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CEFR C2 Vocabulary - Literature

Here you will learn all the essential words for talking about Literature, collected specifically for level C2 learners.

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CEFR C2 Vocabulary
synecdoche
[noun]
a figure of speech in which a part of something represents the whole or vice versa
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antagonist
[noun]
villainous character who strongly opposes another person or thing
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protagonist
[noun]
the main character in a movie, novel, TV show, etc.
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frame story
[noun]
a literary technique in which an introductory narrative serves as a frame for another story or a series of shorter stories
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conceit
[noun]
an elaborate image or a far-fetched metaphor, used in poetry
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hyperbole
[noun]
a technique used in speech and writing to exaggerate the extent of something
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epigraph
[noun]
a short quotation or phrase that is written at the beginning of a book or any chapter of it, suggesting the theme
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miscellanea
[noun]
a collection of various items, such as literary pieces, poems, letters, etc., gathered from different sources
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whodunit
[noun]
a story, play, movie, etc. about a mystery or murder that the audience cannot solve until the end
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codex
[noun]
an ancient book, written by hand, especially of scriptures, classics, etc.
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parable
[noun]
a brief symbolic story that is told to send a moral or religious message
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zeugma
[noun]
the use of a word with two senses each of which apply to a different word in a sentence, as a figure of speech
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allegory
[noun]
a story, poem, painting, etc. in which the characters and events are used as symbols to convey moral or political lessons
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allusion
[noun]
a statement that implies or indirectly mentions something or someone else, especially as a literary device
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abridgment
[noun]
a concise version of a lengthy play, novel, etc.
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foil
[noun]
a character in a story who contrasts with another character, typically the protagonist, in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character
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oxymoron
[noun]
a figure of speech that combines two contradictory or contrasting terms to create a unique expression
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foreshadowing
[noun]
the act of giving a clue of the future events to the audience in advance while narrating a story
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juxtaposition
[noun]
the act of placing two things side by side to produce a contrasting effect
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metafiction
[noun]
a literary genre that uses self-reflexive techniques to draw attention to its status as a work of fiction, blurring the lines between reality and fiction
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bildungsroman
[noun]
a novel that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of its main character from youth to adulthood
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elegy
[noun]
a song or poem expressing sadness, especially in the memory of a dead person or a bitter event in the past
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cacophony
[noun]
a literary device that uses a mixture of unpleasant, inharmonious, and harsh sounds to show disorder or chaos
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motif
[noun]
a subject, idea, or phrase that is repeatedly used in a literary work or musical composition
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simile
[noun]
a word or phrase that compares two things or people, highlighting the similarities, often introduced by 'like' or 'as'
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eclogue
[noun]
a form of poetry that originated in ancient Greek and Roman literature, typically consisting of a short, pastoral poem or dialogue between two shepherds
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royalty
[noun]
a payment made to the author or creator of a work for each copy of the work that is sold
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non sequitur
[noun]
a literary device in which the answer to a question is not logical, creating an absurd or comic effect
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canonical
[adjective]
(of an author or literary work) accepted as highly acclaimed authors or pieces of literature, which are collectively referred to as the literary canon
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epistolary
[adjective]
(literature) relating to a form of work that uses letters or written documents as the primary mode of communication among fictional characters
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