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English Subject Area FL

Terms in this set (102)

The term loosely describes any writing in verse or prose that has a double meaning. This narrative acts as an extended metaphor in which persons, abstract ideas, or events represent not only themselves on the literal level, but they also stand for something else on the symbolic level. This reading usually involves moral or spiritual concepts that may be more significant than the actual, literal events described in a narrative. Typically, an ____involves the interaction of multiple symbols, which together create a moral, spiritual, or even political meaning. The act of interpreting a story as if each object in it had an allegorical meaning is called allegoresis.

"Animal Farm", written by George Orwell, is an allegory that uses animals on a farm to describe the overthrow of the last of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the Communist Revolution of Russia before WW II.

"Faerie Queen", a masterpiece of Edmund Spenser, is a moral and religious allegory.

The good characters of book stand for the various virtues, while the bad characters represent vices. "The Red-Cross Knight" represents holiness while "Lady Una" represents truth, wisdom and goodness. Her parents symbolize the human race. The "Dragon" which has imprisoned them stands for evil. The mission of holiness is to help the truth, fight evil, and thus regain its rightful place in the hearts of human beings. "The Red-Cross Knight" in this poem also represents the reformed church of England fighting against the "Dragon" which stands for the Papacy or the Catholic Church.

3. John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is an example of spiritual allegory. The ordinary sinner "Christian" leaves the City of Destruction and travels towards Celestial City, where God resides, for salvation. He finds "Faithful", a companion who helps him on his way to the City. On many instances, many characters "Hypocrisy", "Apollyon", "Mr. Worldy Wiseman" and "Obstinate and Pliable" try to discourage or stop him from achieving his aim. Finally, he reaches the Celestial City carried by Hopeful's faith.
Writers frequently employ ___ to point at the dishonesty and silliness of individuals and society and criticize them by ridiculing them.An attack on or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards. ____became an especially popular technique used during the Enlightenment, in which it was believed that an artist could correct folly by using art as a mirror to reflect society. a comical piece of writing which makes fun of an individual or a society to expose its stupidity and shortcomings. In addition, he hopes that those he criticizes will improve their characters by overcoming their weaknesses.

Example #2

Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock is an example of poetic satire in which he has satirized the upper middle class of eighteenth century England. It exposes the vanity of young fashionable ladies and gentlemen and the frivolity of their actions. For example, Pope says about Belinda after losing her lock of hair:

"Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or some frail china jar receive a flaw,
Or stain her honor, or her new brocade"

The line mocks at the values of the fashionable class of that age. The trivial things were thought of as equal to significant things. For Belinda, the loss of her virtue becomes equal to a China jar being cracked.

Example #3

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver Travels is one of the finest satirical works in English Literature. Swift relentlessly satirizes politics, religion, and Western Culture. Criticizing party politics in England, Swift writes,

"that for above seventy Moons past there have been two struggling Parties in this Empire, under the Names of Tramecksan and Slamecksan from the high and low Heels on their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves."

During Swift's times, two rival political parties, the Whigs and the Tories, dominated the English political scene. Similarly, "The Kingdom of Lilliput" is dominated by two parties distinguished by the size of the heels of their boots. By the trivial disputes between the two Lilliputian parties", Swift satirizes the minor disputes of the two English parties of his period.
A versital genre of poetry consisting of nineteen lines--five tercets and a concluding quatrain. The form requires that whole lines be repeated in a specific order, and that only two rhyming sounds occur in the course of the poem.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

The Home on the Hill

Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
They are all gone away,

The house is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say
Through broken walls and gray,

The wind blows bleak and shrill,
They are all gone away
Nor is there one today,

To speak them good or ill
There is nothing more to say
Why is it then we stray

Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away
And our poor fancy play

For them is wasted skill,
There is nothing more to say
There is ruin and decay

In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.

One Art
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
-Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to masterthough it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Mad Girl's Love Song

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead,

I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,

And arbitrary darkness gallops in.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed

And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head).
God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:

Exit seraphim and enter Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said.

But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head).
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;

At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head).
"falsehood," scholars use the term slightly differently. is a traditional tale of deep cultural significance to a people in terms of etiology, eschatology, ritual practice, or models of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. The ___ often (but not always) deals with gods, supernatural beings, or ancestral heroes. The culture creating or retelling the may or may not believe that refers to literal or factual events, but it values the mythic narrative regardless of its historical authenticity for its (conscious or unconscious) insights into the human condition or the model it provides for cultural behavior.

Demeter and Persephone

Demeter is the goddess of fertility, corn, grain, and the harvest. When Hades kidnapped her beloved daughter, she fell into despair and left Mount Olympus in the search for Persephone. On her order the earth became barren and gave no more food. Then Zeus and Hades had to give in. They couldn't give Persephone back to her mother, because she had eaten a pomegranate in the underground - the food of the dead. A compromise was reached. Persephone spends nine months with her mother and for the rest of the year she gets back to her husband, to the underground - then all life on earth fades and winter comes. But when spring comes, Persephone returns and with her all nature comes back to life.

The Creation of Man by Prometheus

Prometheus was one of the lesser gods, a son of Earth and Sky. He made a human of clay and tears, and the human was very weak and helpless, so Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to human, so he could heat themselves and defend themselves from wild animals. He was severely punished for this - he was chained to a cliff and his liver was eaten everyday by a vulture.

Hercules' twelve great labors

One of the most popular heroes in ancient Greece was Hercules, son of Zeus and the queen Alcmena. He was inhumanly strong and brave. He did many remarkable things and is most famous for finishing twelve tasks, which were done on a Greek king's order, Hercules' close relative. He had to be obedient because it was his punishment for the crime he had committed in fury.

Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus was a famous sculptor and builder. He was known in the whole Hellad. He built a great palace called "The Labyrinth" for a Crete's king. The structure consisted of many rooms and corridors, which formed such a complicated tangle that it was impossible to get out of it. The king placed a monster there: a half-bull, half-man - a minotaur. It was getting more and more difficult for Daedalus to live on Crete as years passed, but the ruler did not want to let the famous artist go. Then the desperate constructor had a stroke of genius - he made two pairs of wings glued with wax for him and his son, Icarus. They flew over the sea just like mighty birds. Icarus was so fascinated with the flight that he forgot about his father's warnings. Daedalus had advised him not to be low-flying because the damp coming from the sea waves could overburden his wings. He shouldn't fly too high either, because the wax would melt due to the sunbeams. Icarus did not listen to his father's wise advice. With juvenile impatience he flew higher and higher. And then something terrible happened - he feathers started to come off and Icarus fell like a stone into the sea waves.


Orpheus was the son of Calliope and either Oeagrus or Apollo. He could play lute so well that everything that lived gathered around him to listen to his music. Eurydice was his beloved wife, a tree nymph, who died bitten by a snake. Desperate Orpheus did the thing, which no-one alive dared. He went to the underground. Charon and Cerberus enjoyed his music much and touched Hades promised to give Eurydice back under one condition - Orpheus couldn't look back on his way to the surface. Unfortunately, the musician wanted to see his wife so much, that just before reaching the surface he looked back at her and lost her forever. He lived the rest of his life singing about his sorrow.


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Theseus and Ariadne

In the maze built by the great builder Daedalus, the king of Crete, Minos, decided to put his son, trapped in a body of monster called Minotaur.. The people of Athens had to send seven boys and seven girls as food for the Minotaur. Theseus has freed Athens from this tribute. He entered the labyrinth with the aim of killing the monster. The Crete's princess Ariadne, who loved him, gave him a ball of thread, which Theseus tied near the entrance to the maze. Thanks to the thread he could leave the labyrinth after he had killed the monster.

The king Oedipus

Oedipus was the son Jocasta i Laios, the latest had been said by a fortune teller, that he is going to die by his son's sword. So when his child was born the king ordered to perforate his feet with steel and tie him up and leave in the mountains. In modern times this type of thing would obviously be illegal but the one good thing that would come out of it, is the fact that the child wouldn't have to go on a Medifast diet. It would be the new modern diet plan for children and it could work. The boy was found by shepherds and gave him to the queen of Corinth, who didn't have their own children, to raise him. The boy was named Oedipus. He was raised in luxury, but he wasn't happy because nobody told him about his origins. So he went to an oracle to Delphi. The oracle told him not to go back to his motherland because he's fate is to kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus thought, that the kingdom of Corinth is his motherland decided not to return there, but to travel elsewhere. Going down a ravine he encountered a man on a cart. It was a tight ravine and the man's servants told Oedipus to step aside. He refused to do that and a quarrel and a fight broke out and only Oedipus survived. He went on down the road not knowing that the man he had just killed was his father Laios. Creon was then the king of Thebes. But only a few days later a sphinx appeared in the city and said that he would leave only when somebody correctly answers his riddle, which he had learned from the muses. However, nobody knew the answer. The city was in the mourning because the creature kidnapped people every day. Creon announced, that the one, who answers the sphinx's riddle would marry the queen dowager Jocasta and become the king. This was the day, when Oedipus came to Thebes. He thought about the riddle for the whole day and when he has fallen asleep he saw the answer in his dreams. In the morning he went to the sphinx and gave him the answer. Creon kept his word. Oedipus ruled with Jocasta and they had two sons and two daughters, but many disasters happened in Thebes. So a medium was summoned - Tiresias. He told Oedipus that he is guilty of killing his father and incest with his mother. When Jocasta heard that, she hung herself and Oedipus dug his eyes out put rags on and left the city accompanied by his two daughters, who led him in search for a place, where he could be buried. He died in the city of near Athens and was buried in a grove, where dozens of nightingales spent their spring.


Antigone was the sister of Polynices and Eteocles and sister of Ismene, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. When her father died, her brothers ought to rule in Thebes alternatively, but Eteocles decided to banish his brother and to be the only king. Polynices sheltered in Argos. He married Argia, daughter of Adrastus, the city's king and convinced him to engage into a conflict with Thebes. Adrastus had gathered his army and put the city under siege, but the Thebans defeated him. During the battle all Argosian commanders died, but Eteocles died as well and Creon became Thebes' new king. He announced, that Polynices was a traitor and he can't be buried, braking gos law with this. Antigone didn't listen to the orders and her sisters advice and didn't care about consequences buried her brother, so that his soul could rest. She was severely punished for this - Creon had her buried alive. Nevertheless, all the time she had known, that she did the right thing and helped her brother.