Critial Vocab

10 October 2016

Some paintings require us to stand back to see the design of the whole painting; standing close, we see the technique of the painting, say the brush strokes, but not the whole. Other paintings require us to stand close to see the whole; their design and any figures become less clear as we move back from the painting. Similarly, fiction, drama, and poetry involve the reader emotionally to different degrees. Emotional distance, or the lack of it, can be seen with children watching a TV program or a movie; it becomes real for them.

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Writers like Faulkner, the Bronte sisters, or Faulkner pull the reader into their work; the reader identifies closely with the characters and is fully involved with the happenings. Hemingway, on the other hand, maintains a greater distance from the reader. Affective Fallacy – The error of evaluating a poem by its effects—especially its emotional effects—upon the reader. As a result the poem itself, as an object of specifically critical judgement, tends to disappear. Alacrity – Liveliness or briskness. Alalia – Complete inability to speak; mutism.

Allegory – A narrative where characters, actions and sometimes setting are consistently symbolic of something else (often philosophical or moral abstractions). Alliteration – the use, especially in poetry, of the same sound or sounds, especially consonants, at the beginning of several words that are close together Ambiguity – Ambiguity is the quality of having more than one meaning; does  Ameliorate – To make or become better; improve. Amelioration. Amorphous – Lacking a definite shape; formless. 2 – Of no recognisable character or shape.

Anachronisms – Flash backs, jumps forwards. Analogy – a comparison between things which have similar features, often used to help explain a principle or idea Analepis – A flash-back Anathema – A detested person or thing ‘he is anathema to me! ’ 2 A formal ecclesiastical curse of excommunication. Antonym – An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another word but similar to it in most other respects. For example, tall and short are opposite in meaning but both are the same parts of speech (adjectives) and would take the same position in a sentence.

Aporia – An impassable moment or point in a narrative, a hole or opening that produces a hermeneutic analysis. Arbitrarily – Founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc. ; capricious. 2 – Having only relative application. 3 – Of a government or ruler despotic or dictatorial. Arcane – Requiring secret knowledge to be understood; mysterious; esoteric. Arrhythmic / Arrhythmia – Any variation from the normal rhythm of the heart beat. Arriere-pensee – An unrevealed thought or intention. Arriviste – A person who is unscrupulously ambitious. Assiduous – Hard-working; persevering.

Assignation – A secret or forbidden arrangement to meet esp. between lovers. Attest – To affirm the correctness or truth of. Auric – Of or containing gold in the trivalent state. Autodidact – One who is self-taught. Avarice – The getting and keeping of money, possessions etc as a purpose to live for. B Ballad – relatively short narrative poem, written to be sung, with a simple and dramatic action. The ballads tell of love, death, the supernatural, or a combination of these. Two characteristics of the ballad are incremental repetition and the ballad stanza.

Incremental repetition repeats one or more lines with small but significant variations that advance the action. The ballad stanza is four lines; commonly, the first and third lines contain four feet or accents, the second and fourth lines contain three feet. Ballads often open abruptly, present brief descriptions, and use concise dialogue. Baroque – A term applied by art-historians (at first derogatorily, but now merely descriptively) to a style of architecture, sculpture, and painting that developed in Italy at the beginning of the seventeenth century and then spread to Germany and other European countries.

The style employs the classical forms of the renaissance, but breaks them up and intermingles them to achieve elaborate, grandiose, energetic, and highly dramatic effects. In Literature, it may signify magniloquent style in verse or prose. Beatitude – Supreme blessedness or happiness. Benefactor – A person who supports or helps a person (Beneficiary), institution etc. , esp. by giving money; patron. Bilious – Bad tempered. 2. Hideously green. Blank verse – Blank verse is a form based on unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter.

The verse parts of Shakespeare’s plays are blank verse (with exceptions, such as the witches’ recipe), as is Milton’s Paradise Lost. The form is one that is close to normal speech (indeed, “the form is one that’s close to normal speech” is itself an iambic pentameter) so it gives a subtle pulse to a poem, rather than an obvious shaping as a limerick might. However, there is a tendency in contemporary poetry to use shorter lines, so the form can also sound stately or slow to a modern ear.? Bowyer – Person or makes or sells archery bows. Bumptious – Offensively self-assertive or conceited.

C Cadence – (Poetry) A fall, in tone, in pitch etc. Catalectic – (Poetry) – of a line, missing one or more beats. Catechism – Instruction by a series of questions and answers esp a book containing such instruction on the religious doctrine of the Christian church. 2 Rigorous and persistent questioning, as in a test or interview. Character – Characters may be classified as round (three-dimensional, fully developed) or as flat (having only a few traits or only enough traits to fulfil their function in the work); as developing (dynamic) characters or as static characters.

Caesura – a strong pause within a line, and is often found alongside enjambment. If all the pauses in the sense of the poem were to occur at the line breaks, this could become dull; moving the pauses so they occur within the line creates a musical interest. Chivalric Romance – Developed in 12th Century France, spread and displaced epic and heroic forms. Climax – The height of tensions or suspense in a story’s plot where conflict comes to a peak. Coetaneous – Of the same age or period. Coeval – Of belonging to the same age or generation. 2) A contemporary.

Collocate – To group or place together in some system or order. Collusion – Secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose; connivance; conspiracy. Conceit – The Metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century enjoyed creating particularly audacious metaphors and similes to compare very unlike things, and drawing attention to how skilfully they could sustain this comparison; this became known as the conceit. The classic example is probably Donne’s ‘The Flea’, in which a flea-bite is compared to a marriage, and like most conceits, the extended comparison is more notable for its invention than its believability.

Concomitant – Existing or occurring together; associative. Concord – Agreement or harmony between people or nations; amity. Confabulate – To talk together, to communicate. Confiteor – A prayer consisting of a general confession of sinfulness and an entreaty for forgiveness. Conflagration – A large destructive fire. Conflagration – A large destructive fire. Conflate / Conflation – To combine or blend, esp two versions of a text, so as to form a whole. Conflict – The part of the plot that establishes an opposition that becomes a point of interest.

Can ve an opposition between characters, between character and environment, between elements in a character’s personality etc. Conglomerate – A thing composed heterogeneous elements. Conjecture – The formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence; a guess. Consonance – Consonance is the effect of similar speech-sounds being near each other. Some forms of consonance can be singled out, which are: alliteration, where initial sounds matter; sibilance, where ‘s’ and ‘z’ sounds are enhanced; and assonance, where the vowel-sounds of words are in concert.

Contiguous – Touching along the side or boundary; in contact. Convivial – Sociable, jovial or festive. Corpulent – Physically bulky; fat. Coterie – A small exclusive group of friends with common interests; clique. Coterminous – Enclosed within a common boundary. Coterminous – Having a common boundary. Couplet – A couplet is a stanza (or even a poem) consisting of two lines. These need not rhyme, nor be the same length, but can be. If there is no enjambment at the end of the second line, it can be called a closed couplet (the opposite being an open couplet), especially if this is a recurring pattern.

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