Bathos

Entertainment / Literature / Bathos: (Grk, 'depth') Not to be confused with pathos, bathos is a descent in literature in which a poet or writer--striving too hard to be passionate or elevated--falls into trivial or stupid imagery, phrasing, or ideas. Alexander Pope coined the usage to mock the unintentional mishaps of incompetent writers, but later comic authors and poets used bathos intentionally for mirthful effects. One of the most common types of bathos is the humorous arrangement of items so that the listed items descend from grandiosity to absurdity. In this technique, important or prestigious ideas precede an inappropriate or inconsequential item. For instance, 'In the United States, Usama bin Laden is wanted for conspiracy, murder, terrorism, and unpaid parking tickets.' Many modern humorists like Lewis Grizzard make liberal use of bathos, but the technique is common in older literature as well. Famous examples appear in Lord Byron's mock-epic Don Juan and Alexander Pope's satires. See rhetorical schemes for more information.

Melodrama

Entertainment / Literature / Melodrama: A dramatic form characterized by excessive sentiment, exaggerated emotion, sensational and thrilling action, and an artificially happy ending. Melodramas originally referred to romantic plays featurin MORE

Anticlimax

Entertainment / Literature / Anticlimax: (also called bathos) a drop, often sudden and unexpected, from a dignified or important idea or situation to one that is trivial or humorous. Also a sudden descent from something sublime to something MORE

The Sublime

Entertainment / Literature / The Sublime: The Greek rhetorician Longinus wrote a treatise On the Sublime, which argued that sublimity (loftiness') is the most important quality of fine literature. The sublime caused the reader to experience e MORE

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