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Superglossary - Literature
Category: General > Literature
Date & country: 11/12/2013, US
Words: 754


Distych
The technical term for a two-line group in which a pair of metrical lines of different lengths toget

Dithyramb
An ancient Athenian poetic form sung during the Dionysia (see above). The first tragedies may have o

Dog Latin
Unidiomatic or crude pidgin Latin intermixed with local tongues. An example of dog latin appears in

Donatism
The term donatism is an eponym taken from a bishop in North Africa named Donatus. During the patrist

Double Plot
When an author uses two related plots within a single narrative. See futher discussion under subplot

Dramatic Monologue
A poem in which a poetic speaker addresses either the reader or an internal listener at length. It i

Dramatis Personae
(Latinpeople of the play)

Duanair
Anthologies of Irish bardic poetry from between 1150-1500 CE. An example is the Yellow Book of Lecan

Dumb Shows
These mimed scenes before a play or before each act in a play summarized or foreshadowed the coming

Dyfalu
A Welsh term for a form of fanciful conceit in which a string of sequential metaphors compares an ob

Dying Rhyme
Another term for feminine metrical endings. See discussion under meter.

Ease Of Articulation
The linguistic concern for how certain sound changes in words might be motivated by how easy or hard

East Germanic
A sub-branch of the Germanic language family. Gothic was an East Germanic language.

Eclogue
(Greek 'selection') A short poem or short section of a longer poem in the form of a dialogue or soli

Edh
Another spelling of the word eth.

Emblem
Nathaniel Hawthorne's term for a private symbol. He also refers to private symbols as tokens. Exampl

Enclosing Method
Another term for framing method.

End Rhyme
Rhyme in which the last word at the end of each verse is the word that rhymes. This contrasts with i

Englyn
A group of certain Welsh tercets and quatrains written in strict Welsh meters including monorhyme an

Enlightenment
(also called the neoclassic movement) the philosophical and artistic movement growing out of the Ren

Epanados
Repeating a word in the middle of a clause in either the opening or the conclusion of the same sente

Epanalepsis
Repeating a word from the beginning of a clause or phrase at the end of the same clause or phrase

Epenthesis
(also called infixation) Adding an extra syllable or letters in the middle of a word. Shakespeare mi

Epic
An epic in its most specific sense is a genre of classical poetry. It is a poem that is (a) a long n

Epicene Pronoun
A gender-neutral pronoun for human beings. English does have gender-neutral pronouns for objects (it

Epimythium
A summary of the moral of the fable appearing at the end of the main narrative. If it is found at th

Epiphany
Christian thinkers used this term to signify a manifestation of God's presence in the world. It has

Episodia
The Greek word for episode. See above.

Epistolary Novel
Any novel that takes the form of a series of letters--either written by one character or several cha

Epithalamium
The Latin term for an epithalamion. See above.

Eponymous Archon
An official in classical Athens. The holder of this office arranged the production of tragedies and

Eremite
A religious hermit. Eremites are stock character in vitae and in chivalric romances. See discussion

Eremitic Tradition
An eremite is a hermit--one who deliberately lives alone seeking spiritual enlightenment in the dese

Errata
(singularerratum)

Erratum
(pluralerrata)

Estates Satire
A medieval genre common among French poets in which the speaker lists various occupations among the

Etiological Narrative
Etiology is the branch of philosophy dealing with the origins of things or how things came to be. An

Etymology
(1) The origin of a word. (2) The study of word origins and the history of words--especially how wor

Eutrepismus
Adding numbers to the various points in an argument or debate so the audience can better follow the

Exact Rhyme
Exact rhyme or perfect rhyme is rhyming two words in which both the consonant sounds and vowel sound

Excursus
(1) A detailed analysis of a particular point or argument--epecially when added as an appendix at th

Exegetical Criticism
Another term for Robertsonian criticism of medieval literature. See discussion under fourfold interp

Exemplum
(pluralexempla)

Exilliteratur
(Ger. 'Exile-literature') German literature written by authors who fled Nazi Germany during World Wa

Existentialism
A twentieth-century philosophy arguing that ethical human beings are in a sense cursed with absolute

Exit - Exuent
Common Latin stage directions found in the margins of Shakespearean plays. Exit is the singular for

Exposition
The use of authorial discussion to explain or summarize background material rather than revealing th

Eye Dialect
A type of metaplasmus using unconventional spellings to represent conventional pronunciation

Eye Rhyme
Rhyming words that seem to rhyme when written down as text because parts of them are spelled identic

Facetiae
A bookseller's term for obscene or humorous books.

Fair Copy
A corrected--but not necessarily entirely correct--manuscript that a dramatist might submit to a the

Fame-Shame Culture
The anthropological term for a culture in which masculine behavior revolves around a code of martial

Faustian Bargain
A temptation motif from German folklore in which an individual sells his soul to the devil in exchan

Feminist Writing
Writing concerned with the unique experience of being a woman or alternatively writing designed to c

Feudalism
The medieval model of government predating the birth of the modern nation-state. Feudal society is a

Figurative Language
A deviation from what speakers of a language understand as the ordinary or standard use of words in

Filigree Work
(also called vinework or vinery) A common type of decoration in medieval manuscripts. Scott defines

Finno-Ugric
One of several language families outside the Indo-Euorpean family of languages. This family includes

Fixed-Form
Another term for closed-form poetry. See closed poetic form.

Flashback
A method of narration in which present action is temporarily interrupted so that the reader can witn

Flyting
A contest of wits and insults between two Germanic warriors. Each tries to demonstrate his superior

Focalization
Dutch literary theorist Mieke Bal coined the term focalization to describe a shift in perspective th

Foil
A character that serves by contrast to highlight or emphasize opposing traits in another character.

Folio
A term from the early production of paper and vellum in the medieval period. When a single large she

Folkloric Motifs
Recurring patterns of imagery or narrative that appear in folklore and folktales. Common folkloric m

Folktale
Folktales are stories passed along from one generation to the next by word-of-mouth rather than by a

Foot
A basic unit of meter consisting of a set number of strong stresses and light stresses. See meter.

Forestage
The part of the stage 'in front' or closest to the viewing audience.

Fornyrthislag
An Old Norse Eddic metrical form (in alliterative verse) with four-line stanzas in which a caesura s

Foul Papers
Rough drafts of a manuscript that have not been corrected and are not to be sent to the printers. Th

Fragment
An incomplete piece of literature--one the author never finished entirely--such as Coleridge's 'Kubl

Frame Narrative
The result of inserting one or more small stories within the body of a larger story that encompasses

Frankenstein Motif
A motif in which a created being turns upon its creator in what seems to be an inevitable fashion. T

Franklin
A medieval profession akin to a cross between a landlord and a real estate agent. In the early medie

Free Variation
A sound substitution that does not hinder understanding or meaning--such as pronouncing the first sy

Free Verse
Poetry based on the natural rhythms of phrases and normal pauses rather than the artificial constrai

French Scene
A numbering system for a play in which a new scene is numbered whenever characters exit or enter the

Freudian Criticism
A psychoanalytical approach to literature that seeks to understand the elements of a story or charac

Freytags Triangle
Another term for Freytag's Pyramid (see above).

Function Word
A part of speech--usually abstract and existing in a limited number of examples--which marks grammat

Gallery
The elevated seating areas at the back and sides of a theater.

Gatherers
Money-collectors employed by an acting company to take money at the admissions or entrances to a the

Gemel
A final couplet that appears at the end of a sonnet. See couplet and sonnet.

Generative Grammar
Another term for transformational grammar.

Genetic Classification
A grouping of languages based on their historical development from a common source.

Genitive
A declension in any synthetic (i.e. Heavily inflected) language that indicates possession. In many O

Genre
A type or category of literature or film marked by certain shared features or conventions. The three

Ghost Characters
This term should not be confused with characters who happen to appear on stage as ghosts. Shakespear

Globe
One of the theatres in London where Shakespeare performed. Shakespeare's acting company built it on

Glottal
Any sound made using the glottis or the vocal cords.

Gogynfeirdd
The court poets in Northern Wales in the years 1000-1299 CE.

Goidelic
One of the two branches of the Celtic family of languages descended from Proto-Indo-European. Goidel

Golden Age Of Science Fiction
The period between 1930 and about 1955 in which a growing number of science fiction short stories ap

Gothic Novel
A type of romance wildly popular between 1760 up until the 1820s that has influenced the ghost story

Gothic Romance
Another term for a Gothic novel.

Gr
(Old Norse 'greygoose') A section of the Codex Regius text that deals with wergild and Icelandic law

Grimms Law
A formulation or rule of thumb for tracing a language-shift in the Germanic branch of proto-Indo-Eur

Group Genitive
A genitive construction in which the 's appears at the end of a phrase modifying a word rather than

Gvs
The abbreviation that linguists and scholars of English use to refer to the Great Vowel Shift. See G

Haikai
Another term for haikai renga or renku. See discussion under renku and renga.