AP Literary and Rhetorical Terms
2. alliteration- Used for poetic effect, a repetition of the initial sounds of several words in a group. The following line from Robert Frost's poem "Acquainted with the Night provides us with an example of alliteration,": I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet." The repetition of the s sound creates a sense of quiet, reinforcing the meaning of the line 3. allegory – Where every aspect of a story is representative, usually symbolic, of something else, usually a larger abstract concept or important historical/geopolitical event. Lord of the Flies provides a compelling allegory of human nature, illustrating the three sides of the psyche through its sharply-defined main characters. A form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning 4. allusion- A reference in one literary work to a character or theme found in another literary work. T. S. Eliot, in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" alludes (refers) to the biblical figure John the Baptist in the line Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, . . . In the New Testament, John the Baptist's head was presented to King Herod on a platter 5. ambiguity-A statement which can contain two or more meanings. For example, when the oracle at Delphi told Croesus that if he waged war on Cyrus he would destroy a great empire, Croesus thought the oracle meant his enemy's empire. In fact, the empire Croesus destroyed by going to war was his own 6. analogy- A comparison of two different things that are alike in some way (see metaphor and simile). Analogy is the comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship. The key is to ascertain the relationship between the first so you can choose the correct second pair. Part to whole, opposites, results of are types of relationships you should find. Example:
hot is to cold as fire is to ice OR hot:cold::fire:ice
7. antecedent- Grammar. a word, phrase, or clause, usually a substantive, that is replaced by a pronoun or other substitute later, or occasionally earlier, in the same or in another, usually subsequent, sentence. In Jane lost a glove and she can't find it, Jane is the antecedent of she and glove is the antecedent of it. Logic. the conditional element in a proposition, as “Caesar conquered Gaul,” in “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general.” 8. Anthropomorphism: Where animals or inanimate objects are portrayed in a story as people, such as by walking, talking, or being given arms, legs, facial features, human locomotion or other anthropoid form. (This technique is often incorrectly called personification.)The King and Queen of Hearts and their playing-card courtiers comprise only one example of Carroll’s extensive use of anthropomorphism in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 9. Aphorism-A brief statement which expresses an observation on life, usually intended as a wise observation. Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" contains numerous examples, one of which is Drive thy business; let it not drive thee.A brief saying embodying a moral, a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words. Example: Hippocrates: Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experimenting dangerous, reasoning difficult. Pope: Some praise at morning what they blame at night. Emerson: Imitation is suicide
Franklin: Lost Time is never Found again.
10. Apostrophe- A figure of speech wherein the speaker speaks directly to something nonhuman. In these lines from John Donne's poem "The Sun...