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English Literature – Semester 1 – Midterm Exam – Review

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scops
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an Anglo-Saxon poet who travels from court to court and performs in mead halls
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caesura
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a break/pause in a line of poetry, dictated, usually by the natural rhythm of the language (Grendel gongan godes yrre baer)
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alliteration
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the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words (out from the marsh, from the foot of misty)
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kenning
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another poetic device that was used y the oral poet (hell-forged hands)
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allegory
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a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning (Beowulf represents “good”, Grendel represents “bad”)
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epic (characteristics)
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a. hero, generally male of noble birth or high position b. character traits reflect important ideals of his society c. perform courageous deeds d. actions determine fate of a nations or group of people e. setting is vast in scope f. uses formal diction and serious tone g. major characteristics often deliver long, formal speeches h. plot complicated by supernatural being/events i. poems reflect timeless values j. poem focuses on universal themes
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elegy
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a poem of serious reflection
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ballad
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narrative song, story
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Thomas Mallory
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he wrote Morte d’ Arthur
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Geoffrey Chaucer
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father of English Literature
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Morality Play
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“allegorical” drama (stories about virtue/vice)
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Mystery Play
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stories from the Bible
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Miracle Play
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lives of saints
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tone
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the writers attitude
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direct characterization
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stating facts about a personality directly
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indirect characterization
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revealing personality through details of Chaucer’s physical description, speech, thoughts, feelings, actions, and through other characters as they relate to the character
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irony
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contrast between expectation and reality
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meter
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repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in a line of poetry
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foot
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basic repeated sequence of meter composed of two or more accented or unaccented syllables
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iambic pentameter
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most common metrical pattern in English imprecisely
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heroic couplet
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same as couplet, but meter is iambic pentameter