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Seve Barrameda E5PH-06

Zarinsky 9/11/09

English Literary Terms

action: psychological, emotion and physical happenings in a story

allusion: a reference to a person place or event

analogy: comparison of ideas and objects with one thing in common

antagonist: the force or opponent that opposes the protagonist

anticlimax: disappointing ending

aside: a remark made by one character but only heard by the audience

atmosphere: the overall feeling given by mood and setting

characterization: development of a character by what he or she says and what others say about him/her

climax: highpoint or turning point of the action

coincidence: the chance of occurrence of two events at the same time

conflict: a struggle between opposing forces, ideas or beliefs.

-inner: struggle between heart and mind of protagonist

-outer: struggle between protagonist and outer force

contrast: bringing images, ideas or characters to show difference

denouement: (AKA falling action or resolution) unraveling of plot in which writer explains how and why

things turned out as it did

dialect: speech of a region class or group of people

dialogue: printed conversation

didactic: designed to teach

dynamic character: one who changes during a story

episode: event or set of events that make up the plot

exposition: background information

falling action: denouement

flashback: when the writer interrupts the main action to show something that came before.

foil: a character that is contrasted to another

foreshadowing: giving hints and clues to show what will come later

idiom: language of region or group of people

image/imagery: mental pictures in the reader’s mind

incident: minor event

irony: unexpected outcome

locale: place

metaphor: comparison of two unlike things without using like or as

monologue: a long speech by one character

mood: state of mind created by writer

moral: lesson

motivation: the cause or reason the character acts the way he/she does

parody: humorous imitation

personification: giving human qualities to a non-human thing

plot: series of related events that make up the action

protagonist: main character who faces a problem and in trying to solve it becomes part of a conflict with

the antagonist

realism: showing situations and events as they really are

resolution: falling action or denouement

rising action: series of events before climax in which main conflict is developed

romanticism: showing people situations or events as the other imagines them to be

satire: making fun of individuals or institutions

scene: short episode in which time or place change

setting: time and place

simile: comparison of two things using like or as

soliloquy: long speech in which a character is thinking out loud

stage direction: words in italics which tell actors what to do

static character: one that does not change

stereotype: the character that acts as people expect to act

style: choice of words of a writer

suspense: a feeling of excitement of what is to come

symbol: object that stands for something

theme: main idea or message

tone: author’s attitude of his or her subject

tragedy: when the protagonist has a moral struggle and is defeated because of a flaw in his or her


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