A character or force against which another character struggles.
The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of a play.
The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occurs in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe.
The turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. The climax represents the point of greatest tension in the work.
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the better. In comedy, things work out happily in the end. Comic drama may be either romantic or satitric.
The use of a comic scene to interrupt a succession of intesely tragic dramatic moments. The comedy of scenes offering comic relief typically parallels the trafic action that the scenes interrupt. Comic relief is lacking in Greek tragedy, but occurs regularly in Shakespeare's tragedies.
A struggle between opposing forces in a story or play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The conflict may occur within a character as well as between characters.
Latin for the characters or persons in a play.
The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided.
In the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its denouement or resolution,
The physical movement of a character during a play. It's used to reveal character, and may include facial expressions as well as movements of other parts of an actor's body.
A quality of a play's action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character. Pathos is always an aspect of tragedy, and may be present in comedy as well.
The unified structure of incidents in a literary work.
The point at which a character understands his or her situtation as it really is.
The sorting out or unraveling of a pot at the end of a play, novel, or story.
The point at which the action of the plot turns in an unexpected direction for the protagonist
A set of conflicts and crises that constitute that part of a play's or a story's plot leading up to the climax.
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse. Catastrophe and suffering awaits many of the characters, especially the hero.
A privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering.
A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualitires.
The means by which writers present and reveal character. Although techniques of characterization are complex, writers typically reveal character through their speech, dress, manner, and actions.
A brief story with an explicit moral provided by thr author. Fables typically include animals as characters.
An imagined story, whether in prose, poetry, or drama, or an imagined character.
An interruption of a work's chronology to describe or present an incident that occurred prior to the main time frame of a work's action. Writers use flashbacks to complicate the sense of chronology in the plot of their work and to convey the richness of the experience of human time.
Hints of what is to come in the action of a play or a story.
The pattern of related comparative aspects of language, particularly of images, in a literary work. Imagery of light and darkness pervades James Joyce's "Araby" and "The Boarding House." So, too, does religious imagery.
A contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen in life and in literature.
A short novel.
A brief story that teaches a lesson often ethical or spiritual.
The angle of vision from which a story is narrated.
The voice and implied speaker of a fictional work, to be distinguished from the actual living actor.
A literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridicules vices, stupidities, and follies.
The time and place of a literary work that establish its context.
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.
A story that narrates strange happenings in a direct manner, without detailed descriptions of a character.
The idea of a literary work abstracted from its details of language, character, and action, and cast in the form of a generalization.
The implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work.
A character who contrasts and parallels the main character in a play or story.
The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words.
A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style.
A line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
A strong pause within a line of verse.
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener.
A lyric poem that laments the dead.
A run-on line of poetry in which logical and grammatical sense carries over from one line into the next.
A long narrative poem that records the adventures of a hero. Epics typically chronicle the origins of a civilization and embody its central values.
A brief witty poem, often satirical.
Poetry without a regular pattern of meter or rhyme.
A type of poem characterized by brevity, compression, and the expression of feeling.
A figure speech involving exaggeration.
The measured pattern of rhythmic accents in poems.
A poem that tells a story.
An eight-line unit, which may constitute a stanza or a section of a poem, as in the octave of a sonnet.
The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe. Words such as crack and buzz are onomatopoetic.
The matching of final vowel or consonant sounds in two or more words.