How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

33 terms

Greek and Roman Lit. / Drama Terms

STUDY
PLAY
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