Lit Crit terms
Terms in this set (225)
character; sign; symbol
Appeals to an audience's sense of ethics/morality/trust; Achieved by projecting an image of credibility which supports the speaker's position.
type of competition where people read their poems without props, costumes, or music.
(art) the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and taste (emphasizing the evaluative criteria that are applied to art)
a funeral hymn or mournful speech
the third most important character in a tragedy
Thriller involving crime, detection, punishment, and corruption in high places; when actual persons are presented under the guise of fiction, as in Aldous Huxley's Point Counterpoint
a group of Southern American writers in Nashville, TN, who published The Fugitive (1922-1925), a little magazine of poetry and some criticism championing agrarian regionalism but attacking "the old high-caste Brahmins of the Old South"; Thomas Jefferson
School of Donne
the request or question addressed to the Muse at the beginning of the epic; the answer constitutes the narrative of the work
having complete or full number of syllables in a poetic line; metrically complete
Study of language and literature; study of words
a novel in which 1) the action takes place during a specific historical period well before the time of writing, 2) some attempt is made to accurately depict customs and mentality of the period and its geography, and 3) the central character is usually subject to divided loyalties within a larger historic conflict of which readers know
a remark or reply that is witty or sarcastic
evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works
a humorous, rhyming, five-line poem with a specific meter and rhyme scheme
Tribe of Ben
contemporary nickname for young poets and dramatists of the 17th century who acknowledged "rare Ben Johnson" as their master; chief was Robert Herrick; followers were influenced by the classical writers and types, and tried to imitate them
dramatic dialogue, as in a Greek play, characterized by brief exchanges between two characters, each of whom usually speaks in one line of verse during a scene of intense emotion or strong argumentation.
the action of scanning a line of verse to determine its rhythm
deus ex machina
In literature, the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem.
three goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertilit
A form of understatement that involves making an affirmative point by denying its opposite (ex. She is not unlike her mother/ I am not unaware how...)
A narrative device that hints at coming events; often builds suspense or anxiety in the reader.
A metaphor that is central to and runs through an entire work.
Indicates nostalgia, "where are they" a mediation on morality and life's transience; often used to show that everything ends
An indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning and another at the end of successive clauses, i.e., simultaneous use of anaphora and epistrophe
Repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive verses, clauses, or sentences
repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences
a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg
4 line stanzas
A pair of lines that end in rhyme
latter two syllables of first word rhyme with latter two syllables of second word (ceiling appealing)
rhyme that appears correct from spelling but does not rhyme because of pronunciation
two stressed syllables
a sonnet composed of an octave (an eight line unit) rhyming abbaabba, and a sestet (six line unit) often rhyming ceded or cdcdcd
Loss of consciousness; to faint
Age of Reason
The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in the late 17th- and 18th-century Europe emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition.
an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot; resolution
A metrical foot (of Greek origin) containing one long syllable and three short syllables. The position of the long syllable can be varied hence the so-called first, second, third or fourth paeon.
A school of poets and poetry obsessed with death, graves and suicide. Revival of gothic architecture. (Gray, Young, Blair, Wordsworth, Blake)
Fictional author of a work, supposedly written by someone other than its actual author.
passionate expression of grief, often in music, poetry, or song form
The name given in derision to a group of nineteenth-century English novelists whose writing emphasizes gentility and etiquette
A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.
influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists in the 20th century who lived and worked in the Bloomsbury area of central London. Although its members shared certain ideas and values, the Bloomsbury group did not constitute a school. Its significance lies in the number of talented persons associated with it. Included Virginia Woolf and John Keynes
the relieving of the emotions by art; the alleviation of fears by bringing them to consciousness.
vivid description, striking incident or scene
annual prizes for journalism, literature, and music, awarded annually since 1917 by the School of Journalism and the Board of Trustees of Columbia University
paralleled the age of roman literature under augustus
Group highlighted by writers and artist who stressed spontaneity and spirituality instead of apathy and conformity.(1950's)
A French verse form calculated to appear simple and spontaneous but consisting of nineteen lines and a prescribed pattern of rhymes.
Group in Renaissance who favored the introduction of heavy Latin and Greek words into the standard English vocabulary.
An individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
a question requiring thought to answer or understand; a puzzle or conundrum
(n.) a representative or messenger (as of a government)
All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests
poetic insults between two opposing characters
faulty enunciation or too frequent usage of an 's' sound
a figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another in which it is closely associated
the formation or use of words, such as buzz or murmur, that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to
(in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
A moment of sudden revelation or insight
A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love.
A comparison without using like or as
a sorrowful poem or speech expressing lamentation
Repetition of consonant sounds
It is an eleven-line (or, more accurately, ten-and-a-half-line) sonnet, but rather than the first eleven lines of a standard sonnet it consists of precisely ¾ of the structure of a Petrarchan sonnet shrunk proportionally.
A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line.
usually a part of English literary history; beginning of Scottish literature with John Barbour's Bruce, a national epic; Scottish chauerians, morality plays, ballads, and the writings of John Knox, Sir Walter Scott, J.M. Barrie, and C.M. Grieve
group in New York that wrote literature and enabled America to boast for the first time of a literature that matched its magnificent landscapes
empty boasting; bragging; a boasting person; braggart.
A remark or passage by a character in a play that is intended to be heard by the audience but unheard by the other characters in the play.
If the preceding consonant sound is the same (for example, manse-romance, style-stile), or if there is no preceding consonant sound in either word (for example, aisle-isle, alter-altar), or if the same word is repeated in the rhyming position (for example, hill-hill).
A comparison using "like" or "as"
A form of medieval French poetry set to music, usually with a refrain and a verse
It means double-walker; it is often portrayed as an evil twin. In German mythology, it is an evil spirit that takes one's form and tries to destroy all good things in one's life to force suicide. Similar mythological examples include the changeling (fairy child) and the Cuckoo.
A word invented for a particular occasion
A character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end; does not grow or develop
1. (v.) to list, enter into a list (The judge cataloged the victim's injuries before calculating how much money he would award.) 2. (n.) a list or collection (We received a catalog from J. Crew that displayed all of their new items.)
A group of poets who at one time or another, all lived in the Lake District of north-west England and formed a coherent school of poetry that had gained currency since about 1807.
A question asked merely for rhetorical effect and not requiring an answer
Wits were university graduates and professional dramatists;
Graduates from Oxford who went to England to write
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.
insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity; the effect of resulting from unsuccessful effort to achieve dignity or sublimity of style; an unintentional anticlimax, dropping from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Period of Confessional Self
a time of uncertainty and cynicism in the 1960s and a strong turing inward of American writers
fiction about fiction - usually draws attention to the fact that it is fictional
a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa
Repetition of a consonant sound within two or more words in close proximity.
reference to the Bible in a work of literature
the use of one kind of sensory experience to describe another
the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals
John Milton used an 8-line/6-line format and simplified the rhyme scheme into abbaabba-cdcdcd, which many Romantic poets later adopted for their larger works; Italian poem in which the rhyme scheme is kept but the "turn" between the octave and the sestet is eliminated
A four line stanza
A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
Also called approximate rhyme, slant rhyme, off rhyme, imperfect rhyme, or half rhyme, a rhyme in which the sounds are similar, but not exact, as in home and come or close and lose. Most near rhymes are types of consonance.
A type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people; a common vernacular
A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
Group of writers in 1920s who shared the belief that they were lost in a greedy, materialistic world that lacked moral values and often choose to flee to Europe
A three-line stanza rhymed aba, bcb, cdc.
A monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same color
the use of works of art to convey moral, social, educational, or political messages
A work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way.
attributing human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object (Personification)
A group of investigative reporters who pointed out the abuses of big business and the corruption of urban politics; included Frank Norris (The Octopus) Ida Tarbell (A history of the standard oil company) Lincoln Steffens (the shame of the cities) and Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Age of Sensibility
1750-1798;Romanticism was also known as the age of _____; also known as the Age of Johnson
Narrator thar will intrupt story and talk
Descriptive or figurative language in a literary work; the use of language to create sensory impressions (sight sound touch taste smell)
Reign of Charles I, 1625 - 1649. The writers of this age wrote with refinement and elegance. This era produced a circle of poets known as the "Cavalier Poets" and the dramatists of this age were the last to write in the Elizabethan tradition.
A woman having intellectual or literary interests.
A representation of words or syllables by pictures of objects or by symbols whose names resemble the intended words or syllables in sound; a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols
The use of disturbing themes in comedy.
Old English Period
(426-1066) Fall of Rome, barbarians move into Europe. Beowulf, The Wanderer, The Seafarer
braggadocio; Exaggerating accomplishments in order to make oneself seem more praiseworthy.
Two words put together to make one adjective or noun.
Resemblance of sound in words or syllables; repetition of vowels without repetition of consonants
Giving an inanimate object human qualities
An interruption of chronological sequence by interjection of events of earlier occurrence; a past incident recurring vividly in the mind
A literary work which ends happily because the hero or heroine is able to overcome obstacles and get what he or she wants.
novel of manners
a novel focusing on and describing the social customs and habits of a particular social group
stressed, unstressed, unstressed
Middle English Period
1150-1500; word order to convey grammar, heterogeneous, French/Anglo-Norman influence
a famous street in London were all the hacks hung around. Here we find the first professional class of authors. It appears in The Duncaid and in Johnson´s Dictionary.
A humorous play on words
more sophisticated and consciously moral in purpose than the folk epic
A sentence in which the verb precedes the subject;
turning inward; a reversal of the usual order of words.
Theater of the Absurd
plays stressing the irrational or illogical aspects of life, usually to show that modern life is pointless
emphasis on content, religion then patriotism, bottom up approach, memorized text/recitation (1600-1841)
the era from 1790-1850 characterized by art and literature that presented unrealistic situations and highly idealized subjects and characters; most of Cooper's stories or works by Walter Scott
French philosopher and writer whose works epitomize the Age of Enlightenment, often attacking injustice and intolerance.
Irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play (theater)
a rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable--spent, went
A poem or stanza having five lines; a quintet; a cinquain.
Half a line of poetry
A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas
It was considered an interval between the Renaissance and the Neoclassical Period. It was the period between Charles I's execution and the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, during which England was ruled by Parliament under the control of the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell.
(in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, reslolution
1660-1798 characterized by an interest in science and philosophical thought, allusion, emotion, realistic and moral; the period of English literature between the return of the Stuarts to the English throne in 1660 and the beginning of Romanticism that came with the publication of Lyrical Ballads
a serious play with a sad ending
A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject.
A period in English literary history that begins with the First World War and whose literary voices include the poets Yeats, Eliot, and Hardy and whose experimental fiction includes works by Woolf, Joyce, and to some degree, Conrad. 1914 - 1940
Philosophical movement of the mid-1800s that emphasized spiritual discovery and insight rather than reason
Great Chain of Being
a system in which species were positioned in a system of hierarchy of complexity or "perfection"
a club of literary and scientific people in and around Cambridge and Boston in the mid-nineteenth century who came together chiefly for social intercourse and good conversation. Notable members: Emerson, Longfellow, Agassiz, Prescott, Whitter, and Holmes.
A topic of discussion or writing; a major idea broad enough to cover the entire scope of a literary work.
message that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true (or wrong at the same time)
A reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
Poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme
a line of poetry with 3 iambic feet, each containing one syllable followed by one stressed syllable.
doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention
PHONOLOGY This happens when a sound is omitted, because another, similars, sound follows. This is common when two plosive sounds occur togeher. walked to=walktuh; baked beans= bakebeans; last week=lasweek; next, please=neksplease
1763-1789. Ex: Patrick Henry's, Speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses. George Washington's, Farewell to the Army of Potomac, Thomas Jefferson's, Declaration of Independence. Editing by Ben Franklin is prime example of neoclassical. Epistles also between Abigail and John Adams.
poetry in which the meaning or effect is conveyed partly or wholly by visual means, using patterns of words or letters and other typographical devices
(the shape of the poem on the page resembles the subject of the poem)
Dead Sea Scrolls
(Old Testament) a collection of written scrolls (containing nearly all of the Old Testament) found in a cave near the Dead Sea in the late 1940s
A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven.
The reign of James I, 1603 - 1625. During this time the literature became sophisticated, somber, and conscious of social abuse and rivalry. The Age produced rich prose and drama as well as the King James translation of the Bible. Shakespeare and Jonson wrote as well as John Donne, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Middleton.
An artistic style of the seventeenth century characterized by complex forms, bold ornamentation, and contrasting elements
A nineteenth-century literary movement that was an extension of realism and that claimed to portray life exactly as it was.
Quick, witty conversation
A type of play that makes fun of society; provides comic relief
a fictional tale, marked by fantasy and magic, often appealing to the imagination
The state of being other or different; otherness
faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects ex: angry clouds, cruel wind
A conjunction of major improvements in industrial technology that transformed the process of manufacturing goods and delivering them to market; 1750-1914
A couplet in which the second line is not complete but depends on succeeding material for completion
rex ex machina
**a person or thing that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.
A poem set in tranquil nature or even more specifically, one about shepherds.
repetition of words derived from the same root (ex: my firm belief is that all we have to fear is fear itself)
a figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses (e.g., John and his license expired last week ) or to two others of which it semantically suits only one (e.g., with weeping eyes and hearts ).
The dictionary definition of a word
In a rhopalic sentence each word is one letter or one syllable longer than the previous word. Ex: I am now very happy.
Early Tudor Period
in classical literature, the convention that was an opening address to the Muses requesting their assistance in the writing or telling of a tale
A club organized in London in 1714 by Johnathan Swift to satirize literary incompetence
The group of attitudes in philosophical, religous, and artistic thought during and after WWII that people and things in general exist but have no meaning except as meaning is created upon them as in Descates's formula "I think therefore I am"
in medias res
Describes the development of consonants over time; Sound change in germanic; pa vs father, dentist vs teeth, cardiac vs heart
literature describing an ideally perfect place or ideal society.
The period in English literature between 1100 and 1350, which is also often called the Early Middle English Period and is frequently dated from the Conquest in 1066
cheap and easily accessed by lower class, high literacy rate in England, cater to sensational fiction, appeal to poor people
the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.
writing about American frontier and frontier life; it included a robust, humorous, often crude body of songs, tales, and books that have been marked by a realistic view on life, sanguine contemplation of violence, and immense gusto
Pretended, ironic refusal of something that one wants or denial of something about a person that is not true
novel that focuses on the "interior" lives of its characters, their mental states and emotions, and their psychological motivations of their actions than on the actions themselves.
1901-1914 Marked by strong reaction in thought, conduct, and art to stiff propriety and conservatism of Victorian age. Typical attitude was critical and questioning.
a character who develops or changes as a result of the action of the plot
theat place or passage consistently cited as the standard exapmle of a principle or type such as Antony's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" funeral oration speech ot Hamlet's soliloquy beginning "To be or not to be"
when a speaker with a voice that is tolerant, amused, and witty, holds up the absurdities and follies of human beings to gentle ridicule to produce droll smile
a group of critics, who consider a literary work as a series of existential expressions of the authors individual consciousness and placing the highest value on individual consciousness and literature as the expression of that consciousness revealed in the act of reading
Arthur Miller created a famous character in Death of a Salesman named Willy Loman who is a low man; the use of a name in literature that is significant
the term indicating the degree to which a work created the semblance of truth
The metrical foot that is unavoidable in English due to the large number of unstressed syllables and the combinations of prepositions and articles; the foot of two unstressed syllables