Jeremiad • As a literary term, jeremiad is applied to any work which, with a magniloquence like that of the Old Testament prophet, accounts for the misfortunes of an era as a just penalty for great social and moral evils, but holds out hope for changes that will bring a happier future.
Lai • Some lais were lyric, but most of them were short romantic narratives written in octosyllabic couplets. • Chaucer’s The Franklin’s Tale. Later still, lay was used by English poets simply as a synonym for song, or as an archaic word for a fairly short narrative poem.
Light Verse(1) • Light Verse is a term applied to a great variety of poems that use an ordinary speaking voice and a relaxed manner to treat their subjects gaily, or playfully, or wittily, or with a good-natured satir. • Its subjects may be serious or petty; the defining quality is the tone of voice used, and the attitude of the lyric or narrative speaker toward the subject. Thomas love peacock’s the war song of dinas vawr(1829) begins.
Light Verse(2) • Vers de societe is the very large subclass of light verse that deals with the relationships, concerns, and doings of polite society.
Linguistics in Literary Criticism(1) • Linguistics is the systematic study of the elements of language and the principles governing their combination and organization. • Synchronic was Ferdinand de Saussure, a French speaking Swiss whose lectures on language as a self-sufficient system. • Saussure introduced a crucial distinction between langue and parole. • Sign as constituted by an inseparable union of signifier and signified.
Linguistics in Literary Criticism(2) • One branch of phonology is phonetics, the physical description of the elementary speech sounds in all known languages and the way they are produced by the vocal apparatus. • Phonemes: the smallest units of speech sound which, within any one natural language, are functional.
Linguistics in Literary Criticism(3) • A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of speech sounds within any one language; that is a morphemic unit, composed of one or more phonemes is a unit that recurs in a language with the same, or at least similar, meaning. • Such combinations of phonemes are sometimes called phonetic intensives, or else instances of sound-symbolism
Linguistics in Literary Criticism(4) • Paradigmatic relations ( the vertical between any single word in a sentence and other words that are phonologically, syntactically, or semantically similar, which can be substituted for it), and syntagmatic relations( the horizontal relations which determine the possibilities of putting words in a sequence so as to make a well-formed syntactic unit).
Local color • The detailed representation in prose fiction of the setting, dialect, customs, and ways of thinking and feeling which are distinctive of a particular
Lyric • In the most common use of the term, a lyric is any fairly short poem, consisting of the utterance by a single speaker, who expresses a state of mind or a process of perception, thought, and feeling. • In dramatic lyrics, however, the lyric speaker is represented as addressing another person in a specific situation; instances are John Donne’s Canonization and William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey.
Malapropism • Malapropism is a type of solecism( that is , the conspicuous and unintended violation of standard usage in a language) which mistakenly uses a word in place of another that it resembles; the effect is usually comic.
Masque(1) • It was an elaborate form of court entertainment that combined poetic drama, music, song, dance, splendid costuming, and stage spectacle. • A plot-often slight, and mainly mythological and allegorical. • The speaking characters, who wore masks, were often played by amateurs who belonged to courtly society. The play concluded with a dance in which the players doffed their masks and were joined by the aristocratic audience.
Masque(2) • The antimasque was a form developed by Ben Jonson. In it the characters were grotesque and unruly, the action ludicrous, and the humor broad; it served as a foil and countertype to the elegance, order, and ceremony of the masque proper.
Melodrama • Typically, the protagonists are flat types: the hero is great-hearted, the heroine as pure as the driven snow, and the villain a monster of malignity. • The plot revolves around malevolent intrigue and violent action, while the credibility both of character and plot is sacrificed for violent effect and emotional opportunism.
Metaphysical Poets(1) • John Dryden said in his Discourse of Satire that John Donne in his poetry affects the metaphysics, meaning that Donne employs the terminology and abstruse arguments of the medieval Scholastic philosophers. • The name is now applied to a group of seventeenth-century poets who, whether or not directly influenced by Donne, employ similar poetic procedures and imagery, both in secular poetry and in religious poetry.
Metaphysical Poets(2) • Donne set the metaphysical mode by writing poems which are sharply opposed to the rich mellifluousness and the idealized view of human nature and of sexual love which had constituted a central tradition in Elizabethan poetry, especially in Spenser and the writers of petrarchan sonnets.
Metaphysical Poets(3) • Instead, Donne wrote in a diction and meter modeled on the rough give and take of actual speech, and often organized his poems in the form of an urgent or heated argument with a reluctant mistress, or an intruding friend, or God, or death, or with himself.
Meter(1) • In all sustained spoken English we sense a rhythm, that is, a recognizable though variable pattern in the beat of the stresses in the stream of sound. If this rhythm of stresses is structured into a recurrence of regular that is, approximately equivalent units of stress pattern, we call it meter. • Compositions written in meter are known as verse.
Meter(2) • A foot is the combination of a strong stress and the associated weak stress or stresses which make up the recurrent metric unit of a line.
Meter(3) • The four standard feet distinguished in English are: 1.Iambic: a light syllable followed by a stressed syllable. 2.Anapestic:two light syllables followed by a stressed syllable. 3.Trochaic:a stressed followed by a light syllable.
Meter(4) 4.Dactylic:a stressed syllable followed by two light syllables. 5.Spondaic: two successive syllables with approximately equal strong stresses, as in each of the first two feet of this line. 6.Pyrrhic:a foot composed of two successive syllables with approximately equal light stresses, as in the second and fourth feet in this line
Meter(5) • To scan a passage of verse is to go through it line by line, analyzing the component feet, and also indicating where any major pauses in the phrasing fall within a line. • What G.M.Hopkins in the later nineteenth century called his sprung rhythm is a variant of strong-stress meter: each foot, as he describes it, begins with a stressed syllable, which may either stand alone or be associated with from one to three light syllables.
Miracle Plays, Morality Plays, and Interludes • The miracle play has as its subject either a story from the Bible, or else the life and martyrdom of a saint. • In the usage of some historians, however, Miracle play denotes only dramas based on saints’ lives, and the term mystery play- mystery in the archaic sense of the trade conducted by each of the medieval guilds who sponsored plays is applied dramas based on the Old and New Testaments.
Morality plays • Morality plays were dramatized allegories of the representative Christian life in the plot form of a quest for salvation, in which the crucial events are temptations, sinning, and the climactic confrontation with death.
interlude • Is a term applied to a variety of short stage entertainments, such as secular farces and witty dialogues with a religious or political point.
Modernism and Postmodernism(1) • The term modernism is widely used to identify new and distinctive features in the subjects, forms, concepts, and styles of literature and the other arts in the early decades of the present century, but especially after World War I . • Like Joyce and Ezra Pound in his Cantons, Eliot experimented with new forms and a new style that would render contemporary disorder, often contrasting it to a lost order and integration that had been based on the religion and myths of the cultural past.
Modernism and Postmodernism(2) • By breaking up the narrative continuity, departing from the standard ways of representing characters, and violating the traditional syntax and coherence of representing characters, and violating the traditional syntax and coherence of narrative language by the use of stream of consciousness and other innovative modes of narration.
Modernism and Postmodernism(3) • By violating the accepted conventions and proprieties, not only of art but of social discourse, they set out to create ever new artistic forms and styles and to introduce hitherto neglected, and sometimes forbidden, subject matters.
Modernism and Postmodernism(4) • An undertaking in some postmodernist writings is to subvert the foundations of our accepted modes of thought and experience so as to reveal the meaninglessness of existence and the underlying abyss, or void, or nothingness on which any supposed security is conceived to be precariously suspended.
Modernism and Postmodernism(5) • Postmodernism in literature and the arts has parallels with the movement known as poststructuralism in linguistic and literary theory; poststructuralists undertake to subvert the foundations of language in order to show that its seeming meaningfulness dissipates, for a rigorous inquirer, into a play of conflicting indeterminacies, or else to show that all forms of cultural discourse are manifestations, of the ideology, or of the relations and constructions of power, in contemporary society.