The allusion is a rhetorical stylistic device which can appear in all literary genres. The term “allusion” refers to the use of expressions which indirectly, ie circumspectly and implicitly, refer to a particular person or a certain factual situation. The style-figure is therefore a form of allusion, and is also related to the periphrase, which also denotes a circumscribed reference. Continue reading “Allusion”


Allegory is the disclosure of hidden text contents. This means that one tries to read between the lines of a text and to see even more in it than the actual word meaning. Allegory is typical of the interpretation of the Bible, since it is seldom understood verbatim, but as a parable, and thus as allegory. Continue reading “Allegoresis”


The Alexandrian is a verse originally derived from the French Renaissance era. In Germany, he was particularly popular in the 17th and 18th century (literaturepochen). The Alexandrian is a six-armed jamben line, which after the third uplift, ie the sixth syllable, has a caesura (incision, speech pause) and starts with an opening. Continue reading “Alexandrine”


The acrostic is a text form based on the fact that the initial letters or the first words or syllables of successive verses or verses form a word, a sentence or a sense unit. In principle, the acrostic can appear in texts of every literary genre, but we encounter it mainly in lyric or songs. Sometimes, however, the acrostic can also be used and understood as a rhetorical stylistic device. Continue reading “Acrostic”


Accumulation is a stylistic device of rhetoric and can be found in texts of all kinds and literary genre. Accumulation describes the classification of several terms into a not-named or named term, whereby this is detailed and amplified. Often we can find the accumulation in the lyric of the Baroque (→ Literaturepochen). Continue reading “Accumulation”


As an agnese, partly also an agnese role, the role of a naive, gullible, often peasant (country) girl is described in the literature as well as in the theater. The term is derived from the five-act comedy The School of Women (1663, original title: L’école des femmes) by the French poet, not even the Latin noun Agnus, which means sheep Molière. The Agnese role also finds a counterpart in August of Kotzebue’s drama The Indians in England (1790): here the role of the Gurli is similar. From this, the term Gurli-Role later derived, which is related to the agnese. Both terms mean a gullible girl. Continue reading “Agnese”


Adynaton is a rhetorical stylistic device, which can be found in texts of every literary genre. The Adynaton is a statement which refers to the impossibility of a state of affairs in order to show that something will not happen under any circumstances. The adynaton has a reinforcing effect and is related to the hyperbola. Continue reading “Adynaton”


Aemulatio is a form of literary emulation and imitation in art and literature, whereby the aim is often to surpass the respective model. Aemulatio means emulation in the good and evil sense. The goal may be to achieve or surpass the model, whereby all forms can be interpreted as a direct or indirect contest. As a rule, however, it is about the demonstration of superiority. Aemulatio is, therefore, a form of the imitatio veterum, which can basically be translated as the imitation of the older, ie, the imitation of a former poet (cf. Continue reading “Aemulatio”

Ad spectatores

In the drama, the spectator’s salutation is designated as a spectator. This remark, which is directed directly at the audience, comes from an open scene, that is, not in the nudes, but directly from the action. In this way, the illusion that the theater creates is broken and certainly abolished. The purpose of an utterance ad spectatores is usually to achieve a funny point, as the viewer is surprised, but sometimes this technique is regarded as a mistake, although it has been documented since antiquity. In addition, it is an accomplice with the audience. In most cases, no reply is expected to this statement, which distinguishes it from the dialogue. Apostrophes as well as Captatio benevolentiae are used. Continue reading “Ad spectatores”


An addendum, appendix, appendix and appendix, shall be accompanied by a supplement, supple- mentary and the addendum to a document. The addendum therefore always means something which is lacking, something that is to be supplemented or appended, which has been attached to the actual letter. Such addenda may appear in prose as an introduction, prologue or epilogue, and in the scientific literature in the form of glossaries, endnotes, registers, pictures, as well as tables, maps, tables, and the like. Continue reading “Addendum”