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Superglossary - Literature
Category: General > Literature
Date & country: 11/12/2013, US
Words: 1716

(Greek, 'upon turning') Repetition of a concluding word or word endings

Not to be confused with epithet or epigram, an epitaph refers literally to an inscription carved on

(Greek, 'at the Bridal Chamber,' plural epithalamia) A wedding hymn sung in classical Greece outside

The Latin term for an epithalamion. See above.

A short, poetic nickname--often in the form of an adjective or adjectival phrase--attached to the no

(also called diacope) Uninterrupted repetition, or repetition with only one or two words between eac

A word that is derived from the proper name of a person or place. For instance, the sandwich gained

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

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

(also called erotesis) Asking a rhetorical question to the reader, i.e., 'What should honest citizen

Another term for erotema. See erotema, above.



Escape Literature
Not to be confused with escapist literature, escape literature (also called literature of escape) in

The desire to retreat into imaginative entertainment rather than deal with the stress, tedium, and d

Escapist Literature
Not to be confused with escape literature, escapist literature is designed primarily for imaginative

Eschatological Narrative
Eschatalogy in Christian theology is the study of the end of things, including the end of the world,

The branch of religious philosophy or theology focusing on the end of time, the afterlife, and the L

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

(also spelled edh) A letter in the Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and modern Icelandic alphabet. As a capit

Ethnic Dialect
A dialect used by a racial or national group, as opposed to a caste dialect or regional dialect.

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

Etymological Respelling
Revising spelling to reflect or match how a word's etymon was spelled, or the actual word so altered

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

(plural, etyma) An older word that is a source for a newer one. See etymology.

(Grk. Eu+catastrophe, 'happy or fortunate ending') As Christopher Garbowski describes in the J.R.R.

Using a mild or gentle phrase instead of a blunt, embarrassing, or painful one. For instance, saying

(from Greek 'good sound') Attempting to group words together harmoniously, so that the consonants pe

Not to be confused with euphemism, above, euphuism is a highly ornate style of writing popularized b

(Grk., 'well varied') In classical literature, any varied metrical form such as a tetrameter with mi

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

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

(1) In Roman times, the term exegesis applied to professional government interpretation of omens, dr

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


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

(Greek 'leaving,' cf. Latin exodus) The last piece of a Greek tragedy, an episode occurring after th

In classical rhetoric, this is the introductory part of a speech.

(also called a plosive or a stop) In linguistics, a sound made by completely blocking and then quick

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

Extra-Textual Meaning
Meaning that originates not in the text being read, but in another related text. The most common typ

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

A brief story illustrating human tendencies through animal characters. Unlike the parables, fables o

(plural, fabliaux) A humorous, frequently ribald or 'dirty' narrative popular with French poets, who

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

Fairy Tale
In common parlance, a tale about elves, dragons, hobgoblins, sprites, and other fantastic magical be

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

Familiar Address
Not to be confused with the animal known as a witch's familiar (see immediately below), the familiar

Family Rhyme
In `family rhyme,' rhyming is based on phonetic similarities. For the sake of contrast, consid

Before the 19th Century, the word fancy meant roughly the same thing as imagination as opposed to th

Fantasy Literature
Any literature that is removed from reality--especially poems, books, or short narratives set in non

Fantasy Novel
Any novel that is removed from reality--especially those novels set in nonexistent worlds, such as a

(from Latin Farsus, 'stuffed') A farce is a form of low comedy designed to provoke laughter through

A medieval Spanish religious play, usually performed in sets rather than alone, with a comic interlu

(French, 'medley,' or 'rubbish') Nonsense verse popular between 1200-1400 in medieval France, usuall

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

Faux Amis
(French, 'false friends') Words in two languages that may technically be cognates with each other (i

As Kathleen Scott describes this sort of decoration, it is 'a spray form of decoration, consisting o

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

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

Figure Of Speech
A scheme or a trope used for rhetorical or artistic effect. See figurative language, above.

A class of learned Irish poet in pre-Christian and early Christian Ireland. Legally, a fili had simi

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

A specialized type of folk music or alternative music, often with narrative lyrics, that usually dea

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

(Septuagint Greek, stereoma 'the beaten or hammered thing,' Latin firmamentum, 'the solid thing') In

First Folio
A set of Shakespeare's plays published in 1623. The 'First Folio' included some thirty-six plays, an

First Language
The preferred or normal language a speaker chooses to communicate in--i.e., one's native or fluent l

First Sound Shift
In Grimm's Law, the systematic transformation of the Proto-Germanic Indo-European stop sounds.

(possibly from Old Norse fit, 'a hem,' or German Fitze, 'a skein of yarn or the thread used to mark

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

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

Flat Character
Also called a static character, a flat character is a simplified character who does not change or al

Flesh Side
In medieval manuscripts, this term refers to the side of a leaf of parchment or vellum that original

In medieval times, this was a professional artist who works in conjunction with illuminators and rub

In medieval codices, this refers to 'Ornamentation in pen-work, often red on a blue initial (but som

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

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

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

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

Folk Etymology
An incorrect but popular explanation for the origins of a word. For instance, popular folk etymology

Sayings, verbal compositions, stories, and social rituals passed along by word of mouth rather than

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

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

Originally a jester-at-court who would entertain the king and nobles, the court jester was often a d

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

Suggesting, hinting, indicating, or showing what will occur later in a narrative. Foreshadowing ofte

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

The 'shape' or organizational mode of a particular poem. In most poems (like sonnets), the form cons

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

Informal, ironic, relaxed, and resembling the style, attitude, or tone found in E. M. Forster's writ

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

Fourfold Interpretation
In the twelfth century, fourfold interpretation was a model for reading biblical texts according to

Fourfold Meaning
Another term for fourfold interpretation, this word refers to the medieval idea that every passage i