Philippine Literature

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Different kinds of Prose

Short story is a prose narrative of limited length. It generally includes descriptions, dialogues, and commentaries. However, one characteristic that distinguishes a short story from the other kinds of prose is the concentration on a compact narrative with detailed character drawing. In general, short stories are believed to have existed decades back, even before the art of writing was known to man. The oldest recorded example of a short story is considered to be the Egyptian tale of “The Two Brothers” dated around 3200 BC.

Novel is similar to a short story, a novel includes uncertain information since it centers on different types and possibilities. However, the length of a novel is highly undecided due to the numerous characters and situations included in it. In short, a novel is a comprehensive narrative on a large scale, in particular. Just like short stories, novels, too, have known to exist ever since literature came into existence. Amongst all the prose kinds, the novel dominates the industry, both in terms of quality and quantity. However, considering its quantity, its only rival is the magazine short story.

Fable is a short allegorical tale emphasizing on a moral or any principle of behavior. The characters of fables are usually animals that portray like human beings, though they keep their animal traits intact. The moral of these fables is highlighted towards the end of the story in the form of a proverb and is generally enacted. The oldest fables describe stories of why crows are black, or why different animals display different characteristics, such as a sly fox, a dignified lion, and so on. The earliest fables came from Greece and India, while the oldest Western fables were those of Aesop.

Parable is a brief narrative (especially in the Bible) designed to illustrate a religious truth or teach a lesson.

Tale is a kind of prose narrative that describes strange and wonderful events in the form of somewhat bare summary. However, the main character is not focused on or given due importance. In fact, the goal or purpose of the tale is highlighted and given front seat rather than the main protagonist himself. For example, in the tale English folk of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, the beanstalk and the giant are highlighted instead of Jack’s personality.

Fairy tale is a short story in which there occurs some supernatural or magical event. The characters, who are neither individualized nor localized, are often not even given names, being called merely “a king”, “a queen”, or “a princess”, or “a poor farmer”. Fairy tales are about fortunes and misfortunes of a hero or heroine who, having experienced adventures of more or less supernatural kind, lives happily ever after. Magic, charms, disguise and spells are some of the major ingredients of such stories. The fairy tale always has a happy ending: virtue is rewarded. Hans Christian Andersen (Danish), Basile (Italian), the Grimm Brothers (German), Perrault (French), and Keightley and Croker (English) are known to create some of the most famous collections of fairy tales.

Different kinds of Poetry

Acrostic: Acrostic poetry is one that contains certain letters, which are usually placed at the beginning of each line. These letters form a message or word when they are read in a sequence.

Ballad: This type of poetry is short and narrative and is made up of stanzas of two to four lines. Ballads usually have a refrain. They also deal mostly with folklore or popular trends though some also originate from a wide range of subject matter. The verses in ballads are straight-forward and seldom have any detail. Apart from that, ballads always possess graphic simplicity and force.

Blank Verse: A blank verse is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. This form is a little like the rhythms of speech.

Burlesque: In this kind of poetry a subject that is serious in nature is treated as humor.

Cinquain: A cinquain is short poem that is made...
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