AP LIterature Terms (Foreshadowing – Mixed Metaphor)

the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.

Free Verse
poetry that does not conform to regular meter or rhyme scheme.

a figure of speech that uses an incredible exaggeration or overstatement, for effect. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times…


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sentence marked by the use of connecting words between clauses or sentences, explicitly showing the logical or other relationships between them.

(Use of such syntactic subordination of just one clause to another is known as hypotaxis). I am tired because it is hot.

the use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, a thing, a place, or an experience.

the reversal of the normal word order in a sentence or phrase.

a discrepancy between appearances and reality.

Verbal Irony
occurs when someone says one thing but really means something else

Situational Irony
takes place when there is a discrepancy between when is expected to happen, or what would be appropriate to happen, and what really does happen

Dramatic Irony
is so called because it is often used on stage.

A character in the play or story thinks one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows better.

poetic and rhetorical device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed next to one another, creating an effect of surprise and wit.Ezra Pound: “The apparition of these faces in the crowd;/ Petals on a wet, black bough.”also a form of contrast by which writers call attention to dissimilar ideas or images or metaphorsMartin Luther King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

is a form of understatement in which the positive form is emphasized through the negation of a negative form

Local Color
a term applied to fiction or poetry which tends to place special emphasis on a particular setting, including its customs, clothing, dialect and landscape.

Loose Sentence
one in which the main clause comes first, followed by a further dependent grammatical units. See – Periodic sentence.Hawthorne: “Hester gazed after him a little while, looking with half-fantastic curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him, and show the wavering track of this footsteps, sere and brown, across its cheerful verdure.”

Lyric Poem
a poem that does not tell a story but expresses the personal feelings or thoughts of a speaker. A ballad tells a story.

a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of such specific words of comparison as like, as, than or resembles.

Implied Metaphor
does not state explicitly the two terms of the comparison: “I like to see it lap the miles” is an implied metaphor in which the verb lap implies a comparison between “it” and some animal that “laps” up water.

Extended Metaphor
is a metaphor that is extended or developed as far as the writer wants to take it.

(conceit if it is quite elaborate).

Dead Metaphor
is a metaphor that has been used so often that the comparison is no longer vivid: “The head of the house”, “the seat of the government”, “a knotty problem” are all dead metaphors.

Mixed Metaphor
is a metaphor that has gotten out of control and mixes its terms so that they are visually or imaginatively incompatible. “The President is a lame duck who is running out of gas.”