Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing - Poetry Flashcards

Terms Definitions
last scene
reversal (peripeteia)
reversal of fortune
particular arrangement of actions, events and situations that unfold in a narrative
brief (and sometimes indirect) reference in a text to a person, place or thing--fictitious or actual
temporary wooden stage building in which actors changed masks and costumes when changing roles
three formal qualities recommended by Italian Renaissance literary to critics to unify a plot in order to give it a cohesive and complete integrity
technique of arranging events and information in such a way that later events are prepared for, or shadowed, beforehand
modernist movement in art and literature that tries to organize art according to the irrational dictates of the unconscious mind; founded by French poet André Breton
literal, dictionary meaning of a word
generally recurring subject or idea conspicuously evident in a literary work
central intelligence
the character through whose sensibility and mind a story is told. Henry James developed this term to describe a narrator - not the author - whose perceptions shape the way a story is presented.
a poetic device using elaborate comparisons, such as equating a loved one with the graces and beauties of the world. Most notably used by the Italian poet, Petrarch in praise of his beloved Laura, conceit comes from the Italian concetto, "concept" or "idea."
an association or additional meaning that a word, image, or phrase may carry, apart from its literal denotation or dictionary definition. a word picks up connotations from all of the uses to which it has been put in the past.
song for the entrance of the chorus
comic relief
appearance of a comic situation, character or clownish humor in the midst of a serious action
high thick-soled boots worn by Greek and Roman tragic actors in late classical times to make them appear taller than ordinary men
full facial masks made of leather, linen or light wood, with headdress; allowed male actors to embody the conventionalized characters of the tragic and comic stage
slapstick comedy
kind of farce, featuring pratfalls, pie throwing, fisticuffs and other violent actions
implied metaphor
metaphor that uses neither connectives nor the verb to be
Japanese verse form that has three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables
fixed form developed by French courtly poets of the Middle Ages in imitation of Italian folk songs
verse that is full of irregularities due not to skill but to incompetence on the part of the poet. doggerel is crude verse that brims with cliches, obvious rhyme, and inept rhythm.
didactic fiction
narrative that intends to teach specific moral lesson or provide model for proper behavior. now used pejoratively to describe story in which events seem manipulated in order to convey uplifting idea
traditionally, a song that tells a story. The ballad was originally an oral verse form - sung or recited and transmitted from performer to performer without being written down. Ballads are characteristically compressed, dramatic, and objective in their narrative style. There are many variations to the ballad form, most consisting of quatrains in a simple rhyme scheme.
direct address, usually to someone or something. In poetry an apostrophe often addresses something not ordinarily spoken to. An an apostrophe, a speaker may address an inanimate object, a dead or absent person, an abstract thing, or a spirit. Apostrophe is often used to provide a speaker with means to articulate thought aloud.
dumb show
In Renaissance theater, performed at the beginning of a performance, a mimed dramatic performance whose purpose is to prepare the audience for the main actin of the play to follow.
child ballads
American scholar Francis J. Child compiled a collection of over three hundred authentic ballads in his book "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads." De demonstrated that these ballads were the creations of oral folk culture. These works have come to be called child ballads.
the techniques a writer uses to create, revel, or develop the characters in a narrative.
In Greek, agon, or contest. The central struggle between two or more forces in a story. Conflict generally occurs when some person or thing prevents the protagonist from achieving his or her intended goal. opposition can arise from another character, external events, preexisting situations, fate, or even some aspect of the main character's own personality. conflict if the basic material out of which most plots are made.
german for "novel of growth and development." Sometimes called an apprenticeship novel, this genre depicts a youth who struggles toward maturity forming a worldview or philosophy of life.
conventional symbols
literary symbols that have a conventional or customary effect on most readers. We would respond similarly to a black cat crossing our path or a young bride in a white dress
Restoration period
In England, the period following the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660; reintroduced a strong secular and urbane element back into English literature
new naturalism
term describing some American plays of the 1970s and 1980s frankly showing the internal and external forces that shape the lives of unhappy, alienated, dehumanized and often impoverished characters
the moment when ignorance gives way to knowledge, illusion to disillusion
levels of diction
four conventional levels of formality in word choice; vulgate, colloquial English, general English and formal English
verbal irony
statement in which the speaker or writers says the opposite of what is really meant
Also called slant rhyme. A kind of rhyme in which the linked words share similar consonant sounds but different vowel sounds, as in reason and raisin. sometimes only the final consonant sound is identical, as in fame and room. Used mostly by modern poets, consonance often registers more subtly than exact rhyme, lending itself to special poetic effects.
closed reading
A method of analysis involving careful step-by-step explication of a poem in order to understand how various elements work together. Close reading is a common practice of formalist critics in the study of a text.
a comic verse form named for its inventor, Edmund Clerihew Bentley. A clerihew begins with the name of a person and consists of two metrically awkward, rhymed couplets. Humorous and often insulting, clerihews serve as ridiculous biographies, usually of famous people.
blank verse
the most common and well-known meter or unrhymed poetry in English. Blank verse contains five iambic feet per line and is never rhymed (blank means unrhymed.)
cowboy poetry
a contemporary genre of folk poetry written by people with firsthand experience in the life of horse, trail, and ranch
the repetition of two or more vowel sounds in successive words, which creates a kind of rhyme. Like alliteration, the assonance may occur initially or internally. Assonance may be used to focus attention on key words or concepts. Assonance also helps make a phrase or line more memorable.
satyr play
type of Greek comic play that was performed after the tragedies at the City Dionysia; structure was similar to a tragedy
falling action
events in a narrative that follow the climax and bring the story to its conclusion
visual imagery
word or sequence of words that refers to the sense of sight or presents something one may see
collective set of images in a poem or other literary work
figure of speech in which the name of a thing is substituted for that of another closely associated with it
figure of speech in which a thing, an animal or an abstract term is endowed with human characteristics
accentual meter
a meter that uses a consistent number of strong speech stresses per line. The number of unstressed syllables may vary, as long as the accented syllables do not. Much popular poetry, such as rap and nursery rhymes, is written in accentual meter.
closed denouement
One of the two types of conventional resolution in a narrative. In this, the author ties everything up at the end of the story so that little is left unresolved.
confessional poetry
a poetic genre emerging in the 1950s and 1960s primarily concerned with autobiography and the unexpurgated exposure of the poet's personal life
dramatic question
primary unresolved issue in a drama as it unfolds. the dramatic question is the result of artful plotting, raising suspense and expectation in play's action as it moves towards its outcome.
common meter
regular form of ballad meter with 2 sets of rhymes - ABAB
romantic comedy
form of comic drama in which the plot focuses on one or more pairs of young lovers who overcome difficulties to achieve a happy ending
dramatic monologue
poem written as a speech made by a character at some decisive moment
comedy of manners
a realistic form of comic drama that flourished with seventeenth-century playwrights such as Moliere and English Restoration dramatists. It deals with the social relations and sexual intrigues of sophisticated, intelligent, upper-class men and women, whose verbal fencing and witty repartee produce the principal comic effects
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