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mood

the attitude an author conveys toward his or her subject

morality play

a genre of medieval drama in which allegorical figures are used to illustrate Christian moral struggles

motif

a recurring element that appears in various works of literature or throughout a single work

movement

refers to the members and work on any group of writers or critics who share a more or less cohesive and defined attitude toward literary creation and interpretation

muse

one of the nice goddesses (daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory) responsible for the various fields of art and study

myth

an often supernatural or highly imaginative narrative in the oral tradition, used to express explanations for or collective attitudes toward human or natural events, social customs or beliefs, or the origins of life

narrator

someone who tells a story; the imagined or understood speaker of a narrative

negative capability

one's ability or willingness to be receptive to a complex or uncertain situation rather tan ignoring the ambiguity or pushing toward an artificial simple solution

neologism

a word newly invented and introduced into a language

nonce word

a word invented by a writer for use on a single occasion

portmanteau word

a neologism or nonce word made up of two pre-existing words fused together; also called a blend (ex: smog=smoke+ fog, or brunch=breakfast+lunch)

occasional verse

poetry written for or in response to a specific occasion, such as a birth, death, marriage, anniversary or other notable event

octameter

describes a line of metrical verse consisting of 8 feet

octave

any stanza of 8 lines, whether rhymed or unrhymed (octet)

ode

a relatively long, formal and elaborate lyric poem marking an important event, praising a person or thing or mediating upon an important subject

oeuvre

french for "work", the term refers to the total body of works written by a particular author

onomatopoeia

the use of a word that imitates the sound of something or a word with a sound suggesting its meaning

organic form

describes the form of a work of literature (usually a poem) that does not adhere to any set formal arrangement or structure

ottava rima

a stanza of eight lines in iambic pentameter, rhymed ABABABCC (concluding couplet offers a summary, conclusion, synthesis or reversal)

oxymoron

a word or phrase made up of two contradictory terms

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