Literary Glossary: Q–R

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A literary style predominantly found in the latter part of the 19th century that attempted to provide an accurate, objective portrayal of life without embellishment. Frank Norris famously claimed that "Realism is the minute, it is the drama of a broken teacup, the tragedy of a walk down the block." Practitioners of a realist style in the American tradition include William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and Henry James.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Realism"


The literary presentation of qualities unique to certain geographic locations, such as Willa Cather’s portrayal of Nebraska or Kate Chopin’s vision of Creole culture in Louisiana. Local color, though the two terms overlap, more specifically refers to a regionalist form of writing in the United States prominent during the latter part of the 19th century. See the EDSITEment-reviewed Documenting the American South for further discussion.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Regionalism"


A technique used to provide emphasis through the repeated use of sounds, words, or phrases within a literary work.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Repetition"


A popular medieval poetic genre, found in courtly romances and lyrics. These poems feature a poet in pastoral surroundings approached by a beautiful, otherworldly woman who personifies the bounty of spring and love. The reverdie heralds the coming of spring, providing assurance of the annual return of vegetation and fertility and of the sustaining power of the sun (for example: the opening lines of the Canterbury Tales). Irish aislings are believed to be derived from this model.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Reverdie"


The art of persuasive speech and writing. See the EDSITEment-reviewed Silva Rhetoricae website for an extensive definition.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Rhetoric"


In poetry, a series of stressed and unstressed syllables. See: meter.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Rhythm"


A broad cultural movement of the 19th century that developed as a reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment. The Romantics prized the imagination as the supreme faculty and championed the use of intuition as well as emotion railing against the imperatives of a society they saw as corrupt and deceitful.

EDSITEment Lesson Plans that use "Romanticism"