What is the literary definition of apology?

The literary definition of apology, or apologia, is an autobiographical text written with the explicit purpose of defending the author's beliefs or behavior.

Apology

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 129

Apology - a defense and justification for some belief, doctrine, piece of writing, cause, or action without any admission of blame with which we contemporarily associate the word. In the Eighteenth Century, the word came to be used loosely almost as a synonym for autobiography without any suggestion of justifying...

(The entire section contains 129 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Guide to Literary Terms study guide. You'll get access to all of the Guide to Literary Terms content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Introduction
  • Complete Index
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Apology - a defense and justification for some belief, doctrine, piece of writing, cause, or action without any admission of blame with which we contemporarily associate the word. In the Eighteenth Century, the word came to be used loosely almost as a synonym for autobiography without any suggestion of justifying or defending the writer’s ideas or conduct.

The term comes from the Greek apologia, meaning defense. This Greek word was formed by joining apo, which means away, and logia, which means speaking.

Plato recorded Socrates’s Apologia in the Fourth Century B.C. At the end of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, there is a retraction or apology for his work; in this case, apology means both an explanation and an expression of regret.


Explore all literary terms.


Illustration of PDF document

Download Guide to Literary Terms Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Previous

Aphorism

Next

Apostrophe