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Absurd, the (literature, theater of) – 20th century works that depict the absurdity of the modern human condition. Depict the individual as isolated and alone, without religious, philosophical, or cultural roots. Tied to existentialism: - Post modern idea, taking into account the events of the 21st century - Man becomes the center of the universe, assigning of value to the individual - Describes a sense of being adrift in the world, rootless, lack of connectivity 3. Accent – in poetry, the stress placed on a syllable of a word. Used to provide emphasis, to create rhythmic patterns, or to create regionalism - Three kinds: word accent (entire word stressed), rhetorical accent (used to create patterns), metrical accent (used for poetry) 4. Act: major division Scene: subdivision Line: basic unit of prose/ verse 5. Allegory – the presentation of an abstract idea through more concrete means. The author expects the reader to recognize the existence of a second—a deeper—level of meaning. A kind of extended metaphor 6. Alliteration – the repetition of sounds in a sequence of words 7. Allusion – an indirect reference to a person, place, thing, event, book, the arts, or history 8. Anachronism – something that is not placed in its correct historical time period. The author places an event, thing, or person in a time when it could not have existed 9. Anagnorisis – used in the Poetics to refer to the moment in a drama when the protagonist “discovers” something that leads to or explains a reversal of fortune 10.Anapest – a metrical foot of poetry consisting of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable 11.Antistrophe – the second stanza of a classical Greek Ode - Strophe – first stanza (chorus dances) - Antistrophe - second stanza (chorus dances in opposite direction) - Epode – third stanza (chorus stands still) 12.Aphorism – a concise, pointed statement that purports to reveal a truth or principle. Aphorisms can be attributed to a specific person, once authorship is lost, the term to describe this is proverb 13.Maxim – a statement giving behavioral advice 14.Apostrophe – a figure of speech in which the speaker directly addresses a person who is dead or otherwise not physically present, an imaginary person or entity, something inhuman, or a place or concept, or abstract idea
15.Archetype – the original model from which something is developed or made. In literature, character types 16.Ballad – a poem that recounts a story, composed to be sung - Simple stanzas - Refrains - Incremental repetition - Dialogue used to create character - Employs ballad stanza: a four-line stanza characterized by abab rhyme scheme 17.Beast fable – a story in which the principal characters are animals 18.Blank verse – unrhymed iambic pentameter. Replicates the natural patterns of English speech 19.Burlesque – a type of comedy that employs distortion and exaggeration to evoke ridicule. Usually trivializes some lofty subject through the glorification of a related lowly or commonplace one. An instrument of satire 20.Caesura – a pause in a line of poetry. Produced by a natural speaking rhythm rather than meter 21.Scansion – the analysis of poetic meter 22.Classicism – a general term that calls to mind certain characteristics as praised in critical writings from the Greeks and Romans. Classicism refers to the values, beliefs, and attitudes reflected in classic writings such as poems, plays, and orations 23.Cliché – a hackneyed expression that has lost its impact 24.Climax – highpoint of the action 25.Comic relief – a humorous scene or passage inserted into an otherwise serious work intended to provide an emotional outlet and change of pace for the audience as well as to create a contrast that emphasizes the seriousness of the work. Can occur in situations or characters 26.Connotation – the associations evoked by a word that go beyond its literal meaning 27.Dactyl – a metrical foot in poetry consisting of an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables 28.Dirge – a song or poem sung at a funeral, written to lament or commemorate someone’s death. Dirge and elegy are sometimes used interchangeably, but an elegy is a lament on the general subject of death. Elegies are almost always spoken, not sung 29.Dissonance – harsh, discordant sounds in any kind of writing. Cacophony is a related term. Used to create a specific effect—discord, agitation, unrest, disquiet, alarm, etc. 30.Double rhyme – words of two syllables in which identical unstressed syllables follow rhyming stressed syllables, called feminine rhyme 31.Masculine rhyme – rhymes involving stressed single syllable words 32.Hexameter – six metrical feet 33.Haiku – Japanese verse form, three unrhymed lines, 17 syllables
34.Hymn – song of praise, usually in verse. Usually written in stanzas and rhymed 35.Idyll – a narrative work (usually in verse) that depicts and exalts pastoral virtues and scenes. Implied comparison between the joys of the simple rural life and the bustle and corruption of the city 36.In medias res – latin for “in the middle of things.” The literary technique of beginning a narrative in the middle of the action. Primarily associated with epics. Used to hook the reader by beginning at an exciting point in the story. Prior events told through flashback or exposition 37.Invocation – a direct and explicit request for help in writing (usually in verse) to a divine entity - Calliope : muse of music - Clio: muse of history - Urania: muse of astronomy - Thalia: comedy - Euterpe: lyric poetry - Melpomene: tragedy - Terpsichore: choral songs / dances - Erato: love poetry - Polyhynia: sacred poetry 38.Italian sonnet – 14 lines, 1 octave, abba abba, 1 sestet cde cde or cdcdcd. Originated in 14th century Italy. Uses iambic pentameter 39.Shakespearean sonnet – 3 quatrains abab cdcd ef ef or gg 40.Lexicon – dictionary, the vocabulary of a particular subject 41.Light verse – satiric, witty, playful verse written to amuse. Distinguished by tone rather than subject matter 42.Local color – the depiction of distinctive characteristics of a particular region —a dialect, dress, mannerisms, culture, etc. helps the reader envision and understand a moral dilemma faced by characters. 43.Loose sentence – uses a series of clauses---meaning clear from 1st clause. Uses conjunctions and a combination of dependent and independent clauses 44.Periodic sentence – not syntactically complete until the final punctuation 45.Malapropism - the erroneous substitution for the correct word of a similar sound but very different in meaning 46.Medieval – collapse of the Roman Empire – the Turkish invasion of Constantinople in 1453 which caused the migration of Greek scholars to western Europe - Chivalric ideals, courtly love, primacy of the church, stable moral/ civic order, the crusades / inquisition, limits on the power of the king 47.Melodrama – originally only drama accompanied by music. In Victorian theater, came to mean a play which emphasized conflict between pure good and pure evil. The goal—to elicit an emotional response from the audience - Improbable situations, malevolent intrigue, despicable villains, moral indignation
48.Metaphysical poetry – poetry that deals with philosophical or spiritual matters. Generally limited to works by 17th century poets such as John Donne, whose poems tend to examine the relationship of man and God. - Take the form of an argument, links wit to powerful emotion, intellectual tone, analytical structure, irregular rhyming pattern 49.Metonymy – one thing is represented by another thing that is commonly associated with it 50.Synecdoche – a part representing the whole 51.Monologue – an extended narrative –written or oral—delivered uninterrupted and exclusively by one person. Other may be present / hear 52.Interior monologue – type of monologue where the inner thoughts and workings of a character’s mind are revealed 53.Soliloquy – a single character alone on stage who reveals his inner thoughts out loud 54.Monometer – a line of verse consisting of one metrical foot 55.Morality play – a medieval drama, usually allegory, that makes a moral point, whether it be religious or didactic, the protagonist represents humanity. Other characters represent angels and demons and personified abstractions struggling for the protagonist’s soul 56.Nom de plume – penname 57.Novella – fictional prose narrative of 50-100 pages—longer than a short story, shorter than a novel, but with the same literary elements. In a novella, there are a limited number of characters and a single plot line 58.Octameter – 8 metrical feet per line 59.Octave – 8 lines of verse, especially the first 8 lines of an Italian sonnet 60.Old English Period – in literature, first half of 5th century with the migration to Britain of the four primary Germanic tribes – the Norman conquest (1066) 61.Omniscient point of view – 3rd person all-knowing narrator, author is able to reveal external details and inner thoughts and emotions of all characters Limited omniscient: some information is withheld Objective: no thoughts 62.Ottava rima – Italian verse form, 8 lines of iambic pentameter 63.Palimpsest – a piece of parchment or other manuscript writing material that has been scraped clean so it can be used again. Metaphorically, it refers to multiple or layered meanings of words 64.Parable – a short, realistic, and illustrative story intended to teach a moral or religious lesson—a type of allegory - Fable: a short fictional prose or verse tale with a specific moral. Frequently employs animals that speak - Exemplum – a short story that is told to validate a general moral point 65.Parallelism – used to accentuate or emphasize ideas or themes. Parallel elements may be words, phrases, imagery, characters, situations, events, etc.
66.Parody – an imitation of an established literary style or specific work, a form of satire. Usually meant to poke fun at the author or style rather than the subject matter of the work. 67.Pastoral – an adjective that can be applied to any work with a rural setting that can be applied to any work with a rural setting and that generally praises a rustic way of life. As a noun, it names a literary style that tells the stories of shepherds and country living 68.Pathetic fallacy – the attribution of human emotions to inanimate nature. According to John Ruskin, a serious artistic flaw. 69.Perfect rhyme – rhyme in which the final accented vowels and all subsequent sounds are identical 70.Picaresque novel – a novel that realistically recounts the adventures of a carefree but engaging rascal who always manages to escape by the skin of his teeth - Episodic structure, constant presence of the central character, first person point of view, realistic details 71.Poetic diction – the choice and phrasing of words deemed suitable for verse 72.Poetic justice – the idea that virtue is rewarded and vice punished. The world is just 73.Poetic license – linguistic liberties taken by poets, deviations from normal speech patterns, unusual syntax, unusual word choices, etc. 74.Pun – a play on words that capitalizes on a similarity of spelling and/ or pronunciation between words, or use of a word with multiple meanings. Purpose is usually comic 75.Realism – an accurate depiction of the everyday life of a character in a work of fiction. Accurate portrayal of dress, scenic elements, dialect, behavior, etc. 76.Surrealism – an expression of the irrational, the unconscious, the dreamstate, the imagination, a wish to transcend a word shaped by rationality 77.Renaissance Period – in English literature: 1500 – 1660 78.Revenge tragedy – a type of popular play in Elizabethan England, modeled after the Roman playwright Seneca. Generally deals with a son’s quest to avenge the death of his father. - Ghost inspires son to act, son hesitates, other delays to action, deception, scenes of horror 79.Rhetoric – the art of persuasion through speaking or writing, of the seven medieval subjects of study 80.Rhyme royal – introduced by Chaucer. Iambic pentameter, ababbcc rhyme scheme 81.Roman a clef – a work of fiction that represents real people as fictional characters. Usually the true identity of the characters is apparent, at least to most contemporary readers 82.Romanticism – emphasis on the subjective, innovation, imagination, and the individual.
Romantic period: end of 18th century through much of the 19th. A reaction against neoclassism, values emotion over logic, colloquial over formal language, individual style over formal limitation of the classics 83.Satire – a genre that includes the use of irony and wit, designed to expose humanity’s vices and faibles, to create change or reform through ridicule. Differs from comedy, which seeks to entertain or amuse. 84.Scansion – to scan, the analysis of poetic meter, the more or less regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem. To scan a line of poetry is to determine a poem’s predominant metrical pattern and discover deviations from that pattern 85.Sentimentalism – refers to works that play excessively and unconvincingly on the reader’s emotions, especially pity and sympathy. Usually used pejoratively. Emphasis on feelings rather than logic 86.Sestet – any 6-line stanza or poem. Usually describes the final 6 lines of an Italian sonnet 87.Sestina – a poem made up of 6 sestets and an envoy (3-line stanza) 88.Stock character – a type of character who regularly appears in certain literary forms. Based on stereotypes—the reader ascribes certain characteristics to the character by virtue of convention, often flat types or caricatures 89.Seven cardinal virtues – charity, faith, hope, fortitude, justice, prudence, temperance 90.Seven deadly sins – pride, anger, envy, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth 91.Tercet – 3 lines of verse, also called a triplet 92.Terza rima – verse composed in tercets. Rhyme is interlocking: aba bcb cdc ded 93.Tone – the attitude of the author toward the reader of the subject matter 94.Voice – the authorial presence in a work lying behind the various elements of the text. Tone is distinguished from atmosphere – the general feeling created by a work 95.Triplet – a tercet in which all three lines rhyme 96.Trochee – a metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable 97.Unreliable narrator – a narrator who for some reason does not or cannot comprehend the outside world and whose conclusions and judgments the reader mistrusts 98.Versification – the art of composing verse, the form of verse used in a particular poem 99.Villanelle – French verse form, 19 lines, 5 tercets and a quatrain aba aba aba aba aba abaa - Line 1 repeats as last line of tercets 2 and 4 - Line 3 repeats as last line of tercets 3 and 5