Lit Terms: Epic-In medias res

Topic: EntertainmentThe Handmaid'S Tale
Sample donated:
Last updated: May 6, 2019
Epic
a poem that celebrates, in a continuous narrative, the achievements of mighty heroes and heroines, often concerned with the founding of a nation or developing of a culture; it uses elevated language and grand, high style

Exposition
that part of the structure that sets the scene, introduces and identifies the characters, and establishes the situation at the beginning of a story or play

extended metaphor
a detailed and complex metaphor that extends over a long section of work, also known as a conceit

falling action
that part of the plot structure in which the complications of the rising action are untangled.

This is also known as the denouement

farce
a play or scene in a play or a book that is characterized by broad humor, wild antics, and are often slapstick and physical humor

foreshadowing
to hint at or present in indication of the future beforehand

formal diction
language that is lofty, dignified, and impersonal. Such diction is often used in narrative epic poetry

flashback
retrospection, where an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronology of the narrative

free verse
poetry that is characterized by varying line lengths, lack of traditional meter, and non rhyming lines

genre
a type or class of literature such as epic or narrative or poetry or belles letters

hyperboles
overstatement characterized by exaggerated language

iambic
a metrical form in which each foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one

imagery
broadly defined, any sensory detail or evocation in a work; more narrowly, the use of figurative language to evoke a feeling, to call to mind an idea, or to describe an object

informal diction
language that is not as lofty or impersonal as formal diction; similar to everyday speech

in medias res
“in the midst of things;” refers to opening a story in the middle of the action, necessitating filing in past details by exposition or flashback

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