14 Examples of Literary Genres

Some Examples of literary genres Are lyric, ethical and dramatic poetry, biographies, autobiography, diaries, legends, fantasies or Fables .

Literary genres are the different models in which the works of literature can be grouped according to their content. Each literary work can be located in a specific genre and this will depend on the tone, content, length of the novel and the literary technique.

Examples of literary genres

However, poetry is considered as the oldest and most intense way of writing, as it allows the writer to express his deepest emotions and thoughts in a very personal way.

The language used in poetry is figurative. The writing has a rhythm of its own and pictures are described to convey the message to the readers. There are three categories of poetic writing: lyric, narrative and dramatic.

Each of these categories is further subdivided into subcategories. In the case of lyric, one has the songs, the elegies, the odes and the sonnets. In each type the feelings of a single author are expressed.

The narrative, on the other hand, has its maximum expression in the epic. It contains historical events of national or universal importance. They usually refer to the feat of a single person.

In dramatic poetry, there are two broad categories, tragedy and comedy. In the latter a story is told through the use of phrases derived from the author's own thinking. Each of the literary genres will be described below.

Examples of literary genres

Lyric poetry

Lyrical poetry is the literary genre through which the author expresses his feelings. At the same time, it seeks to awaken those feelings in the person who reads or listens, as it is usually expressed through verses that can be sung.

The lyric is divided into four classes. The first of these is the song, which follows a musical pattern and encompasses a wide variety of topics such as love, loyalty, friendship or nature. A good example is The Golden Treasury Of Palgrave.

There are also sacred songs, which are called hymns. In them exaltan religious ideals, political, patriotic or military. Some examples are the hymns of countries, universities and states.

Other divisions of the lyric are the elegy and the ode. The first is a meditative and somewhat sad poem, usually a lament to the dead. The second, although it is also meditative, expresses a slightly more exalted feeling. An example of this is the Ode to Duty de Wordsworth .

The sonnet is composed of verses of fourteen lines, which are developed following an established scheme. This literary genre was the favorite of writers like Shakespeare.

Among the modern exponents of lyric poetry are: Pablo Neruda with his Poem 20 , Gabriela Mistral con Shame And Federico García Lorca with The poet asks his love to write .

Epic poetry

Epic poetry is a poem of long narrative. Generally it narrates the heroic actions carried out by a certain person, who has great courage and incomparable determination.

This literary expression allows to exalt the values ​​of some race, culture, religious group or country, where supernatural forces help the hero to accomplish its feat.

As an example of the epic you have: The Iliad Of Homer, Lost paradise By John Milton, The Divine Comedy By Dante Alighieri and Don Juan Tenorio Of Lord Byron.

Dramatic Poetry

This type of poetry is especially written for the theater, as it can include tragedy, comedy and dramatic monologues.

It tells a story to an imaginary audience. It is ideal for the theatrical staging. You can also have music and singing. There are some classic examples of this genre among them: the monologue titled Love song By J. Alfred Prufrock.

However, it is not possible to establish only this classification, since of each one of them many other literary genres and subgenres are given, which will be mentioned next:

Adventure story

Action is the main element. The protagonist has a mission and must face many challenges. Example: The trilogy of The Lord of the rings Of J.R.R. Tolkien.


The writer tells his own story and is written in first person. Example: The story of my life Scored by Helen Keller.


Written in newspapers or magazines. Count"where","when","how"and"why"an event happened. It is informative way. The author does not express his own opinion. Example: Great white sharks By Peter Benchley.


It is written about a person's life, its activities and the most important events. Example : The Story and Life of Amelia Earthart .


Daily record of experiences, feelings and thoughts. It is written in autobiographical form. Example: Ana Frank's diary .


Written that shows the opinion of a person, or group of people, in relation to a specific topic. Example: Do they pay too much for professional athletes? By Justin Hjelm.


History created to entertain is inspired by hope. Example: Cinderella By Charles Perrault.


Brief history to highlight values ​​and morals. Example: The Fables of Aesop .


Very imaginative history, which may contain elements that are not found in real life. Example: The Chronicles of Narnia Of C.S. Lewis.


History that has passed from mouth to mouth through generations. It narrates cultural or ethnic facts.


Stories related to historical facts or characters may be fictitious or true. Example: Damon and Pythias: The drama of a Greek legend By Fran Kissen.

Each of the literary genres described has the peculiarity that they narrate a specific fact. They have a structure that characterizes them and is aimed at a specific audience.


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  6. (S.f.). Genres and subgenres: characteristics and examples Literature Curriculum Objectives: Grades 3-12 . Retrieved from mooreschools.com.

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