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  • Introduction
  • The example of the epic
  • Differences between oral and written literatures
  • Legends and historical recitations
  • Performance, content, and distribution
  • Related Content
  • More Articles On This Topic
  • Additional Reading
  • Contributors
  • Article History

Oral genres

Beyond the epic , the main oral genres include the folktale; song , including laments , praise songs , and work songs ; folk drama; myth ; and, closely related, legend and historical recitation. There are also the minor genres of the proverb and the riddle .

While these genres are not necessarily always given separate designations in local languages, in scholarly practice they are distinguished because of their different forms, content, and functions, which relate partly to their audience. At the very broadest level, folktales are rarely seen as anything but fictional, whereas the other genres, apart from song, have quite a different relation to “truth.” In purely oral societies, recitations and songs encompass the whole of life’s experience, including cosmology and theology. In early societies with writing , the religious domain tends to be incorporated by way of texts associated with a religion’s canon (its most important scriptural works), leaving the oral literature to deal with the peripheral—with magic, charms, and fairy tales .

With oral literature, as with any other literature, it is important to always consider not only the speaker but the audience and the situational context . Intention, form, and content make all the difference between recitations in a religious or ritual ceremony and the kind of story told at a veillée (a small private gathering for storytelling) in Europe. These differences mean that to incorporate all these genres in one holistic analysis of culture , symbolism, or myth runs the risk of mixing levels of communication that should be the subject of distinct interpretations.

Folktales are virtually universal. These are short, occasionally in verse, sometimes with an ending that echoes the explanations embedded in Rudyard Kipling ’s Just So Stories (e.g., “How the Camel Got His Hump”), and possibly with an irrelevant coda. The personages consist of humans, animals, gods, and, more rarely, inventions such as giants and monsters, who interact with one another by speech and by other means. In this wide array of tales there is a place for the salacious , and some stories are apparently directed to adults (or at least to adolescents), but the bulk of folktales undoubtedly anticipate an audience of children. Grim as some of their contents can be, they are “nursery tales,” to use an English term equivalent to Charles Perrault ’s “fairy stories” ( contes des fées ).

Because the vast number of folktales are intended for children, it is quite mistaken for anthropologists to use them as evidence of the typical thoughts of primitive societies or for historians to do the same for, say, the rural population of 17th-century Europe. But just such an approach is sometimes taken by those who see culture holistically, with each item having the same representative status and value in characterizing mentalities, beliefs, and practices and with each item taken to exist within an undifferentiated cultural ensemble of artistic forms. In fact, the relationship of these stories to other aspects of culture is very particular.

While their relationships to culture are very particular, the stories told within folktales also persist over long periods of time and have no very close relationship to a particular culture at a particular time; examples from English-speaking societies include children’s rhymes and songs such as “Ring a Ring of Roses” and “Three Blind Mice” and the story “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Like the rhyme “Frères Jacques” or the story of Cinderella , they cross sociopolitical and linguistic boundaries rather freely and are adapted by individual storytellers. Such movement across boundaries is encouraged by the relatively small size of individual oral cultures , and these stories may be transposed into other dialects and other languages; the ease with which that can happen emphasizes the transcultural character of their themes and expressions. It is this comparative insulation of children’s stories that, arguably, accounts for their relative homogeneity around the world, as does their frequent use of nonhuman animals and panhuman themes.

Fables are a subcategory of the folktale, employing animals as well as humans as the main characters. In the form they are known today, either from ancient Greece and Rome (e.g., Aesop ’s fables) or from India, they are in fact products of written cultures but are close in many respects to folktales more generally.

Song plays a very general role in oral culture. A song ’s words often resemble lyric poetry , having to be of a tight metrical structure because of the musical accompaniment. Equally, when epic and other recitations are accompanied by a musical instrument or a strong beat, the rhythmic verbal structure is always influenced. An important variety of song is the lament at the death of an individual, which may take the form of stressed speech or follow a more melodic line.

Songs may be included in rituals and in folktales and other genres, but they are often performed solely for entertainment. The melodies themselves may be elaborated and expanded upon by way of musical instruments, leading to innumerable variations invented for the occasion, as with jazz. An important subcategory is the work song , the performance of which is likely to be gendered, as is the work itself.

The ballad is a form of narrative song that arose in Europe during the Middle Ages and hence is arguably part of a mixed oral-literary tradition. The genre displays strong metrical forms associated with a melodic accompaniment; it is often concerned with conflict (especially in the Scottish-English border ballads of the 15th and 16th centuries), celebrating heroes and outlaws, and has held its popularity in the modern period, as exemplified in popular songs such as “Frankie and Johnny.” Narrative songs of this kind are much less common in oral cultures, though varieties of the form mark early literate societies.

Songs are distinguished from chant by being shorter and more melodic. Chant is a rhythmic manner of presenting speech that verges on recitation; while it may be accompanied, chant is carried out with a regular beat that does not interfere greatly with the words, which are deemed more important than the music. Chant may be used for shorter recitals and in such contexts as the Maori haka , and it is sometimes employed for epic poetry or for the long recitations typically categorized as myth.

Theatre in the modern sense is an outcome of the written tradition in Greece, Europe, India, Japan, and elsewhere. It is sometimes difficult to draw a distinction between drama and ritual; indeed, the origins of drama in Europe lie in religious and ritual performances. The occurrence of secular drama in oral cultures is not well attested and, where it does occur, is peripheral . Nevertheless, (folk) plays of a more or less secular kind do occur in the popular culture of literate societies, such as the mumming plays of the European tradition, which stand in opposition to the written plays of the elite theatre.

Types of Oral Literature

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what are the five types of oral literature



The Singer Resumes the Tale

Citation:   Use the following persistent identifier: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_LordA.The_Singer_Resumes_the_Tale.1995 .

1. The Nature and Kinds of Oral Literature

[In this on-line version, the page-numbers of the printed version are indicated within braces (“{” and “}”). For example, “{69|70}” indicates where p. 69 of the printed version ends and p. 70 begins. These indications will be useful to readers who need to look up references made elsewhere to the printed version of this book.]

No. 80 A Vladymir knjaz’ da stol’njo-kievskoj             Prince Vladimir of the capital Kiev

He uses a different construction at the opening of

No. 80 Zavodil pochesten pir da j pirovan’ice,             He held an honorable feast, and a feasting,

No. 81 Zavodil on pochesten pir pirovan’ico,             He held an honorable feast, a feasting,

and continues:

Other examples of those two lines can be easily found.

            Many princes and boyars,             Glorious, mighty, powerful bogatyrs;

No. 80 Na mnogih knjazej da na vsih bojarov,             Na vsih sil’nih rus’skiih moguchih na bogatyrej.

            Many princes and all boyars,             All mighty, Russian, powerful bogatyrs.

No. 81 A j na vseh-to na knjazej na bojarov,             Da j na rus’skih moguchih bogatyrej,

At this point the two stories begin to diverge, but they both present a speech from Vladimir. There is further setting for it in No. 81:

depicting the reaction of the company to the request for a messenger on a possibly dangerous mission, which we have seen before. And once again appears: {9|10}

It is to be noted that within the verbal repetitions there is a subtle kaleidoscopic mutation and recombination of elements.

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They became:


Home » Purdue University » What Are The Five Types Of Literature?

What Are The Five Types Of Literature?

Table of Contents

Today, Vista Higher Learning is breaking down the differences to give you a crash course on the five main genres of literature.

What are the basic literature types?

At the most basic level, there are essentially three main genres for literature – poetry, prose and drama – and each can be broken down even further, resulting in dozens of subgenres for each.

What are the 4 types of literature?

In the landscape of literature, there are four major genres: poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction .

What are the three types of literature?

Have you ever felt pretty overwhelmed by all the different types of literature out there? There is a lot, but luckily they all fit under just three major genres. The rest are all sub-genres, and even the subgenres have subgenres. The three major genres are Prose, Drama, and Poetry .

How many types are there of literature?

The four main literary genres are poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama, with each varying in style, structure, subject matter, and the use of figurative language.

What are the 5 sources of literature review?

5.3 Acceptable sources for literature reviews

What is literature and its types and forms?

Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry . In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include oral literature, much of which has been transcribed.

What are the 2 types of literature?

Literature is a broad term that refers to almost any widely available written work that centers on a common theme. All literature can be sorted into one of two categories: nonfiction, which describes writing based on facts, and fiction, which is fabricated to some degree .

What are the different types of literature in research?

What are the 2 branches of literature?

There are two divisions of literature: prose and poetry . Prose is writing that resembles everyday speech. The word prose is derived from the Latin prosa which literally means straightforward.

What are the types of contemporary literature?

Contemporary literature refers to prose, poetry, and drama published since 1945 and comprises two movements.

What are the types of literature PDF?

Prose, drama and poetry are the three main types of literature.

What are the 5 primary sources?

photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, films . journals, letters and diaries .

What are the four types of literature review?

Over the years, numerous types of literature reviews have emerged, but the four main types are traditional or narrative, systematic, meta-analysis and meta-synthesis .

What is primary literature?

Primary Literature/Source It is authored by researchers, contains original research data, and is usually published in a peer-reviewed journal . Primary literature may also include conference papers, pre-prints, or preliminary reports.

What are the six types of oral literature?

Beyond the epic, the main oral genres include the folktale; song, including laments, praise songs, and work songs; folk drama; myth; and, closely related, legend and historical recitation .

What is prose literature?

Definition of prose (Entry 1 of 4) 1a : the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing . b : a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech.

What are the 6 stages of a literature search?

What is primary and secondary literature?

Primary sources include articles that describe original research. Secondary sources interpret or analyze those primary sources .

What is the most common type of literature review?

Integrative Review The body of literature includes all studies that address related or identical hypotheses or research problems. A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication. This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.

What are the types of each division of literature?

Traditionally, it has three sub-divisions namely: Narrative poetry, Lyric poetry, and Dramatic poetry .

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The Five Main Genres of Literature

Five Main Genres of Literature

Understanding the differences between various types of literature can be difficult. Today, Vista Higher Learning is breaking down the differences to give you a crash course on the five main genres of literature.

One of the most popular genres of literature, fiction, features imaginary characters and events.

This genre is often broken up into five subgenres: fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, mystery, and science fiction.

Nonetheless, there are more than just five types of fiction, ranging from romance to graphic novels.

In fantasy, the characters or settings could not exist in the world as we know it because they require a sort of “magical” element.

The Harry Potter and Twilight series are popular examples.

Historical fiction, however, features made-up stories that accurately portray life during a particular period in history.

Examples include books such as The Da Vinci Code or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas .

Similar to historical fiction is the subgenre of contemporary fiction.

In this category, stories take place in the present day and characters encounter modern day difficulties and issues.

T he Hate U Give and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are popular contemporary fiction novels.

Another popular subgenre of fiction is mystery. In these suspense-filled stories, characters use various clues to solve crimes or uncover a culprit.

The Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes novels are prime examples of the mystery genre.

The last subgenre of fiction is science fiction.

In these types of stories, authors and readers explore new and exciting realities made possible by imagined technologies or social changes.

Star Wars is one of the most famous examples.

#2 Nonfiction

Unlike fiction, nonfiction tells the story of real people and events. Examples include biographies, autobiographies, or memoirs.

Another popular category of literature, known as drama or play, is a story created specifically for a stage performance.

The most renowned author of drama was William Shakespeare—the writer of Macbeth , Hamlet , and Romeo and Juliet .

More modern plays include A Streetcar Named Desire and A Raisin in the Sun .

The fourth genre of literature is poetry. In this style of writing, words are arranged in a metrical pattern and often (though not always) in rhymed verse.

Renowned poets include e.e. cummings, Robert Frost, and Maya Angelou.

#5 Folktale 

Another beloved genre of literature is folktale. Folktale, which is also referred to as mythology, tells stories of originally oral literature and are meant to pass on particular moral lessons.

These tales often have a timeless quality, dealing with common concerns that are relevant despite the time period.

Did this help you differentiate between the various types of literature? Tune into our blog for similar content in the upcoming weeks.

Read also: How to Help Students with Language Learning Anxiety

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What Is Composition? Definition, Types, and Examples

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In the literary sense, a composition (from the Latin "to put together") is the way a writer assembles words and sentences to create a coherent and meaningful work. Composition can also mean the activity of writing, the nature of the subject of a piece of writing, the piece of writing itself, and the name of a college course assigned to a student. This essay focuses on practicing how people write.

Key Takeaways

Composition Definition

Just like a musician and an artist, a writer sets the tone of a composition to his or her purpose, making decisions about what that tone should be to form a structure. A writer might express anything from the point of view of cool logic to impassioned anger. A composition might use clean and simple prose, flowery, descriptive passages, or analytical nomenclature.

Since the 19th century, English writers and teachers have been grappling with ways to classify forms and modes of writing so beginner writers can have a place to start. After decades of struggle, rhetoricians ended up with four categories of writing that still make up the mainstream of Composition 101 college classes: Description, Narration , Exposition , and Argumentation .

Types of Composition Writing 

The four classical types of composition (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are not categories, per se. They would almost never stand alone in a piece of writing, but rather are best-considered modes of writing, pieces of writing styles that can be combined and used to create a whole. That is to say, they can inform a piece of writing, and they are good starting points for understanding how to put a piece of writing together.

Examples for each of the following composition types are based on the American poet Gertrude Stein's famous quote from " Sacred Emily ," her 1913 poem: "A rose is a rose is a rose."


A description, or descriptive writing, is a statement or account that describes something or someone, listing characteristic features and significant details to provide a reader with a portrayal in words. Descriptions are set in the concrete, in the reality, or solidity of an object as a representation of a person, place, or thing in time. They provide the look and feel of objects, a simultaneous whole, with as many details as you'd like.

A description of a rose might include the color of the petals, the aroma of its perfume, where it exists in your garden, whether it is in a plain terracotta pot or a hothouse in the city.

A description of "Sacred Emily" might talk about the length of the poem and the facts of when it was written and published. It might list the images that Stein uses or mention her use of repetition and alliteration.

A narration, or narrative writing, is a personal account , a story that the writer tells his or her reader. It can be an account of a series of facts or events, given in order and establishing connections between the steps. It can even be dramatic, in which case you can present each individual scene with actions and dialog. The chronology could be in strict order, or you could include flashbacks.

A narration about a rose might describe how you first came across it, how it came to be in your garden, or why you went to the greenhouse that day.

A narration about "Sacred Emily" might be about how you came across the poem, whether it was in a class or in a book lent by a friend, or if you were simply curious about where the phrase "a rose is a rose" came from and found it on the internet.

Exposition, or expository writing , is the act of expounding or explaining a person, place, thing, or event. Your purpose is not to just describe something, but to give it a reality, an interpretation, your ideas on what that thing means. In some respects, you are laying out a proposition to explain a general notion or abstract idea of your subject.

An exposition on a rose might include its taxonomy, what its scientific and common names are, who developed it, what the impact was when it was announced to the public, and/or how was it distributed. 

An exposition on "Sacred Emily" could include the environment in which Stein wrote, where she was living, what her influences were, and what the impact was on reviewers.


Also called argumentative writing , an argumentation is basically an exercise in comparing and contrasting. It is the methodological presentation of both sides of an argument using logical or formal reasoning. The end result is formulated to persuade why thing A is better than thing B. What you mean by "better" makes up the content of your arguments.

Argumentation applied to a rose might be why one particular rose is better than another, why you prefer roses over daisies, or vice versa.

Argumentation over "Sacred Emily" could compare it to Stein's other poems or to another poem covering the same general topic.

The Value of Composition

A great deal of debate enlivened college theoretical rhetoric in the 1970s and 1980s, with scholars attempting to throw off what they saw were the confining strictures of these four writing styles. Despite that, they remain the mainstay of some college composition classes.

What these four classical modes do is provide beginner writers a way to purposefully direct their writings, a structure on which to form an idea. However, they can also be limiting. Use the traditional modes of composition as tools to gain practice and direction in your writing, but remember that they should be considered starting points rather than rigid requirements.

what are the five types of oral literature

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What are the 5 Main Literature Genres?

What are the 5 Main Literature Genres?

Categorizing Literature Genres

This is often considered the oldest form of literature. Before writing was invented, oral stories were commonly put into some sort of poetic form to make them easier to remember and recite. Poetry today is usually written down but is still sometimes performed. A lot of people think of rhymes and counting syllables and lines when they think of poetry, and some poems certainly follow strict forms. But other types of poetry are so free-form that they lack any rhymes or common patterns. There are even kinds of poetry that cross genre lines, such as prose poetry. In general, though, a text is a poem when it has some sort of meter or rhythm , and when it focuses on the way the syllables, words, and phrases sound when put together. Poems are heavy in imagery and metaphor and are often made up of fragments and phrases rather than complete, grammatically correct sentences. And poetry is nearly always written in stanzas and lines, creating a unique look on the page. Poetry, as experienced in the classroom, is usually one of three types. There are the shorter, more modern poems, spanning anything from a few lines to a few pages. Often these are collected in books of poems by a single author or by a variety of writers. Edgar Allen Poe’s “ The Raven ,” is one of the most commonly taught poems of this type. Then there are the classical, formulaic poems of Shakespeare’s time, such as the blank verse and the sonnet. And finally, there are the ancient, epic poems transcribed from oral stories. These long, complex poems resemble novels, such as Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey .


Other types of literature, some resources.

“ Literary Genres ” by the California Board of Education “ Helping Children Understand Literary Genres ” by Carl B. Smith

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Oral Literature in English

The term "oral literature" is sometimes used interchangeably with "folklore," but it usually has a broader focus. The expression is self-contradictory: literature, strictly speaking, is that which is written down; but the term is used here to emphasize the imaginative creativity and conventional structures that mark oral discourse too. Oral literature shares with written literature the use of heightened language in various genres (narrative, lyric, epic, etc), but it is set apart by being actualized only in performance and by the fact that the performer can (and sometimes is obliged to) improvise so that oral text constitutes an event.

Literature's Life Through Performance

Oral literature may be composed in performance; transmitted orally over generations, like many Scottish and Irish ballads that have been brought to Canada; or written down specifically for oral performance. The process of transmission itself (often in recent years, to collecting folklorists and oral historians) shows that oral literature has not been replaced by the ubiquitousness of books and the electronic media though it persists alongide them as secondary orality. Indeed, whenever a ghost story is told around a campfire, whenever a protest song or a lullabye is sung, whenever a riddle, tongue twister, counting rhyme, shaggy-dog story or knock-knock joke is shared, or fables and proverbs told, oral literature lives in performance.

The attitudes of scholars and the literate public toward oral literature were largely shaped by the 19th-century Romantic movement. William Wordsworth, in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1798), claimed to have found in the oral discourse of unlettered rustic people the source of literary spontaneity, sincerity and integral unity. At about the same time a rise in nationalism, with its emphasis on local origins, encouraged the study of "popular antiquities" - ie, the oral tradition of history and narrative. Writers in Canada followed the trend, transforming tales, legends, proverbs and anecdotes into written form, and sometimes incorporating tale-tellers, such as T.C. Haliburton 's Sam Slick , into their written work. The techniques were adopted by Susanna Moodie , who, in Roughing It in the Bush (1852), tells a life history that is also a "liar's tale": a hyperbolic account of the hellish life in the new land to counter the land company's lie that Canada was a new Eden. Other examples of borrowing - of techniques or of actual tales (canoe songs, tales of encounters with the devil, etc) - appear in 19th-century Canadian written literature, and the use of dialect further emphasizes their oral underpinnings. At the end of the century the so-called Confederation poets (Mair, Roberts, Crawford, Johnson, Carman, Lampman) reworked extensively such sources as traditional ghost stories and native myth.

Change: The Oral Becomes Artifact

Oral literature has been studied principally by folklorists, who emphasize its ability to act as the voice of a tradition; they collect oral literature in order to preserve something of the culture of ethnic groups facing assimilation into the mainstream. But there are problems associated with gathering and preserving such materials. The communicative act is changed to a greater or lesser extent by recording methods (eg, gestures are lost when recording is done shorthand or on tape; even on videotapes the ambience of an occasion or ritual is lost, although the speaker is recorded both aurally and visually). More significant is the "freezing" of the oral moment into an artifact, when a major characteristic of oral literature is its capacity to be changed through generations, and even from occasion to occasion, by storytellers and bards.

Folklorists in Canada, using the classification system devised by Antti Aarne ( The Types of the Folktale , translated and enlarged by Stith Thompson, 1961), which was designed primarily for narrative, have placed most items they have collected in the broad categories of legend, joke and anecdote. Myths and màrchen are rare, though they are found among the natives and as archaic elements in areas of Celtic settlement or in those with close connections to French speakers (eg, New Brunswick). Legends represent the localizing of the marvellous; for example, Captain Kidd's treasure is located in many a Nova Scotia town, the devil is known to have danced at Kensington, PEI, and the burning ship of Chaleur Bay makes periodic appearances elsewhere on the coast. Political oratory and sermons have seldom been studied in Canada as oral literature.

Folk Heroes

The heroes of cycles of tall tales, yarns and anecdotes include the Wizard of Miramichi and Paul Bunyan . Sometimes folk heroes tell whoppers about themselves, especially in front of tenderfeet from other regions. Tall tales are often used, as are the Joe Mufferaw tales of the Ottawa Valley, to promote a locality or "prove" its superiority over others. Sometimes these yarns provide the mainstay of local radio programs, as the electronic media disseminate oral culture. Another side of transmission has been the weekly session and annual festival of the Toronto Storytellers, where narratives of a variety of cultures from Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, as well as Canada are performed for live audiences.

The performance of oral literature is readily encountered in the form of children's playground rhymes and songs, such as those recorded by Sharon, Lois & Bram , Raffi and others. Although the performance, once recorded, is in a fixed form, the variants in such genres as skipping rhymes show that the oral tradition - typically mutable - is thriving; and one seldom hears 2 identical recordings of such tall-tale songs as "The Cat Came Back." Less accessible to most Canadians is the continuing oral tradition of the Newfoundland Mummers' plays ( see mumming ). The ritual aspect of their performance is common to much of oral literature performed in its proper context.

No other extended poetic forms are found in Canada's oral literature. The lyric predominates in ballads, laments and work songs (eg, sea chanties, lumbering songs and milling songs). Whereas many of these songs are traditional songs from Europe, others develop new themes arising from the social and political realities of Canada (eg, Gaelic elegies, songs of emigration, satires and humorous songs). Themes from Canadian history are celebrated in ballads such as "General Wolfe." Newfoundlanders have contributed a rich treasure of sea chanties and ballads of shipwrecks, and have also produced well-known dance songs such as "I's the B'y that Builds the Boat." From Ukrainians in the West have been collected a variety of carols, wedding songs, dance ditties, cumulative songs and drinking songs. Much oral poetry is chanted rather than sung, as are children's counting rhymes and the charms, spells and alliterative rhymes collected from German speakers in Ontario.

Native Literature

Many songs and chants of the native peoples have been recorded, but more attention has been paid to their narratives. Two broad groups of myths involving tales of when the world was young and of the origin of native ways of living may be found across the continent: stories of the great flood are related by the Cowichan in the West and the Iroquois in the East, and the discovery of fire is variously attributed to heroes such as Nanabozo of the Ojibwa and Coyote of the Salish.

This native literature, as well as that of the medieval troubadours and the Balkan composers of oral epic, has inspired numerous contemporary writers in North America to adopt an oral poetics. Charles Olson's idea of a "poetry of utterance" and Jack Kerouac's "spontaneous prose" have found extensions in the work of Canadian sound poets such as bp Nichol , the Four Horsemen, Re:Sounding and Owen Sound, as they attempt to make literature from the ephemeral and improvise before audiences. As he tries to create a sacred ritual for himself and his audience, bill bissett 's composition in performance draws heavily on native chants. A younger generation, drawing on traditions as diverse as dub, rap and performance art, has taken the "Spoken Word" not only into coffee houses, traditional venue for poetry readings, but into TV sound-bites for MuchMusic, to recordings for the Virgin label or to "Wordapalooza," a side-stage at Lollapalooza, the annual travelling show of rock bands. Many of these performers eschew the printed page in order to seek an immediate audience response. Indeed, Afro-Canadian poets Lillian Allen and Clifford Joseph diffuse their dub poems almost exclusively on records.

Writers of contemporary narrative have been as attracted to the concept of orality as the poets have. Robert Kroetsch , for example, tells liars' tales through his characters. In The Diviners Margaret Laurence provides a genealogy and history of oral narrative in Canada, from improvised Scottish heroic narratives and legends and Métis tales and songs through novels to the new orality of modern popular ballads. Although Laurence does not use material from traditional folklore but creates anew from the formulas and conventions they employ (a practice folklorists consider "fakelore"), and although her material is neither composed in performance nor written specifically for performance, her novel, like those of other contemporary novelists, places the text in a context of performance and analyses the nature and function of its own telling.

Role of the Theatre

The role of the theatre in keeping alive oral literature in Canada is exemplified by James Reaney 's dramatic versions of 2 Ontario legends, the Baldoon mystery of poltergeists and the legend of the folkheroes the Donnellys . In these plays Reaney uses traditional jokes, songs, stories and proverbs. The range of his creative freedom is greater than that of the traditional performer, but his materials are similar. Native myths and rituals have served as the basis of performance for a number of plays by native playwrights such as Tomson Highway ( The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing ) and Joyce B. Joe Ravens ), who use drama as a way to combine traditions of oral performance with high cultural theatrical forms. Contemporary developments suggest that the growth of a written literature does not mean the death of an oral one, but announces change and displacement or both. While the oral literature of rural Canada may be fading, a new one is being created in the city, where supernatural happenings, numbskull stories and yarns continue as typographers create their genres in the workplace and science fiction groupies compose songs for their conferences.

See also Ethnic Literature ; Folklore ; Oral History .


Further Reading

R. Finnegan, Oral Poetry (1977); Edith Fowke, Folkore of Canada (1976); N. Rosenberg, Folklore and Oral History (1978).


Northrop Frye, writer

Literature in English: Theory and Criticism

Wayman, Tom

Thomas Ethan Wayman

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Literary History in English 1620-1867


The Different Types of Literature That Have Stood the Test of Time

There are many types, forms, genres, and ways to categorize literature. Here, we list the two main types of literature along with their sub-categories.

Types of Literature

“Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.” ― Ezra Pound

Every language has its own literature. A majority of world’s national literature can be broadly classified into English, Greek, Latin, Roman, African, Indian, American, French, Irish, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Sanskrit, Nepali, Russian, African-American, Canadian literature, etc. Literature is a form of language that deeply influences the minds of people of all ages. Moreover, literature is also studied as a scientific language for various aspects like grammar, usage, lexis, semantics, pragmatics, etc.

Literature is the mirror of society. Thus a book written in a particular time defines people, their thoughts, and the influences of that era. The works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci depict the era of Italian Renaissance, whereas Greek literature mostly comprises the accounts of Greek Gods and Goddesses. Romanticism is about nature and simplicity, while classicism defines complexity. A classic example is that of William Wordsworth who romanticized the Romantic era with his naturalistic writing.

As time changed, so did people and their work, and of course, literature. Today we’re in the post-modernism era, where literary works include a mix of critical and artificial tone of language. Most of the skeptical elements like ambiguity, satire, parody, etc. are the most prominent features found in the current era. These days some authors choose long composition methods to interlink and present more than one story.

Forms of Literature

~ Fiction – Drama, novel, poetry, short story, and frame narrative.

~ Non-Fiction – Autobiography, biography, essay, journal, diary, travel literature, literary criticism, media, and outdoor literature.

Oral literature, epic and mock epic, proverbs, oral poetry, and folklore.

Types of Literature

Oral and written literature are the two major forms of literature. As we all know, almost all type of literature is available in written form. A lot of oral literature too has been made available in the form of books. We will now look into fiction and non-fiction literature as two major types of literature, and also consider the various types of oral literature.

While prose and verse are the two forms of writings. Every piece of writing that has sentence form or paragraphs is the prose, whereas verse is the poetic form of writing. Example of prose – Drama, novel, newspapers, short story, biography, essay, journal, philosophy, travel literature, children’s literature, fantasy and scientific writings, historical writing, diary, etc. Example of Verse – Poetry.

Thus we can conclude that fictional and non-fictional literature are mostly prose literature, except for poetry. Interestingly, if you come across a verse form in a drama, it is termed as dramatic poetry or verse drama!

Fiction Literature – Drama

Drama consists of theatrical dialogs performed on stage, it consists of 5 acts. A drama that has just one act is a ‘one-act play’. Flash play is the shortest 10-minute play. According to Aristotle, there are six elements of drama plot, diction, character, thought, spectacle, and song.


It revolves around the main character, his life, struggle, misfortune and grief, or sometimes, death of the dear ones or the main character. The monologue element is the easiest way in which the misfortune of the main character is expressed, whereas prophecy by witch, ghost etc. are the dark elements used to give tragedy a feel of horror.

Examples of tragedies are ‘The Illiad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer – the two famous Greek tragedies. The four popular tragedies of William Shakespeare are – Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello.


Comedy is full of laughter wherein incidents are handled very lightly. The elements used in comedy are romanticism, exaggeration, surprise, and a comic view of a particular event. Farce, comedy of manners are some of the sub-types of comedy. e.g. Ben Jonson’s ‘Comedy of Humours’, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by William Shakespeare etc.

Comedy – Farce

The word origins from Latin word ‘farcire’ means ‘to fill or stuff’. Thus, ‘farce’ is a light comic event inserted in the middle of a play or movie to lighten the scene. It intends to make the audience laugh for a while, when the plotline seems to be serious. It can be through humor, nonsense, over exaggeration, or jokes. E.g. Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, Robin Hawdon’s ‘Perfect Wedding’, etc.

Comedy – Comedy of Manners

When you laugh due to the class, fashion, or manners of stereotypical character, it’s Comedy of Manners. e.g. Richard Sheridan’s ‘The School for Scandal’ (1777), Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘She Stoops to Conquer (1773), Harold Pinter’s ‘The Homecoming’ (1964), etc.

Comedy – Melodrama

Melodrama is a blend of two nouns – ‘melody’ and ‘drama’. Currently the term is used for works that lack sophistication, but in 1840s, it was used to denote a musical play. e.g. ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ is one of the popular plays describing cruelty of labor life. It emphasizes sensationalism and in the end, the play concludes with a ‘happy ending.’

Comedy – Tragicomedy

The play that begins with serious mode, but has a happy ending is tragicomedy. e.g. ‘The Visit’ by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Fiction Literature – Novel

Novel is a simple narration of a story without any dialogs like drama. It can be comic, romantic, criminal, detective, adventurous, or a political story, etc.

Novel – Allegory

The story revolves around more than one meaning. What the writer says directly is symbolic and totally different from the meaning conveyed at the end. Political and historical allegory are two forms of allegory. E.g. ‘Tughlak’ is a political allegory written by Girish Karnad, while John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ is a historical allegory.

Novel – Epistolary

Epistolary novels are a collection of letters and mails. Samuel Richardson’s ‘Pamela’ and Henry Fielding’s ‘Joseph Andrew’ are a few notable examples of epistolary novels.

Novel – Feminist

Feminist novels are written by women around the world about women’s issues in a male-dominated society. Simone de Beauvoir (‘She Came to Stay’, ‘The Mandarins,’ and ‘The Second Sex’), Betty Friedan (‘The Feminine Mystique’) and Virginia Woolf (‘A Room of one’s Own’) are a few popular feminist novelists. You’ll surprised to know that a few female writers used male names as their pen names to hide their identity, because male author’s works were supposed to be taken seriously without any bias.

Novel – Gothic

Gothic fiction is a combination of both horror and romance. Melodrama and parody are the elements of Gothic plays. e.g. ‘The Castle of Otranto’ (1764) by Horace Walpole is honored as the first Gothic play in literature.

Novel – Ironic

Ironic novels are known for excessive use of narrative technique. It is a kind of satire on contemporary society about their cultural, social, and political issues. e.g. Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities.’

Novel – Realism

The realistic novels are based on the truths of society and their problems. It focuses on the plot, structure, and the characters of the novel. e.g. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1813) by Jane Austen.

Novel – Romance

Romantic novels favor love and relationship, the stories revolve around love affairs of main characters. Some popular sub-categories of romantic novels are paranormal, erotic, suspense, multicultural, and inspirational romance. e.g. ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1847) by Emily Brontë and ‘Portrait of a Lady’ (1881) by Henry James.

Novel – Narration

In narrative style, the writer becomes a third-person narrator who narrates the whole story around its characters. When you’re reading narratives, you feel like you are witnessing a play. As a reader, you get involved in the play and visualize it as if you were present there at that time.

Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is best narrative example of all time, wherein there are two main narrators, Lockwood and Nelly Dean, while there are many characters in between the play. Another example is ‘Diary of Catherine’ that highlights the life of a protagonist.

Novel – Naturalism

Naturalism is based on the theory of Darwin. The concept is as simple, natural, and real as the word ‘naturalism’! In a nutshell, environment has its impact on human beings. So naturalist writers write about reality of life of a person or/and social issues like poverty, violence, corruption, politics etc.

As opposed to romanticism, readers find naturalist plays pessimistic and their tone a bit philosophical. E.g. Rebecca Harding Davis’ ‘Life in the Iron Mills (novella)’, Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’, Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Indian Camp’, ‘The Sun Also Rises”, and ‘A Farewell to Arms’.

Novel – Picaresque

Novel - Picaresque

Like naturalism, Picaresque is also quite contrasting to the concept of romanticism. It involves ideals, themes, and principles that refuse the so-called prejudices of the society. In this type, there is no plot, the main character is a poor, jobless, and always a social victim.

Few science fiction and fantasy novels have the style of picaresque novels. Besides adventure as a prime characteristic, picaresque novel has first-person narration. E.g. Charles Dickens’ ”Great Expectations” and ”David Copperfield”, etc.

Novel – Psychological

These novel is lay greater emphasis on the psychological perspectives of characters. You must have heard about stream of consciousness, flashback, soliloquies etc., these features reveal the psychology of a person. e.g. Samuel Richardson’s ”Pamela”, Henry James’ ”The Portrait of a Lady”, etc.

Novel – Satire

Though satire is a common form seen in comedy novels, this literary device tries to focus on facts of the society and their issues. These novels criticize the contemporary society. e.g. ”Gulliver’s Travels” (1726), by Lemuel Gulliver, ”Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884) by Mark Twain, Kingsley Amis’ ”Lucky Jim” (1954), George Orwell’s ”Animal Farm” (1945), Randell Jarrell’s ”Pictures from an Institution” (1954), etc.

Novel – Stream of Consciousness

Also known as ‘interior monologues’, stream of consciousness is all about the thoughts coming up in the minds of the character. You will not find any sequential narration in such technique of writing. The term has been coined by James Joyce, Dorthy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf.

James Joyce used this term in his book, ‘The Principles of Psychology’ (1890), wherein he defined the concept as: “Consciousness, then, does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. Such words as ‘chain’ or ‘train’ do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, or of subjective life….”

Novel – Science Fiction

It’s the most popular form. Everyone likes to dream, imagine life in space and to know about aliens, robots, paranormal activities and what not. e.g. ‘The Time Machine’, ‘Dune’, ‘Brave new world’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Ringworld’, ‘Planet of Adventure’, ‘Level 7’, ‘Voyage’, (the list goes on and on…) etc.

A novel may also cover diverse categories on social and political aspects like proletarian, protest, government, didactic, materialist, allegorical, Marxist, radical, revolutionary, anti-war, utopian, futuristic, anarchist, social philosophy, speculative, problem play, and novel of ideas, etc.

Fiction Literature – Poetry

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility. – William Wordsworth. How well these words explain the sentiment of poetic composition! Free verse is generally found in Greek poetry, whereas rhyming pattern is seen in Persian poems.

Sonnet is the short poem of 14 lines. E.g. ‘To Fanny’ by John Keats and Shakespeare’s collection of sonnets are a few famous examples. Sonnet 18 – ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ is the most popular sonnet that deserves a mention.

Sonnet 18 – Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed, And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st, So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Elegy is a mournful poem wherein the poet is lamenting for the dead person or his near ones. e.g. ‘Elegy Written in Country Churchyard’ by Thomas Gray is one of the famous elegies marked as the saddest poem of the ages.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Ode is the formal and long poem, serious in nature. It addresses a person, place, or thing. Previously ode was composed along with music and dance due to its melody. When romantic poets started using it to express their sentiments, it was constrained to the lyrical form. E.g. “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth

The rainbow comes and goes, And lovely is the rose; The moon doth with delight, Look round her when the heavens are bare; Waters on a starry night, Are beautiful and fair; The sunshine is a glorious birth; But yet I know, where’er I go, That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.

Allegory has two symbolic meanings. One is the literal meaning and another is the deep/symbolic meaning. E.g. ‘The Faerie Queene’ by Edmund Spenser is the longest poem written in Spenserian stanza. You will be amazed to see the use of extended metaphor in the poem.

It has Greek origin. Lyric is a short poem which has song-like quality. It is poet’s appeal to his readers about any incident or historical event. If you have read a lyric, you might know that the form of Lyric is almost similar to odes or sonnets. E.g. Emily Dickinson’s ‘I Felt a Funeral in my Brain’

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to-and-fro, Kept treading – treading – till it seemed, That Sense was breaking through – And when they all were seated, A Service, like a, Drum – Kept beating – beating – till I thought, My Mind was going numb.

Fiction Literature – Short Story

Short Stories are wonderful tales of quests and fantasies. The small commercial fiction, true or imaginary, smaller than a novel is known as short story. Short stories have a well-defined structure – easy and no complexity in the beginning, concrete theme, some dialogs and end with resolution.

Short stories can be oral and short-lived tales. Flash fiction is a short story, less than 1000 word count. e.g. Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Three Strangers’, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’, etc.

Fiction Literature – Frame Narrative

Here we find a story within the main story. You must be wondering why would a writer prefer a story within a story and how does he present it? Well, it’s one way to allow the reader to interpret every character in detail. Like… the story about a particular character’s nature, family, work, and attitude etc. to make the character more lively.

There are lots of methods to write a frame narrative. Some writers use dream within a story, some opt for series of stories in the main story, or they use imagery language to represent plots. In an adventure story, the character narrates his own story (main story), within that he mentions different places and people, and their stories etc. are the frame tales. Some of the popular examples of frame narratives are Pegasus, Wuthering Heights, The Flying Horse, The Three Pigs, A Time to keep and the Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays, etc.

Non-fictional Literature

Nonfiction literature is about real things and incidents, so they’re informative and comprise interesting facts, with a total amalgam of analysis and illustrations. The various types have been explained below.

Autobiography and Biography

An autobiography is the story of the author’s own life written by the author himself. For example, ‘Family Life at the White House’ by Bill Clinton is about his life and achievements. ‘Wings of fire’ by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam is the success story of a poor child, and how he became the President of India.

‘Mein kampf’ by Adolph Hitler not only reveals Hilter’s love for paintings and his career, but also focuses on the history of second World War. Barack Obama’s ‘Dream From My Father’ is one of the best-selling books in the world.

When an author writes about another person’s life story, it is a biography. For example, Plutarch’s ‘Parallel Lives’ written in the 1st century covers all famous Greek and Roman people of that time. Also ‘Steve Jobs’ (2001) by Walter Isaacson, ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand (about Louis Zamperini).

Generally, the authors’ point of view about any particular topic explained in detail is called an essay. Essay has a simple way of narrating the main subject. Therefore they are descriptive, lengthy, subject-oriented, and comparative.

The different types of essays are classified as personal, expository, response, process, persuasive, argumentative, critical, interview, reflective, evaluative, application, compare and contrast essay, and narrative essay, etc.

Journals somewhat look like diaries, but they are different because they record infinite information, analysis, thoughts, experiences, etc. A personal journal is for personal analysis, where one can write his goal, daily thoughts, events, and situations.

Academic journals are for students who do research or dissertation on a particular subject. Creative journals are the imaginative writing of a story, poem, or narrative. Trade journals are used by industries where they dictate practical information.

Dialectical journals is used by students to write on a double-column notebook. The left side is for resources, wherein quotations, references, examples, facts, experiments, and observation are written. The right side can be a series of thoughts, following response, explanations and evaluation.


Diaries are the incidents recorded by the author without any means of publishing them. It is the rough work of one’s daily routine, happenings, memorable days or events in their life. E.g. Anne Frank’s ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ was published by her father in 1940s; it’s a story of a girl trapped during German invade Amsterdam. Second example is ‘The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem’ by Ned Rorem.

Diaries consist of business letters, newsletters, weather listing. Some profound forms of diaries are online diary, travel, fictional, dream, and death diaries.

Remember that the terms diary, blog and journal mean different things, though they can be used interchangeably. When you write something private it’s a diary, when you go one step ahead and add few event or business documents to it, then it becomes journal. Blogs can be in form of a diary or journal, the only difference is that a blog is online. Blogs are digital, while the diary and journal are handwritten.

Travel literature

It is the narration of any tour or foreign visit. Travel literature has details of events, dates, places, languages, culture along with the author’s views. As the author shares his experiences, such piece of writing is also called itinerary or travelogue.

A few of sub-categories of travel literature include Travel guide, Travel journal, and Travel writing for newspapers and magazines. For example, Francis Bacon’s natural philosophies in the middle of Seventeenth century is one of the famous examples of travel literature.

Literary criticism

Literary criticism is the critical study of a piece of literature wherein critics apply different theories, evaluations, discussions, and explanations to the text or essay. This way the work will be studied, criticized, and judged by a set of critics. Plato, Aristotle (Poetics), T.S. Eliot, Saussure and Frye were some of the famous critics.

There are lot of general theories, therefore it is a tough task for a critic to know which theory goes along with the work while criticizing and analyzing it thoroughly. So there are fewer critics than the authors. You will get books on literary criticism in series, or essays published in journals.

Different categories under media

Media includes newspaper, magazine, movies, Internet, radios, etc. It is the newest and widely acceptable type of literature. Everyone follows it due to its multiple objectives to learn, entertain and promote. Newspapers are a collection of daily or weekly news of politics, sports, leisure, fashion, movies, business etc.

Magazines are all about current affairs, events, interviews, and opinions on several issues. It definitely won’t be an exaggeration to say that movies, audio and video CDs that we see today are also a form of digital literature. Have you heard about digital poetry, it is an upcoming trend in poetry.

Outdoor literature

Outdoor literature is the literature of adventure devoted to the whole exploration of an event. Writing about leisure time, or hobbies like horse riding, fishing, trekking can be a part of literature. Some outdoor books are ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain, ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis, ‘Voyages’ by Richard Hakluyt and ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ by Eric Newby.

Oral Literature

Oral Literature, also known as Orature includes folklore, joke, fable, parable, hearsay, and legend etc. Folklore is a traditional story that has been generating interest since ancient times. Now, almost all oral literature is available so far in written form, they are generally categorized into fictional literature. Folklores are generally superstitious and religious stories. Every nation has its own oral history in their respective languages like Chinese, African, Indian, American folks, etc.

Epic and Mock Epic

Epic is the narrative poem that conveys moral and culture of that period. For example, “The Odyssey” and “Iliad” are one of the largest philosophical epics written by Samuel Butler. If you’re fond of mock epic, read ‘Rape of the Lock’. It’s interesting to see how a minor incident of cutting of curls can give birth to a great mock epic of 794 lines.

They are traditional sayings that influence the lifestyle of people through their culture. You must have heard of these wisdom proverbs, ‘All that glitters is not gold’, ‘Even a small star shines in the darkness’, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, etc. Proverbs are memorable sayings that are passed from one generation to another.

Proverbs are thoughts of wisdom and experiences. You can relate proverbs with your real-life experiences and take them as advice to overcome a situation. So it’s an oral gift we have to pass on to the next generation.

Oral poetry – Hymns

Poem that is written for praising god or some supernatural being is hymn. It can be in the form of prayer, song, ode etc.

Oral poetry – Psalms

They are sacred songs used in worship of Christian and Jewish religions. E.g. The Bible – “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You Who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.” Psalm 142:3 (NIV)

Oral poetry – Ballad


Ballad is a narrative poem sung by the poet or group of singers. Its narrative style makes it more lively as if the narrator is taking the listeners to that time and telling a story. Generally, ballads are oral literature, but as we progress, it takes the form of written literature.

If Bishop Thomas Percy would have not published ‘Reliques of Ancient English Poetry’ (1765), we would have been without the knowledge of this ancestral treasure of poetry. His collection of popular ballads are the first written form of ballad. (Please note, some of the ballads in the book are not written by him). An example of a ballad is ‘Lord Lovel’.

‘Lord Lovel was gone just a year and a day, New countries for to see, When languishing thoughts came over his mind, Lady Nancy he must go see, see, see, Lady Nancy he must go see.’

Folklore – Fairy tales

Hansel and Gretel

Any traditional stories, proverbs or songs are Folklore. Folklore studies culture, its rituals, traditions, and artifacts. A popular type of folklore is a fairy tale. Fairy tales are not real and they are told by someone with a starting phrase like, ‘Once upon a time, there was-‘. that takes you back to your childhood days.

Popular fairy tales include Hansel and Gretel, Cindrella, Tom Thumb, etc. These tales have fictional characters, dragons, witches, spirits, elves as well as supernatural elements like magic and some far-reaching powers, etc.

Folklore – Tall Tales

Tall tales are those wherein you find the exaggeration, imaginary animals and humans performing unbelievable things, and you will laugh at the end due to its humorous nature. While some tall tales end with a moral. They are the basic element of American folk literature, like storytelling.

‘Callin’ the Dog’ from ‘A Mississippi Tall Tale’.

“One man offered a hound dog pup to the person who could tell the biggest lie. Well, those stories started rollin’ in, each one bigger and harder to believe than the one before.

Now, the last man to talk knew he didn’t have a chance of winnin’ that there pup on account of all them tall-tales the others told was so good. So he just said: “I never told a lie in my life.”

“You get the pup!” Said the owner of the hound dog. And everyone else agreed with him.

Folklore – Parables

Parables are the religious or moral stories. They can be written or told in a prose or verse form, they are always found in a narrative form. There are no animal characters (which show emotions) like we have in Fables, and parables describe a universal truth. Bible is an example of parable.

Folklore – Myth

Myths are sacred, so they’ve a deep meaning. These are the tales of origin of the world and people. That’s why you will find gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. You will find lots of adventure, magic, supernatural elements (creatures, giants) in them although they lack scientific proof.

Nature myth has stories of the stars and moon, weather, etc. e.g. Zeus is the god of thunder, lightening. Do you believe in afterlife? Well Chinese, Greek, Roman cultures had myths on rebirth, afterlife, and concepts of hell and heaven.

Other types of folklore include fables (stories with moral), cumulative, trickster (stories of god, goddess, man, spirit, or animal who disobeys normal rules and behavior), beliefs (power that controls human beings), ghost stories, and legends (collection of ancient religious stories of origin and human civilization such as story of Robin Hood), etc.

The above article includes the many types of literature that are known in English literature. Also, there are other types like comic books, cartoons, eBook, and online stories that are constantly adding up to new forms of literature, with every passing day.

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What are the types of literature?

oral and written

What are the divisions of literature and types of literature?

oral or spoken literature and written or printed literature

What are the examples of oral literature?

Oral literature is a form of literature that is not written but instead is passed verbally from person to person. Many fairytales were originally oral literature.

Why do you say oral literature or written literature?

Unwritten literature that has survived through oral(spoken/sung) traditions such as ballads,pastoral poems is called oral literature ,while literature recorded in written language is written literature.

Three types of literature in the thirteenth century?

Debates, lyrical ballads, didactic and religious poems were the popular types of literature in the thirteenth century.

what are the five types of oral literature

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Oral literature: what is it, how does it develop, characteristics and types

What is oral literature?

Also known as oral tradition literature or simply oral tradition, it compiles all kinds of texts that are transmitted through the voice within a group of people or a specific community, which are kept in the memory of their communicators and listeners.

What is oral literature

One of the most important aspects of this type of literature is that it has very specific functions that, in fact, reinforce its diffusion throughout time and space. Among these, we find that it serves to remember, entertain, heal, celebrate, expose, teach, among others. On the other hand, it is transmitted mainly according to a system of knowledge, beliefs, values and norms that are shared by the same community.

How does oral literature develop?

The first time the term was used was approximately around 1881 when Paul Sébillot made a compilation of stories in which he included legends, tales and other related texts, although he was talking about texts that first had their place within the oral tradition and would later be recorded.

Towards the twentieth century, the term -oral literature- began to be used to refer to texts of an aesthetic nature that are transmitted through the voice, since it is more efficient when grouping together characteristics already distinguished from it. However, this is a discussion that has been maintained over the years where many experts have decided to add other names to refer to it.

However, the origin of the first stories of the oral tradition dates back to the first human societies and therefore, before the existence of writing. There, stories that were used mainly for entertainment and/or teaching began to be passed down through the generations, either within families or by entertainers who went from village to village telling the stories.

Main characteristics of oral literature

It is time to review the most important characteristics that allow us to identify this type of works and distinguish them from others, in this case from works that are part of written literature. Thus, its most important features are:

Reflection of a community

Another of the most distinctive features of this literature is related to the fact that it is generally a literature that reflects aspects such as values, important issues and even the identity of a community of which it is a part. When it is a literature that moves away from this type of elements with which people do not feel identified, they are not welcomed and therefore, they are not transmitted or disseminated, this taking into account precisely their initial use mainly.

Manifestations varied to writing

One of the most important characteristics of this type of literature has to do precisely with the variety of manifestations that have been developed throughout its history, given that many of these have soon been recorded in written literature. In its beginnings and mainly we have the legends, traditional or popular tales, riddles, myths, among others.

Variety of themes

Another important matter to consider about oral literature is that since most of the world’s cultures have oral literary manifestations, we can say that there are as many of them as there are cultures. That is why it is possible to identify a great variety of themes, characters, situations, purposes, etc., which can even be repeated in some aspects within regions, especially when there are similar elements of a geographical space, for example.

Anonymous author

If we go back to their origin and the first stories we heard either from our grandparents or parents, transmitted in turn by their relatives and which in most occasions come from rural or native areas, we have that many of these stories lack a recognized author. This is fundamentally due to the trajectory of the oral story and the lack of registration of this, since it remains in the memory of the generations after long periods of time that fail to connect with the moment in which it is transmitted for the first time.

Form of recitation

A key element, given that oral stories had to be memorized and then transmitted through the voice, has to do with the fact that these forms of recitation often included specific metrics that contributed to memorization. However, within these same stories it was also possible to manage various forms of recitation.

Alterations and changes

When we speak of oral literature we must consider that it is an immediate performance in which it comes into direct contact with the receiver, so that it implies an interaction with the listener. That is why this aspect can generate the variability of the stories that are transmitted with respect to the audience and the speaker, even in the process of adaptation to the regions alterations that modify the content at different levels begin to gestate.

Types of oral literature

In addition to this, as it is transmitted in different cultures, the version may vary and in this process it undergoes even more modifications in its content, connecting this time with the culture of the society it reaches.

Types of oral literature

In view of the above, we will now look at all the types of oral literature that have been identified throughout the history and evolution of this artistic field. Many of these continue to evidence a predominance of orality, although many have also moved fully into the written field. These are:

It is an expression that is fundamentally composed of a riddle within its enunciation. It is often a short expression in which an object is described in an indirect way, whose answer or corresponding title consists in the solution of the riddle. It is constructed based on the particularities of the object, which configures a series of clues through which the receiver discovers the correct answer.

It is a type of oral literature in which a narrative is developed that undergoes modifications in its adaptation in new regions and languages. This type of relatively short narrative is composed of a series of elements that are part of the culture and identity of a given region, which is why the function may vary. Most folktales are oriented to education, moral teaching or reinforcement of an important value.

It consists of an oral expression in which it seeks the manifestation of a pleasant feeling with respect to someone. In this way, the toast highlights congratulations, messages of pride or any other similar expression that is accompanied by a practice in the company of an alcoholic beverage. It implies the participation of several attendees for its development.

It is a short composition, although many have defined it as a type of poem in which a series of emotions are present in which most of the themes are related to the feeling of love. It is made up of a series of elements so that the lyrics it expresses can be sung in the company of a melody. It is one of the oral expressions with the greatest evolutionary change until today.

It is an expression characterized by generating comicality and humor in the receiver. It is a short expression created to provoke laughter. It is composed of a narrative element, enriched by a series of resources such as sarcasm, irony, among others. In addition, it usually incorporates stereotypes that allude to various aspects such as region, ethnicity, gender, professional occupation, social status, among others.

The incantation is a type of oral literature that contains a magical formula that is mentioned with the intention of a specific objective. Most of the incantations that are performed are oriented to invoke a divinity or a supernatural force through which the intervention in a specific situation or the protection to dissipate any type of danger is requested. There are incantations associated with different religious manifestations.

Oral history

It is a spoken testimony in which an explanation is sought from the experience or memory of a past event and which is used as a source for the reconstruction of a specific fact. Oral history generates the appearance of other types of manifestations of oral literature through which different themes have been reconstructed, such as legends. To this day, oral history is one of the most important resources in different fields.

This expression consists of a prayer used for the application of alternative medicine remedies. The ensalmo is attributed with magical powers with which the healing of a specific illness is sought, which is why it has been associated with an esoteric practice that is used by healers or sages during the performance of this practice.

Prayer as a concrete oral expression is a composition in which a sacred figure or a divinity is invoked in order to praise him, request a favor, give thanks for a situation or simply ask for his intervention in a complex process. It is developed within the framework of religious beliefs, which is why there are several ways of expressing it and with it, several types of prayers.

Children’s play

It is mainly known as a type of oral literature due to the verbal implication that exists and that gives way to the realization of a specific physical activity. In this way, we speak of an expression for the entertainment of children in which indications are given for the practice of a playful activity, which has given rise to different types of children’s games where the structure and ways of orientation may vary.

This type of expression consists of sayings that are frequently mentioned in different circumstances in different regions, given that their content, usually of a moral nature, applies to different ways of life in different areas of the world. However, in addition to the moral sense, it is possible to identify sayings with an instructive, reflective or teaching message that is passed from generation to generation, indicated mainly to the children of a community, family, etc.

It is an act of promulgation containing a message of interest to the public. The proclamation is announced by the town crier, who, accompanied by music or not, manages to capture the attention of people in places such as squares, main streets, parks with affluence, etc. As for its objectives, the intention can vary, because while some share general information, others can be developed in the sale of a product or service, for example.

Tongue twister

It is a short expression that is constructed from a series of words whose structure and sound is similar, which causes a certain degree of difficulty in its pronunciation or quick reading. In fact, this difficulty of pronunciation constitutes one of the main features of tongue twisters, which, it is believed, were used for educational purposes. Throughout history, different benefits of the practice of reading tongue twisters have been identified, which has led to their continued presence to this day.

Myth is known as any story or initially oral construction that seeks to explain different phenomena and that make up the set of beliefs of a specific community. They are texts dedicated to the narration of events that usually include supernatural beings, reason why it is also known as wonderful narration. This type of social constructions explain facts and allow to answer the great questions of the human being and his relation with the world.

The legend is a type of narration that also has its beginnings in orality, so it is transmitted throughout generations. It is characterized because it narrates an event that would take place in remote times, in such a way that it links in its construction elements and themes that can be part of religion and history as main focuses. Thus, the content of the legend can combine elements of history and fantasy, generating the visibility of a popular tradition proper to the social context from which it emerges.

It consists of a literary expression composed of a structure in which a succession of aspects take place, thus following an established order. It can also be composed of word games in which there is a repetition of words or sounds. They are characterized by being constructed from different literary resources or rhetorical figures and are mainly aimed at entertaining the public or the reader of the retahíla.

It is a type of oral expression with European influence that developed after the Spanish invasion in Mexico and the southern United States. It is characterized for dealing with themes related to the Mexican Revolution, initially, although it soon begins to include several themes linked to the communicative and informative intention that emerges in the towns. It is popularly known as “Mexican corrido”, although it also had a great expansion that led it to settle in other countries of the American continent.

It is one of the oldest manifestations of oral literature. It consists of a type of considerably short enunciation through which it transmits to the reader or listener, a message that can be oriented as advice or reflection. This type of expression has two main fields of function, since on the one hand we find the intention with moral character and on the other hand, the intellectual paremia. It is possible to find a great variety of paremias according to the field in which they are used, despite the fact that in recent years their use in common speech has been significantly reduced.

It is an expression of oral literature characterized mainly by its instructive and pedagogical function. It has been one of the few manifestations that has been traced throughout history, this is because its moral character has allowed it to be installed in different traditions, including religion, through which it has remained in different compilations of texts made in different times and areas of the world.

It corresponds to a type of sententious statement that arises from experience, which is why it evidences the degree of knowledge of a particular author. It is an expression that states a declaration or the closest thing to a truth and that intends to leave no room for doubt. A great part of the aphorisms are attributed to different historical or fictitious personalities, although at present it is a type of oral literature that continues to develop.

This type of manifestation contains elements of oral and written discourse, although mainly of the former by conveying a judgment in relation to a given situation. Although there are several types of opinions depending on the field in which it is applied, it is characterized by referring to a statement or assessment made in relation to a situation, fact, person or object through which a process of analysis or previous knowledge is built.

Remember that to learn more about each of the types of oral literature, you can enter each of them to go deeper. We also have a section dedicated to literature in which you can continue learning through different periods, manifestations of written literature, movements and much more.

Storyboard That

Literary Genres

Literary genres are categories of literature that are generally determined by technique, length, tone, and content. When we list literary genres in broader terms, they can be more abstract, flexible, and loosely defined. However, as we get more specific and into subcategories, the distinctions and rules of the genre become crystal clear.

What are the different literary genres? Though we may think there are several types of literary genres, there are actually only 3 genres of literature. You may be wondering, what are the three genres of literature? Poetry, drama, and prose. That’s right. All the other genre types fit into one of these three categories. Students will typically encounter these genres of literature in English for most of what they read and write about in school. Therefore, they must be able to identify examples of genres in literature, know their key characteristics, and list the genres of literature.

3 Literary Genres

Keep reading to learn more about the different literary genres examples, along with ways for students and teachers to storyboard their forms of literature examples. In the genres of literature chart below, each of the storyboards and examples can be copied and used in an assignment with your students.

Literary Genres Examples

Here are some literary genres examples for you to check out. Different literary genres have various purposes. As you read through these examples, notice how the techniques, lengths, tones, and contents change.

The genre of literature can be classified in many ways. In this section, we will take a closer look at 3 genres of literature: poetry, drama, and prose. Understanding literary genres in English literature will not only enhance your students’ reading experience but improve their writing skills too.

Types of Literary Genres

Poetry is a genre of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre — to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the literal or mundane meaning. Poetry has a very long history, dating back to prehistoric times with the creation of hunting chants and burial songs.

Poetry is considered by many to be the most intense literature genre. It allows a writer to express their deepest emotions and thoughts in a very personal way. It relies heavily on figurative language, rhythm, and imagery to relay its message to readers. Poetry is a type of writing that uses beautiful language to express deep thoughts and feelings. Poetry can help you understand your emotions and thoughts better, and it also helps you learn how to write more expressively.

Sub-Genres of Poetry

Sub-genres of Poetry

Drama is a mode of fictional representation through dialogue and performance. It is one of the kinds of literature which includes epic poetry, lyric poetry, and novel. Aristotle’s Poetics defines drama as “a representation of an action that is whole and complete and has a beginning, a middle, and an end.”

Drama is often performed on stage in front of a live audience, but it can also be presented in other forms, such as radio, film, and television. It is usually written by a playwright, although it can be adapted from other sources, such as novels, short stories, poems, or even real-life events. Or it can be read silently by individuals too.

It contains dialogue, and actors impersonate the characters. It is usually divided into acts or scenes and relies on props or imaginative dialogue to create a visual experience for the audience. Drama is a good place to start, as they are usually pretty easy to understand at face value and captivates the audience with cliffhangers and mind-capitulating events.

Sub-Genres of Drama

Sub-genres of Drama

The prose is a form of language that has no formal metrical structure. It applies a natural flow of speech, and ordinary grammatical structure, rather than rhythmic structure, such as in the case of traditional poetry. The prose is typically written in paragraphs, although there are some exceptions, such as in the case of drama or fiction.

Prose can be found in books, magazines, newspapers, online articles, blogs, etc. It is the most common form of writing. Examples of famous works of prose include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee & Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. The prose is simple, straightforward language. It can be either fiction or nonfiction . The prose is typically divided into paragraphs, and it uses regular grammar. It can be either serious or funny.

Fiction is narrative writing that originates from the author’s imagination. It is designed to entertain, but it can also inspire, inform, or persuade.

Sub-Genres of Fiction

Prose: Sub-genres of Fiction

Nonfiction is writing that is based on true events, people, places, and facts. It is designed to inform, and sometimes to entertain.

Sub-Genres of Nonfiction

Prose: Sub-genres of Nonfiction

What Are the Three Genres of Literature?

The main examples of genres in literature are poetry, drama, and prose. Poetry is a genre in literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Drama is a mode of fictional representation through dialogue and performance. The prose is a form of language that has no formal metrical structure. It applies a natural flow of speech and ordinary grammatical structure, rather than rhythmic structure, such as in the case of traditional poetry. Genres of literature in English then fall into subcategories, which make up the three genres of literature.

Forms of literature examples are:

Genres of Literature Chart

Genre types subcategories can be explained as the following:

Literature types and genres are essential to know to understand all the different types of written works available. Each type has its own purpose and style. Whether you’re looking for a light read or something more heavy and informative, there’s definitely a literary genre out there for you.

A Note About Speeches...

While not one of the primary genres of literature, speeches are important historical documents or moments and literature, and they don’t always fit neatly into one of the three primary genre categories. A speech is a formal address given to an audience. Speeches can be found in prose, drama, and poetry, and their primary goals are to persuade, inform, demonstrate, or entertain a reader, an audience, or other characters. They can also be used in nonfiction or fiction, depending on their purpose and use.

Sub-genres of Speeches

Why Use Storyboarding to Learn About Literary Genres Types?

Storyboarding is the perfect way to learn and remember the different genres of literature. When you storyboard, you can visually see how each literary genre differs from the next. You can also track and compare the subcategories within genres, identify key characteristics of each, and even explore the relationships between genres. All of this will help you better understand and remember the genres of literature, making it easier to identify them when you encounter them in your reading.

How Can Storyboard That Enhance the Learning Experience of the Three Genres of Literature?

Storyboard That can help students better understand the three genres of literature by providing a visual representation of each one. By storyboarding, students can identify key characteristics of each genre and see how they differ from one another. Additionally, Storyboard That is a great way to compare and contrast genres, as well as explore the relationships between them. All of this will help students better remember the genres of literature and be able to identify them when they encounter them in their reading.

Looking to add a little creative flair to your literature class? Check out Storyboard That’s easy-to-use, online storyboard creator! With our drag-and-drop software, you can create engaging, visually appealing graphic organizers to help your students learn about the different genres of literature. Plus, our easy-to-use tools make it simple to add text, images, and multimedia content to your storyboards, so you can really bring your lessons to life.

Where to Start When Learning About Literary Genres

If you’re just starting to learn about literary genres, the best place to begin is with the three primary genres: prose, drama, and poetry. These genres are the foundation for all other genres of literature, so it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of them before moving on to anything else.

In terms of choosing between the three, poetry tends to be the most complicated to understand as it can go against the usual laws of grammar. There are a lot of deeper meanings within poetry, so it can be hard to break down as a newbie. Start with some short, simple prose articles such as newspaper pieces and short novels.

When you start to get the underlying meanings behind the prose, you can then start to dive into some simple drama. Look into Greek tragedies and Shakespearean plays, as they are a great starting point. These genres will give you a better understanding of the basics before progressing on to more.

When you’re ready to go deeper, poetry is the next stepping stone. Children’s poetry is a great starting point to give you a good foundation of poetic structure and meaning. Then you can go further into complicated poetry, such as that of the Elizabethans and Victorians.

Once you feel comfortable with the three primary genres, you can start exploring the many subgenres that exist within each one. There are endless possibilities when it comes to literary genres, so there’s no need to rush.

Related Activities

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - Elements of Mystery

Reading Material to Start With

Start with article number one and work your way down the list. When you are happy you understand each article within the genre, move on to the next set of articles.

How to Get a Deeper Understanding

To get a deeper meaning of each genre, get your pen and paper ready and start to highlight the key ideas throughout. It can help to get your understanding of the writings by doing a summary for each one. Once you have done this, start to think about the following key things for each genre:

Plays can be trickier as you cannot always rely on the written word to give you all the information. This is where watching a performance of the play can come in handy, as it will give you a much better understanding. In addition to the above, when watching a play, you should also be thinking about:

When reading poetry, it is essential to think about both the literal and figurative meanings of the words. This can be difficult at first, but there are some helpful strategies that you can use. For example, you can try reading the poem aloud or reading it multiple times. You can also look up words you don’t understand and try to break the poem down into smaller chunks. In addition to the above, when reading poetry, you should also be thinking about:

Using a storyboard exercise like StoryBoard That can be helpful when trying to understand the genres. You can map out the key ideas and events for each one, as well as the literary devices that are used. This is a great way to see the genres side-by-side, compare and contrast them and visualize things better.

Related Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Literary Genres

What are the main types of literary genres.

The three main types of literary genres are prose, drama, and poetry. Believe it or not, all types of literature fall into one of these categories, including fiction and nonfiction!

What are some examples of different types of fiction?

Some well known types of fiction are: mystery, realistic fiction, historical fiction, fables and fairy tales, poetry, adventure, and science fiction.

What are some examples of different types of nonfiction?

Some common types of nonfiction are biographies, autobiographies, speeches, letters, and informational texts.

Privacy And Security

Each version of Storyboard That has a different privacy and security model that is tailored for the expected usage.

Free Edition

All storyboards are public and can be viewed and copied by anyone. They will also appear in Google search results.

Personal Edition

The author can choose to leave the storyboard public or mark it as Unlisted. Unlisted storyboards can be shared via a link, but otherwise will remain hidden.

Educational Edition

All storyboards and images are private and secure. Teachers can view all of their students’ storyboards, but students can only view their own. No one else can view anything. Teachers may opt to lower the security if they want to allow sharing.

Business Edition

All storyboards are private and secure to the portal using enterprise-class file security hosted by Microsoft Azure. Within the portal, all users can view and copy all storyboards. In addition, any storyboard can be made “sharable”, where a private link to the storyboard can be shared externally.


what are the five types of oral literature

Characteristics Of Oral Literature

Nancy rourke's deaf culture: unity of global signing.

Nancy Rourke, the painter of Deaf Culture: Unity of Global Signing, was born deaf and grew up in a world of oralism (Northen, Spindel). Oralism is when someone teaches a deaf person how to read lips and talk instead of teaching them to sign (Oralism). Rourke’s parents did not know she was deaf until she was about six years old but quit in 1986 to become a graphic designer. Twenty years later she was laid off and decided to begin painting again and took a couple of workshops to help prepare for the transition in her life. Her life transition did not begin until 2010 when she became involved in Deaf View / Image Art (De’VIA) and she began painting about her own experiences in the world of oralism (Rourke). Her painting, Deaf Culture: Unity of Global Signing, creates an image of problems within the deaf community

Laurent Clerc Teach The Deaf

The novel of Laurent Clerc: The story of his early years is about how Laurent Clerc the “Apostle to the Deaf in the New World”(Carroll 171) became educated and led to the creation of a school for the deaf in America. Laurent was born to a wealthy family in La Balme, France. He was grew up during the French Revolution, while the Directory was in charge. His parents throughout his young life tried to cure him of his deafness by having many doctors examine him and do painful procedures with no success. Eventually his parents sent him away to The Royal National Institute for the Deaf in Paris, or St. Jacques. There Clerc was taught to sign by Jean Massieu. Clerc along with the other students were also unwilling subjects in Dr. Itard’s experiments,

The Devil And Tom Walker, The Man In The Black Suit,

Literature has been around for many ages. There are many different types of literature fro. many different times. The way people write has changed throughout the years. American literature is commonly talk about because it is well liked, although sometimes it can be hard to understand if you are currently a student. There is nothing quite like the stories that were written in this time. The Devil and Tom Walker, The devil and Daniel Webster, The Man in the Black Suit, and The Scarlet Letter all things in common because they all describe the devil in a special way along with authors of the stories were all men.

George Veditz's Contributions To The Deaf

George W. Veditz was best known for his attempt to capture the beauty and nature of sign language on film. “Veditz many contributions to the deaf community changed the course of deaf history during a time when deaf people were struggling to preserve their own culture and language.” ( ). Veditz was born in 1861 in Maryland, he was born hearing but became deaf when he was 8 years old because of scarlet fever. Before Veditz became sick, he spoke English and German. He became a “smooth signer” by having a tutor before he tried enrolling in school.. He applied to Maryland School for the Deaf in Federick, where he was hired as a secretary and a bookkeeper. When Veditz was 17 years old, he really wanted to apply to Gallaudet but could not afford tuition.

Brochure Review: American Sign Language

American Sign Language: A Look at History, Structure, and Community by Charlotte Baker and Carol Padden serves as a beginner’s guide for new ASL learners. Topics including the history of American Sign Language, the Deaf community, and the basic building blocks of ASL including grammar, movement, and expression are discussed in a way that a person with no prior knowledge on the subject can easily understand and appreciate.

Examples Of Narrative Criticism

The methodology of narrative criticism can be summarized in four steps. First, the form of the text is analysed and categorized according to formal and conventional literary aspects and genres. Literary aspect includes the categories of fiction, nonfiction, prose, and poetry. Literary narrative genres include categories such as history, legend, and myth.

Lamb To The Slaughter Literary Analysis

Lamb to the Slaughter is an action packed short story about a wife who is let down by her husband and proceeds to kill him as an act of revenge. Obviously much more happens in this story consisting of humour, action, mystery and irony. Roald Dahl is a master of writing short stories in ways that attract readers, draw them into what is happening through using literary elements and universal themes to make the story relatable to the readers. In this story the main literary elements were foreshadowing, situation and dramatic irony, imagery and symbolism which really drew me in and kept me attached to the story. Literary elements are what make a story powerful and attracts readers to continue reading in the story and in this story they highlight the universal theme of Revenge and Betrayal. This essay will explain those literary elements, how they allow

Deaf Culture Essay

How about norms? Norm are the behavior and cues within a society or groups and norms are also known as the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Individuals who fail to follow the norms of the society in which they live often kind of a negative reaction from their peers. As the values, the deaf and the hearing have different norms. As the deaf community is much more physical like tapping in the back, touching is more casually because they cannot hear if you call them, while the hearing community is much more verbal and typically is uncomfortable with frequent touch. With language, deaf people use ASL, which is American Sign Language and it is the preferred language in the deaf community. It is a visual and gestural language. Despite what many people believe, those who use ASL do not sign in English word order, nor an auditory or written language. However, ASL has its own syntax and grammar. With Behavior norm: in deaf culture, eye contact is necessary for effectively communication because in ASL facial

Through Deaf Eyes Documentary Analysis

Throughout the documentary film Through Deaf Eyes, I felt amazed by deaf culture. The deaf culture is a versatile, rich, and unique community that more people need to be aware of. When the film was covering the transition of ASL schools to oral only I mostly felt ashamed of my own culture. Someone as Alexander Graham Bell, who is naturally considered one of the greatest inventors in the hearing world, believed that the language used by the deaf community was not a language. The hearing world is the most dominant one, there is no doubt. However, there has to be an understanding that not everyone who is different from the “typical” is “atypical”. A language is nothing but patterns of signs, symbols, and/or sounds that are used to convey meaning. In what manner does sign language not fit the category of a language?

Deaf World Reflection

Prior to reading these chapters I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I have never really been exposed to the Deaf- World. I have watched shows such as Switched at Birth, but I know that it doesn’t completely portray the real Deaf- Community. I was extremely interested in seeing their side of the story and gaining insight on the life they live. I decided to read chapters one, and two. The first chapter is an introduction into the Deaf World, in a story format it shows major differences between the world of the Deaf and the hearing. While the second chapter talks about the struggles of a deaf child, and mainly the two different approaches between deaf and hearing parents. Overall, the beginning two chapters of A Journey into the Deaf- World

Compare And Contrast Anne Bradstreet And John Smith

The question of what exactly is literature comes up every time something is written or read. This question forms many of the English classes that students take all around the world, and this question dominates the literary community. So what exactly is literature and why is it so important? Literature is non-factual, with sensuous language, about particular people or events that have significance. Literature is often figurative and appeals to the emotions. During the early colonial times of America, many authors wrote about the things they experienced during that time. Two well-known authors of that period were John Smith and Anne Bradstreet. Smith gave accounts of what he experienced during that period through prose, whereas Anne Bradstreet wrote about some things that went on her life through poetry. Smith’s writings have the purpose of telling what happened and providing the facts, whereas Anne Bradstreet does tell what happened, but she also looks toward the future in her writings.

Compare And Contrast The Old Grandfather And Abuelito Who

Almost every folk tale and poem express a universal theme or central idea, which are found in “The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson” and “Abuelito Who.” The two literary works share the writing attributes of characters and the message that the readers receive from the passage, but , they are both categorized under two different genres. The reason why the characters in “The Old Grandfather and his Little Grandson” and “Abuelito Who” are extremely similar is because they both are described with identical characters. Also, their universal themes happen to disseminate the exact same moral, while the authors wrote them in two dissimilar writing styles. Although, “The Old Grandfather and his Little Grandson” and “Abuelito Who” the genres that the two readings are classified under are unalike, their characters and universal theme expressed are exceptionally homogeneous.

Analysis Of Gloria Anzaldua's To Live In The Borderlands

Every literary work has its own purpose of existence and no literary is the same. There is always literary work for someone to be interested in. the authors use different techniques in order to attract the readers, such as rhythm, rhyme, characters, settings, characters, theme, and conflict and other techniques. One of the elements that literature allow the readers to use is the imagination in order to visualize what the author message is in his story or poem. Some stories, poems or drama are based from the writer’s personal experience, such as the conflict with they have with society because of their race, gender or ethnicity. The poem “To live in the Borderlands Means you” by Gloria Anzaldua, describes from the author’s personal experience how society can affect an individual’s identity. The mixture of different cultures and races can isolate a person because it affects his or her identity in culture, society and how politics affects them.

Difference Between Literature And Informational Text

One difference between literature and informational text is the difference in bias. Literature usually uses a bias and told from one perspective of a conflict or story. Such an example as shown in a literature poem says, “So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm to every Middlesex village and farm,-- A cry of defiance, and not of fear, a voice in

Essay On African Literature

African Literature contains traditional oral and written literatures in Afro-Asiatic and African languages merge with the Africans works in European languages. Traditional written literature limits to a small geographic area than oral literature. Oral literature is the most characteristic of sub-Saharan cultures and it participates in the cultures of Mediterranean. In particular, they write literatures in both Hausa and Arabic languages. It creates by the scholars of Northern Nigeria and the Somali people produces a traditional literature in written form. The two Ethiopia languages are Geez and Amharic consider as the one part of Africa where Christianity practices long enough to consider traditional. In the twentieth century onwards, the

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  3. What is Literature? / Basic concept of Literature / Simplest definition of Literature for interview


  1. Oral literature

    oral literature, the standard forms (or genres) of literature found in societies without writing. The term oral literature is also used to describe the tradition in written civilizations in which certain genres are transmitted by word of mouth or are confined to the so-called folk (i.e., those who are "unlettered," or do not use writing).

  2. Oral literature

    Oral genres Beyond the epic, the main oral genres include the folktale; song, including laments, praise songs, and work songs; folk drama; myth; and, closely related, legend and historical recitation. There are also the minor genres of the proverb and the riddle.

  3. Types of Oral Literature Flashcards

    Fables Fables are brief stories, often with an animal character, told to express a moral. Spirituals Spirituals are religious songs from African-American traditions. Epics An epic is a long story often told in verse involving heroes and gods. Epics have often been passed on orally and may have anonymous authors.

  4. 1. The Nature and Kinds of Oral Literature

    The fifth category of traditionality is oral traditional poetics. It may be that from the beginning, some stories and songs were simple, brief, and ephemeral. They consisted of loosely structured, short-lived anecdotes and songs with a limited frame of reference.

  5. What are the types of oral literature?

    Answer (1 of 6): Oral literature refers to works of art, such as poems, stories, and songs, that are passed down orally from generation to generation. The types of oral literature include: 1. Folktales: traditional stories that have been passed down over time, often featuring characters such as ...

  6. What Are The Five Types Of Literature?

    Today, Vista Higher Learning is breaking down the differences to give you a crash course on the five main genres of literature. #1 Fiction. One of the most popular genres of literature, fiction, features imaginary characters and events. #2 Nonfiction. #3 Drama.

  7. Five Main Genres of Literature

    This genre is often broken up into five subgenres: fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, mystery, and science fiction. Nonetheless, there are more than just five types of fiction, ranging from romance to graphic novels.

  8. What Is Composition? Definition, Types, and Examples

    Definition, Types, and Examples. In the literary sense, a composition (from the Latin "to put together") is the way a writer assembles words and sentences to create a coherent and meaningful work. Composition can also mean the activity of writing, the nature of the subject of a piece of writing, the piece of writing itself, and the name of a ...

  9. What Are the Different Genres of Literature? A Guide to 14 Literary

    A Guide to 14 Literary Genres. Fiction refers to a story that comes from a writer's imagination, as opposed to one based strictly on fact or a true story. In the literary world, a work of fiction can refer to a short story, novella, and novel, which is the longest form of literary prose. Every work of fiction falls into a sub-genre, each with ...

  10. What are the 5 Main Literature Genres?

    The five genres of literature students should be familiar with are Poetry, Drama, Prose, Nonfiction, and Media —each of which is explained in more detail below. You'll see some overlap between genres; for example, prose is a broader term that includes both drama and non-fiction.

  11. Oral literature

    Pre-literate societies, by definition, have no written literature, but may possess rich and varied oral traditions —such as folk epics, folk narratives (including fairy tales and fables ), folk drama, proverbs and folksongs —that effectively constitute an oral literature.

  12. Oral Literature in English

    Oral literature may be composed in performance; transmitted orally over generations, like many Scottish and Irish ballads that have been brought to Canada; or written down specifically for oral performance. ... (The Types of the Folktale, translated and enlarged by Stith Thompson, 1961), which was designed primarily for narrative, have placed ...

  13. PDF ORAL LITERATURE: Part 1. (With explanation and examples)

    Different forms or oral literature may perform different functions but generally, the following are functions of oral literature: 1. Oral literature is a source of entertainment. People derive amusement or fun from such aspects of oral literature as cultural songs E.g. as they are performed in wedding, Harambee meeting and other communal gathering.

  14. The Different Types of Literature That Have Stood the Test of Time

    Oral literature, epic and mock epic, proverbs, oral poetry, and folklore. Types of Literature Oral and written literature are the two major forms of literature. As we all know, almost all type of literature is available in written form. A lot of oral literature too has been made available in the form of books.

  15. What are the three types of oral literature?

    Oral literature includes ballads, myth, jokes, folktales and fables; whereas written source has drama, novel, poetry and nonfictional literature. Have a look at different types of...

  16. Oral literature: what is it, how does it develop, characteristics and types

    Types of oral literature. In view of the above, we will now look at all the types of oral literature that have been identified throughout the history and evolution of this artistic field. Many of these continue to evidence a predominance of orality, although many have also moved fully into the written field. These are: Riddle

  17. Literary Genres

    The main examples of genres in literature are poetry, drama, and prose. Poetry is a genre in literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Drama is a mode of fictional representation through dialogue and performance.


    Oral literature includes riddles, proverbs, folktales, songs, myths, idioms, legends and epic poems, which have emerged as mechanisms to educate, entertain and guide people in their societies ...

  19. What are some examples of oral literature?

    Oral literature is technically an oxymoron. Literature is what is written down and can be read, oral is what is spoken. Contemporary oral traditions include folk songs, children's rhymes, urban myths, and jokes. It's more difficult to identify what historic oral traditions were.

  20. Characteristics Of Oral Literature

    Characteristics Of Oral Literature. 1316 Words6 Pages. Paper 1: The word literature is a commonly used term used to reference to written and creative text. Literature is an outlet individuals use to express their ideas, culture, perspective, commonalities, and differences. Oral literature is a term used to describe written and oral literature.

  21. Traditional Literature

    Categories, or types, of traditional literature include: fairy tales, folk tales, fables, legends, myths, and tall tales. What are the main characteristics of traditional literature? One of...