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Reading Books Online

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Literary Terms and Techniques

Antagonist: A person or a force opposing the protagonist. Example: In Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, the white whale was Captain Ahab's antagonist

Epic: A long narrative poem about the actions of a great hero which reflects the values and culture from which it originated Examples: Homer's Iliad and John Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

Iambic Pentameter: This common line verse consists of five verse feet with each foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  William Shakespeare's plays are written almost entirely in iambic pentameter.

Irony: A contrast between what is stated and what is meant or between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.  

Myth: A story often about immortals that attempts to give meaning to the mysteries of the world.

Protagonist: The main character of a book on whom the action centers around.

Symbol: Any object, place, person or action that has a meaning in itself and that also stands for something larger than itself.  Example: A rose is often a symbol for beauty or love.

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Classic Literature to be Enjoyed by All

• Mark Twain's
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
• George Orwell's
Animal Farm
• Charles Dickens'
David Copperfield
and Cliff Notes
• Anne Frank's
The Diary of a Young Girl
• Geoffery Chaucer's
Cantebury Tales
• Homer's
Iliad
• Louisa May Alcott's
Little Women
• Herman Melville's
Moby-Dick
• John Steinbeck's
Of Mice and Men
• John Milton's
Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
• Stephen Crane's
Red Badge of Courage
• Nathaniel Hawthorne's
The Scarlet Letter
• Kurt Vonnegut's
Slaughterhouse-Five
• Robert Louis Stevenson's
Treasure Island

Ernest Hemingway

A favorite maxim of Ernest Hemingway was "il faut d'abord durer" roughly translating to "first, one must endure." Come see why this writer has endured at the Timeless Hemingway site.
A Farewell to Arms

William Shakespeare

To be or not to be... this question and many more are answered at the All Shakespeare site.
MacBeth
Romeo and Juliet
Hamlet

 

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