Greek and Roman Lit. / Drama Terms

33 terms by agolayy 

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allegory

a literary work with two or more levels of meaning - a literal level and one or more symbolic levels

alllusion

a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art

comedy

a literary work, especially a play, which is light, often humerous or satirical, and ends happily

epic conventions

traditional characteristics of epic poems, including the the opening statement of the theme; includes invocation, epic similes, stock epithets, in medias res

epic simile

elaborate, extended comparisons using "like" or "as"

extended metaphor

a subject is spoken or written of as though it were something else; several connected comparisons are made

flashback

a scene within a story that interrupts the sequence of events to relate events that occurred in the past

homeric simile

a simile developed over several lines of verse, esp. one used in an epic poem.

in medias res

starting a story "in the middle of things"

invocation

appeal for supernatural help in telling the story

irony (dramatic)

the audience is aware of something that the character or speaker is not

metrical structure

the use of a conventional predictable structure that gives a work rhapsody and cadence

orchestra

where the actors perform

paradox

a statement that seems to be contradictory but actually presents a truth

personification

a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics

rhapsodes

"Singer of tales" Historians and entertainers as well as the myth-makers of their time.

stock epithet

a descriptive adjective or phrase that is repeatedly used with, or in place of, a name.

tragedy

a type of serious drama that usually ends in disaster for the main character

tragic flaw

the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall

tragic hero

A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy.

amphitheatre

an open-air venue for spectator sports, concerts, rallies, or theatrical performances. dramas in the time period always took place here.

anagnoreisis

a moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery

deus ex machina

"God from the machine"; as a plot device, a previously intractable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with a contrived introduction of a new character, ability, or object

hamartia

a termed developed by Aristotle which can simply be seen as a character's flaw or error

hubris

extreme haughtiness or arrogance; often indicates a loss of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power

monomyth

joseph campbell's term for the hero's journey; the mundane world, the call to adventure, crossing the threshold, the path of trials, the master of two worlds

nemesis

an agent or act of retribution or punishment

peripateia

a reversal of circumstances, or turning point

proskenian

where the carved out scene would rest against the wall

skene

where the actors would change costumes

theatron

where the audience would sit

thymele

where sacrifices to Dionysus would take place

parados

where only the chorus would enter and exit

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