Lyrical Ballads & The Byronic Hero

LYRICAL BALLADS Lyrical Ballads by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth are considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. Preface to Lyrical Ballads was written by Wordsworth and it overthrew the Neoclassical (Enlightenment) conventions. The first edition of Lyrical Ballads (1798) contained just an ”Advertisement” in which Wordsworth explained Lyrical…

Charles Dickens’ Hard Times: Industrialization, Women, Utilitarianism

CHARACTERS Thomas Gradgrind – the local teacher and politician, tries hard to exert Utilitarianism and force it on everybody around him Mr. Choakumchild – teacher, teaches children facts and only facts Mr. Josiah Bounderby – rich businessman, banker, and salesman, owner of the factory, He has no moral or regard for human suffering, he exploits…

The Importance of Being Earnest: Characters, Marriage, Comedy

CHARACTERS Algernon (Algy) – a figure of dandy; careless, likes to dress nice, leads a double life, in love with Cecily Jack/John Worthing – in love with Gwendolen, leads a double life, has imaginary brother Earnest Bunbury – Algernon’s imaginary friend; Bunburying – Algernon’s term for leading a double life Lady Bracknell – Gwendolen’s mother,…

Erasmus Exercise: Explained

In 1512, the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) published De Copia (meaning “on command of language” or “richness of expression”).  Erasmus’s book was one of the most influential rhetoric texts of the European Renaissance. One exercise in De Copia directs students to compose several hundred variations of one sentence.  This exercise has three purposes: (1)   …

Sentence Components: Parallelism & Sentence Layering

Parallelism is the repetition of a grammatical structure to emphasize a relationship between ideas. Parallelism gives balance, focus, and clarity to a sentence. Parallelism establishes a pattern of repetition that writers can manipulate to create a vast array of rhetorical effects. Examples: Writers can reinforce and emphasize their use of parallelism by repeating one or…

Sentence Components: Periodic & Cumulative Sentence, Absolute Phrase

USE A PERIODIC SENTENCE In a periodic sentence, descriptive elements (or details) introduce the sentence, pushing the complete thought to the end of the sentence. This pattern proves quite effective for emphasis or suspense because the most emphatic point of a sentence is the end.  Periodic sentences are usually long, complex sentences, the independent clause…

Essential (Restictive) Adjective vs. Non-Essential (Non-Restrictive) Adjective Clause

USE AN ESSENTIAL (RESTRICTIVE) ADJECTIVE A subordinate clause = a group of words with a subject and predicate, but dependent on the rest of the sentence to make sense. Essential (restrictive) = necessary or essential to meaning. An adjective = a word that modifies a noun or pronoun. An essential (restrictive) adjective clause = a…