literary elements and language terms – set #3 poetry and drama terms

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Literary Elements and Language Terms – Set #3 Poetry and Drama Terms. Unit 3 – Romeo and Juliet English I Pre-AP 2011-2012. DRAMA AND TRAGEDY. Drama. A narrative that is meant to be performed by actors in front of an audience. The plot and characters are developed through - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Literary Elements and Language Terms Set #3Poetry and Drama TermsUnit 3 Romeo and JulietEnglish I Pre-AP2011-2012


  • DramaA narrative that ismeant to be performedby actors in front of anaudience. The plot andcharacters aredeveloped throughdialogue and action.

  • TragedyA drama that presents the downfallof a dignified character or characterswho are involved in historically orsocially significant events. A tragedyends in catastrophe usually death forthe main character(s).Examples:Hamlet, Macbeth, American Beauty, Death of a Salesman

  • Tragic HeroThe protagonist of atragedy; usually a dignifiedindividual of historical orsocietal significance whofails or dies because of atragic character flaw(hamartia) or a cruel twist offate. This character will oftenshow strength while facing hisor her destiny.


  • DIVISIONSActA larger division of a dramatic text thatindicates a shift in location or the passage oftime.

    SceneA smaller division of a dramatic text thatindicates a shift in location or the passage of time.

  • Stage DirectionsDirections in the text of a drama that allow actors anddirectors to stage the drama and readers to see theaction. They are typically italicized and will often explainhow characters should look, speak, move, and behave. Example:BENEATHA Haylo (Disappointed) Yes, he is. (She tosses the phone to WALTER, who barely catches it) Its Willie Harris again. (from A Raisin in the Sun)

  • PrologueA brief opening section to a play spoken by asingle actor called the chorus. In many plays,a prologue welcomes the audience and givesthem a taste of the story.Example:The first fourteen lines of Romeo and Juliet

  • EpilogueA piece of writing at the end of a work ofliterature or drama, usually used to bringclosure to the work.Example:The final segment at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Dramatic IronyThe audience is aware of something that thecharacters onstage are not aware of; works tobuild suspense in a text or drama.

  • Comic ReliefA humorous scene, incidentor speech that relieves theoverall emotional intensity. By providing contrast, comicrelief serves to heighten theseriousness of the mainaction while helping audiences toabsorb earlier events in the plotand get ready for the ones tocome.

  • DialogueA conversation between two or more people. Any portion of a staged drama, that is neither amonologue nor a soliloquy, is a dialogue.

  • SINGLE-PERSON SPEECHESMonologueA long speech by one person toan audience of any number ofpeople

    SoliloquyA long speech in which acharacter who is usually onstagealone expresses his or herthoughts and feelings aloud.

  • AsideWords spoken by a character in a play to theaudience or to another character that are notsupposed to be heard by the others onstage.

  • ApostropheA figure of speech in which one directlyaddresses an absent or imaginary person, orsome abstraction. This is often used whenemotions become most intense.Example: "Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Paul Simon


  • EnjambmentA poetic technique in which one line endswithout a pause and must continue on to thenext line to complete its meaning; also referredto as a run-on line.Examples: I will not eat green eggs / And ham, I will not eat them Sam I Am (Dr. Seuss).Ah, my mistresses, which of you all / Will now deny to dance? (RJ 1.4).

  • AssonanceRepetition of similar vowel sounds that arefollowed by different consonant sounds,especially in words that are close together in apoem.Example:The words base and fade and the words young and love are examples of assonance.

  • ConsonanceThe repetition of consonant sounds in closeproximity. Example:EX: The archetypal arachnid attacked the critical acrobats katydid, where the hard k sound is repeated six times.

  • EuphonyGrouping together of harmonic, pleasingsounds (opposite of cacophony)Example:Hear all, all see, / And like her most whose merit most shall be; / Which, on more view of many, mine, being one, / May stand in number, though in reckning none (Act I, scene ii).

  • CacophonyDescribes harsh, discordant sounds (whenread aloud), probably loud noises (opposite ofeuphony); difficult for actors to say.ExampleIll look to like if looking liking move (RJ 1.3).

  • RefrainRepeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines.

  • RhymeThe occurrence of similar or identical sounds atthe end of two or more words.Examples: Suite, heat, and complete

  • End RhymeRhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines of verse.Examples:And be one traveler, long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could.

  • Internal rhymeWhen rhyme occurs internally within individuallines of poetry. Example:This night I hold an old accustomed feast (RJ 1.2).The words hold and old rhyme within this one line of verse.

  • Slant rhymeOccurs when authors attempt to rhyme wordsthat simply do not rhyme exactly. Example:What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry? Symmetry and eye dont really rhyme

  • CoupletA series of two rhymed lines with a pattern ofAA, meaning that the ends of the two linesrhyme with each other.Example:For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings / That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

  • QuatrainA series/unit of four rhymed linesExample:When, in disgrace with Forturne and mens eyes, / I all alone beweep my outcast state, / And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, / And look upon myself and curse my fate

  • Rhythm and MeterRhythmA pattern of stressed and unstressed syllablesin a line of poetry

    MeterGenerally regular pattern of stressed andunstressed syllables in poetry.

  • Iambic pentameterThe rhythm in which Shakespeare writes his plays and his sonnetsBreak the name downAn iamb is a metrical foot, or unit of measurement, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable ( ). One iamb = rie.Penta means five, soLine of verse that contains five iambs. This line is ten syllables long with an alternating pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables.

  • Iambic pentameter cont.A line of 5 iambs (Iambic pentameter):Example: But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? (Romeo & Juliet).

  • Blank VersePoetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter;blank means the poetry is not rhymed; this isthe major form of verse in Shakespeares plays.

  • Free VerseA form of poetry that does not have a regularrhythm or rhyme scheme. Look out for whospeaks in free verse or prose in the play versuswho speaks in blank verse its significant!

  • SonnetA fourteen-line poem written in iambicpentameter and used to explore such deeplyfelt issues as the fleeting nature of love and theaching questions of mortality; typically presentsa problem/issue and then offers a solution

  • Shakespearean SonnetConsists of three quatrains and a coupletPresents the issue in the three quatrains and the solution in the coupletThe shift from issue to resolution is called the volta (turn).Example:The Prologue of Romeo & Juliet.


  • ParadoxAn apparently contradictory statement that actually reveals sometruth.Examples: Everyone is completely unique, just like everyone else Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." -The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Each new power won by man is a power over man as well. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger.-C. S. Lewis Exception Paradox: "If there is an exception to every rule, then every rule must have at least one exception, the exception to this one being that it has no exception; Petronius Paradox: "Practice moderation in all things. Including moderation."

  • OxymoronA concise paradox that brings together twocontradictory terms.Examples: jumbo shrimp, act naturally, found missing, genuine imitation, good grief


  • AllusionA brief, usually indirect reference to a person,place, or event--real or fictional. Four typesare:historicalliterarymythological religious

  • AnalogyA comparison made between two things toshow how they are alike in some respects.

  • AnecdoteVery brief account of an incident.Example: In her essay, Homeless Anna Quindlen uses an anecdote about a homeless woman to introduce a discussion of homelessness.

  • ArchaismSomething archaic (old and outdated).Example:thee

  • ConceitA metaphor that just does not work or fit veryeasily. Example: The United States is a venerable sea turtle, silently gliding through the blue depths.

  • JuxtapositionTo place side by side in order to compare.Example:Romeo and Juliet has a wide range of strong contrasts:youth and old age; servants and nobles; love-sick Romeo and fiery Tybalt; the noisy public feast and the private whispers of the lovers; Romeo's infatuation and Juliet's wit; the old nurse and young Juliet;

  • ParallelismRepetition of words, phrases, or sentences thathave the same grammatical structure or that state asimilar idea.Example: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness

  • PunA play on the multiple meanings of a word or ontwo words that sound alike but have differentmeanings.Example:What has four wheels and flies? A garbage truck! (pun on the word flies)

  • Fun with P