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• It is considered in global context. It suggests to the sum of

total world’s national literature and also the circulation of
work into the wider world beyond country’s origin.
• World literature and the study of world literature is examining
different forms of literature including stories, novels, poems, and
epics that come from all around the world and form the basis of
many ideas and themes found in modern day society and literature.

• World literature is a way of communicating and

preserving important details of culture, traditions and
attitudes. Literature is comprised of language, and
language is a form of communication

• It refers to any “ written work”.

• It is derived from ‘literatura‘ which means writing formed with letters.
• “Litera” – Latin word which literally means an acquaintance with letters
• It is the mirror of the society which reflects societal norms, culture , tradition,
experiences etc.
• Literature goes along with society.

• It is a body of work, either written, oral, or visual, containing imaginative

language that realistically portrays thought, emotions, and experiences of the
human condition.
• is a product of particular culture that concretizes man’s array of values,
emotions, actions and ideas. It is therefore a creation of human experiences
that tells about people and their world.
Importance of Studying World Literature

• 1. Imagination: Reading literature cultivates the imagination. That’s one

reason why tyrants and dictators hate literature, banning or strictly controlling
it. From the ancient Greeks to the present day, cultures steeped in literary
study have thrived on creativity and innovation.
• 2. Communication: Writing and talking about literature helps prepare students
to write and talk about anything. Not only are they working with words, with
carefully considered language, but they are also considering how different
kinds of people think and react to and understand words.
Importance of Studying World Literature
• 3. Analysis: Literary works—whether fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction—
challenge readers to make connections, to weigh evidence, to question, to notice
details, to make sense out of a rich experience. These analytical abilities are
fundamental life skills.
• 4. Empathy: Because literature allows us to inhabit different perspectives (What’s it
like to be a teenage girl, a Jew, in Nazi Germany? How would you feel if you
thought your father had been murdered but no one else believed that?), in different
times and places, we learn to think about how other people see the world. We can
understand and persuade and accept and help these others more effectively and
Importance of Studying World Literature
• 5. Understanding: We think in terms of stories: this happens, and then that
happens, and what’s the connection between these events, and what is going
to happen next? People who’ve experienced more stories are better able to
think about actions and consequences. Experience is the best teacher;
literature is the best vehicle for vastly enlarging our possible experiences.
• 6. Agility: Literary works often ask us to think in complex ways, to hold
sometimes contradictory, or apparently conflicting ideas in our minds. As
brain imaging has shown, this kind of processing helps us to be more
mentally flexible and agile—open to new ideas.
Importance of Studying World Literature
• 7. Meaningfulness: Literary works often challenge us to think about our place
in the world, about the significance of what we are trying to do. Literary study
encourages an “examined” life—a richer life. It provides us with an almost
unlimited number of test cases, allowing us to think about the motivations
and values of various characters and their interactions.
• 8. Travel: Literature allows us to visit places and times and encounter cultures
that we would otherwise never experience. Such literary travel can be
profoundly life-enhancing.
Importance of Studying World Literature
• 9. Inspiration: Writers use words in ways that move us. Readers throughout the ages have
found reasons to live, and ways to live, in literature.
• 10. Fun: When students read literature that is appropriate for them, it’s intensely fun.
Movies are enjoyable, but oftentimes the written version, readers will say, is more powerful
and engrossing. Students who don’t find literature to be a whole lot of fun are almost
certainly reading the wrong things (too difficult, too removed from their interests), and not
reading enough (perhaps they are slogging line by line, week by week, through a text
beyond their growing capabilities). When students do discover the fun of literature, they
will read more and more, vaulting forward in verbal skills and reasoning abilities, and
becoming better readers and writers of other kinds of texts (letters, memos, legal briefs,
political speeches, etc.).
7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

• 1. Expanding horizons
First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front
door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to
learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.
• 2. Building critical thinking skills
Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we
learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find
themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a
sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden
meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.
7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

• 3. A leap into the past

• History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about
power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products
of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in
the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would
not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and
walked on the same ground as us.
7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important
• 4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs
Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a
method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It
allows you to understand and experience these other systems of
living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a
personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone
else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.
7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important
• 5. Better writing skills
When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask
yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or
playwrights used literature to expand their writing.
• 6. Addressing humanity
All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and
conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success
and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the
realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be
boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our
own humanity.
• 7. Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives
us the ability to think outside the box.
• UNIVERSALITY - Great literature is timeless and timely. Forever relevant, it
appeals to one and all, anytime, anywhere, because it deals with elemental
feelings, fundamental truths and universal conditions.
• ARTISTRY - This is the quality that appeals to our sense of beauty.
Intellectual Value A literary works stimulates thought. It enriches our mental
life by making us realize fundamental truths about life and human nature

• PERMANENCE - A great work of literature endures. It

can be read again and again as each reading gives fresh
delight and new insights and opens a new world of meaning
and experience. Its appeal is lasting.
• STYLE - This is the peculiar way in which writers sees life,
forms his ideas and expresses them
• SPIRITUAL VALUE - Literature elevates the spirit by bringing out
moral values which makes a better persons. The capacity to inspire
is part of the spiritual value of literature.
• SUGGESTIVENESS - This is associated with the emotional power of
literature. Great literature moves us deeply and stirs our feeling and
imagination, giving and evoking visions above and beyond the plane of
ordinary life and experience
Literary Approaches


selection is more or less based on the so-called “literary elements”
• MORAL OR HUMANISTIC APPROACH - Literature is viewed
to discuss man and its nature. It presents man as essentially rational;
that is, endowed with intellect and free will; or that the piece does not
misinterpret the true nature of man. The approach is close to the
“morality” of literature, to questions of ethical goodness or badness
Literary Approaches

• HISTORICAL APPROACH - Literature is seen both as a

reflection and product of the times and circumstances in
which it was written.
• SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH - Literature Viewed as the
expression of man within a given social situation which is reduced
to discussions on economy which will underscore the conflict
between the two classes- the rich and the poor.
Literary Approaches
• CULTURAL APPROACH - Literature is seen as one of the manifestations
and vehicles of a nation’s or race’s culture and tradition. It includes the entire
compels of what goes under “culture”
• PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH - Literature is viewed as the expression
of “personality,” of “inner drives” or “neurosis”. It includes the psychology
of the author, of the characters, and even the psychology of creation. It has
resulted in an almost exhausting and exhaustive “psychological analysis” of
characters, of symbols and images, of recurrent themes, and others.
Literary Approaches


viewed to elucidate “reacting response” which is
considered as something very personal, relative and
fruitful. Unconditioned by explanations and often
taking the impact of the piece as a whole, it seeks to
see how the piece has communicated
Literary Compositions that Influenced the
• 1.THE BIBLE OR THE SACRED WRITINGS– This has become the basis of Christianity
originating from Palestine and Greece.
• 2.KORAN- The Muslim Bible originating from Arabia.
• 3.THE ILIAD AND ODYSSEY – These have been the source of myths and
legends of Greece. They were written by Homer
• 4.THE MAHABHARATA - The longest epic of the world. It contains the history
of religion of India.
• 5.CANTERBURY TALES - It depicts the religion and customs of the English in
the early days. This originated from England and written by Chaucer.
Literary Compositions that Influenced the
• 6.UNCLE TOM’S CABIN- by Harriet Beecher Stowe of the US. This
depicted the sad fate of slaves; this became the basis of democracy later on.
• 7. THE DIVINE COMEDY– by Dante Alighieri. This shows the religion
and customs.
• 8. EL CID – This shows the cultural characteristics of the Spaniards and their
national history.
• 9. THE SONG OF ROLAND – This includes Doce Pares and
Ronscesvalles of France. It tells about the Golden age of Christianity in
Literary Compositions that Influenced the
• 10. THE BOOK OF THE DEAD – This includes the cult
of Osiris and the mythology and theology of Egypt.
ARABIAN NIGHTS – From Arabia and Persia (Iran) It
shows the ways of government, of industries and of the
society of the Arabs


• THE RENAISSANCE – 1500-1650
• THE ROMANTIC PERIOD – 1789 – 1837
• THE VICTORIAN AGE – 1837-1901
• Otherwise known as The Classical Period (1200 BCE – 455 CE)
• A golden age for literature and arts
• Different letters
• Different grammar
• Different spelling
England before the English
• When the Romans arrived, they found the land inhabited by ―Britons. –
• known as the Celts
• Stonehenge
• no written language
• absorbed into the Latin speaking Roman society
• Romans withdraw, leaving the Britons/Celts behind
• • Invasions from the Northern Europe – Anglo-Saxon bring Germanic languages
England before the English

When the Romans arrived, they found the land

inhabited by ―Britons. – known as the Celts
Stonehenge, no written language, absorbed
into the Latin speaking Roman society
Romans withdraw, leaving the Britons/Celts
Invasions from the Northern Europe – Anglo-
Saxon bring Germanic languages
England before the English
• By 600, Anglo-Saxons conquer the Britons – language becomes more
Germanic still retains some Latin
• The Anglo-Saxons’ two urgings--war and wandering become part of the oral
tradition – Beowulf is an example of an Anglo-Saxon hero tale.
England before the English
• By 700, Christian missionaries arrive
to convert the pagans – Latin (the
language of the Church) returns
• King Alfred – the Britons become
• first true king of the Britons
• period of prosperity
England before the English
• In 1066, the Normans (French
speaking people from Normandy),
led by William the Conqueror attack
and defeat the Britains (a blend of
the Britons and Anglo-Saxons) at the
Battle of Hastings
• the 3rd language is introduced--
French – French culture and French
literature arrives
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Classical Period (1200 BCE – 455 CE)
• The Song of Beowulf
• The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
• Works and Days by Hesiod
• Theogony by Hesiod
• Historians of the English language distinguish three main stages or periods in its
• 1 .Old English or the Anglo-Saxon(600-1100).
• 2. Middle English(1100-1500)
• 3. Modern English (from 1500 onwards)
• The division of a language is a natural growth with a continuous development
• Each periods has distinctive features, justifying such a division , though there is no
break in the process of continuous evolution.
• This period extends from the earliest written documents , about the close of the 7th century to
about 1100 by which time the effects of the Norman Conquest became perceptible
• The Old English language also called Anglo – Saxon
• The Celts had been living in England when the Roman invaded. Although they invaded twice, they
did not defeat the Celts and Latin never overtook the Celtic language
• The Romans finally left England in 410CE as the Roman Empire was collapsing, leaving the Celts
defenseless. Then the Germanic tribes from the present day area of Denmark arrived. .
• The Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, the three main tribes had started filtering in during the last
years of the Roman rule.
• These tribes set up seven kingdoms called the Anglo- Saxon heptarchy that
included: Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, Wessex, Sussex, Essex and East Anglia.
• They displaced the original Celtic inhabitants of Britain and gave it a new
name England – the Land of angles, and a new language, English- the
language of angles.
• The earliest form of English, resulted from the dialects of these three drives
rolling together in to one national literary language
• 1. Northumbrian in the North comprising the district between the
Firth or Forth and the Humber river .
• 2. Mercian, spoken between the Humber and the Thames
• 3. West Saxon, spoken in the region south of the Thames except in
Kent and Surry
• 4. Kentish spoken in Kent and Surry
• Old English had a very complicated grammatical system, with a number of
different declensions of the noun and a three gender system, and with two
declensions of the adjectives.
• This period has often been described as the period of “full inflections”, since the
inflections(grammatical endings)of nouns, adjectives and verbs were preserved in
• Being highly inflected, Old English had a relatively free word
order(syntax).Inflections make meaning less dependent on word order.
• In Old English we find four cases, Nominative, Accusative, Gentive, and the Dative
• Old English had a complicated and illogical three gender system. There was no one
-to-one correspondence between the natural gender and grammatical gender of
• Each noun had to have a gender, masculine, feminine, or neuter, arbitrarily fixed.
• Thus, Old English wif and wifmann meant women, but the former was neuter
gender and the latter masculine. Stan was masculine and sunna feminine.
• In Old English there were two separate declensions of adjectives, the weak and the
• In Old English, verbs had only two tense, the present and the
preterit (like the past). Making use of these two tenses, the semantic
concepts of present, past, and future time were expressed
• Old English grammar, however is comparatively simple, compared
to that of proto Germanic
• Old English was more or less phonetic in character , its spelling
representing its pronunciation fairly closely
• The two major sound change on Old English were- mutation and
• The Germanic tribes used a particular kind of alphabet called the runic Alphabet.
• The typical Runic symbols were not in modern english spelling, but they are used in
phonetic script.
• The old english spelling was phonetic in character, each letter representing a sound
and it contained no silent letters.
• Old english has seven vowels a,e,i,o,u,y (a+e)was the speciality of Old English
• Old English remained a phonetic language without the discrepancy between
spelling and pronunciation, which is conspicuous in Modern English
• This period is characterized by homogeneous Anglo-Saxon language, remarkable for its
high degree of purity, with only a small amount of Latin loan words ,
followed by some Norse elements, consequent on the Norse invasion.
• The Old English word stock was enriched by Indo-European words, Celtic
element, Latin influence and the Scandinavian influence.
• Indo-European words: These include words denoting close family relations,
cardinal numbers upto ten, the words man and tree, words associated with nature
and universe such as moon, sun ,earth, fire, star etc, words relating to fundamental
concepts in farming and cultivation, names of basic weapons like the shield, and
names of basic colures such as red and yellow.
• The Celtic element of Old English: The Anglo – Saxon, however, preserved the Celtic
names of cities and towns and rivers and mountain and some words referring to natural
features of landscape. Place names like Kent, London, Cornwall York and the first syllable
of Winchester, salisbury, Worcester, river name like Thames, Avon, Wye, Dover are all
traceable to a Celtic source.
• The Latin vocabulary in Old English: Latin words entered Old English in two phases:
(1)during the Roman occupation and (2)through the early Christian missionaries
• A few words like devil (defol), night (niht)and angel (engle)came in with the Anglo Saxons.
• Latin words introduced by Christian missionaries are naturally of religious nature. Eg:
priest, monk, bishop, pope, abbot, cross (cruce) saint (sanct) etc.
• The major text we will read from this period is the EPIC Beowulf. It is the story of
a Scandinavian (GREAT) warrior or knight probably in the sixth century, who
comes to help a neighboring tribe, the Danes, who are being attacked by a monster.
We study English history to understand the CONTEXT of Beowulf, and we study
Beowulf to understand the world which was OLD ENGLISH. Consider the
fighting, hunting, farming and loving Anglo-Saxon heritage. The Non-Christians
only hope was for fame and commemoration in poetry. Beowulf is considered the
shining star of Old English literature.
• The Book of Exeter is the largest surviving collection of poetry
Greek writer and philosopher during this period:
The Classical Period (1200 BCE – 455 CE)

• Gorgias
• Aesop
• Plato
• Socrates
• Aristotle
• Euripides

• The Medieval Period (455 CE – 1485 CE)

• Bible translations
The 3 Estates in the Middle Ages
• The idea of estates, or orders, was encouraged during the Age, but this
ordering was breaking down.
• Clergy Latin chiefly spoken, those who pray, purpose was to save everyone’s
• Nobles French chiefly spoken, those who fight, purpose was to protect—allow
for all to work in peace—and provide justice –
• Commoners English spoken, those who work, purpose was to feed and clothe
all above them
• The economic system of much of the Middle Ages (800-1100)
• Commoners (peasants) lived on a feudal manor. The lord of the manor gave
his vassals (the peasants) land to farm.
• In return, the vassals received protection from roving bandits. Yet they were
taxed and had to surrender a portion of their crops to the lord. – it was better
to be a lord than a vassal! Feudalism is important as it created ties of
obedience and fostered a sense of loyalty between the vassals and their lord.
A tenant (vassal) renews his oath of fealty to his lord
• A product of feudalism, chivalry was an
idealized system of manners and morals
– Restricted to nobility
• The Medieval knight was bound to the
chivalric code to be loyal to… – God –
his lord – his lady
• Chivalric ideals include... – benevolence
– brotherly love – politeness
• Sir Gawain is an example
The High Middle Ages (begin 1095 )
• Begin with the First Crusade (1095 )re-claim Jerusalem from the
infidels – Open trade routes –
• Peasants (the vassals) are liberated from their lords to figh, and die
in the Holy Lands
• Cities spring up along the crusade routes
• Feudalism dies out
• The transition to the Renaissance begins
• Before, in the Dark Ages, the church
provided structure to society, not only
with religion but by providing education,
as well.
• Sadly, with the Crusades , the Church
becomes incredibly corrupt.
• Popes fight for political power; Greed is
rampant; selling of indulgences;
Crusades for $;
• With the Crusades comes The Black
Death spreads along trade routes kills
much of the population the plague
outbreaks occur through the Middle
Ages and into the Renaissance
• Paradoxically, the Plague provides for
continued growth in cities – Afterwards,
hundreds of new jobs available – Many
debts ―died off with creditors also
contributed to society’s culture
Literature During the Medieval Period

• Languages:
• Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic Church, which
dominated Europe
• The Church was the only source of education
• Thus, Latin was a common language for Medieval writings.
Types of Literature
• Troubadour Poetry (Bernart de Ventadorn) – Arthurian Legends
• Epic Romances/Quests (Dante Alighieri, Sir Gawain)
• Courtly Love
• Religious Poetry (Julian of Norwich)
• Fabliaux (Geoffrey Chaucer)
• Sonnets (Petrarch)
• Sestinas (Arnaut Daniel)
Characteristics of Medieval Literature
• Heroism – from both Germanic and Christian traditions, sometimes mingled
• Beowulf
• Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
• Presentations of idealized behavior – literature as moral lesson
• loyalty to king
• chivalry
• use of kennings (especially in Beowulf) – Hyphenated expression, representing a single noun. For
example, the epic Beowulf uses the two-word term whale-road to refer to the sea or ocean.
The Ideal of Courtly Love
• This relationship was modeled on the feudal relationship between a
knight and his liege lord.
• The knight serves his courtly lady with the same obedience and
loyalty which he owes to his liege lord.
• She is in complete control; he owes her obedience and submission
• The knight's love for the lady inspires him to do great deeds, in order to be
worthy of her love or to win her favor.
• “Courtly love" was not between husband and wife because it was an
idealized sort of relationship that could not exist within the context of
"real life" medieval marriages.
• In the middle ages, marriages amongst the nobility were typically based
on practical and dynastic concerns rather than on love.
• The lady is typically older, married, and of higher social status than the
knight because she was modeled on the wife of the feudal lord, who
might naturally become the focus of the young, unmarried knights'
• The literary model of courtly love may have been invented to provide
young men with a model for appropriate behavior. It taught them to
sublimate their desires and to channel their energy into socially useful
behavior (love service rather than wandering around the countryside,
stealing or raping women.
• The "symptoms" of love were described as if it were a sickness. The
"lovesick" knight’s typical symptoms: sighing, turning pale, turning red,
fever, inability to sleep, eat or drink.
The Quest

• In addition to the theme of Courtly Love, the Quest was

highly important: the code of conduct observed by a knight
errant who is wandering in search of deeds of chivalry. This
knight is bound by a code of behavior - a set of
conventional principles and expectations
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Medieval Period (455 CE – 1485 CE)
• The Canterbury Tales
• Beowulf
• The Dark Ages and the Bards
• The Dream of the Holy Rood
Famous Author during this period:
The Medieval Period (455 CE – 1485 CE)
• Geoffrey Chaucer
• Thomas Aquinas
• Martin Luther
• Caedmon

• Elegy
• Religious Liturgy
• Narrative Romance

• It is considered to be the division between the Middle age and Modern era.
• The Renaissance Period (1485-1660 CE)
• The Renaissance Literature:
• 'Old classics rediscovered’
• Sonnet
• Elegy
• Pastoral
The Renaissance (Etymology)
• The word “Renaissance” is a French word which means “rebirth”.
• The term was used to refer to the rebirth of learning caused by the
discovery of hundreds of Greek and Latin manuscripts which had been lost
during the Middle Ages.
• Such texts made it possible for the artists of the Renaissance period to
create a hole new vision of themselves.
• The Renaissance was a cultural movement that started in Italy and spread all
over Europe. It is considered to be the division between the Middle Ages and
the Modern era.
• The thinkers of this period, also called “humanists”, believed that the man
should be the subject of study, and not God, as the Church had taught
during the medieval period.
• Based on that, they began to investigate fields such as astronomy, anatomy,
science and many others which had never been given much attention
The Renaissance in England
• Tough it took many years for the “Modern” England to arise, even when it
had established itself, many aspects of the medieval culture still remained
side-by-side to the new order. Nonetheless, two events in special stand out as
a signal that things were indeed changing in the British Isles: - The raise of
the Tudor Dynasty and The Printing Press
The Tudor Dynasty
• In 1485, a powerful nobleman named Henry Tudor defeated the King
Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field, bringing to an end a strife
between noble families that last almost a century. Henry Tudor, the King
Henry VII He was declared the new king and given the tittle of Henry VII.
• He then established the powerful Tudor Dynasty, an absolute monarchy
which would rule Britain for over 100 years. It made possible the flowering
of England as a European political power and as a center of literacy culture.
• William Caxton was the person who introduced printing in England. Before
that, the books were written out in longhand, what meant a very slow jog.
• With the printing, it was possible to produce books in large numbers and in a
short amount of time. That way, more people could learn to read and write.
• The oral tradition began to loose power, both in literature and in the Church
• The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, printed in 1473
• The new conception that the man had of himself encouraged the in various
art styles: painting, literature, dance... Leonardo DaVinci and Michaelangelo
were the most notable, for their accuracy on representing the human
anatomy and applying the laws of perspective to make their works more
• The spirit of adventure also reigned in more practical matters: for example,
the explorers such as Columbus and Cabral who ventured across the open
sea to discover the new world of the Americas.
Thomas More: (1480-1535)
• Thomas More was is considered one of the greatest of all English humanists,
mainly for the book “Utopia”, written in Latin, in which were about an
imaginary island where everything is perfect. Utopia means “nowhere” in
Greek; Thomas new clearly that such an island could never exist. This dream
of a place where happiness reigns and sorrow is banished is the most
persistent of human fantasies and became a recurrent theme in many other
British literature works.
Thomas More: (1480-1535)

• Though he was recognized as a very important contributor for the

humanism, he was later in 1535, beheaded for refusing to support
his king’s ( Henry VIII ) decision to break away from the Catholic
Church. In 1935, four hundred years after his death, he was
canonized as a “patron saint of politics for fighting against the
English Reformation.
The Reformation
• Henry VIII wanted to divorce his queen in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Besides the pope refusal,
he divorced anyway and married Anne. He also confiscated all Church property and proclaimed
himself head of a new religion: Anglicanism. This was one in a series of other “reforms” in
Christianity which changed the religious scenario of Europe.
• This reformists Christians were called Protestants; they believed that God’s Word should be found
only in the Bible, instead of in the pronouncements made by popes in bishops. So they undertook
to translate the Bible from Latin to various other languages, so that it was available to everyone. In
1604, King James I ordered forty-seven scholars to produce a translation of the Bible to serve as
the official one of the Anglicanism, the so-called “King James Bible”. It was published in 1611
and is considered a masterpiece of English prose.
William Shakespeare: (1564-1616)
• William is considered the greatest of all English authors; his texts and plays are known
worldwide and are updated constantly.
• Though few is known about his life, he was born in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon and
went to London when still young.
• In 1611 - at the age of 47 - his plays already made success on the stages, so he retired to
his native town.
• Between the many plays and poems he wrote: Romeo and Juliet,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet
• MACBETH: Wherefore was that cry?
• SEYTON: The queen, my lord, is dead.
MACBETH: She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for
such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty
pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our
yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon
the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound
and fury, Signifying nothing.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth
• Macbeth’s speech reveals the astonishing quickness of Shakespeare’s mind,
capable of expressing the strongest emotions and the deepest philosophical
questions in a series of complex metaphors. Shakespeare’s knowledge of the
human heart and his skill in expressing the heart’s mysteries are the bases of
his genius. Macbeth compares life to a candle, then to a shadow, to an actor
and finally to a story; this rapid shifting of metaphors is very characteristic
of Shakespeare’s work.
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Renaissance Period (1485-1660 CE)
• Romeo and Juliet
• When I was Fair and Young
• Utopia
• The faerie Queen
Famous Author during this period:
The Renaissance Period (1485-1660 CE)
• William Shakespeare
• Sir Thomas More
• Queen Elizabeth I
• Edmund Spencer
Civil War and Revolution
• Aristocrats (Landowners) Supported Anglicanism Supported the strong monarchy of
King Charles I vs. Commoners (Merchants) Supported Puritanism Supported the
Parliament to restrict the king’s power
• The war ended in 1649. The victory of the Parliament. The execution of the King. Britain
was ruled no more by monarchy, but by a radical military dictatorship: the
• he Commonwealth was extremely strict, so the British asked for the dead king’s son to
return from exile in France. He became King Charles II Both him and his successor, king
James II believed in an absolute monarchy. The middle class didn’t accept that. The
Parliament deposed King James II in 1688. The middle class had come to power to stay.
• The Enlightenment Period (1660 BCE – 1790)
• Referred to as The Age of Reason.
• Era of Logic
• Age of enlightenment
• Rise of the novel & journalism
• Age of satire
• Age of poetry
• A. The Age of Reason or Enlightenment (1650-1800)
• Definition: A movement in Europe that spread to America that advocated
the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established
• Believed that systematic thinking might be applied to all areas of human
• It was an attitude rather than a shared set of beliefs.
• a. England: King Charles I was beheaded , Puritans ruled under Cromwell-rough time,
went back to monarchy.
• b. Reaction against excesses or extremes of people of faith such as Puritans
• c. Language of mathematics, scientific method, scientific development (Sir Isaac Newton)
• d. “If people operated by reason, the world would be smoother and perfect.”
• e. religion of Enlightenment:
• 1. Deism: god created the world and left
• AGE OF REASON OR ENLIGHTENMENT: Science, scientific method,
reason, systematic thinking, individualism (self reliance), moral perfection
• People arrived at truth by using reason rather than by relying on the authority
of the past, on religion, or on non-rational mental processes like intuition.
• People are basically good and perfectible
• Human history is marked by progress toward a more perfect existence
• “Man was born free , and he is everywhere in chains. One man thinks
himself the masters of others, but remains more of a slave than they.” –
Jean Jacques Rousseau
• Neoclassicism: Turning back to Greek and Roman texts and ideals such as
Democracy, the perfect citizen, justice, liberty, equality, and representative
• Deism: god created the world and then left; god is like a watchmaker – creates
and leaves it because it can run by itself; God is God who follows reason
• Rise of scientific language and information – Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia
• Revolutionary War: people had to write texts like the Declaration of
Independence, Speech to the Second Virginia Convention, and the Crisis to
communicate and educate colonists and Britain about war and the just causes
for it.
• Establishment of American printing presses and influence of newspapers –
propaganda and spread of important documents (Declaration)
• 1. God takes an active role in the workings • 1. God created the world and left it to work on
of the universe. its own
• 2. God chooses to reveal himself at a • 2. God made it possible for all people at all
particular times to particular people times to discover natural laws through their
God-given power of reason
• 3. Stressed humanity’s evil ways/ • 3. Stressed the goodness and orderliness of the
tendencies universe: each individual, through reason is
• 4. The best way to worship God is to go perfectible
to church/ read the Bible • 4. The best way to worship is to do good for
• 5. Writing is private others / create a better society
• • 5. Writing is a public
• 1. ALMANAC – a publication containing astronomical and meteorological data for a given
year and often including a miscellany of other information.
• 2. ANECDOTE – a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an
interesting or amusing nature
• 3. AUTOBIOGRAPHY – the biography of a person narrated by himself or herself .
“bio” means life, “graphy” means “writing or representation of ”.
• 4. APHORISM – terse form of a truth or a sentiment
• 5. ANTITHESIS – using strongly contrasting words, images or ideas

• 6. ANAPHORA – repetition of a word/phrase at the beginning of

successive clauses or verses
• 7. ALLUSION – reference to a well-known work
• 8. HYPERBOLE – exaggeration or overstatement
• 9. REPETITION – restating an idea using the same words
• 10. RESTATEMENT – repeating an idea in a variety ways
• Asked merely for effect with no • The art of speaking or writing
answer expected effectively
• The study of principles and rules of
composition formulated by critics of
ancient times;
• The study of writing or speaking as a
means of communication or

• 1. EMOTIONAL APPEAL (PATHOS): To reader’s feelings

• 2. LOGICAL APPEAL ( LOGOS): appeal to logic to show an argument is
• 3. ETHICAL APPEAL (ETHOS): to show an argument is just or fair
• The use of a series of words, phrases, or sentences that have similar
grammatical form.
• It emphasizes items that are arranged in a similar structures.
• Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or
more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word,
phrase, or clause level.
• The usual way to join parallel structures is with the use of coordinating
conjunctions such as “and” or “or”
• With the –ing form (gerund) of words:
• Parallel: Mary likes hiking, swimming, and bicycling
• With Infinitive phrases:
• Parallel: Mary likes to hike, to swim, and to ride a bicycle. or Mary likes to
hike, swim and to ride a bicycle.
• (Nota Bene: You can use “to” before all the verbs in a sentence or only
before the first one)

• A parallel structure that begins with clauses must keep on with clauses.
Changing to another pattern or changing the voice of the verb (from
active to passive or vice versa) will break the parallelism.
• Example: Not Parallel: The coach told the players that they should get a
lot of sleep, that they should not eat too much, and to do some warm-
up exercises before the game.
• Parallel: The coach told the players that they should get a lot of sleep,
that they should not eat too much, and that they should do some warm-
up exercises before the game.

• BENJAMIN FRANKLIN – The Autobiography of B.F. and Poor Richard’s

• (Aphorisms)
• PATRICK HENRY – Speech to the Second Virginia Convention
• THOMAS JEFFERSON – The Declaration of Independence
• THOMAS PAINE – The Crisis, Common Sense
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Enlightenment Period (1660 – 1790)
• All for love
• The Rake of the Lock
• Rights of Man
• Elegy written in a Churchyard
Famous Author during this period: The
Enlightenment Period (1660 – 1790)
• John Dryden
• Alexander Pope
• Thomas Paine
• Thomas Gray

• Inventor, Scientist, Statesman, Printer, Philosopher, Musician and

• What we remember him for: - American Dream and Humor
• Some favorite quotes:
• Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
• Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days
• Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.
PATRICK HENRY (1736-1799)

• Born in Virginia, USA

• Elected to Virginia Houses of Burgess in 1765
• Lawyer and a gifted speaker
• Vehemently opposed British authority
• First post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776-1779
• Famous for his line: “Give me liberty or give me death!”
• After his speech- less than 1 month later April 19, 1775, the Revolutionary War
THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809)

• Migrated to British Colonies when he was 37

• Wrote the 48 page pamphlet: Common Sense in 1775-76
• Published CS anonymously and sold 500,000 copies in the first year
• Donated all of his royalties to George Washington’s army
• He was buried in New York, but his body was disinterred (dig up something
that has been buried, especially a corpse).
• Its whereabouts are unknown
THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809)
Popular Types of literature during this period:
The Enlightenment Period (1660 – 1790)
• The chief products of the Revolutionary period are mostly nonfiction:
• Essay
• Melodrama
• Letters
• Fables
• Documents
• Writing of a practical, persuasive nature

• Great Age for the Novel

• Emphasize on Emotion, Imagination and Individualism
• Use of everyday language
• Imagination essential
• Overflowing emotions common
• Inspired by untamed nature & the exotic far east
• Folk traditions & medieval tales of knights
• Gothic novels
A Time of Opposition
• The Romantic Period was a time of reaction against the aristocratic social and
political norms of the Age of Enlightenment.
• It was also a movement that opposed the scientific rationalization of nature.
• The literature, music, and other arts of the time became avenues for
individual expression and speaking out. In England, many literary thinkers
wanted the opportunity to establish a harmonious social structure in the face
of a rapidly changing society.
A little History

• The Industrial Revolution, began 1760

• – New inventions meant mass production of goods could be produced more efficiently
• – Rural workers in cottage businesses and agriculture had little choice but to seek work in
factories, mills, and mines
• – Women and children worked to help support the family– Cities became centers of
“poverty and deprivation”(Oosthoek)
• – Building new physical and commercial infrastructure took priority over the individual
• and nature
A Little History
• The American and French Revolutions, 1776 and 1789
• – public meetings, to prevent an uprising (Norton)
• – During the revolution, thousands people were killed in France, and fighting extended to neighboring
countries, there was widespread political and social instability
• – It was during the French Revolution that Romantics clarified their opposition to the Enlightenment age
• – Motivated by the desire to take political power from the land-owning aristocracy, with the goal of liberty,
fraternity, and equality for all men
• – Loss of the American colonies caused a loss of prestige as well as economic loss for England
• – England’s literary thinkers saw revolution as an opportunity to establish a better social structure
• – English conservatives feared the French Revolution ideals might spill over to England, so repressive
measures were initiated, including a ban on collective bargaining and public meetings William Blake and
Samuel Taylor Coleridge were among those who saw the French Revolution as fulfillment of apocalyptic
A Little History
• The Napoleonic Wars– Napoleon was initially considered a liberator, a symbol of change,
and several Romantic writers were in support of revolution
• Many saw the rise of Napoleon as a revolutionary figure and bringer of a new freedom,
others saw the violent excesses of the French Revolution and Napoleonic War as signs of
the apocalypse
• Romantics became less enthusiastic over the course of the Napoleonic wars with
Napoleon’s increasing cruelty and aggressive imperialism
• It wasn’t until after 1815, when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, that England started
addressing social problems
• As a result of revolutions and war, there is an undercurrent of tragedy, death and despair
in much of the later Romantic literature.
A Little History
• England’s laissez-faire(let it be) philosophy
• – Encouraged people to follow their interests and limited state involvement in economic activity
• – Communal land was taken over by individuals, resulting in a large number of displaced people–
The gap widened between the very wealthy and the very poor,
• – Working conditions were terrible, with long hours, low wages, and child labor exploitation in
factories, mills, and mines
• – Rapidly growing towns became polluted and overpopulated, disease was rampant
• Frustrated with the current political and social situation, Romantic poets responded with poetry
that was private, spontaneous and lyrical – a shift from earlier formal and more public poetry.
New Themes
• Emotion and the individual experience
• – A new emphasis on the subjective human experience, with emotion, passion, and
feeling, the scientific and objective experience of the Enlightenment is rejected
• – Romantic poetry is intimate, individual, and original, concerned with truth of the
heart -previous poetry was written for the public
• – Romantics saw the individual human experience as influenced by their social
setting and their time in history
• “All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” -William
Wordsworth, from Preface to Lyrical Ballads
New Themes
• The awesomeness of nature
• – By studying nature, men hoped to better understand the world and mankind
• – Writers of the Romantic Era had an increased interest in nature as a positive
influence in an uncertain world
• – Many writers avoided the industrial scene of the cities, turning to nature to
escape the trials of an unstable economy and political systems
• – Nature was seen as powerful, awesome, and sometimes horrifying
• – Experiencing nature was believed to inspire human creativity and free the spirit
New Themes
• Creativity and imagination
• – Romanticism rejected the Enlightenment period’s ideals of rules of order
• – It was a time of reaction and self-expression in all the arts
• – Poetry in particular became a tool for self expression, often using subjects that
were not believable
• – Imagination was believed to be the power behind creativity – a human version of
God’s power to create
• – Imagination was needed to cope with (and escape from) the political, economic
and social problems during this time
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Romantic Period (1790 – 1830)
• I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud
• Kubla Khan
• Song of Innocence and of Experience
• Mathilda
Famous Author during this period:
The Romantic Period (1790 – 1830)
• William Wordsworth
• Samuel Taylor Coleridge
• William Blake
• Mary Shelley
Romantic Era Writers
• Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1934
• – Smart and enthusiastic as a child
• – He co-wrote Lyrical Ballads with Wordsworth, which many say marked the literary beginning of
the Romantic Period
• – Coleridge had an alcohol and opium addiction, and his poetry often expressed emotions
associated with sin
• – Using everyday language he often created strange or dream-like imagery
• – Unlike other writers of the Romantic era, he retained his religion and most of his beliefs
• – Coleridge was accused of plagiarism
• – Best known for his long and narrative poetry…like “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Rime of the Ancient Mariner lines 68-82
• And a good south wind sprung up behind;The Albatross did follow,And every day, for
food or play,Came to the mariners hollo!In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,It perched
for vespers nine;Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,Glimmered the white
Moon-shine.God save thee, ancient Mariner!From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—Why
lookst thou so?—With my cross-bowI shot the Albatross.-Samuel Taylor ColeridgeA crop
of Gustave Doré’s illustration for TheRime of the Ancient Mariner (1876 edition)by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Romantic Era Writers
• William Blake, 1757-1827
• – Blake was a painter and engraver
• – He used Christian symbols but didn’t ascribe to Christian theology
• – He was a radical and non-conformist, his artwork and poetry reflected his belief that “ideal forms
should be constructed not from observations of nature but from inner visions” (American Academy of
• – Believed poetry could be read and understood by common people(American Academy of Poets)
• – “I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man’s” He rejected the ideals of the past
and found his own way of doing things
• Songs of Innocence and Experience are collections of Blake’s poetry that contrasts the blossoming of
the human spirit when it is allowed to befree with it’s withering when constrained by rules.
Romantic Era Writers
• Mary Shelley, 1797-185
• – Born to radical and influential parents: Mary Wollstonecraft who was a feminist writer,
and William Godwin who was an atheist and former minister
• – She married Percey Blythe Shelley, they eloped after Percey abandons his wife
• – Strongly influenced by events of the French Revolution
• – In 1818 her book Frankenstein was published anonymously, the book was written in a
response to a dream and discussion about a ghost story contest
• Mary Shelley uses contrasting elements in Frankenstein that mirror the experience of life
in Europe at her time in history: justice and injustice, light and dark, nature and nurture…
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
• Final paragraph chapter 4:
Winter, spring, and summer passed away during my labors; but I did not watch the blossom or the
expanding leaves--sights which before always yielded me supreme delight--so deeply was I engrossed
in my occupation. The leaves of that year had withered before my work drew near to a close; and now
every day showed me more plainly how well I had succeeded. But my enthusiasm was checked by my
anxiety, and I appeared rather like one doomed by slavery to toil in the mines, or any other
unwholesome trade, than an artist occupied by his favorite employment. Every night I was oppressed
by a slow fever, and I became nervous to a most painful degree; the fall of a leaf startled me, and I
shunned my fellow-creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime. Sometimes I grew alarmed at the
wreck I perceived that I had become; the energy of my purpose alone sustained me: my labors would
soon end, and I believed that exercise and amusement would then drive away incipient disease; and I
promised myself both of these when my creation should be complete.
Romantic Era Writers
• Percy Blythe Shelley, 1792-1822
• – Came from a strong conservative family, yet loved freedom
• – He was bullied in school and said he “saw the petty tyranny of schoolmasters
and schoolmates as representative of man’s inhumanity to man, and dedicated
his life to a war against injustice and oppression” (Norton)
• – Published several political pamphlets in support of Ireland’s independence,
and a pamphlet “The Necessity of Atheism”, believing that religion was an
instrument of oppression
• – Believed language can be used to create and protect moral and civil law.
A Defense of Poetry, written by Percey Blythe
Shelley in 1821
• “Sorrow, terror, anguish, despair itself are often the chosen expressions of an
approximation to the highest good. Our sympathy in tragic fiction depends
on this principle; tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure
which exists in pain. This is the source also of the melancholy which is
inseparable from the sweetest melody. The pleasure that is in sorrow is
sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.”
• -Percy Blythe Shelley
Romantic Era Writers
• Lord Byron, 1788-1824
• – Byron was a nobleman by birth, spoiled by his mother
• – He was born with a foot deformity causing a limp and self-consciousness, but he was also his
own best promoter
• – A “Byronic Hero” – a flawed but idealized character, who is rebellious, avoids society, seductive,
arrogant, much like Lord Byron and the character in several of his writings
• – He had trouble exercising moderation, with exercise, food, money, and women (maybe men also)
• – He was an advocate for social reform, seeing industrial machines as producing inferior goods and
taking away jobs
• – A master at using metaphor, his best known work might be Don Juan, which related to the social,
ideological and political issues of the Romantic Era

• Transition period
• Melancholic and political poetry
• The Reign of Queen Victoria.
• The literature of this Era expressed the fusion of pure
romance to gross realism.

• Victorian literature refers to the literary works written during the reign of
Queen Victoria (1837- 1901).
• It was the transition between the Romantic period and 20th century
• It can be divided into two periods: High Victorian literature (1830-1870) and
Late Victorian literature (1870-1901)
The Victorian Age
• “The Victorian” era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign
from 1837 until her death in 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity,
refined culture, great advancements in technology, and national self-confidence for
• During the Victorian age, Britain was the worlds most powerful nation. By the end
of Victoria’s reign, the British empire extended over about one-fifth of the earths
surface. Like Elizabethan England, Victorian England saw great expansion of
wealth, power, and culture. But as Victorian England was a time of great ambition
and grandeur, it was also a time of misery, squalor, and urban ugliness.
The Growth of the British Empire
• England grew to become the greatest nation on earth
• Empire included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa,
Kenya, and India
• England built a very large navy and merchant fleet (for trade and colonization)
• Imported raw materials such as cotton and silk and exported finished goods to countries
around the world
• By the mid-1800s, England was the largest exporter and importer of goods in the world.
It was the primary manufacturer of goods and the wealthiest country in the world
• Because of England’s success, they felt it was their duty to bring English values, laws,
customs, and religion to the “savage” races around the world
The Industrial Revolution

• It started at the end of the eighteenth century, when theoretical knowledge and
practical technology were connected. Scientific ideas were applied to the making of
machines that transformed the way things were made and dramatically changed
people’s lifestyles. A formerly agricultural nation was now based on urban and
industrial growth. But as industry grew, it was accompanied by a rapid increase in
the numbers of the urban working-class poor. Workers in the cities lived in
miserable conditions. Urban squalor and misery were signs of a massive change in
the English society.
• The Age of Steam
• Mass Production
The Impact of the Industrial Revolutions

• I. The Emergence of Over crowded Cities One result of the advance of technology was the
unprecedented growth of cities. People, in search of work left the country side to work in factories
in the different cities of Britain. They had to live in very dirty and unhealthy conditions. There
were too many workers and not enough houses. People were living like animals. Diseases raged,
hunger, poverty, and deprivation prevailed, crime accelerated, and misery increased.
• II. Child Labor Children were expected to help to support their families. They often worked long
hours in dangerous jobs and in difficult situations for very little wages. For example, there were the
climbing boys employed by the chimney sweeps, the little children who could scramble under the
moving machinery to retrieve the cotton fluff; boys and girls working down the coal mines,
crawling through tunnels too narrow and low to take an adult.
Victorian Thinkers

• a. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)-philosopher who created two ideas:

• Utilitarianism: the object of moral action was to bring about the greatest
good for the greatest amount of people
• Liberalism: governments had the right to restrict the actions of individuals
only when those actions harmed others, and that society should use its
collective resources to provide for the basic welfare of others. Also
encouraged equal rights for women.
Victorian Thinkers

• b. Charles Lyell (1797-1875): Showed that geological features on Earth had

developed continuously and slowly over immense periods of time
• c. Charles Darwin (1809-1882): Introduced the survival of the fittest theory
• d. John Ruskin: The most Romantic prose of the Victorian (1819-1900).
Ruskin’s greatness is as striking as his singularity, an instance of the effect of
Evangelicalism and Romanticism on an only child.
• e. John Henry Newman: The master of Victorian Non-Fictional prose

• f. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Applied Darwinism to human society: as in nature,

survival properly belongs to the fittest, those most able to survive. Social Darwinism was
used by many Victorians to justify social inequalities based on race, social or economic
class, or gender
• g. Adam Smith - 18th century economist, held that the best government economic policy
was to leave the market alone—to follow a laissez faire or “let it be” policy of little or no
gov’t intervention
The Role of Women

• The Woman Question

• Changing conditions of women’s work created by the Industrial Revolution
• The Factory Acts (1802-78) – regulations of the conditions of labor in mines and
• The Custody Act (1839) – gave a mother the right to petition the court for access
to her minor children and custody of children under seven and later sixteen.
• The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act – established a civil divorce court
• Married Women’s Property Acts
Working Conditions for Women

• Bad working conditions and underemployment drove thousands of women into

• The only occupation at which an unmarried middle-class woman could earn a living and
maintain some claim to gentility was that of a governess.
Gender and Sexuality

• The New Woman of the 1880s and 1890s

• – Smoking, swearing, riding a bike, debating in public, wearing men’s clothing, refusing marriage
• – A figure of greater sexual, social, and economic independence
• • 1890s: women experience greater access to education, employment, political and legal rights, and
civic visibility. 1880s the term “homosexual” enters the English language
• – Until this time, no real conception of homosexuality as an identity
• – Homosexual acts between men were illegal and punishable by death until 1861; Labouchere
Amendment of 1885 mandates imprisonment for any man found guilty of a sexual act with
another man.
Gender and Sexuality
• The term “lesbian” emerges in the 1890s, but do not suffer the same
persecution as gay men
• – Rationale: women unmotivated by sexual desire, intense, passionate
“friendships” seen as innocent
• End result: feminized male characters (the dandy, the aesthete, the fop) and
masculinized female characters (the New Woman) in literature.
Common Themes

• Critique of Industralization
• Critique of the deterioration of the rural lifestyle
• Celebration of the past (including chivalry)
• Conflicts between classes
• Women´s rights

• Most works were written to teach moral lessons to readers.

• Hard work and strong virtue are always romanticized and rewarded, and poor behavior is
punished at the end.
• Literary works are full of passion and characters are often tempted by evil, but they show
restraint against wild emotions (as opposed during the romantic period)
Literacy, Publication, and Reading
• By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal.
• Compulsory national education required to the age of ten.
• Due to technological advances, an explosion of things to read, including
newspapers, periodicals, and books.
• Growth of the periodical
• Novels and short fiction were published in serial form.
• The reading public expected literature to illuminate social problems.
• NOVELS – dominant literary form; “social problem novel” and “domestic novel”
• POETRY – influenced by Romantic Period; drama monologue – a lyric poem in the voice
of a speaker who is not a poet.
• DRAMA – frivolous, romantic, witty; mocked contemporary values (satirical)
• NON-FICTION – essays, criticism, history, biography, newspapers and magazines. – “The
Age of Periodicals” and “The Age of Reading”

• Was the dominant genre during the Victorian period

• High Victorian novels tended to be edifying moral stories that portraited
difficult lives, and where hard work, love and perseverance were always
• Late Victorian novels were more complex, as they reflected an inner struggle
to conquer the flaws of human nature through effort and virtue.
• A. EARLY-VICTORIAN NOVEL (or social-problem novel) dealing with social and humanitarian
• realism, criticism of social evils but faith in progress, general optimism
• The main representative was CHARLES DICKENS.
• B. MID-VICTORIAN NOVEL (novel of purpose) showing Romantic and Gothic elements and
a psychological interest. The main representative writers were the BRONTË sisters and ROBERT
• C. LATE- VICTORIAN NOVEL (naturalistic novel near to European Naturalism) showing a
scientific look at human life, objectivity of observation, dissatisfaction with Victorian values. The
main representative writers were THOMAS HARDY and OSCAR WILDE.
Some Novelists

• Charles Dickens is probably the most widely read author from this time.
• His novels achieved immense popularity during his lifetime and there were even spin-offs
and merchandise made of them.
• Most novels criticized society and represented its poorest, but in line with the literature of
the era, there was a very strong moral element to the tales.
For the first time, Women Were Major Writers:

• Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are the most original novelists of this period.
• The sisters published their works under the male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Ashton Bell, as it
was common practice for female writers that wanted to be taken more seriously.
• Their novels include some unconventional themes for this era, such as violence, a deep desire for
freedom, a wilderness of spirit, feminism and even the supernatural.
• Their work was considered controversial but they eventually achieved the success they deserved.
• Some of their works: Charlotte: Jane Eyre
• Emily: Wuthering Heights
• Anne: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall
Some Novelists

• William Makepeace Thackeray began as a parodist and satirist but later started to write
novels with a very strong satiric component.
• He enjoyed great success during his lifetime but today his best known work is Vanity Fair.
• In it, he satirizes British society of the 19th century, although it is set during the
Napoleonic Wars.
• There have been several film adaptations of this novel and it is still one of the best loved
• The most famous poet of the Victorian period was Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
• His poetry mostly re-told classical myths, although it also covers religious dilemmas and scientific
• Although he experimented with metric, he mostly followed a strict pattern, a reflection of the
formality of the era.
• Husband and wife Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning enjoyed great popularity because of
their love poems to each other.
• Elizabeth Barrett was already a successful author before she met her husband, and was also an
involved activist in social issues.
• Her prolific work made her a rival to Tennyson as a candidate for poet laureate in 1850 after the
death of Wordsworth.

• There was also a group of writers and artists, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which
Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his sister Christina were part.
• Their aim was to replace the academic approach to art with the more natural approach
taken before the Italian Renaissance. Several writers joined this movement, echoing a
simpler, less formal approach to literature.
• The Rossettis are the greatest poets of this movement.

• Theater became an extremely popular form of entertainment for all social classes during
this era and Queen Victoria promoted it.
• Plays usually had a strong comedic element, both high and low, and the plots were full of
mistaken identities, coincidences and mistimings.
• Oscar Wilde was the leading dramatist of the late Victorian period and his comic
masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest is a satiric reflection of the time.
• The Victorian era was a period of great scientific discovery and the Victorians tried to
describe and classify the world they lived in.
• Among others, Charles Darwin with On the Origin of Species, Friedrich Engels with his
Condition of the Working Classes in England and John Stuart Mill with his philosophical
works, changed the way the Victorians thought about themselves and about the world.
Supernatural and Gothic literature
• Gothic literature combines romance and horror in attempt to thrill and terrify the reader.
• Possible features in a gothic novel are monsters, ghosts, curses, hidden rooms, mad women
in the attic and witchcraft.
• The plot usually takes place in monasteries, castles and cemeteries.
• They were hugely popular but panned by critics.
Children‘s literature
• The Victorian period was the first one in history where children were targeted as readers.
• This was a consequence of the evolution of social attitudes towards childhood.
• Literature became a popular way to teach children lessons and morals. They were only
rarely enjoyable works.
• Later, when reading for pleasure became socially accepted, folk and fairy-tale compilations
became very popular There were different types of publications written for boys and girls.
Girls stories were domestic and focus on family life whereas boys focus on heroism.
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Victorian Period (1832 – 1901)
• The Pickwick Papers
• How do I love Thee
• Ulysses
Famous Author during this period: The
Victorian Period (1832 – 1901)
• Charles Dicken
• Elizabeth Browning
• Alfred Lord Tennison
Victorian literature today
• Many view it with skepticism because of the stereotypes of the era: current readers may
see it as prudish, rigid and excessively formal.
• However, many contemporary authors criticized these same trends, and there were many
brilliant works that were considered unconventional even then.
• Those works have passed the test of time and are today considered masterpieces of classic
The Modern Period (1914 – 1945)
• Characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional ways
of writing, in both poetry and prose fiction.

• Modernism is a comprehensive movement which began in the closing years of the 19th
century and has had a wide influence internationally during much of the 20th century.
• Reveals breaking away from established rules, traditions and conventions, fresh ways of
looking at man’s position and function in the universe and many experiments in form and
• It is particularly concerned with language and how to use it and with writing itself.
• style or movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms”
• Embracing change and present, modernism encompasses the works of
thinkers who rebelled against nineteenth century academic traditions
• believing the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith,
social organization and daily life were becoming outdated
• They directly confronted the new economic, social and political aspects of an
emerging fully industrialized world.
• Rebelled against Victorian artificialities, moral bankruptcy and historicist
• Encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence (e.g. commerce
/ philosophy)
• The roots of Modernism emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century; and rather locally, in
France, in literature and painting.
• The "avant-garde" was what Modernism was called at first, and the term remained to describe
movements which identify themselves as attempting to overthrow some aspect of tradition.
• There were real shifts in the natural sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts occurring at this time
as well.
• In the 1890s, a strand of thinking began to assert that it was necessary to push aside previous
norms entirely, instead of merely revising past knowledge in light of current techniques.
• It was argued that, if the nature of reality itself was in question, and if restrictions which had been
in place around human activity were falling, then art, too, would have to radically change.
• Thus, in the first 15 years of the twentieth century a series of writers, thinkers, and artists made
the break with traditional means of organizing literature, painting, and music.

• This movement originated when some writers felt that they required a new
form of writing to express their ideologies and outlook towards life.
• The beginning of the 20th century is an extremely convenient starting
point. It saw the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, marking a symbolic break
from the preceding century.
• Modernism enabled writers to pursue highly individualistic forms of writing.
• Modernism was set in motion through a series of cultural shocks.
• The first of these shocks was the Great War which ruined many lives in Europe. At that
time this “War to End All Wars” was looked upon with such ghastly horror that many
people simply could not imagine what the world seemed to be plunging towards.
• The horror of WW I also fed the urge for a new way to express the protest towards the
social atmosphere prevalent at that time. 1. Rapid urbanization 2. Industrialization 3.
Immigration 4. Technological Evolution 5. Growth of Modern Science 6. Influence of
Austrian Sigmund Freud 7. Influence of German Karl Marx
• From country to city
• from farm to factory
• from native born to new citizen
• introduction to “mass” culture (pop culture)
• split between science and the literary tradition
• Conviction that the previously sustaining structures of human life, whether social,
political, religious, or artistic, had been either destroyed or shown up as falsehoods
or fantasies. Therefore, art had to be renovated.
• Modernist writing is marked by a strong and conscious break with tradition. It
rejects traditional values and assumptions.
• “Modern” implies a historical discontinuity, a sense of alienation, loss, despair and
• It rejects not only history but also the society of whose fabrication history is a
record. Poetry tended to provide pessimistic cultural criticism or loftily reject social
issues altogether.
• A breaking with tradition and conventional modes of form, resulting in fragmentation and bold,
highly innovative experimentation
• A disappearance of character summary, of discrete well-demarcated characters as in Dickens; the
representation of the self as diverse, contradictory, ambiguous, multiple
• Skepticism about linear plots with sudden climactic turning points and clear resolutions; the use
instead of discontinuous fragments, no proper beginning, middle and end; a-chronological leaps in
time, multiple plots, open unresolved endings
• Modernist story was often more of a "stream of consciousness"-- tracing non-linear thought
processes, moving by the "logic of the unconscious"; imagistic rather than logical connection
• Multiple point of views used; rejection of the single, authoritative, omniscient point of view for a
narrative focalized instead through the consciousness of one character whose point of view is
• Irony, comparisons, juxtaposition and satire are some common elements found in
modernist writing.
• Juxtaposition usually represents something which is unusual, for example, a cat and
mouse sharing a good friendship.
• Often does not have a proper beginning, middle and/or end. Hence, the readers
may get slightly confused as to what the writer is trying to communicate to them.
• Modernist writers use irony and satire as tools that aid them in making fun of
something and point out faults, usually, problems within their society.
• The plot, theme and the characters are not necessarily linear.
• Modernist writings usually focus more on representing the writer's ideas, opinions and
thoughts and presenting them to the public at as high a volume as possible.
• Some past modernist writers different fonts, symbols, colors etc., in their writing
• Modern fiction tends to be written in the first person or to limit the reader to one
character’s point of view on the action. The selected point of view was often that of a
naïve or marginal person—a child or an outsider—to convey better the reality of
confusion rather than the myth of certainty.
• Modernists sometimes used a collection of seemingly random impressions
and literary, historical, philosophical, or religious allusions with which readers
are expected to make the connections on their own.
• This reference to details of the past was a way of reminding readers of the
old, lost coherence.
• T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is arguably the greatest example of this allusive
manner of writing; it includes a variety of Buddhist, Christian, Greek, Judaic,
German and occult references, among others.
• Imagism
• Cubism
• Dadaism
• Expressionism
• Surrealism
• Symbolism
• Impressionism
• Existentialism
• Futurism
• Imagism was a movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored
precision of imagery and clear, sharp language.
• The Imagists rejected the sentiment and discursiveness of much Romantic and Victorian
• They wrote short poems that used ordinary language and free verse to create sharp, exact,
concentrated pictures.
• They used the exact word instead of decorative words, language of common speech,
Created new rhythms that express new moods, allowed complete freedom in the poet's
choice of subject and produced clear, instead of blurred and indefinite, poetry.
• Symbolism in France began as a reaction against Naturalism and Realism, movements which attempted to
objectively capture reality.
• The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meaning to objects,
events or relationships.
• Symbolism was marked by a belief that language is expressly symbolic in its nature and provide imagery and
detail to an object.
• It makes the writing more interesting and represent meaning that goes beyond what is literary being said.
• As symbolism sought freedom from rigidity in the selection of subject matter, so it desired to free poetry
from the restrictions of conventional versification.
• During the 20th century the use of symbolism became a major force in British literature. T. S. Eliot adapted
it in the development of his individual style and praised it in his criticism.
• The most outstanding development of symbolism was in the art of the novel.
• The term ‘Impressionism’ comes from the school of mid- nineteenth century French painting.
• The impressionists made the act of perception the key for the understanding of structure of
reality. They developed a technique by which objects were not seen as solids but as fragments of
color which the spectator’s eye unified.
• The basic premise involved was that truth lay in the mental processes, not in the precise
representation of external reality.
• Impressionism frequently refers to the technique of centering on the mental life of person rather
than on reality around him.
• Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brushstrokes, emphasis on light in its
changing qualities, ordinary subject matter and unusual visual angles
• It is representation of reality through impressions.
• A 20th century art movement that inspired other art forms. In cubist artworks, objects are broken
up and reassembled into an abstract form. Analytic cubism used geometric shapes rather than color
to represent the real world.
• cubism incorporated the idea of collage: pulling together a variety of materials to create a new
• Cubist poetry attempts to do in verse what cubist painters do on canvas; that is, take the elements
of an experience, fragment them ( “destructions”), and then rearrange them in a meaningful new
synthesis ( “sum of destructions”).
• In writing, it involves using different narrators for different chapters or even different paragraphs,
so as to describe how each character views the others, put in the words, thoughts and feelings of
the characters themselves.
• A nihilistic art movement especially in painting that flourished in Europe early in the 20th
• based on irrationality and negation of the accepted laws of beauty.
• It is a protest against the barbarism of war
• the rejection of prevailing standards of art and ignored logical relationship between idea
and statement, argued for absolute freedom,
• delivered itself of numerous provocative manifestoes.
• It is a literary and artistic movement flourished in Germany after World War 1.
• It arouse as a reaction against materialism, rapid mechanization and urbanization.
• Expressionists concern was general truths rather than with particular situations.
Expressionism, term used to describe works of art and literature in which the
representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision.
• The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it.
• Writers express an inner vision, emotion, or spiritual reality to assert their alienation from
an industrial society whose inhumanity repels them; they subordinate conventional rational
style and let emotion dictate the structure of their works, emphasizing rhythm, disrupted
narrative line and broken syntax, and distorted imagery

Forms derived from nature are distorted

or exaggerated and colors are
intensified for emotive or expressive
The revolt against realism, the
distortion of the objects of the outer
world, and the violent dislocation of
time sequence .
• A 20th century aesthetic, artistic and cultural movement developed in France that
attempts to express the workings of sub-conscious mind.
• They focused upon using all forms of art as a means to express the real
functioning of human mind.
• It is highly concerned with dreams and expresses the imagination as revealed in
dreams, where objects, people and shapes are greatly distorted.
• Surrealism inherited an anti-rationalist sensibility from Dadaism, and was shaped by
emerging theories on our perception of reality, especially Sigmund Freud's model
of the subconscious.
• It is a concept that became popular during the Second World War in France.
• It proposes that man is full of anxiety and despair with no meaning in his life, just simply existing,
until he made decisive choice about his own future. That is the way to achieve dignity as a human
• Existentialists believe that life is very difficult and that it doesn't have an "objective" or universally
known value, but that the individual must create value by affirming it and living it, not by talking
about it.
• Existentialism deals with the recurring problem of finding meaning within existence. From this
perspective, there are no meanings or structures that precede one’s own existence, as one finds in
organized religion. Therefore, the individual must find or create meaning for his or her self.
• It emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of individual experience in a hostile universe, regards
human existence as unexplainable and stresses freedom of choice.
• In the 1920's and 1930's the term Futurism was loosely used to describe a
wide variety of aggressively modern styles in art and literature.
• The futurists love speed, noise, machines, pollution and cities as they
embraced the exciting new world that was then upon them.
• Futurist paintings were made to glorify life
• Futurists developed to glorify urban life as well as machinery and
• After 1900 the English scene becomes terribly chaotic. In the field of poetry-as also in other fields
of literature-we find a tremendous activity.
• We find a lot of experimentation and innovation in modern poetry. Most of the poets have
broken away from tradition completely, as they feel that poetry should change with the changing
times. Modern poetry exercises a great freedom in the choice of themes.
• The two wars and impending danger of a third have cast a gloomy shadow on much of the poetry
of the twentieth century.
• The modern age been called "the age of anxiety." In spite of material prosperity poets were full of
tensions and anxieties which are almost an inseparable feature of modern living.
• Add to them the disappearance of religious faith and disillusionment is natural in modern poetry.
• Traditional "poetic diction" and even regular metre have been discarded
almost completely.
• Though rhyme has almost completely gone, rhythm freed from the artificial
demands of metrical regularity is still used.
• A language with the flow and turns of common speech is mostly employed.
• Free verse is the most usual mode of all serious poetry of today.
• In the twentieth century many experiments have been made on the technique
and diction of poetry
• Juxtaposition of ideas
• Intertextuality
• use of allusions and multiple association of words
• borrowings from other cultures
• unconventional use of metaphors
• massive use of alliteration and assonance
• no regular rhyming scheme
• visual images in distinct lines
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Modern Period (1914 – 1945)
• The Road Not Taken
• And Death Shall Have No Dominion
• Insensibility
Famous Author during this period:
The Modern Period (1914 – 1945)
• Robert Frost
• Dylan Thomas
• Wilfred Owen

• Literature of this periods exemplifies the improved crafts of

• The novel has flourished and writers have risen not only to
popularity but to distinction as well.
• Characterized by reliance on narrative techniques such as
fragmentation, paradox, and the unreliable narrator
• Is the fashionable term used to describe CONTEMPORARY culture, or the
very recent CULTURE which we live amongst. We are inhabiting a
• The term is a lose one , hard to define because of vagueness about the
MODERN era, there is no definite start or point of change when society
suddenly became postmodern,
• The term gradually ‘crept in during the 1980s! Articles and books on
postmodernism started to be published from the early 1980s.
What is Postmodernism?

• Postmodernism is a term that encompasses a wide-range of developments in

philosophy, film, architecture, art, literature, and culture.
• Originally a reaction to modernism, referring to the lack of artistic,
intellectual, or cultural thought or organized principle.
• Started around 1940s, exact date is unknown.
• Peaked around the 1960s and 1970s with the release of Catch 22 and
Slaughterhouse Five
Postmodern Literature

• What is it?
• Used to describe the different aspects of post WW2 literature (modernist
• There is not a clear and defined definition of postmodernism because of
the little agreement of the concepts and characteristics and ideas within
• Postmodernist Literature contains a broad range of concepts and ideas that include:
• Response to Modernism and its idea
• Responses to Technological advances
• Great Diversity of cultures that leads to cultural pluralism ( small groups within a larger
society maintain their culture identity)
• Reconceptualization of society and history
• There are few similarities to modernist literature
• Like modernist literature, both are usually told from an objective or
omniscient point of view.
• Both literatures explore the external reality to examine the inner states of
consciousness of the characters
• Both employ fragmentation in narrative and character construction
• Example: The Crying Lot of 49, Pynchon uses childish wordplay while discussing
serious subjects. An example of his wordplay can be found in the names of his
characters: Mike Fallopian, Stanley Koteks, Mucho Maas, and Dr. Hilarius.
• PATICHE - Authors often combine multiple elements in the postmodern genre.
• Example: Pynchon includes elements from science fiction, pop culture references,
and detective fiction to create fictional cultures and concepts.
• METAFICTION - Writing about writing, often used to undermine the authority of the
author and to advance stories in unique ways
• Example: In Italo Calvino’s novel, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler , is about a reader
attempting to read a novel of the same name. In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse
Five, the first chapter is about the writing process of the novel.
• PARANOIA - The belief that there is something out of the ordinary, while everything
remains the same.
• Example: In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Breakfast of Champions, a character becomes violent
when he imagines everyone else as a robot and he is the only human.
Postmodern Literature: Influential works
• Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
• Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
• Lost in the Funhouse – John Barth
• The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
• White Noise – Don DeLillo
• Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
• The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
Some Significant Literary work in this period:
The Postmodern Period (1945 – Onward)
• Infinite Jest
• The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock
• Waiting for Godot
Famous Author during this period:
The Postmodern Period (1945 – Onward)
• David Foster Wallace
• T.S Eliot
• Samuel Beckett
• A distinctive type or category especially of literary composition.
• Some words related to genre include; style, category, kind, class, sort of
any type.
• Prose in a general category is writings that use the ordinary language of
the people.
• While Poetry cannot be categorized language because it applies rhyming
that makes it different from the other.
• It is a literary type that is written within the common flow of
conversation in sentences and paragraph.
• The subject matter is usually familiar and ordinary although it also
tackles subjects on heroism, beauty, love, and common experience
with nobility of spirits, which in poetry maybe found with eloquent
• Prose is usually divided into fiction and nonfiction
• 1. FICTION – this is defines as a series of imaginative facts about truths in
human life.
• The incidents may or may not happen in real life, and the characters may or
may not have existed, but as long as it can happen within the bound of
possibility and probability
• NOVEL – this is a long narrative story divided into chapters and may involve
few or numerous characters. The events may be true-to-life or fictitious. It
covers a long period of time. Because of its length, it has the capacity to
• to give more complex plot, numerous characters, and more
elaborate settings.
• SHORT STORY – is short narrative artistic in nature involving one
or more characters that focus on a single plot, one single
impression. The impression may be surprise, sadness, sympathy,
terror, and anger, among others. It is characterized by its setting,
character, plot, and message

• a. CHARACTERS – persons involved in a conflict

• 1. protagonist – the hero or heroine in the story
• 2. antagonist – the villain in the story who is usually the cause of foil or
thwart to the protagonist
• 3. deuteragonist – second in importance in the story
• 4. “fringe” character – destroyed by inner conflict
• 5. minor characters
• b. SETTING – time and place involved in the story. It gives a hint to the
motive of the characters. It also gives the mood of the story because places
and time provoke feelings to the readers
good plot should have a good beginning, middle, and end. It should be
constructed that no incident can be displaced or omitted without destroying
the unity of the whole.

• 1. EXCITING – it should be exciting than the everyday reality that surround

• 2. GOOD STRUCTURE – the episodes must be arranged effectively. It is
also important that the plot structure is tying all the incidents together, so that
one leads naturally into another


• d. CONFLICT – the struggle of complication involving the characters
• 1. Man vs. man
• 2. man vs. himself
• 3. Man vs. his environment
• e. SUSPENSE – the part that keeps the readers in a state of uncertainty or in a
state of guessing.
• f. CLIMAX – the highest point of interest in a story
• g. DENOUEMENT (RESOLUTION) – the unfolding of the plot in a story. It is the
event or events following the climax
• h. POINT OF VIEW – the point of which a story is seen or told. It answers the question
“Through whom does the author tell the story?”
• 1. OMNISCIENT - it enables the writer to present the inner thoughts and feelings of his

• the third person narrative that limits the knowledge available to the
readers. Detective stories often employ this point of view
• 3. FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE – this point of view is solely
that of the character telling the story. He may be the central
character who either observes or participates in the action

• i. MOOD – this is the predominating atmosphere or tone.

• j. STYLE – this is the manner of putting into language the ideas of the
authors. Style may be used as a general synonym for excellence, or it may
more specifically suggest that a writer has found the unique verbal pattern
that precisely expresses the meaning he wishes to convey.
• It is expository in nature that aims to explain an idea, a theory, a point of view, or maybe
an impression.
• Nonfiction, which is commonly called essay is divided into formal and nonformal.
• FORMAL ESSAY – it deals with mores serious subjects such as theology, science,
philosophy, morality, psychology, among others, and is intended to more intellectual group
of individuals. The tone is more objective and the style is clear.
• Its main purpose is to teach or instruct.
• It involves deeper analysis of topics being discussed
• This is an expression of the view and opinion of the writer about any
subject in an ordinary manner. The personality of the writer is revealed due
to his style and treatment of the subject, which is very personal.
• It possesses a charm, interest, and distinctive purpose to entertain and to
• The tone is light, friendly, humorous, affectionate, and interesting as if the
writer is talking to his friends.
• Is a literary type written in verse. It has measures, rhymes, lines, stanzas, and tones.
• Poems are literary attempts to share personal experiences and feelings. Since
literature, in general, is all about significant human experience, poetry’s subject
matter is also about the poet’s personal life or the lives of those around him.
• Good poems, aside from being stated in a fresh manner, often probe deeply and
can contain disturbing insights.
• The language is fresh and demanding because of its subtleties. Good poems show
images which leave the reader a sense of delight, awe, and wonder.
• 1. POETIC LINE – the basic unit of composition in poems. An idea or feeling which is
expressed in one line and is continued with little or no pause into the next line. This is
called enjambment or runon lines.
• 2. THE SOUND OF WORDS – an indirection prominent in the method of poetry is the
use of sound effects to intensify meaning. For the poet to convey ideas, he chooses and
organizes his words into a pattern of sound that is a part of the total meaning. These
sound effects are the products of organized repetitions. They are the following:
• a. rhyme – repeats similar and corresponding sounds in some apparent scheme.
• b. Rhythm – is the result of the systematically stressing or accenting words and syllables
attained through patterns in the tuning, spacing, repetition of the elements.
• c. Alliteration – means the repetition for effect of initial vowels or consonants
• Example. He clasps the crags with crooked hands (Tennyson)
• d. Assonance – refers to a partial change in which the stressed vowel sounds are alike but the consonant
sounds are unlike
• Example. Maiden crowned with glossy blackness Long armed maid, when she dances (George Eliot)
• e. Onomatopoeia – is a long word that simply means the imitation in words of natural sounds.
• Example. Hiss, buzz, mew
• Dry clash’d his harness in the city caves
• And barren chasms, and all to left and right
• The bare black cliffs clang’d around him (Tennyson)
• 3. METER – is regularize and patterned rhythm. There are four conventional types of
meter in English poetry, each being distinguished from the others by the number and
accent of syllables.
• a. Iambic meter – by far, the most popular and the most natural to English expression. Its
basic unit or foot is one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable
• b. Trochaic meter – the reverse of iambic meter. Each foot consists of an accented or long
syllable followed by an unaccented short syllable
• c. Anapestic meter – contains in each foot two unaccented or short syllables followed by
one accented or long syllable.

• d. Dactylic meter – opposite of anapestic. It consists of one accented or long syllable

followed by the two unaccented or short syllables. It is slower and often is used to create a
strange mood.
• Seeing what the metrical units are and how many of them occur in the line is called
“scanning” a line of poetry.
• A one-foot line is called a Monometer, two diameter and others in progression up to a
seven-foot line, thus: trimester, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter and heptameter. Thus
the iambic line is a tetrameter, and the dactylic line is a trimester.

• 4. IMAGERY – more than a visual detail, imagery includes sounds, textures feel, odors,
and sometimes even tastes. Selection of concrete details is the poet’s of giving his reader a
sensory image. By means of images, the poet makes the reader think about the meaning
of poem.
• 5. TONE – reveals the attitude toward the subject and in some cases the attitude of the
persona or implied speaker of the poem as well. Examples of tone are: cheerful, sad,
reflective, serious, angry, anxious, etc. there are, however, many shades of tone and that
clear-cut divisions cannot be easily established.
• 1. LYRIC POETRY – this is a kind of poetry intended to be sung. It expresses emotions and
feeling of the poet. It is usually short, simple, and easy to understand. This includes simple lyric, a
variety of short poem that is characterized by subjectivity, imagination, melody, and emotion.
Taken from the word lyre, a musical instrument
• Song – this is specifically melodious and intended to be sung and can easily be adapted to music.
• Sonnet – this is a 14-line poem that the Italian and the English writers have popularized
• Elegy – this is a lyric poem that expresses deep feeling of grief for someone who passed away
• Ode – this is a splendid type of lyric poetry with expression of dignity to someone loved
• Psalms – these are songs of praise to God and to the Virgin Mary
• 2. NARRATIVE POETRY – this is a long descriptive poem about life and events that
may be real or imaginary. It tells a story with sequential order of events.
• The Epic – this is a long narrative form that exploits lives of heroes, sometimes of gods
and goddesses. Known epic poems of the world are following: Iliad and Odyssey of the
Greeks, Ramayana and Mahabharata of the Indian, EL Cid of the Spanish
• The Ballad – this is considered the shortest and simplest form. It tells a single incident in
verse composed to be sung. The variations of ballads are: love ballads, war ballads, sea
ballads, humorous, moral, historical, or even mythical ballads.
• 3. DRAMATIC POETRY – this is a long poetry that has the intentions of being
presented on stage. It may have a story but the emphasis lies more on the character rather
than on the narrative
• 1. The Dramatic Monologue – this is a combination of drama and poetry. The speaker
addresses to one or more listeners but they remain silent.
• 2. The Soliloquy – this is a type of poetry spoken by the speaker alone with no one
present to hear him except the audience. Here, the speaker presents his character and
emotions, and the revelations of character are made freely without any inhibitions to give
insights to the character.
• 3. Character Sketch – this poem is less concerned with the events of the story but rather
with arousing sympathy, antagonism, and interest of an individual. The poet in this
particular poem merely observes and give comments.

• Taken from the word “dran” to act or to move. It is a literary genre that imitates human
experience intended to be acted on stage. Some known plays in the world include the
works of Shakespeare, Antigone of Sopocles and many others.
• Literary form presented on stage. It involves three elements namely, theater, actors, and
an audience. It is an art of imitating human characters and actions. The actors
impersonate the characters in a particular incident or event in the story. Early drama was
usually written in poetic form, while the modern and contemporary drama is usually
written in prose.
• Drama is imitation of human experience. This human experience includes the happy and
the sad. It is two opposing human situations that resulted to the two types of play namely,
comedy and tragedy.
• Tragedy is taken from the Greek word “tragos” which means goat. The Greeks
discovered that of all animals in the world, goat has the most tragic cry before it dies
when butchered. In drama if the main character fails to solve his problem, in other words
his enemies outwit him, the play is labeled tragedy. Usually the main character dies at the
end of the play like Romeo and Juliet.
• On the other hand, if the main character solves the problems, or he defeats his enemies,
the play is categorized as comedy.

• 1. TRAGEDY – this involves the principal character or hero struggling against dynamic
forces. The action usually ends unhappily where the principal character meets death or
faces the catastrophe with dignity and courage.
• 2. COMEDY – this is light n nature with a purpose of amusing the audience. A true
comedy is serious and full of deep meaning; however, it is infused with wit, delicate and
new ideas. It injects humor and ends happily by showing repentance and confirmation to
be good
• 1. FARCE – often considered a separate form (Plautus, Charley’s Aunt)
• Often considered to be “low comedy” (versus “high comedy”)
• Physical comedy: “slapstick” – physical action provokes the thought.
• Very high incongruity (surprise, something out of place or unexpected)
• Comedy of situation, but extreme incongruity – Buffoonery, accidents, mistaken identities,
ludicrous situations
• Often Stylized:
• “Aside” (sometimes referred to as breaking the proscenium or breaking the fourth wall, the term
refers to a speech or comment made by an actor directly to the audience about the action of the
play or another character. The audience is to understand that this comment is not heard or noticed
by the other characters in the play)
• “TAKE” – ( broad look at the audience and/or another character(s) in surprise,
astonishment, disgust, etc.)
• “MUGGING” – (obviously paying to the audience, usually with broad facial expressions
and movement)
• 2. BURLESQUES – lampooning other works of arts, including theater pieces.
• 3. SATIRE – ridicule of public institutions and figures
• 4. DOMESTIC COMEDY – home and hearth
• 5. COMEDY OF MANNERS/WIT: similar to character and situation aristocratic and
witty characters
• Additional forms not mentioned in Wilson and Goldfarb
• a. comedy of situation: Character and ideas are minor hidden identities, discoveries,
reversals, etc. similar to farce, but less unrealistic
• b. Comedy of character: Eccentricities of the protagonist (Moliere)
• c. Romantic comedy struggles of love, sympathetic characters, ludicrous devices lovers use
(Shakespeare’s Midsummer, 12th Night)
• Restoration Drama (School for Scandal)
• Concept or thought is essential
• Shaw (prostitution, English class system), Aristophanes (Birds, Lysistrata)
“Pure Comedy” – High Comedy: Satire – biting humor – criticisms of life
High complex, embracing a wide range of Incongruity – surprise, out of place
approaches – from intellectual wit to slapstick
Verbal wit
“Low Comedy” Plot devices- misunderstandings, mistaken
Comedy that depends on action and Inopportune arrivals
situation, usually involving trivial theme in all
Embarrassing occurrences
• The Six (6) Elements of a Tragedy/ Play present in all plays, but some standard forms can
be discerned.
• VERISIMILITUDE – the “illusion of truth” – the method of achieving it changes.
• Form: the shape given to something so it may serve a useful purpose
• For our purposes: form/genre/types are intended to be categories that are not firm –
there are endless sub-categories, and many plays will fit into a number of different
categories simultaneously.
• It can become dangerous to evaluate a play as one form, when it might not indeed fit that
• GENRE French for “category” or “type” – sharing a particular point of view/ forming a
• Genre criticism – can show how a play does or does not fit into a particularly category, but
can also be useful as a way of examining the plays and discovering more about them – as a
learning tool.
• Such categories as “dramedy,” “tragic farce,” have been used to show the merging of
• “tragos” + “oide” – goat song usually involves a calamity (death, etc.), but attention is focused on
what those reactions can tell us about life.
• The “dithyramb” – hymns sung and danced in honor of Dionysus
• Usually about the struggles of the “protagonist,” moral issues, the effects of suffering.
• Struggle is ethical, spiritual – protagonist’s integrity is tested
• Tragedy raises questions about the meaning of human existence, moral nature, and social/
psychological relationships.
• Aristotle suggested a “certain magnitude”
• Evil often shown along with good, which does not always win

• Some tragedies (Greek) like Oedipus, suggest that the protagonist has
violated some moral order which must be vindicated and reestablished.
• Often seems inevitable and predetermined (we can look and decide for
ourselves later.)
• MAGNITUDE: Characters have high stature – ethically superior but sufficiently
• Modern tragedies – more common characteristics (Willy Loman)
• High Seriousness: Tries to arouse (effect) proper purgation of pity and fear – the
purgation is to be in the audience or in the characters
• CATHARSIS – a purification – the compassion accompanying shared grief – a
humanizing force – we return to a state of equilibrium after release of tensions –
Contradictory reactions – pessimistic, yet not willing to surrender individuality – a form
of victory
• THE TRAGIC HERO (PROTAGONIST) – has a flaw in character or makes an error in
judgment – “tragic flaw” – from the term hamartia – literally “missing the mark.”
• “hubris” – a characteristic – overweening pride or self-confidence
• Aristotle suggest that the best plays (Oedipus) have the hubris being too much of a good
thing (what makes Oedipus strong is his self-confidence and pride)
• Universality – Universal human values – when a play touches something that is human in
all of us and has lasting value through time
• The study of civilization should not only emphasize history, but discusses culture, societies,
politics, economics, and literature.
• The emergence of civilization began at the point in time when people permanently settled
down with the advent of agriculture or the cultivation of the soil to produce food. These
people found settlements along rivers because the rivers that deposit minerals to the soil
make it a fertile ground for cultivation and as a source of fresh drinkable water, as well as
• The founding of a permanent settlement leads to the establishment of society. A society is
a geographical territory wherein people interact and share a culture. It is the totality of

• social organizations and social relationships. This society with a subsistence

economy through agriculture, subsequently, led to the development of
organized living, which in turn leads to the emergence of civilizations.
• The term civilization is, etymologically derived, from the Latin word “civitas”
which means “city.” A civilization, at least resembling a city, may be taken as a
permanent settlement of people having an organized way of life through its
established social institutions.

• Part of civilization is the development of culture which gives the distinct characteristics of
a group of people. People develop their own culture out of their learning and experiences
from their environmental exposure.
• In a general sense, culture is a way of life. Technically, it refers to the totality of what man
has learned as a member of society. The elements of culture make up its totality
• 1. KNOWLEDGE – any information and perceived to be true. It does not necessarily
mean that such information is factual
• 2. BELIEFS – the perception of accepted reality. Reality refers to the existence of things
whether material or non-material but not imaginary
• 3. SOCIAL NORMS – these are the stablished expectations of society as to how a person
is supposed to act depending on the requirements of the time, place, or situation
• a.) FOLKWAYS – the patterns of repetitive behavior which become a habitual and
conventional part of living. Included, therein, are customs and traditions
• b.) MORES – the set of moral obligations and standards that distinguishes right from
wrong or good from bad conduct
• c.) LAWS – the set of binding rules or measures that induces man to act or restrain him
from acting
• 4. VALUES – anything held to be relatively worthy, important, desirable, or valuable. It is
not concerned with morality, manners, or conduct.
• 5. TECHNOLOGY and MATERIAL CULTURE – the practical application of
knowledge in converting raw materials into finished products.
• 1. Learnable – culture is acquired through training, instruction, observation, and imitation
• 2. Transmittable – culture influences others attitudes, habits, and behavior through
• 3. Universal – culture is shared in common because people are members of a society with
established expectations on everybody
• 4. Dynamic – culture changes over time as people respond to challenges and adapt to
situations and environment.
• A social institution is an established system of social norms revolving around the needs of
people. It provides the ways and means of achieving these needs. There are 5 basic social
• 1. Family – a social structure built on personal relationships and affiliation of
consanguinity (blood relationship), affinity (marriage), or adoption that forms the basic
core of social norms. The basic unit of society
• 2. Education – the institution through which knowledge formation and skills training is
received for occupational preparation
• 3. Economy – the institution through which economic resources are utilized for the
satisfaction of human wants.
• 4. Politics – the institution through which power is controlled and exercised for the
promotion and protection of interests.
• 5. Religion – the institution through which the spiritual or non-material needs of the
people are provided through a system of beliefs and practices revolving around the divine
or sacred.
• 1. Ecclesia/ The Church – it is the dominant religion in a society, in terms of, majority
members and socio-political influence.
• 2. Sect – it refers to religious groups that have separated out of protest or conflict from a
parent church
• 3. Denomination – religious groups that were independently founded and are originators
of their own religion
• 4. Cult – is a small group with a fanatical following revolving around a dominant
charismatic leader

• 1. It satisfies the emotional and spiritual needs of a person

• 2. It provides a sense of hope and assurance to a person in doubt, fear, or trouble
• 3. It legitimizes and reinforces beliefs, mores, and values
• 4. It regulates and guides the lives of people in their social roles, functions, and
• 5. It facilitates and promotes group integration and solidarity
• A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled
meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved.
• Riddles are of two types:
• Enigmas, which are problems generally expressed
in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful
thinking for their solution, and
• Conundra, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either
the question or the answer.
• Archer Taylor says that "we can probably say that riddling is a universal art" and
cites riddles from hundreds of different cultures including Finnish, Hungarian,
American Indian, Chinese, Russian, Dutch and Filipino sources amongst many
• In the assessment of Elli Köngas Maranda (originally writing about Malaitian
riddles, but with an insight that has been taken up more widely),
whereas myths serve to encode and establish social norms, "riddles make a point
of playing with conceptual boundaries and crossing them for the intellectual
pleasure of showing that things are not quite as stable as they seem" – though the
point of doing so may still ultimately be to "play with boundaries, but ultimately to
affirm them"
Definitions of Riddle

• Defining riddles precisely is hard and has attracted a fair amount of scholarly debate.
• The first major modern attempt to define the riddle was by Robert Petsch in 1899, with
another seminal contribution, inspired by structuralism, by Robert A. Georges and Alan
Dundes in 1963. Georges and Dundes suggested that 'a riddle is a traditional verbal
expression which contains one or more descriptive elements, a pair of which may be in
opposition; the referent of the elements is to be guessed’.
• n some traditions and contexts, riddles may overlap with proverbs.
• An example from a different language, 'Nothing hurts it, but it groans all the time' can be
deployed as a proverb (when its referent is a hypocrite) or as a riddle (when its referent is a
Ancient and medieval riddles

• The riddle was at times a prominent literary form in the ancient and medieval world, and
so riddles are extensively, if patchily, attested in our written records from these periods.
• Babylon
• According to Archer Taylor, "the oldest recorded riddles are Babylonian school texts
which show no literary polish". The answers to the riddles are not preserved; they include
"my knees hasten, my feet do not rest, a shepherd without pity drives me to pasture" (a
river? A rowboat?); "you went and took the enemy's property; the enemy came and took
your property" (a weaving shuttle?); "who becomes pregnant without conceiving, who
becomes fat without eating?" (a raincloud?). "It is clear that we have here riddles from oral
tradition that a teacher has put into a schoolbook
Ancient and medieval riddles

• Sanskrit and later Indic languages

• It is thought that the world's earliest surviving poetic riddles survive in
the Sanskrit Rigveda
• "The Sanskrit term that most closely corresponds to the English 'riddle', and
which is usually translated thereby, is prahelikā—a term that is not only of
uncertain etymology but is also subject to widely differing interpretations and
Old Testament and Hebrew riddles

• While riddles are not numerous in the Bible, they are present, most famously in Samson's riddle in
Judges xiv.14, but also in I Kings 10:1–13 (where the Queen of Sheba tests Solomon's wisdom),
and in the Talmud. Sirach also mentions riddles as a popular dinner pastime.
• The Aramaic Story of Ahikar contains a long section of proverbial wisdom that in some versions
also contains riddles.
• However, under the influence of Arabic literature in medieval al-Andalus, there was a flourishing
of literary Hebrew riddles in verse during the Middle Ages. Dunash ben Labrat (920–990),
credited with transposing Arabic metres into Hebrew, composed a number of riddles, mostly
apparently inspired by folk-riddles. Exponents included Moses ibn Ezra, Yehuda Alharizi,
and Judah Halevi, Immanuel the Roman wrote riddles, as did Israel Onceneyra
Ancient Greece and Rome

• Riddles are known to have been popular in Greece in Hellenistic times, and possibly before; they
were prominent among the entertainments and challenges presented at symposia
• Oracles were also represented as speaking in often riddlic language
• However, the first significant corpus of Greek riddles survives in an anthology of earlier material
known as the Greek Anthology, which contains about 50 verse riddles, probably put into its
present form by Constantine Cephalas, working in the tenth century CE. Most surviving ancient
Greek riddles are in verse. In the second chapter of Book III of Aristotle's Rhetoric, the
philosopher stated that "good riddles do, in general, provide us with satisfactory metaphors: for
metaphors imply riddles, and therefore a good riddle can furnish a good metaphor.
Ancient Greece and Rome

• Literary riddles were also composed in Byzantium, from perhaps the tenth century with
the work of John Geometres, into the fifteenth century, along with a neo-Byzantine revival
in around the early eighteenth century. There was a particular peak around the long twelfth
• Two Latin riddles are preserved as graffiti in the Basilica at Pompeii. The principal
collection of ancient Latin riddles is a collection of 100 hexametrical riddles
by Symphosius, which were influential on later medieval Latin writers: a further 63 were
composed around the seventh century in Italy in a collection known now as the Berne
Riddles, and Symphosius's collection inspired a number of Anglo-Saxon riddlers.

• The term charade was borrowed into English from French in the second half of the
eighteenth century, denoting a "kind of riddle in which each syllable of a word, or a
complete word or phrase, is enigmatically described or dramatically represented". The
term gradually became more popularly used to refer to acted charades, examples of which
are described in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
Contemporary riddles

• Britain and America

• The seminal collection of Anglophone riddles from the early modern period
through to the twentieth century is Archer Taylor’s
• Contemporary riddles typically use puns and double entendres for humorous effect.
• These riddles are now mostly children's humour and games rather than literary

Contemporary riddles

• Sub-Saharan Africa
• Anthropological research in Africa has produced extensive collections of
riddles over the last century or so.
• Riddles have been characterized as "one of the most important forms of oral
art in Africa";
• Hamnett analyzes African riddling from an anthropological viewpoint;
• Yoruba riddles have enjoyed a recent monograph study.
Contemporary riddles
• In the Philippines
• Quite similar to its English counterpart, the riddle in the Philippines is
called Bugtong. It is traditionally used during a funeral wake together with
other games such as tong-its or the more popular sakla, later generations
use Bugtong as a form of past time or as an activity. One peculiarity of
the Filipino version is the way they start with the phrase Bugtong-
bugtong before saying the riddle, usually it is common to create riddles
that rhyme.
• Being conglomeration of many languages. English writers and speakers
cannot escape from using figures of speech in their desire to give special
effects to their thoughts. Figures of speech are mostly of Greek origins.
• It is a phrase or word having different meanings than its literal meanings. It
conveys meaning by identifying or comparing one thing to another, which has
connotation or meaning familiar to the audience. That is why it is helpful in
creating vivid rhetorical effect

• A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is figurative language in the form of a

single word or phrase. It can be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words
with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal
meaning of the words. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression,
or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech
introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation
• Figures of speech are plainly defined as saying one thing in terms of something else. What does
that mean? Well, it's simple, actually. Whenever you say something, but you don't mean it literally,
you are using a figure of speech. Let's say you are about to head out to the store and your mother
says, 'Ya better take a jacket; it's raining cats and dogs out there.'
• Does your mom literally mean animals are falling from the sky? Of course not. Her meaning is
that it is raining hard outside. So why doesn't she just say, 'Take a jacket. It's raining!' Because
figures of speech are meant to clarify and describe in more detail. Rain itself has many different
forms. It could be drizzling, sprinkling, misting or even downpouring. Your mother used a figure
of speech to clarify that the rain is hard and would probably soak anyone caught in it. Figures of
speech are very useful in giving a more detailed and accurate description.

• 1. ADDITION – also called repetition/expansion/superabundance

• 2. OMISSION – also called subtraction/ abridgement/lack
• 3. TRANSPOSITION – also called transferring
• 4. PERMUTATION – also called switching/interchange/substitution/transmutation

• Language is truly an art form. There are so many variations and intricacies
available that can convey several different meanings, all of which come
together to serve one main purpose: to communicate. Communication is
crucial to the function of our society, and we use many different methods to
express meaning. One of the most common methods involves figures of
speech. Figures of speech are so common, you most likely use them on a daily
basis and don't even notice.

• Use of figurative narrative common in the Bible.

• Example: FABLES AND PARABLES are special forms of Allegory
• Fables – it is a story in which animals or inanimate objects are given mentality
and speech of human being to point out moral lesson
• Example of parable: The Parable of Prodigal Son
• The Good Samaritan; The Lost Sheep, etc.

• Use of words beginning with the same letter

• Example:
• a.) Gold, guns, and goons are common during election time (3 G’s.)
• b.) Preplanning, prevent, poor performance (5 P’s.)
• The three T’s of music are time, tone, timbre (3 T’s.)

• Name of someone is used by another person as an author. (pseudonym)

• Severino Reyes is Lola Basyang in his writings
• Huseng Sisiw
• Plaridel – Marcelo H. del Pilar

• Use of specific description in comparing persons or things (alter ego)

• Examples:
• Executive Secretary is a little president
• The Late President Marcos is called a dictator

• Repetition of words in expressions

• Examples:
• a.) Judge not, be not judged
• b.) A true friend is forever a friend
• c.) take note: REDUNDANCY
• Cessation and closure of business

• The reverse of normal sentence construction. This scheme is used in poetry to create
• Examples:
• Dark-brown is the river
• Golden is the sand or hair
• It flows along forever
• With trees on either bank
• Anthimeria (also known as antimeria) is the usage of a word in a new grammatical form,
most often the usage of a noun as a verb.
• Substitution of parts of speech
• Examples of Anthimeria
• I could use a good sleep.
• Here, the word “sleep,” usually a verb, is used as a noun.
• She headed the ball.
• In soccer, “heading” the ball is to hit the ball with one’s forehead.
Examples of Anthimeria

• Don’t forget to hashtag that post.

• This is a recent form of anthimeria, as “hashtagging” and “hashtag” have only just recently been
added to the lexicon with popular social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram.
• Noun – substitute for pronoun
• Example: we = Tim, Tony and Manu
• Adjective = use to describe a person
• He is handsome = Enrique is handsome
• Adverb –use to modify noun, adjective or adverb itself
• Antithesis” literally means “opposite” – it is usually the opposite of a statement, concept,
or idea. In literary analysis, an antithesis is a pair of statements or images in which the one
reverses the other. The pair is written with similar grammatical structures to show
more contrast. Antithesis is used to emphasize a concept, idea, or conclusion.
• Examples
• a. The hardest thing to do is to do nothing
• b.) An empty wallet is a very heavy burden to carry
• c.) Drive slowly in order not to be late

• is a literary term in which a descriptive phrase replaces a person’s name. Antonomasia can range from
lighthearted nicknames to epic names.
• The phrase antonomasia is derived from the Greek phrase antonomazein meaning “to name differently.”
• Examples of Antonomasia
• Normal sentence:
• “Oh, look! Sam’s arrived!”
• Sentence with Antonomasia:
• “Oh, look! The great chef has arrived!”

• Normal sentence:
• “He’s grumpy, boring, doesn’t want to listen to anyone, and definitely doesn’t want to help
• Sentence with Antonomasia:
• “Mr. Grumps doesn’t want to listen to anyone, and definitely doesn’t want to help
• Replacing the teacher’s actual name with his defining characteristic, grumpiness, serves to
highlight just how much the mood is associated with the man.

• For a commonly use example of antonomasia, consider two women discussing men:
• Normal sentence:
• “He’s such a good guy. I enjoy his company so much! I just hope he’s the right guy for me.”
• With the addition of antonomasia, we can emphasize the quality she hopes to find in this man:
• Sentence with Antonomasia:
• “He’s such a good guy. I enjoy his company so much! I just hope he’s Mr. Right.“
• Giving a man the title “Mr. Right” is an everyday example of antonomasia in conversation.
• Aphorism is a statement of truth or opinion expressed in a concise and witty manner. The
term is often applied to philosophical, moral and literary principles.
• Aphorisms often come with a pinch of humor, which makes them more appealing to the
masses. Proverbs, maxims, adages and clichés are different forms of aphoristic statements
that gain prevalence from generation to generation and frequently appear in our day-to-
day speech.
• To qualify as an aphorism, it is necessary for a statement to contain a truth revealed in a
terse manner. Aphoristic statements are quoted in writings as well as in our daily speech.
The fact that they contain a truth gives them a universal acceptance. Scores of
philosophers, politicians, writers, artists and sportsman and other individuals are
remembered for their famous aphoristic statements.
Common Aphorism Examples

• Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.—Bernard Baruch
(frequently misattributed to Dr. Seuss)
• I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.—Emiliano Zapata (in Spanish: Prefiero
morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.)
• I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.—Evelyn
Beatrice Hall (frequently misattributed to Voltaire)
• The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everyone blind. –Martin Luther King Jr.
• A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –Lao Tzu
• A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
• More commonly known as a punctuation mark, apostrophe can also refer to an
exclamatory figure of speech. The definition of apostrophe as a literary device is when a
speaker breaks off from addressing one party and instead addresses a third party. This
third party may be an individual, either present or absent in the scene. It can also be an
inanimate object, like a dagger, or an abstract concept, such as death or the sun. Because
there is a clear speaker and change of addressee, apostrophe is most commonly found in
plays. It does, however, sometimes occur in poetry and prose.
• In literature, apostrophe is a figure of speech sometimes represented by exclamation “O”.
A writer or a speaker, using an apostrophe, detaches himself from the reality and
addresses an imaginary character in his speech.
Difference Between Apostrophe as a Literary Device and
Apostrophe as a Punctuation Mark

• Both senses of the word “apostrophe” come from the original Greek meaning “turning
back” or “turning away.” Apostrophe as a punctuation mark took on the meaning of
“elision” and therefore is used when letters are omitted and sounds are elided. In English,
for example, we use apostrophes when contracted “I am” to “I’m,” “we have” to “we’ve,”
“do not” to “don’t,” and so on.
• The apostrophe definition as a literary device, on the other hand, evolved to the turning
from one addressee to another. Therefore, though the terms have similar origins, their
meanings are very different.
Common Examples of Apostrophe

• Ugh, cell phone, why won’t you load my messages?”

• (While speaking on the phone with someone) “Hold, on, my kid’s going crazy—Jim, come
back here, stop running with scissors.”
• “Oh, Starbucks, how I love you! Your medium dark roast allowed me to survive that
• “Oh what a world it seems we live in.” –Rufus Wainwright (song)
• “O holy night! The stars are brightly shining!” (Christmas carol)

• Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound or diphthong in non-rhyming words. To

qualify as assonance, the words must be close enough for the repetition of the sound to be
noticeable. Assonance is a common literary technique used in poetry and prose, and is
widely found in English verse.
• The same vowel sound of the short vowel “-e-” repeats itself in almost all the words,
excluding the definite article. The words do share the same vowel sounds, but start with
different consonant sounds – unlike alliteration, which involves repetition of the same
consonant sounds. Below are a few assonance examples that are common.
Common Assonance Examples

• We light fire on the mountain.

• I feel depressed and restle
• Go and mow the lawn.
• Johnny went here and there and everywhere
• The engineer held the steering to steer the vehicle.

• Analogy is a comparison between two things. Analogies function to describe or explain

one thing by examining its similarities with another thing. The two things may be very
dissimilar and the analogy forces the reader or listener to understand the connection
between them. On the other hand, the analogy could provide a comparison between two
very similar things, one of which might be more obscure; the analogy provides a way for a
reader or listener to understand the more obscure thing by picturing the more common
• A gang of boys is like a pack of wolves
• Obeying is to a servant, like ordering is to a master
• Green is to go as red is to stop
• A general is to an army, a CEO is to a company.
• Gas is to car as wood is to fire

• It is a phrase or clause added to a sentence that is not necessary for the meaning of a
sentence , but it provides an additional information
• It is not necessary to the structure or the meaning of sentence. It can be removed.
However, it does provide information that clarifies the action of the sentence (in most
cases, it is a verb)
• Typically, adjunct elements function as adverbials-adding information about when,
where, why, or how.

• 1. Dinner will be ready, I am sure, by 6pm.

• 2. Please turn in your homework right now.
• 3. "I have a dream today." Martin Luther King, Jr.
• 4. "Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new
nation." Abraham Lincoln
• 5. "For every man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of poverty."
John F. Kennedy
From the Greek, "down a ladder"
• Anticlimax is a rhetorical term for an abrupt shift from a serious or noble tone to a less
exalted one—often for comic effect. Adjective: anticlimactic.
• A common type of rhetorical anticlimax is the figure of catacosmesis: the ordering of
words from the most significant to the least significant. (The opposite of catacosmesis
is auxesis.)
• A narrative anticlimax refers to an unexpected twist in the plot, an incident marked by a
sudden diminishment of intensity or significance.
Common Examples of Anticlimax

• There are some notables examples of anticlimax from films, such as in the following:
• Signs: The aliens that have come to take over planet Earth turn out to be unable to touch
water and all die without need of human intervention.
• Kill Bill 2: Uma Thurman’s character has been trying to get revenge on Bill for two whole
movies. She is able to take him down easily without a protracted fight at the end of the
second movie.
• Monty Python and the Holy Grail: A film set in medieval Europe ends with a police car
arresting King Arthur and Lancelot. Clearly this anticlimax is meant to be humorous,
unlike the other two examples.

• The term anadiplosis is a Greek word which means “to reduplicate”. It refers to
the repetition of a word or words in successive clauses in such a way that the second clause
starts with the same word which marks the end of the previous clause.
• Anadiplosis exhibits a typical pattern of repeating a word
• “When I give, I give myself.”
• “This public school has a record of extraordinary reliability, a reliability that every other
school is jealous of in the city.”
• “……… you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness,
and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-
control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection,
and mutual affection with love” ( The Bible, II Peter 1:5 – 7)
• “For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas and hath not left his peer.”
• When a noun or word is followed by another noun or phrase that renames or identifies it,
this is called appositive. This is a literary device that appears before or after a noun or
noun phrase. It is always used with commas. Simply, we can define it as a noun phrase or a
noun that defines or explains another noun, which it follows.
• In this grammatical structure, writers place elements like noun phrases side by side where
one element serves to define the other, and one is in apposition to the other. For instance,
“We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like
small animal cages.” (A Hanging by George Orwell) In this line, “the condemned cells” is
a noun phrase, while “a row of sheds” is an appositive that explains this noun phrase.
Types of Appositive

• Restrictive Appositive - It gives essential information to identify the phrase or noun in

apposition. It clarifies the meaning of a phrase but if the appositive is removed, the
meaning of entire sentence changes. Commas are not necessarily used in this type of
appositive such as “John’s friend, Michael, likes chocolates.” Here John has others friends,
but the statement is restricted to only Michael.
• Non-Restrictive Appositive - It gives non-essential or extra information, which is not
important to identify the phrase or noun in apposition. This type of appositive is often
used with commas, for example, “John, my friend, likes to eat chocolates.” Here, my friend
is non-restrictive appositive, which is not necessary to be used for identifying John.


• Sentences Beginning With Appositives

• My neighbor , Sam brought a new car
• Your bestfriend, Lily is performing at the art club tomorrow
• Appositives In Between Sentences
• The chief cardiac surgeon, an expert of heart transplants, came home for dinner yesterday.
• Ms. Elizabeth, my vice-principal, punished me for not doing homework.
• My mother, a lovely woman, baked cupcakes for my birthday
Sentences Ending With Appositives

• I gave my lecture notes to Abby, who is a friend of mine.

• "Though her cheeks were high-colored and her teeth strong and yellow, she looked like a
mechanical woman, a machine with flashing, glassy circles for eyes." (Kate Simon, 'Bronx
Primitive', 1982)
• Michael was in all terms different from Sam,the unfaithful husband.

• Asyndeton refers to the omission of a conjunction such as “and” or “as” from a series of
related clauses. The function of asyndeton is usually to accelerate a passage and emphasize
the significance of the relation between these clauses. One famous example is Julius
Caesar’s comment “Veni, vidi, vici” after a swift victory in battle, translated into English as
“I came, I saw, I conquered.” The use of asyndeton here works well because the rapidness
of the sentence reflects the rapidness of the victory.
Common Examples of Asyndeton
• “When I was a child I played basketball, football, and soccer”
• “…we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose
any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” –John F. Kennedy
• “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our
Island, whatever the cost may be…” –Winston Churchill
• “Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to
be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when
courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create
hope when hope becomes forlorn.” –General Douglas MacArthur

• The word antimetabole comes from a Greek word. Anti- means “against” or “opposite”
while –metabole means “turning about” or “change.”
• Antimetabole is a figure of speech in which words or clauses from the first half of a
sentence are repeated in the second half of the sentence in reverse order
Common Examples of Antimetabole

• Oh you have, have you?

• Oh it is, is it?
• Oh she will, will she?
• You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
• What is the difference between a crocodile and a baby?
One makes its bed in a river and the other makes a river in its bed
• “All for one, and one for all.” –Alexander Dumas (Motto of the Three Muskiteers)

• It is usually in grammar
• It is a word, a phrase, or a clause that is usually replaced by a pronoun in a
sentence but regularly so in a following sentence
• Example: When I arrived to meet Caleb, He wasn’t to be seen
• Violet is beautiful, It is my favorite color

• Cacophony is the use of a combination of words with loud, harsh sounds—in reality as
well as literature. In literary studies, this combination of words with rough or
unharmonious sounds are used for a noisy or jarring poetic effect. Cacophony is
considered the opposite of euphony which is the use of beautiful, melodious-sounding
• Use of unpleasant sounds for particular effect
Examples of Cacophony

• “And being no stranger to the art of war, I have him a description of cannons, culverins,
muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, battles, sieges, retreats,
attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea-fights…”
• ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,an
And the mome raths outgrabe.
• “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are!
However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate”.

• Chiasmus is a rhetorical device in which two or more clauses are balanced against each
other by the reversal of their structures in order to produce an artistic effect.
• Construction of the first part of a sentence is the reverse of two parallel ideas.
• Is the reversing the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases.
Examples of Chiasmus

• Do I love you because you're beautiful? Or are you beautiful because I love you? - Oscar
• The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults. - Peter
de Vries
• "Never let a fool kiss you--or a kiss fool you." - Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You - by
Mardy Grothe
• You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget. - The
• But many that are first shall be last and the last shall be first. - Matthew 7:6

• Every word has a connotative or suggestive meaning aside from the literal one. It is usually
found in figurative expressions.
• refers to a meaning that is implied by a word apart from the thing which it describes
explicitly. Words carry cultural and emotional associations or meanings in addition to their
literal meanings or denotations.
Positive and Negative Connotations

• Words may have positive or negative connotations that depend upon the social, cultural
and personal experiences of individuals. For example, the words childish, childlike and
youthful have the same denotative but different connotative meanings. Childish and
childlike have a negative connotation as they refer to immature behavior of a person.
Whereas, youthful implies that a person is lively and energetic.
Common Connotation Examples
• A dog connotes shamelessness or an ugly face.
• A dove implies peace or tranquility.
• Home suggests family, comfort and security.
• Politician has a negative connotation of wickedness and insincerity while statesperson
connotes sincerity.
• Pushy refers to someone loud-mouthed and irritating
• Mom and Dad when used in place of mother and father connote loving parents.

• Climax, a Greek term meaning “ladder”, is that particular point in a narrative at which the
conflict or tension hits the highest point.
• Climax is a structural part of a plot and is at times referred to as a crisis. It is a decisive
moment or a turning point in a storyline at which the rising action turns around into a
falling action. Thus, a climax is the point at which a conflict or crisis reaches its peak that
calls for a resolution or denouement (conclusion).
• In a five-act play, the climax is close to the conclusion of act 3. Later in the 19th century,
the five-act plays were replaced by three-act plays and the climax was placed close to the
conclusion or at the end of the play.
Function Of CLIMAX

• A climax, when used as a plot device, helps readers understand the significance of the
rising action earlier to the point in the plot where the conflict reaches its peak.
• The Climax of the story makes readers mentally prepared for the resolution of the
conflict. Hence, climax is important to the plot structure of a story.
• Moreover, climax is used as a stylistic device or a figure of speech to render balance and
brevity to speech or writing. Being properly employed, it qualifies itself as a powerful tool
that can instantly capture the undivided attention of listeners and readers alike. Hence, its
importance cannot be underestimated.

• taken from his Sonnet “The Passionate Pilgrim”:

• “Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good;
A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies when first it gins to bud;
A brittle glass that’s broken presently:
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour.”
• By William Shakespeare

• Refers to the repetition of consonant sounds, within the limits of a sentence or a certain
number of sentences.
• Consonance refers to repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or
phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession such as in pitter, patter.
• It is classified as a literary term used in both poetry as well as prose.
• For instance, the words chuckle, fickle, and kick are consonant with one and other due to
the existence of common interior consonant sounds (/ck/).
Common Consonance Examples
• William Harmon his book A Handbook on Literature notes that “most so-called eye rhymes (such as
‘word’ and ‘lord,’ or ‘blood,’ ‘food,’ and ‘good’) are the most common examples.
• The ship has sailed to the far off shores.
• She ate seven sandwiches on a sunny Sunday last year.
• Shelley sells shells by the seashore.
• “Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
Whether Jew or gentile, I rank top percentile
Many styles, more powerful than gamma rays
My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays.”
(The lines have been taken from the song ‘Zealots ‘by Fugees.)
• Characterization is a literary device that is used step by step in literature to highlight and
explain the details about a character in a story.
• It is in the initial stage where the writer introduces the character with noticeable emergence
and then following the introduction of the character, the writer often talks about his
behavior; then as the story progresses, the thought-process of the character. The next
stage involves the character expressing his opinions and ideas and getting into
conversations with the rest of the characters. The final part shows how others in the story
respond to the character’s personality.

• Characterization as a literary tool was coined in the mid 15th century. Aristotle in his Poetics
argued that “tragedy is a representation, not of men, but of action and life”. Thus the
assertion of the dominance of plot over characters, termed as plot-driven narrative, is
unmistakable. This point of view was later on abandoned by many because, in the 19th
century, the dominance of character over plot became clear through petty bourgeois
Types of Characterization
• 1. Direct or explicit characterization
• This kind of characterization takes a direct approach towards building the character. It uses
another character, narrator or the protagonist himself to tell the readers or audience about
the subject.
• 2. Indirect or implicit characterization
• This is a more subtle way of introducing the character to the audience. The audience has
to deduce for themselves the characteristics of the character by observing his/her thought
process, behavior, speech, way of talking, appearance, and way of communication with
other characters and also by discerning the response of other characters.
Characterization in Drama
• On stage or in front of the camera, the actors usually do not have much time to characterize. This is why the
character faces the risk of coming across as underdeveloped. In dramaturgy, the realists take a different
approach by relying on implied characterization. This is pivotal to the theme of their character-driven
narrative. Examples of these playwrights are Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, and August Strindberg.
• Classic psychological characterization examples such as “The Seagull” usually build the main character in a
more indirect manner. This approach is considered more effective because it slowly discloses the inner
turmoil of the character during the three hours of the show and lets the audience connect better.
• The actors who act in such roles usually work on them profoundly to get an in-depth idea of the personality
of their respective character. Often, during such shows, plays or dramas, no direct statements about the
character’s nature are found. This kind of realism needs the actors to build the character from their own
perspective initially. This is why realistic characterization is more of a subtle nature, which cannot directly be

• Characterization is an essential component in writing good literature. Modern fiction, in

particular, has taken great advantage of this literary device. Understanding the role of
characterization in storytelling is very important for any writer. To put it briefly, it helps us
make sense of the behavior of any character in a story by helping us understand their
thought processes. A good use of characterization always leads the readers or audience to
relate better to the events taking place in the story. Dialogues play a very important role in
developing a character because they give us an opportunity to examine the motivations and
actions of the characters more deeply.
Characterization Examples

• “The Great Gatsby”

• There are many examples of characterization in literature. “The Great Gatsby” is probably
the best. In this particular book, the main idea revolves around the social status of the
characters. The major character of the book, Mr. Gatsby, is perceptibly rich but he does
not belong to the upper stratum of society. This means that he cannot have Daisy. Tom is
essentially defined by his wealth and the abusive nature that he portrays every now and
then, while Daisy is explained by Gatsby as having a voice full of money.
• Another technique to highlight the qualities of a character is to put them in certain areas that are
symbolic of a social status. In the novel, Gatsby resides in the West Egg, which is considered less
trendy than East Egg, where Daisy lives. This difference points out the gap between Jay’s and
Daisy’s social statuses. Moreover, you might also notice that Tom, Jordan and Daisy live in East
Egg while Gatsby and Nick reside in West Egg, which again highlights the difference in their
financial background. This division is reinforced at the end of the novel when Nick supports
Gatsby against the rest of the folks.
• Occupations have also been used very tactfully in the novel to highlight characteristics of certain
protagonists. The prime example is Gatsby who, despite being so rich, is known by his profession:
bootlegging. He had an illegal job that earned him a fortune but failed to get him into the upper
class of New York. In contrast, Nick has a clean and fair job of a “bond man” that defines his
character. The poor guy Wilson who fixes the rich people’s cars befriends his wife; and then there
is Jordon, who is presented as a dishonest golf pro.

• Cadence is derived from a Latin word “cadentia” that means “a falling”. It is

the term used to signal the rising and falling of the voice when reading a
literary piece. In poetry, it is the momentary changes in rhythm and pitch.
Cadences help set the rhythmic paces of a literary piece.
Types of Cadence

• Most of the cadence examples in literature fall under either one of these:
• 1. Imperfect or half cadence – In poetry, a half cadence is a pause. Half cadence is
represented with a comma and semi-colon in poetry and prose. This rhythm does not
sound final and often the lines end with indecisive tension.
• 2. Perfect or authentic cadence – It comes at the end of the phrase in a poem.
Function of Cadence

• Cadence is a musical movement. It can be described by melodic, rhythmic or harmonic

characteristics. It is used to establish sectional articulation and closure. However, the basic
purpose of cadence is a communicative function that indicates to the listeners when a part
ends and therefore helps them elucidate the formal composition of the piece.
• Cadences are used in poetry and in music where they sync with a variety of musical idioms.
Poets use cadence to put rhythm in their poems. Cadence plays a significant role in making
the sounds and the senses in a poem connect to each other.
Examples of Cadence in Literature

“The curved cane chair has dented cushions, the cats

Catch spiders and craneflies on the wardrobe tops,
The guitar lies in its funeral case, the road is quiet,
The apple trees have dropped their fruit in the grass;
Rain is coming in from the west; the garden is lush and damp,
The draught is over, and the day is at the eleventh hour,
Sleep is nearly here on fern-patterned pillowcases,
Books slither to the floor, cats is stretched on the quit;”
(Painting of a Bedroom with Cats by Elizabeth Bartlett)

• In this poem, cadence appears in the middle of the fourth line of each stanza
that gives the speech a pause. This pause is shown by a semi-colon. It also
gives a momentary variation to the rhythm of poem.
• Comparison is a rhetorical or literary device in which a writer compares or contrasts two
people, places, things, or ideas. In our everyday life, we compare people and things to
express ourselves vividly. So when we say, “as lazy as a snail,” you compare two different
entities to show similarity i.e. someone’s laziness to the slow pace of a snail.
• Comparisons occur in literary works frequently. Writers and poets use comparison in order
to link their feelings about a thing to something they compare it with. There are numerous
devices in literature that compare two different things to show the similarity between them
e.g. simile, metaphor, analogy etc.
Function of Comparison

• The above examples of comparison help us realize that in general, writers utilize different
kinds of comparisons to link an unfamiliar or a new idea to common and familiar objects.
It facilitates readers to comprehend a new idea, which may have been difficult for them to
understand otherwise. The understanding of a new idea turns out to be simpler when
viewed with a comparison to something that is familiar to them. In addition, by making
use of various literary tools for comparison, writers increase their chance of catching the
attention and interest of their readers, as comparisons help them identify what they are
reading to their lives.

• Used of overused utterances

• refers to an expression that has been overused to the extent that it loses its original meaning or novelty. A
cliché may also refer to actions and events which are predictable because of some previous events.
• All examples of Cliché are expressions that were once new and fresh. They won
popularity in public and hence have been used so extensively that such expressions now
sound boring and at times irritable due to the fact that they have lost their original color.
For instance, the phrase “as red as a rose” must have been a fresh and innovative
expression at some point in time but today it is considered universally as a cliché and does
not sound good to be used in everyday formal writing.
Function of Cliché
• A cliché is a traditional form of human expression (in words, thoughts, emotions, gestures,
acts) which–due to repetitive use in social life–has lost its original, often ingenious
heuristic power. Although it thus fails positively to contribute meaning to social
interactions and communication, it does function socially, since it manages to stimulate
behavior (cognition, emotion, volition, action), while it avoids reflection on meanings.
Common Cliché Examples
• In describing time, the following expressions have turned into cliché
• in the nick of time – to happen just in time
• only time will tell – to become clear over time
• a matter of time – to happen sooner or later
• at the speed of light – to do something very quickly
• lasted an eternity – to last for a very long time
• lost track of time – to stop paying attention to time
Common Cliché Examples
• In describing people, these expressions have turned into cliché
• as brave as a lion – a cliché to describe a very brave person
• as clever as a fox – a cliché to describe a very clever person
• as old as the hills – a cliché to describe an old person
• a diamond in the rough – a cliché to describe someone with a brilliant future
• fit as a fiddle – a cliché to describe a person in a good shape
• as meek as a lamb – a cliché to describe a person who is too weak and humble
Common Cliché Examples
• In describing various sentiments, a number of expressions have turned into cliché e.g.
• frightened to death – to be too frightened
• scared out of one’s wits – to be too frightened
• all is fair in love and war – to go to any extent to claim somebody’s love
• all is well that ends well – a happy ending reduces the severity of problems that come in the way
• every cloud has a silver lining – problems also have something good in them
• the writing on the wall – something clear and already understood
• time heals all wounds – pain and miseries get will with the passage of time
• haste makes waste – people make mistakes in a rush
Common Cliché Examples

• Below is a list of some more common clichés:

• They all lived happily ever after.
• Read between the lines
• Fall head over heals
• Waking up on the wrong side of the bed
• The quiet before the storm
• Between the devil and the deep blue sea

• A double entendre is a literary device that can be defined as a phrase or a figure of speech
that might have multiple senses, interpretations or two different meanings or that could be
understood in two different ways.
• it “conveys an indelicate meaning”. The first meaning in double entendre is
usually straightforward while the second meaning is ironic, risqué or
Function of Double Entendre
• As double entendre is a phrase that expresses double meanings, the purpose of using
double entendre is usually to articulate one thing perfectly and indirectly (which is generally
an insult, or an insinuation). Shakespeare made use of this device to add humor to his
work. If the audience are able to understand the different meanings that the actors or
characters are trying to convey, double entendre will surely create laughter or to put
forward a suggestion to the audiences.
Double Entendre Examples

• “Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution”

• “Nobody has hurt me. Nobody is going to kill me.”
• “They sent a man who put beeswax on them, but that made them worse.”

• a rhetorical device that is a memorable, brief, interesting and surprising satirical statement.
It has originated from a Greek word, epigramma, meaning inscription or to inscribe.
• Often ingenious or witty statements are considered as epigrams such as this quote by
Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
• Oscar Wilde used an epigram, “As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its
fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.”
• Both of these epigrams are not only interesting and brief but also satirical, as the first one
is about the sense of inferiority while the second one is about war.
Function of Epigram

• Epigram is a clever and witty statement expressed in just a few lines, pointing out foibles
and truths of mankind. This is very common in poetry, but we also find it in prose, film,
fiction writing, politics and everyday speeches. Epigrams serve the same purpose as do
maxims and proverbs. However, the main purpose of using such statements is to leave a
positive impression on the audience, as they demonstrate pure humor coupled with
wisdom. Besides, writers use this literary device to cause the listeners and readers to think
deeply about their statements.
Common Used of Epigram
• Below are some popular examples of epigram used in common speech:
• “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put and end to mankind.” – John F. Kennedy
• “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
• “A word to the wise ain’t necessary; it’s the stupid ones who need all the advice.” – Bill Cosby
• “If we don’t end war, war will end us.” – H.G. Wells
• “Live simply, so that others may simply live.” – Mother Teresa
• “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” – Michael Jackson
• “This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will
not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms
devastate our lands.” – Barack Obama
• “Blessed are the peacemakers.” – Jesus Christ

• An adjective expressive of the character of someone or something

• a descriptive literary device that describes a place, a thing or a
person in such a way that it helps in making the characteristics of a
person, thing or place more prominent than they actually are. Also,
it is known as a by-name or descriptive title.
Types of Epithet
• Kenning as Epithet
Kenning examples may also be considered as epithet examples. Kenning is a type of an epithet,
which is a two-word phrase that describes an object by employing metaphors.
• The Fixed Epithet
Fixed epithets are found in epic poetry that involves the repetitive use of a phrase or word for the
same object. Such as in Homer’s Odyssey, the wife is “prudent”, Odysseus himself as “many–
minded” and their son Telemachus as “sound-minded”.
• Argumentative Epithet
Expert orators use argumentative epithets. Short arguments use this type of epithet to give hints.
• Epithet used as Smear Word
An epithet used as a smear word means a derogatory word or name for someone or something.
Function of Epithet

• With the use of epithets, writers are able to describe the characters and settings more
vividly in order to give richer meanings to the text. Since they are used as a literary tool,
they help in making the description of someone or something broader and hence easier to
understand. With the help of epithets, the writers and poets develop suitable images in
fewer words. Besides, the metaphorical use of epithets helps in making the poetry and
prose vibrant and strong.
Common Examples of Epithet

• Magsaysay – Man of the Masses

• Mother Teresa – The Living Saint
• Baguio – The Summer Capital of the Philippines
• Apolinario Mabini – The Brains of the Revolution
• Alexander the Great
• coloured counties - “coloured” is an epithet used to describe the pleasant and beautiful spring season in
those countries where the poet wishes to enjoy his beloved’s company.
• Use of inoffensive word for seemingly offensive ones
• refers to polite, indirect expressions which replace words and phrases considered harsh
and impolite or which suggest something unpleasant.
• Euphemism is an idiomatic expression which loses its literal meanings and refers to
something else in order to hide its unpleasantness.
• Euphemism depends largely on the social context of the speakers and writers where they
feel the need to replace certain words which may prove embarrassing for particular
listeners or readers in a particular situation.
Function of Euphemism

• Euphemism helps writers to convey those ideas which have become a social
taboo and are too embarrassing to mention directly. Writers skillfully choose
appropriate words to refer to and discuss a subject indirectly which otherwise
are not published due to strict social censorship e.g. religious fanaticism,
political theories, sexuality, death etc. Thus, euphemism is a useful tool that
allows writers to write figuratively about the libelous issues.
Techniques for Creating Euphemism
• Euphemism masks a rude or impolite expression but conveys the concept clearly and politely.
Several techniques are employed to create euphemism.
• It may be in the form of abbreviations e.g. B.O. (body odor), W.C. (toilet) etc.
• Foreign words may be used to replace an impolite expression e.g. faux (fake), or faux pas (foolish
error) etc.
• Sometimes, they are abstractions e.g. before I go (before I die).
• They may also be indirect expressions replacing direct ones which may sound offensive e.g. rear-
end, unmentionables etc.
• Using longer words or phrases can also mask unpleasant words e.g. flatulence for farting,
perspiration for sweat, mentally challenged for stupid etc.
• Using technical terms may reduce the rudeness exhibited by words e.g. gluteus maximus.
• Deliberately mispronouncing an offensive word may reduce its severity e.g. darn, shoot etc.
Euphemism Examples in Everyday Life

• You are becoming a little thin on top (bald).

• Our teacher is in the family way (pregnant).
• He is always tired and emotional (drunk).
• We do not hire mentally challenged (stupid) people.
• He is a special child (disabled or retarded).
• derived from a Greek word that means turning upon, which indicates the same word
returns at the end of each sentence
• Epistrophe is a stylistic device that can be defined as the repetition of phrases or words at
the end of the clauses or sentences.
• It is also called epiphora.
• Epistrophe examples are frequently found in literary pieces, in persuasive writing and
• the reverse of anaphora or the opposite where repeated words are at the terminal lines
• Function of Epistrophe
• The rhetorical function of this stylistic device is to give a striking emphasis to an idea, a
thought or a passage. The repetition helps in making the words memorable and
pleasurable due to the regular rhyme scheme. Also, it furnishes the artistic effects both in
prose as well as in poetry. In addition, it lends rhythm to the text and appeals to the
emotions of the readers.

• Tell me who your companions are, and I shall tell you who you are
• The rebel dresses in fantastic clothes, when everybody wears fantastic clothes
• When everybody goes to the meeting, the rebel stays at home and reads a book.
• When everybody says , yes please!, the rebel says , No thank you.
• Hourly joys be still upon you! Juno sings her blessings on you. . . .
Scarcity and want shall shun you,
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.”

• An argumentative statement in which the writer or the speaker omits one of the major or
minor premises, does not clearly pronounce it, or keeps this premise implied is called
enthymeme. However, the omitted premise in enthymeme remains understandable even if
is not clearly expressed.
• For instance, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” (The hidden premise: The smoke
causes fire.)
• Enthymeme is a rhetorical device like syllogism, and is known as truncated or rhetoric
syllogism. Its purpose is to influence the audience and allow them to make inferences.
They can be easily recognized, as these statements comes after “because.”
Function of Enthymeme

• The usage of enthymeme is very common in advertisements, political speeches and

literature. It makes the readers work out their own conclusions and nudges them further
to read the text to get a clearer picture of the premise or an idea. By forcing the readers to
take a final step, it strengthens the argument of the writer. Often enthymemes help to hide
the underlying idea upon which a major argument relies. In addition, the purpose of using
an enthymeme is to persuade the readers by using implied arguments.
Popular Examples of Enthymene

• “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of
mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
(The hidden premise: Jack Kennedy was a great man, but you are not.)
• He could not have committed this heinous crime. I have known him since he was a child.
(The hidden premise: He is innocent by nature and, therefore, can never be a criminal)

• An elaborate comparison of two dissimilar things

• Example:
• There has to be life on other planets because as of today no one has been able to
conclusively prove that there is no life.

• derived from a Greek word meaning “over-casting”

• is a figure of speech, which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of
• It is a device that we employ in our day-to-day speech. For instance, when you meet a
friend after a long time, you say, “Ages have passed since I last saw you”. You may not have
met him for three or four hours or a day, but the use of the word “ages” exaggerates this
statement to add emphasis to your wait.
• Therefore, a hyperbole is an unreal exaggeration to emphasize the real situation.
Function of Hyperbole

• The above arguments make clear the use of hyperbole. In our daily conversation, we use
hyperbole to emphasize for an amusing effect. However, in literature it has very serious
implications. By using hyperbole, a writer or a poet makes common human feelings
remarkable and intense to such an extent that they do not remain ordinary. In literature,
usage of hyperbole develops contrasts. When one thing is described with an over-
statement and the other thing is presented normally, a striking contrast is developed. This
technique is employed to catch the reader’s attention.
Common Examples of Hyperbole

• My grandmother is as old as the hills.

• Your suitcase weighs a ton!
• She is as heavy as an elephant!
• I am dying of shame.
• I am trying to solve a million issues these days.
• Walking stick could mean a thin person
• Match box mean a bungalow
• Chicken feed is a form of underestimating a big sum

• denotes speech or writing that attacks, insults, or denounces a person, topic, or institution.
It involves the use of abusive and negative use of language. The tool of invective is
generally employed in both poetry and prose to reiterate the significance of the deeply felt
emotions of the writer.
• The use of violent language
Functions of Invective

• Invective is one of the most commonly used devices in the modern poetic framework. The
tool of invective can be used in a variety of ways to highlight the depth of the writer’s
emotions for the cause at hand. For instance, the use of high invective involves formal
language and creative expression which creates an entirely different impact than that of
low invective, which concerns with the value of stock words and images. The tool of
invective also acts as an opportunity for the speaker to convey his heartfelt bitter emotions
in respect of people in power or other such annoyances. Invective is not, however, a
powerful tool of persuasion as sometimes is thought but is a device employed to get a sort
of reaction from the interlocutor.
Invective Examples in Prose

• “A knave, a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave… and art nothing but the composition of a
knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch…”
• “I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little
odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
• Common examples: Shut up!, Scoundrel!, Step out!

• means to use figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in

such a way that it appeals to our physical senses.
• Usually it is thought that imagery makes use of particular words that create
visual representation of ideas in our minds. The word imagery is associated
with mental pictures. However, this idea is but partially correct. Imagery, to be
realistic, turns out to be more complex than just a picture.
Function of Imagery

• The function of imagery in literature is to generate a vibrant and graphic

presentation of a scene that appeals to as many of the reader’s senses as
possible. It aids the reader’s imagination to envision the characters and scenes
in the literary piece clearly. Apart from the above mentioned function, images
, which are drawn by using figures of speech like metaphor, simile,
personification, onomatopoeia etc. serve the function of beautifying a piece
of literature.
Examples of Imagery

• It was dark and dim in the forest. – The words “dark” and “dim” are visual images.
• The children were screaming and shouting in the fields. – “Screaming” and “shouting” appeal to our
sense of hearing or auditory sense.
• He whiffed the aroma of brewed coffee. – “whiff ” and “aroma” evoke our sense of smell or
olfactory sense.
• The girl ran her hands on a soft satin fabric. – The idea of “soft” in this example appeals to our
sense of touch or tactile sense.
• The fresh and juicy orange is very cold and sweet. – “ juicy” and “sweet” when associated
with oranges have an effect on our sense of taste or gustatory sense.

• is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended
meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a
situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally
• In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality.
• Is used to stress on the opposite meaning of a word.
• When people are looking to be SARCASTIC/SARCASM, they employ irony
Types of Irony

• 1. VERBAL IRONY - A verbal irony involves what one does not mean.
• When in response to a foolish idea, we say, “what a great idea!”
• 2. A situational irony occurs when, for instance, a man is chuckling at the
misfortune of the other even when the same misfortune, in complete
unawareness, is befalling him.
Difference between Dramatic Irony and
Situational Irony

• Dramatic Irony is a kind of irony in a situation, which the writers frequently employ in
their works.
• In situational irony, both the characters and the audience are fully unaware of the
implications of the real situation.
• In dramatic irony, the characters are oblivious of the situation but the audience is not.
• For example, in “Romeo and Juliet”, we know much before the characters that they are
going to die.
In real life circumstances, irony may be comical, bitter or sometimes unbearably offensive.
Function of Irony

• Like all other figures of speech, Irony brings about some added meanings to a situation.
• Ironical statements and situations in literature develop readers’ interest.
• Irony makes a work of literature more intriguing and forces the readers to use their
imagination and comprehend the underlying meanings of the texts.
• Moreover, real life is full of ironical expressions and situations. Therefore, the use of irony
brings a work of literature closer to the life.
Common Examples of Irony

• I posted a video on YouTube about how boring and useless YouTube is.
• The name of Britain’s biggest dog was “Tiny”.
• You laugh at a person who slipped stepping on a banana peel and the next thing you know,
you slipped too.
• The butter is as soft as a marble piece.
• “Oh great! Now you have broken my new camera.”
• “Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.”

• The term refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words.
• An interesting fact regarding the device is that the expression is not interpreted literally.
• The phrase is understood as to mean something quite different from what individual
words of the phrase would imply.
• Alternatively, it can be said that the phrase is interpreted in a figurative sense.
• Further, idioms vary in different cultures and countries.
Functions of Idiom

• Writers and public speakers use idioms generously. The purpose behind this vast use of
idioms is to ornate their language, make it richer and spicier and help them in conveying
subtle meanings to their intended audience.
Not only do idioms help in making the language beautiful, they also make things better or
worse through making the expression good or bad. For example, there are several idioms
that convey the death of a person in highly subtle meanings and some do the same in very
offensive terms. They are also said to be exact and more correct than the literal words and
sometimes a few words are enough to replace a full sentence. They help the writer make
his sense clearer than it is, so that he could convey maximum meanings through minimum
words and also keep the multiplicity of the meanings in the text intact.
Functions of Idiom

• It has also been seen that idioms not only convey subtle meanings but also convey a
phenomenon that is not being conveyed through normal and everyday language and also
they keep the balance in the communication. Furthermore, they provide textual coherence,
so that the reader could be able to piece together a text that he has gone through and
extract meanings the writer has conveyed.
• There’s a supermarket and a pharmacy in the mall, so if we go there, we can kill two birds with
one stone.
• A chip on your shoulder - means you are holding a grudge
• High as a kite - means you are drunk or on drugs
• Sick as a dog - means you are very ill
• “The blues” can refer to both a style of music and feeling sad.
• “Out of the blue” means something happens that was unexpected.
• “Break a leg” means good luck.
• If you say, “it takes two to tango” you mean that more than one person is at fault or involved.
• Being “in the spotlight” means you are the center of attention.

• Use of secret language

• Jargon is a literary term that is defined as a use of specific phrases and words by writers in
a particular situation, profession or trade.
• These specialized terms are used to convey hidden meanings accepted and understood in
that field. Jargon examples are found in literary and non-literary pieces of writing.

• The use of jargon becomes essential in prose or verse or some technical pieces of writing
when the writer intends to convey something only to the readers who are aware of these
• Therefore, jargon was taken in early times as a trade language or as a language of a specific
profession, as it is somewhat unintelligible for other people who do not belong to that
particular profession.
• In fact, specific terms were developed to meet the needs of the group of people working
within the same field or occupation.
Jargon and Slang

• Jargon sometimes is wrongly confused with Slang and people often take it in the same
sense but a difference is always there.
• Slang is a type of informal category of a certain language developed within a
certain community and consists of words or phrases whose literal meanings are different
than the actual meanings. Hence, it is not understood by people outside of that community
or circle. Slang is more common in spoken language than written.
Jargon and Slang

• Jargon, on the other hand, is broadly associated with a subject,

occupation or business that makes use of standard words or phrases
frequently comprising of abbreviations e.g. HTH, LOL. However,
unlike slang, its terms are developed and composed deliberately for
the convenience of a specific section of society.
Function of Jargon

• The use of jargon is significant in prose and verse. It seems unintelligible to the people
who do not know the meanings. Examples of jargon used in literature are used to
emphasize a situation or to refer to something exotic to the readers or audience.
• In fact, the use of jargon in literature shows the dexterity of the writer of having
knowledge of other spheres.
• Writers use jargon to make a certain character a real one in fiction as well as in plays and
Examples of Jargon

• Medical Jargon
• These are some examples of commonly used medical abbreviations and terminology.
➠STAT - Immediately
➠ABG - Arterial Blood Gas
➠Vitals - Vital signs
➠C-Section - Cesarean Section
➠Claudication - Limping caused by a reduction in blood supply to the legs
➠CAT/CT Scan - Computerized Axial Tomography
➠MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging
➠BP - Blood Pressure
➠FX - Bone Fracture
Examples of Jargon

• Computer Jargon
• Most of these examples are abbreviations, which can be likened to a shorthand code for the
computer literate and the Internet savvy.
➠FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
➠CYA - See you around
➠RAM - Random Access Memory
➠GB - Gigabyte
➠ROM - Read-only Memory
➠Backup - Duplicate a file
➠BFF - Best Friends Forever
➠HTH - Hope This Helps
Examples of Jargon

• Military Jargon
The following are some military jargon examples.
➠AWOL - Away without official leave
➠BOHICA - Bend over, here it comes again
➠SOP - Standard Operating Procedure
➠AAA - Anti-aircraft Artillery
➠UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
➠11 Bravo - Infantry
➠WHOA - War Heroes of America
➠Fatigues - Camouflage uniforms
➠TD - Temporary Duty
➠SAM - Surface-to-Air missile
Law Enforcement Jargon

• Law Enforcement Jargon

• The following are some examples.
➠APB - All Points Bulletin
➠B&E - Breaking and Entering
➠DUI - Driving Under the Influence
➠CSI - Crime Scene Investigation
➠Clean Skin - A person without a police record
➠Miranda - Warning given during an arrest, advising about constitutional rights to remain silent
and the right to legal aid.
➠Perp - Perpetrator
➠Social - Social Security Number
Law Enforcement Jargon

• Business Jargon
The corporate world isn't far behind when it comes to developing words and phrases that
mean little to others. Business jargon includes a lot of words and abbreviations, which
change even from department to department.
• Here are a few.

➠Ear to Ear - Let's discuss in detail over the phone

➠In Loop - Keep me updated continuously
➠Helicopter view - Overview
➠Boil the ocean - Try for the impossible
Other Common Examples of Jargon

• ➠UFO - Unidentified Flying Object

➠Poker face - A blank expression
➠Back burner - Something low in priority, putting something off till a later date
➠On Cloud nine - Very happy
➠Sweet tooth - A great love of all things sweet
➠Ballpark figure - A numerical estimated value
➠Gumshoe/Private Eye - Detective
➠Shrink - Psychiatrist
➠Slammer - Jail

• derived from a Greek word meaning “simple”,

• is a figure of speech which employs an understatement by using double negatives or, in
other words, positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite expressions.
• It is a contrast to hyperbole, in that it implies humility
Function of Litotes

• Litotes uses ironical understatement in order to emphasize an idea or situation rather than
minimizing its importance. It rather discovers a unique way to attract people’s attention to
an idea and that is by ignoring it.
• J.R. Bergmann in his book “Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings” talks about
litotes in the following words: “I want to claim that the rhetorical figure litotes is one of
those methods which are used to talk about an object in a discreet way. It clearly locates an
object for the recipient, but it avoids naming it directly.”
• This is the best that has ever been said about litotes – that to ignore an object and still talk
about it in a negative way is the best way to make it appear important and prominent.
Common Litotes Examples

• They do not seem the happiest couple around.

• The ice cream was not too bad.
• New York is not an ordinary city.
• Your comments on politics are not useless.
• You are not as young as you used to be.
• I cannot disagree with your point of view.
• William Shakespeare was not a bad playwright at all.
Common Litotes Examples

• He is not the cleverest person I have ever met.

• She is not unlike her mother.
• Ken Adams is not an ordinary man
• A million dollars is not a little amount.
• You are not doing badly at all.
• Your apartment is not unclean.

• is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two
things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics. In other words, a
resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some
common characteristics.
• In simple English, when you portray a person, place, thing, or an action as being something
else, even though it is not actually that “something else,” you are speaking metaphorically.
“He is the black sheep of the family” is a metaphor because he is not a sheep and is not
even black. However, we can use this comparison to describe an association of a black
sheep with that person. A black sheep is an unusual animal and typically stays away from
the herd, and the person you are describing shares similar characteristics.

• Furthermore, a metaphor develops a comparison which is different from a simile.

• we do not use “like” or “as” to develop a comparison in a metaphor.
• It actually makes an implicit or hidden comparison and not an explicit one.

• From the above arguments, explanations and examples, we can easily infer the function of
metaphors; both in our daily lives and in a piece of literature.
• Using appropriate metaphors appeals directly to the senses of listeners or readers,
sharpening their imaginations to comprehend what is being communicated to them.
• Moreover, it gives a life-like quality to our conversations and to the characters of
the fiction or poetry. Metaphors are also ways of thinking, offering the listeners and the
readers fresh ways of examining ideas and viewing the world.
Common Speech Examples of Metaphors

• My brother was boiling mad. (This implies he was too angry.)

• The assignment was a breeze. (This implies that the assignment was not difficult.)
• It is going to be clear skies from now on. (This implies that clear skies are not a threat
and life is going to be without hardships)
• The skies of his future began to darken. (Darkness is a threat; therefore, this implies that
the coming times are going to be hard for him.)
• Her voice is music to his ears. (This implies that her voice makes him feel happy)

• It is a figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of
something else with which it is closely associated.
• We can come across examples of metonymy both from literature and in
everyday life.
Function of Metonymy

• Generally, metonymy is used in developing literary symbolism i.e. it gives more profound
meanings to otherwise common ideas and objects. By using metonymy, texts exhibit
deeper or hidden meanings and thus drawing readers’ attention. In addition, the use of
metonymy helps achieve conciseness. For instance, “Rifles were guarding the gate” is more
concise than “The guards with rifles in their hands were guarding the gate.”
• Furthermore, metonymy, like other literary devices, is employed to add a poetic color to
words to make them come to life. The simple ordinary things are described in a creative
way to insert this “life” factor to the literary works.
Examples of Metonymy

• England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.)

• The pen is mightier than the sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military
• The Oval Office was busy in work. (“The Oval Office” is a metonymy as it stands for
people at work in the office.)
• Let me give you a hand. (Hand means help.)

• defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect
that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting.
• For instance, saying, “The gushing stream flows in the forest” is a more meaningful
description than just saying, “The stream flows in the forest.” The reader is drawn to hear
the sound of a “gushing stream” which makes the expression more effective.
• In addition to the sound they represent, many onomatopoeic words have developed
meanings of their own. For example, “whisper” not only represents the sound of people
talking quietly, but also describes the action of people talking quietly
Function of Onomatopoeia

• Generally, words are used to tell what is happening. Onomatopoeia, on the other hand,
helps the readers to hear the sounds the words they reflect. Hence, the reader cannot help
but enter the world created by the poet with the aid of these words. The beauty of
onomatopoeic words lies in the fact that they are bound to have an effect on the readers’
senses whether they are understood or not. Moreover, a simple plain expression does not
have the same emphatic effect that conveys an idea powerfully to the readers. The use of
onomatopoeic words helps create emphasis.
Common Examples of Onomatopoeia

• The buzzing bee flew away.

• The sack fell into the river with a splash.
• The books fell on the table with a loud thump.
• He looked at the roaring sky.
• The rustling leaves kept me awake.
Groups of Onomatopoeic Words

• A group of words reflecting different sounds of water are; plop, splash, gush, sprinkle,
drizzle, drip etc.
• Different kinds of human voice sounds; growl, giggle, grunt, murmur, blurt, chatter etc.
• Different sounds of wind, such as; swish, swoosh, whiff, whoosh, whizz, whisper etc.

• is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect
• The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective proceeded by a noun with
contrasting meanings, e.g. “cruel kindness” or “living death”.
• However, the contrasting words/phrases are not always glued together.
• The contrasting ideas may be spaced out in a sentence, e.g. “In order to lead, you must
walk behind.”
Function of Oxymoron

• Oxymoron produces a dramatic effect in both prose as well as poetry. For instance, when
we read or hear the famous oxymoron, “sweet sorrow”, crafted by Shakespeare, it appeals
to us instantly. It provokes our thoughts and makes us ponder on the meaning of
contradicting ideas. This apparently confusing phrase expresses a complex nature of love
that could never be expressed through any other simple expression.
• In everyday conversation, however, people do not use oxymoron to make some deep
statement like the one mentioned above. Instead, they do it to show wit. The use of
oxymoron adds flavor to their speech.
Common Examples of Oxymoron

• Open secret
• Tragic comedy
• Seriously funny
• Awfully pretty
• Foolish wisdom
• Original copies
• Liquid gas
• is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The
non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like
human beings.
• For example, when we say, “The sky weeps” we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which
is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given
Function of Personification

• Personification is not merely a decorative device but it serves the purpose of giving
deeper meanings to literary texts.
• It adds vividness to expressions as we always look at the world from a
human perspective.
• Writers and poets rely on personification to bring inanimate things to life, so that
their nature and actions are understood in a better way.
• Because it is easier for us to relate to something that is human or that possesses
human traits. Its use encourages us to develop a perspective that is new as well as
Common Examples of Personification

• Look at my car. She is a beauty, isn’t it so?

• The wind whispered through dry grass.
• The flowers danced in the gentle breeze.
• Time and tide waits for none.
• The fire swallowed the entire forest.
• A dictionary is referred to as Mr. Webster
• The environment is referred to as Mother Nature
• Luck is referred to as Mr. Fortune
• Love is referred to as Mr. Cupid

• The term Paradox is from the Greek word “paradoxon” that means contrary to
expectations, existing belief or perceived opinion.
• It is a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly but may include a
latent truth. It is also used to illustrate an opinion or statement contrary to
accepted traditional ideas. A paradox is often used to make a reader think over
an idea in innovative way.
Function of Paradox

• the chief purpose of a paradox is to give pleasure.

• In poetry, the use of paradox is not confined to mere wit and pleasure; rather, it becomes
an integral part of poetic diction. Poets usually make use of a paradox to create a
remarkable thought or image out of words.
• Some types of paradox in poetry are meant to communicate a tone
of irony to its readers as well as lead their thoughts to the immediate subject.
• Paradox in most poems normally strives to create feelings of intrigue and
interest in readers’ minds to make them think deeper and harder to enjoy the
real message of the poem.
Examples of Paradox

• Your enemy’s friend is your enemy.

• I am nobody.
• “What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young.” – George Bernard Shaw
• Wise fool
• Truth is honey which is bitter.
• “I can resist anything but temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
• The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.

• is a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests
two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings.
• Humorous effects created by puns depend upon the ambiguities words entail. The
ambiguities arise mostly in homophones and homonyms.
• For instance, in a sentence “A happy life depends on a liver”, liver can refer to the organ
liver or simply the person who lives.
• Similarly, in a famous saying “Atheism is a non-prophet institution” the word “prophet” is
used instead of “profit” to produce a humorous effect.
Function of Pun

• Apart from being witty and humorous, puns add profound meanings to texts
and shape the way in which the text is interpreted by the readers.
• By playing with the words, the writers reveal their cleverness and the
cleverness of their characters.
• Besides, puns in a literary works act as a source of comic relief or an
intentional effort on the part of the writer to show his/her creative ability in
using language.
Common Pun Examples
• In everyday life, pun examples are found intentionally or accidentally used in jokes and
witty remarks. Such as:
• The life of a patient of hypertension is always at steak.
• Why do we still have troops in Germany? To keep the Russians in Czech.
• A horse is a very stable animal.
• Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
• An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.
• What is the difference between a conductor and a teacher? The
conductor minds the train and a teacher trains the mind.

• derived from two Greek words “palin” means again and “dromos” means way or direction.
It is defined as a number, a word, a sentence, a symbol or even signs that can be read
forward as well as backward or in reserve order with the same effects and meanings.
• In English, Ben Jonson was the first writer to introduce this term in the middle of the 17th
• There are two types of palindrome; word-unit palindrome or one-line palindrome.
• Some words such as civic, radar, level, rotor, and noon or word-unit palindrome,
• while “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” is an example of one-line palindrome.
Types of Palindromes

• Palindromes are of many types, depending upon the requirements of the subject. The
most commonly used types of palindromes are given here:
• Character by Character
• Name Palindromes
• Word Palindrome
• Number Palindromes
• Line-unit Palindrome
• Word-unit Palindrome

• The purpose of using palindromes in writing, words, numbers and sentences is to create light
entertainment and fun. However, some supporters have taken great initiatives in finding long
palindromes that cover many sentences and in poetry. In ancient times the palindromes appeared in
magic spells, and many have taken this reversibility as a convention.
• Palindromes can be traced in classical and modern music poetry for rhythmical effects, in acoustics
and in dates as well. Even several religious texts are full of palindromes and it is not just a chance
that biologically our genes are also palindromes that their order is the same; forward as well as
backward. A further interesting point is that numbers also fall in order to create palindromes such
as 88, 99, 101, 111, 121, 131, 141, 151, 161, and 171 which can be read backward and forward in
the same way.
Some famous names as fine palindrome
• Lon Nol was a was Prime Minister of Cambodia
• Nisio Isin was a Japanese novelist
• Robert Trebor was an actor
• Stanley Yelnats is a character of a movie Holes

• from the Greek word paraleipein that means to omit or to leave something on
one side. It is defined as a rhetorical device in which an idea is deliberately
suggested through a brief treatment of a subject, while most of the
significant points are omitted. It is explained through the use of this device
that some points are too obvious to mention. Also, paralipsis is a way of
emphasizing a subject by apparently passing over it.
Features of Paralipsis

• Paralipsis is a literary device in which a speaker pretends to hide what he

exactly wants to say and enforce. It is a type of irony in which an outline of a
message is conveyed in a manner that seems to suppress the exact message.
• Paraliptic strike-through is a form of paralipsis.
• It is a standard rhetorical device in journalism and print media.
Function of Paralipsis

• The purpose of the employment of Paralipsis is to deliberately emphasize or assert an idea

by pretending to ignore or pass over it.
• Paralipsis examples are very common in literary works, journalism and political speeches.
• The orators use this device to draw the attention of readers towards a sensitive matter
while the orator ostensibly seems detached from it. Often, descriptive works that lack the
direct meaning of an idea use paralipsis.
• Besides, as a rhetorical device, its approach is ironic because the intentions of writers are
different. However, writers use paralipsis in order to keep themselves away from unfair
claims, though they bring them up quite often.

• I’m not saying I’m responsible for this country’s longest run of
uninterrupted peace in 35 years! I’m not saying that from the ashes of
captivity, never has a Phoenix metaphor been more personified! I’m not
saying Uncle Sam can kick back on a lawn chair, sipping on an iced tea,
because I haven’t come across any one man enough to go toe to toe with me
on my best day!”

• Polysyndeton is a stylistic device in which several coordinating conjunctions are

used in succession in order to achieve an artistic effect.
• Polysyndeton examples are found in literature and in day-to-day conversations.
• The term polysyndeton comes from a Greek word meaning “bound together”. It
makes use of coordinating conjunctions like “and”, “or”, “but” and “nor”
(mostly and and or) which are used to join successive words, phrases or clauses in
such a way that these conjunctions are even used where they might have been
Function of Polysyndeton

• Polysyndeton performs several functions. Not only does it join words, phrases
and clauses and thus brings continuity in a sentence, but it acts also as a
stylistic device, brings rhythm to the text with the repetition of conjunctions
in quick succession. It is also employed as a tool to lay emphasis to the ideas
the conjunctions connect.
Polysyndeton Example

• “And Joshua, and all of Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and
the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his
daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that
he had.” (The Bible)

• is the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically the same; or

similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter. Parallelism examples
are found in literary works as well as in ordinary conversations.
• This method adds balance and rhythm to sentences giving ideas a smoother
flow and thus can be persuasive because of the repetition it employs.
Function of Parallelism

• The use of parallel structures in speech or writing allows speakers and writers to maintain a consistency
within their work and create a balanced flow of ideas. Moreover, it can be employed as a tool
for persuasion as well because of the repetition it uses.
• Common Parallelism Examples
“Alice ran into the room, into the garden, and into our hearts.”
• “Whenever you need me, wherever you need me, I will be there for you.”
• Like father, like son.
• The escaped prisoner was wanted dead or alive.
• Easy come, easy go.
• Whether in class, at work or at home, Shasta was always busy.
• Flying is fast, comfortable, and safe.

• is a stylistic device that comes from a Greek word, meaning to place or alongside.
• Parenthesis is a qualifying or explanatory sentence, clause or word that writers insert into a
paragraph or passage. However, if they leave it out, even then grammatically the it does
not affect the text that is correct without it. Writers mark them off by round and square
brackets or by commas, dashes, little lines and brackets.
• As far as its purpose is concerned, this verbal unit provides extra information, interrupts
syntactic flow of words, and allows the readers to pay attention on explanation. However,
the overuse of parenthesis may make sentences look ambiguous and poorly structured.
Function of Parenthesis

• Parenthesis makes the statements more convincing, as it puts the readers in a right form
from the very beginning where they read it as an explanation. However, its main function is
to give more explanation and add emphasis, while its repeated use can cause focus and thus
makes parenthetical insertions as a dominant feature of a sentence. It also offers the
readers an insight into true feelings and opinions of characters and narrators, while they
might tend to evade parenthetical information as unimportant. Doing this, parenthesis
could leave them clueless to the actual purpose of a sentence. In addition, often it creates
humorous effect by using hyperbole and understatements.
Parenthesis Examples

• —Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
• “It is now necessary to warn you that your concern for the reader must be pure: you must
sympathize with the reader’s plight (most readers are in trouble about half the time) but
never seek to know the reader’s wants. Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy

• is a technique of using language effectively and persuasively in spoken or written form. It

is an art of discourse, which studies and employs various methods to convince, influence
or please an audience.
• For instance, a person gets on your nerves, you start feeling irritated, and you say, “Why
don’t you leave me alone?” By posing such a question, you do not ask for a reason.
Instead, you simply want him to stop irritating you. Thus, you direct language in a
particular way for effective communication or make use of rhetoric. A situation where
you make use of rhetoric is called a “rhetorical situation”.
Function of Rhetoric

• Rhetoric, as explained above, is a tool for writers and orators which empowers them to
convince their readers and listeners about their point of view. Often, we find rhetoric
examples in religious sermons and political speeches. They aim to make comparisons, to
evoke tender emotions, to censure rivals and all this is done to persuade listeners.
• Advertisers give their ads a touch of rhetoric to boost their sales by convincing people
that their product is better than other products in the market. For instance, in an
advertisement, a girl – after shampooing her hair – says, “I can’t stop touching my hair.”
This is an attempt to entice consumers, through visual rhetoric, to have soft and shiny
hair like her.
Common Rhetoric Examples

• “I am never ever going to rob anyone for you and never, never ever give in to your sinful wish.”
• The repetition in the above example does lay emphasis on the statement but does not alter the
sense of it.
• How did this idiot get elected? – A rhetorical question to convince others that the “idiot” does not
deserve to be elected.
• Here comes the Helen of our school. – An allusion to “Helen of Troy” to emphasize the beauty
of a girl.
• I would die if you asked me to sing in front of my parents – A hyperbole to persuade others not to
use force to make you do something which you don’t want to do.
• All blonde-haired people are dumb. – Using a stereotype to develop a general opinion about a

• is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between

two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the
help of the words “like” or “as”. Therefore, it is a direct comparison.
• We can find simile examples in our daily speech. We often hear comments like
“John is as slow as a snail.” Snails are notorious for their slow pace and here
the slowness of John is compared to that of a snail. The use of “as” in the
example helps to draw the resemblance.
Common Examples of Simile

• Our soldiers are as brave as lions.

• Her cheeks are red like a rose.
• He is as funny as a monkey.
• The water well was as dry as a bone.
• He is as cunning as a fox.

• is a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it

may use a whole to represent a part.
• Synecdoche may also use larger groups to refer to smaller groups or vice
versa. It may also call a thing by the name of the material it is made of or it
may refer to a thing in a container or packing by the name of that container
or packing.
Synecdoche Examples from Everyday Life
• The word “bread” refers to food or money as in “Writing is my bread and butter” or “sole
• The phrase “gray beard” refers to an old man.
• The word “sails” refers to a whole ship.
• The word “suits” refers to businessmen.
• The word “boots” usually refers to soldiers.
• The term “coke” is a common synecdoche for all carbonated drinks.
• “Pentagon” is a synecdoche when it refers to a few decision makers.
• The word “glasses” refers to spectacles.
• “Coppers” often refers to coins.

• is a repetitive use of phrases or words which have similar meanings. In simple

words, it is expressing the same thing, an idea or saying two or more times.
The word tautology is derived from the Greek word “tauto” (the same) and
“logos” (a word or an idea).
Types of Tautology

• There are several types of tautology which are commonly used in everyday life, in poetry,
in prose, in songs, and in discussions depending on the requirements of a situation. Some
of the common categories are:
• Due to inadequacies in Language
• Intentional ambiguities
• Derision
• As a Poetic Device
• Psychological significance
• Used by inept Speakers
Function of Tautology

• The importance of tautology cannot be denied in modern literary writing. Today,

however, writers try to avoid using tautological words and phrases to avoid monotony and
repetition. It has almost become a norm to present short and to-the-point language
instead of repetitious and redundant piece.
• Despite it being counted as a major style error, several writers commonly use tautology as
a powerful tool to emphasize a particular idea or draw their readers’ attention to a certain
aspect of life. But it is not always taken as a quality of poor grammar; rather it has been
taken as a specific rhetorical device.
Examples of Tautology

• ”Your acting is completely devoid of emotion.”

• “Repeat that again” and “reiterate again”
• “This is like deja vu all over again”
• “To Carthage then I came
Burning burning burning burning.”
(T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland)
• “Polonious: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.”
(Hamlet, II: ii] Shakespeare)

• is a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally

make a situation seem less important than it really is.
• An understatement usually has an ironic effect as an equally intense response is expected
in severe situations but the statement in response is the opposite of what was expected i.e.
less intense but of course with an ironical tone. For instance, your friend returns your new
coat with blots all over it; in response, you make an understatement, “It doesn’t look too
bad”. Therefore, an understatement is opposite to another figure of speech hyperbole or
an overstatement.
Function of Understatement

• An understatement is a tool that helps to develop other figures of speech

such as irony and sarcasm by deliberately decreasing the severity of a situation
when an intense response is expected by the listeners or the readers.
Common Understatement Examples

• “Deserts are sometimes hot, dry and sandy” while describing deserts of the world.
• “He is not too thin” while describing an obese person.
• “It rained a bit more than usual” while describing an area being flooded after heavy
• “It was O.K.” is an understatement if someone who got the highest score in a test said this
when asked about his result.
• “It is a bit cold today,” when the temperature is 5 degrees below freezing.

• from Greek “yoking” or “bonding”, is a figure of speech in which a word, usually a verb
or an adjective, applies to more than one noun, blending together grammatically and
logically different ideas.
• For instance, in a sentence “John lost his coat and his temper”, the verb “lost” applies to
both noun “coat” and “temper”. Losing a coat and losing temper are logically and
grammatically different ideas that are brought together in the above-mentioned sentence.
Zeugma, when used skillfully, produces a unique artistic effect making the literary works
more interesting and effective as it serves to adorn expressions, and to add emphasis to
ideas in impressive style.
Function of Zeugma

• The above examples of Zeugma show that this literary device may create
confusing or dangling sentences. However, if used correctly, it adds flavor to
literary texts as it helps produce a dramatic effect, which could possibly be
shocking in its result. Zeugma examples are also found in literary works of
famous writers and poets from several centuries ago to add vividness and
conciseness to their texts.
Zeugma Examples

• “And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightning, and the noise of
the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they
removed, and stood afar off.”
• “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”
• Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural
philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
• “Here Thou, great Anna! whom three Realms obey,
Dost sometimes Counsel take – and sometimes Tea.”