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英美文學考古題: 名詞解釋精選: ” Resourceful sentence” 3句即可 英美文學必考的常見考題

Morality Play★★★

It is promoted and encouraged by Church and civil authority in the late medieval era with an attempt to render teachings and knowledge about social, moral value in a didactic approach. With dramatic allegories, it centers on illustrating personalized virtues, vice or temptation struggles. “ Everyman” and “ Dr. Faustus” are classic example of this genre.


 It is a strict puritan sect of the 16th and 16the centuries that the separatists would rather separate form the Church of England than reform and many of them first settled America.

Gothic romance ★★★

In dealing with prevailing atmosphere of supernatural mystery, terror and suspense, gothic romance usually sets against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted, gloomy old castles and fills with grotesque atmosphere. “Gothic” is a term applied to medieval architecture and gothic romance contributes to the new emotional climate of Romanticism. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) is a wellknown example.

The plot usually involves elements ranged from ghosts, madness, to outrage, superstition and revenge. During the 1960s so-called Gothic novels became enormously popular in England and the United States. However, Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey satirizes Gothic romances.


It depicts a process of maturation and self-discovery through experience. Eg. Great Expectation.

metafiction ★★★

 It recognizes its own fictional status with highly degree of self-awareness. Characteristically, it renders apologetic address to the reader or openly comments on its own fictional status. John Fowle’s “ The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a notable classic, in which he interrupts the narrative to explain his procedures an offers alternative reading for the readers.

Menippean satire(梅里普斯式諷刺文學)

This set of satire presents in prose and employs diverse targets of scoff into a fragmented satire and moves rapidly between styles and perspectives. In particular, it concentrates on dealing with human characters and treats evil and folly as diseases of the intellect. 


 Medieval Romance ★★★


 It deals with chivalric knights who abide by chivalric code of honor and demeanor and embark on a quest to defeat monsters, thereby winning the favor of the lady. Characteristically, it focuses on adventures rather than love and sentiment.

Chivalric Romance

 It delivers idealized code of civilized behavior of legendary knights and the subjects of loyalty, honor and courtly love. Arthurian romance is a compelling classic, such as the tale of Round table knights, “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight.”


It is a thinly veiled memoir, which draws heavily on the author’s life as it

main source of plot. Semi-autography keeps a detachment to the real

events for artistic reasons, protection of the privacy of the characters, or

emotional distance from the subject.

 Spenserian Stanza

 It is derived by Edmund Spenser and revived successfully by the younger English romantic poets. Structurally, it is founded on the Italian rima and the rhyme scheme is “aba bbe bcc, ” containing 9 iambic lines, all of 10 syllables except for the last, which is an Alexandrine. Byron’s “ Childe Herald’s Pilgrimage and Shelly’s “Adonais” are compelling classics.


 In non-Anglo-Saxon context, Alexanderine is often used until Marlowe and Shakespeare supplants it with iambic pentameter. The most notable example is founded in Spenserian Stanza.

 terza rima 是意大利語,但丁《神曲》中所用的三行詩隔句押韻法〔韻律為 aba, bcb, cdc.

The demanding verse stanza is made up by an interlocking three line rhyme scheme. Donte , Geoffrey Chaucer and Shelly are famed experimenters. Donte’s “ Divine Comedy, “ Shell’s “ Ode to the West Land are prominent examples.T. S Elliot experiments terza rima as well.

Metaphorical poets

 They represent intelligent, original and rational characterization and combine direct language with ingenuous, rare images. They exhibit wit and humor by containing paradoxes, conceit and covert and dart terms.

Chivalric poet

 These groups of literary works are characterized light in style and secular in subject. It combines life and culture of upper-class and explore themes of love, loyalty and beauty in general, mixing sophistication with naïve, elegance and raciness.

 Comedy of manners

 It is characterized by its sophisticated code of behavior of unscrupulous characters, about their elegant verbal wit and decorous pretentiousness and deals with plot around themes of lust, greed in the fashionable society, where appearance counts far more than true moral character.

  Comedy of humors

 As a dramatic comedy, it focuses on a specific character or a range of characters. Each of whom has an overriding trait or humor that dominate their personality or conduct.

 Round characters

 A round character is usually the protagonist and is fully developed physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout the course of the story and detailed by the author. In general, they represent complex and realistic. In detail, they represent a depth of personality that they frequently possess good and bad characteristic and entangled in their own inner conflicts.


Flat character

Essentially, flat characters fall short to complexity and realistic personality. Besides, flat characters hardly make development through the whole content. The term, “’Flat’ and ’round’ is first appear in E. M. Forster ‘s “ Aspects of the Novel,” in which plat is belittling. However, in Forster’s usage, flat is not a derogatory term. James Patrick Kelly describes round and flat characters in his article “You and Your Characters” as “someone who is characterized by one or two traits.


New Criticism

 The movement is initiated by T. S Elliot’s view of poetry’s authentic status, which calls for a far more objective criticism and the “intrinsic qualities” of a work rather than biographical or historical context. In a sense, it encourages the readers to discover the value of work through detailed analysis of the text itself and overcomes the distinction between form and content. 

It favors terms of analysis and literary techniques, including irony, paradox, imagery, metaphor, and symbol and so forth and neglects questions of genre.

Tradition and individual talents

With his critic capability, T.S Elliot formulates tradition a much wider significance, comparing to the poet’s individual talents in consideration that tradition cannot be inherited and must be obtained through constant and great labor.

  Female Sublime

 This approach challenges traditional theorization of sublime by providing new and startling view into modern woman’s fictions and articulating sublime experience by questioning agency and passion.

Traditional theorization of sublime is used to explore unexamined assumptions over femininity and sexual difference.

Tag: Sir Phillp Sidney and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


 It is a form of logical argument that was cultivated in the medieval era. Typically, the method derives a conclusion form 2 propositions, sharing a common trait. Chaucer experiments the form, foremost and first.

Surrealism (超現實主義)

It is a European literary and artistic movement, which aims to break down the boundaries between rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious through a variety of usage of the dreamlike, illogical events and images to render the unconscious.

 Skepticism (懷疑論)

Supporters of skepticism avoid commitment to any knowledge acclaims.  They believe that there is a gulf between appearance and reality and hence they bend efforts to citing reasons to prove an issue undecidable. Theoretically speaking, supporters of skepticism assert that even the best method fails to give us the full understanding of truth.

Tags: Doubting knowledge

Nobel Savage

 It promotes the tenet of the essentially goodness of human beings and stresses the simplicity and innocence of unfettered behaviors, which is corrupted by civilization. The term first appears in Dryden’s The Conquest of Granada and becomes immensely popular during the romantic era. In a sense, the idealized doctrine of “nature’s gentleman” could be interpreted as a branch of sentimentalism.

Quotation of John Dryden’s “ The Conquest of Granada” ~ “ I am as free as natural first made man/ ere the best law of servitude began/ when wild in the woods the noble savage ran/

Tag: Aphra Behn’s “ Oroonoko” ,Wordsworth’s “Noble Nobility”


Literarily, it is an elaborately ornate, elegant and sophisticated prose style, in particular popular at the late 16th and the early 17th centuries. It employs a wide range of literary devices and characterized by elaborate alliteration, antitheses, and similes. John Lyly’s” Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit is a prominent classic. It is named by works of John Lyle. Euphuism was fashionable in the 1580s.


It is as an elaborate kind of court performance andfavored by European royalty and reaches its heights in the 17th century, whereas the parliamentary Revolution made this end abruptly. It is known for its disguised and masked actors, lavish costumes and spectacular stage effects and scenery through allegorical plot and theme. Ben Jonson is the dominating figure in this genre, collaborating with Inigo Jones on many notable works.Shakespeare inserts masque scene in The Tempest

Prominent movements 大事件

  Celtic Revival: The literary force was initiated by William Bulter Yeats, which calls for a strong nationalism and revival of Irish literary talents and Celtic heritage by retelling ancient heroic legends. It flourished in the late 19th and early 20th.

Nouveau Roman( “New Novel”)

It is a French movement led by Alian Robbe Grillet, which aims to dispense with traditional elements of the novel, such as plot and characters and in favor of recording sensational experiences.


It is regarded as the first avant-garde movement on the grounds that they argue that classical, elegant compositions are mechanical approach, which has corrupting influence and instead they favor intense color, complex compositions and abundant details in particular.Remarkably, they publish a periodical “The Term” to promote their ideals. 


Eye rhyme

 “Historical rhymes” the spelling of paired words appear to match but without true correspondence in pronunciation. For instance, the term” love” and “prove” is originally true rhyme but have become eye rhyme through change in pronunciation.

Rhyme royal

 Chaucer initiates the form and hence it also titled as “ Chaucerian.” Rhyme royal earns its name by its use of James I of Scotland, who is a king and a poet. In addition, Spenser and Shakespeare devote to the genre.

Heroic couplet ★★★

It is one of the standard verse forms in Medieval Ages and pioneered by Geoffrey Chaucer. The rhyme is always masculine, with occasional enjambment.  It is and immensely popular in the 18th century that Great masters, such as John Drdyen and Alexander Pope both experiment the looser type of couplet.

Incremental repetition

 In general, it involves repletion of lines or stanzas with small but crucial change and typically, the modern device is commonly used in ballads. It is certain that it has an effect of narrative progression or suspense.

 Blank verse

It is a very flexible English verse form, consisting unrhymed lines of iambic pentameters. In a sense, it echoes the natural rhymes of speech and allowing smooth enjambment, which is especially popular in Elizabethan era. From Shakespeare to romantic poets both experiment the form.John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is a classic example, which is valued with high esteem by romantic poets. 


 It is a figure of speech of inverted parallelism, which manifested in corresponding words and phrases in successive words. For instance, “ The Roman people hate private luxury but public display they love.”

  Comic relief ★★★


It is often used as a vehicle to relive the tension or lighten the mood in the midst of a serious work. Mystery play and morality play both follow the traditional mode of comic relief, wheras Shakespeare used it in a deviated form. For instance, the drunken porter’s speech in Mabeth and the dialogues between Hamlet and the gravediggers in Hamlet are classic examples.

Magic realism

 In brief, it reaches the confines of realism. It draws upon the energies of the fable, folktale and myth by employing fabulous and fantastic events. Meanwhile, it maintains the objective tone by remaining a strong social relevance. “ One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a leading example, in which one character unexpectedly ascends to heaven while hanging her washing on a line.

Objective correlative★★★


 T. S Elliot proposes the theory that particular emotions is based on precise and definite poetic images rather than effusion of vague yearnings, such as the emotions in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is recognized as a artistic failure.

 Poetic justice

It is a literary device coined by the critic, Thomas Rymer, with reference to Elizabeth poetic drama, in which virtue is ultimately rewarded and vice punished Accordingly, as Miss Prism gives explanation in “ The Importance of Being Earnest,” the good end happily and vise versa.

Reminder: For instance, Macbeth’s fate is a compelling example that he is ruined by his villainous hands and deeds and this is what Fiction serves.

 Theatre of the absurd

 It is a post-world war II trend of dramatic works of the 1950s and ‘60s, which centers the meaninglessness and absurdity of life with characters engaging in purposeless and circular conversations and confusing scenarios.Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” is a classic, in which two wanders wait for a mysterious man who never arrives.

Epic Theatre

As a reaction against popular forms of theatre, in particular the realistic drama, epic theatre develops by the 20 the century. In brief , it urges the audience to view the drama with complete detachment, which is termed as “alienation effect” and its qualities of clear description and its usage of choruses and projection earns its name” epic.” 

 Grub Street

 in the 18th century, it is a street in London occupied by impoverished writers, who produce third-rate poems, reference books and histories to earn a living. The term covers any such underworld of literary poverty.

  “Owl and The Nightingale”

 the literary piece earns its famed for its exceedingly excellent debate method and its humor. In general, it is an argument which presents through an allegory between asceticism and pleasure, philosophy and art and the older didactic poetry and the newer secular poetry. It deals with a wide range of issues, including religion, marriage, toilet manners and song.

Maxism: (Karl Marx)

 As a communist economy or a heavily socialist economy, i t argues that contradiction emerges based on class struggle and hence it aims to establish communism in a classless society. Furthermore, it predicts inevitable development form bourgeois oppression (capitalism) to ultimately classless society in doing great effort to overthrow capitalism. 

 American empire

 It is a term relating to the expansion and the current political, economic and culture influence of the U. S on a global scale. However, the definition of empire remains debatable among scholars. In general, the subject has given rise to several theories, ranging from anti-imperialism (maxist) to more liberal opposition to U. S policy.

Tag:  imperialistic

Confessional poetry (美國文學)

It is an autobiographical mode of verse that reveals the poet’s personal and private distress with unusual frankness. The group of confessional poets is closely linked with high suicide rate, which evokes pity and a romantic confusion between poetic excellence and inner torment. Notably, Robert Lowell’s “ Life Studies” is a compelling example.    

Hybridity ★★★★★★ 趨勢

 Hybridity associates with the discourse of racial mixing, the critiques of postcolonial, cultural imperialism and multicultural awareness during the end of 18th century and end of 19th century. Besides, it has been highly applied to theories of social science, globalization and racism.

 Mexican-American War

 Mexican-American war is mainly caused by boundary disputes. U. S conceives themselves accomplish its manifest destiny of expansion.

 Manifest Destiny

 It asserts the inevitable expansion. In a sense, the set of idea justifies and rationalizes the U.S territorial expansions in the 1840s and 1850s.

1captive literature deals with broader ranger of the genre.

2Cooper pioneers the conception of hybridity by employing the character “Hawkeye”and “ Cora, “ the former combine European and Indian cultures and the later is white in nature and Indian in culture.

The last of Mohicans

  In a wider sense, it symbolizes the death of Indian culture and laments the destruction of native American culture, which is inevitably at the hands of the European expansion and exploitation. In addition, it offers examination of the ways of life of Native Americans and alludes to larger historical evens, such as the genocidal removal of the Indians by Presidnet Andrew’s Politics of the 1830s.


Norman Conquest

It is a pivotal event in England history, which links with western Europe with a great amount of French influence on the grounds that it bring s great social, political changes to England, such as the removal of the native ruling class

The Battle of Maldom

 The Christian hero invokes the heroic ideal in fighting to death against the pagan virking.


 Suffering individuals must create meaning in an unknowable, chaotic and seemingly empty universe.


 An artistic movement of German Origin, after WWI, it distorts appearance to communicate inner emotional states.


 It features animals as characters, a short narrative with moral implication and instruction. Sometimes, it aligns with myth and legend to tell supernatural stories.


 He chronicles the decline and degradation of the aristocratic South.


 The Exter Book

 It is an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry, which is established to be the largest collection of Old English literature.

Le Morte d’ Arthur

It is a best-known work of Arthurian material by Sir Thomas Malory’s compilation of some French and English Arthurian roman and his own comments and interpretations is included, which have been used by modern writers as the principle source.


 It has been largely unappreciated by critics, in which manifest a wide range of emotions and tone about Spenser’s courtship and eventual marriage to Elizabeth Boyle in sonnet circle. It is elevated with high esteem for its innovative, skillful and subtle literary techniques.

 The Golden Notebook

 In general, it contains famed examination of budding sexuality, mental and social breakdown and woman’s liberation movements by Doris Lessing in 1962. Additionally, it contains a powerful anti-war and anti-Stalinist message, which is an extended analysis of communism.

Tristram Shandy

It is one of the greatest comic novels produced by Laurence Sterne and its bawdy humor made it immensely popular in London society.


 As a defense of the rights of free expression, it is an impassioned and eloquent treatise written by John Milton in response to Licensing Ordinance, which manifested his denunciation of censorship.

The Novum Organum

 It is a philosophical work produced by Fancis Bancon who introduces and details a new system of logic in his attempt to replace the old ways of syllogism by finding the essence of a thing through reductive reasoning. The new instrument plays dominating role in the historical development of the scientific method, which is known as the Baconian method.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

It could be considered as a medical book on the grounds that Robert Burton applies his large and varied learning to the subject of melancholia in scholastic manner. In a sense, he utilizes melancholy as a lens to scrutinize human emotions. It is serious in tone but marked by it “pervading humor.”

Essentially, he provides with causes, symptoms and cures of melancholy and he concludes that” I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy.”

Westminister review (quarterly journal)

It is found by Jeremy Benthan and James Mil. They set out their common belief based on the fundamental principle of “law of progress” and aims to advocate free and radical philosophical thoughts. Notably, they pave the way for Charles Darwain’s “ The Origin of Species.”

 Atlantic monthly

 It is founded in 1857 and stands as one of the long-lived and most distinguished and influential U.S magazine. It concentrate on “foreign affairs, politics, and the economy cultural trends” with a ambitious purpose to inspire” thought leaders.”After the Civil War, the Atlantic’s dominates the literary and cultural world.It is published in Boston by Moses Dresser Phillip.

 Book of Common Prayer

As a sort of liturgical book, it is used by the churches of the Anglican communion. The Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church both adopted this in contemporary language.

The Shepherd’s Calendar

Spenser utilizes the pastoral mode for political and religious discussion. It is written in archaic spellings, in order to suggest a connection to medieval literature but also include considerable formal innovations. It is also remarkable for the extensive commentary ascribed to an “E.K,”an intelligent, often ironic commentator, and is frequently assumed to be an alias of Spenser himself.


Ø          Toni Morrison: she gives voice to the African American identiy with sentimental treatment. As an author, editor and professor, her book” Beloved” wins the Pulitzer Prize.

Ø          John Stuart Mill: He shares a common belief of 19th centuries that characters and performance are result of experienced associations.

Ø          The Venerable Bede: His most influential work” Ecclestical History of the English people,” gains him the title of “ The Father of English History.” He is well known as a monk of Jarrow, a biblical scholar and the first English historian. He devotes himself to the study of scriptures and his special delight lies is” to learn, to teach and to write.”

Ø          Mary Elizabeth Coleridge: She writes essays, reviews and publishes poetry under the pseudonym. She travels widely throughout her life and finish her recongnized work” The Witch.” According to the fact, she is the great-grandniece niece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Ø          Thomas Carlyle: As a noted reviewer, historian and political moralist, he essays moral demands upon the ruler and imaginative accounts of moral power of political leadership.

Ø          Victorian: The Victorian period is known for a rather stern morality and a general earnestness about life. It is marked by a confidence that the vast holdings overseas are sings of overall righteousness, whereas such beliefs are challenged and criticized. Victorian writers center their attentions on class differentiation, patriarch, and decadence and psychological crisis.

The Victorian Period was the great age of the English novel.

 Salem witch trials

1.          Setting: In the town of Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony

2.          Event: accusations, false confessions, trials and convictions

3.          Process: increasing skepticism arises and growing numbers of clergymen and political leaders voiced their opposition.

4.          Result: 19 titled” withes are hanged and roughly 150 and others are imprisoned. The critical event arouse public debate, which was condemned heavily and hence the colonial legislature later annulled the convictions.

5.          Critic: It is also called as Salem witch-hunt, which proves to be a method to punish a person labeled for a variety of reasons as an outsider.


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Essay Question必考考古題


Margaret W. Lavigne 司馬儀

Life can be beautiful without perfection. There’s a strong link between unconditional love and posttraumatic growth. In truth, people only witness unconditional love during hard times. Unconditional love is found in imperfections. Imperfections teach us to be humble and compassionate. If you believe in miracles, be aware of the seven deadly sins and the power of tenderness. Earn approval and luck from God. According to the Bible, no one will be exempt from life challenges, including the chosen ones (1 Peter 1:3-9). God expects us to stay hopeful and “rejoice in our sufferings,” for “trials of various kinds” are training to make us “perfect and complete” (Romans 5:3-6, James 1:1-27). It’s comforting to know that “God promises to make something good out of the storm” (Roman 8: 28). We fall and we grow. There's a strong connection between unhealed trauma and dysfunctional immune system. If you rush yourself to become a better me, that might be a sign of unhealed trauma. As we learn to humble ourselves, life gets better. The connection between the brain and stomach is bidirectional. Negative emotions and chronic stress sabotage people's immune system. 70% to 80% of our immunity hinges on our gut health. Memory loss and cognitive impairment are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, all of which are highly connected to type 2 diabetes. Early signs of type 2 diabetes include chronic fatigue, irritability, frequent urination, vision problems and slow wound healing. Depression is prevalent in people with diabetes due to the fact that diabetes causes “structural changes in the brain.” Muscle-building helps regulate blood sugar levels. There is growing evidence that high blood sugar leads to reduced muscle mass. Beyond that, there’s a strong link between sleep deprivation and emotional weakness. People suffer from suppressed anger and pessimism. God is watching our every move. God sees through our motives. Mental health crisis is sweeping on a global scale because the core value of capitalism is incompatible with what human truly needs. Money cannot purchase inner peace. Wealth incurs fair-weather friends, frenemies and snobs. I would say, inner peace is the utmost blessing from God. Stop recording the faults of others and practice compassion mediation instead. 我喜歡文字,大概是因為我喜歡永恆的東西,而世上多數的東西都不是。潛意識24小時不睡覺,中醫主張生悶氣、恐懼、悲觀和過食是疾病的根源。 不是所有人都需要心靈雞湯,如果你絕對正向而強壯。自認不是勵志派,是寫實警世的定位,但我肯定有邏輯基礎的正向思考。很多人可能想不到很多老毛病是「肩頸僵硬」引起的,因為肩頸僵硬會「引發自律神經失調」,而自律神經失調會引發一大串的毛病,像是失眠.焦慮.消化不良和低體溫等等!久坐者即便沒有駝背也可能有「坐姿前傾」的問題。健康建議:天芢無糖抹茶+牛奶+ 無糖豆漿+鹼性飲食(可提高基礎體溫,就提高免疫力)+淋巴按摩+ 頭皮耳朵穴道按摩+甩手操或拍打功+低耗氧的運動。糖尿病可逆轉!「提高肌肉量」是控制血糖的的關鍵!國外研究證實阿茲海默症患者「全面禁糖」可望痊癒!如果遭受暴力(家暴)、性侵或性騷擾或任何身心虐待,撥打113保護專線,24小時全年無休。生活、學業、工作等等情緒困擾,撥打安心專線「1925」。佛教主張因果論,而 Bible主張人生必有難題(包括選民),主張磨練都是鍛鍊心智,但好好表現,災難的背後會有禮物(禍福相依,壞消息可能是跳板,好消息處理不當就變成頭痛點)。Bible主張人生只有一回,沒有前世今生。人生有很多上蒼的隨堂考,氣生災,如果你相信成功需要幸運,把「柔」做好,就可以賺福氣。Bible強調自律、謙卑、口舌之禍及傲慢之惡。佛教主張因果論,而 Bible主張人生必有難題(包括選民),主張磨練都是鍛鍊心智,但好好表現,災難的背後會有禮物(禍福相依,壞消息可能是跳板,好消息處理不當就變成頭痛點)。Bible強調自律、謙卑、口舌之禍及傲慢之惡。Bible主張人生只有一回,沒有前世今生。人生有很多上蒼的隨堂考,氣生災,把「柔」做好,就可以賺福氣。寫信給站長:




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