English Literature Dictionary

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gallery: The seating area that is raised above the main seating area. It is usually at the back and sides of a theater.

gemel: The concluding couplet of a sonnet. See couplet and sonnet.

gender, grammatical: In grammar, gender which is based on random assignment.

Georgian Period: In literature the period in which George V reigned in England: 1910-36. In historical terms the period covers a broader era, encompassing the consecutive reigns of the first four Georges (1714-1830).

genre: A category of literature or film marked by defined shared features or conventions. The three broadest categories of genre are poetry, drama, and fiction. These general genres are often subdivided, for example murder mysteries, westerns, sonnets, lyric poetry, epics and tragedies.

Germanic: A branch of Indo-European languages.

ghost characters: Often in Elizabethan drama, a character which appears on stage but doesn't speak.

Globe: A famous theatre, in London, where the writer and actor Shakespeare performed. The Globe theatre has now been reconstructed near the site of the original one.

Golden Age of Greece: 500 - 300 BC. A time known for its art, philosophy, architecture and literature.

Gothic: Of the Gothic period, often pertaining to a gloomy atmosphere, with elements of the grotesque and of decay.

Gothic literature: A genre of writing preoccupied with mysteries, murder, villainy and the supernatural, often set in desolate and ancient landscapes such as castles and churches. These can include novels, poetry or short stories.

Gothic novel: A novel incorporating the main of the Gothic.

grammar: The rules which dictate the way a sentence in a language is constructed, according to syntax.

grammatical: In linguistics, grammar refers to the logical and structural rules that govern the composition of sentences, phrases, and words in any given natural language.

great vowel shift: A significant alteration in the pronunciation of English in Britain, thought to have occurred mainly between 1400 and 1450.

Greek tragedy: Like tragedies in general, a Greek tragedy is a serious play where there are a series of misfortunes. Greek tragedy in particular features masked actors, one storyline set in one location and often many main characters will die at the end of the play. In addition the timeframe of the play will often match the time of the events taking place on stage, and there is usually a chorus to comment on the play and inform the audience.

grey literature: A recently coined term which refers to the modern phenomena of writing that has been produced, often by governments and professionals, that is not intended for publication through usual sources. It is the method of dissemination of grey literature that is one of its defining features, since it is not intended for commercial publication.

groundlings: Also known as ‘understanders’, groundlings are those who paid only a penny to watch Shakespeare’s plays. They were the majority of the audience and stood on the ground floor of the theatre, in the yard. Groundlings stood through the entire play, which could be up to four hours long.  The upper class, however, paid two pennies to sit and enter the elevated area with seats, whilst nobles often paid three pennies to sit in the Lords' rooms.

Gustatory imagery: See imagery

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Whoever is able to write a book and does not, it is as if he has lost a child.
Rabbi Nachman

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