Irish Literature Terms
Resources / 24/09/2019

Absurdism is a philosophy, usually translated into different art forms, that holds that any attempt to understand the universe will fail.   Aestheticism: Art for art’s sake, rather than for any exterior motive, such as utilitarianism.   Allegory: A work that has a literal meaning and a subtext that is symbolic, used particularly as a way of commenting about political or moral ideas or people.   Allusion: Reference to something else, such as another work of literature.   Antagonist: The protagonist’s or hero’s principal enemy.   Anthropomorphism: Giving human-like thinking and talking abilities to non-humans.   Bathos: Going beyond pathos so that the result is ludicrous.   Burlesque: Using a manner which jars with the matter in a work to satirize a subject or literature. It can come in a variety of styles – parody, mock epic, travesty.   Canon of literature: The essential list of authors in a particular culture, such as English, that critics, teachers and scholars recognize as major and whose works have been deemed classics. The term stems from the Greek word ‘kanon‘ – measuring rod – and it was applied to the books that religious leaders deemed to be genuine in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.   Celtic Revival: Irish literature’s very productive period from the late 19th century to the 1939…