Epigraph

(158 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

A short quotation cited at the start of a book or chapter to point up its theme and associate its content with learning. Also an inscription on a monument or building explaining its purpose. For a literary example of this second use, consider Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem “Ozymandias”:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal …
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Citation:
Editors. "Epigraph". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=345, accessed 04 September 2015.]


Related Groups

  1. Literary Genres and Modes