lit. terms

fireside poets

were a group of 19th-century American poets from New England

romantic hero

literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence.


an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated; a symbol universally recognized by all. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior

comic device

spoken phrase can be understood in either of two ways. The first, literal meaning is an innocent one, while the second meaning is often ironic or risqu� and requires the hearer to have some additional knowledge


mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead


refrain of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse


repetition of a consonant in any syllables that, according to the poem's meter, are stressed as if they occurred at the beginning of a word, as in James Thomson's verse "Come�dragging the lazy languid Line along


basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse.


rhetorical device in which statements are exaggerated


form of speech which contains an expression of less strength than would be expected


true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition


a figure of speech that combines normally-contradictory terms

slant rhyme

is consonance on the final consonants of the words involved


something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention


is a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway

tall tale

with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual


a British literary genre


consists of culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group

folk tale

an English language term for a type of short narrative corresponding to the French phrase conte de f�e, the German term M�rchen, the Italian fiaba, the Polish ba?? or the Swedish saga

urban legend

a form of modern folklore consisting of apocryphal stories believed by their tellers to be true


is the main character (the central or primary personal figure) of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to share the most empathy


an ontological metaphor in which a thing or abstraction is represented as a person


is a brief, succinct story, in prose or verse, that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy


often used colloquially to refer to a false story

dark romantics

literary subgenre that emerged from the Transcendental philosophical movement popular in nineteenth-century America


a figurative mode of representation conveying meaning other than the literal