23 terms

English Lit. Words

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colloquial
everyday speech and language as oposed to litereary or formal register. The inclusion of the odd colloquial word or phrase in an otherwise formal work can be striking.
ex. The Horse's Mouth
conceit
a witty thought ot idea or image, a fanciful or deliberately far-fetched comparison, as found in 16th and 17th century English poetry.
ex. Donne
concrete
(as in concrete detail) refers to objects or aspects that may be perceived by the senses
connotation
an association that a word may suggest. very usesful word when discussing diction
consonance
where the final consonants are the same in two or more words close together, as in Macbeth's "poor player/that struts and and frets upon the stage"
contradiction
stating or implying the opposite of what has been said or suggested
couplet
two consecutive rhyming lines of verse. may clinch or emphasize an idea
defamiliarization
the techinque of making the familiar seem new and strange, and thus making us see more vividly. coined by the Russian "Formalists." This may be done through a point of view, as in Gulliver's Travels
denouement
literally, from the French, "unknotting." how the end of the novel or play turns out, how the plot is unravelled or revealed.
diction
the writer's choice of words or vocabulary
didatic
descrives the tone or intention to preach a (usually) moral, politicial, or religious point. it usually has a negative connotation
dramatic irony
a very powerful tool esp. in drama, used for tragic or comedic purposes. where a character (or characters) is/are unaware of something that the audience/reader and possibly other characters on stage are aware of
elegy
a mournful lament for time past of the dead. it has a particular poetic form but the term can be used more generally. "elegiac" descrives a meditative mood in prose or verse, reflecting on the past
end-stopped line
a line of poetry where the meaning pauses or stops at the end of the line ("nature's first green is gold" : Frost) a statement or idea can stand our clearly, and provide a pause for reflection
enjambement
the sense flows over from one line to another, perhaps even to the next stanza. this can relfect a build-up of emotion or create dramatic effect
epigram
a concise, pointed, witty statement. "epigrammatic" style in prose or poetry hs those qualitites.
ex: Oscar Wilde "the truth is rarely pure and never simple"
form
it is the shape of a work, the arrangement of its parts, the patterns, divisions and structures used. in poetry there are traditional, metrical and rhyming "forms" (ode, ballad, sonnet, etc.) and modern, non-metrical forms.
free verse
verse written without any fixed or traditional structure in metre or rhyme. commonly used since the early 20th century. it is very flexible because it follows the speech rhythms of the language
genre
a specific type or kind of literature, such as drama, prose, poetry, essay, and autobiography
grain
a reader can go accceptingly along with assumptions and values in a text, or go "against the grain," resisting and questioning values and assumptions in that text, as femininst critics often advocate when reading text by male authors.
hyperbole
a deliberate exaggeration for various effecrts, comic, tragic, etc.
iambic
the "iamb: is a metrical measure, or foot, in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable. iambic pentameter is the commonest metrical pattern in English poetry, including Shakespeare.
idyll/idyllic
refers to innocent simple life in idealised rural setting. an "idyllic" childhood or country scene or experience has those untroubled and simple qualities