A Level English literature terminology

The terms used here are taken from the AS and A Level English Literature Literary terms: A Guide for Students by Pearson. You may not need all of them but some of them may be very useful. I will also add a few that may not have been mentioned. 

  • Created by: Abigail
  • Created on: 18-09-18 13:36

Allegory

Is a name for an extended metaphor, creating a constant, close comparison. 

e.g. comparing Britain to a hive of bees with the queen, workers and soldiers. 

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Burlesque

Satire that uses caricature (causing laughter by imitating someones work) 

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Colloquial

informal language of conversation

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Denouement

the culmination or result of an action, plan or plot. 

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Diatribe

An impassioned rant or angry speech of denunciation 

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Empiricism

Philosophical empiricism means basing knowledge on direct, sensory perceptions of the world.

Empirical means seeking out facts established by experience and not theory.

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Foreground

To emphasise or make prominent 

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Adynaton

hyperbole that seems impossible 

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Ludic

A text that plays games with a readers expectations 

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Meta

makes it obvious that the story is fiction.

Could be where the character suddenly addresses the audience, breaking the 4th wall

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Modernism

The name given to experiments carried out in poetry, prose and art from around 1920-1939 

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Parody

The reducing of another text to ridicule by hostile imitation 

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Symbol

More independent than a metaphor and less specific than an allegory. 

Symbols are often elusive in their exact meanings. 

For example, in Dracula blood is used as a symbol 

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Transgressive

Challenges ideas of society. 

Crosses boundaries of culture or taste, usually with a subversive intention. 

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Trope

Any of the devices where art language differentiates itself from functional language

metaphors, similies, rhyme etc 

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Valorise

To invest with value 

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Effusion

Spontaneous expression 

Valued by romantic poets 

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Epithalamium

A poem celebrating a wedding 

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Ode

Often glorifying something

It is a lyric address, originally sung to music. 

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Pastoral

An idealised depiction of rural life 

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Refrain

The repeating of a single line in a poem, often at the last stanza. 

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Repetend

A reoccuring word or phrase in a poem that may not necessarily be a refrain 

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Absurdist theatre

A genre of plays which have apparently impossible or ridiculous events that make a statement about the strangeness of life. 

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Agit-prop

A piece of drama with a political point 

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Shakespearean drama

Ignores rules of classical drama. A piece of drama from the Elizabethan and Jacobean period 

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Harmartia

A fatal flaw of the protagonist that could be a cause for the tragedy 

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Alienation effect (Verfremdungseffekt)

use of devices that disrupt the illusion of realitic theatre 

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Soliloquy

Solo speech by a character, usually when he or she is alone 

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Epistolary

A novel written in the form of an exchange of letters. 

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Euphony

a bunch of words used in the same line or paragragh to give off a lovely sound or feeling. 

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Zoomorphism

describing a person as if they were an animal 

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Anthropomorphism

Describing an animal as if they were human 

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Parrhesia

A blunt statement 

boldness, frankness and/or freedom of speech 

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