Guide to Literary Terms

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Literary Genre

Genre - a category or class of artistic endeavor having a particular form, technique, style, or content. Some current genres are the novel, short story, essay, epic, tragedy, comedy, satire, and lyric.

The word is the French synonym for type and kind.

Before the Eighteenth Century, the distinction between genres was great. The accepted genres were epic, tragedy, lyric, comedy, and satire. Today, there is less of a distinction between genres and sometimes a work can contain elements of two or more genres.

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, is considered to be part of the gothic genre established at the end of the Nineteenth Century.

see: comedy, epic, essay, novel, short story, tragedy