-Climax-From Greek, “ladder.” In a plot or argument this term refers to the crisis or turning point. In fiction and drama that means the point of highest emotional intensity, suspense, and significance when the conflicts leading to it are resolved somehow.

-Denouement (Falling Action)- From French, “unknotting.” Also known as falling action, the denouement is a element of plot that follows the climax in drama or fiction. It shows the consequences of the main dramatic complications and thereby the final state of affairs for the principal characters.

-Exposition- Introduction. Often presents background, back story, etc.

-Narrative Plot- Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Denouement, Resolution (also known as Dramatic Arc)

-Plot-Also known as story line, this is the arrangement of events in such a way as to justify a conclusion. As such, plot manipulates a story (the sequence of events in time) for a purpose by abbreviating, expanding, and reordering the events.

-Resolution- Conclusion of events.

-Rising Action- Events build towards the climax.

-Setting-[R]efers to the location of any story. This includes its geographical location, its time period, and the cultural and social background.

-Theme-This term can refer to a topic of discussion or to the idea that a literary work tries to argue, illustrate, or suggest.


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Structural Elements of Poetry

-Ballad (form)- A narrative poem composed in stanzas, with or without music. -Blank Verse- This term refers to unrhymed iambic pentameter. That is, each line contains ten syllables with the stress on the even-numbered syllables, with occasional minor variation in stress placement or syllable count.

-Connotation- The significance, ideas, or emotions summoned up by a word in addition to its dictionary definition. Usually subjective and difficult to pin down exactly, connotations are absorbed as a part of learning one’s culture.

-Denotation- The strictly literal, objective definition of a word without regard to emotional, cultural, or historical associations. The denotation of a word is found in its dictionary definition.

-Elegy (form)-A poem of mourning or lament. Elegies not only regret the passing of a person or a way of life but also ponder the circumstances of the loss and come to a consolation, often from a first-person point of view.

-Epic (form)-They are long narrative poems telling of events of central importance to a nation, culture, or religion. There are many characters, but chief among them are legendary, mythic, or religious heroes; divine characters also play a role. The language is dignified and formal (elevated diction).

-Form-Most poetry, for example, physically arranges words into lines of varying lengths, and groups of lines. Some types of poem have exacting requirements. A sonnet, for instance, has fourteen lines arranged in two or four groups with separate rhymes. A Renaissance drama has five acts, each with a varying number of scenes. A novel relates a sequence of related events until a final scene resolves or explains the sequence. One of the usual targets of an avant- garde literary movement is traditional form: Free verse, for instance, broke away from the rhymes and stanzas of earlier poetry. Theater of the Absurd abandoned the divisions of acts and scenes.

-Haiku (form)- The haiku has strict requirements in form and content that imitators often neglect. The lines, respectively, contain five, seven, and five syllables. There often is a sense of disconnection or shift in perception between the opening and closing lines. The poem conveys a natural image that belongs to a specific season of the year; the allusion to the season may be very subtle. The image should evoke a flash of insight; in any case, its implications are not discussed directly.

-Iambic Pentameter- a line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable, for example Two households, both alike in dignity

-Limerick (form)-A five-line comic verse form. Its formal requirements are exacting. Its meter, usually anapestic, has three stresses in the first, second, and fifth lines and two stresses in the third and fourth lines. The rhyme scheme is aabba. The subject matter is sometimes pure nonsense and absurdity, but punning, bawdy innuendo, double entendres, and sexual or scatological jokes are more common.

-Lyric Poetry (form)- To the Greeks, a lyric was to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre by a single person; it contrasted it with a group song in a public performance, the ode, or a long narrative poem recited to an audience, the epic. As a personal expression, the lyric poem conveyed emotion and the circumstance of emotion instead of a narrative, although a story may be suggested. The lyric did not speak to readers so much as to the poet himself or herself, as if revealing his or her interior life, and was meant to be enjoyed at leisure, close-up, and in detail, like a finely executed miniature painting.

In lyric poems of the twentieth century free-verse movement and afterward, which abandoned the lyricism of form, the essential quality of a poet evincing personal insight through impression and imagery remains.

-Meter- This is the technical description, or measurement, of poetic rhythm. There are four broad categories. First, syllabic meter counts the number of syllables per line and nothing else. This is the meter of the Japanese haiku, for instance. Second, accentual meter counts only the number of stressed syllables per line; there may be a wide variation in the number of unaccented syllables. This is the traditional meter of Germanic verse, including Old English and Old Norse

poetry. Third, quantitative meter involves patterns of long and short syllables. Classical Greek and Roman poetry has various kinds of quantitative measures. Fourth, accentual syllabic meter counts both stress patterns and a fixed number of syllables per line. Although English and American poets have experimented with all these types, accentual syllabic is the traditional, most used, and most natural meter for the English language. The basic unit of meter is the foot. The number of feet for a particular meter is indicated by these terms: monometer for one foot, dimeter for two feet, trimeter for three feet, tetrameter for four feet, pentameter for five feet, hexameter for six feet, and heptameter (a rare length) for seven feet. There are four metrical patterns. Two are rising meters in that the stressed syllable ends the foot: iambic (ù ø, the iambus) and anapestic (ù ù ø, the anapest). There are also two falling meters: trochaic (ø ù, the trochee) and dactylic (ø ù ù, the dactyl). In addition to inversions of these feet for variation, there are two substitute feet: the spondee, two stressed syllables in a row (ø ø); and the ionic double foot (ù ù ø ø), the first half of which is sometimes called the pyrrhic foot. Combining the syllable count and the foot type, a critic can quickly identify the meter of a poem. For example, the sonnet form calls for iambic pentameter, as does the heroic couplet. The limerick requires three lines of anapestic trimeter and two of anapestic dimeter. It is important to remember that meter and rhythm are not synonymous. Rather, a poem’s rhythm arises from the variations in its prevalent meter. Thus, two poems in that same meter, such as anapestic trimeter, can strike the reader as having a different rhythmic effect. Theorists disagree about the origin and full effect of meter, but all recognize that in addition to the pleasure it gives readers, it can reinforce meaning and emotion with sound effects.

-Narrative Poetry (form)-Poems that tell stories, such as epics, ballads, metrical romances, and dramatic monologues.

-Ode (form)-A long, dignified, deliberative poem devoted to a single subject, the ode has a long history. It began in ancient Greek drama as a celebratory choral song in three alternating stanzas: the strophe, antistrophe, and epode. The poet Pindar adapted it as a lyric poem, keeping the original stanzaic scheme. Although the rhythm can vary among lines, the strophe and antistrophe have the same form, but the epode has its own form.

-Poetry and Poetics-One of the major genres of literature, poetry derives from a Greek verb, poiein, meaning “to make,” and poetics refers to the technical and theoretical aspects of poetry. The three traditional divisions of poetry—epic, dramatic, and lyric—distinguish the scope and occasion of this reexperiencing. Epic concerns historical topics of cultural importance and originally was meant to be recited in public before an audience. Dramatic poetry imitates more limited interactions of groups of people as a portrayal of morality or ideas before an audience. Lyric poetry concerns personal emotions and is to be examined at leisure in private. Traditionally, like all literature, poetry instructs and delights. How much it emphasizes instruction over entertainment, as well as its general subject matter, has led to further classifications—such as didactic poetry, war poetry, or urban poetry. In any case, poetry in all cultures undergoes a continuous evolution to reflect the changing tastes and interests of the people who write it, recite or perform it, hear it, and read it.

-Rhyme-Rhymes are a method of organizing words into comprehensible groups, a technique most marked in poetry. As such, rhyme-fellows usually come at the end of lines close to each other (end rhyme), but here too there is much variation, including rhymes within lines (internal rhyme) and alternations of internal and end rhyme (cross rhyme). Modern prose usually avoids obvious rhyming, but it has been an ornament in elaborate prose styles of the past, such as euphuism, and still appears in some oral contexts, such as sermons.

-Rhythm- From Greek, “flowing.” The regular recurrence of a meaningful speech sound constitutes rhythm in language, one of the most powerful and moving features of human communications. In poetry, these speech sounds include stress, syllable length, and syllable number per line, the constituents of meter. Rhythm differs from meter in that meter is an abstract scheme, whereas rhythm is the specific application of a scheme in a poem. The poem’s rhythm may show variations from its established meter.

-Sonnet (form)-There is no more famous type of fixed-form poem in the western European languages. The sonnet always has fourteen lines, and in English the meter is iambic pentameter. There are two major variations based upon the rhyme scheme. The first and older is the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, originating in thirteenth century Sicily. The poem is divided into an eight-line unit (the octave) with the rhyme scheme abbaabba and a six-line unit (the sestet) rhyming either cdecde, cdcdcd, or cdedce. The octave states a problem, question, or situation that the sestet then comments on or suggest a solution to.

The second major type is the English or Shakespearean sonnet. It is divided into three quatrains rhymed abab, cdcd, and efef and a concluding couplet rhymed gg (known as the gemel). A variation called the Spenserian sonnet links the quatrains in the rhyme scheme abab bcbc cdcd. The quatrains of the English sonnet generally present variations on a theme or imagery, which the couplet comments on or sums up.

-Stanza-From Italian, “room.” This is the repeated grouping of lines as verse paragraphs in a poem. In each repetition the number of lines remains the same. Although the couplet and tercet are technically stanzas if separated by spaces, critics generally consider them too short to do the job of a paragraph. Accordingly, groupings of four (quatrain) to fourteen (quatorzain) are the most common arrangement.


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Structural Elements of Drama

-Drama-From Greek, “action.” The enactment of a fiction by actors before an audience.

-Characters-In general usage, character is the sum of a person’s moral qualities, beliefs, and temperament.

-Dialogue-The exchange of speech in literature. Dialogue has three basic forms. In films and plays, it is the conversation between characters that actors deliver after having memorized it from a script. In fiction and nonfiction it is the conversation between characters that is indicated by punctuation to be separate from the narrative, frequently with attributions (who spoke each remark) included outside the punctuation.

-Monologue (Dialogue)-A speech by one person in a drama or variety show, or a poem representing a single person’s speech.

-Soliloquy (Dialogue)-A monologue spoken when a character is alone on stage. The soliloquy lets the audience hear the character’s thoughts and feelings.

-Conflict is the catalyst for action in narrative and dramatic plots, whether melodramatic, comic, or tragic. It is basically the opposition, or struggle, between two major agents.

-Stage Directions- Short phrases presented in brackets to direct the actors in their movements.

-Types of Drama:

-Comedy- From Greek, komos, “revel.” One of the two original forms of Greek drama, along with tragedy, comedy has expanded in meaning more than any literary term derived from an ancient literature. Originally, a comedy was a type of carousing festival celebration for the god Dionysus, probably associated with fertility. Although wit, humor, irony, and the ridiculous are perennially associated with comedy, they are not its principal distinction as a mode of literature.

-Tragedy- This term is now used for any long fictional or dramatic work that shows the decline and inevitable or unjust death of its protagonists, who face their doom with courage.

-Tragicomedy- The tragicomedy appears to show them on their way to their doom, but no one dies after all. In fact, the ending is often happy, the threatening doom reversed at the last minute by a deus ex machina device.


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Figurative and Connotative Devices

-Connotation- The significance, ideas, or emotions summoned up by a word in addition to its dictionary definition. Usually subjective and difficult to pin down exactly, connotations are absorbed as a part of learning one’s culture.

-Denotation- The strictly literal, objective definition of a word without regard to emotional, cultural, or historical associations. The denotation of a word is found in its dictionary definition.

-Allegory-From Greek allegoria, “speaking in another way,” allegory is a literary device for suggesting meanings other than the literal.

-Alliteration- stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series

-Allusion- brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text -Anaphora- the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect

-Assonance- two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds -Consonance- repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession, such as in “pitter, patter”

-Foreshadowing- a clue of a future event that will take place in the story -Hyperbole- a figure of speech that involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis

-Idiom- a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words -Imagery- to use figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses

-Irony-Irony is perceptible contrast between what is said in a statement and what it really must mean, or between appearance and reality. There are three types of irony: verbal, dramatic, and situational. -Litotes- derived from a Greek word meaning “simple,” is a figure of speech that employs an understatement by using double negatives or, in other words, a positive statement expressed by negating its opposite expressions

-Metonymy-This is figure of speech in which something is not named directly but indicated by associations or attributes

-Metaphor-From Greek, “carry across.” This widely used figure of speech transfers meaning by implied comparison

-Onomatopoeia- a word which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting

-Oxymoron – two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect.

-Personification-This trope treats concepts, emotions, inanimate objects, and animals as if they were intelligent beings in their own right

-Sarcasm- derived from the French word “sarcasmor”, and also from the Greek word “sarkazein”, which means “tear flesh,” or “grind the teeth”

-Simile-Like a metaphor, a simile is a trope comparing two unlike things. However, the simile does so with the connective terms “as,” “like,” “than,” or “as if”

-Stream of Consciousness- Includes a number of disparate activities, including thought, memory, reaction to sensation, emotion, and associations. Moreover, there is no rational order to these activities. They flow, like a stream, as time passes and become part of consciousness because of both internal and external stimuli

-Synechdoche- A form of metaphor, which in mentioning an important (and attached) part signifies the whole (e.g. “hands” for labour)

-Symbol-This term refers to a means of bringing together the abstract and concrete or the general and the specific in a memorable combination. In general, it is an object or sensory impression that has an associated meaning or phenomenon

-Tautology- the repetitive use of phrases or words that have similar meanings. In simple words, it is expressing the same thing, an idea, or saying, two or more times

References “Figurative Language – Examples And Definition.” Literary Devices, 2015, https://literarydevices.net/figurative-language/.

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