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Complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, seldom uses examples to support its points.
"Misplaced in time." An aspect of a story that doesn't belong in its supposed time setting.
A comparison, usually involving two or more symbolic parts, employed to clarify an action or a relationship.
When inanimate objects are given human characteristics. Often confused with personification.
A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of other unsavory qualities.
A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage.
Drawn from Aristotle's writings on tragedy. Refers to the "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences during a play
In Greek drama, the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.
A word or phrase used in everyday conversational English that isn't a part of accepted "school-book" English.
Suggesting that there is more than one possibility in the meaning of words; subtleties and variations; multiple layers of interpretation; meaning both explicit and implicit
Conceit (Controlling Image)
A startling or unusual metaphor, or to a metaphor developed and expanded upon several lines.
A character's speech must be styled according to her social station, and in accordance to the situation.
The continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause.
A very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style; typically deal with glorious or profound subject matter.
Lines rhymed by their final two syllables. Properly, the penultimate syllables are stressed and the final syllables are unstressed.
A secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast.
The basic rhythmic unit of a line of poetry, formed by a combination of two or three syllables, either stressed or unstressed.
An event of statement in a narrative that in miniature suggests a larger event that comes later.
A sensibility that includes such features as dark, gloomy castles and weird screams from the attic each night.
In media res
Latin for "in the midst of things," i.e. beginning an epic poem in the middle of the action.
Refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head; tends to be coherent.
A statement that means the opposite of what it seems to mean; uses an undertow of meaning, sliding against the literal a la Jane Austen.
A sentence that is complete before its end: Jack loved Barbara despite her irritating snorting laugh.
A sentence that is not grammatically complete until it has reached it s final phrase: Despite Barbara's irritation at Jack, she loved him.
A type of poetry that explores the poet's personal interpretation of and feelings about the world.
A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure.
A word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with.
A treatment of subject matter that uses the interior or personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses.
A pairing of images whereby each becomes more striking and informative because it's placed in contrast to the other one.
A situation or statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not.
A phrase set off by commas that interrupts the flow of a sentence with some commentary or added detail.
A third person narrator who sees into each character's mind and understands all the action going on.
A Third person narrator who generally reports only what one character sees, and who only reports the thoughts of that one privileged character.
A thrid person narrator who only reports on what would be visible to a camera. Does not know what the character is thinking unless the character speaks it.
A narrator who is a character in the story and tells the tale from his or her point of view.
Stream of Consciousness
Author places the reader inside the main character's head and makes the reader privy to all of the character's thoughts as they scroll through her consciousness.
Attempts to improve things by pointing out people's mistakes in the hope that once exposed, such behavior will become less common.
A speech spoken by a character alone on stage, meant to convey the impression that the audience is listening to the character's thoughts.
A grammatical situation involving the words "if" and "were," setting up a hypothetical situation.
Suspension of disbelief
The demand made of a theater audience to accept the limitations of staging and supply the details with their imagination.
In a tragedy, this is the weakness of a character in an otherwise good (or even great) individual that ultimately leads to his demise.
When the first person narrator is crazy, a liar, very young, or for some reason not entirely credible
An idealized place. Imaginary communities in which people are able to live in happiness, prosperity, and peace.
The use of a word to modify two or more words, but used for different meanings. He closed the door and his heart on his lost love.
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