RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms

Types of Poems and Poetic Form
Ballad: simple, narrative verse which tells a story to be sung or recited; the folk ballad is anonymously handed down, while the literary ballad has a single author. John Keats, ³La Belle Dame sans Merci´ Edward Arlington Robinson, ³Richard Cory´ William Butler Yeats, ³The Fiddler of Dooney´ Blank Verse: unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter. Robert Frost, ³Birches´ John Milton, ³Paradise Lost´ Theodore Roethke, ³I Knew a Woman´ William Shakespeare, Macbeth Robert Frost, ³Mending Wall´ Dramatic Monologue: a lyric poem in which the speaker tells an audience about a dramatic moment in his/her life and, in doing so, reveals his/her character. Robert Browning, ³My Last Duchess´ T. S. Eliot, ³The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock´ Elegy: a poem of lament, meditating on the death of an individual. W. H. Auden, ³In Memory of W. B. Yeats´ John Milton, ³Lycidas´ Theodore Roethke, ³Elegy for Jane´ Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ³In Memoriam.A. H. H.´ Epic: a long, dignified narrative poem which gives the account of a hero important to his nation or race. Lord Byron, ³Don Juan´ John Milton, ³Paradise Lost´ Homer, ³The Iliad,´ ³The Odyssey´ Free Verse: unrhymed lines without regular rhythm. Walt Whitman, ³The Last Invocation´ William Carlos Williams, ³Rain,´ ³The Dance´ Richard Wilbur, ³Juggler´ Haiku: Japanese verse in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, often depicting a delicate image. Matsuo Basko, The lightning flashes! And slashing through the darkness, A night-heron¶s screech. Idyll: lyric poetry describing the life of the shepherd in pastoral, bucolic, idealistic terms. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ³Idylls of the King´ William Wordsworth, ³The Solitary Reaper´ Light Verse: a general category of poetry written to entertain, such as lyric poetry, epigrams, and limericks. It can also have a serious side, as in parody or satire. Vachel Lindsay, ³The Congo´ Lewis Carroll, ³ Jabberwocky´ Limerick: humorous nonsense-verse in five anapestic lines rhyming aabba, a-lines being trimeter and blines dimeter. Edward Lear, There was an old man at the Cape Who made himself garments of crape When asked ³Will they tear?´ He replied ³Here and there, But they keep such a beautiful shape!´ Lyric: subjective, reflective poetry with regular rhyme scheme and meter which reveals the poet¶s thoughts and feelings to create a single, unique impression. Matthew Arnold, ³Dover Beach´ William Blake, ³The Lamb,´ ³The Tiger´

RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v.100908

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....... ³Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night´ Meter Meter is poetry¶s rhythm. ...... Elizabeth Barrett Browning.. rhyming abab cdcd efef gg or abba cddc effe gg............... trimeter four feet ....... dimeter three feet ......... five tercets and a final quatrain.. 9. ³Ode: Intimations of Immortality´ Sonnet: a rigid 14-line verse form.... ³Salem´ William Shakespeare......... ³Shall I Compare Thee?´ b.. . to the West Wind´ William Wordsworth. .... between which a break in thought occurs.... ³Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking´ Narrative: non-dramatic....... Samuel Taylor Coleridge. ³Journey of the Magi´ Gerard Manley Hopkins..................... ³Because I Could Not Stop for Death´ Langston Hughes.. rhyming aba aba aba aba aba abaa... monometer two feet ............... with variable structure and rhyme scheme according to type: a.... Lord Tennyson.. ............. 6.................. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v... objective verse with regular rhyme scheme and meter which relates a story or narrative... ³To His Coy Mistress´ Walt Whitman..... ...... Robert Lowell....... tetrameter five feet... ³The Wreck of the Deutschland ´ Alfred..... The Spenserian sonnet is a specialized form with linking rhyme abab bcbc cdcd ee............ The traditional rhyme scheme is abba abba cde cde (or.. unstress).. the sestet.... S. 19 are refrain. Type of Metric Foot Iambic (iamb) Trochaic (trochee) Anapestic (anapest) Dactyllic (dactyl) Spondaic (spondee) Accent/Stress Example unstressed-stressed stressed-unstressed unstressed-unstressed-stressed stressed-unstressed-unstressed stressed-stresses bal-loon so-da con-tra-dict man-i-ac man-made Metrical units are the building blocks of lines of verse......... ............ John Keats.... Bold marks indicate stressed or unstressed syllables....... ³Dream Deferred´ Andrew Marvell...................... hexameter seven feet............. Feet are marked off with slashes (/) and accented appropriately (stress............. the five basic kinds of metric feet are indicated below........... Italian (Petrarchan)²an octave and sestet..... ³On His Blindness´ John Donne......... ³Kubla Khan´ T........... 15.......... ³Ode...... or its pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. ³The Walking´ Dylan Thomas.................. d.... pentameter six feet ..................... 18 and 3. e).. Be Not Proud´ Villanelle: a French verse form........ ³Ode on a Grecian Urn´ Percy Bysshe Shelley.. 12. ³Ulysses´ Ode: elaborate lyric verse which deals seriously with a dignified theme......... ....... ³Death. Meter is measured in units of feet............ .................. lines are named according to the number of feet they contain: Number of Metric Feet Type of Line one foot ... strictly calculated to appear simple and spontaneous. Lines 1. Eliot...........RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms Emily Dickinson..100908 Page 2 . Theodore Roethke........... heptameter eight feet.. Shakespearean (English)²three quatrains and concluding couplet i iambic pentameter.. octometer (rare) Scansion is the analysis of these mechanical elements within a poem to determine meter. ³How Do I Love Thee?´ John Milton.... any variation of c.......

.. A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear... The second and fourth lines......../ riage held / but just / our-selves And Im............ Stanzas are identified by the number of lines they contain: Number of Lines Type of Stanza 2 .. are iambic trimeter.. The feet in these lines are iambic. couplet 3 .....don't tell! They'd advertise -........ I told my wrath..... And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near..... ³I¶m Nobody! Who Are You?´) End Rhyme: rhyme occurring at the ends of verse lines.. ³The Burning Babe´) Enjambment: an instance where............. Surprised I was with sudden heat. an instance where the grammatical break coincides with the end of the line.... As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow........... The break is often marked by a punctuation mark.... (William Blake........ ........... too? Then there's a pair of us -.... cinquain 6 . A stanza is to a poem what a paragraph is to a narrative or essay.. quatrain 5 ...... and the meaning of the line is complete in itself..... octet (octave) Rhyme and Structural Features Caesura: a break or pause in a line of verse......... septet 8 ...../ mor-tal.......... The first and third lines have four feet and can be identified as iambic tetrameter..... Two eyes serve a movement......... RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v..... that now And again now....................100908 Page 3 ......you know! (Emily Dickinson.... which made my heart to glow........ tercet 4 .. and now............. Therefore........ verse runs on from one line to another.. an eye......... ................ .... .......................................... (Robert Southwell........... ..... Metric feet make up lines...... ³A Poison Tree´) End stop: in contrast with enjambment... with three feet each... the basic meter is iambic tetrameter........ which make up stanzas............ and now Sets neat prints into the snow Between trees...........RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms Emily Dickinson¶s ³Because I Could Not Stop for Death´ is scanned here: Be-cause / I could / not stop / for Death He kind.... my wrath did end.. I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody./ i-ty............. most common rhyme form........................./ ly stopped / for me The Car........... and warily a lame Shadow lags by stump and in hollow Of a body that is bold to come Across clearings.. ........... because of its grammatical structure... I was angry with my friend.... sestet 7 ...... .................

³The Thought-Fox´) Feminine Rhyme: A stressed syllable rhyme followed by an unstressed syllable. but seal¶d in vain. but when spoken sound different. bring again. the break of day. Rhyme Scheme: pattern of rhymes with a unit of verse. " 'Tis some visitor. In his house on stilts high among beaks (Dylan Thomas. approximate rhyme. Half Rhyme (Slant Rhyme): imperfect. Example: fight and tight. Bright black-eyed creature. By full tilt river and switchback sea Where the cormorants scud.100908 Page 4 . Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.²c (William Shakespeare. (Edgar Allen Poe. While I nodded.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms A widening deepening greenness. Bugle. which is the repetition of like sounds at regular intervals. "tapping at my chamber door. seal¶d in vain. Other Sound Features Alliteration: the repetition of one or more initial sounds. The splendour falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story: The long light shakes across the lakes And the wild cataract leaps in glory. weak and weary. while I pondered.²c Seals of love. Example: carrot and garret. usually consonants. (Alfred. Take. Perfect Rhyme: The words are in complete aural correspondence. Lord Tennyson. As of someone gently rapping. ³The Eagle´) RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. brushed with brown. Stanza: the blocks of lines into which a poem is divided (sometimes known as verses) Visual Rhyme: A rhyme that only looks similar. Blow´) Once upon a midnight dreary.²a That so sweetly were forsworn. in words within a line. ³Poem on His Birthday´) Internal Rhyme: rhyme contained within a line of verse. Lord Tennyson.a Lights that do mislead the morn:²b But my kisses bring again. nearly napping. stove and trove. Example: slaughter and laughter. (Robert Frost. employed in versification. the writing of verse. ³Blow." I muttered. (Ted Hughes. each end rhyme-sound is represented by a letter. suddenly there came a tapping. in analysis. An example would be: Certain and Curtain.²b And those eyes. Only this. rapping at my chamber door. ³Take. sever and never. ³To a Moth Seen in Winter´) He clasps the crag with crooked hands (Alfred. O take those lips away. Forced Rhyme: An unnatural rhyme that forces a rhyme where it should not otherwise be. In the mustard seed sun. and nothing more. 0 Take Those Lips Away´) Rime: old spelling of rhyme. ³The Raven´) Masculine Rhyme: Has a single stressed syllable rhyme.

Little Lamb.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms Assonance: repetition of two or more vowel sounds within a line. you grovel Hand and foot in Belial¶s gripe. (Robert Browning. ³The Lamb´) RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. ³The Harbor´) Poetic Devices and Figurative Language Analogy: a comparison made between two dissimilar things for the purpose of explanation or clarification. Apostrophe: an address to a person or personified object not present. they are similar in other ways as well. ³God¶s Grandeur´) The moan of doves in immemorial elms. but it¶s a bit more complex. The presenter of an analogy will often demonstrate how two things are alike by pointing out shared characteristics. The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard (Robert Frost. an analogy is more of a logical argument. The crumbling thunder of seas (Robert Louis Stevenson) Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. Rather than a figure of speech. I knew a woman. When small birds sighed. the effect of which is to provide an auditory reinforcement of the meaning of the words.100908 Page 5 . my scrofulous French novel On grey paper with blunt type! Simply glance at it. And wears man¶s smudge and shares men¶s smell: the soil (Gerard Manley Hopkins. ³The World is Too Much With Us´) Cacophony: the use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction effect. with the goal of showing that if two things are similar in some ways. opposite of euphony. (Theodore Roethke. ³Sound and Sense´) Consonance: repetition of two or more consonant sounds within a line. the effect of which is to provide an auditory reinforcement of the meaning of the words. ³Sound and Sense´) Onomatopoeia: the use of a word whose sound suggests its meaning. (Alfred. Or. Lord Tennyson. bleared smeared with toil. ³Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister´) But when loud surges lash the sounding shore (Alexander Pope. ³Out. harmonious sounds to produce a pleasing. ³Come Down. (William Wordsworth. And all is seared with trade. lovely in her bones. O Maid´) Euphony: the use of compatible. And murmuring of innumerable bees. melodious effect. she would sigh back at them. ³I Knew a Woman´) And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows (Alexander Pope. Out´) Veering and wheeling free in the open (Carl Sandburg. An analogy is comparable to metaphor and simile in that it shows how two different things are similar. who made thee? (William Blake.

And carousing in sin. and what the speaker says and the author means. Verbal²meaning one thing and saying another.100908 Page 6 . And you should. Dramatic²two levels of meaning²what the speaker says and what he/ she means. And said. He accused himself.) Litotes: a form of understatement in which the negative of an antonym is used to achieve emphasis and intensity. but a rough beast will come instead. of thee I most complain! (John Milton. of a fantastic. ³I Stood Upon a High Place´) c. at bottom and not unveraciously. leaping.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms O loss of sight. below. auditory (sound). refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. ³To his Coy Mistress´) Our hands were firmly cemented. he stands. Hyperbole: gross exaggeration for effect: overstatement. Love you ten years before the Flood. if you please. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls. Lord Tennyson. ³This Is the Land Where Sunset Washes´) And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings (Thomas Hardy. ³The Eagle´) Irony: the contrast between actual meaning and the suggestion of another meaning. a. its hour come round at last Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? (William Butler Yeats. ³Afterwards´) He clasps the crag with crooked hands. The five kinds of imagery each appeal to a different sense: visual (sight). olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste): Night after Night Her purple traffic Strews the land with Opal Bales² Merchantmen²poise upon Horizons² Dip²and vanish like Orioles! (Emily Dickinson. And like a thunderbolt he falls. ³The Second Coming´) (The second coming of Christ is intended. actions. many devils Running. cummings) b. a demoralized sympathy with her. ³The Pupil´) Metaphor: a figure of speech which makes a direct comparison of unlike objects RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. One looked up grinning. Ringed with the azure world. when something unexpected occurs. next to of course god america i love you (e. (Alfred. or ideas by sensory description. And saw. I stood upon a high place. Situational²when the reality of a situation differs from the anticipated or intended effect. What rough beast. ³The Ecstasy´) Imagery: the use of words to represent things. (Henry James. (Andrew Marvell. ³Comrade! Brother! (Stephen Crane.e. Close to the sun in lonely lands. tactile (touch). He watches from his mountain walls. ³Samson Agonistes´) Figure of Speech: Any way of saying something other than in an ordinary way. (John Donne.

³The Habit of Perfection´) Were her first years the Golden Age.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms All the world¶s a stage (William Shakespeare. slow. Shadows hold their breath. (Emily Dickinson. (Langston Hughes. "There is nothing punny about bad puns. (Alfred. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. ³On the Beach at Calais´) And like a thunderbolt he falls (Alfred. ³A Narrow Fellow in the Grass´) Oxymoron: contradictory terms brought together to express a paradox for strong effect. He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. that¶s true." ² original source unknown. Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! Dove-feathered raven! wolvish-ravening lamb! (William Shakespeare. freckled (who knows how?) With swift. The holy time is quiet as a nun (William Wordsworth. spare. Lord Tennyson. in place of the name itself. (John Donne. ³War´) Metonymy: the substitution of a word which relates to the object or person to be named. ³The Eagle´) Symbolism: the use of one object to suggest another. dim.100908 Page 7 . strange. Romeo and Juliet) All things counter. original. (William Shakespeare. (Emily Dickinson. adazzle. ³A Certain Slant of Light´) Into the jaws of Death. The serpent that did sting thy father¶s life. ³Pied Beauty´) Paradox: a statement which appears self-contradictory. sweet. "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York" (Son: play on "sun". Into the mouth of Hell. But now she¶s gold oft-tried and ever-new. sing to me. ³The Charge of the Light Brigade´) Pun: play on words hat deliberately exploits an ambiguity between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect. the landscape listens. Lord Tennyson. Whatever is fickle. As You Like It) Death is the broom I take in my hands To sweep the world clean. but underline basis of truth. Elected silence. from Shakespeare¶s ³Richard III´) Simile: a direct comparison of two unlike objects. (Gerard Manley Hopkins. When it comes. Hamlet) A spotted shaft is seen (snake). sour. ³The Autumnal´) Personification: a figure of speech in which objects and animals have human qualities. using like or as. Now wears his crown. hidden object or idea. (Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Allusion (Intertextuality): a reference to an outside fact. the party is over. Sound and Sense by Arp & Johnson) e. such as truth.100908 Page 8 . In Gerard Manley Hopkins¶s ³The Caged Skylark. poetry. that is. used to deepen meaning through connecting ideas. Animal Farm by George Orwell is an allegory of the Russian Revolution in which each animal character corresponds to a figure from the Revolution and the events mirror the events that occurred during that time. God. a suburban dinner party is invaded by Death. an Army officer has just lost his leg. ³The Darkling Thrush´) Understatement: Saying less than what is meant for effect. Character: There are two meanings for the word character: 1) The person in a work of fiction. who wears a long black cloak and carries a scythe. For example. In Alexander Pope¶s ³The Rape of the Lock. (William Shakespeare. One character is clearly central to the story with all major events having some importance to this character he/she is the PROTAGONIST.99. When asked how he feels. in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.´ the fork in the road represents a major decision in life. "that's cast rather a gloom over the evening.´ ³a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage´ symbolizes the human spirit contained within the domains of society. education.g. (p. they go round and around (William Carlos Williams." says one party guest. The opposer of the main character is called the ANTAGONIST. each road a separate way of life.´ ³Cupid¶s flames´ symbolizes love. There is µusually a one-to-one correspondence between the details and a single set of ulterior meanings¶. Not a hair perished (person). allegory differs in that it presents a system of related comparisons rather than one comparison drawn out. he looks down at his bloody stump and responds. love. transportation. World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings What a star sang and careless Muses heard (Pythagoras²Greek mathematician. vice. ³Among School Children´) In Breughel¶s great painting. The Tempest) And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fire (homes). Persons in a work of fiction . "Well. hasn't it?" In another scene. the guests must all go with him. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v.Antagonist and Protagonist Short stories use few characters. or other source. ³The Dance´) (from Ch. 2 of The Elements of Poetry) Atmosphere: the prevailing mood created by a piece of writing. Allegory: a narrative or description having a second meaning beneath the surface one. 2) The characteristics of a person. He is the Grim Reaper.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms In Robert Frost¶s ³The Road Not Taken. which are perceived not through the senses but by the mind. war. (Thomas Hardy." Other Literary Terms Abstract language refers to things that are intangilble. Synecdoche: a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole object or idea. event. Sometimes confused with an extended metaphor or a series of related symbols. the dancers go round. Muses²mythological goddesses of beauty and music) (William Butler Yeats. "Stings a bit. The Kermess.

"His mother is not very motherly. d. or bitter.. 3. Individual . red. politics.´ ³You have a real way about you. scrooge. or the circumstances of life facing him/her.The leading character struggles against ideas. loud.In order for a story to seem real to the reader its characters must seem real. Man (physical) . The author may reveal a character in several ways: a) his/her physical appearance b) what he/she says. 2. Within a short story there may be only one central struggle.´ ³Good. 3) Man vs. 1) Man vs. µ ³You¶re not going to throw up?´ asked Lizzie. the word mother calls up very strong positive feelings and associations--loving. E. because if you were going to throw up.The leading character struggles with his physical strength against other men. Static .The leading character struggles against fate. hearing. Lizzie?´ ³That¶s what my granddaddy says: a real way about me. e. and sex tend to have the strongest feelings and images associated with them. or animals. 1) External .A struggle within one's self. Characterization is the information the author gives the reader about the characters themselves. feels and dreams c) what he/she does or does not do d) what others say about him/her and how others react to him/her. if someone said.round. drunk. or customs of other people.. on the other hand. many sided and complex personalities. or images associated with a word. Developing . resist an urge.dynamic.e. b." you would immediately understand the difference between motherly (connotation) and mother (denotation).g. Himself/Herself (psychological) . with his/her own soul.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms The Characteristics of a Person . have one or two characteristics that never change and are emphasized e. For most people. is simply "a female animal who has borne one or more chldren. if any emotional or connotative meanings. ideas of right or wrong. sight. Without conflict there is no plot. Concrete language identifies things perceived through the senses (touch. the plot. There are four kinds of conflict: c. Circumstances (classical) . for better or worse. always there for you. 4) Man vs. 2) Man vs. by the end of the story. Society (social) . I¶d be sure to remind you that you¶d best lean out over the side of the boat. etc. It is the opposition of forces which ties one incident to another and makes the plot move. or there may be one dominant struggle with many minor ones. or images associated with denotative meaning. There are two types of conflict: a. forces of nature. and life-like (resemble real people) Characters are. f. Conflict is not merely limited to open arguments. values. values. such as soft. practices. Characters are convincing if they are: consistent. Scientific and mathematical language carries few. Words connected with religion. thinks." Of course connotative meanings do not necessarily reflect reality. Dialogue: Dialogue helps readers understand characters and to advance the action of the story i. you know that. motivated. brilliant detective. cruel stepmother. Denotation: the literal meaning of a word. quiet their temper. and taste). etc.´ ³What else does your granddaddy say about you?´ RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. Conflict: Conflict is essential to plot. self-sacrificing. I¶m not going to throw up. the denotative meaning. for instance. there are no emotions. 2) Internal . stench. rather it is any form of opposition that faces the main character.The leading character struggles with himself/herself. overcome pain. The intensity of emotions or the power of the values and images associated with a word varies. many sided personalities that change. ³No. smell.100908 Page 9 . understanding. 1.g.Stereotype. physical Connotation: the emotions.A struggle with a force outside one's self. a person must make some decision.

or the story itself may have a frame in which the narrator appears as a character. the feelings of a character etc.The story is told by the protagonist or one of the characters who interacts closely with the protagonist or other characters (using pronouns I. For instance. at which point the problem or conflict is usually (but not always e. me.o. First Person . ripping off some of the still-green maple leaves and sending them in whirling cones against Mrs. Rising action: that part of the middle of the story in which suspense builds about how the conflict will be resolved Climax: the turning point of the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication. and swirled around First Congregation. leaving the reader to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted. swept across Thayer¶s hay-meadow. etc). 3. or theatre. The nature of the narrator is sometimes immediately clear. which adds depth of understanding and enables the reader to better imagine a scene. E. 1. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. Cobb¶s grandfather¶s fence and up on to Mrs. we. at this point the action is at its most exciting and suspenseful Falling action: that part of the story after the climax Resolution: the set of events that bring the story to a close (also called the denouement). This narrative mode is one that can be developed by an author for a number of reasons. Strong verbs and adjectives and precise nouns are some examples. or p.100908 Page 10 .g in a tragedy) resolved Point of View: Point of view. Unreliable narrators are usually first-person narrators. Innocent Eye .The story is told so that the reader feels as if they are inside the head of one character and knows all their thoughts and reactions. charged up Parker Head. usually to deceive the reader or audience. which provides the key information necessary to understand the story (the setting.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms ³That I¶m the closest thing to glory he¶ll ever see on God¶s earth. In some cases the narrator's unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at.) Complication: the catalyst.´ (p.The story is told through the eyes of a child (his/her judgment being different from that of an adult) 2. with clues to his unreliability. whether in literature.g. A more dramatic use of the device delays the revelation until near the story's end. ³The rain passed Turner.59) Diction: The writer¶s choice of vocabulary. main characters etc. Stream of Consciousness . film.. but third-person narrators can also be unreliable. This twist ending forces the reader to reconsider their point of view and experience of the story. E.g. is defined as the angle from which the story is told. whose credibility has been seriously compromised. ³The Yellow Wallpaper´ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Foreshadowing: subtle hints pointing the reader toward the possible outcome of the story Plot: the sequence of events in a story. Hurd¶s porch. a story may open with the narrator making a plainly false or delusional claim or admitting to being severely mentally ill. What does your daddy say about you?´ µ (p. actions within the plot are significant and relate to the meaning of the story Exposition: the beginning of the story. The reader sees the story through this person's eyes as he/she experiences it and only knows what he/she knows or feels.v.53) Fallible (or Unreliable) Narrator: An unreliable narrator is a narrator. which begins the major conflict and starts the rising action.

It appears as though a camera is following the characters.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms 4. For instance. Blue days. There are several aspects of a story's setting to consider when examining how setting contributes to a story (some. feelings and motivations of his characters and he introduces information where and when he chooses. Longer sentences with lots of commas or long paragraphs with just a two or three full stops might suggest that things are happening very slowly: for example. The structure of a play may fall into logical divisions and also a mechanical division of acts and scenes. prying open their blue-black shells to tickle their orange tendons. or all. and sometmes create a i mood. customs. as they walked among the sharp-edged mussels. The reader is placed in the position of spectator without the author there to explain. He had smelled the sharp resin of the pines.The author tells the story in third person (using pronouns they. a number of short sentences in a row might show that the action being described is tense or something exciting is happening.´ (p73) Sentence and paragraph length: Changes in sentence length are used by writers to show many different things: to build suspense. etc. ³Blue days. for almost six whole hours.g. Blue days as they dangled their legs over the granite ledges and felt the gigantic continent behind them. maybe a character is thinking about something difficult to understand or deal with. Consecutive sentences of even length and parallel structure may add intensity or create a monotonous. etc) c) weather conditions . stormy. He had heard the low rhythm of the bells on the buoys that balanced on the ridges of the sea.Is it rainy. He had dipped his hand in its waves and licked the salt from his fingers. and the small house set a ways beyond it that puzzled him some.´ (p. finally. finally touched a tail feather. Repetition: Words and phrases repeated in a story have the effect of emphasizing an idea. finally. He didn¶t know how much longer he could take it. E. There is no comment on the characters or their thoughts. while for others it is not. she. going anywhere. For some stories the setting is very important. dress. Blue days. There are two main types of omniscient point of view: a) Omniscient Limited .The author can narrate the story using the omniscient point of view. We can see the thoughts and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us. etc).What is the daily life of the character's like? Does the story contain local colour (writing that focuses on the speech. sunny. We know only what the character knows and what the author allows him/her to tell us. E. having free access to the thoughts. time of day.What feeling is created at the beginning of the story? Is it bright and cheerful or dark and frightening Structure: framework of a work of literature. etc? d) social conditions .geographical location. he. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. ³Turner Buckminster had lived in Phippsburg for fifteen minutes shy of six hours. of a particular place)? e) mood or atmosphere . it. He can move from character to character. the organization or over-all design of a work. relentless effect or emphasize certain ideas.g. may be present in a story): a) place . to make you feel what a character is feeling etc. No interpretations are offered. event to event. as the tide washed away the twin footprints Lizzie and Turner left along the beach. He had seen the fine clapboard parsonage beside the church where he was to live. Maine. Turner Buckminster had lived in Phippsburg. Omniscient. as they sprinted against the sea breeze and chased the gulls until Turner. mannerisms. year.When is the story taking place? (historical period. b) Omniscient Objective ± The author tells the story in the third person.1) Setting: The time and location in which a story takes place is called the setting. and recording only what is seen and heard.100908 Page 11 . Where is the action of the story taking place? b) time .

angry. and it has become known today as the best concerto in the world. The title of the short story usually points to what the writer is saying and he may use various figures of speech to emphasize his theme. such as: symbol. Honesty we did not normally expect in a public official. depressed. The theme may be the author's thoughts about a topic or view of human nature. contrasting relationship between two ideas by joining them together or juxtaposing them. serene. or irony. it was praised highly at court.) Antithesis: establishes a clear. formal. hyperbole. causing flooding and the danger of explosion.100908 Page 12 . µCan Time¶s best jewel lie hid in Time¶s Chest?¶ ± emphasizes the verb at the end of the line.People are afraid of change . and movement-up the ladder of importance. the ground began to heave. one giant leap for mankind. But if you wish to vary the amount of discussion on each point. so the mind has a natural love for antithesis. --Neil Armstrong Asyndeton: Omission of conjunctions. then they broke. the road began to break up. self-secure. forty stories of concrete were diving at the helpless pedestrians panicking below. Office buildings began cracking. metaphor. commonly in conjunction with climax and with parallelism: Slowly and grimly they advanced. outraged. to forgive. because it offers a sense of continuity. TV. self-honored.Don't judge a book by its cover Tone: the writer's attitude toward the material and/or readers. soon twenty. It is the author's underlying meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey. weight. Tone may be playful. simile. order.) Can Time¶s best jewel in Time¶s chest lie hid? (Normally. often in parallel structure. and film are: . baffled. clauses. parallelism is not essential. which creates a definite and systematic relationship between ideas: To err is human. very slowly. intimate. Water mains and gas lines were wrenched apart. self-scanned.m. ironic. tender. clauses. etc. Theme: The theme in a piece of fiction is its controlling idea or its central insight. RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v.things are not always as they appear to be . Anastrophe: Inversion of the normal word order of a sentence.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms Style: manner of expression. At 6:20 a. or emphasis. it was considered by Mozart the highlight of his career. or sentences. Water heaters fell from their pedestals. allusion. divine. She stroked her kitty cat very softly. (Normally.Love is blind . Self-schooled.Believe in yourself . The concerto was applauded at the house of Baron von Schnooty. not knowing that they were so near to Disneyland. not knowing what they would find at the top of the hill. (This is also parallelism. it was voted best concerto of the year by the Academy. tearing out plumbing. not knowing what lay ahead. anaphora and alliteration) Climax (gradatio): consists of arranging words. Outside. how a speaker or writer says what he says.¶ ± emphasizes honesty. Human beings are inveterate systematizers and categorizers. Objects started falling from shelves. Parallelism usually forms a part of the arrangement. Rhetorical Devices Anaphora: is the repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of successive phrases. serious. Some simple examples of common themes from literature. very smoothly. thirty. or sentences in the order of increasing importance. --Pope That's one small step for a man. Windows rattled. µWe did not normally expect honesty in a public official.

and into the cockpit. and the examples for your generalizations climactically. to see them. Comma splices are unacceptable. Most of the errors you make in this essay are unacceptable. IN short. nor boundless sea. clarity to the sentence. and who parades them about and encourages them as though they were virtues. (Sonnet 65) Simple sentence: A sentence with a single independent clause Understatement: Saying less than what is meant for effect. and Away. or grace. any number of times (though. although in these cases. most importantly." Parenthesis: Any insertion that interrupts the normal sentence structure. Polysyndeton: Use of many conjunctions. Or parallel prepositional phrases: He found it difficult to vote for an ideal truth but against his own self interest. Quickly and happily he walked around the corner to buy the book. and ten assorted Mercedes. Worse is to have them and not see them.Understatement is a staple of humor in English-speaking RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. singing "Up. Fragments are unacceptable. to life imprisonment. the first item should not be the very least important (because its weakness might alienate the reader). excess quickly becomes ridiculous). In addition to arranging sentences or groups of short ideas in climactic order.RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms To have faults is not good. spite of him. One of the defendants was sentenced to sixty days. the other. the points in your arguments. Any sentence elements can be paralleled. Since. person and number are unacceptable. Ellipsis: Omission of words for brevity. nor earth. Not to be confused with euphemism. through the door. where a polite phrase is used in place of a harsher or more offensive expression. You might choose parallel subjects with parallel modifiers attached to them: Ferocious dragons breathing fire and wicked sorcerers casting their spells do their harm by night in the forest of Darkness. but faults are human. two gold Rolls Royces. Inconsistencies in tense. (The second µwas sentenced¶ is omitted. sentences. Up. clauses. Since brass. deceitful. of course. I¶ll live in this poor rhyme. Or parallel verbs and direct objects: He liked to eat watermelon and to avoid grapefruit. The pilot walked down the aisle. Always begin with a point or proof substantial enough to generate interest. emphasis.) Epistrophe (the opposite of anaphora) Repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of lines. ambiguity. Or parallel verbs and adverbs: I have always sought but seldom obtained a parking space near the door. and sadistic ± were evidence of their parents¶ muddled sense of values.100908 Page 13 . you generally should also arrange the large sections of ideas in your papers. Yet beyond that is to have faults. almost every word you have written is in some way unacceptable! Parallelism:is recurrent syntactical similarity. nor stone. and every point hits harder than the previous one. and to do nothing about them. That way your argument gets stronger as it moves along. Or just the objects: This wealthy car collector owns three pastel Cadillacs. Parallelism also adds balance and rhythm and. and then continue with ideas of increasing importance. Those children ± selfish. Several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed similarly to show that the ideas in the parts or sentences are equal in importance. But even that seems mild compared to him who knows his faults.

RCHK A1 English Glossary of Literary Terms cultures.100908 Page 14 .html RCHK Glossatry of Literary Terms v. a suburban dinner party is invaded by Death. For example. he looks down at his bloody stump and responds. "Well. an Army o fficer has just lost his leg. When asked how he feels.virtualsalt. Henry V) NOTE: A more extensive list of rhetorical devices can be found at: http://www. who wears a long black cloak and carries a scythe. the guests must all go with him." says one party guest.com/rhetoric. the party is over. hasn't it?" In another scene. "Stings a bit. ³Kill the boys and the luggage´ (Shakespeare. He is the Grim Reaper. especially in British humor." Zeugma: a device that joins together tow apparently incongruous things by applying a verb or adjective to both which only really applies to one of them. "that's cast rather a gloom over the evening. in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

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