Abeka English Literature Glossary of Literary Terms– Part 1

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the stressing of certain syllables or words
the actual movements and speech of characters performing or “acting out” situations on the stage
a narrative in which the characters, places, and events represent certain abstract qualities or ideas designed to teach some moral lesson or truth
the repetition of the same consonant sounds
a reference to mythology, history, or a literary work
a comparison of two different things that may share common characteristics (often used to explain or describe something unfamiliar by comparing it to something familiar)
the opponent or force in conflict with the protagonist
words addressed to an inanimate object as if it were alive or to an absent person as if he were present
a dramatic effect in which a character directly addresses either the audience or another character to convey his inner feeling or to comment on some action preformed
Augustan Age
another name for the Neoclassical Age and the Age of Pope; the first half of the eighteenth century, marked by a return to classical standards
often anonymous works, produced from Anglo-Saxon times until the seventeenth century, through which the common people could be understood
art ballad
an imitation by a modern poet of the early English and Scottish popular ballads
popular ballad
a short, narrative folk song which tells of a single event in an objective manner
ballad stanza
a four-line stanza with four accented iambic syllables in lines one and three, and three accented syllables in lines two and four
introduces the facts of another person’s life and orders him in such a way that the reader can develop insight into the person’s character
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter (used for the treatment of serious themes by many great poets including Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth)
Byronic hero
a unique type of Romantic character developed by Byron and closely associated with him (a rebellious, brooding, and proud hero)
a pause or break in a line of poetry
a popular art form which originated in medieval France and spread to other countries in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; originally sung as any joyous song or hymn, but now associated with Christmas carols in particular
Cavalier poets
lyricists of a lighthearted nature who emphasized the pleasures of this world and who wrote love songs to or about women, and were loyal to the king
the portrayal of the imaginary persons who carry out the action of the plot in a novel or a story
direct exposition
type of characterization that tells the reader directly what a character is like
indirect revelation
type of characterization that allows the reader to draw his own conclusions from what the character thinks, or what other characters think about him
the people who perform the action of narrative, novel, or play
dynamic character
a character who undergoes some change and is different at the end of the story
static character
a character who remains essentially the same throughout the story
a play that ends happily; the events are trivial, everyday details of life; the characters are ordinary men rather than kings or nobles; and the themes deal with man’s imperfections, vices, and weaknesses
comic relief
a humorous event or speech used to provide temporary relief from the intense drama of the play (used by English playwrights as a comparison to “elevate” or increase the seriousness of the play)
an elaborate comparison of two things which superficially have little in common
Metaphysical conceit
points out an unusual parallel between highly dissimilar elements
a struggle between opposing forces
two rhyming lines which express a complete thought
heroic couplet
two rhymed lines written in iambic pentameter
a belief in an impersonal God, who, after creating the world, left it to run by natural laws and who left man to take care of himself by using his intellect
the outcome or resolution in which all the loose ends are tied up at the end of a play, usually a comedy
the speeches between two or more characters in a play or all the speeches of a play take collectively
Categories: English Literature