Editorial omniscience See narrator.
Electra complex The female version of the Oedipus complex. Electra complex is a term used to describe the psychological conflict of a daughter's unconscious rivalry with her mother for her father's attention. The name comes from the Greek legend of Electra, who avenged the death of her father, Agamemnon, by plotting the death of her mother. See also Oedipus complex, psychological criticism.
Elegy A mournful, contemplative lyric poem written to commemorate someone who is dead, often ending in a consolation. Tennyson's "In Memoriam," written on the death of Arthur Hallam, is an elegy. Elegy may also refer to a serious meditative poem produced to express the speaker's melancholy thoughts. See also lyric.
End rhyme See rhyme.
End-stopped line A poetic line that has a pause at the end. End-stopped lines reflect normal speech patterns and are often marked by punctuation. The first line of Keats' "Endymion" is an example of an end-stopped line; the natural pause coincides with the end of the line, and is marked by a period:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
English sonnet See sonnet.
Enjambment In poetry, when one line ends without a pause and continues into the next line for its meaning. This is also called a run-on line. The transition between the first two lines of Wordsworth's poem "My Heart Leaps Up" demonstrates enjambment:
Envoy See sestina.
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky
Epic A long narrative poem, told in a formal, elevated style, that focuses on a serious subject and chronicles heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation. Milton's Paradise Lost , which attempts to "justify the ways of God to man," is an epic. See also narrative poem.
Epigram A brief, pointed, and witty poem that usually makes a satiric or humorous point. Epigrams are most often written in couplets, but take no prescribed form.
Epiphany In fiction, when a character suddenly experiences a deep realization about himself or herself; a truth which is grasped in an ordinary rather than a melodramatic moment.
Escape literature See formula literature.
Euphony Euphony ("good sound") refers to language that is smooth and musically pleasant to the ear. See also cacophony.
Exact rhyme See rhyme.
Exposition A narrative device, often used at the beginning of a work, that provides necessary background information about the characters and their circumstances. Exposition explains what has gone on before, the relationships between characters, the development of a theme, and the introduction of a conflict. See also flashback.
Extended metaphor See metaphor.
Eye rhyme See rhyme.
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