Examples of Genres in English Language

Read this post to know about the main genres of English.

Following are the main genres of English Literature-

  1. Fiction Prose
  2. Non-fiction Prose
  3. Poetry
  4. Drama

Table of Contents

(1) Fiction Prose

This genre includes imaginative stories that are told in common & natural language. It is further divided into following categories-

  1. MythA myth is a traditional story that mostly includes supernatural & imaginary plots & characters. A myth may or may not be true. E.g. Alladin & Forty Thieves.
  2. Parable:- A parable is a simple story that has moral & spiritual lessons as told by the Jesus in the Gospels.
  3. Romance:- A romance is an exciting & mysterious story having the idea of love.
  4. Novel:- A novel is a long story that is usually written in a narrative style & is the product of the writer’s imaginations.
  5. Short Story:- A short story is a story with a fine theme & is similar to the novel but is shorter than it.

(2) Non-Fiction Prose:-

This genre includes the literature that tells about the real people, places, events etc. It is further divided into following categories-

  1. News Reports
  2. Feature Articles
  3. Essays                
  4. Editorials
  5. Textbooks
  6. Historical Works
  7. Biographical Works

3) Poetry:-

The word ‘poetry’ has been derived from an Ancient Greek word meaning ‘to create’. Poetry is a genre of English Literature poet expresses his ideas with the intense use of rhythm, images, style etc. Thus poetry is imaginative, hence opposite to prose. It relies on imagery, figurative language & sound.

Poetry is divided into two forms-

  1. a) Open Form:- It is also known as the “free verse” poetry. It has no rhyme or meter & does not follow any rules. It has a random number of lines & stanzas. A ‘Ghazal’ is the best example of an Open Form of poetry.
  2. b) Closed Form:- A Closed Form of poetry is one that follows a set of rules like rhythm, meter etc. It has a specific number of lines & stanzas. Sonnet is the best example of Closed Form of poetry.

 Forms of Poetry

Dramatic Monologue

3) Drama:-

The word ‘Drama’ has been derived from a Greek word meaning action. Drama or Play is a genre of English Literature that developed in the age of Shakespeare. He is known as the father of English Drama. It expresses the human feelings. It is made up of dialogues & set of directions. Drama is designed to be performed. It includes the actual words of the characters.


  1. Tragedy: A tragedy is a drama in which the principal characters are involved in desperate circumstances or led by overwhelming passions. It is invariably serious & dignified. The movement is always stately, but grows more and more rapid, as it approaches the climax: and the end is always calamitous resulting in the death or dire misfortune to the principal characters. e.g. Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear etc..

          2. Comedy: A comedy is a drama in which the characters are placed in more or less humorous situations. The movement is light & often mirthful. The play ends in general goodwill & happiness. e.g. A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.