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What is prose?

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Quick Answer

Prose is any type of writing that is not poetry. It includes fiction and non-fiction. Poetry includes rhyming lines and lines in a particular rhythm and meter.

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What is prose?
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Full Answer

Samuel Coleridge described prose as “ Words in their best order, where poetry is the best words in the best order. “ Prose includes different genres of fiction such as mystery, action, romance and others. It also includes non-fiction texts such as essays, scientific reports or newspaper articles. The distinction can be complicated when writers switch back and forth between the two forms. For example, Shakespeare’s plays often used both poetry and prose. A character might be speaking in plain prose but then go back to poetry for a few lines. This occurs especially when a character wants to be more formal or dramatic in a scene.

Prose styles, especially in fiction, can vary wildly. H.P. Lovecraft, for example, had a flowery and detailed style.Authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien are well known for a descriptive and verbose type of prose. More modern authors such as Hemingway used a simple prose style that emphasized and directed their meaning and intent.

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