180 terms

Davis Lit Crit Terms

STUDY
PLAY
caesura
a pause or break within a line of poetry
antithesis
involves a direct contrast (usually structurally parallel word groupings) generally for the purpose of contrast (e.g., sink or swim)
cacophony
discordant, unpleasant noise
dramatic irony
(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play
juxtaposition
literary device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed closely or next to one another to show comparison or contrast
meiosis
understatement, the opposite of hyperbole
paradox
a statement that seems contradictory or absurd but that expresses the truth (e.g., The more you know, the more you don't know.)
rhetorical shift
a change from one tone, attitude, etc. to another
situational irony
In this type of irony, an event occurs that directly contrasts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience. (e.g., deep sea diver drowning in the bathtub)
synechdoche
a form of metaphor in which a part of something is used to stand for the whole thing (e.g. all hands on deck)
tragic flaw
a defect in the tragic hero that causes his downfall
verbal irony
a type of irony in which words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant
parallelism
the repetition of a grammatical structure
bildungsroman
A novel or story whose theme is the moral or psychological growth of the main character; coming of age story
archetype
A detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response
anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses
anathema
an object of intense dislike; a curse or strong denunciation
anecdote
short account of an amusing or interesting event
antihero
A protagonist who lacks one or more of the conventional qualities attributed to a hero. Instead of being dignified, brave, idealistic, or purposeful, the antihero may be cowardly, self-interested, alienated, or weak.
anthropomorphism
the representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits
aphaeresis
(linguistics) omission at the beginning of a word as in 'coon' for 'raccoon' or 'till' for 'until'
aphorism
a concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance
apostrophe
address to an absent or imaginary person
axiom
a saying that widely accepted on its own merits
avant-garde
Ahead of the times, especially in the arts
ballad
a songlike poem that tells a story
black humor
humor that comes from situations that are grim or tragic
Bloomsbury Group
famous artists which included Virginia Woolf and John Keynes who challenged Victorian ideals and the repressive sexual morality of the previous generation
Bluestockings
After 1750, a term applied to women of pronounces intellectual interests.
bucolic
a short descriptive poem of rural or pastoral life
canon
a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired
catachresis
strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as 'blatant' to mean 'flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: 'blind mouths')
chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.")
classicism
the principles and styles admired in the classics of Greek and Roman literature, such as objectivity, sensibility, restraint, and formality
unities
The effects conveyed by a literary work (especially a play) in which the author adheres to one or more of the classical principles of dramatic structure (action, place and time)
coda
concluding part of a literary or musical composition; something that summarizes or concludes
conceit
a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects
dirge
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
doggerel
badly written or trivial verse, often with a singsong rhythm
doppelganger
seemingly exact doubles who appear often as a forecast of death or disaster
double entendre
a statement that has two meanings, one of which is dirty or vulgar
dystopia
a work of fiction describing an imaginary place where life is extremely bad because of deprivation or oppression or terror; e.g. The Hunger Games
elision
The omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable to preserve the meter of a line of poetry.
elegy
poem or song expressing lamentation
Elizabethan Age
a period in British history during the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century
end-stopped lines
lines in which both the grammatical structure and the sense reach completion at the end
Enlightenment
a movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions
Epic Simile
a simile developed over several lines of verse
epigram
a witty saying
epigraph
an inscription on a monument or building, on a coin, or at the beginning of a book or chapter
epilogue
a short passage added at the end of a literary work
epitaph
an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
epiphany
a moment of sudden revelation or insight
epithet
An adjective or other descriptive phrase that is regularly used to characterize a person, place, or thing
Epistolary Novel
A novel composed wholly or primarily of letters. Unfolds through the written documents passed from person to person.
euphemism
An indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
euphony
any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds
Existentialism
a philosophy based on the idea that people give meaning to their lives through their choices and actions.
Humanism
a renaissance intellectual movement in which thinkers studied classical texts and focused on human potential and achievements
Impressionism
a nineteenth-century movement in literature and art which advocated a recording of the artist's personal impressions of the world, rather than a strict representation of reality.
Jeremiad
a literary work or speech expressing a bitter lament or a righteous prophecy of doom
kenning
A device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetry in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities, as in "ring-giver" for king and "whale-road" for ocean.
lexicon
a dictionary; a specialized vocabulary used in a particular field or place
litany
a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the priest with responses from the congregation
litotes
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture.")
luddites
group of people against machinery and industrialization, attacked factories
macabre
(adj.) grisly, gruesome; horrible, distressing; having death as a subject
Magnum Opus
a great work of art or literature
malediction
A curse; a wish of evil upon another
Mystery play
a type of religious drama in the MIddle Ages based on stories from the Bible
Neoclassicism
revival of a classical style (in art or literature or architecture or music) but from a new perspective or with a new motivation
neologism
a newly invented word or phrase
objective correlative
T.S. Eliot's term for a pattern of objects, actions, or events, or a situation that can effectively awaken in the reader an emotional response without being a direct statement of that subjective emotion. T.S. Eliot stressed that the emotion is felt immediately as soon as all of the elements are given.
Ode
a lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject; usually directed twoard a single purpose and dealing with one theme
omnicient
all knowing
palidrome
a word or line sentence reading forward and backward; "civic,"
parable
illustrtive story that tells a lesson
parataxis
the placing together of sentances, clauses, or phrases without a conjunctive word or words ex. i came ,i saw,i conquered
hypotaxis
An arrangement of phrases or clauses in a dependent or subordinate relationship.
passion play
A drama that portrays a portion of the life of a God; usually depicting the Passion of Christ: the trial, suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is a traditional part of Lent in several Christian denominations, particularly in Catholic tradition.
pastiche
imitation of another's style in musical composition or in writing; work of art openly imitating the works of other artists
pastoral
a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)
pathetic fallacy
faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects
pathos
a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow)
logos
an appeal based on logic or reason
ethos
The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator
putative author
the fictional author of a work, supposedly written by someone other than its actual author
Realism
This was the new style of literature that focused on the daily lives and adventures of a common person. This style was a response to Romanticism's supernaturalism and over-emphasis on emotion
rhetoric
using language effectively to please or persuade
Romanticism
a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization
rondeau
a French verse form of 10 or 13 lines running on two rhymes
Sapphic
Lyric verses written in Greek meter; stanzas of four lines, first three with eleven syllables, the last having five. In the first three lines, the sequence of five metrical feet it trochee, trochee or spondee, dactyl, trochee, trochee or spondee, spondee. In the fourth line, a dactyl is followed by a trochee or a spondee.
scop
composers and storytellers of Anglo-Saxon poetry
slant rhyme
rhyme in which the vowel sounds are nearly, but not exactly the same (i.e. the words "stress" and "kiss"); sometimes called half-rhyme, near rhyme, or partial rhyme
stream of consciousness
A literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur.
strophe
one section of a lyric poem or choral ode in classical Greek drama; a type of stanza
sublime
exalted, noble, uplifting
syllogism
a three-part deductive argument in which a conclusion is based on a major premise and a minor premise ("All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.")
synaesthesia
the use of one kind of sensory experience to describe another
syncope
(phonology) the loss of sounds in the interior of a word (as in 'fo'c'sle' for 'forecastle')
Transcendentalism
A philosophy pioneered by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1830's and 1840's, in which each person has direct communication with God and Nature, and there is no need for organized churches. It incorporated the ideas that mind goes beyond matter, intuition is valuable, that each soul is part of the Great Spirit, and each person is part of a reality where only the invisible is truly real. Promoted individualism, self-reliance, and freedom from social constraints, and emphasized emotions.
trope
Artful diction; the use of language in a nonliteral way; also called a figure of speech.
utopia
an imaginary place considered to be perfect or ideal
volta
the turn in thought—from question to answer, problem to solution—that occurs at the beginning of the sestet in an Italian sonnet
yellow journalism
Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers
Penny Dreadful
A cheaply produced paper bound novel or novelette of mystery, adventure, or violence popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in England; equivalent of an american DIME NOVEL
scop
composers and storytellers of Anglo-Saxon poetry
Jongleur
Early medieval French musical entertainer who recited lyrics, ballads, and stories
Troubador
A poet or musician who traveled around and entertained people with songs about chivalry and courtly love.
Sigmatism
Marked use of the sibillant (hissing) sounds represented by s, z, sh, zh, and so forth.
EX: Now each visitor shall confess
Reification
occurs when a hypothetical, abstract concept is given a name and then treated as though it were a concrete, tangible object
anthropomorphism
the attribution of humanlike characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, or forces of nature (e.g. Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit)
parable
a simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson
fable
a short moral story (often with animal characters)
ballad
..., a type of poem that is meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature
enjambment
Describes a line of poetry in which the sense and grammatical construction continues on to the next line
muse
the source of an artist's inspiration
pantheism
the doctrine that regards the universe as a manifestation of God
polysyndeton
using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in 'he ran and jumped and laughed for joy')
didacticism
the artistic philosophy that art should not just entertain, it should instruct or inform.
esemplastic power
to mold into unity
Ex. Coleridges "Frost at Midnight;" and "To Nature"
epistolary literature
Literature that is written in the form of a letter or a series of letters
folklore
the unwritten literature (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture
pluralism
condition in which many cultures coexist within a society and maintain their cultural differences
merism
type of synecdoche in which the whole is suggested by contrasting parts
adage
a proverb, wise saying
anecdote
short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)
epigram
a short, witty saying
versimilitude
the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable
tableau
dramatic scene or picture
uncial
a style of orthography characterized by somewhat rounded capital letters
locus classicus
classical example
nekuia
visit to the Underworld
zeugma
use of two different words in a grammatically similar way but producing different, often incongruous, meanings (EX. "Mr. Pickwick took his hat and his leave."
Knickerbocker group
Early 19th century group in New York that wrote literature and enabled America to boast for the first time of a literature that matched its magnificent landscapes
Black Mountain School
Modernist experimental school in North Carolina that has produced such writers as Olson, Creely, and Duncan.
regionalism
an element in literature that conveys a realistic portrayal of a specific geographical locale, using the locale and its influences as a major part of the plot
provincialism
Seeing things exclusively through the eyes of one's own group, organization, or affiliation.
Gongorism
Elaborate and affected poetic style originated by16th century Spanish poet Luis de Gongora y Argote; includes unusual word order, word invention, personal symbolism, description of 5 senses, refrences to greek and roman mythology
barbarism
the incorrect usage of words or forms of language
legend
a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually less of supernatural elements
parable
a simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson
myth
a traditional story accepted as history; uses supernatural episodes as a means of interpreting natural events
burlesque
a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way
exordium
(rhetoric) the introductory section of an oration or discourse
meliorism
the belief that society has an innate tendency toward improvement and that this tendency may be furthered through conscious human effort
aestheticism
loosely defined movement in literature, fine art, the decorative arts, and interior design in later nineteenth-century Britain; used slogan "Art for Art's Sake;" authors include Wilde, Keats, and Rosetti
determinism
The philosophical theory that every human act or decision is the inevitable result of specific influences (physical, psychological, environmental) that are independent of human will
humanism
philosophy that tends to exalt the human element or stress the importance of human interests, as opposed to supernatural or divine elements
macron
a diacritical mark (-) placed above a vowel to indicate a long sound
breve
a diacritical mark (u-curved) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound
tautology
needless repetition of an idea by using different but equivalent words; a redundancy
archaism
The use of deliberately old-fashioned language.
metathesis
a linguistic process of transposition of sounds or syllables within a word or words within a sentence; EX: comfortable → comfterble
epanalepsis
repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause (EX: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.")
ethos
The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator
pathos
appeal to emotion
logos
an appeal based on logic or reason
exegesis
an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
truncation
the act of cutting short; EX. "it is an obvious truncation of the verse
eulogy
a formal statement of commendation; high praise (particularly for someone who has died)
antistrophe
n. The inversion of terms in successive clauses, as in "the home of joy and the joy of home".
heteronym
one of two or more words that are spelled alike but have different meanings and pronunciations, such as bass voice and bass, a fish
prosonomasia
n. - use of a humorous modification of a person'sname
antonomasia
substitution of a common word or phrase for a proper name eg) "a Benedict Arnold" for a traitor
Juvenalian Satire
harsh, biting satire, full of moral indignation and bitter contempt
Horatian Satire
gentle, amused, witty satire; mildly corrective
antipophora
a figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one's own question (or raises and then settles imaginary objections); reasoning aloud
antimetabole
Repitition of words in succussive clauses in reverse grammatical order ("You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.")
picaresque
involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
pruning poem
a poem in which succeeding rhyme words have initial sounds or letters pared away. For example, the last words in each line might be "charm" then "harm" then "arm."
opus
(n.) an impressive piece of work, especially a musical composition or other work of art
libretto
the text of an opera or other dramatic musical work
Domesday Book
A record of all the property and holdings in England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1066 so he could determine the extent of his lands and wealth
cubist poetry
Poetry that attempts to take the elements of an experience, fragment them, and arrange them in a meaningful new synthesis.
square poem
has a certain number of syllables per line and the same number of lines in a stanza. Ex: twelve lines with twelve syllables each.
aparithmesis
Rhetorical enumeration. Ex: What comes first? Can you see? Tell us. It is 5,800,000 rifles and carbines, 102, 000 machine guns, 28,000 trench mortars, 53,000 field and heavy guns...
reification
Giving an abstract concept a name and then treating it as though it were a concrete, tangible object.
kenosis
refers to Christ's sacrificial self- emptying by becoming man and dying for the sins of all people
Jeremiad
n. an elaborate and lengthy tale of sadness
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