Student Question

What are the elements of prose?

Quick answer:

Some elements of prose include the following: character, setting, plot, point of view, and mood.

Expert Answers

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The basic elements of prose are: character, setting, plot, point of view, and mood. Character refers to: biographical information; personality traits; social roles, and psychological factors such as aspirations, fears, and personal values. Setting includes: physical environment, social situation, time period, and location. Plot is what happens: characters' actions and important events. Plot progresses through the three stages of rising action, climax, and resolution. Point of view is a technical term that identifies the narrator's position relative to the story being told. Mood means the dominant feelings and emotions evoked.

Prose uses of everyday, descriptive speech. It is written in sentences and paragraphs. Prose generally does not make use of structural poetic elements such as meter or rhyme scheme. However, literary prose does sometimes make use of more flexible poetic elements such as metaphor, simile, and rhythm. 

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