General Types of Literature

Topics: Poetry, Lyric poetry, Poetic form Pages: 10 (2264 words) Published: January 30, 2013
General Types

of Literature

Submitted to:

Mrs. Haide Asilo

Submitted by:

Macatol, Christian P.
De Jose, Eric M.
Dordas, Arvin

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 or biographies, short stories, contemporary dramas, legends, fables, essays, anecdotes, news and speeches.

a. 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. Example: WITHOUT SEEING THE DAWN by Steven Javallena.

b. Short Story. This is a narrative involving one or more characters, one plot and one single impression. Example: THE LAUGHTER OF MY FATHER by Carlos Bulosan.

c. Plays. This is presented on a stage, is divided into acts and each act has many scenes. Example: THIRTEEN PLAYS by Wilfredo M. Guerrero.

d. Legends. These are fictitious narrative, usually about origins. Example: THE BIKOL LEGEND by Pio Duran.

e. Fables. These are also fictitious and they deal with animals and inanimate thins 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. Example: THE MONKEY AND THE TURTLE.

f. Anecdotes. These are merely products of the writer’s imagination and the main aim is to bring out lessons to the reader. It can be stories about animals or children. Example: THE MOTH AND THE LAMP.

g. Essay. This expresses the viewpoint or opinion of the writer about a particular problem or event. The best example of this is the Editorial page of a newspaper.

h. Biography. This deals with the life of a person which may be about himself, his autobiography or that of others. Example: CAYETANO ARELLANO by Socorro O. Albert.

i. News. This is a report of everyday events in society, government, science and industry, and accidents, happening nationally or not.

j. 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 to the emotions of the audience.


There are three types of poetry: narrative, lyric and dramatic.

A. Narrative Poetry: This form describes important events in life either real or imaginary. The different varieties are:

1. 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 a definite author and is of slow growth; the modern is with a definite author.

Here is an example of ancient Philippines epic:


(Translated in English verse by Amador T. Daguio)

Aliguyon introduced himself –
“My name is Aliguyon, son of Amtalao, of Hannaga.
I came to renew the hostility between your father an mine.” Pumbakhayon nodded and said, As you will.
Meet me on the stone floor of the granary
But I will first go home to eat.
For your coming, Aliguyon, is unexpected.”
Pumbakhayon turned to the village to do
What was to be done in Daligdigan,
He caught one of their roosters,
And shouted, “Come, comrades of our village,
Do what is to be done for you are called;
Our enemies are on the embankments, let us fight
Aliguyon, son of Amtalao,”
(Like Aliguyon, Pumbakhayon goes through the ritual of the rooster and the invocation to the spirits and seeing a good sign, gathers his men and sets forth to meet his opponent.)

2. Metrical Tale. This is a narrative which is written in verse and can be classified either...
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