List of terms for Eng140
The continuation of a sentence beyond the second line of a couplet. Now also
Enjambment applied less restrictively to the carrying over of a sentence from one line to
pattern of measured sound units recurring more or less regularly in the line
Meter of verse.
Poetry based on the natural rhythms of phrases and normal pauses rather than
the artificial constraints of metrical feet.
A comparison or analogy stated in such a way as to imply that one object is
Metaphor another one, figuratively speaking.
An analogy or comparison implied by using an adverb such as like or as, in
Simile contrast with a metaphor which figuratively makes the comparison by stating
outright that one thing is another thing. This figure of speech is of great
antiquity. It is common in both prose and verse works.
A figure of speech which consists in substituting for the name of a thing the
name of an attribute of it or of something closely related.
A figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less
Synecdoche comprehensive or vice versâ; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for
species or species for genus, etc.
Lyric poem is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings.
Motif A conspicuous recurring element, such as a type of incident, a device, a
reference, or verbal formula, which appears frequently in works of literature.
The subject of discourse, discussion, conversation, meditation, or
Theme composition; a topic.
A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another passage
of literature, often without explicit identification.
A word, place, character, or object that means something beyond what it is
Symbol on a literal level.
Allegory Two levels of signification. Irony The recognition of inconsistencies and the exploitation of it.
Narrative/Narrator The "voice" that speaks or tells a story. Can be 1st 2nd or 3rd person.
Frame Narrative The story within a story that lends authentication to the apparent truth.
Characterization Representation of a person in a story.
Protagonist The main character in a work, on whom the author focuses most of the
Genre A set of common conventions that lead to expectations.
Discourse the way a story is told
These postmodern writers mingle and juxtapose realistic events with
fantastic ones, or they experiment with shifts in time and setting,
Magic Realism "labyrinthine narratives and plots" and "arcane erudition" (135), and often
they combine myths and fairy stories with gritty Hemingway-esque detail.
This mixture create truly dreamlike and bizarre effects in their prose.
An attack on or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing
Satire humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political,
moral, or social standards.
is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number
of primarily European playwrights in the late 1960s, as well as one for the
style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed the
belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all
communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way
to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.
as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended
to amuse by creating laughter, especially in literature.
A serious play or novel in which the chief character, by some peculiarity of
Tragedy psychology, passes through a series of misfortunes leading to a final,
Tragi-Comedy A experimental literary work--either a play or prose piece of fiction--
containing elements common to both comedies and tragedies. An epic in its most specific sense is a genre of classical poetry. It is a poem
that is (a) a long narrative about a serious subject, (b) told in an elevated style
of language, (c) focused on the exploits of a hero or demi-god who represents
Epic the cultural values of a race, nation, or religious group (d) in which the hero's
success or failure will determine the fate of that people or nation. Usually,
the epic has (e) a vast setting, and covers a wide geographic area, (f) it
contains superhuman feats of strength or military prowess, and gods or
supernatural beings frequently take part in the action. The poem begins with
(g) the invocation of a muse to inspire the poet and, (h) the narrative starts in
medias res (see above). (i) The epic contains long catalogs of heroes or
important characters, focusing on highborn kings and great warriors rather
than peasants and commoners.
Writing in which a character's perceptions, thoughts, and memories are
presented in an apparently random form, without regard