GENERAL TYPES OF LITERATURE
Literature can generally be divided into two types: prose and poetry. Prose consists of those written within the common flow of conversation in sentences and paragraphs, while poetry refers to those expressions in verse, with measure and rhyme, line and stanza and has a more melodious tone.
There are many types of prose. These include novels, biographies, short stories, contemporary dramas, legends, fables, essays, anecdotes, news and speeches. 1. Novel. This is a long narrative divided into chapters. The events are taken from true-to-life stories and spans a long period of time. There are many characters involved. 2. Short Story. This is a narrative involving one or more characters, one plot, and one single impression. 3. Plays. This is presented in a stage. It is divided into acts and each act has many scenes. 4. Legends. These are fictitious narratives, usually about origins. 5. Fables. These are fictitious and they deal with animals and inanimate things who speak and act like people and their purpose is to enlighten the minds of children to events that can mold their ways and attitudes. 6. Anecdotes. These are merely products of the writer’s imagination and the main aim is to bring out lessons to the reader. 7. Essay. This expresses the viewpoint or opinion of the writer about a particular problem or event. 8. Biography. This deals with the life of a person which may be about himself, his autobiography or that of others. 9. News. This is a report of everyday events in society, government, science and industry, and accidents, local and national events. 10. Oration. This is a formal treatment of a subject and is intended to be spoken in public. It appeals to the intellect, to the will or the emotions of the audiences.
There are three types of poetry: narrative, lyric and dramatic. 1. Narrative Poetry – this form describes important events in life either real or imaginary. a. Epic. This is an extended narrative about heroic exploits often under supernatural control. It may deal with heroes and gods. Two kinds of epic poetry are the popular or ancient and the literary or modern. The ancient or popular epic is often without definite author while the modern has a definite author. b. Metrical Tale. This is a narrative which is written in verse and can be classified either as a ballad or a metrical romance. Examples of these are simple idylls or home tales, love tales, tales of the supernatural or tales written for a strong moral purpose in verse form. c. Ballads. This is considered the shortest and simplest of all narrative poems. It has a simple structure and tells of a single incident. There are also variations of these: love ballads, war ballads, sea ballads, humorous, moral, historical or mythical ballads. In the early times, this is referred to a song accompanying a dance.
2. Lyric Poetry – originally, this refers to the kind of poetry meant to be sung to the accompaniment of lyre, but now this applies to any type of poetry that expresses emotions and feelings of the poet. They are usually short, simple and easy to understand. a. Folksongs (Awiting Bayan). These are short poems intended to be sung. The common theme is love, despair, grief, doubt, joy, hope, and sorrow. b. Sonnet. This is a lyric poem of 14 lines dealing with an emotion, a feeling, or an idea. c. Elegy. This is a lyric poem which expresses feelings of grief and melancholy, and whose theme is death. d. Ode. This is a poem of noble feeling, expressed with dignity, with no definite number of syllables or definite number of lines in a stanza. e. Psalms (Dalit). This is a song praising God or the Virgin Mary and containing a philosophy of life. f. Song (Awit). These have measures of 12 syllables (dodecasyllabic) and slowly sung to the accompaniment of guitar or banduria. g. Corridos (Kuridos). These have measures of eight...
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