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An Essay on Man, by Alexander Pope


Alexander Pope

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An Essay on Man

by Alexander Pope, 1733–34
An Essay on Man is a series of four verse epistles by Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
addressed to the politician and man of letters Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke (1678– 1751). It was intended to form Book I of a comprehensive series of essays, to be called Ethic Epistles, which was also to include Pope’s Epistles to Several Persons on the characters of men and of women and on the use of riches. This plan was never finally settled or put into effect, but the Essay on Man stands as his most ambitious attempt at setting out his philosophical beliefs, or his “general Map of Man.”
Pope began the Essay in 1729. By 1731 he had completed Epistles I-III and had begun Epistle IV. He may then have set the work aside for a period, before publishing Epistles I-III in 1733 and Epistle IV in 1734. Pope had made enemies in the vigorous and often scurrilous literary politics of his time; hence in order to gain the Essay an unprejudiced reception, its first publication was anonymous. It was reprinted with minor revisions in the nine authorized editions of Pope’s works published in his lifetime as well as appearing in pirated editions.
Each of the four Epistles is in effect a separate essay, discussing man’s place in the universe (I), psychology (II), society (III), and the sources of happiness (IV). These discussions touch on major controversies or developments in 18th-century thought.
Epistle I employs the arguments of natural religion, the attempt to show that the existence of God and other orthodox religious doctrines could be inferred by reason. In confining himself to these arguments, Pope excludes biblical revelation. This need not mean that he rejected the authority of the Bible, though this conclusion has been drawn by some readers from the time the Essay was first published. It may mean rather that Pope wrote for an audience not responsive to traditional religious discourse and that he wished to demonstrate to this audience the compatibility between reason and at least some aspects of Christian orthodoxy. Epistle II expounds the doctrine that each person is governed by a particular “ruling passion,” which reason cannot overcome but may guide. Throughout the poem Pope gives surprising prominence and importance to the passions and to instinct, arguing in Epistle III that human reason is less reliable than animal instinct. In its frequent allusions to the discoveries of Isaac Newton, the Essay reveals skepticism about the usefulness of the new empirical science. Against this science Pope asserts the humanist idea that “The proper study of Mankind is Man,” and that this study is even more demanding than the physical sciences. The prevailing theme of the Essay is a characteristic 18th-century optimism that all aspects of creation, including apparent evils, work together to produce an inclusive good, which may however be beyond the grasp of human understanding.
The Essay also incorporates traditional teachings of classical and Christian philosophers and moralists. It envisages Creation as a “great chain of being,” a hierarchical gradation in which each species has its allotted place. Its history of human society begins with the mythic “golden age,” a state of nature in which all creatures lived in peace. The discussion of happiness in Epistle IV teaches that true happiness consists not in accidents of fortune, like wealth or social rank, nor in military or political achievements, nor even in wisdom, but in virtue. This is a teaching familiar in Roman moralists and poets such as Seneca and Horace. The Essay takes on its most sternly
Christian coloration when it attacks human pride and emphasizes the limits of human knowledge and capacities.
This emphasis relates the poem to the questioning and tentative character of the essay as practiced by Montaigne. Pope’s mistrust of systematic science also leads him to adopt the aim of Bacon’s essays, to treat not abstruse but everyday subjects, which “come home to men’s business and bosoms.” One model for Pope’s style are the epistles of Horace, with their good-humored urbanity. Nevertheless there is a tension between, on the one hand, Pope’s protestations of modesty and his insistence on human ignorance, and, on the other, the ambitious scope of his poem and his air of unruffled confidence in
his own knowledge and understanding.
The Essay exhibits Pope’s characteristic uses of his verse form, the rhyming couplet. It abounds in parallelism and antithesis and in epigrams and aphorisms. Occasionally the demands of argumentation produce excessively elliptical language, but in general the poem has an easy, conversational quality. This is created by Pope’s use of question and answer and of direct address to an imagined interlocutor. Sometimes the interlocutor’s understanding or opinion is presented only to be disproved or ridiculed; sometimes the interlocutor is imagined to be the poem’s addressee Bolingbroke and is treated respectfully. Vigor and a sense of debate are injected by the poem’s rhetorical questions, its exclamations of wonder or outrage, and its occasional ecstatic visions. An effect of comprehensiveness and variety, appropriate to the poem’s large subject, is produced by its lists and catalogues. These may detail the wonders of the universe or the varieties of human nature produced under the direction of wisdom, or they may detail the follies of humanity in doubting or resisting that wisdom. Pope draws on historical examples, such as Alexander the Great or Oliver Cromwell, though the Essay on Man generally lacks the vivid narrative episodes and character sketches that mark his Epistles to Several Persons.
Pope’s own summary of his style is “happily to steer/From grave to gay, from lively to severe;/Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,/Intent to reason, or polite to please.”
The Essay was widely admired in the 18th century. Besides its English editions, about 100 translations were published. It is frequently quoted by the philosopher Immanuel Kant and was imitated by Voltaire (Discours en vers sur l’homme [1736; Discourse in verse on man]). However, since the 19th century the didacticism, rationalism, and optimism of the Essay have caused it to fall from critical favor.

ANTHONY MILLER
Editions
An Essay on Man, 4 vols., 1733–34; edited by Maynard Mack, 1950
Further Reading
Brower, Reuben A., Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959
Brown, Laura, Alexander Pope, Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1985
Ferguson, Rebecca, The Unbalanced Mind: Pope and the Rule of Passion, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, and Brighton: Harvester, 1986
Nuttall, A.D., Pope’s “Essay on Man”, London and Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1984
Sutherland, John, “Wit, Reason, Vision and ‘An Essay on Man’,” Modern Language Quarterly 30 (1969):356–69
White, Douglas, Pope and the Context of Controversy: The Manipulation of Ideas in “An Essay on Man”, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970

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Literary Terms

 

 

Major Literary Terms

 

allegory - device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in

      addition to the literal meaning

alliteration - the repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words

      (eg "she sells sea shells")

allusion - a direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an

      event, book, myth, place, or work of art

ambiguity - the multiple meanings, either intentional or unintentional, of a word, phrase, sentence, or

      passage

analogy - a similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them

antecedent - the word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun

aphorism - a terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general turht or moral principle

apostrophe - a figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified

      abstraction, such as liberty or love

atmosphere - the emotional mood created by the entirety of a literary work, established partly by the setting

      and partly by the author's choice of objects that are described

clause - a grammatical unit that contains both a subject and a verb

colloquial - the use of slang or informalities in speech or writing

conceit - a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between

      seemingly dissimilar objects

connotation - the nonliteral, associative meaning of a word; the implied, suggested meaning

denotation - the strict, literal, dictionary definition of a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color

diction - refereing to style, diction refers to the writer's word choices, especially with regard to their

      correctness, clearness, or effectiveness

didactic - from the Greek, literally means "teaching"

euphemism - from the Greek for "good speech," a more agreeable or less offensive substitute for a

      generally unpleasant word or concept

extended metaphor - a metaphor developed at great length, ocurring frequently in or throughout a work

figurative language - writing or speech that is not intended to carry litera meaning and is usually meant to

      be imaginative and vivid

figure of speech - a device used to produce figurative language

generic convntions - refers to traditions for each genre

genre - the major category into which a literary work fits (eg prose, poetry, and drama)

homily - literally "sermon", or any serious talk, speech, or lecture providing moral or spiritual advice

hyperbole - a figure of speech using deliberate exaggeration or overstatement

imagery - the sensory details or figurative language used to describe, arouse emotion, or represent

      abstractions

infer (inference) - to draw a reasonable conclusion from the informaion presented

invective - an emotionally violent, verbal denunciation or attack using strong, abusive language

irony - the contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant

      verbal irony - words literally state the opposite of speaker's true meaning

      situational irony - events turn out the opposite of what was expected

      dramatic irony - facts or events are unknown to a character but known to the reader or audience or

           other characters in work

loose sentence - a type of sentence in which the main idea comes first, followed by dependent grammatical

      units

metaphor - a figure of speech using implied comparison of seemingly unlike things or the substitution of

      one for the other, suggesting some similarity

metonomy - from the Greek "changed label", the name of one object is substituted for that of another

      closely associated with it (eg "the White House" for the President)

mood - grammatically, the verbal units and a speaker's attitude (indicative, subjunctive, imperative);

      literarily, the prevailing atmosphere or emotional aura of a word

narrative - the telling of a story or an account of an event or sereis of events

onomatopoeia - natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words (eg buzz, hiss)

oxymoron - from the Greek for "pointedly foolish," author groups apparently contradictory terms to suggest

      a paradox

paradox - a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer

      inspection contains some degree of truth or validity

parallelism - from the Greek for "beside one another," the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words,

      phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to give structural similarity

parody - a work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the speific aim of comic effect

      and/or ridicule

pedantic - an adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or

      bookish

periodic sentences - a sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end

personification - a figure of speech in which the author presents or describes concepts, animasl, or

      inanimate objects by endowing them with human attributes or emotions

point of view - the perspective from which a story is told (first person, third person omniscient, or third

      person limited omniscient)

predicate adjective - one type of subject complement, an adjective, group of adjectives, or adjective cluase

      that follows a linking verb

predicate nominative - another type of subject complement, a noun, group of nouns, or noun clause that

      renames the subject

prose - genre including fiction, nonfiction, written in ordinary language

      repetition - the duplication, either exact or approximate, of any element of language

rhetoric - from the Greek for "orator," the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently,

      and persuasively

rhetorical modes - the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of writing (exposition explains

      and analyzes information; argumentation proves validity of an idea; description re-creates, invents,

      or presents a person, place, event or action; narration tells a story or recount an event)

sarcasm - from the Greek for "to tear flesh," involves bitter, caustic language that is meant to hurt or

      ridicule someone or something

satire - a work that targets human vices and follies or social institutinos and conventions for reform or

      ridicule

semantics - the branch of linguistics which studies the meaning of words, their historical and psychological

      development (etymology), their connotations, and their relation to one another

style - an evaluation of the sum of the choices an author maks in blending diction, syntx, figurative

      language, and other literary devices;  or, classification of authors to a group and comparion of an

      author to similar authors

subject complement - the word or clause that follows a linking verb and complements, or completes, the

      subject of the sentence by either renaming it or describing it

subordinate clause - contains a subject and verb (like all clauses) but cannot stand alone; does not express

      complete thought

syllogism - from the Greek for "reckoning together," a deductive system of fromal logic that presents two

      premises (first "major," second "minor") that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion (eg All men are

      mortal, Socrates is a man, Socrates is mortal)

symbol (symbolism) - anything that represents or stands for something else (natural, conventional, literary)

syntax - the way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences

theme - the central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life

thesis - in expository writing, the thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that directly express

      the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or proposition

tone - similar to mood, describes the author's attitude toward his material, the audience, or both

transition - a word or phrase that links different ideas

understatement - the ironic minimalizing of fact, presents something as less significant than it is

wit - intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights

 

Poetic Feet

 

U - unaccented syllable, A - accented syllable

 

amphimacer - AUA

anapest - UUA

antibacchus - AAU

bacchius - UAA

chouambus - AUUA

dactyl - AUU

iambus - UA

pyrrhic - UU

spondee - UU

trochee - AU

 

breve - symbol for unstressed syllable

macron - a "-" symbol to divide syllables

 

 

Minor Literary Terms

 

abecedarius - acrostic in ABC... order

acatalectic - metrically complete

accismus - pretended refusal

acmeism - Russian precise real

adonic - dactyl and a spondee

adversarius - addressed in satire

aetat - at his age

affective fallacy - judge results

agon - debate

agroikos - Frye's term for the fourth stock character, is easily deceived

alazon - braggart

alba - lament daybreak

alexandrine - 6 iambs

alloeostropha - Milton's term for an irregular stanza

ambages - misleading truth

ambo - both

amoebean - pastoral alternate

amphibology - 2 meanings

amphigory - sounds good, no meaning

amphisbaenic rhyme - switch order (eg step - pets)

ana - scraps of information

anacoluthon - don't end sentence as it started

anacoenesis - question

anacreontic poetry - Bacchanalian

anacrusis - extra unaccented syllable at start

anadiplosis - last word of one line is first word of next line

anagnorsis - peripety

analepsis - Grave's term for the vivid unconscious

analogism vs. anomalism - language orgin debate

anaphone - anagram of sounds

anaphora - expression repeated at start of lines

anastomosis - interconnection

anathema - denounce

Angry Young Men - in Britain 1950s and 1960s

anisobaric - rhyme but with different accents

anthropomorphism - humanlike objects

antimeria - change part of speech

antimetabole - repeat words in opposite order

antiphon - sung verse

antiphrasis - opposite meaning

antiquarianism - study past relics

strophe - (ancient Greek chorus) moves left, then antistophe, epode

antonomasia - proper name for an idea

aparithmesis - list numbers

aphaeresis - omit first syllable

aphorism - wise saying with known author

apocopated rhyme - add unstressed syllable to a rhyme

apocope - omit sounds

apodictic - argue with proof

apo koinon - in common

apolelymenon - Milton's term for monostrophic

apologue - moral fable

apophasis - make an assertion while disproving it at the same time

apophrades - unlucky days

aporia - pretended indecision

aposiopesis - don't finish a sentence

apothegm - short aphorism

apotropaic - ward off evil

apposition - second phrase explains first

ara - long curse

areopagus - final court

aristophanic - dactyl, trochaic, trochaic

arsis - now means a stressed syllable

artificial comedy - Lamb's term for comedy of manners

asyndeton - omit conjuctions

attenyseration - softening previous statement

attic - clear style

aubade - lyric poem about dawn serenade

auteur theory - film judged by director's work

autotelic - not didactic

auxesis - pile on detail

axiom - obvious maxim

Bad Quartos - Pollard's term for false Shakespeare manuscripts

bagatelle - trifle

ballad stanza - abcb, 4343 stress

ballade - French with refrain, envoy, 3 rhymes

barbarism - mistake in word form

bard - Celtic, trouvere - Normandy, skald - Scandenavian, troubadour - Provence

baring device - Sklovskij's term for showing the play is artificial

basic English - 850 AD by Ogden

bathos - failed attempt at dignity

begging the question - can't prove major premise

Benthamism - goal of happiness

Bildungsroman - novel that deals with the development of a young person from adolescence to maturity

billingsgate - vulgar language as in fish market

Black Mountain School - NC group, projective verse, aesthetic, included Olson, Creele, and Duncan

blason - detailed praise or blame poem

Bloomsburg Group - group which enjoyed pretty things, included Virginia Woolf

blues - 3 lines, repeat

bluestockings - smart women

bob and wheel - Middle English alliterative verse

bombast - ranting

bon mot - witty repartee

boustrophedon - zig-zag reading

bouts-rimes - rhyme game

brachycatalectic - omit 2 syllables

broken rhyme - divide word to make it rhyme

bucolic - formal, about rural areas

burden - refrain

burlesque - lower style, parody - lower subject

burletta - ballad-opera

Burns stanza - aaabab 444343 syllables

Byronism - rich, charm, wit

cabal - acrostic

cadence - sound before pause

calque - loan transition

calypso - ballad with African rhythm, originated in Trinidad

canonical hours - 7 prayer times

canso - southern France love song

canticle - chant

canto - section of long poems

canzone - lyric poem with envoy

canzonet - little song, more than one movement

catachresis - misuse of word

catalexis - truncate final syllable of line

catastasis - rising action

catastrope - conclusion

catch - round of 3

catena - string of quotes

cauda - tail

caudate sonnet - add lines to Italian sonnet

causerie - informal literary essay

Cavelier lyric - light, polished

Celtic Revival - 1700s movement, two types of Celts: Brythonic and Gaelic

Gaelic Movement - 1890s movement, included Hyde

cento - scraps from several authors

chain rhyme - last word in one line is a homophone with first in next line

chanson - song (de geste - great deeds)

chant royal - 60 lines (5*11 plus an envoy)

chantey - sailor song

charientism - gloss over disagreeable

chartism - ideal of helping the poor, attacked by Carlyle

chiasmus - second phrase balances the first but reverses it

choliambus - scazon with last foot of iamb a trochee or dactyl

choreopoem - Shange's term for complementing dance and poem

chrestomathy - choice passages

chronotope - time-space world

Ciceronian style - ornamental

Cinema Verite - small crews

cinquain - invented by Crapsey, 5 line poem

claque - paid applauders

clerihew - 4-line poem about person, invented by Bentley

clinamen - swerving away

closet drama - read not acted, invented by Seneca

cock and bull - meandering tall tale

Cockney School - Blackwood's term for the bad diction of Hazlitt, Hunt, and Keats

coda - conclusion

codex - manuscript book

collate - compare texts

colloquy - formal discussion

colophon - publisher's symbol

comedy of humours - characters represent the humours (angry, sad, etc), Jonson and Chapman

comedy of manners - drama about high society, included Congreave, Goldsmith, Sheridan

comitatus - king's dependents

commedia dell'arte - improvised comedy

common meter - abab or abcb, iamb 4343

commonplace book - Milton's book of quotes for reference

compendium - condensation of work(s) without maintaining style

compositor - sets type by hand

compound rhyme - primary and secondary stressed syllables same

concatenation - chain verse

concrete poetry - way word is written looks like what word means

condensation - abridged version of a work which maintains its style

conspectus - outline

conte - French tale, has different meanings

copy text - basic text for comparisons

copyright - since 1976 in US applies for life plus 50 years and existing copyrights get 75 years, 1909-1976

    in US 28 years with one 28-year renewal, since 1911 in England life plus 50 years

coronach - funeral dirge

correlative verses - abbreviated linear sentences

corrigenda - to be corrected

cothurnus - buskin

counterpoint rhythm - developed by Hopkins

covenant theology - revised Calvinism in New England in 1600s

Cowleyan ode - irregular

Cratylism - names are necessary

criticism types - impressionist (how affects critic), historical, textual, formal (genre), judicial (based on standards),

    analytical (organization of parts), moral, mythic (archetypes), phenomenological (existential worlds)

cross-compound rhyme - first syllable of one word rhymes with second syllable of another word

crossed rhyme - rhyme in middle of lines (casesura)

crotchet - [ ]

crown of sonnets - repeat a line

Cruelty Theater - 1930s Artaud

crux - decision in text editing

cryptarithm - letters get number values

curtal sonnet - Hopkins changed octave to sestet in sonnet

cynghanedd - Hopkins's term for interlaced alliteration

Dadism - freedom movement, started in 1916 by Tzara in Zurich

Dandyism - exaggerated emotion

Dead Sea scrolls - 800 scrolls from 70 AD found in 1947

Debat - Medieval debate, to judge

Decadents - late 1800s movement, art is greater than nature, dying is pretty, included Oscar Wilde

De Casibus - fall from greatness

deconstruction - Derrida's term

composition in depth - deep focus (both near and far)

deep image - Bly's term for the subconscious

defamiliarization - human perception, Russian ostranenie

definition poem - rapid analogies

deictis - pronoun referring inwards

Della Cruscans - late 1700s movement, included Merry/Cowley, based in Florence

demotic - Frye's term for ordinary speech

determinism - all acts caused by reasons

deuteragonist - second actor, introduced by Aeschylus

dialectic - debate of eternal questions

dialogism - Bakhtin's term for many voices

diastich - use key and text for nonsense text

diasyrm - disparaging someone

diegesis - not explaining, concluding, or judging

dieresis - caesura

differance - Derrida's term for difference / deferring

dime novel - American penny dreadful

Diminishing Age - English 1940 - 1965

dipody - 2 different feet

dirge - wailing song

discordia concors - unlike images, Samuel Johnson

discourse - direct or indirect quote

dissemination - Derrida's theory that language's meaning is signed and unsigned

Dissociation of Sensibility - Eliot's theory that separates thought and feeling

dithyramb - wild language

divine afflatus - poetic inspiration

doggerel - rude verse

Dolce Stil Nuovo - sweet new style, from 1200s

donnee - James's term for the given

doppelganger - double-goer

double rhyme - feminine rhyme, similar stressed syllables, then same unstressed

drab - 1500s poetry, Lewis

dramatic conventions - accepted by audience but known to be false

dramatic propriety - judge words and acts in context

dramatism - Burke's critical mehtod of actions and grammar

drame - 1700s French tragedy / comedy cobination, problem play

drawing room comedy - high society comedy of manners

droll - substitute short plays used when full plays were outlawed

Drottkvaett - 8-line poem with internal rhyme from Medieval Iceland

druid - Celtic philosophical poet

dub - words with recorded music, from 1975 Jamaica

dubia - disputed authorship

dysphemism - opposite of euphemism

Early Tudor Age - 1500-1557, characterized by Humanism

Early Victorian Age - 1832-1870, realism grew

echelon - words printed stepwise

ecologue - formal pastoral poem (like Idylls of the King)

ecphonema - outcry

Edinburgh Review - 1802 published by Scott, included Jeffrey, Smith, and Brougham

edition - single typeset

Edwardian Age - 1901-1914, included Celtic Revival, critical questioning

eiron - character that is smarter than he appears

Eisteddfod - Welsh festival

ekphrasis - artwork in literature

elegiac - distitch for lamenting

elegiac stanza - abab iambic pentameter, develeped by Gray

elegy - solemn (oftern for death)

elision - omit part of word

Elizabethan Age - 1558-1603, growth of literature

ellipsis - omit word(s)

emendation - correct text

empiricism - rules come from experience not theory

enallage - substitute grammatical form

enchiridion - handbook

encomium - Greek praise for a living person

englyn - Welsh quatrain

ennead  - set of 9

enthymeme - syllogism without major or minor part

envoy - bcbc, repeat line from refrain, used in a ballade

epanalepsis - repeat word at start and end of a clause

epanodos - repeat word at start and middle of a clause

ephemera - short-lived writing

epicede - funeral ode

epideictic poetry - for special occasion

epigone - imitator of movements

epigram - pithy saying

epigraph - on stone or coin

epimyth - moral of a fable

epistrophe - repeat ending in several clauses

epitaph - inscription on burial place

epitasis - rising action

epithalamium - celebrate wedding

epithet - describe noun

epitrope - submit

eponym - name associated with attribute

epyllion - brief epic

equivoque - deceiving pun

erethism - exaggerated excitement

esemplastic - Coleridge's term for imagination uniting unlike things

Esperanto - international language, by Russian Zamenhof

ethos - character of speaker

Euhemerism - explain myths as exaggerated human stories

eulogy - praise person

Euphuism - Lyly's style of balance construction, unnatural natural, rhetorical questions

excursus - long digression

exegesis - explanation of text

exemplum - moralized tale

exergasia - same point made in many ways

exergue - place for inscription

existentialism - post-World War II style, existence over essence, no explanations, universe enigma

exordium - first of seven oration parts; the introduction

expressionism - objectify inner experience

expressive theory - Abram's style of analyzing author's expression

extravaganze - Planche's term

fabliau - funny Medieval tale in France in an eight-syllable couplet

fantastic - rely on imagination for realization

Fantastic Poets - Milton and the metaphysicals

fantasy - break from reality

feminine ending - unstressed syllable added to end of iamb or anapest

la femme inspiratrice - woman who inspires and author

festschrift - volume of a scholar's essays compiled by his student

ficelle - puppet string; James's term for a confidante

Field Day - Norther Ireland 1980

filidh - professional Irish poets

film noir - somber, crime-filled, urban film of 1940-1960

fin de Siecle - 1890s

flat character - Forester's term for a character with a single quality

Fleshly School - Maitland (Buchanan)'s term for Rossetti, Swinburn, and Morris in 1871

flyting - vigorous verbal exchange

folio - standard size sheet of paper folded in half

     Folds     Leaves     Pages     Name

     1/2 x     x     2*x     x-mo

folklore - 1850s Thoms defined as popular antiquities

foregrounding - unusual prominence given to something

form - organization of parts relating to whole

Russian formalism - form over content, phenomenology, linguistics, from 1920s

formative theory - how world raw manipulated

four ages - gold/silver/brass/iron

Four Master Tropes - Burke's grouping of metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony

Four Senses of Interpretation - literal, allegorical, moral, anagogical

fractal - word as a part of another word

Frankfurt School - Marxists

Freytag's Pyramid - exposition, complication, reversal, catastrophe

fu - violence in Briggsian films

Fugitives - group at Vanderbilt in 1920s, agarians

fused rhyme - sound ended on next line

fustian - overblown diction

galliambic - 4 4-syllable feet

Gallicism - French diction

gasconade - boastful

gematric - give numerical values to letters

generative metrics - based on positions not feet

Geneva School - critics see existential expressions, included Miller

genteel comedy - comedy of manners, early 1700s, included Addison

Georgian Ages - 1714-1830 and 1910-1936

georgic - about farming, Vergil

gest - war or adventure tale

gestalt - sum is greater than parts

Ghazal - lyric from Middle East

glee - poem sung by group

gleeman - Anglo-Saxon musician

gloss - explanation

glyconic - 3 to 4 feet, trochee, trochee, trochee, dactyl

gnomic - moralistic

gnosticism - know truth through faith

goliardic verses - 1000-1300 satiric university student

Gongorism - Spanish extravagent style

Gothic - magic, mystery, chivalry

Gotterdammerung - violent destruction

Graces - 3 Greek goddesses

Graveyard School - 1722-1817, included Gray and his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Grub street - now Milton, tribe of poor hacks

Mrs. Grundy - all in Morton's book afraid of her but she does not appear

hagiography - about saints

haiku - 5-7-5 but too long

hapax legomenon - something said once

Hardy stanza - 8 lines aa'abcccb, mostly tetrameter

Hartford wits - Barlow, Dwight, and Trumbull

headless line - catalexis

hebraism - obedient and ethical

Hedge Club - transcendentalists, near Boston

Hegelianism - everything logically related

hendiadys - connect components with conjuction, "try and do better"

Heresy of Paraphrase - Frost's term

Hermeneutic circle - must know part and whole

Hermeneutics - nothing to interpret

Hermeticism - Bruns's theory that "language deviates to arrest function"

heteroglossia - Bakhtin's term for multiple voice in narrative

heteromerous rhyme - one word rhymed with multiple words together

hiatus - pause between vowel sounds

Hieratic style - self-consciously formal, Egyptian

Hieronymy - sacred names

holograph - handwritten manuscript by author

homily - practical sermon

homeoarchy - same unstressed syllabe before rhyming syllable

homoeoteleuton - same endings of words near each other (eg "really easily")

homostrophic - same stanza patterns

Horatian satire - tolerant, witty

howler - embarrassing innocent error

Hudibrastic verse - Butler's 8-syllable couplet

humanism - exalt human over divine and animals

new humanism - 1910-1930 US movement, included Arnold

hypallage - epithet put in unusual grammatical positions

hyperbaton - change senctence order

hypercatalectic - extra syllable at end

hypermonosyllabic - read as 1 or 2 syllables

hypertext - Nelson's paper for something that can't fit on paper

hypocorism - pet name

hypotaxis - words in dependent relationships

hypotyposis - vivid description

hysteron proteron - latter placed before

ictus - a stress

identical rhyme - same sound, different words

idiotism - depart from linguistic norms

idyll - short, pastoral, descriptive narrative

illocutionary act - speech act in act of speaking

Imagists - 1909-1918, intellect visual emotional auditory, included Pound, Doolittle, Flint

implied author - Booth's human agency

impression - copies printed at one time

imprimatur - license to print

incantation - chant for emotion or magic

incunabulum - printed before 1501

induction - introduction

inkhorn - needlessly pedantic, 450 years old

in medias res - in the middle of, from Horace

in memorium stanza - iambic tetrameter quatrain; abba

Inns of Court - Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn

inscape - Hopkins's term for inner nature

instess - creates inscape

intentional fallacy - judge by how a work meets its goals, from Wimsatt and Beardsley

interlude - short 1500s English movement, led to realistic comedy

interpretive community - readers with similar strategies, from Fish

inversion - place sentence element out of order

ionic - 2 long and 2 short syllables, "lesser" pyrrhic and spondee

isobaric - same stress

issue - distinct copies of an edition

Jacobean Age- 1603-1625, realist-cynic growth

jest books - 1500s joke books

Jesuits - Loyola 1534, Southwell and Hopkins

jeu d'espirit - clever word play

jongleur - French Medieval professional mucisian

Juvenalian satire - contempluous formal satire

Kabuki - mid-1600s Japanese theater

Kailyard School - 1800s Scottish moviement with focus on village life, included Barrie and Maclaren

keen - Irish funeral song

kenning - synonym for simple noun

kenosis - emptying;  Jesus becoming human

kind - genre (neoclassical)

Kit-Cat Club - 1703-1733 English club, Protestant Whigs in London, included Addison, Steele, and

Congreave

kitsch - shallow commercial art

Knickerbocker Group - early 1800s New York group, included Irving, Cooper and Bryant

Koine - ancient Greek

Kunstlerroman - Bildungsroman about struggling artist

kyrielle - French couplets with refrain

Lake Poets - included Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Southey, attacked by Edinburgh

lampoon - bitter satire of person

Lanuage Poets - 1980s American suspicious of language

Late Victorian Age - 1870-1901, realistic

lay - song or short narrative poem

leitmotif - recurrent phrase

Leonine rhyme - last stressed syllable before caesura rhymed with last stressed syllable of line

letterpress - words not illustrations

level - metaphor with dignity

libretto - text of opera

life and letters - 1800s style

limerick - 5 anapestic  aabba  33223 feet

liminality - threshold of space or time

link sonnet - use second line rhyme for first; Spenserian

linked rhyme - fused rhyme

lipogram - exclude letter(s) of alphabet

Literary Club (Dr. Johnson's Circle) - 1764 London club founded by Reynolds

litterateur - literary person

little theater movement - 1887 Paris movement by Antoine, in England Independent Theater

locus classicus - classical example

locutionary act - say something with verb of phenomena beyond itself

logaoedic - mixed rhythms

logical positivism - empirical sensory observation

logocentrism - centering of though, truth, and logic in Western thought since Plato

logogriph - puzzle, clue is a synonym

Lollards - 1300s English group, included Wycliffe, led to Reformation, wanted purer religion

long measure - 4 lines iambic tetrameter abab or abcb

loose sentence - complete idea before end of sentence

lunulae - ( ), term from Erasmus

lyric present - Wright advocates using present tense not progressive (eg "I use it" instead of "I am using it")

Mabinogion - Welsh tales, translated by Guest

macaronic - blockhead;  language combination

macedoine - grammar example

MacGuffin - MacPhail's term for a scene used to move along the plot

machinery - Pope's term for diety in poem

madrigal - musical, pastoral

maggot - fanciful, morbid

manichaeism - 250 AD Oriental movement by Mani, says God-Satan coeval

mannerism - 1500s style, affected style

marchen - Germen fairy tales

marinism - Italian affected style, shocking, by Marino

Marprelate Controversy - 1580s Puritans opposed bishops

Martian School - fresh view, Fenton from Raine

masked comedy - commedia dell'arte

masorah - commentary on Scripture

matin - bird morning song

meaning - Richards defines as sense, feeling, tone, and intention

meiosis - funny understatement

melic poetry - with lyre and flute

meliorism - 1800s tendency to improvement

melopoeia - Pound's term for the whole sound of poem

mesostich - acrostic in middle

metalepsis - adding tropes to get literal nonsense

metaphysical poetry - 1600s, analyze love and religion, taken to the extreme

metaplasm - moving a language element from its common place

metathesis - switch sounds in a word

Middle English Period - 1350-1500, included Chaucer and the Lollards

midrash - commentary on Scriptures by rabis

Miles Georiosus - braggart soldier, from Plautus

milieu - environment in which work is produced

Miltonic sonnet - Italian sonnet without twist

mime - developed in the 5th century BC in southern Italy

mimesis - theory of imitation

mimetic theory - the actuality that is imitated

minnesinger - German lyric poet

minstrel - bards during late Middle Ages

minstrel show - imitate blacks

mise en Abyme - small text on a big text

mise en Scene - stage setting

Modernist Period - 1914-1965 England, best work from 1920s

monody - dirge by one mourner

monologism - Bakhtin's term for a single voice in a work

monosemy - one meaning

monostrophic - invented by Milton

montage - editing camera shots, originated by Eisenstein

mora - duration of a short syllable

morae - duration of a long syllable

morpheme - minimal meaningful linguistic unit

morphology - study of forms, from Goethe

mot - brief saying (French for "word")

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