AD's English Literature : Ten Common Literary Terms: Renaissance, Reformation, Wordsworthian definition of poetry ,Poetic justice, Epic, Mock epic, Sonnet, Ode, Elegy, Ballad

Ten Common Literary Terms: Renaissance, Reformation, Wordsworthian definition of poetry ,Poetic justice, Epic, Mock epic, Sonnet, Ode, Elegy, Ballad



1. Renaissance – Renaissance means revival or rebirth of Greek learning, art, literature and culture of the riddle age in Europe  in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. These movements began in Italy and eventually expanded into Germany, France, England, and other parts of Europe. In England it came through Italy and flourished in the Elizabethan Age is the works of Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe and Ben Jonson etc .

2. Reformation – Reformation was a religious revolution in 16th-century  in the Christian church, which ended the ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope in Western Christendom and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches. It was started by Martin Luther is the fifteenth century. It protested against the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. It advocated complete faith in the Bible and in one’s own soul for salvation.


3. Wordsworthian definition of poetry: Poetry is a criticism of life under the laws of poetric truth and poetic beauty. Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, taking its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility.

4. Poetic justice: The term poetic justice was coined by Thomas Rhymer. It means exact reward or punishment or a fate that seems a fitting punishment or, less often, a fitting reward given to a character account for  his good or bad deeds.This exactness of justice is possible only in the world of poetry.

5. Epic: The epic is the greatest and most sublime form of poetry.The epic is a long poem, divided into several books, celebrating the life, heroic deeds and achievements of a national hero, whether historical or legendary. It might be of different types: Folk epics,Literary, Mock epic
6. Mock epic: Mock epic is a parody of real epic in a light non-serious mood. It satirizes contemporary ideas or conditions in a form and style burlesquing the serious epic. It is written on which a grab of classical conventions of a real epic is overlaid.
    Exam: The Rape of the Lock -Alexander Pope.

7. Sonnet: The term sonnet is derived from the Italian Sonnet Which means a little sound. It is a musical poem of 14 lines written in Iambic Pentameter and linked by an intricate rhyme scheme.
    sonnet variant:

  1.    Petrarchan/ Italian:It consists of an octave(a b b a, a b b a,) and a sestet, or six-line stanza (c d e c d e, or c d c d c d, or c d e d c). 
  2.    English, or Shakespearean: Its rhyme scheme is a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g.

8. Ode: Ode is a long lyrical poem, serious in subject, elevated in style and elaborated in its staanzaic structure. It is in the form of an address to the object or the person about whom it is written.

9. Elegy: An elegy is essentially a poem of mourning or lamentation on the death of some particular person.In the wider sense it may also be a poem of mourning on the mortality and vanity of human life in general.

10.Ballad: The word Ballad literally means a dance song. Troupes of wondering singers used to sing then from village to village they generally song of the brave deeds and heroic exploits of historical or legendry heroes and knights.



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