What are literary conventions? Do you know of any examples?  

Expert Answers info

andrewhays0287 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write61 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

A literary convention is:

A customary feature of a literary work, such as the use of a chorus in Greek tragedy, the inclusion of an explicit moral in a fable, or the use of a particular rhyme scheme in a villanelle. Literary conventions are defining features of particular literary genres, such as the novel, short story, ballad, sonnet, and play.

In other words, it is a cliche, device, or trope that acts as a defining feature of a genre. All Star Wars movies begin with the phrase "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." This helps place the viewer in the context of the Star Wars galaxy. Literary conventions can be aspects of prosody (rhyme and sound), structure (acts in a play), or content (humor in a comedy). 

To elaborate on a few of the examples provided above:

  • Chorus - In Greek tragedy, the chorus is a group of masked performers who provide context for the events that unfold. They do not directly interact with the action performed by the actors but can provide prologues, epilogues, and...

    (The entire section contains 3 answers and 574 words.)

    Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kmj23 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,256 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Queen Langosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,534 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial