In literature, plot refers to the main storyline of a literary work. Novels, short stories, memoirs and plays all have plots, but poems and essays typically do not.Know More
Although the term plot is often used synonymously with storyline, it should not be confused with the action in the story, and it is not the same as the events in the story. Instead, it is a more comprehensive term that includes the story's action and its conflict as well as the motivations behind the action. Even exposition is considered to be part of a story's plot. The most traditional plot structure involves exposition or introduction, action, climax and resolution.
In "The Basic Patterns of Plot," literary theorist William Foster-Harris claims there are three types of plots: happy endings, unhappy endings, and plots that start at a happy or unhappy event and end at a question that makes the reader wail.
In "20 Master Plots," Ronald Tobias suggests that there are 20 basic plots, and he gives them labels like quest, forbidden love and rivalry. Georges Polti raised this number to 36 in his book "The Thirty-six Dramatic Situations," and his list includes plots like adultery, self-sacrifice for a kindred and crime pursued for vengeance.Learn more in Literary Writing
The purpose that a character serves within a work is the best and simplest definition of functional significance as it applies to characters in a literary work. When constructing a story, an author uses characters to drive the action. Each character's actions and interactions help define his or her function within the story.Full Answer >
The coming-of-age tale, the epic journey, the fall from grace and the revenge story are some of the many recurring themes in literature. Most scholars can name over 100 common themes throughout history and they remain easily recognizable.Full Answer >
The main elements of literature are the theme, setting, plot, narrator and characters in a story. Some other elements of literature include the connotation or implied meaning, symbolism and imagery.Full Answer >
In literary terms, an allusion is a reference to something outside of the immediate narrative which is not directly mentioned but is implied. The thing being referenced can be a person or from a source, such as a newspaper article or book.Full Answer >