Literary Terms (I-O)

iamb
a metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable and an accented. the most common metrical measure in English verse

inciting moment
the name used for the event or force that sets motion the primary action of a play

in medias res
“in the midst of things”

interior monologue
one of the techniques for presenting the stream of consciousness of a character. It records the internal, eotional experience of the character on any one level or on combinations of several levels of consciousness, reaching downward to the nonverbalized level where images must be used to represent sensations or emotions

internal rhyme
rhyme that occurs at some place before the last syllable in a line of verse

invective
harsh, abusive language

inversion
the placing of a setence element out of its normal position either to gain emphasis or to secure a so-called poetic effect

Italian Sonnet
a sonnet divided into an octet rhyming abbaabba and a sestet rhyming cdcdcd

juvenilia
literary works produced in the author’s yourth and usually marked by immaturity

kenning
a stereotyped phrase used in Old English; are often picturesque metaphorical compunds such as “sea-farer” for ship and “swan-road” for sea.

legend
a narritive or tradition handed down from the past

leitmotif
intentional and recurrent repetition of some word, phrase, situation, or idea

litotes
a form of understatement in which a thing is affirmed by stating the negative of its opposite.

To say “she was not undmindful” when one means that “she gave careful attention”

Lost Generation
a term applied to the American Writers, born around 1900, who fought in the WWI and constituted a groups of reacting against certain tendencies of older writers in the 1920s

lyric
a brief subjective poem strongly marked by imagination, melody, and emotion, and creating a single, unified impression

malapropism
an inapproprieateness of speech resulting from the use of one word for another, which has similarity to it

measure
frequently used as a synonym for meter, measure is more strictly either a metrical grouping, such as a foot or a verse, or a period of time.

Medieval Romance
tales of adventure in which knights, kings, or distressed ladies, acting under the impulse of love, religous faith, or the mere desire for adventures are the chief figures

Meditative poetry
a term applied to certain kinds of metaphysical poetry of the 16th and 17th century that yoke a practice of religious medidations with Renaissance poetic techiniques

melodrama
a play based on romatic plot and developed sensationally, with little regard for convincing motivation and with an excessive appeal to the emotions of the audience

memoirs
a form of autobiographical writing dealing usually with the recollections of those who have been a part of or have witnessed significant events

metaphysical conceit
a highly ingenious kind of conceit widely used by the metaphysical poets, who explored all areas of knowledge to find in the startlingy esoteric or the shockingly commonplace telling and inisial analogies for their ideas

metaphysical poetry
used in the broad sense of philosophical poetry, verse dealing with metaphysics, poetry “unified by a philosophical conception of the universe and of the role assigned to the human spirit in the great drama of existence”

meter
the recurrence in poetry of a rhythmic patter, or the rhythm established by the regular or almost regular occurrence of similar units of sound pattern

metonymy
the substitution of a term naming an object closely associated with the word in mid for the word itself

milieu
the political, social, intellectual, and cultural environment in which an author lives or a work is produced

mock heroic
terms frequently used interchangeably to designate a literary form of burlesque the epic by treating a trivial subkect in the “grand style” or uses the epic formulas to make ridiculous a trivial subkect by ludicriously overstating it

mode
a term applied to broad catergories of treament of material

motif
a simple element that serves as a basis for expanded narrative; or, less strictly, a conventional situation, device, interest, or invident eployed in fiction and drama

Naturalism
a term someitmes applied to writing that demonstraters a deep interests in nature, such as Wordsworth and other Romantic Writers had.

near rhyme
repetition in accented sullables of the final consonant sound without the correspondence of the preceding vowel sound, which would make true rhyme

nouvelle
a short novel or novelette; a work of fiction of intermediate length and complezity between the short story and the novel

novella
a tale or short story.

octave / octet
an 8 line stanza

ode
a single, unified strain of exalted lyrical verse, directed to a single purpose, and dealing with one theme

onomatopoeia
the use of words that by their sound suggests their meaning

oxymoron
a self-contradictory combination of words or smaller verbal units; usually noun-noun, adjective-adjective, adjective-noun, adverb-adverb, or adverb-verb