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World Lit Final

World Lit Terms

Terms

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kenning
a figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle.
peripetia
a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal in a literary work.
bildungsroman
a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.
karma
the principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished either in this life or in a reincarnation according to that person's deeds.
monotheism
belief in one god.
juxtaposition
an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
tragic hero
a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy.
rubai
a quatrain; a poem in such stanzas.
epic
a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated.
canto
one of the main or larger divisions of a long poem.
polytheism
belief in more than one god.
terza rima
an Italian form of iambic verse consisting of eleven-syllable lines arranged in tercets, the middle line of each tercet rhyming with the first and last lines of the following tercet.
covenant
an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
tanka
a Japanese verse form in five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven.
quest
search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something; expedition
anagnorisis
(in ancient Greek tragedy) the critical moment of recognition or discovery.
assonance
resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in words.
Shakespearean Sonnets
Deal with themes such as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. They were probably written over a period of several years. 154 poems
catharsis
a purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
hubris
overbearing pride or arrogance.
caste system
brahmans/priests, rulers/warriors, merchants/farmers, peasants/laborers, and untouchables.
oedipus complex
a subconscious sexual desire in a child, especially a male child, for the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
archetype
an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned
caesura
a pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics.
in media res
in the middle of things.
dramatic irony
irony that is in a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.
stock epithet
a descriptive adjective or phrase repeatedly used with, or in place of, a name.
alliteration
the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter.
deus ex machina
(in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
reincarnation
the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form.
dharma
Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
enjambment
the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.
allegory
a story that has a deeper or more general meaning in addition to its surface meaning.
iambic pentameter
a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable.
hamartia
the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall.

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