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Combo with AP Literature Terms and 11 others

Terms in this set (1297)

From the French: "unknotting" (pron.: "day-new-MAW'). The final outcome or unraveling of the main dramatic complications in a play, novel, or other work of literature. Denouement is usually the final scene or chapter in which any necessary, and, as yet unmade, clarifications are made. It sometimes involves an explanation of secrets or misunderstandings. In Hamlet, the denouement takes place after the catastrophe of Hamlet's death. The stage is littered with corpses. Prince Fortinbras makes an entrance and Horatio speaks his sweet lines in praise of Hamlet. His words bring relief and comfort: "Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" (5.2). In the drama Othello, there is a plot to deceive Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful to him. As a result of this plot, Othello kills his wife out of jealousy, the climax of the play. The denouement occurs soon after, when Emilia, who was Desdemona's mistress, proves to Othello that his wife was in fact honest, true, and faithful to him. Emilia reveals to Othello that her husband, Iago, had plotted against Desdemona and tricked Othello into believing that she had been unfaithful. Iago kills Emilia in front of Othello, and she dies telling Othello his wife was innocent. As a result of being mad with grief, Othello plunges a dagger into his own heart. Understanding the denouement helps the reader to see how the final end of a story unfolds, and how the structure of stories works to affect our emotions.
Repeated patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry (from the Greek, "metron": "measure"). In English the most common patterns are these- iambic, dactylic, trochaic, anapestic, spondaic. The number of times these patterns are repeated in a single line is referred to as the number of metrical "feet": once: monometer; twice: dimeter; thrice: trimeter; four times: tetrameter; five times, pentameter; etc. The great epics of Greece and Rome were composed in dactylic hexameter (Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid) in their original languages (Greek and Latin). Shakespeare usually wrote in iambic pentameter, e.g.: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" (Sonnet 18). Today most poetry is characterized by FREE VERSE, a type of poetry which does not conform to a regular meter. In Ancient Greek poetry and Latin poetry, lines followed certain metrical patterns, based on arrangements of heavy and light syllables. A heavy syllable was referred to as a longum and a light as a brevis (and in the modern day, reflecting the ancient terms, a longum is often called a "long syllable" and a brevis a "short syllable," potentially creating confusion between syllable length and vowel length). A syllable was considered heavy if it contained a long vowel or a diphthong (and was therefore "long by nature" — it would be long no matter what) or if it contained a short vowel that was followed by more than one consonant ("long by position," long by virtue of its relationship to the consonants following). An example: Arma virumque cano: "I sing of arms and of the man" (Virgil, The Aeneid).