Copyright Dr. L.
Kip Wheeler 1998-2014. Permission is granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. Last updated November 5, 2014. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Please
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This webpage contains
an alphabetical glossary of literary terms and
It focuses particularly on the material I most frequently
teach (classical and medieval literature, the history
of the English language, and science fiction narratives).
Because the list is fairly lengthy, I have subdivided
it into several pages. Hunt for the term you want alphabetically
within each letter's webpage. You can supplement this knowledge
by looking in the glossary in the back of your literature
books, in dictionaries, and online more generally. Do note
that entries marked with a tiny construction barrier ()or
the abbreviation TBA ("to be
are still in the process of being written or revised, so
these entries will change as I polish them.
I consulted the following works
while preparing this list. I have tried to give credit to specific sources when
feasible, but in many cases multiple reference works use the same examples or
provide the same dates for common information. Students should examine these
resources for more information than these humble webpages provide:
Abrams, M. H. A
Glossary of Literary Terms. 6th edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt
Brace College Pub., 1993. [Now superseded by later editions.]
---. "Poetic Forms
and Literary Terminology." The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
7th edition. Volume 1. New York: Norton, 2000. 2944-61. 2 Vols.
Algeo, John and Thomas Pyles.
The Origin and Development of the English Language. 5th edition.
Baugh, A. C. and Thomas
Cable. A History of the English Language. 5th edition. Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2002.
Brown, Michelle P. Understanding
Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms. London: The British
Library and the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994.
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion.
[Originally published 1977 as Griechische Religion der archaischen
und klassischen Epoche.] Trans. John Raffan. Cambridge: Harvard UP,
Catholic University of America
Editorial Staff. The New Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Corbett, Edward P. J. Classical
Rhetoric for the Modern Student. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990.
Cuddon, J. A. The
Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin
Damrosch, David, gen. ed. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. 2nd Compact Edition. Volume A. New York: Pearson, 2004. 3 Vols.
Deutsch, Babette. Poetry
Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. Fourth Edition. New York: Harper and
Row, 1974. Reprint as Barnes and Noble Edition, 1981.
Drout, Michael D. C. J.R.R. Tolkien
Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. New York: Routledge, 2007.
Duffy, Seán. Medieval
Ireland: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Eagleton, Terry. Literary
Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P,
Elkhadem, Saad. The York Dictionary Literary Terms and Their Origin: English, French, German, Spanish. York P, 1976.
Gabel, John B. and Charles B. Wheeler. The
Bible as Literature: An Introduction. New York: Oxford U P, 1986.
Giroux, Joan. The Haiku
Form. New York: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1974. Reprinted New York:
Barnes and Noble, 1999.
Greenblatt, Stephen. "Glossary."
The Norton Shakespeare: Tragedies. New York: Norton, 1997. 1139-43.
Guerin, Wilfred L., et
al. "Glossary." A Handbook of Critical Approaches to
Literature. 2nd ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1979. 317-29.
Harkins, Williams E. Dictionary
of Russian Literature. The New Students Outline Series. Patterson, New
Jersey: Littlefield, Adams, and Co., 1959.
Harvey, Sir Paul and Dorothy
Eagle, eds. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 4th ed.
Oxford: Oxford UP, 1969.
Holman, C. Hugh. A
Handbook to Literature. 3rd edition. New York: The Odyssey Press,
Hopper, Vincent Foster.
Medieval Number Symbolism: Its Sources, Meaning, and Influence on Thought
and Expression. 1938. Republished Mineola, NY: Dover Publications,
Horobin, Simon. Chaucer's Language. New
York: Palgrave McMillan, 2007.
Kane, George. The Autobiographical Fallacy in Chaucer and Langland Studies. London: H. K. Lewis, 1965.
Lacy, Norris J. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia.
New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.
Lanham, Richard A. A
Handlist of Rhetorical Terms. 2nd edition. Berkeley: U of California
Marshall, Jeremy and Fred
McDonald. Questions of English. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995.
Mawson, C. O. Sylvester
and Charles Berlitz. Dictionary of Foreign Terms. New York: Thomas
Y. Crowell Company, 2nd ed. 1975.
McManus, Damian. Ogam Stones At University
College Cork. Cork: Cork U P, 2004.
Metzger, Bruce M. and Michael D. Coogan,
eds. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford U P,
O'Donoghue, Heather. Old Norse-Icelandic
Literature: A Short Introduction. Malden, MA:Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
Page, P.K. "Forward." Hologram. Brick Books, London, Ontario: 1994.
Palmer, Donald. Looking
At Philosophy: The Unbearable Heaviness of Philosophy Made Lighter. 2nd
edition. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1994.
Peck, Harry Thurston. Harper's Dictionary of Clasical Literature and Antiquities. New York: The American Book Company, 1923. 2 vols.
Perelman, Ch. and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca.
The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. Notre Dame, U of Notre
Dame P, 2000.
The Oxford English Dictionary.
2nd ed. 1989.
Quinn, Arthur. Figures
of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase. Davis, California: Hermagoras P,
Rae, Gail. Guide to Literary
Terms. Staten Island, New York: Research and Educational Association,
Roberts, Edgar V. and Henry
E. Jacobs. "Glossary of Literary Terms." Literature: An Introduction
to Reading and Writing. 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 2001. 2028-50.
Scott, Kathleen L. Later
Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490. A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in
the British Isles 6. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 1996. 2 Vols.
Shaw, Harry. Concise
Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.
Shipley, Joseph T. Dictionary
of World Literature: Criticism, Forms, Technique. The Philosophical
Library. New York: Philosophical Library, 1943.
Supplement to the Oxford
English Dictionary. 1989.
Smith, David P. "Glossary of Grammar Terms." [Miscellaneous
handouts made available to students in Basic Greek at Carson-Newman College
in the Fall Term of 2006.]
Swain, Dwight V. Creating
Characters. The Elements of Fiction Writing. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest
Williams, Jerri. "Schemes
and Tropes." [Miscellaneous handouts made available to her graduate
students at West Texas A & M University in the Fall Term of 1993.]
Yasuda, Kenneth. The
Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature, History, and Possibilities in
English. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Co.,
Zenkovsky, Serge A. Medieval Russia's Epics, Chronicles, and Tales. Rev Ed. New York: Meridian Books, 1974.
Zireaux. E-mail Communication. 21 June 2012.