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Pastoral

A poem treating of shepherds and rustic life...1) dialogue or singing-match 2)plaint of lovesick or forlorn lover or a poem praising some personage 3) lament for a dead friend

Pathetic fallacy

A phrase coined by Ruskin to denote the tendency to credit nature with human emotions...any false emotionalism resulting in a too impassioned description of nature

Pathos

Quality in art and literature that stimulates pity, tenderness, or sorrow

Pedantry

A display of learning for its own sake...used in critical reproach when style is marked by big words, quotations, foreign phrases, allusions, and such...

Persona

A mask. The term is widely used to refer to a "second self" created by an author and through whom the narrative is told

Petrarchan conceit

This kind of conceit used by Petrarch in his love sonnets and widely imitated or ridiculed by Renaissance English sonneteers. It rests on exaggerated comparisons expressing the beauty, cruelty, and charm of the beloved and the suffering of the forlorn lover.

Philology

Means the scientific study of both language and literature...today, it is the historical study of language

Picaresque novel

A chronicle, usually autobiographical, presenting the life story of a rascal of low degree engaged in menial tasks and making his living more through his wits than his industry...episodic and structure-less

Plot

An indispensable part of all fiction and drama

Poetic justice

Ideal judgment that rewards virtue and punishes vice

Poetic license

The privilege, sometimes claimed by poets, of departing from normal order, diction, rhyme, or pronunciation

Point of view

The vantage point from which an author presents a story

Polemic

A vigorously argumentative work, setting forth its author's attitudes on a highly controversial subject

Potboiler

Something written solely for money

Preface

A statement at the beginning of a book or article which states the purpose of the work, makes necessary acknowledgments, and, in general, informs the reader of such facts as the author thinks pertinent

Primitivism

The doctrine that supposedly primitive peoples, because they had remained closer to nature and had been less subject to the influences of society, were nobler than civilized peoples

Problem novel

A narrative that derives its chief interest from working out some central problem; applied to those novels written for a deliberate purpose or thesis

Prologue

An introduction most frequently associated with drama and especially common in England in the plays of the Restoration and the 18th century

Prose

During Middle Ages and early Renaissance, the honorific verse was reserved for poetry in the classical style: quantitatively scanned and unrhymed

Protagonist

The chief character in a work

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