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Literary genres: poetry and drama

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1 Literary genres: poetry and drama
Have your notes from yesterday ready. I have a few things to cover before we take notes…be ready to listen!

2 Poetry is a type of writing designed to convey experiences, ideas, or emotions in a vivid and imaginative way. Poems are characterized by literary techniques such as rhyme and rhythm. Poetry is usually (but not always) written in short lines, and the lines often rhyme. A poem may tell a story, create images, or just share a feeling or thought. Poems can be written in special forms, such as sonnets, elegies, epics, and lyric poetry.

3 Elegy is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. In content, it is similar to an epitaph (written on a tombstone) or a eulogy (written using prose). An elegy focuses on the loss or grief itself.

4 epic is a poem that combines classical literature, myths, and folklore. Elements of epics include: a hero or heroine, a muse who describes the quest, a quest or heroic task to accomplish, a heroic friend who is needed to accomplish the task, and magical weapons or tools to help them achieve success. Also, the hero or heroine must survive long enough to accomplish the task, but the heroic friend sometimes dies in the midst of it. Homer's The Odyssey is an example of an epic poem.

5 Free verse poem is poetry written without regards to form, rhyme, rhythm, meter, or line breaks. A poem written in free verse doesn't have a clear traditional form.

6 Lyric poem presents the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker. The speaker addresses the reader directly. Lyric poems are often written with a specific rhyme scheme and meter (the rhythmic pattern determined by the number of syllables in each line). They do not tell a story, like ballads and epic poems do.

7 Narrative poems are poems that tell a story. They have characters and plot just like a story. Sometimes they have dialogue, themes, and conflicts. Narrative poems can sometimes be categorized as another form, such as ballads or epics.

8 Sonnet is a form of poetry written in fourteen lines and ending in a couplet (two lines that rhyme). Sonnets also have a specific rhythm the poet must follow.

9 DRAMA is a type of writing that is told in dialogue and written to be performed on a stage. Dramas are not written in paragraph form. The characters' names are written out, and the words they speak are written beside them. There are no quotation marks. In dramas, you will read special instructions that tell you what the stage should look like. The instructions also tell you how to speak and act. Plays that can be categorized as comedies or tragedies are example of dramas. The following are elements found in plays:

10 Exposition is the introductory material that gives the setting, introduces the characters, and sets the tone—all of which help the audience to understand the plot. The exposition "sets up" the story.

11 Dialogue is conversation between two or more characters. It is written to imitate real life conversation. In a dialogue, characters share information, ideas, and feelings. The dialogue of a play is written down in a script.

12 soliloquy is a narrative spoken by a single actor in which his or her thoughts are revealed to the audience. Usually, the actor is alone on stage, or the other performers are temporarily not engaged in the play.

13 Monologue is a speech made by one character who speaks to a silent listener. "Mono-" means "one." A monologue can be a story, a poem, or any other kind of uninterrupted speech by a character. A monologue helps the audience to know what a character is really thinking or feeling as opposed to what the character might pretend to think or feel.

14 Aside is a speech or comment made by an actor directly to the audience about the action of the play or another character. The audience is to understand that this comment is not heard or noticed by the other characters in the play.

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