Download G - TeacherWeb

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Prosody (Latin) wikipedia , lookup

H. Bonciu wikipedia , lookup

Poetry analysis wikipedia , lookup

Genre (zhan’ r) – Although possibly borrowed from painting, this term does not mean in literature what it does in fine
arts. Genre paintings are those of simple, common, everyday objects, scenery, or people. The paintings of Jean Francois
Millet, such as “The Gleaners”, or those of the Dutch school, are good examples. In literature the term means a kind, type,
form, or style. For example, the Gothic novel is a genre, and so is the Elizabethan tragedy of blood. In the introduction to
their distinguished collection, Criticism, the Foundations of Modern Literary Judgment (Harcourt, Brace, 1948), editors
Schorer, Miles, and McKenzie use the word to describe the broad divisions of literature: “We have hoped in other ways,
too, to make the range of this collection as great as possible: in the genres (poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism itself)
which the authors discuss;…”On the other hand, Alfred Kazin in his study of modern American literature. On Native
Grounds,(Doubleday, 1942, 1956) uses the term in a narrower sense, ”The Novel had swiftly and unmistakable, from the
late seventies on, become the principal literary genre…”
Gobbledygook ( gob’ l di gook’) – a slang word coined by Congressman Maury Maverick of Texas in imitation of the
gobbling of turkeys. It means the inflated, involved, and obscure verbiage often characteristic of the pronouncements of
officialdom. (In other words, nonsense often stated by those in positions of authority.)
Gothic – having the characteristics and atmosphere associated with Medievalism or the Middle Ages. Related to
Romanticism, Gothicism suggest rugged grandeur, emotional or spiritual appeal and a shadowy mysteriousness. The
Gothic Novels were a group written in England in the latter part of the eighteenth century (such as Horace Walpole’s
Castle of Otranto) which contains traits that have come to be associated in literature with the term Gothic: a gloomy castle
or mysterious house, secret passageways, hidden documents, screams in the night, creaking doors, fearful suspense, etc.
Many of these qualities have been handed down to us in modern mystery and adventure stories. The characteristics of
Gothic literature are most obvious in the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Hack or Hack Writer – coming from hackney, meaning a horse for riding or driving, or one let out for hire, this now
means, in literature, a writer who hires himself out for any sort of literary work or ghost writing; a literary drudge.
Hackneyed – worn-out, like a hired horse; indiscriminate or vulgar use; threadbare, trite, commonplace. Here are some
examples of hackneyed expressions:
After all is said and done, along these lines, budding genius, by leaps and bounds, deadly earnest, drastic action,
it stands to reason, last but not least, and to relate, needs no introduction, shadow of the goalpost, etc.
Hero – the principal male figure in a narrative, provided he has brave and noble qualities. If he lacks these qualities, but is
the central male figure, he is often called simply the protagonist. Mock Heroic is a term used to describe a method of
satirizing or mocking conventional or traditional concepts of heroism by giving a ridiculously exaggerated treatment to
“heroic” characters or deeds.
Hexameter – meter of six feet to a line. A line of six iambic feet is sometimes called an alexandrine.
Historical Present – the present tense when used in telling of past events, as if they were taking place at the time of the
recital. The effects of immediacy and excitement are thus often gained for happenings that have already taken place. It is
sometimes more aptly called the “hysterical” present.
Homonym – a word pronounced the same as another but having a different meaning (scene and seen).
Hubris – Insolence, arrogance, or pride. In Greek tragedy, the protagonist’s hubris is usually the tragic flaw that leads to
his/her downfall.
The swaggering protagonist of Oedipus Rex is ultimately made to suffer because
of his hubris. He defies moral laws by unwittingly killing his father and marrying his mother, and then bragging
about how his father’s murderer will be punished.
Hymn – a sacred song. (See Lyric)
Hyperbole – a figure of speech using gross or absurd exaggeration for poetic or imaginative effect.
“The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow
shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for
shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together.”
Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
“Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
Emerson, “Concord Hymn”
Iambic – poetic meter of one unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. The iambic foot is the most common foot
in English.
Ideas – views, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, presented by the author in his work, on such subjects as human nature, life,
society, politics, philosophy, morality, religion, art, etc. Sometimes these ideas are explicit (plainly and deliberately
presented by the author) and occasionally they are implicit (implied or hinted by the author, at times unintentionally).
Idiom – an expression whose meaning as a whole is different from the meaning of the separate words comprising the
expression would lead one to expect. (John has to work. How do you do?) Idiom also means a form or forms of expression
characteristic of an author. (Henry James’s idiom is often difficult.)
Idyll (also spelled Idyl) – a poem of moderate length presenting in simple fashion the picturesque scenes or incidents,
usually of rustic life (Whittier’s “Snowbound”, Burn’s “The Cotter’s Saturday night”).
Image – a way of representing in a literary work a thought, feeling, attitude, or point of view of the author. It is done by
some sort of representation or symbol which graphically sets forth the idea. In a sense, it is a form of metaphor, on a
larger scale than an ordinary figure of speech, but not so large as an allegory.
“It is a curious thing that the part played by recurrent images in raising, developing, sustaining, and repeating
emotions in the tragedies (of Shakespeare) has not, so far as I know, ever been noticed. It is a part somewhat
analogous to the action of a recurrent theme or “motif” in a musical fugue or sonata, or in one of Wagner’s
“(In Romeo and Juliet) the beauty and ardour of young love are seen by Shakespeare as the radiating glory of
sunlight and starlight in a dark world. The dominant image is light, every form and manifestation of it: the sun,
moon, stars, fire, lightening, the flash of gunpowder, and the reflected light of beauty and love; while by contrast
we have night, darkness, clouds, rain, mist, and smoke….
“If we look closely (at Hamlet) we see this is partly due to the number of images of sicknesses, disease or blemish
of the body, in the play, and we discover that the idea of an ulcer or tumor, as descriptive of the unwholesome
condition of Denmark morally, on the whole the domineering image…”
Caroline Spurgeon, Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us
Imagery – a general term in literature for the main sensory figures of speech . Anything that affects or appeals to the
reader’s senses; sight, sound touch, taste or smell.
Wait for a while, then slip downstairs
And bring us up some chilled white wine,
And some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine
Ruddy-skinned pears.
Richard Wilbur, “A Late Aubade”
Impropriety - the use of words in an incorrect sense. (In “perpetrate an act of kindness”, the use of perpetrate is not
correct, for that word should be used only with an offensive result.) Also, using a word in the wrong part of speech is a
common kind of impropriety.
Incident – any event or occurrence in a narrative. A series of related incidents when forming a unit in a story is called an
episode. Therefore, an incident is usually part of an episode.
Induction or Inductive reasoning – the method of modern science, reasoning from a part to a whole, or drawing a
general conclusion from particular cases. (From the many times that I have been wakeful after drinking coffee, I conclude
that coffee keeps me awake.) The danger of inductive reasoning arises from trying to draw conclusions from too few
examples or instances. (Because Bill dislikes horseshoe pitching and ping-pong, a person concludes that Bill dislikes all
Inflection – the variation of change of form which words undergo to make case, gender, number, tense, person, mood,
voice, etc. It also means the modulation of the voice, or change in the pitch or tone of the voice.
In medias res – In literature, a work that begins in the middle of the story. The Odyssey, Medea, and Oedipus Rex all begin
in medias res.
Inwardness – a literary term used to describe an author’s emphasis on character analysis, character development, or the
psychological interplay of characters.
Irony- a figure of speech using a word apparently to mean one thing but actually implying just the opposite meaning.
“They are all honorable men.” – Julius Caesar
Irony also means a happening or development in a narrative opposite to and as if in mockery of the appropriate or
expected result, as when a person’s long efforts, meets with unexpected failure (thus the opposite of poetic justice).
Dramatic Irony is a double meaning in the speech of some character, he or his listener being unconscious of one of the
meanings; also called Unconscious Irony if it is the speaker who is unconscious of one of the meanings. Sometimes it is
only in the light of later events that the hidden irony dawns upon the speaker or his listener or the reader.
Jargon – an uncomplimentary term for language full of indirect expressions and long, high-sounding words; also the
technical, esoteric vocabulary of a science, art, trade, profession, or some other special group. Jargon frequently implies a
certain amount of vanity or affectation on the part of the user. See Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s famous essay “On Jargon”
in his book, On the Art of Writing (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1916).
In the essay he humorously illustrates jargon in a delightful parody of Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” speech:
“To be, or the contrary? Whether the former or the latter be preferable would seem to admit of the same
difference of opinion; the answer in the present case being of an affirmative or of a negative character according
as to whether one elects on the one hand to mentally suffer the disfavor of fortune, albeit in extreme degree, or on
the other to boldly envisage adverse conditions in the prospect of eventually bringing them to a conclusion…”
Legend – any unverifiable story coming down from the past especially one popularly, or logically, accepted as historical
but which has not been authenticated, and possibly can never be proved. Usually there is some vague core of truth or fact
to a legend, a characteristic which distinguishes it from a myth. Myth also tends to deal more with gods and to be less
logical than legend. Implausible, exaggerated, or supernatural elements are frequently present. Examples are the legends
which have grown up, respectively, around Odysseus (or Ulysses), King Arthur, and Paul Bunyan. Because of his or her
impressive deeds or universal character traits, the hero or heroine of such a story is also sometimes called a legend. The
term can mean, too, a title or brief description under an illustration.
Leitmotif of Leitmotiv (lit’ mo tef’) – this term apparently borrowed from Wagnerian music drama, where it means a
melodic phrase or passage recurring through a musical work at each appearance of an idea, person, or situation
associated with the passage. Hence, in literature it means a lesser or minor theme or idea which recurs throughout a
literary work. For example, the English scholar, J. Dover Wilson, in What Happens in Hamlet (Cambridge University Press,
1937) suggests that comments by various characters on Hamlet’s instability before some of his appearances form a
leitmotiv in the play.
Limerick – a humorous poem of five anapestic lines of which the first, second, and fifth have three feet and rhyme.
Limericks were popularized by the Englishman, Edward Lear, in his Book of Nonsense (1846).
“As a beauty I am set on a star,
There are others more handsome, by far,
But my face—I don’t mind it,
For I am behind it.
It’s the people in front get the jar.” – Euwer
A true limerick, however, is one in which the last line is almost the same as the first.
“There was an old man of Calcutta,
Who perpetually ate bread and butter;
Till a great bit of muffin, on which he was stuffing,
Choked that horrid old man of Calcutta.” – Lear
Lingo – a humorous or uncomplimentary term applied to a foreign language or any strange style of speech which is not
easily or readily understood.
Linguistics or Linguistic Study – the scientific study of human speech in all its phases, including origin, structure,
phonetics, meanings history, and grammar.
Litotes – Affirmation of an idea by using a negative understatement. This is the opposite of hyperbole.
He was not averse to taking a drink.
She is no saint.
Local Color - the term used to describe any of the various ingredients an author uses to suggest characteristics or
peculiarities of locale of his literary work. The expression thus covers all details dealing with the local scene, local
attitudes and customs, local dialect, local characters, and typical local happenings. If one of the author’s main purposes is
to give an intimate or vivid picture of a certain place and period, his work may be described a “local color” story (Mark
Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native).
Localism – an expression or word usage peculiar to a specific locality (pinkie is used for little finger in New York and
Loose Sentence – a sentence so constructed that the thought may be completed well before the end, the latter part
consisting only of extra modifiers and less important material.
He fired at the bear, which was black, as it slowly moved toward him from under the shadows of a tree that had
Lost Generation – a name applied (first by Gertrude Stein) to a group of American expatriates of literary and artistic bent
who lived in Europe, especially in Paris, during the 1920’s. Many of them, veterans of World War I, were characterized by
their bitter disillusionment over spiritual failure of the war and by their persistent attempts to forget their disillusionment
in various kinds of thrill-seeking. Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises gives a well-known picture of their outlook on life.
Lyric – a song or short poem expressing an emotion or thought. Lyric, Narrative and Dramatic constitute the three
general divisions of poetry. Among the many different kinds of Lyric poems are:
a. Elegy – expressing sadness or grief, usually for the dead (Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Chuchyard”,
Milton’s “Lycidas”, Shelley’s “Adonais”).
b. Hymn – a sacred song of praise or adoration of God. (The ancient hymns collected in the Old Testament are
called Psalms.)
c. Occasional Poem – one written for a special occasion or to commemorate a notable event (Emerson’s
“Concord Hymn”, Tennyson’s “Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington”).
d. Ode – which expresses a lofty or noble sentiment with appropriate dignity of style (Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian
e. Sonnet – a poem of fourteen lines usually in iambic pentameter. The three main types of sonnets are the
Italian or Petrarchan (named after the Italian poet Petrarch) and the English or Shakespearean (perfected by
Shakespeare) and the Miltonic (devised by Milton). The Italian consists of an octave or eight-line unit rhymed
abba, abba , and a sestet or six line unit rhymed cde, cde or cde, dce, or cdc, dcd, etc. Between octave and sestet
there must be a definite change in thought; thus the octave may present a general idea and the sestet a
concrete application, or the octave may recite a specific experience and the sestet moralize on it, etc. (Keats’s
“On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”). The English or Shakespearean sonnet follows a rhyme scheme of
abab, cdcd, efef, gg, the first twelve lines constituting the first unit of the poem and the last two giving an
application or a summary to the first unit (Shakespeare’s “XXX Sonnet”, “When to the sessions of sweet silent
thought.”) The Miltonic follows the Petrarchan rhyme scheme, but runs the octave into the sestet without a
break in thought, so the thought of the whole poem thus continues steadily to the end (Milton’s “On His
Sonnet Sequence – a series of sonnets connected by some thread of thought (Elizabeth Browning’s Sonnets from the
Malaproprism (from Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan’s play The Rivals) - a ludicrous blunder in the use of words, committed
by using a word which sounds like the intended one, but whose meaning is absurdly different.
The people in Hardy’s novels are mostly farmers and pheasants.
In almost every book there is some inclination of a moral teaching.
Masculine Ending – one ending on a stressed syllable.
“Where ignorant armies clash by night.”
Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”
Masculine Rhyme - one ending on accented syllables ( before and restore, today and delay)
Masque – (also spelled Mask) – a form of dramatic performance in vogue especially in the 16 th and 17th centuries, in
which the players wore masks and usually represented mythological or allegorical characters. The acting ordinarily
consisted only in dancing and dumb show.
Melodramatic – a term used to describe any literary work abounding in romantic sentiment, sensationalism, violence,
and exaggerated situations, such as narrow escapes, wild pursuits, etc. If, however, the use of violence and sensationalism
is logical and meaningful to the author’s purpose (as in Faulkner’s Light in August), the work is not necessarily
Metamorphosis – a radical change in a character, either physical or emotional
In Kafka’s aptly titled The Metamorphosis, a man is transformed overnight into a large bug. In the movie The Fly, a
scientist gradually changes, because of his experimentation, from a man into a fly.
Metaphor – a figure of speech giving an implied comparison without using like or as between two essentially unlike
The red sun was a wafer pasted in the sky.
The jet left its calling card across the sky.
Metathesis (me tath’ e sis) – the transposition of letter, sounds, or syllables of words (such as in a Spoonerism). For
example, Shakespeare is thought to have formed the name of his character Sir John Falstaff by metathesis from that of the
actual person Sir John Fastolph (the vowel sounds of the last name having been interchanged). Samuel Butler’s Erewhon is
a metathesis of the word nowhere.
Meter – a definite and systematic rhythm established in a poem. The principal kinds are monometer, dimeter, trimeter,
tetrameter, pentameter, and hexameter.
Metonymy – a figure of speech that replaces the name of something with a word or phrase closely associated with it
(similar to synecdoche)
Do you prefer Melville or Hawthorne (that is, their books)?
The pen (that is, the writer) is mightier than the sword (soldier).
The child likes a sweet dish (that is, the contents).
The private saluted the “brass”. (Indicates a military officer)
Wall Street is full of “suits”! (businessmen)
Metrical Romance – a narrative poem, ordinarily dealing with knights and ladies, romantic in theme, more pretentious
than the ballad and shorter and less heroic than the epic (Scott’s “Lady of the Lake”, Keats’s “Eve of St. Agnes”).
Metrical Tale – resembling in form but simpler than the metrical romance, it deals with every-day people and affairs
(Tennyson’s “Enoch Ardea”, Mansfield’s “Dauber”).
Miracle Play – a type of dramatization that began in the Middle Ages and formed an early part of the development of
modern drama. Growing out of the Church, the miracle plays enacted miracles from the Bible and the lives of saints
Mixed Metaphor – an inappropriate and often ridiculous combining of incongruous elements in the same metaphor.
“During this crisis he was wandering through a dark forest and couldn’t find the key.” (key and dark forest do not
belong in the same image; path would be more appropriate here than key).
Monody – In Greek literature this meant a funeral song, a dirge or a lyric ode sung by a single voice, as in a tragedy.
Hence, it has come to mean a kind of elegiac poem in which a single person laments. Milton” “Lycidas”, Shelley’s
“Adonais”, and Arnold’s “Thyrsis” are monodic.
Monologue – a conversation or speech that implies a listener (or listeners) who is present but never gets a chance to talk.
(Benchley’s The Treasurer’s Report, Dorothy Parker’s “The Waltz”, Ring Lardner’s “The Haircut”). With a soliloquy there
is no one else present except the speaker.
Mood – the general emotional feeling conveyed by a piece of literature. The mood may change, however, during the
course of the work.
Moral Tone – the general attitude toward good and evil conveyed by a piece of literature or revealed by an author in his
Morality Play - a kind of allegorical play which developed in the Middle Ages and was a forerunner of modern drama.
By the use of characters representing such abstractions as Charity, Faith, Vice, etc., a moral lesson was taught (Everyman).
Motif or Motiv (mo tef’) – This is probably appropriated from the fine arts, where it means a distinctive element in design
, a characteristic feature of the work, or a particular type of subject for artistic treatment. In music it means a leading
phrase or passage that recurs in varied forms during the course of a composition, or throughout a major part of the
composition, such as a movement or symphony. In literature it can mean a type of incident or a particular situation that is
reproduced throughout a literary work. Mostly, however, motif is used in the sense of a predominant theme or central
idea recurrent in a work of literature.
For example, the “Noble Savage” is a motif used by both Cooper and Melville; the “Survival of the Fittest” motif
is common in both Jack London and Frank Norris; the “Perfect Whole” motif is frequently used by Emerson; the
“Moral Purity of Children” in seen in works by Salinger and Wordsworth; “Imperialism” is seen in Kipling’s
works; being “Buried Alive” or “Entombment” is a frequent motif of Poe, etc. Needless to say, a literary work
often contains a number of motifs.
Motivation – the impulse, purpose, or incentive that is responsible for the behavior of the character.
Mouthpiece – a character, sometimes called a Puppet through whom an author presents what are obviously his own
ideas, feelings, or attitudes (Undershaft, the munitions maker in Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara).
Mystery Play – a type of drama similar to the miracle play and one which also originated during the Middle Ages. Taking
its name from the religious mysteries of the Bible, it dramatized Scriptural stories and often events from the life of Christ. It
obviously has no connection with the present popular use of the term to designate a crime or murder story.
Myth – Probably arising out of man’s desire to explain some of the mysteries of his world, a myth is a purely fictitious
narrative usually involving supernatural persons, actions, or events, and often embodying some popular explanation or
conception of natural or historical phenomena. It is distinguished from allegory (which is metaphorical and didactic) and
legend (which usually has a vague nucleus of truth). The Labors of Hercules, such as his diverting of a river to cleanse the
Augean Stables are myths. The gods usually figure prominently in the background. Scholars of mythology have called
attention to the amazing similarity of the myths of various peoples.
Mythology – a body of myths, especially that relating to the gods and heroes of a people and to their religious traditions,
for example, Greek, Norse, Polynesian, American Indian mythology. Bullfinch’s Mythology is the best-known collection.
Narrative – any work that tells a story or gives an account of related happenings. A Narrative Poem is simply one that
tells a story. Byron’s “The Prisoner of Chillon”,” Browning’s “Incident of the French Camp”.
Naturalistic – a general term, in a class with Realistic and Romantic, which describes any literature deliberately and
consciously stressing the thesis that, just as in Nature, all life is a struggle for survival. Naturalism therefore emphasizes
painful and ugly details of life. An outgrowth of Realism, it developed toward the end of the nineteenth century partly as
a result of the growing acceptance of the Nature theories of Darwin and other scientists. Emile Zola in France is regarded
as the father of Naturalism in literature (Jack London’s Call of the Wild, Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy,
Dostoievsky’s Crime and Punishment).
New Criticism – a contemporary school of criticism associated in particular with several American poets and critics, such
as John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate, which is absorbed in textual analysis, in studying the structural properties, the
form and technique of poems, and in the “poetic strategy” of the poet.
Non Sequitur – meaning in Latin “it does not follow”, this expression is applied to an idea or conclusion that does not
necessarily follow clearly or logically from the previous statement or premise. See Deductive Reasoning. (Since man has
split the atom, nothing is impossible.)
Novel – a book-length invented or fictitious narrative.
Novella – an Italian term used to describe a kind of narrative or tale shorter than a novel and characterized by a compact
plot with a point (Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale).
O. Henry Ending – a method or device popularized by O. Henry for concluding a story. It is a sudden unexpected
development or ironic twist with which the story ends. In “The Ransom of Red Chief”, for example, the kidnapped boy
proves such a difficult charge for the kidnappers that at the end they pay the boy’s parents to take him off their hands.
Objective – a fairly general term used to describe any piece of writing not slanted or colored by the author’s own
personal feelings or thoughts; hence it applies to writing in which the author presents his material in an impersonal and
detached way. Objective Characterization consists in portraying the person’s character as seen from the outside, by his
words and actions, his appearance, his visible reactions to various situations, and the opinions of him held by other
persons. This method does not permit the author to disclose the thoughts and feelings of the character directly to the
reader. Hence the reader can understand these thoughts and feelings only as they are implied in the various ways
mentioned. Objective characterization is lifelike, for it is the way we form our impressions in real life of a person’s character.
Octameter – poetic meter of eight feet to a line.
Octave – a unit made up of the first eight lines of a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. (See Lyric.)
Ode – a lyric expressing a lofty or noble sentiment in appropriate dignified language. (See Lyric.)
Onomatopoeia – a figure of speech in which the sound is suggestive of the meaning. Words such as meow, clip-clop,
whirr, clang, pop, and bang are all examples.
“And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain”
Poe’s “The Raven”
“Booth led boldly with a big bass drum.”
Vachel Lindsey’s “General William Booth Enters into Heaven.”
Oxymoron – (ok’ si mo ron) – a figure of speech using for epigrammatic effect a contradictory or incongruous
combination of terms (cruel happiness, happy sadness, fresh frozen).
“The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem’d all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.”
- Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Palindrome (pal’ in drom) – a word, verse, or sentence that is the same when read backwards or forwards.
Madam, I’m Adam.
Able was I ere I saw Elba. (credited to Napoleon)
Parable – a short simple story having a moral or rather obvious symbolical or spiritual meaning; an earthly story with a
“heavenly” meaning (the Parables of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, etc.)
Paradox – a seemingly-contradictory statement or situation, which, on closer examination, may prove to be real or true.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
Dickens , A Tale of Two Cities
”The best thing about temptation is yielding to it.”
Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Dorian Gray
Paraphrase – a free rendering of the sense of a passage, usually in the reader’s own words.
Parody – a composition imitating with ludicrous exactness but ordinarily on a ridiculous subject, the style and
mannerisms of some serous composition (F.B. White’s “Across the Street and in to the Grill”, a parody of Hemingway’s
Across the River and Into the Trees). To enjoy parody, one must be familiar with the original.
Here is the first stanza or Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways”.
“She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove
A Maid when there were none to praise
And very few to love:”
And here is Hartley Coleridge’s parody of it, which makes fun of Wordsworth:
“He lived among the untrodden ways
To Rydal Lake that lead:
A bard whom there were none to praise
And very few to read.”
Pastoral – a term describing a piece of writing dealing with rustic or country life, usually emphasizing a quiet atmosphere
(Burns’s “The Cotter’s Saturday Night” and Whittier’s “Snow-Bound”). (See Idyll.)
Pathetic Fallacy – an uncomplimentary term devised by John Ruskin, the Victorian critic and writer, to describe what he
felt was an artificial use of personification, or of imputing to inanimate objects’ feelings that they do not possess (the cruel,
hungry sea).
Pathos – a feeling or tender sorrow, ordinarily rather temporary and superficial, often accompanied by a sort of
melancholy pleasure. It should be distinguished, therefore, from more genuine, deep-seated, and universal emotions. The
deaths of Romeo and Juliet represent pathos.
Patois (pa twa or pat wa) a somewhat contemptuous term for a provincial or illiterate dialect (the French patois of New
Pentameter – meter of five feet to a line. (See Versification.)
Periodic Sentence – a sentence in which the words are so set down that the meaning is not completed until the end or
near the end, and thus the emphasis of the sentence comes at the finish.
Raising his rifle and taking careful aim at the bear, he fired.
(Compare with Loose Sentence.)
Personification – a figure of speech ascribing human or life-like qualities to inanimate things.
hurled his spear at the crouching hag.
“But look the morn, in russet mantle clad,
you high eastern hill.” – Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Derisive Death
Walks o’er the dew of
Phraseology – the grouping or arrangement of words, a narrower term than style.
Plagiarism – the stealing or appropriation of the ideas or literary creations of someone else and using them as one’s own.
Picaresque (from picaro, the Spanish for vagabond or rogue – a designation applied to a narrative whose central figure is
a vagabond or wanderer who travels about having a loosely connected series of adventures in various places
(Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Fielding’s Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn).
Plot – the chain or succession of events in a story. A long and complicated plot is often made up of a series of episodes,
which in turn are made up of a series of incidents. It can also have one or more subplots, less important than the main plot
but which moves along with it, sometimes crossing back and forth over it, and usually resolved with it at the end of the
story (Dickens’s Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities both have complex plots and several subplots).
Poetaster (po’ et as ter; po et as’ ter) (pronounced so the last two syllables rhyme with master) an uncomplimentary term
meaning a petty or paltry poet; a writer of poor or trashy verse. The Latin diminutive ending aster here denotes inferiority. The word
does not means one who tastes poetry.
Poetic Justice – the appropriateness or justice of a character’s receiving the reward or punishment he deserves, such as
when a good character is rewarded or a bad one punished. It is all the more striking, although occasionally too contrived,
if he is paid back in a fitting or appropriate way, as when a bad person is caught in his own trap. A spectacular contrived
example occurs in Dickens’s Oliver Twist when Bill Sikes, who has brutally murdered Nancy, tries to flee across a London
rooftop and in doing so, accidentally hangs himself.
Poetic License – the liberty an author takes in departing from strict fact, form, or rule for the sake of artistic effect.
Point of View of Narrator – the point of view from which the story is told. A story is said to be told in the first person if it
is related exclusively from the position of a single character who uses I throughout (Poe’s short stories). Examples of
stories in the second person are rare. It is called third person if the point of view is restricted to that of a single character
referred to always by name or by a pronoun in the third person. There is also the all-seeing eye or omniscient point of
view in which the author uses the third person but does not limit the point of view to that of just one person. He tells the
story from the vantage of the all-seeing eye or an omniscient being who looks down upon all his characters alike.
If in using this method, the author discloses the thoughts and emotions of his characters, he is said to be using Subjective
Characterization. If he simply reveals their words and actions, he is said to be using Objective Characterization. A story
told exclusively from the point of view of a
single character gains intimacy and realism, but makes it difficult for the author to present a scene or incident from the allseeing eye, which enables the author to tell what is happening simultaneously in various places, gives a broader scope, and
provides the author with more freedom to work in his own comments.
Precis – a concise statement, summary or abstract, shorter than a paraphrase.
Premise – a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred. The major premise is the one that contains
the major term, the first proposition of a regular syllogism. The minor premise is the one that contains the minor term, that
is, the second proposition of a regular syllogism. (See Syllogism.)
Prologue – an incident or episode occurring before the beginning of a story or play proper; also a speech in prose or verse
addressed by an actor to the audience before the beginning of the play itself. The purpose of prologue is to give the reader
or audience an explanation as to what the piece is going to be about, to hint at what moral or ideas to look for in it, or
perhaps to settle the audience and arouse their interest. (Thornton Wilder’s Our Town has a prologue.)
Prosody (pros’ o di) – the science or art of versification (See Versification). The systematic study of metrical structure
including all forms of rhymes, meters and stanzas. It can also mean a particular system or theory of versification or of
metrical composition, such as T.S. Eliot’s or Robert Frost’s prosody.
Protagonist – the chief person in a narrative or play who receives most of the author’s attention. If he has brave and noble
qualities, he may also be called the hero (or if a woman, heroine). Sometimes a number of persons or whole social group
may be the protagonist.
Proverb – an old and often repeated saying expressing some practical wisdom.
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
A soldier fights upon his stomach.
Provincialism – a word or expression peculiar to a province or a district some distance from a cultural center; a dialectical
or local word, phrase or idiom. Examples of two Maine provincialisms are “to come afluking” (to come in a hurry) and “to
gaffle aholt” (to grab hold ).
Psychological Novel, Story, or Play – one emphasizing the inward or mental qualities of the characters, and in which the
plot unfolds or develops as a result of these mental traits. Hence the author’s stress is on mental interplay rather than
external happenings.
Pun – a verbal humor evoked by playing on different meanings of the same word or of different words of the same
“A mender of bad soles”(souls) – Shakespeare’s
Julius Caesar
Puppet – a wooden and lifeless character having no individualized traits, used by the author for some momentary
necessity of the plot, or as a kind of ventriloquist’s dummy for expressing the author’s thoughts or feelings.
Purple Patch – usually used in a uncomplimentary sentence, it means a sudden heightening of rhetorical style by shifting
to a passage of highly colored poetic prose.
Purpose – the author’s literary or artistic intention, the specific type of interest or effect that the author aims to produce by
the story as a whole. It does not mean the author’s desire to make money, gain fame, express his personality, etc.
“Entertainment” is too broad a word, by itself, to state the author’s purpose adequately.
Quatrain – a four-line stanza of poetry.
“I never saw a moor,
the sea;
I never saw
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.” – Emily Dickenson’s Chartless
Realistic –a general term used to describe any literature marked by lifelikeness and a faithful adherence to the ordinary
probability of human nature, even when such details are trivial or unpleasant. Hence realistic is the opposite of romantic.
Redundancy – the use of more words than are needed to express one’s meaning, especially the use of extra words
meaning about the same thing as some of those already used.
John felt full of life; keenly alert, and far from sluggish.
Tautology, pleonism, and periphrasis all mean about the same as redundancy.
Refrain – a recurring phrase or passage in a poem.
“Quote the Raven, “Nevermore.” - Poe
Repartee – humor based on a clever, quick, and witty reply, for example, the conversation between Hamlet and the
Repetition – A word or phrase used more than once to emphasize an idea.
Coleridge’s line “Water, water everywhere”, which is repeated several times in
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, serves to emphasize the frustration of a
situation where a man is dying of thirst while surrounded by water.
Resolution – the outcome of the crisis or turning point; the part of the plot from the crisis to the end of the story. It ordinarily
carries the effect of inevitability or the fulfillment of fate, or a logical or artistic outcome of the circumstances of the crisis.
Rhetoric – the art of written prose composition, exclusive of poetry and speech. The term can also mean a skillful use of
language or, sometimes, an artificial elegance of expression.
Rhetorical Question – a question a speaker or writer asks for dramatic or literary effect or which he intends to answer
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”
Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention.”
Rhyme – (also spelled Rime) – the recurrence of an identical vowel sound, usually at the end of a line, the consonant
structure being different before the identical sounds in the two words. Internal Rhyme is the rhyme of a vowel sound in
the middle of a line with one at the end.
“The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew.” Coleridge – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Rhyme Royal (named for one of its first users, James I of Scotland) consists of stanzas of seven iambic pentameter lines
rhymed ababbcc (Chaucer’s “The Clerk’s Tale”, Masefield’s “The Dauber”).
Rhythm – the more or less regular recurrence of an accent or beat. In a longer piece of literature the term Emotional
Rhythm is sometimes used to describe the rise and fall of emotional intensity. A skillful writer builds up, in a more or less
regular pattern, the reader’s emotions and lets them subside (for they cannot be held long at an emotional pitch).
Romantic – a name applied to any literature that gives an artificial, fanciful, exaggerated, or extravagant view of life. It is
recognizable through its reliance on happy-ever-after endings, coincidence, surprise, thrilling adventures, stock
characters, and heroes and heroines who are too “good” and villains who are overly “bad”. There is little or no emphasis
on inwardness nor on character development.
Romanticism – a general term having an extensive and complicated philosophical basis. Jean Jacques Rousseau, the
eighteenth century French philosopher, is credited with being the father of the Romantic Movement. The opposite of
Classicism, Romanticism is subjective and personal rather that restricted and detached, spontaneous and free rather than
restricted and conventional, imaginative rather than reserved, simple rather than stately, warm and lyrical rather than
cold and measured. It stresses the beauty of Nature and a belief in Nature as a source of human inspiration and
emphasizes the simple dignity of the common man and the wonder to be found in simple everyday life. (Compare with
Rondeau (ron’ do; ron do’) – An Old French verse form ordinarily consisting of thirteen lines and an unrhymed refrain
taken from the beginning of the first line. The rhymes and refrains are generally arranged aabbaaab refrain aabba.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blew
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours so hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”
-McCrea, “In Flanders Fields”
Round Character – one who is complex and multi-faceted, like a real person.
Saga – Originally a medieval narrative, historical or legendary, or both, of an Icelandic hero or family, it is now used
loosely in the sense of history, chronicle, or legend (Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga, W,N, Burns’s The Saga of Billy the Kid).
Satire – the ridiculing of human follies, weaknesses, abuses, or vices, whether of an individual or a group (Swift’s
Gulliver’s Travels, Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World).
Scansion – indicating by symbols (
) or voice stress the meter or poetry, foot by foot, including any irregularities; and
identifying the correct meter and type of foot (for example, anapestic trimeter).
Science Fiction or Scientific Romance – a type of romantic story or novel whose chief source of interest is its scientific or
quasi-scientific discoveries, inventions, experiments, etc. Regarded as having originated with Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein(1818), this kind of narrative was brought into considerable popularity by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells and
continues to have a wide vogue today, especially in the inter-planetary space stories. The eccentric scientist has become a
stock character (Jules Verne’s 20,000Leagues Under the Sea, H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, The Invisible Man.).
Semantics – the science of the meaning of words.
Sensibility – a term applied to the exaggeratedly tender emotional reactions of
characters in some of the English novels of the latter part of the eighteenth
century (Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy) .
Sentimentality – exaggerated, artificial, or affected feeling, especial of a tender or
mawkish kind. Sentiment, on the other hand, is commonly used in good sense for an
honest and sincere feeling.
Sestet – any stanza of six lines, but usually the unit formed by the last six lines of a
Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. (See Lyric.)
Setting – the place, time, and the chief circumstances depicted in a piece of literature. By
the circumstances are meant the main conditions, such as a snowstorm, a war, an
epidemic, a voyage, etc. The setting of The Red Badge of Courage, for instance, is an
unidentified battle area during several days of the Civil War.
Simile - a figure of speech ordinarily using like or as , as expressing a comparison between two essentially unlike things.
“The red sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer.” Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage
A Homeric Simile is one rather lofty in feeling that begins with an as clause and concludes with a main thought
introduced by so.
“As beats the rhythm of a mighty band, so beats my heart for you.”
Slang – popular, breezy, inelegant, unauthorized language, usually having a temporary vogue, or a popularity restricted
to a general group or an occupation, for example, college slang, baseball slang, etc.
Social Consciousness – a piece of writing or an author either of which exhibits a sympathy toward the problems of the
poorer classes is said to have social consciousness. For example, Dickens or his books may be said to have or show social
Social Criticism - literature revealing any social, economic, or political problem contains social criticism. (Harriet Beecher
Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath).
Socratic Method – a method of argumentation by which a person seeks to convince another by adopting the role of the
humble inquirer, and through a series of questions leads the other person gradually to admit the truth of the questioner’s
Solecism – any blunder in grammar or usage (between you and I, he don’t, different than me, etc.) A person who makes
one of these errors is said to have committed a solecism.
Soliloquy – an author’s method of disclosing the secret or inner thoughts of a character by having him speak his thoughts
aloud to himself (Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” speech, Macbeth’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow” speech).
Sonnet – Traditionally, a love poem of fourteen lines constructed in iambic pentameter, but in contemporary poetry,
themes and form vary. (See Lyric.)
Spondee – a foot of two syllables, both accented equally (stone-deaf). Rarely, however, is a whole line spondaic.
Spoonerism – a ludicrous language slip formed either accidentally or purposely by transposing the first letters or sounds
of two words in close succession (half-warmed fish for half formed wish, kissed my mystery lecture for missed my history lecture¸
Sheats and Kelley for Keats and Shelley. The Rev. W.A. Spooner, born in England in 1844, and later warden at New College,
Oxford, became well known for committing these linguistic blunders when he grew excited.
Stanza – a recurring unit or a repeated brief division of a poem, separated by spaces to make for easier reading or to show
change in thoughts or time.
Stock Character - a character who has been used so much in literature that he has become a conventional and
recognizable type (the honest friend, the talkative old woman, the bragging soldier, the suave gambler, the simple
country boy, the blundering drunkard, the super sleuth, the eccentric scientist, etc.).
Stream of Consciousness – the jumbled, frequently incoherent, half-formed ideas, images, memories, thoughts, desires,
etc., that stream through a character’s consciousness. A form of subjective characterization, it enables the author to reveal rather
completely the character’s psychological make-up (James Joyce’s Ulysses).
Strophe (stro’ fe) (rhymes with trophy) – Coming from the Greek word for turn, this meant the Greek choral dance the
movement of the chorus in turning from one side to the other of the performance area. In poetry, it means the strain or the
part of the choral ode sung during the strophe. The antistrophe was the part in answer to the strophe.
Structure – The particular way in which parts of a written work are combined.
The structure of a sonnet is 14 lines. The structure of a drama is a certain number
of acts and scenes. Plot structures a novel, and poems are organized by stanzas.
Other structural techniques include chronological, nonlinear, flashback, and
stream of consciousness.
Style- an author’s distinctive manner of expression. It comprises such factors as his use of words (diction), his sentence
structure and phraseology, and his use of figures of speech and other rhetorical forms. Style is the writer’s “voice”.
Hemingway’s style is simple and straightforward. Fitzgerald’s style is poetic
and full of imagery. Virginia Woolf’s style varies but she is often abstract.
Subjective – a term applied to any piece of literature in which the author plainly reveals his personal thoughts, his
feelings, or his interpretations of life.
Subjective Characterization – the kind in which an author tells the reader exactly what is going on in the minds of his
characters.(Compare with Objective Characterization.)
Subplot – a plot of less importance than the main plot. It may begin or end at a different time from the main plot, cross
and re-cross it several times, or merge eventually with it. (The grave-robbing activities and family life of Jerry Cruncher
form a sub-plot in A Tale of Two Cities.)
Surprise – an unexpected turn of events often used by an author to introduce or remove obstacles, heighten interest, or
add suspense (Robinson Crusoe’s discovery of the footprint in the sand).
Surprise Ending – a sudden ironic outcome of a prose narrative (See O. Henry Ending.)
Suspense – intense eagerness to learn the outcome. It is created through delaying the outcome by interposing fresh
obstacles, by interrupting the chain of events with a descriptive passage, or by turning temporarily to another plot or
subplot, etc.
Syllogism – a pattern or form for deductive reasoning. (See Deductive Reasoning).
Symbol – a character, object, or happening which stands for something else of deeper or
wider meaning. It is, therefore, often means of expressing the invisible. (Mr. Scratch
symbolizes the devil or wickedness in Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Devil and Daniel
Webster, the brackish well symbolizes the evil curse on the Pyncheon house in The
House of the Seven Gables, the scene in which the French noble requires four servants to
serve him is hot chocolate symbolizes class distinction in A Tale of Two Cities.
Syntax – The way in which words, phrases, and sentences are ordered and connected
Many of Mark Twain’s characters speak in dialect, so their syntax is ungrammatical.
“Jim, this is nice,” I says. “I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here. Pass me along another hunk of
fish and some hot cornbread.”
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Schenedoche (si nek’ do ke) (rhymes with Schenectady) – a figure of speech, akin to metonymy, in which the part stands
for the whole (100 rifles for 100 men with rifles), the whole for the part (the navy is here; that is a warship has arrived), the
name of the material for the thing (the swordsman drew his steel, that is, his sword). The species for the genus. The genus
for the species. The difference between synecdoche and metonymy is that the former seems to involve a whole and part
association, whereas metonymy seems to involve any sort of mental or emotional association of two words. However,
metonymy appears to be coming more and more to be used to cover both terms.
Tetrameter – poetic meter of four feet to a line. (See Versification.)
Theme – One meaning of the theme of a piece of literature is its topic, what it is fundamentally about, briefly generalized.
Frequently the theme may be stated in a number of ways, all more or less meaning the same thing. The theme of The Red
Badge of Courage , for example, might be put: a youth’s struggle for manhood, the effects of war on a young man, etc.
Theme can also mean the underlying idea in a piece of literature; the main moral, social, economic, or intellectual thought
which runs through the whole work and which the piece of literature seems to have been written to exemplify, illustrate,
implement, or elaborate on. In this sense, the theme of Silas Marner is the power of love in re-building a person’s faith in
life. In Vanity Fair it is the hypocrisy and shallowness of the fashionable society of its day. The line of demarcations
between theme and thesis is sometimes hard to draw. Generally speaking, however, it would appear that a theme is
underlying or submerges; whereas a thesis stands out above the surface.
Thesis – a specific proposition, point, or idea that a work of literature aims to prove, illustrate, or make convincing. It
could be a theory, a reform, a moral lesson, or a systematic attack on something. An author may sometimes sacrifice
breadth, impartiality, and naturalness of plot and character for the sake of a thesis. The thesis of Sinclair Lewis’s Main
Street, for instance, is that American life is narrow, uncultured, and standardized. In Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the
Native it is that human life is subject to the whims of an impersonal fate.
Threnody – a song of lamentation; a dirge or funeral song. (Seem Monody.)
Tone – the general quality, feeling, mood, temper, spirit, etc. (similar to Mood). Various kinds of tone are intellectual,
moral, emotional, aesthetic, etc.) Tone refers to the author’s attitude toward the subject, and often sets the mood of the
Tour De Force – a feat of power or skill. It is said of any piece of literature in which the author’s purpose has been to
display his literary skill or power at some phase of writing, or his special knowledge of some difficult or esoteric field of
information. Tour De Force sometimes suggests showing off, but it is mostly used in a complementary sense (Poe’s “The
Bells” shows skill at use of sounds; Galsworthy’s Old English exhibits skill a writing a successful play with only one
Tragedy – loosely speaking, any literary composition having a tragic theme. It is, however, a term most frequently
applied to the drama. Usually it means a serious play in which the protagonist is overcome by the obstacles with which
he is contending. Aristotle’s theory of tragedy was that it should imitate a serious, complete, and important action in such
a way as to bring about an emotional purging of the audience through pity and terror. He also said that tragedy must be
unified in time and action (see Unities) and expresses in noble, rhythmic, and harmonious language. In Greek tragedy
such things as battles and murders were not acted on a stage, but were announced by messengers. The Greek theory of
tragedy was the destruction of some noble person through Fate. In a Shakespearean tragedy there is shown the destruction of
some noble person through some passion, flaw, or limitation in his nature (Macbeth’s ambition). This is called the tragic
flaw theory of tragedy.
Tragi-Comedy – (See Comedy.)
Triolet (tri’ o let) – One of what are called the Old French forms, this is a stanza of eight lines, in which the first line is
repeated as the fourth and seventh, and the second as the eighth. Its rhyme scheme is abaaabab:
“Wee Rose is but three
Yet coquettes she already.
I can scarcely agree
Wee Rose is but three,
When her archness I see!
Are the sex born unsteady?Wee Rose is but three
Yet coquettes she
- Arlo Bates
Triplet – (also called a Tercet) – a stanza of three lines.
Trochaic – adjective describing a foot of poetry made up of an accented and then unaccented syllable.
Turning Point – (See Crisis.)
Understatement –a statement for dramatic or humorous effect of less importance than the occasion would warrant. (A
soldier knowing that he is dying says, “I am hurt.”)
Unity – the sense of oneness, harmony, or singleness of effect given by a literary composition. The Three Unities means
the unities of time, action and place, which were principles governing the structure of drama derived from Aristotle’s
Poetics by writers of the French classical school (Moliere, etc.). They required that the action of a play occur in one place,
within one day, and within one tightly knit main plot. Most other dramatists, however, have been much freer in their
interpretation of the unities.
Universality – a literary work is said to have universality if it contains some everlasting truth about human life, that is, if
its ideas, situations, characters, or incidents are true to life, not only for the time of the work but for all times—past,
present, and future. One of the universal qualities of Hamlet, for example, is its theme: youth’s shocked and depressing
discovery of deceit and treachery in the world. A universal character in it is Polonius, the self-advancing schemer. A
universal situation is exemplified in the dueling scene when Queen Gertrude shows her concern for her son Hamlet’s
Vernacular – generally speaking, this means one’s mother tongue, but is used more often in the sense of the language of
the ordinary or common people, as opposed to the language of the literary or educated.
Versification – metrical composition. The most generally used meters in English are the Iambic, Trochaic, Anapestic, and
Dactylic. The Iambic foot consists of one unaccented syllable followed by one accented one (
). Grays’s “Elegy” is an
example of iambic pentameter:
“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.
lowing herds winds slowly o’er the lea.”
The Trochaic is the opposite, an accented foor followed by an unaccented one (
). Milton’s “”L’Allegro” is an
example of trochaic tetrameter, although a syllable is omitted in the last foot of the line:
“Haste the, nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful
The Anapestic has two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one (
). Here is an illustration of anapestic
tetrameter from Browning’s “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix”:
“Not a word to each other as we kept the great pace”
The opposite of anapestic is Dactylic. Which has one accented syllable followed by two accented ones (
sample is from Longfellow’s “Evangeline” and is dactylic hexameter with the last foot incomplete:
). This
“This is the forest primeval; the murmuring place and the hemlocks.”
The Spondaic is made up of two accented syllables (stone-deaf). A line entirely spondaic is very rare. Among the least
common forms are the Pyrrhic, two unaccented syllables (in the); the Amphibrach, composed of an unaccented, accented,
and unaccented (unkindly); and the Amphimacer, its opposite, made up of an accented followed by an unaccented, then
another accented (cedar wood).
Villain (any scoundrel-like, treacherous, or evil opponent of the hero (see Antagonist.)
Vulgarism – a word or expression which is common but not in good use. It does not necessarily connote coarseness