What is an epigraph? And what is the difference between an epigraph, an epitaph, and an epigram? We’re here to define the epigraph and differentiate it from its near-homophonous neighbours in the dictionary. So, before we launch into a full introduction to the epigraph and its usefulness for writers, let’s distinguish between epigraph, epitaph, and epigram.
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)
What is a Freudian slip? Well, before we offer a definition, perhaps by way of introduction (or an introduction of sorts), here’s a joke: ‘What’s a Freudian slip? It’s when you say one thing and mean your mother.’
We never said it would be a good joke.
This joke, such as it is, does neatly encapsulate and define the two key features of what is commonly referred to as a Freudian slip: namely that it involves misspeaking and that the error we make reveals – or is said to reveal – some deep, latent desire or motivation on our part.
By Dr Oliver Tearle
Learning the different verse forms that poets have used for centuries might seem like a daunting task, but in this article we’ve picked ten of the most popular and enduring verse forms, and offer a short introduction to each of them. So, if you’ve always wanted to know more about different verse forms, and would like to be able to tell a sonnet from a ballad, look no further.
What is allusion? And what role does allusion play in works of literature? It’s a key part of what many writers do, so it’s worth defining ‘allusion’ and exploring some of the issues that arise from its use in literary texts. First, though, a handy one-sentence definition might help: allusion is when a writer calls into play the work of another writer, usually without explicitly mentioning that other writer by name. If the writer is mentioned, it becomes a reference. Contrast these two (made-up) examples:
What is pathetic fallacy, or ‘the pathetic fallacy’? And what is its relation to art and literature? We can define the term ‘pathetic fallacy’ easily enough, but it’s worth unpicking the origins and implications of this phrase with some literary examples.
First, though, by way of introduction: a brief definition of what ‘pathetic fallacy’ means. Put simply, pathetic fallacy is when a writer ascribes human emotions to something inanimate, such as the weather, a landscape, or a natural feature.