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Literary Terms and Definitions: G

This page is under perpetual construction! It was last updated April 24, 2018.

This list is meant to assist, not intimidate. Use it as a touchstone for important concepts and vocabulary that we will cover during the term. Vocabulary terms are listed alphabetically.

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M]

[N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

GAIR LLANW: In Welsh poetry such as the strict meters (cynghanedd), a common technique to fill out the necessary syllables in a line is to add a gair llanw, a parenthetical word or phrase--often functioning much like an epithet in Greek literature.

GALLERY: The elevated seating areas at the back and sides of a theater.

GATHERERS: Money-collectors employed by an acting company to take money at the admissions or entrances to a theater.

GEASA (also spelled geisa or geis, plural geissi): A magical taboo or restriction placed on a hero in Old Irish literature. For example, Cuchulainn in the Tain is forbidden to eat the flesh of a dog because his own name means "hound of Ulster." (On a symbolic level then, eating a dog's meat would be an act of autocannibalism.) Such restrictions are almost archetypal--compare with Sampson and Delilah in biblical literature. Also compare with the tynged in Welsh literature.

GEMEL: A final couplet that appears at the end of a sonnet. See couplet and sonnet.

GEMINATION: In linguistics, the doubling of a consonant sound under certain conditions, a trait common in Germanic languages including English. An example of gemination in English is the way the /t/ doubles in the word hot when we add the -er suffix for the comparative form of hotter.

GENDER, GRAMMATICAL: A grammatical category in most Indo-European languages. Three genders commonly appear for pronouns, nouns (and in inflected languages adjectives): masculine, feminine, and neuter. Note that these categories are only vaguely related to biological gender.

GENERAL SEMANTICS: According to Algeo, "A linguistic philosophy emphasizing the arbitrary nature of language to clarify thinking" (319).

GENERALIZATION, LINGUISTIC: As Algeo defines it, "A semantic change expanding the kinds of referents of a word" (319). I.e., in generalization, a word picks up broader meaning instead of becoming specialized, focused, and narrower in meaning.

GENERATIVE GRAMMAR: Another term for transformational grammar.

GENETIC CLASSIFICATION: A grouping of languages based on their historical development from a common source.

GENITIVE: A declension in any synthetic (i.e. heavily inflected) language that indicates possession. In many Old English singular nouns, an -es declension attached to the end of that noun would indicate the genitive case. For instance, in the phrase "Godes wrath" (God's wrath), the -es indicates that the word wrath belongs to God. That ancient -es genitive declension survives today in fossilized form as the apostrophe followed by the letter s. For instance, the boy's ball. The use of the apostrophe is the result of a Renaissance misunderstanding. See his-genitive for more information.

GENRE: A type or category of literature or film marked by certain shared features or conventions. The three broadest categories of genre include poetry, drama, and fiction. These general genres are often subdivided into more specific genres and subgenres. For instance, precise examples of genres might include murder mysteries, westerns, sonnets, lyric poetry, epics, tragedies, etc. Bookstores, libraries, and services like Redbox or Netflix may label and subdivide their books or films into genres for the convenience of shoppers seeking a specific category of literature.

GEOGRAPHICAL DIALECT (also called a regional dialect): A dialect that appears primarily in a geographic area, as opposed to a dialect that appears primarily in an ethnic group or social caste.

GERMANIC: The northern branch of Indo-European, often subdivided into (1) East Germanic or Gothic, (2) West Germanic, and (3) North Germanic. Old Norse fits in the North Germanic sub-branch while Old English falls in the West Germanic sub-branch.

GHOST CHARACTERS: This term should not be confused with characters who happen to appear on stage as ghosts. Shakespearean scholars use the word "ghost characters" to refer to characters listed in the stage directions or the list of dramatis personae but who appear to say nothing, take no explicit part in the action, and are neither addressed nor mentioned by any other characters in the play. For instance, some quarto editions of Much Ado About Nothing list such characters in the first stage directions and again in Act III.

GHOST STORY: Any liteary or folklore narrative dealing with supernatural beings that return from the dead to haunt the living. Ghost stories appear in the traditions of a wide number of peoples and places including Amerindian and Polynesian tribes, the Middle East and Asia, and Europe. They may date back to prehistoric times and even today remain popular on " reality" television series, in horror films, and in online creepypastas. Ghost stories are often told with the explicit or implicit goal of evoking fear, suspense, and "goosebumps" in the listener. Many Gothic novels are ghost stories. Anthropologists suggest that, as is true with the current fascination with zombie apocalypse narratives, the fear implicit in a ghost story may originate in the instinctive revulsion and dismay humans (and many other animal species) feel when confronted with a dead body of their own species. Fear of and revulsion toward such dead bodies is a survival trait--obviously something dangerous to one's species--a predator, a poison, or a pathogen--killed the dead body. So, a strong desire to avoid the body and the surrounding area (i.e, a feeling of nausea or terror) would encourage others to keep their distance. The creators of ghost stories rely intentionally or unintentionally on this instinctive reaction toward the dead as one of the emotional engines to shape a reaction in their audience. Contrast with ghost characters, above.

GIMMAL: A term coined by Zireaux for a type of rhyme consisting of two words, and only two words, which rhyme perfectly in double or triple rhyme, and which appear related in meaning; additionally, no other standard English word can rhyme with them, making each set unique. Examples include beautiful/dutiful, achievement/bereavement, meager/eager, and cupid/stupid (Zireaux). Not to be confused with gimel, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

GLIDE: Also called a semivowel, a glide is a diphthongized sound that accompanies another vowel. These sounds are classified as on-glide or off-glide. For instance, Algeo notes the word mule [myule] contains an on-glide [y]. In contrast, the word mile [maIl] has an off-glide (319).

GLOBE: One of the theatres in London where Shakespeare performed. Shakespeare's acting company built it on the Bankside south of the Thames--an area often called "Southwerke"--which was notorious for its brothels and taverns, since it lay outside the jurisdiction of London proper. Technically polygonal rather than a perfect sphere, it was sufficiently circular to earn its name. The area above the stage, which contained a small orchestra for playing music and a small cannon for making explosive sound effects, was referred to in actor's slang as "the heavens." The cellarage, or the area directly underneath the stage, accessible through a trapdoor called the hell mouth (q.v.), was known as "hell."

GLOSA: The term has two meanings. (1) In linguistics, a synthetic language intended to be used as a communications tool amongst scientists across the world. Originally called interglossa, the language originates in the work of Great Britain's Lancelot Hogben. He first published the language as a whole in 1943. Interglosa was later modified and the name shortened to Glosa in 1978, three years after Hogben's death. (2) In poetry, a glosa is a genre or poetic form in which a later poet writes a poem commenting on or "glossing" a famous quatrain written by another poet. Canadian poet P. K. Page defines it as consisting of an opening quatrain written by another poet, four ten-line stanzas, each with concluding lines taken consecutively from the quatrain, and the sixth and ninth lines rhyming with the borrowed tenth line (Page, "forward"). Cf. gloss below.

GLOSS (Orig. Grk glossa "language", adopted into Latin as glosa and becoming a verb by backformation as glosare, "to comment or explain in writing"): As a verb, to gloss is to write a scholarly or explanatory commentary on another text. This practice was common among medieval scribes and writers, particularly those commenting on biblical texts, who would write extensive glosses in smaller handwriting in the margins of bibles. Modern editors of scholarly editions often add their own glosses to literary works in the form of footnotes. See criticus apparatus. As a noun, a gloss is the actual written commentary itself. Glossation is the act of making such commentaries.

GLOTTAL: Any sound made using the glottis or the vocal cords.

GOGYNFEIRDD: A collective term for the court poets in Northern Wales in the years 1000-1299 CE.

GOIDELIC: One of the two branches of the Celtic family of languages descended from Proto-Indo-European. Goidelic includes Celtic languages such as Manx, Irish Gaelic, and Scots Gaelic. Contrast with the related Brythonic branch, which includes Cornish, Breton, and Welsh. The Goidelic language branch is also referred to as "Q-Celtic" because it tends to use a <q> or <c> in certain words where a <p> appears in Brythonic equivalents.

GOLDEN AGE OF GREECE: The period around 400-499 BCE, when Athens was at its height of prestige, wealth, and military power. This term is often used as a contrast with the Heroic Age of Greece (c. 1200-800 BCE).

GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION: The period between 1930 and about 1955 in which a growing number of science fiction short stories appeared in pulp fiction publications like the following:

  • Amazing Stories (first issued 1926 under the editorial control of Hugo Gernsback and the artistic control of Frank Paul)
  • Weird Tales (first issued 1923 under J.C. Henneberger)
  • Fantastic Adventures (first published 1952 under Ziff Davis)
  • Science Wonder Stories (first published under Hugo Gernsback in 1930)
  • Thrilling Wonder Stories (first published 1936 under Ned Pines)

The golden age is not necessarily designated thus because of the quality of the material, but rather in the sense of this being a "first age" in which science fiction was widely published and editors/authors/readers recognized it as a distinct genre. These early magazines often suffered from financial woes, frequently traded hands in terms of ownership, and often had circulations of less than 30,000 issues. By the 1950s however, these short stories had created a generation of young science fiction readers who turned into adult writers, paving the way for the science fiction novel. Many science fiction writers like A. E. Vogt, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin, Arthur C. Clarke, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and Isaac Asimov wrote their first major works for these early publications.

GOTHIC: The word Gothic originally only referred to the Goths, one of the Germanic tribes that helped destroy Rome. Their now-extinct language, also called Gothic, died out completely. The term later came to signify "Germanic," then "medieval," especially in reference to the medieval architecture and art used in western Europe between 1100 and 1500 CE. (The earlier art and architecture of medieval Europe between 700-1100 CE is known as "Romanesque.") Characteristics of Gothic architecture include the pointed arch and vault, the flying buttress, stained glass, and the use of gargoyles and grotesques fitted into the nooks and crannies unoccupied by images of saints and biblical figures. A grotesque refers to a stone carving of a monstrous or mythical creature either in two dimensions or full-relief, but which does not contain a pipe for transferring rainwater. A gargoyle is a full-relief stone carving with an actual pipe running through it, so that rainwater will flow through it and out of a water-spout in its mouth. Manuscripts from the Gothic period of art likewise have strange monsters and fantastical creatures depicted in the margins of the page, and elaborate vine-work or leaf-work painted along the borders. The term has come to be used much more loosely to refer to gloomy or frightening literature. Contrast with horror story, Gothic literature and Gothic novel (below).

GOTHIC LITERATURE: Poetry, short stories, or novels designed to thrill readers by providing mystery and blood-curdling accounts of villainy, murder, and the supernatural. As J. A. Cuddon suggests, the conventions of gothic literature include wild and desolate landscapes, ancient buildings such as ruined monasteries; cathedrals; castles with dungeons, torture chambers, secret doors, and winding stairways; apparitions, phantoms, demons, and necromancers; an atmosphere of brooding gloom; and youthful, handsome heroes and fainting (or screaming!) heroines who face off against corrupt aristocrats, wicked witches, and hideous monsters. Conventionally, female characters are threatened by powerful or impetuous male figures, and description functions through a metonymy of fear by presenting details designed to evoke horror, disgust, or terror (see Cuddon's discussion, 381-82).

The term Gothic originally was applied to a tribe of Germanic barbarians during the dark ages and their now-extinct language, but eventually historians used it to refer to the gloomy and impressive style of medieval architecture common in Europe, hence "Gothic Castle" or "Gothic Architecture." The term became associated with ghost stories and horror novels because early Gothic novels were often associated with the Middle Ages and with things "wild, bloody, and barbarous of long ago" as J. A. Cuddon puts it in his Dictionary of Literary Terms (381). See Gothic, above, and Gothic novel, below.

GOTHIC NOVEL: A type of romance wildly popular between 1760 up until the 1820s that has influenced the ghost story and horror story. The stories are designed to thrill readers by providing mystery and blood-curdling accounts of villainy, murder, and the supernatural. As J. A. Cuddon suggests, the conventions include wild and desolate landscapes; ancient buildings such as ruined monasteries, cathedrals, and castles with dungeons, torture chambers, secret doors, and winding stairways; apparitions such as phantoms, demons, and necromancers; an atmosphere of brooding gloom; and youthful, handsome heroes and fainting (or screaming!) heroines who face off against corrupt aristocrats, wicked witches, and hideous monsters. Conventionally, powerful or impetuous male figure threaten virtuous female characters. The description functions through a metonymy of fear by presenting details designed to evoke horror, disgust, or terror (see Cuddon's discussion, 381-82).

The term Gothic originally was applied to a tribe of Germanic barbarians during the dark ages and their now-extinct language, but eventually historians used it to refer to the gloomy and impressive style of medieval architecture common in Europe, hence "Gothic Castle" or "Gothic Architecture." The term became associated with ghost stories and horror novels because early Gothic novels were often associated with the Middle Ages and with things "wild, bloody, and barbarous of long ago" as J. A. Cuddon puts it in his Dictionary of Literary Terms (381). Alternatively, the label gothic may have come about because Horace Walpole, one of the early writers, wrote his works in a faux medieval castle). The best known early example is Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. Later British writers in the Gothic tradition include "Monk" Lewis, Charles Maturin, William Beckford, Ann Radcliffe, and Mary Shelley. American Gothic writers include Charles Brockden Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe. Famous novels such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula are also considered gothic novels. In modern cartoons, Scooby Doo would also fall into the category of mock gothic drama in animated form. Many Gothic novels are ghost stories. Gothic novels are also called gothic romances.

GOTHIC ROMANCE: Another term for a Gothic novel.

GRADATIO: Extended anadiplosis (see above). Unlike regular anadiplosis, gradatio continues the pattern of repetition from clause to clause. For instance, in The Caine Mutiny the captain declares: "Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard. Standard performance is sub-standard. Sub-standard performance is not allowed." Biblically speaking, St. Paul claims, "We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope, and hope maketh man not ashamed." On a more mundane level, the character of Yoda states in Star Wars, Episode I: "Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hatred; hatred leads to conflict; conflict leads to suffering." Gradatio creates a rhythmical pattern to carry the reader along the text, even as it establishes a connection between words. Anadiplosis and gradatio are examples of rhetorical schemes.

GRADATION: In linguistics, another term for ablaut.

GRADUS (Lat. "step," cf. passus): "A handbook used as an aid in a difficult art or practice, specifically a dictionary of Greek or Latin prosody used as a guide in writing poetry in Greek or Latin. From Gradus ad Parnassum (literally, a step to Parnassus), a 17th-century prosody dictionary long used in British schools" (Zireaux).

GRÁGAS LAWBOOK (Old Norse "greygoose"): A section of the Codex Regius text that deals with wergild and Icelandic law--an important source for understanding the conflict in Icelandic sagas.

GRAMMATICAL FUNCTION: A category for words in inflected languages--typical examples include aspect, mood, and tense for verbs; person and case for pronouns; case and definiteness for articles, and number, case, and gender for nouns.

GRAPHEME: In a writing system, the smallest written mark or symbol that has meaning, and which cannot be subdivided into smaller markings recognized as symbols in a particular written form of language. For example, in English, the marking for the letter "a" <A> involves two diagonal lines that slant upward and one horizontal line. If any one of those three lines are removed, the markings are no longer recognizably a letter. Thus, the letter <A> is a grapheme that cannot be further subdivided into smaller symbols. Linguists indicate graphemes and written words by placing them in chevrons or carroted brackets in order to distinguish the markings from phonemes when discussing the sounds of the spoken word. For phonetic transcription, they would place the symbols for the sounds in slashes like /this/. Thus, the markings <kitten> and <cat>would indicate the way English speakers write the words "kitten" and "cat," respectively, but linguists would use phonetic transcription /kitin/ and /kæt/ respectively to indicate the way English speakers pronounce the words aloud. See also phoneme and morpheme.


GREEN WORLD: In Shakespearean scholarship, Northrup Frye introduced the idea of the Green World in The Anatomy of Criticism. In many Shakespearean comedies, the story begins in a stifling urban setting where the characters face conflicts--often romantic dilemmas, intergenerational strife, or financial woes. In the course of the play, for one reason or another, the characters end up leaving the city proper and find themselves lost in a nearby wild setting such as a forest or glen. Frequently, the transition is involuntary. This new natural environment usually embodies both danger and beauty simultaneously. It frees the characters from the constraints or conventions of their regular city life. The transition often initially confounds or baffles the characters who find themselves lost (both literally and figuratively) in the woods, facing adversity with no outside help. However, this Green World allows the characters room to metamorphosize into something new. Free from civilization, they have space to reimagine themselves, their societies, and their place in society. At the end of the play, the characters typically return to the original setting of the city (and human community), but they have now grown and can recommit themselves to familial obligations, to marriage or relationships, and to the shared life that makes society feasible. The key example here is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In fantasy literature, a similar motif frequently appears. In Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydein, for instance, Taran the Assistant-Pigkeeper must leave behind the confines of the farm when events thrust him into the wilds of the forest. As part of his adventures in the forest, he must learn true wisdom and maturity while separated from his normal (stifling) support network on the farm. At the end of his adventures, rather than leaving for the paradise Summer Country, he chooses to return to his original community as a leader to work with the people he once spurned. In the first half of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, the journey to Narnia is a sort of Green World hidden in a wardrobe. The young children enter this Green World, experience spiritual revelations, and then return (like Eustace) to the real world of London as better people, altered by the experience of being thrust into a beautiful wonderland where magic is real and mundane rules no longer seem to apply. In Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, various hobbits live a peaceful (but dull) bourgeois existence in the Shire, but adventures call them to dangerous journeys in the unfamiliar wilds, and at the end of the tale, they return back to the Shire. Their experiences abroad render them now able to confront new evils that have taken root in their own little world, such as the disgraced Saruman's attempt at seizing power there.


GREAT VOWEL SHIFT: A remarkable change in the pronunciation of English, thought to have occurred largely between 1400 and 1450. Much of Middle English poetry (including all the works of Chaucer, Gower, Langland, and the Pearl Poet) was written before the Great Vowel Shift took place, and thus it should be pronounced differently than Modern English. In scholarly parlance, the Great Vowel Shift is usually referred to by its initials as GVS. Click here for more information.

construction sign"GREAT WAR": While the Great War is usually used in reference to World War I, in Inklings scholarship, the term applies to a long-running argument or philosophical discussion between C.S. Lewis and his friend, Owen Barfield. Barfield described The Great War as "an intense interchange of philosophical opinions" and Lewis called it "an almost incessant disputation, sometimes by letter and sometimes face to face, which lasts for years" (qtd. in Duriez 83). The dialogue between them started around 1922, when Barfield became an anthroposophist, and lasted until about 1931, when Lewis converted to Christianity. The primary focus of the debate was the nature of the imagination and metaphor, and Lewis claimed Barfield cured him of chronological snobbery, instilling in him a loathing of modernism (83).

GRIMM'S LAW: A formulation or rule of thumb for tracing a language-shift in the Germanic branch of proto-Indo-European, i.e., the way certain consonants changed in the western or centum subfamily. The term comes from Jakob Grimm (the same scholar who with his brother collected the folktales in Grimm's Fairy Tales). Click here for specific information.

GRISAILLE: Kathleen Scott tells us that, in the elaborate medieval artwork found in illuminated manuscripts, grisaille refers to "decorative work or illustrative scenes rendered mainly in shades of grey or muted brown; in English 15th-century illustration, often in combination with colours or gold, i.e., figures in a monochrome tone against a coloured background; not common in 15th-century English book illustration" (Scott 372). It is, however, more commmon in continental manuscripts.

GROUNDLINGS: While the upper class paid two pennies to sit in the raised area with seats, and some nobles paid three pennies to sit in the Lords' rooms, the majority of viewers who watched Shakespeare's plays were called groundlings or understanders. They paid a single penny for admission to the ground level in the yard of the Globe theatre and remained standing for the entire play (often up to four hours in length). The word groundlings for such audience members first appears in Hamlet. From this and other contexts, it appears that the groundlings were boisterous and not very bright, with a penchant for eating nuts and throwing the shells at the actors on stage. (Contrast with the wealthy observers in the lords' rooms.)

GROUP GENITIVE: A genitive construction in which the 's appears at the end of a phrase modifying a word rather than the head or beginning of a phrase. For instance, "the applicant who lives in New York's resume arrived today." Here, the word applicant in red is the actual possessor of the resume, but because the long phrase who lives in New York appears between it and the possessed object (the resume), most English speaker's take the possessive marker and attach it to the proper noun New York. Collectively, this formation is a group genitive.

GRUE LANGUAGE: In linguistic anthropology, any language using a single word to describe both the hue of green and the hue of blue simultaneously is called a "grue" language. An example is Welsh, in which the word gwyrdd (pronounced goo-irrth) is a general term for green, but the word glas can accomodate both blue and all shades of green (which is why the word for grass in Welsh literally translates as "blue straw"). One theory suggests any ethnic groups living in mountainous or equatorial areas will tend to speak grue languages because the stronger UV radiation in these locations causes the lens of the eye to yellow gradually, eventually making the eye less capable of perceiving short wavelenths (i.e. blue and green) in the spectrum. Such people arguably have a harder time distinguishing minor variations in color between blue and green, and hence use only one word to describe both hues.

GUILD: A medieval organization that combined the qualities of a union, a vocational school, a trading corporation, and product regulations committee for the bourgeoisie. These associations of merchants, artisans, and craftsmen rose in power and numbers toward the late medieval period. Click here for an expanded discussion of guilds.

GUIOT MANUSCRIPT, THE: Technically referred to as MS Bibliothèque Nationale f. fr. 794, this mid-thirteenth-century manuscript is the most important document containing Chrétien de Troyes's Arthurian romances after the so-called Annonay Manuscript was destroyed in the eighteenth-century.

GUSTATORY IMAGERY: Imagery dealing with taste. This is opposed to visual imagery, dealing with sight, auditory imagery, dealing with sound, tactile imagery, dealing with touch, and olfactory imagery, dealing with scent. See imagery.

GVS: The abbreviation that linguists and scholars of English use to refer to the Great Vowel Shift. See Great Vowel Shift, above.

GYRE (Latin gyrus, a spiral): A gyre is a spiral or circular motion. W. B. Yeats uses the image of a gyre in "The Second Coming" as his private symbol for the forces of history, taking the idea from medieval falconry. There, the falconer normally allowed the bird to circle outward in increasing distances, but he could not let it spiral out so far that it can no longer hear his commands. In the same way, Yeats thought of history as occuring in two-thousand year cycles, and thought that one such cycle was about to end in the twentieth century. Thus, his image for a world going out of control was that of a falcon moving too far away from the center or the falconer, which might represent God, tradition, morality, or some similar principle. (Note the word gyre is pronounced with an initial /j/ sound; compare with the pronunciation of gyroscope and gyrfalcon.)

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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:

Works Cited:

  • 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. U.S.A., 2004.
  • Anderson, Douglas. "Note on the Text" in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. 50th anniversary edition. Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
  • Baugh, A. C. and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. 6th edition. Boston: Pearson Publishing, 2013.
  • 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, 1985.
  • Carrick, Jake. E-mail interview. 28 April 2016.
  • Catholic University of America Editorial Staff. The New Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1967-79.
  • Corbett, Edward P. J. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990.
  • Crow, Martin and Virginia E. Leland. "A Chronology of Chaucer's Life and Times." As condensed and reproduced in Larry Benson's The Canterbury Tales, Complete. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. xxiii-xxv.
  • Cuddon, J. A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin Books, 1991.
  • 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, 1983.
  • Elkhadem, Saad. The York Dictionary Literary Terms and Their Origin: English, French, German, Spanish. York P, 1976.
  • Feeney, Denis. "Introduction." Ovid: Metamorphóses Trans. David Raeburn. London: Penguin Books, 2004.
  • 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, 1972.
  • Hopper, Vincent Foster. Medieval Number Symbolism: Its Sources, Meaning, and Influence on Thought and Expression. 1938. Republished Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2000.
  • 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 P, 1991.
  • 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, 1993.
  • 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.
  • Preminger, Alex, and T.V.F. Brogan, et al. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. New York: MJF Books for Princeton University Press, 1993.
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