What and What are Literary Species?

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Alexander Pearson

"Literary species”Is a term used in some Latin American countries (especially in Peru) to refer to literary genres. This means that when talking about literary species, we are talking about the major genres: lyric, drama and epic.

The lyric is the genre that expresses feelings through verses. It is responsible for exalting emotions through words and rhythm. For its part, drama is the genre that is intended to be brought to the stage by one or more actors. The object of this literary species is to represent reality.

Finally, the epic is the genre that is responsible for narrating real or fictional events. This is also known as the narrative genre.

Likewise, the term "literary species" is used to refer to the specific products of each genre. As an example: some literary species of the epic are the novel and its different types, the tale, the legend, the myth, among others..

On the other hand, some of the literary species of drama are tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy. Finally, some literary species of lyric are free poems, odes, sonnets, haikus, hymns, among others..

Literary species of the epic

The epic is also known as the narrative genre. This genre is characterized by the fact that it is generally written in prose and because it narrates events that can be both real and fictitious..

The most common literary species of the epic are the tale, the legend, the fable, the myth and the novel.

The story

The story is a short narrative in which events of not much complexity are described. In case the narrative sequences presented in the text are very complex, it will be a short novel and not a short story.

Some examples of this literary species are:

  1. Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (which is a tale despite including the word "legend" in its title).
  2. "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving.
  3. "The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft.
  4. "The Silence of the Sirens" by Franz Kafka.
  5. "Memories of a turkey" by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.
  6. "Dry Leaves" by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.

The fable

Fables are short stories characterized by the fact that the characters are animals to which human attitudes have been conferred.

These usually end with a moral, that is, an ethical and moral teaching that can be applied in our day to day life..

The best known fables are those of Aesop, a Greek philosopher who is credited with the invention of this literary species.

The legend

Like the previous ones, the legend is a short story. However, this is characterized by the fact that the events that are narrated are based on real life.

In the legends, real characters are included, whose stories are exaggerated and embellished.

This type of narration can also revolve around a famous place (such as Avalon), a precious object (such as the Excalibur, Arthur's sword) or an animal (such as the abominable snowman).

Some examples of legends are:

  1. Robin Hood
  2. The Loch Ness Monster
  3. The legend of Avalon
  4. King Arthur's court
  5. Atlantis, the lost city

The myth

The myth is a short narrative in which supernatural events are narrated. In this literary species, elements of Greek and Roman mythology are usually included, such as the gods, Olympus, among others..

Some examples of myths are:

  1. The labyrinth and the minotaur.
  2. The king midas.
  3. The story of Achilles.

The novel

The novel is one of the most complex literary species of the narrative genre. It is more extensive than the species presented above and both the characters and the events are more elaborate.

In turn, the novels are divided into literary subspecies, among which the following stand out:

  1. Epistolary novel, which narrates the events through letters and diaries, such as "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.
  2. Historical novel, which narrates events that belong to a historical period prior to the one being written. An example of this is "The Queen's Bedroom" by Juliette Benzoni.
  3. Science fiction novel, which is based on technological advances. They thrive in futuristic societies. For example: "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells.
  4. Autobiographical novel, which includes elements of the author's life. For example: "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.

Literary species of drama

The dramatic genre is the one that is responsible for producing texts that are intended to be represented by one or more actors.

The literary species of drama are tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy. It is a tragic drama when the events represented are marked by fatality, death, life's difficulties, among others..

The outcome is usually pitiful or dire. An example of this literary species is "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare..

For its part, the comic drama is one in which they include laughable elements and situations. The vices and defects of human beings are often highlighted to support the comic character of the work. An example of comedy is "The bald singer".

Finally, the tragicomedy is that literary species in which dire events are presented at the beginning of history. However, these negative situations are resolved and the outcome is positive..

Literary species of lyric

The lyric is the genre that transmits emotions through words that are organized in verses. Some of the literary species of lyric are:

  1. The sonnet, composed of 14 verses that are organized into two quartets and two triplets.
  2. The romance, composed of two stanzas and verses of 16 syllables.
  3. The haiku, a poem originating in Japan, consisting of three verses. Of these verses, the first and last have five syllables, while the second has 7.

References

  1. Literary genre. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from en.wikipedia.org
  2. Literary terms. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from acedamic.brooklyn.cuny.edu
  3. Myth and Legend. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from homeofbob.com
  4. Legend vs. Myth. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from diffen.com
  5. Short Story. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from britannica.com
  6. Dramatic literature. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from britannica.com
  7. Main Dramatic Genres: Tragedy and Comedy. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from btk.ppke.hu
  8. Different Types of Novels. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from eng-literature.com.

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