Definition and Kinds of Prose
Definition of Prose
The term “prose” refers to spoken or
written language in ordinary usage.
It is distinguished from poetry or “verse”
by its lack of a marked metrical structure.
Due to its simplicity, prose is commonly
used in literature, newspapers, manifestos,
and many other forms of communication.
Prose can either be fictional that tells about
imaginary people, places or events, or nonfictional.
A. Kinds of Fictional Prose
1. The Fable
fable is a short tale conveying a clear
moral lesson in which characters are
animals acting like human beings.
stories attributed to the Greek slave
Aesop (sixth century BC) are the earliest
and most famous fables.
Orwell’s political satire Animal Farm
is a modern example of an extended fable.
2. The Folk Tale
folk tale is a short story of
unknown authorship which has
been transmitted orally.
tales encompass myths,
legends of superheroes, beastfables, fairy tales, stories of monsters and giants, and jokes
of all kinds.
3. The Fairy Tale
fairy tale is a story intended
for children, often involving
some fanciful creatures or
fairy tales often
have a moral or ethical "lesson"
to be learned. Fairy tales often
include stories of kings,
princesses, poor farmers and
The Fairy tale-continued
tales refer to supernatural or magical
events that fascinate the reader and are
distinguished by generalized characters that
are not individualized.
example, the names of characters can be:
‘a king’, ‘a queen’, ‘a poor farmer’, and ‘a
princess’. Fairy tales often begin with
misfortunes that lead to undergoing
adventures and solving mysteries, and end in
a happily-ever-after mode, thereby rewarding
good and virtuous characters.
romance is a literary genre that
refers to medieval fiction in verse or
prose dealing with adventures of
chivalry and love.
word “romance” originally meant
a work written in the French
language. The form developed in the
12th century France and spread to
romance describes a sophisticated
courtly world of chivalry. It includes
knightly quests, tournaments, magic,
and contests with monsters for the
sake of a heroine who is the focus for
of the tales also have a strong
moral content, as they establish the
codes and ideals of chivalric behavior.
5. The Short Story
short story is a piece of prose
fiction that is shorter in length than a
to its concise structure, a short
story has certain features: it usually
focuses on one plot, one main
character (with a few additional
minor characters), and one central
theme. It can be read at one sitting.
The short story-continued
short story emerged as a
form in its own right in the
nineteenth century. Earlier forms
such as the fable and folk tale
are its precursors.
American writer Edgar Allan
Poe is regarded as the originator
of the modern short story.
A novel is a book of long narrative in
literary prose. The word “novel”
comes from the Italian word
“novella” which means “a piece of
Along with poetry and drama, the
novel forms the third in the trio of
Unlike a short story which usually
focuses on one plot and one main
B. Kinds of Non-fictional Prose
1. The Essay
An essay is a short piece of
writing which is often written
from an author's personal point of
view. Essays can include literary
criticism, political manifestos,
arguments, observations of daily
life, recollections, and reflections
of the author.
2. The autobiography
An autobiography is a form of
biography; that is the writing of a life
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