How to Use this Exercise
Clicking the title of a text in the list of Examples will take you to a passage selected from that text. A list of keywords appears on the left-hand side.

When you click a keyword in the list (metaphor, for example), you will display the passage will all instances of that particular aspect of the text highlighted as links. By following these links, you will find a general explanation of the structural or tropological features as well as an explanation of that specific example.

Some examples have an option for exploring possibilities for interpretation that are opened up in the process of explication. When you click the Interpretation button, you will be presented with a series of questions and suggestions about how the aspect of the text you identified through explication informs the possible meanings of the text. Additional links within these discussions of interpretation allow you to visit Reading Guides to pertinant works of literary theory and philosophy.

To test your ability to recognize the literary characteristics on your own, you may turn off the list of keywords and explore the text with the cursor. Click on a word or passage to check your analysis of its function.

Remember that texts are complex structures and that words and phrases often have several different functions. This exercise is, of course, cannot address all the possible functions of language in even a small passage from a text, but is meant to provide you with a basic review of the techniques of explication which in turn form the foundation for further interpretative work.