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Basic Terminology

1. Autobiography: -is the history of one’s life written by one self.

2. Act: - is the major division of a drama.
3. Antithesis: -is contrast or polarity in meaning.
4. Allusion: -is a reference to an idea, place, person or text existing outside the literary work.
5. Allegory: - is a literary work that has an implied meaning.
6. Alliteration: -the repetition of a consonant in two or more words.
7. Ballad: -is a song which tells a story.
8. Biography: -is the history of a person’s life by one else.
9. Blank Verse: -Verses written in iambic pentameter without any rhyme pattern are called blank
10. Comedy: -is a play written to entertain its audience, ends happily.
11. Classical: -means any writing that conforms to the rules and modes of old Greek and Latin
12. Canto: -is a sub-division of an epic or a narrative poem comparable to a chapter in a novel.
13. Chorus: -is a group of singers who stand alongside the stage in a drama.
14. Catharsis: -is emotional release of pity and fear that the tragic incidences in a tragedy arouse
to an audience.
15. Comic relief: -a humorous scene in a tragedy to eliminate the tragic effect from audience.
16. Couplet: -To lines of the same material length usually found in Shakespearean sonnets.
17. Catastrophe: -Catastrophe is the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy.
18. Didactic: -is a literary work which aims at teaching and instructing its readers.
19. Dirge: -is a short functional term.
20. Diction: -is the selection of words in literary work.
21. Dialect: -is the language of particular district; class or a group of people.
22. Dramatic Monologue:-In a poem when a single person speaks along with or without an
audience is called dramatic monologue. Example “My last Duchess”--Browning.
23. Difference between drama and novel:-A drama is meant to be performed whereas a novel is
meant to be read.
24. Difference between stanza and paragraph:-A stanza contains verses whereas a paragraph
contains prose lines.
25. Epic: -is a long narrative poem composed on a grand scale and is exalted style. Example
“Paradise Lost”--Milton.
26. Epilogue: -is the concluding part of a longer poem or a novel or a drama.
27. Fable:-is a brief story illustrating a moral.
28. Farce: -A form of low comedy designed to provoke laughter.
29. Foot: -A basic unit of meter.
30. Fiction:-A fiction is an imaginative narrative in prose e.g.
Lord of the fly—by Golding.



31. Elegy: - is a poem mourning to the death of an individual or a lament for a tragic event.
32. Genre: -means category or types of literature-epic, ode, ballad etc.
33. Hyperbole: -An overstatement or exaggeration.
34. Image: -is the mental picture connected with metaphor, smile and symbol.
35. Limerick: -is a short poem of a five-line stanza rhyming aabba.
36. Lyric: -A lyric is a short poem expressing a simple mood. It is usually personal and musical
e.g. Keats’s odes.
37. Linguistics: -is the scientific and systematic study of language.
38. Melodrama:-A highly sensational drama with happy ending.
Example ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ –Kyd.
39. Metaphysical Poetry: -Meta means beyond and physical is related to body . . . . . . . . .
40. Mock-epic:-It is a long satirical poem dealing with a trivial theme. Example: “The rape of the
lock”-Alexander Pope.
41. Metaphor: -A metaphor is an implicit comparison between two different things.
42. Meter:-The recurrence of similar stress pattern in some lines of a poem.
43. Novel: -is a long prose narrative fiction with plot, characters, etc.
44. Novelette: -is longer than a short story and shorter than a novel.
45. Ode: -is a long narrative poem of varying, line length dealing with serious subject matter.
46. Objectivity: -We have objectivity in a literary piece when the author focuses on an object
from broadened point of view.
47. Octave: -is the firs part of Italian sonnet.
48. Oxymoron: -is apparently a physical contrast which oddly makes sense on a deeper level.
49. Prologue: -is the beginning part of a novel or a play or a novel.
50. Prose: -Any material that is not written in a regular meter like a poetry.
51. Prosody: -Prosody is the mechanics or grammar of verse.
52. Protagonist: -Protagonist is the main character in a literary work
53. Plot: -The arrangement of incidents is called plot.
54. Pun: -A pun is playing with words.
55. Periods of English literature:-The Anglo-Saxon, Middle English Renaissance, Restoration,
Neoclassical Romantic,
Victorian, Modern, Post-Modern.
56. Romanticism: -was a literary movement. It stands Opposite to reason and focuses on
57. Rhetoric:-Rhetoric is the art
of persuasive argument through writing.
58. Symbol: -A symbol is anything that stands for something else.
59. Sonnet: -is a lyric poem consisting of fourteen rhymed lines dealing with a lofty theme.
60. Satire: -is ridiculing the vices and follies of an individual or a society with a corrective design.
E.g. “The rape of the lock” ---Pope