Literary Glossary: M

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Magical Realism

A style of literature where fantastical and magical elements are melded within a realistic narrative. These magical elements are explained like normal occurrences using matter-of-fact tone which allows the "fantastic" to be accepted along with “the real” in the same stream of thought.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Magical Realism"


A comparison between two seemingly unrelated things, such as the following example from Langston Hughes’ "Dreams":

Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Metaphor"
Extended Metaphor

The term “extended metaphor” refers to a metaphor that is introduced and continues through additional lines in a poem or sections in a literary work. (i.e., Robert Frost uses two roads as an extended metaphor in his poem, “The Road Not Taken.”)


A period of time between the 5th century to the 16th century AD; also known as the Middle Ages.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Medieval"


A series stressed and unstressed syllables arranged in patterns called feet. Iambic pentameter, for example, is a line with five feet, each of which has one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable, as with this line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130:
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

The primary types of feet are:

Iambic – unstressed, stressed
Trochaic – stressed, unstressed
Anapestic – unstressed, unstressed, stressed
Dactylic – stressed, unstressed, unstressed

Metrical lines (the number of feet in a line) are named as follows:

One foot: Monometer
Two feet: Dimeter
Three feet: Trimeter
Four feet: Tetrameter
Five feet: Pentameter
Six feet: Hexameter
Seven feet: Heptameter
Eight feet: Octameter

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Meter"


Describes all of the production design aspects that go into creating a play or film. The term expresses all the ways the story is being told through visual art. In theatre this encompasses the placement of the actors, lighting, scenery, props, costume, etc. In film, it includes storyboarding the frame and cinematography.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "mise-en-scène"


A cultural and artistic movement after World War I characterized by disillusionment with the past and a rampant desire to, in the words of Ezra Pound, "make it new."

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Modernism"


A collection of traditional narratives that are passed down through various textual and visual sources and that convey commonly held beliefs in a particular society about natural phenomena, historical events, and proper behavior.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Mythology"