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CLEP Common Literary Forms And Genres

Subjects : clep, literature
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1. A lighthearted play characterized by humor and a happy ending.

2. Literature intended to instruct or educate. For example - Virgil's Georgics contains farming advice in verse form.

3. A humorous imitation of a serious work of literature. The humor often arises from the incongruity between the imitation and the work being imitated. For example - Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock uses the high diction of epic poetry to talk abou

4. Any composition not written in verse.

5. A humorous and often satirical imitation of the style or particular work of another author.

6. A nonrealistic story - in verse or prose - that features idealized characters - improbable adventures - and exotic settings.

7. A full-length fictional work that is novelistic in nature but written in verse rather than prose. Examples include Aleksandr Pushkin's Eugene Onegin and Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate.

8. A short prose or verse narrative - such as those by Aesop - that illustrates a moral - which often is stated explicitly at the end.

9. A work of fiction of middle length - often divided into a few short chapters - such as Henry James's Daisy Miller.

10. A novel - such as Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea - that the author uses as a platform for discussing ideas. Character and plot are of secondary importance.

11. A form of high-energy comedy that plays on confusions and deceptions between characters and features a convoluted and fast-paced plot.

12. A work of prose fiction that is much shorter than a novel (rarely more than forty pages) and focused more tightly on a single event.

13. A work of didactic literature that aims to influence the reader on a specific social or political issue.

14. A play that confronts a contemporary social problem with the intent of changing public opinion on the matter.

15. A lengthy narrative that describes the deeds of a heroic figure - often of national or cultural importance - in elevated language. Strictly - the term applies only to verse narratives like Beowulf or Virgil's Aeneid - but it is used to describe prose

16. Bertolt Brecht's Marxist approach to theater - which rejects emotional and psychological engagement in favor of critical detachment.

17. A novel written in the form of letters exchanged by characters in the story - such as Samuel Richardson's Clarissa or Alice Walker's The Color Purple. This form was especially popular in the 1700s.

18. A novel that focuses on the social customs of a certain class of people - often with a sharp eye for irony. Jane Austen's novels are prime examples of this genre.

19. A serious lyric poem - often of significant length - that usually conforms to an elaborate metrical structure.

20. Disturbing or absurd material presented in a humorous manner - usually with the intention to confront uncomfortable truths. Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is a notable example.

21. Traditionally - a folk song telling a story or legend in simple language - often with a refrain.

22. A story meant to be performed in a theater before an audience. Most are written in dialogue form and are divided into several acts. Many include stage directions and instructions for sets and costumes.

23. A composition that is meant to be performed. The term often is used interchangeably with play.

24. A concise expression of insight or wisdom: 'The vanity of others offends our taste only when it offends our vanity' (Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil).

25. A work that imitates the style of a previous author - work - or literary genre. Alternatively - the term may refer to a work that contains a hodgepodge of elements or fragments from different sources or influences. It differs from parody in that its

26. A romance that describes the adventures of medieval knights and celebrates their strict code of honor - loyalty - and respectful devotion to women.

27. The nonfictional story of a person's life. James Boswell's Life of Johnson is one of the most celebrated examples.

28. A speech - often in verse - by a lone character. The most famous example being the 'To be or not to be' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

29. An autobiographical poetic genre in which the poet discusses intensely personal subject matter with unusual frankness.

30. A serious play that ends unhappily for the protagonist.

31. A celebration of the simple - rustic life of shepherds and shepherdesses - usually written by a sophisticated - urban writer.

32. A play consisting of a single act - without intermission and running usually less than an hour.

33. A play written in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries that presents an allegory of the Christian struggle for salvation.

34. A play such as Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale that mixes elements of tragedy and comedy.

35. A fiction genre - popularized in the 1940s - with a cynical - disillusioned - loner protagonist.

36. An autobiographical work. Rather than focus exclusively on the author's life - it pays significant attention to the author's involvement in historical events and the characterization of individuals other than the author.

37. An invented narrative - as opposed to one that reports true events.

38. The brief narration of a single event or incident.

39. A novel that tells a nonfictional - autobiographical story but uses novelistic techniques - such as fictionalized dialogue or anecdotes - to add color - immediacy - or thematic unity.

40. A form of nonfictional discussion or argument that Michel de Montaigne pioneered in the 1500s.

41. A short pastoral poem in the form of a dialogue between two shepherds. Virgil's Eclogues is the most famous example of this genre.

42. The nonfictional story of a person's life - told by that person.

43. A poetic work that features the strong rhythms of free versebut is presented on the page in the form of prose - without line breaks.

44. A succinct - witty statement - often in verse. For example - William Wordsworth's observation 'The child is the father of the man.'

45. A short play based on a biblical story.

46. A narrative work that reports true events.

47. Fiction that concerns the nature of fiction itself - either by reinterpreting a previous fictional work or by drawing attention to its own fictional status.

48. A story about a heroic figure derived from oral tradition and based partly on fact and partly on fiction.

49. A poem that contains words that a fictional or historical character speaks to a particular audience. Alfred - Lord Tennyson's 'Ulysses' is a famous example.

50. A story about the origins of a culture's beliefs and practices - or of supernatural phenomena - usually derived from oral tradition and set in an imagined supernatural past.