Questions and Answers for Guide to Literary Terms

Guide to Literary Terms

A metaphor is a comparison of two unalike things—where one thing is said to be the other. It does not use the words like or as, as a simile would do, and it often does not even include a variant of...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2019 8:41 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A simile is a comparison of two things using the words "like" or "as." For example: He was as big as a house. The party was like a funeral. A metaphor is a direct comparison of two things...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2009 5:54 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Here are the simplified definitions of prose and poetry: Prose--the ordinary, matter-of-fact, ordinary form of language Poetry--the art of rhythmical composition for exciting pleasure by...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2015 12:00 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

I have compiled a list of similes and metaphors that could generally fall into one of these topics: O, speak again, bright angel, for thou artAs glorious to this night, being o’er my head,As is a...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2019 12:24 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Most plays and movies are enacted as if they are happening in the present. The scripts are almost invariably written in the present tense. Novels and short stories are usually written in the past...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2015 1:20 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

There is a significant difference between an essay and a paragraph. A paragraph is generally fairly short. It should have a specific topic or theme. The body of the paragraph should explain the...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2017 11:18 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Most forms of conventional writing are prose. Prose consists of grammatical sentences, organized in paragraph form. It features a natural flow of speech and no patterns of rhythm or rhyme. It is...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2020 10:49 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

There is a classical sense in which literary and nonliterary may be distinguished. This distinction is important for those studying Literature. In the context of classical literature studies,...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2013 3:22 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Drama, poetry, and the short story are all genres of literature that rely on exquisitely careful word choice. Drama, as a form, is written exclusively as lines spoken by different characters. These...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2017 11:29 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A word’s denotation is its dictionary definition. A word’s connotation is the emotional baggage, so to speak, that it has acquired through popular usage. Consider words that we use to describe...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2020 1:24 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

3. on some bright tomorrow they will come to the end of endurance. I would say this is irony. A bright tomorrow indicates a positive end. The end of endurance sounds defeated. 4. Don't...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2009 9:08 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A text refers to a specific body of words that constitute a particular piece of writing. A text can be very short, such as a sonnet, but is considered a text because it is complete in and of...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020 11:26 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Within the study of linguistics, semantics examines the meaning of words and sentences. A semantic field is thus the range of words that is employed to discuss some common topic. For example, the...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2020 2:10 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

This term for this is personification, I believe.

Latest answer posted August 17, 2015 1:23 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Prose can be best defined formally and can be defined in contrast to poetry and to other forms of writing (like certain lists or certain kinds of directions/instructions). "Prose - the ordinary...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2015 5:45 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

In linguistics, intonation refers to the way in which a speaker varies his or her pitch when pronouncing words. Along with stress (the way certain words are emphasized), intonation is an element of...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2017 12:03 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Critical appreciation is analyzing a work to evaluate its contents and explain why it should be appreciated. While it's easy to like something, showing a critical justification for your...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2017 1:16 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Mock epic is a poetic genre derived from the epic, a genre invented by Homer that sought to immortalise the deeds of heroes and gods through poetry. However, where traditional epics like Homer's...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2021 11:18 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

To describe someone's appearance using similes, you might say that he or she is as thin as a pole, or as scruffy as a cat that's been dragged through a bush. Or you might say that he or she has...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2019 7:57 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

In language, being direct eliminates confusion and ensures that miscommunication is minimized. However, when subtlety or emphasis is needed or creativity is required or perhaps a reader or receiver...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2015 8:22 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

While one does typically hear the word illiterate to describe an individual who can neither read nor write, there are other possibilities. I've also heard the word unlettered to describe such a...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2017 6:31 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

An ode is a poem in praise of something or someone. An ode can be serious or humorous, but in all instances it is thoughtful, in that the poet is exploring important aspects of the thing being...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2008 2:48 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Kennings are an interesting feature of Anglo-Saxon poetry that modern readers encounter in Old English works like Beowulf, The Wanderer and The Seafarer. To create kennings for "school," you'll...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2016 2:28 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Subject can be related to topic while theme will always be, to some extent, conceptual. Subject matter can be topical, localized and stated often as a simple noun phrase. (Examples: the medical...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2015 5:19 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

When a story is written in first person point of view, the information the reader receives is seen only through the eyes of the narrator. Our perceptions are based on those of the speaker, so our...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

This is a good question! In order to have the passive voice, words need to be arranged so that what would ordinarily be the subject in the sentence, the word that performs the action, is relegated...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2009 4:02 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Appreciation means to recognize and/or enjoy the good qualities of someone or something. Poetry appreciation is that attitude about poetry. Some people flat out enjoy reading poetry. There...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The closest answer is zoomorphism, which is giving animal traits to non-animal subjects or objects, as in the sidewalk that "purrs." There is an interesting issue bubbling under the surface of this...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2019 8:49 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A complex word is defined as a base word combined with a derivational element, such as an affix or a suffix. I.E, the word live + ly= lively. There are four origins that explain the formation of...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

In the early days of Greek drama there was only one actor on stage, playing all the different parts. The introduction of the chorus, then, was largely practical. It provided the audience with a...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2017 9:55 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The theme of a work of art or literature can be more subtle than its subject. The subject is the main topic, while a theme may have deeper undercurrents or be unspoken. The setting is the time and...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A literary movement is a general term for pieces of literature by different authors (usually over the same time period) who share a similar impetus for writing in some way. Usually these authors...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

It is probably quite safe to assert that there are as many styles of prose as there are writers of prose. Each author uses his or her favorite grammatical and syntactic structures, words, and...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2021 4:57 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The distinction is basically artificial. Historically, the notion of the "figures" originated in Graeco-Roman education. This educational system included "grammar" as the main part of the secondary...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2015 11:52 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

This is a great question. Agency is often times a term used in either philosophy and sociology, however it can be used in a literature sense as well. What agency means, is essentially the freedom...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2014 7:24 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The lyrics to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Freddie Mercury are enigmatic and open to interpretation. Thus what one listener might take as literal language could be taken as figurative language by someone...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2020 4:29 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Let's start with drama. Drama is different from the other two forms in that a story is told through dialogue. There can be stage directions and information about how certain pieces of dialogue...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2018 9:03 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Staccato sentences can be used for a variety of effects in writing; they are, by nature, short and often emphatic. For example: "I said no." "Just no." "No!" This series of three staccato sentences...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2018 7:44 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

It is extremely hard to define a novel. Perhaps impossible. Once an authority had offered a definition, some writer would be sure to come out with a novel that contradicted it. Henry James once...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2015 11:23 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

There are many more poetic devices than there are figures of speech because figures of speech are actually poetic devices (which is a much broader category). A poetic device could be something as...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2018 11:58 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

An epic is a dramatic story told in the form of a poem. Traditional epics are lengthy and take the reader on a journey through various settings and times. The Homerian epics are classic examples,...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2021 11:38 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The format of a letter really depends on what type of letter you are writing. If you are writing a business letter you would use the block formatting where everything is lined up on the left hand...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2009 9:42 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Foregrounding is a literary concept borrowed from Russian Formalism and developed by formalist Jan Mukařovský who called it aktualisace, which has been translated to English as foregrounding....

Latest answer posted October 11, 2010 10:10 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Pronunciation, in any language, is crucial for good communication and understanding. Vowels and diphthongs are not unique to English speakers, and their use is always to ensure pronunciation in...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2017 9:25 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Pulling metaphors out of thin air is often difficult and intimidating. To help you creat metaphors that describe someon's personality, I suggest going through the following brainstorm. This has...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2011 2:30 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Sometimes the effect of situational irony is humorous; at other times it is tragic. But it is almost always shocking. Either the protagonist or the reader is surprised. Nadine Gordimer's short...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2010 8:50 am UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

Characters develop theme in a variety of ways: Sometimes, characters help develop a theme because of their unique perspectives. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch tells the story of Tom...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2019 7:42 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The definition of drama is that it is a literary work that is intended to be presented on a stage or--in contemporary times--in a film by actors to an audience and that has characters who are in...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

A "prose summary" is a short statement that expresses the main ideas of a passage. These statements provide an overview of the major ideas in a reading passage and leave out minor ideas or details....

Latest answer posted April 9, 2017 12:34 pm UTC

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Guide to Literary Terms

The main character in a work of literature is also known as the protagonist. The protagonist is not necessarily the "good guy," just as the antagonist is not always the "bad guy." An antagonist...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2018 9:47 am UTC

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