The unified structure of incidents in a literary work. See Conflict, Climax, Denouement, andFlashback. Dialogue
The conversation of characters in a literary work. In fiction, dialogue is typically enclosed within quotation marks. In plays, characters' speech is preceded by their names. act n.
5. One of the major divisions of a play or opera.
a. The scenery and properties for a dramatic presentation
a. A recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work. b. A dominant theme or central idea.
2. Music A short rhythmic or melodic passage that is repeated or evoked in various parts of a composition.
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| ar·che·type (ärk-tp) n. 1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: "'Frankenstein' . . . 'Dracula' . . . 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' . . . the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories" (New York Times).2. An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.3. In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.
A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualities. The most famous example in English is John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in which the name of the central character, Pilgrim, epitomizes the book's allegorical nature. Kay Boyle's story "Astronomer's Wife" and Christina Rossetti's poem "Up-Hill" both contain allegorical elements.Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words. Example: "Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood." Hopkins, "In the Valley of the Elwy."Antagonist A character or force against which another character struggles. Creon is Antigone's antagonist in Sophocles' play Antigone; Teiresias is the antagonist of Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King. Aside Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play. In Shakespeare's Othello, Iago voices his inner thoughts a number of times as "asides" for the play's audience.Assonance The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry or prose, as in "I rose and told him of my woe." Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" contains assonantal "I's" in the following lines: "How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, / Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself."Catastrophe The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of a play. One example is the dueling scene in Act V of Hamlet in which Hamlet dies, along with Laertes, King Claudius, and Queen Gertrude.Catharsis The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe.Character An imaginary person that inhabits a literary work. Literary characters may be major or minor, static (unchanging) or dynamic (capable of change). In Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is a major character, but one who is static, like the minor character Bianca. Othello is a major character who is dynamic, exhibiting an ability to change.Characterization The means by which writers present and reveal character. Although techniques of characterization are complex, writers typically reveal characters through their speech, dress, manner, and actions. Readers come to understand the character Miss Emily in Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily" through what she says, how she lives, and what she does.Chorus A group of characters in Greek tragedy (and in later forms of drama), who comment on the action of a play without participation in it. Their leader is the choragos. Sophocles'...
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