An implied comparison in which one thing is described in terms of another.
Lyricists interested in the things of the mind, the soul, and eternity. These poets used rich imagery and elaborate conceits to express devotional themes and the complexity and contradictions of life.
The measured rhythm of a poem.
A meter in which the first and third lines contain eight syllables and the second and fourth lines contain six syllables.
A four-line stanza with each line containing eight syllables.
A meter in which the first, second, and fourth lines have six syllables and the third line has eight syllables.
Substituting a word or phrase for another term closely related with it. For example, Heaven is often used as a name or metaphor for God.
The traditional moral values of the middle class based on Christian principles; often used by liberals as a derogatory term.
A medieval play founded on the legend of a saint or on a miracle performed by a saint. A miracle play is different from a mystery play because it is based on legend instead of biblical history.
A dramatic allegory in which the vices and virtues waged for the possession of the human soul. For example, characters like Charity, Truth, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil came on the stage in the guise of persons and played the drama of life. The morality play became popular toward the end of the fourteenth century. Everyman is perhaps the best example of this kind of play.
A medieval play based on biblical history and scriptural themes. The mystery plays were first performed as part of the church services, but later they were performed outside in the town’s streets or in another open space of the town or village.
A European movement characterized by an interest in and imitation of classical works and styles, emphasizing conformity to fixed literary standards, proper patterns of outward social conduct, formality, restraint, polish, and elegance.
A type of extended prose fiction. The word novel means “new,” and it is a form developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It has characters, a plot, a theme, and a setting.
The original mystery and horror story set in the Middle Ages in a castle with dark rooms, squeaking doors, mysterious stairways, underground passages, and trapdoors—all used to create an uncanny atmosphere. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto; it was followed by Anne Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Matthew “Monk” Lewis’s The Monk, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Sought to show the spirit of a past age or to recreate a person or series of events of the past; introduced by Sir Walter Scott.
Novel of Manners
Dealt with social customs and manners of a particular time and place; perfected by Jane Austen.
Novel dealing with the motives of characters as well as the problems they are faced with.
An eight-line stanza often used to emphasize the first eight lines of an Italian sonnet.
One of the most formal and most complex types of lyrical poetry. It has a fixed purpose and deals with one dignified theme. It may be written according to a variety of forms.
Using words which sound like what they mean.
A movement within the Anglican Church led by John Henry Newman from 1833 to 1845 which sought to return to the rituals and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
A movable stage, platform, or scaffold upon which medieval dramas were performed. Often these movable stages were also called pageant wagons.
The false idea that the spirit of God dwells in nature and that to commune with nature is to commune with God.
A truth expressed in the form of an apparent contradiction.
The repetition of ideasideas in slightly differing form; the construction of two or more thoughts in the same pattern.
A retelling of a work in one’s own words. A paraphrase of poetry is usually a line-by-line translation of poetry into prose.
A classical love song dealing with shepherds and rustic life, often presenting an idealized concept of rural life.
A comparison in which human qualities are given to an inanimate object or animal.
The arrangement of events in a story or play; the sequence of related actions.
Language that is reserved for poetry only.
A court poet or official state poet.
Point of View
The method of presenting the reader with the material of the story; the perspective from which the story is told.
Limited Point of View
The author tells the story from the viewpoint of one character, using either first or third person.
Objective Point of View
The author presents the characters in action with no comment, allowing the reader to come to his own conclusions about them.
Omniscient Point of View
An all-knowing author is the narrator who comments freely on the actions and characters as he is able to delve into the minds of all characters and tell what they think or feel.
A group of poets in the second half of the eighteenth century who turned away from the formality of Alexander Pope and began writing poetry characterized by warmth of expression, a sense of mystery, a delight in wonder, a love for nature, an interest in the past, and a concern for simple country folk. These poets included William Cowper, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith, William Blake, and Robert Burns.
A hero who is usually in conflict with an opponent called the antagonist.
A group of four lines or a four-line stanza pattern used in poetry.
A phrase or sentence which is repeated at intervals, usually at the end of a stanza.
The restoration of the Stuart monarchy to the throne with the return of Charles II from France in 1660; the literary period of the later part of the century of which the leading figure was John Dryden. Much of the literature of the Restoration Age reflects a reaction against Puritanism.
The similarity of sound between two words.
Sound similarities that occur between words but which are not true rhymes. (Example: roving/loving)
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds in words which come at the end of lines of poetry.
Rhyme involving two or more syllables. (Example: hitting/fitting)
Rhyme that occurs within the line.
Rhyme involving only one syllable. (Example: row/go)
The regular recurrence of sounds.