Literary Glossary: I–L

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Imagery

Images within a literary work, which serve either as figurative language or as descriptions to evoke the senses. Imagery can be used in a variety of ways -- to create mood, set a tone, or evoke tension, e.g.

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Intercalary Chapters

Chapters inserted into a novel that interrupt the regular narrative flow. They function to describe landscape and setting, and social and historical conditions in which the story is set or technical details relating to the story, etc. Examples of famous texts that use them are Melville's Moby-Dick and Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use Intercalary Chapters

Irony

An effect created by a contradiction between what is said and what in context is known to be true.

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Kenning

A kind of metaphor often seen in Anglo-Saxon texts such as Beowulf. From the use of the Old Norse verb kenna 'to know, recognize', kennings can be seen as mini-riddles, in which a compound phrase is used to describe a place or a thing. For example, the "swansrad" ("swan road") is the "sea."

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Kenning"

Legend

A usually fictional story handed down over time, often involving some supernatural elements. Legends can be used to explain some element of culture or history, such as a natural phenomenon, or detail the rise of a famous person.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Legend"

Limerick

A five-line poem with one couplet (a two-line, rhymed poem) contained inside one triplet (a three-line, rhymed poem). The rhyme pattern is A, A, B, B, A, with lines 1, 2 and 5 forming the triplet, and lines 3 and 4 forming the couplet. Each line of the triplet has three beats, while each line of the couplet has two, such as the following example from Edward Lear:

    There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
    Two Owls and a Hen,
    Four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard!'

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Limerick"

Intercalary Chapters

Chapters inserted into a novel that interrupt the regular narrative flow. They function to describe landscape and setting, and social and historical conditions in which the story is set or technical details relating to the story, etc. Examples of famous texts that use them are Melville's Moby-Dick and Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.