Literary and Cultural Studies II at Universität Münster

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5 Rhyme schemes

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6 tropes and figures of speech

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Genre's etymology

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A Note on meter

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Attempts at Defining “Poetry”

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4 types of poems

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Attempts at Defining “Poetry”
Müller-Zettelmann: Mehrkomponentenmodell Lyric Poetry

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Classification model "Family resemblance"

by Ludwig Wittgenstein

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How does poetry work?

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generic cues/promptings

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4 promptings

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5 meters

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5 further tropes and figures of speech

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Exemplary flashcards for Literary and Cultural Studies II at the Universität Münster on StudySmarter:

Literary and Cultural Studies II

5 Rhyme schemes

1. couplet (aabb)

2. alternate rhyme/cross rhyme (abab)

3. enclosing rhyme/embracing rhyme (abba)

4. chain rhyme/interlocking rhyme (aba bcb cdc)

5. tail rhyme (aab ccb)

Literary and Cultural Studies II

6 tropes and figures of speech

1. anaphora and epiphora/epistrophe 

repetition of a word or a group of words in successive clauses at the beginning of the clause (anaphora) or at the end of the clause (epiphore/ epistrophe). 

2. allegory 

An allegory is a story in verse or prose with a double meaning: a primary or surface meaning; and a secondary or under-the-surface meaning. It is a story, therefore, that can be read, understood and interpreted at two levels (an in some cases even at three or four levels). 

3. euphemism 

The substitution of a mild and pleasant expression for a harsh and blunt one, such as ‘to pass away’ for ‘to die’. The opposite is dysphemism. 

4. ellipsis 

A rhetorical figure in which one or more words are omitted. 

5. hyperbole ,

A figure of speech which contains an exaggeration for emphasis. 

6. metaphor 

A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another. A comparison is usually implicit, whereas in simile it is explicit.

Literary and Cultural Studies II

Genre's etymology

- first use in English 1770

- replaces "kinds of literature" (used since c. 1000); original "kind" of individuals/attributes/species

- genus first applied to literature in late 4th century

Literary and Cultural Studies II

A Note on meter

The number of feet in one verse determines whether it is a monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter, etc.

 Especially prominent:

 - iambic pentameter (if unrhymed, blank verse) 

- Alexandrine (iambic hexameter)

Literary and Cultural Studies II

Attempts at Defining “Poetry”

− among the oldest genres of literary history
− going back to antiquity
− up to the 18th century:
• no uniform definition of “lyric” (as opposed to epic and
dramatic, see Aristotle’s Poetics)
• until then, poetry was not ‘theorized’ as a third genre besides
narrative texts and drama

Literary and Cultural Studies II

4 types of poems

1. Ballad 

(stanza quatrin acab/abab rhyme; 1st and 3rd line iambic with 4 beats per line; 2nd and 4th trimeter with 3 beats per line)


2. Sonnet 

(10 syllables per line x/x/; 3 stanzes each 4 lines + last stanza 2 lines rhyming)


3. Ode

4. Elegy

Literary and Cultural Studies II

Attempts at Defining “Poetry”
Müller-Zettelmann: Mehrkomponentenmodell Lyric Poetry

 relative brevity
 reduction, condensation
 heightened subjectivity
 musicality
 phonological, morphological, syntactical, semantic hyper-
structuring
 deviation from ordinary language and heightened artificiality
 heightened aesthetic self-referentiality

Literary and Cultural Studies II

Classification model "Family resemblance"

by Ludwig Wittgenstein

- making up a family whose individual members are related in various ways but actually dont have anything in common

- looser conception of genre

! text in a genre rarely possess all characteristics

! connections in texts, that have nothing in common

Literary and Cultural Studies II

How does poetry work?

- literal vs forms of figurative language (tropes, figures of speech) 

- meter, rhythm, etc.

- content follows the form

- tendency towards artificiality

Literary and Cultural Studies II

generic cues/promptings

+

4 promptings

- association of a text and a genre is the result of a process/readers relate texts to genre

- process is tied to context, historically determined concentions and cultural expectations


1. paratextual cues (cover, preface, headline, ...)

2. contextual information (place of publication; book/media format)

3. aspects of form (rhetorical devices, narrative perspective, ...)

4. contents (plits, motif, characterization, etc.)

Literary and Cultural Studies II

5 meters

iamb (x /) 

trochee (/ x) 

spondee (/ /)

dactyl (/ x x)

anapest (x x /)

Literary and Cultural Studies II

5 further tropes and figures of speech

7. metonymy 

the name of an attribute or a thing is substituted for the thing itself. Common examples are ‘The Crown’ for the monarchy or closely related to synecdoche, a figure of speech in which the part stands for the whole. 

8. oxymoron 

A figure of speech which combines incongruous and apparently contradictory words and meanings for a special effect. It is closely related to antithesis and paradox. 

9. paradox An apparently self-contradictory (even absurd) statement which, on closer examination, is found to contain truth reconciling the conflicting opposites. 

10. pun 

A figure of speech which involves a play upon words. Puns are often intended humorously but not always. 

11. simile 

A figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. It is an explicit comparison (as opposed to the metaphor, where the comparison is implicit) recognizable by the use of the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.

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