Prose fiction, poetry, drama and graphic novels all differ from each other in their own ways, however, they all need to share certain aspects due to the fact that they are all a part of literature. This paper is designed to address the similarities as well as the differences between each type of literary genre.
Prose fiction is one type of literary genre in literature. It is “a form of language that has no formal metrical structure. It applies a natural flow of speech, and ordinary grammatical structure, rather than rhythmic structure,” which means that instead of having a metrical structure, prose fiction would be written in a regular language. What does it mean to be written in regular language? Well, for instance, poems are written with a certain type of structure that allows it to flow in a short, yet concise, way, but in prose, it could be saying something similar to the poem but adding more to it. In short, prose fiction is “the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing”.
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Poetry, however, is “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken,” and unlike prose, poetry is written in metrical form so it generally has some type of structure to it. There are many different forms of poetry known today, and they are, sonnets, limericks, haikus, narratives, epics, couplets, and free verses. While each type falls under the form of a poem, they all have different purposes. A sonnet is “a short rhyming poem with 14 lines,” and many know of sonnets because of Shakespeare using them in his plays. Limericks are shorter poems, that tend to be a bit witty. They are five lines, where “the first, second and fifth lines, the longer lines, rhyme. The third and fourth shorter lines rhyme. (A-A-B-B-A)”. A Haiku is, once again, a shorter poem, three lines to be exact. The first and third lines generally have five syllables, while the second line will have seven. The haiku is an “ancient form of poem writing… renowned for its small size as well as the precise punctuation and syllables needed on its three lines”. A narrative poem is one that tells a story from the perspective of some type of narrator, and “there is a strong sense of narration, characters, and plot,” in the poem. Epic poems are longer poems that like to tell the story of some grand adventure of a hero. A couplet is “two lines of verse which rhyme and form a unit alone or as part of a poem,” so it can have different purposes depending on where it is found. Finally, there is a free verse poem. This type of poem has no rules of its own, except for the fact that it does not follow any rules. The author can make the poem lengthy, or it can be short. It can rhyme, or have completely different sounding words. It can have a certain amount of syllables, or it can have a different amount of syllables for each line. The free verse poem is literally up to the authors own interpretation. While all of these poems are different, in their own little ways, they still fall under one genre, so they are similar, just like the literary genres have small similarities as well.
Drama is yet another one of the literary genres known to the world. Its exact definition is “a composition in a verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance,” which means that a drama is typically in the form of a play that someone can go see performed in a theater. Like poetry, there are many different types of drama, like comedy, tragedy, farce, melodrama, and musical drama. A comedic drama is one in which they tend to be a little lighter for people’s moods; they are known to be funny and generally have a happy ending. A tragedy is one in which the drama is a bit darker. In tragedies, there is not a happy ending and the protagonist tends to have some sort of downfall in it. A farce is a type of drama that may only appeal to certain types of people because of the type of humor it portrays. It is known as slapstick humor, so only certain people may find it to be funny, while others may cringe. A melodrama “is an exaggerated drama, which is sensational and appeals directly to the senses of the audience… the characters are of a single dimension and simple, or may be stereotyped”. Finally, a musical drama is basically self-explanatory. Like other dramas, it tells a story, and while there is basic dialogue, it is based on song and dance. So, as with poetry, these subgenres of drama are all similar in their own little way, but they all have a way of telling their stories differently, and they will appeal to different audiences.
Finally, a graphic novel is the fourth and final literary genre in the subject of literature. A graphic novel is “a full-length (esp. science fiction or fantasy) story published as a book in comic-strip format,” and these can differ from regular books because they will have more graphic illustrations than words on the page. The graphic novels tell a story in a different way that general novels do, and it appeals to the readers because they are enjoying to see the pictures and drawings that go along with the story as a whole. In basic novels, there are only words, maybe a small illustration here and there, but for the most part, it is just words going on for pages, and some types of audiences may dislike that type of novel.
These four types of literary genres, prose fiction, poetry, drama, and graphic novels, are definitely different, which is why they are in their own literary genres. However, they all need to have some type of similarity since they all fall under the large category of literature. They are all similar because they all have their own way of telling a story. Prose will do it as if it is regular language, so it has no type of structure. Poetry will tell its own story, and except for free verse, all of the subgenres of poetry have their own type of structure that will allow them to tell a story in a precise, yet beautiful, type of way. A drama is generally a play that will tell a story with characters and everything. It has a plot, it has dialogue, and as stated before, it has characters that will act all of these things out. Last, there is a graphic novel, and yet again, it has its own way of telling a story. It has illustrations, and it has words, and combined those things are able to tell a story that may appeal to a different type of crowd. All of these genres have their own way of telling a story, and they all appeal to different types of audiences, but when they come together, they are all known as one thing: literature.