Literary Terms and Definitions R - Carson-Newman College
copia, a Latin word for "fullness," or"plentitude," (from which, our "copious") used as a rhetorical term todescribe a prose aesthetic which encouraged multiplication of examples, adding parallelstructures to simple declarations and questions, and generally "thickening" thetexture of the prose to make it beautifully complex, like the floral borders andintricately interwoven picture panels of a medieval tapestry. Rhetors who followedthe aesthetic of copia often were called "ornate" (i.e., golden, preciouslyornamented) or "Eupheuistic" if they followed the exaggerated form of this styleas found in John Lyly's Euphues. This style often disliked by modernstudents, alas.Rhamist rhetoric, the rhetorical style which defeated the ornatestyle by advocating lean prose, pruned of ornaments, getting logically to its conclusionsby the shortest number of premises and eschewing all digression. It is named for theFrench logician, Petrus (Peter) Ramus (1515-72) whose revision of Aristotelian rhetoricand logic emphasized logic as a separate discipline and relegated rhetoric to the formulasand tropes by which words could be decoratively shifted from their typical meanings(metaphor, simile, zeugma, etc.). A Protestant convert, he was among those died inthe St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, killed by hired assassins, but not, probably hired byproponents of ornate speech. They're not that evil.the Armada Year, 1588, one of the most important anchoring pointsfor the British myth of empire, when storms and excellent English seamanship destroyed theSpanish Armada and prevented the planned invasion from the Netherlands of a Spanish armybecause their troop transports then lacked armed escorts. Ever since, Englishpoliticians (from Elizabeth I to Winston Churchill) have evoked the image of the embattledisland, defended by free spirited and independent people, against overwhelming powerweilded by despotic autocrats. That Elizabeth was something of a despot, like Philipof Spain, and that the class-conflicts which racked England increasingly made Englishworkers feel more kinship with French peasants than with their noble English masters,doesn't even enter into this myth, so don't ask. Also see, King Arthur and hisknights of the Round Table, also heavily circulated in print until around the 1650s whenits myth-making power was no longer needed, having been usurped by the new empire's ownfantasies.tetrameter, a poetic line of four feet in whatever meter they'rewritten (e.g., iambic da-dum, trochaic, dum-da, spondee dum-dum,etc. etc.)trimeter, a poetic line of three feet and see above.dimeter, a poetic line of two feet, etc.monometer, a poetic line of one foot. Say that reminds me ofthe still unproduced Monty Python film project calledinwhich the eponymous king, a very bad boy, had a court in which everyone's left arm hadbeen amputated according to some past cruel royal whim, and the royal archers, who couldill spare their left arms, had lost their left legs. So when the archers' sergeantcalled out their marching orders, it was (naturally), "Left, left, left, left,..." OK, there's nothing inherently funny about lost limbs, but it's reallyabout monometer, see?metaphysical poetry, like "Impressionist painting,"originally a term of opprobrium used to describe a new poetic style in which the metaphorsand similes of Petrarchan style were vastly exaggerated, often comparing human appearanceor attributes to animals, machines, or improbable future events (e.g., Donne's "TheFlea," in which, after the flea has bitten a man and a woman, the lovers'blood, redly visible in the insect's swollen belly, is compared with the union of theirbloods in the getting of a child by an act of copulation (which last is what the speakerreally hopes for). Not weird enough for you? She retaliates for his lewdjesting by squashing the bug, and he compares her act to the Crucifixion. Hah! Now that's :"The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art areransacked for illustrations, comparisons, and allusions; their learning instructs andtheir subtlety surprises; but the reader commonly thinks his improvements dearly bought,and, though he sometimes admires, is seldom pleased" (Samuel Johnson, "Life ofCowley," 1759, not a fan--could you tell?).the Sons of Ben, poetic followers of the stylistic examples of BenJonson's works, attitudes, learning, etc. To be a true "son of Ben," onesupposes you'd have to be among those who drank and bantered with him at the MermaidTavern and Devil Tavern, a group called the Friday Street Club, which included WilliamShakespeare (more of a rival Father), John Donne, Francis Beaumont, Robert Herrick, andSir Walter Ralegh. Since the term's clearly metaphorical, though, (as far as thefathers of Donne, Beaumont, Herrick and Ralegh know!) so we also could include anyone whoadopts Jonson's signature interests in classical literary references, a tendency torestage classical works in modern dress, a degree of pride in the craft of poesy, and sometendency to public displays of wit, even to insult. (Example: Would-be memberRichard Sylvester (pronounced "Sill-vister") was said to havechallenged BJ to a "capping contest" in which one rhymer tries to outdo theother's rhyme in the same form, saying "I, Richard Sylvester, slept with yoursister." Jonson answered, "I, Ben Jonson, slept with thy wife." When Sylvester protested it didn't rhyme, Jonson said, "Yes, but it's true!")"wild civility," from Herrick's "Delight inDisorder," a paradoxical combination of vulnerable disorder in dress or manner together with thesigns of exquisite planning which characterize formal garments, a tolerance for smalldisorders in metrical perfection or rhyme in pursuit of a naturalness impossible ifformal perfection is sought. As a good "son of Ben," RH here echoes asentiment in Jonson's "Still to be Neat" but he describes the opposite of thecloying "correctness" BJ criticizes in that poem.paradox, a rhetorical trope combining two apparently opposed statesor things (a "loud silence" after you drop your unabridged dictionary on thestack of champagne glasses). Not to be confused with two Ph.D.s standing next to one another.
Glossary of Terms: P - Physical Geography
In a process-response system, we can model the processes involved in the movement, storage, and transformation of energy and/or matter between system elements and we fully understand how the form of the system in terms of between measured features.
Is that all there is? Hardly, and Idon't mean to imply that these terms are sufficient to supply you with the criticalterminology with which to describe all the literature you'll encounter. However, Ihope a good deal of it was relevant to your reading and helped you to explain literatureto me and to yourselves. If, during your reading in critical literature for thepapers, you discover terms you can't define, please email me and ask for help.