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名词解释

Terms:

1.Epic : An epic is a long narrative poem, on a grand scale, about the deeds of warriors and heroes. It is a polygonal, 'heroic' story incorporating myth, legend, folk tale and history. Epics are often of national significance in the sense that they embody the history and aspirations of a nation in a lofty or grandiose manner. Basically, there are two kinds of epic: (a) primary - also known as oral or primitive; such as Beowulf is the greatest national epic of the Anglo-Saxons; (b) secondary - also known as literary such as John Milton wrote three great epics: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

2.Alliteration: 1) A figure of speech in which consonants, especially at the beginning of words, or stressed syllables, are repeated. 2) It is a very old device indeed in English verse (older than rhyme) and is common in verse generally. It is used occasionally in prose. In OE poetry alliteration was a continual and essential part of the metrical scheme and until the late Middle Ages. 3) Robe rt Frost’s poem Acquainted with the Night is a case in point: “I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet.”

3.Heroic couplet:A heroic couplet is a traditional form for English poetry, commonly used for epic and narrative poetry; it refers to poems constructed from a sequence of rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter lines. Use of the heroic couplet was first pioneered by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Legend of Good Women and the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer is also widely credited with first extensive use of iambic pentameter.

4.Iambic pentameter:Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called "feet". The word "iambic" describes the type of foot that is used (in English, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet", in which a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is repeated five times.

5.Significance of The Canterbury Tales

1) .The Canterbury Tales is the masterpiece of Geoffrey Chaucer, father of English Poetry.

2). It opens with a general prologue which is a splendid masterpiece of realistic portrayal the first of its kind in the history of English literature. And his realism, trenchant irony and freedom of views reached such a high level of power that it had no equal in all the English literature up to the 16th century.

3).In this work, Chaucer created a striking brilliant and picturesque panorama of his time and his country. The pilgrims are people from various parts of England representatives of all walks of life.

4).

6.Geoffrey Chaucer’s contribution to English poetry

1).Geoffrey Chaucer’s contribution to English poetry lies chi efly in the fact that he introduced from France the rhymed stanza of various types, especially the rhymed couplet of iambic pentameter (to be called late heroic couplet) to English poetry, instead of the old Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse.

2).Chaucer was the first to write in the current English language. Through drawing influence from French, Italian and Latin models, he did much in making the dialect of London the foundation for modern English language.

3).His masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, opens with a general prologue which is a splendid masterpiece of realistic portrayal, the first of its kind in the history of English literature. And in this work, he created a striking brilliant and picturesque panorama of his time and his country.

4).In his works Chaucer developed his characterization to a higher artistic level by presenting characters both typical qualities and individual dispositions. That is why John Dryden called him the “Father of English Poetry”.

7. Romance: 1) Romance is a popular literary form in the medieval England. 2) It sings knightly adventures or other heroic deeds. 3) Chivalry (such as bravery, honor,

generosity, loyalty and kindness to the weak and poor) is the spirit of romance. 4) In early 14th century there was a curious revival of alliterative verse in a number of romances about Arthurian legends.

8.Allegory: 1) Allegory is a figurative mode of representation conveying meaning other than the verbal. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation. 2) Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric, but an allegory does not have to be expressed in language: briefly, an allegory is a device used in literary form, such as a poem or novel, to present an idea, principle or meaning or to convey moral meanings or attack certain social evils.3) Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Golding’s Lord of the Files and Melville’s Moby Dick are three examples of this kind.

9.Ballad: 1) Fundamentally a ballad is a song that tells a story and originally was a musical accompaniment to a dance and passed down from generation to generation 2) In theme and function they may originate from Scandinavian and Germanic traditions of storytelling that can be seen in poems such as Beowulf. 3) Ballads are particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. 4) Robin Hood is a famous ballad singing the goods of Robin Hood. Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a 19th century English ballad.