glorious or profound subject

epigram
short poem intended to impart wisdom

epigraph
quotation that is placed at the start of a work or section that expresses what will be said

epiphany
sudden realization or comprehension of the meaning of something

epistle
letter directed or sent to a group of people

epistrophe
repeat of same word(s) at the end of sentences or phrases

epitaph
lines that commemorate the dead at the burial place

epithalamium
poem that is written for the bride; celebration of a wedding

epithet
word which makes reader see the object described in a clearer or sharper light

epizeuxis
repetition of same word for emphasis

eponym
substituting the name of a famous person for a description

eulogy
formal expression of praise, usually given at funeral

euphemism
word that takes place of a more harsh or inappropriate word

euphony
sounds blending harmoniously

euphuism
elegant Victorian prose style filled with alliteration and similes, balanced sentence construction and allusions; highly elaborate and artificial style

exemplum
citing an example, tale with moral message

expletive
word interrupting syntax to give emphasis to words around it

eye of the poem
central focus of the poem

eye rhyme
words that look similar, but are pronounced differently

falling rhyme
feminine rhyme; ending with unaccented last syllable

farce
comedy of unlikely, but possible, situations; has improbable incongruities

feminine rhyme
falling rhyme; ending with unaccented last syllable

figurative image
representation of one thing by another

first person narrator
character in the story who tells the tale from his/her point of view

foil
secondary character whose purpose is the highlight the characteristics of a main character

foot
basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry formed by two or three syllables, stressed or not

foreshadowing
event or statement that suggests a larger event that comes later

free verse
poetry without regular rhyme or meter

genre
sub-category of literature; categorizes literature by types

gothic
genre that uses eerie themes and images

haiku
japanese poetry with 3 lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables

half rhyme
words that almost rhyme; slant rhyme

head rhyme
another word for alliteration

heptameter
poem of seven metrical feet

heroic couplet
rhyming couplet in iambic pentameter

hexameter
poetic form of six metrical feet

dramatic poem
poem that has a conflict

homonyms
words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings

hubris
excessive pride/ambition which leads to character’s downfall

hyperbaton
departure from normal word order; form of inversion

hyperbole
exaggeration or deliberate overstatement

hypophora
raising a question and then proceeding to answer it

iambic
metrical foot with an unstressed first syllable and a stressed second syllable

in media res
piece of writing that begins in the middle of the action

interior monologue
recording of mental talk in character’s head

internal rhyme
rhyme that occurs within a line or passage, whether randomly or in some kind of pattern

invective
speech/writing that abuses, denounces, or attacks

inversion
switching customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase

irony
events turn out exactly the opposite of how they might be expected; saying opposite of what is meant

lament
poem of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or some intense loss

lampoon
satire

linked rhyme
first syllable of a line echoes the last syllable of the previous line

literal image
concrete replication in words of an object or experience

litotes
type of understatement achieved by denying the opposite

loose sentence
a sentence complete before its end

lyric
poetry that explores poet’s personal interpretation of and feelings about the world

madrigal
short lyric on love or pastoral themes, sometimes put to music

masculine rhyme
rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable

melodrama
cheesy theater; often emphasizes plot and action over character development

metabasis
brief summary of what has been said and what will follow

metanoia
modifies statement by recalling it and expressing it in a better way

metaphor
comparison or analogy that states one thing IS another

meter
rhythmic pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up feet

metonymy
single characteristic used to describe something outside itself

mixed metaphor
combination of incompatible comparison; trying to compare objects too dissimilar to carry off a comparison

mood
prevailing atmosphere created by language, tone, setting

narrative
a story poem

nemesis
principle of retributive justice; agent or deliverer of such justice, who exacts vengeance and metes out rewards

neologism
coinage; forming a new word, usually spontaneous; may be a slang word that has yet to find its way into mainstream

novel of manners
novel describing social habits/customs of a social group

octave
eight line stanza

ode
long poem on a serious subject that develops its theme with dignified language, intended to be sung

omniscient narrator
third-person narrator who sees into character’s heads

onomatopoeia
words that sound like what they mean

opposition
pair of elements that contrast sharply

oxymoron
phrase composed of opposites; a contradiction

palinode
poem retracting a regretted derogatory statement

parable
story told in prose or verse that illustrates a religious or ethical idea