La Poesía
LENGUAJE LITERARIO---Definiciones y ejemplos


I.   Figuras retóricas:  Convenciones lingüísticas que tienen como fin la creación de imágenes bellas y conmovedoras.  An artful arrangement of words to achieve a particular emphasis and effect.  The meaning of the word is not altered (as in a metaphor)
     A.  Figuras de pensamiento: Dependen de la idea, no el órden de las palabras.  Depend on the idea, not the order of the words
          1.  Figuras patéticas:  Se usan para despertar emociones. Used to stir the emotions.
Apóstrofe (apostrophe)  A direct and explicit address either to an absent person or to an abstract or nonhuman entity  Invocación  Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn:  “Thou still unravished bride of quietness”
(Chiasmus)  A sequence of 2 phrases or clauses which are parallel in syntax, but reverse the order of the corresponding words    Shelley Defence of Poetry:  “Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
Hipérbole (hyperbole)  To disproportionately augment or diminish actions, qualities, etc.  Exageración  I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
Invocación  Un apóstrofe dirigida a una musa o un dios a quien el autor le pide ayuda o inspiración para escribir la obra.    Used in the epics and mock-epics
(Pathetic fallacy)  To ascribe human feelings to the inanimate    The cruel, crawling foam.
   Kingsley’s The Sands of Dee
The attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects. 
Personificación Pathetic fallacy   
(Zeugma)  An expression in which a single word stands in the same grammatical relation to two or more words, but with an obvious shift in its significance.    Pope:  “Or stain her honor, or her new brocade.”

        2.  Figuras lógicas:  para poner de relieve una idea. Used to bring out or emphasize an idea through a comparison
Antítesis (Antithesis)  Fundamentally, contrasting ideas sharpened by the use of opposite or noticeably different meanings  epigram, oxymoron  “Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them; and wise men use them” Bacon
“Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise” Pope
A series or chain of words or thoughts in an ascending or descending order   "...en tierra, en humo, en polvo, en sombra, en nada."  Góngora
Paradoja (paradox An apparently self-contradictory statement which, on closer inspection, is found to contain a truth reconciling the conflicting opposites.  Can be particular and general or structural meaning that it is integral to the work itself, sustaining the dialectic and argument of a work.  Particular:
“I must be cruel to be kind” (Shakespeare);
“Careless she is with artful care,/Affecting to seem unaffected” (Congreve);
General or structural:
As used by the metaphysical poets
An explicit comparison recognizable by the use of "like" and "as", in which one thing is likened to another in such a way as to clarify and enhance the image.

        3.  Figuras oblícuas:  para expresar los pensamientos indirectamente.  Used to express an idea indirectly.
Perífrasis Figura que consiste en expresar por un rodeo de palabras algo que hubiera podido decirse con menos  Circunlocución
Rodeo de palabras 
La lengua de Cervantes = el español
     B.  Figuras de lenguaje o dicción: El uso de la palabra en sí para crear efectos auditivos, o un cambio del órden de las palabras en la oración para lograr cierta rima.  Using words to create certain audio effects, or changing their place in the sentence in order to achieve a certain rhyme.
Aliteración (alliteration) Repetición del mismo sonido o grupos de sonidos     
Anáfora (anaphora)  Repetición de una palabra o frase al principio de dos o más versos u oraciones     
Asíndeton  (asyndeton)  Supresión de conjunciones     
Epíteto (epithet)  Adición de adjetivos con un fin estético solamente, ya que su uso no es necesario     
Hipérbaton (hyperbaton)  Alteración del orden acostumbrado de las palabras en la oración     
Onomatopeya (onomatopoeia)  Uso de las palabras que imitan el sonido de las cosas nombradas por ellas     
II.   Tropos:  El uso de palabras en sentido figurado.  The creation of a special effect by a radical change in the meaning of the words themselves.
Antonomasia (Gk. naming instead) 
An epithet, or the name of an office or dignity, is substituted for a proper name 
Bard for Shakespeare; Gamaliel for a wise man; Casanova for a womanizer; Hitler for a tyrant.
Sinécdoque (Synechdoche)  A figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole; the whole for a part; the species for the genus; the genus for the species; the name of the material for the thing made    fifty sails = fifty ship
the smiling year = spring
cutthroat = assassin
a creature = a man
willow = bat
III.  Estrategias narrativas:  Tipos de obras creadas para presentar un tema o idea.
Alegoría (allegory)
Historical & political
   Allegory of ideas 
A narrative fiction in which the agents and actions, and sometimes the setting as well, are contrived to make coherent sense on the literal, or primary, level of signification, and at the same time to signify a second, correlated order of agents, concepts, and events.    Dryden’s Absalom & Achitophel
John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
Spenser’s The Faerie Queene
Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
Goethe’s Faust
Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound
Hardy’s The Dynasts
Many of Kafka’s short stories
Fable  A type of allegory, usually a short narrative, that exemplifies an abstract moral thesis or principle of human behavior. The moral is usually stated in the conclusion in the form of an epigram.    Aesop, Jean de la Fontaine, Uncle Remus
Parable  A type of allegory, usually a short narrative, about human beings presented so as to stress the tacit analogy, or parallel, with a general thesis or lesson that the narrator wants the reader to understand.    Christ’s favorite device
Exemplum  A type of allegory told as a particular instance of the general theme of a sermon. Popular in the Middle Ages.     


   Friedman, Valdivieso, Virgillo. Aproximaciones al estudio de la literatura hispánica; 4th ed., McGraw Hill College, 1998.

   A Glossary of Literary Terms, 6th ed.

   Cuddon, J. A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, 3rd ed., London: Penguin Books, 1991.

   Webster’s Dictionary