English Lit Terminology

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Iamb
x -
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Pyrrhic
x x
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Spondee
- -
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Troche
- x
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anapest
x x -
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Dactyl
- x x
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Metre
The pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables
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Pentameter
A line consisting of five main stresses
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Tetrameter
A line consisting of four main stresses
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Hexameter
A line consisting of six main stresses (often five dactyls and a spondee)
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Trimeter
A line consisting of three main stresses
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Dimeter
A line consisting of two main stresses
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Sprung verse
A metrical pattern where there is a highly variable number of stressed syllables and the heavily stressed syllables are the determining factor
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Feminine ending
The end of a line whose last syllable is lightly stressed
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Masculine ending
The end of a line whose final syllable is heavily stressed
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Internal rhyme
A rhyme that occurs midline
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Pararhyme
A deliberately imperfect rhyme (eg war/wire or on/organ) to give the sense of echo
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Volta
Turning point in a sonnet. Between the octet and sestet in a Petrarchan sonnet and sometimes between the 8th and 9th or between the 12th and 13th lines of a Shakespearean sonnet
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Caesura
A midline pause caused by punctuation
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Blank Verse
Unrhymed five stress lines
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Assonance
Repetition of vowels
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Gutteral sound
Repetition of G and K
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Liquid sound
Repetition of L and R
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Dental sound
Repetition of D and T
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Fricative sound
Repetition of F, TH or PH
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Aspirant sound
Repertition of H
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Nasal sound
Repetition of M and N
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Plosive sound
Repetition of P and B
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Sibilant sounds
Repetition of S and SH
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Labial sounds
Repetition of V and W
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Metaphore
When one object 'becomes' another
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Trope
Commonly occuring motif or cliche
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