Terms for critical analysis


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Terms for critical analysis

  2. 2.  Abstract It is the process of selecting certain qualities out of many. In the process of abstraction, we choose various specific qualities to represent one large concept.  Allegory It is a literary statement presenting its meaning in a veiled way. In short, allegory is simply one thing consistently being presented in the guise of something else.  Alliteration It is the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of several words which are near one another.
  3. 3.  Allusion It is the process of referring to figures or events in life of in literature, that are well known. In other words, allusion is another word for reference.  Ambiguity It is the attempt to create mystery by suggesting several meanings and not making one more outstandingly correct that the others.  Antithesis It results when a pair or more of strongly contrasting terms are presented together. In antithesis there is usually grammatical balance as well as contrast in meaning.
  4. 4.  Archetype It is the term used to describe an image that recurs throughout literature so frequently that it has become as established part of our mental vocabulary.  Atmosphere It is the general tone and mood of a work of art. The term then describes the general “air” that we sense in the poem’s setting.  Baroque It is a style of composition which is extremely ornate.  Bathos It is the technique of successfully creating feelings of pity or sympathy.
  5. 5.  Cacophony It is the appearance of widely differing and in harmonious sounds in close conjunction.  Cliché It is a hackneyed or outworn expression or word. A cliché is a stereotype of way of saying something.  Connotation It is one of the various implications or associations that a word carries. A word’s connotative meaning is extraliteral, that is, it exists apart from its literal meaning.  Conceit It is a difficult , challenging, or high provocative metaphor or simile. A conceit is a poet’s attempt to posit similarity between very different and unlikely things.
  6. 6.  Concrete It is the opposite of abstract. It represents what is real rather than what is ideal.  Conventional Whatever is generally accepted or agreed upon. It is a conventional) a custom which has, over a long period time, been given wide sanction.  Denotation It is the essential meaning of the word. Denotation has reference only to what is conventionally understood by a word.  Diction It is the use of words in poetry. Analyzing diction is no more than examining the appropriate of the vocabulary within a given poem.
  7. 7.  Didactic It is designed to teach or to communicate moral or ethical instruction. Poetry which argues us-frequently at great length-to improve our moral character, is considered didactic.  Doctrinaire It is a poet or poem which is strongly influenced by doctrines.  Epithet It is the phrase which is used to capture the most outstanding characteristics about a person or subject.  Euphemism It is a figure of speech which veils the obvious word with another, less direct one.
  8. 8.  Euphony It results when the poet has selected sounds which are compatible and harmonious.  Explication It means the analysis of a literary work.  Figurative Language It is the kind of language which departs from the language employed in the traditional, literal ways of describing persons or objects.  Foreshadowing It is the method of giving hints in advance of what is to come later.
  9. 9.  Form It is the organization of the part of a poem into a whole. Form is the complete package which has a distinguishable content.  Frame of Reference It is the background of a poem.  Hyperbole It is a figure of speech which employs exaggeration.  Imagery It is images, picture, or sensory content, which we find in a poem . Images are fanciful or imaginative descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our sense.
  10. 10.  Irony It results from the contrast between the actual meaning of a word or statement and the suggestion of another meaning.  Lyrical It referred originally to lyrics poetry, that is, to poetry written to be sung to a lyric.  Meaning when we talk about the meaning of a poem, we are talking primarily about the significance of its message.  Metaphor It is the figure of speech which compares one thing to another directly. A metaphor states that something is something else.
  11. 11.  Metonymy It is the substitution of a word closely associated with another word in place of that other word.  Mood It is the creation of an atmosphere through the proliferation of certain common emotions. Mood is thus the prevailing tone in a poem and this tone is established by the accumulation of a set of emotions.  Motif It is a core experience around which an entire poem or work of literature can be developed. In other words, the motif is the most irreducible skeleton of the narration.
  12. 12.  Objective It is impersonal, detached, and unprejudiced. In objectivity we find little emotion or personal distortion of the meaning.  Objective Correlative It is a description of a group of events, or a situation, which automatically arouses certain emotional responses in the reader.  Paradox It results when a poet presents a pair of ideas, words, images or attitudes which are, or appear to be, selfcontradictory.
  13. 13.  Parallelism It is a principle advocating that ideas of equal importance or significance should be treated at equal length within a poem.  Parody It is imitating the work of others in order to amuse. A parody emphasizes the obvious characteristics for the sake of humor.  Pathos It is the aspect of certain poems which produces in the reader a response of pity and sorrow.  Periphrasis It is a round-about method of saying something.
  14. 14.  Persona It is the character in a poem or play, but more specifically, the voice of the narrator or character in the poem.  Personification It is the process or assigning human characteristics to nonhuman objects, abstractions or ideas.  Poetic License It is the poet’s “license” or privilege to do something unorthodox in terms of diction , rhyme, or meter.  Point of View It quite literally refers to the way in which the author views his subject.
  15. 15.  Ritual It is the form of conducting worship of one kind or another; also, any ceremonial and/or often repeated action.  Sarcasm It is the use of caustic or cruel remarks frequently presented by way of ironical statement.  Satire It is the technique of holding human vices, follies, stupidities, etc., up for contempt, usually with an aim to reform.  Sensibility It is a word which has undergone a series of changes in meaning. A term used to describe the ability to respond emotionally to actions both good or bad.
  16. 16.  Simile It is a direct comparison between things which are not particularly similar in their essence.  Subjective It is private, personal, emotional, or individual. When one reads any poem, one makes certain subjective responses to the poem.  Synecdoche It is particular form of metaphor. The technique of synecdoche uses a part in order to signify the whole.  Theme It is the central concept developed in a poem. The theme is the poet’s reason for writing the poem in the first place.