ACCENT  The stress given to a syllable within a word. This is the mark indicating stress: Example: “An ob-′ject of beau′-ty is′ a joy′ for-ev′-er.”

BOWLERIZE   To cleanse a play, novel, etc. by removing or modifying passages prudishly considered immodest.  Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) was an English editor of an expurgated edition of Shakespeare.
ALLEGORY  A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete forms. Spenser’s Faerie Queen and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress are works which use allegorical devices.  “The City of Destruction and the “Giant Despair” as used in Pilgrim’s Progress are examples of allegories
BUCOLIC POETRY   Same as Pastoral Poetry, which deals with shepherds.  The Greek poet Theocritus originated this type of poetry in his writing about Sicilian shepherds in the third century B.C.
ALLUSION  An incidental mention of something, such as an allusion to Shakespeare.
CAROLINE PERIOD  The reign of Charles I (1625-1649) of England was noted for the writings of Milton, the Cavalier poets (Herrick, Carew, Suckling, Lovelace), the religious poet George Herbert, and prose writers Sir Thomas Browne and Robert Burton.
ANTAGONIST  The adversary of the hero (protagonist) of a drama or other literary work.  Example: “Iago is the antagonist of Othello.”
CATASTROPHE  In a drama, the conclusion of the plot. Also called denouement (day-noo-MAHN).
ANTITHESIS   The placing of a sentence or one of its parts against another to which it is opposed.  Example: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
CATHARSIS   A purifying of the emotions as a result of witnessing tragic drama.
APHORISM   A terse saying embodying a general truth.  Example: “Better late than never.”

CAVALIER POETS    See Caroline Period
AUGUSTAN AGE  The period when Augustus Caesar was Roman emperor (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.). This was the golden age of Latin literature featuring the works of Virgil, Horace, and Ovid.
CHARACTER    A person in a novel or play with a specific personality.  Certain authors like Dickens and Shakespeare are particularly noted for their skillful character portrayal.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY    An account of a person’s life written by himself.

CHRONICLE PLAY  A drama based on historical material, usually consisting of episodes or scenes arranged chronologically.
BALLAD   A simple narrative poem of popular origin, composed in short stanzas, especially one of sentimental or romantic character and adapted for singing.  “Lord Randal” and “Sir Patrick Spencer” were popular ballads of the later Middle Ages.
CLICHÉ  A trite expression.  A phrase which has lost its originality and impact by overuse. Example: “strong as an ox.”
BATHOS    A ridiculous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace.

CLIMAX  The scene or moment of action that starts the story or play on its way to conclusion.  An anticlimax is a weak or disappointing conclusion.
BIOGRAPHY   A written account of another person’s life.
COMEDY   A play, movie, etc. which is light and humorous and which ends happily.
BOMBAST   Pretentious diction, blown up out of proportion.

COMIC RELIEF    An amusing scene or incident which is introduced into a serous play or story in order to provide temporary relief from tension.

#2 literary words CONNOTATION to NOVEL

#3 literary words ODE to VICTORIAN PERIOD

ODE    A lyric poem with an elaborate or irregular metric form, expressing exalted or enthusiastic emotion.   

STYLE  See Diction

PARABLE    A short allegorical story. See Allegory.
SOLILOQUY     A device in drama to disclose a person’s innermost thoughts.  Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for example, talks while he is alone, in the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy.  In this way the character lets the audience know what he is thinking.
PARADOX     A statement seemingly self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expressing a possible truth.
SONNET   A poem of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter.  The two most popular sonnet forms are the Italian (or Petrarchan) which is composed of a major group of 8 lines (octet) followed by a minor group of 6 lines(sestet): and the English which consists of 3 quatrains followed by a couplet
PARODY     A humorous imitation of a serious piece of writing.
STOCK CHARACTERS These are character types which the reader of spectator meets frequently in novels and plays.  The moustached gambler with checkered vest of Western tales and the monocle Englishman with broad Oxford accent in nineteenth-century comedy are examples of stock characters.
PATHOS     The quality of evoking a feeling of pity or compassion on the part of the reader.
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS    A style of writing in which a character’s thoughts are presented as occurring in unconnected fashion, without regard for logical sequence, grammatical structure, distinctions between reality and unreality.
PATHETIC FALLACY   Giving human traits and feelings to inanimate objects. See Personification under Figures of Speech on page ________.
SYMBOLISM  The use of special figures or marks of identification for something.  For example, the cross stands for Christ and the Christian faith.
PERIODIC SENTENCE  A sentence that, by leaving the completion of its main clause to the end, produces an effect of suspense.
THEME  An idea or point of view which is embodied and expanded upon in a literary work.  An author may, for example, have as his theme “rags to riches” or “a mother’s unreasonable influence over her son.
PLATONIC LOVE    An intimate companionship between a man and a woman, without sexual desire.
TRAGEDY  A dramatic composition dealing with a serious theme, typically that of a noble person whose character is flawed by a single weakness such as pride or envy.  This weakness results in his downfall.
POEM   A composition in verse, usually characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of carefully selected language and rhythm to express an imaginative interpretation of the subject.  See Poetry: The Technical Part on page _____.
UNITY   The literary quality that gives a work the effect of having a well-organized whole.
POETIC LICENSE  The liberty taken by a poet or prose writer in straying from rules and conventional forms, in order to produce a desired effect.
VICTORIAN PERIOD The reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) of England, during which the writing was largely about existing social, economic, and intellectual problems. Outstanding poets of this period were Browning, Tennyson, and Arnold.  Among the famous essayists were Carlyle, Ruskin, and Arnold.  The great novelists were Hardy, George Eliot, Dickens, Meredith, Thackeray, and Samuel Butler.
PROLOGUE    An introductory speech, often in verse, calling attention to the theme of the play. See Theme.
PROSODY  The science of poetic meters and versification. See Poetry: The Technical Part on page ____.
PROTAGONIST     See Antagonist.
PURITAN PERIOD   The period in English history (1649-1660) when England was ruled by Parliament under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell.  Prose flourished at this time with such writers as Thomas Fuller, Sir Thomas Browne, and Izaak Walton.  John Milton wrote political prose during this period.
QUATRAIN   A stanza of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes.
REALISM    A manner of treating subject matter by presenting a description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes. Naturalism is an extreme – that is, uninhibited – form of realism .
REFRAIN  A phrase or verse occurring at intervals in a poem, especially at the end of each stanza.
RENAISSANCE   The period from the start of the 14th century to the 17th century, during which literature (and other arts) reached a high point of quality.  Renaissance means rebirth.
RESTORATION PERIOD The period when Charles II reigned in England (1660-1685).  The theaters came back to their own (see Puritan Period) with such playwrights as Dryden, Etherege, Congreve, Wycherley, and Otway.
RHETORICAL QUESTION   A question asked solely to produce an effect – no reply is expected.  Example: “What is so rare as a day in June?”
ROMANTIC PERIOD    The late 18th and early 19th century movement in France, Germany, England, and America to further free expression or imagination and emotion.
SARCASM   See Irony under Figures of Speech on page ______.
SATIRE  A literary composition in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
SETTING   The surroundings in which the action of a novel, play, film, etc. takes place.

#3 literary words from ODE to VICTORIAN







#2 literary words

#2 literary words



#2 literary words CONNOTATION to NOVEL




#1 literary words ACCENT to COMIC RELIEF

CONNOTATION   The associated or secondary meaning of a word in addition to its explicit or primary meaning. Example: The word “home” connotes a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.

FOLK TALE   A story originating among a people.  The folk tale is anonymous and is passed on orally.

CONVENTION    A literary device or procedure which is commonly accepted by an audience.
FORESHADOWING    An author’s giving the reader a hint or suggestion of what is to come later in the story.
CRITICISM     The explanation, analysis, and evaluation of literary works.

GENRE     A literary form, such as tragedy, comedy, epic, pastoral, etc.
DECADENT MOVEMENT     Represented in England by such writers as Oscar Wilde, Ernest Dowson, and Arthur Symons, this Movement preached “art for art’s sake.”  Many of the Decadents died at an early age because of their loose habits.
GOTHIC NOVEL     A late 18th century and early 19th century style of fiction characterized by historical and picturesque settings, an atmosphere of mystery, gloom, and terror, supernatural occurrences, and violent events.
DENOTATION    A word that signifies something specific.  Example: the word “collie” is the denotation for a certain breed of dog.  See Connotation.
HUMANISM     Pertains to that type of writing in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.
DENOUEMENT   See Catastrophe.
IMAGERY   Figurative description that helps the reader form mental images, figures, or likenesses of things.
DEUS EX MACHINA (DAY-oos-ex-MAH-kin-ah) In Greek drama, a god who resolves the entanglements of the play by his supernatural intervention.  The literal translation of the expression is “god from a machine.”
IMAGISM   The practice of a group of poets in England and America between 1909 and 1917 who believed that poetry should employ the language of common speech, create new rhythms, have complete freedom in subject matter, and present clear images.  Leading imagists were Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, and H.D. (Hilda Doolittle).
DIALOGUE  The conversations carried on by the characters in a novel or play.
IMPRESSIONISM    The practice of representing objects and actions as they appear to the writer.  Impressionist painters such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, and Manet inspired this literary movement.
DICTION   The selection of words used in a literary work.  The manner in which these words are used in sentences is Style.
INTRIGUE   A scheme, part of a plot, which relies for its success on the unawareness of the person upon whom the intrigue is directed.
DIDATIC   Pertaining to a work of literature which is intended for instruction.
INVERSION  Reversal of the usual or natural order of words.  Example:  “So beautiful is this rose.”
DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE    A poetic form in which a single character, addressing a person who remains silent, reveals himself and the situation.
JACOBEAN AGE    The period of the reign of James I of England (1603-1625) which came right after the Elizabethan Period.  Writers of the Jacobean Age included Bacon, Donne, Shakespeare, and Jonson.
DREAM VISION   A conventional device used in narrative verse, especially by medieval poets, that presents a story as told by one who falls asleep.  Dante’s Divine Comedy exemplifies the Dream Vision.
LAMPOON  A sharp satire directed against an individual, a social institution, a government,
ELEGY    A mournful or melancholy poem, especially a lament for the dead.
LIMERICK     Humorous verse of five lines in which the first and second lines rhyme with the fifth line, and the shorter third line rhymes with the shorter fourth.
ELIZABETHAN AGE   One of the greatest periods in English literature, the reign of Elizabeth (1558-1603) was marked by writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, Sidney, and Ben Jonson.
LOCAL COLOR   Distinctive characteristics of a place or period as represented in a novel, drama, etc.
EMPATHY   The experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another person.
LYRIC POEM   A short poem having the form and musical quality of a song.  The poet’s own thoughts and feelings are expressed in the lyric poem.
EPIC   A poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements is narrated at length in elevated style.  Homer’s Iliad is an epic poem.
MELODRAMA    A play form that does not observe the dramatic laws of cause and effect and that emphasizes sentiments and emotions.
EPIGRAM  A short poem, often satirical, dealing concisely with a single subject and usually ending with a witty turn of thought.
METAPHYSICAL POETS  A group of 17th-century English poets, notably John Donne, whose style was highly intellectual and philosophical.
ESSAY  A short prose composition on a particular subject.  The essay is usually analytical in treatment.
MIRACLE, MORALITY, MYSTERY PLAYS   These terms are, more or less, interchangeable.  They refer to medieval drama in verse dealing with religious subjects.
EUPHONY   Sound of words which is pleasing to the ear.
MOTIF   See Theme
EUPHUISM   An affected style which was popular in England in the latter part of the sixteenth century.  John Lyly was adept at this type of writing as shown by his Eupheus and His England (1580).    See Caroline Period
MYTH   A traditional or legendary story usually dealing with some superhuman being or some event, without a basis of fact or a natural explanation.
EXPOSITION    An explanatory treatment.
NARRATIVE    A story of events or experiences, whether true or fictitious.
EXPRESSIONISM   A literary technique of distorting objects and events in order to represent them as they are perceived by a character in a literary work.
NATURALISM   See Realism.
FABLE   A short tale which teaches a moral.  The fable often has animals as characters.
NEOCLASSIC   Designates a style of poetry or prose developed chiefly in the 17th and 18th centuries, rigidly adhering to the rules of classical literature.
FARCE   A light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully employed situation rather than upon the development of character.
NOVEL   Fictitious prose narrative of considerable length, portraying characters and presenting an organized series of actions and scenes.  A novella is relatively shorter than the novel and longer than the short story.
FIGURE OF SPEECH Any expressive use of language, such as a metaphor, simile, personification, etc., in which words are used in other than their literal sense.  See Figures of Speech on page ___

FLASHBACK     A scene representing an earlier event inserted into a current situation depicted in a novel, play, movie, etc.