Literary Terms - Definition and Examples

Satire - A Literary Art

Satire is a literary art that uses irony, wit and sometimes sarcasm evoking laughter as a powerful weapon against the vices and follies of the humanity for the purpose of reformation through ridicule. Although satire uses comic elements but it differ ...More

Stream of Consciousness Technique - Literary Term

The stream of consciousness technique is a definite mode of writing novels developed in the early twentieth century. We may define stream of consciousness fiction as a type of fiction in which the basic emphasis is placed on the exploration of the pr ...More

The Theatre of the Absurd - Definition of Literary Term

The term 'Theatre of the Absurd' is applied to a number of dramatic works which share the view that the human condition is essentially absurd by which is meant a lack of meaning in life.More

Wit - Definition of Literary Term

Wit is derived from the Old English witan, meaning 'to know,' a term whose meaning has changed several times over the centuries. In the late Middle Ages, wit referred to intellect and intelligence as opposed to knowledge. During the Renaissance, it c ...More

Utopia - Definition of Literary Term

Utopia is an ideal place that does not exist in reality. The word utopia, which comes from the Greek for outopia, meaning "no place," and eutopia, meaning "good place," is itself a pun referring to a nonexistent good place.More

Tragic Flaw - Definition of Literary Term

A character's trait in a tragic hero or heroine that brings about his or her downfall in a drama or play is known to be tragic flaw.More

Quatrain - Definition of Literary Term

Quatrain refers to a stanza in a poem containing four lines. The term quatrain is also used to refer to a four-line poem.More

Pastoral Elegy - Definition of Literary Term

An elegy is a poem on the death of someone. And pastoral suggest that the elegy is related to 'shepherd', and rustic life. Pastoral elegies are poems in which the poet speaks in the guise of a shepherd in a peaceful landscape and expresses his grief ...More

Neoclassical Poetry - Definition of Literary Term

Neoclassicism as a label is applied to a period of English literature lasting from 1660, the Restoration of Charles II, till about 1800. This period is also designated as the ages of Dryden, Pope and Dr. Johnson.More

Negative Capability - Definition of Literary Term

The phrase 'Negative Capability' was used by the English poet John Keats to describe the capacity to be 'in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason'.More