Literature Terms Vocabulary Practice (page 2)

Updated on Sep 8, 2011


The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this chapter. Each word is followed by five answer choices. Four of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.

  1. archetype
    1. standard
    2. statement
    3. example
    4. ideal
    5. model
  2. protagonist
    1. main character
    2. principal figure
    3. fastest player
    4. first actor
    5. leader of a cause
  3. perspective
    1. point of view
    2. prescription
    3. evaluation of significance
    4. outlook
    5. perceived interrelations
  4. prose
    1. depressing language
    2. ordinary writing
    3. nonmetrical writing
    4. commonplace expression
    5. ordinary speech
  5. pun
    1. ambiguous expression
    2. play on words
    3. similar sound
    4. rhetorical joke
    5. powerful understanding
  6. satire
    1. classical text
    2. ironic ridicule
    3. witty literature
    4. caricature
    5. lampoon
  7. trite
    1. commonplace
    2. habitual
    3. powerful
    4. overused
    5. banal
  8. aphorism
    1. saying
    2. adage
    3. statement of truth
    4. euphemism
    5. maxim
  9. deduce
    1. conclude
    2. compare
    3. infer
    4. reason
    5. suppose
  10. construe
    1. to go against
    2. interpret
    3. render
    4. explain the meaning of
    5. analyze the structure of


In the space provided, write a T if the sentence is true, and an F if the sentence is false. If the sentence is false, cross out the false word and write the correct word from the vocabulary list above it.

  1. _____In journalism class, we used the news article as an archetype of what quality journalism looks like.
  2. _____In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet is not only the title but also the satire of the story.
  3. _____Based on the given evidence and circumstances, I was able to construe my own hypothesis.
  4. _____Irony is when words imitate the sounds associated with the actions to which they refer.
  5. _____My perspective on the subject shifted when the author's prose helped me step into another point of view.
  6. _____Cinderella, a well-known pun, captivates many readers who dream of transformation.
  7. _____The film was a parody or soliloquy of the futuristic genre, as it poked fun at depictions of space travel and alien encounters.
  8. _____Her prose was seamless and descriptive as she narrated her travels abroad for a captive audience.
  9. _____Throughout the story, the lion was a personification of all things regal and really stood as a symbol of royalty.
  10. _____A word's epigram can reveal a great deal about the history of its usages.

Choosing the Right Word

Circle the word in bold that best completes the sentence.

  1. I thought she was such a good storyteller as she shared a number of humorous (anecdotes, archetypes) about her beloved grandmother.
  2. The valentine card included a short, witty (etymology, epigram) that I found quite clever.
  3. The character was a (personification, satire) of fear as she truly embodied the emotion.
  4. There was such (irony, onomatopoeia) in the way she unexpectedly ended up rejecting the job she had worked for all her career.
  5. Sometimes, two words that mean different things yet sound the same provide the opportunity for a (prose, pun).
  6. The (rhetoric, protagonist) in the persuasive essay was so strong it convinced me to change my position.
  7. As a reader, I tend to relate to a (soliloquy, protagonist) whose experiences reflect mine.
  8. Although the poet did have some unique talent, he employed many phrases that were overused and that I found (trite, ironic).
  9. What was so compelling about the actor's (soliloquy, satire) was how the audience came to understand the inner workings of his mind, even though he never addressed them directly.
  10. There's an old (soliloquy, aphorism) that says, "A watched pot never boils."


The next time you read a piece of literature, see if you can spot some of the concepts explained in this chapter.

Practice Activities

Rent a movie with a friend and try talking about the way the story unfolds: how the actors, screenplay writers, and directors give you, the viewer, your information. In your film (also a literary text) discussion, try to use, in context, a number of words from the vocabulary list

Recommend a book to a friend and in explaining why it is a worthwhile read, try using some of the literary terms you learned in the vocabulary list. Also, read the New York Times book review section. You'll see that those literary critics may talk about the quality of prose, an author's rhetorical gift or style, or the ironic plot twist the reader encounters.

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