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Literature Glossary

Search literature genres, authors, works, rhetorical devices and more.

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Find literature terms organized by category. Read a quick description of each section and see popular entries.

Character types

Every story has main actors, or characters, that play specific roles. These roles have been used for thousands of years and are generally characterized by the motivations of the actor.

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Genres and forms

Like character types, most literary stories fall into one of many types of genres. Genres and forms dictate whether the story is going to be happy, sad, musical or even end in a travesty.

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Rhetorical devices

Rhetorical devices are specific words used in order to persuade the reader of a position or to evoke emotions. Authors use various literary devices depending on the genre of the work.

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Literary works

Works are stories or novels attributed to a specific author or group of authors. Many movies are adaptations based on works written thousands of years ago (but with different settings).

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Literary authors

Literary authors are writers known for composing a specific work. Some authors (like Shakespeare) are known for writing many works, even entire volumes. Others are known for just one work.

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Behind every great written work is a plethora of techniques, concepts and modes of writing. These uncategorized concepts are generally grouped under the umbrella of vocabulary.

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What's included with each entry

Each literature glossary entry is short (roughly 600 words) and covers basic aspects of the term, work, author, or concept. For any given entry, you can expect to know the following items after reading:

  • Concise definition
  • Summary
  • Usage rules
  • Examples
  • Related terms
  • Background information

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About this glossary

This glossary and its terms is provided by Ultius, a global leader in connecting consumers with qualified freelance writers. Since 2010, Ultius has been connecting customers in over 45 countries with the best freelance writers on the planet.


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