motif

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motif

(mōtēf`), in literature, term that denotes the recurrent presence of certain character types, objects, settings, or situations in diverse genres and periods of folklore and literature. Examples of motifs include swords, money, food, jewels, forests, oceans, castles, dungeons, tests of skill or wisdom, journeys, separations and reunions, chaos brought to order. Motifs are not restricted to literature. Hans von Wolzogen coined the term leitmotiv [Ger.,=guiding motive] to describe Richard Wagner's use of a recurring musical phrase to reinforce the emotional impact of characters, situations, and themes in his operas. The visual arts often rely on motifs to communicate deeper levels of meaning: The bison and deer painted on the walls of the caves at Lascaux represent both threat and survival, superior strength or speed, and food supply; the endlessly rocking cradle in D. W. Griffith's film Intolerance suggests rebirth and the inescapable frailties of the human condition (see symbolsymbol,
sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign.
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; archetypearchetype
[Gr. arch=first, typos=mold], term whose earlier meaning, "original model," or "prototype," has been enlarged by C. G. Jung and by several contemporary literary critics.
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).

motif,

in music: see motivemotive
or motif
, in music, a short phrase or passage of two or more notes and repeated or elaborated throughout the composition. The term is usually used synonymously with figure.
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.

Motif

A part or element repeated in an ornamental design.

Motif

 

in literature, the simplest unit of meaning in myths and tales, which cannot be further divided, for example, the motif of the abduction of the bride. A combination of several motifs constitutes the plot (fabula) or story (siuzhet). There are often similar motifs in the epics of different nations. Folklore motifs may also be used in later periods.

In modern literature, motifs are the simplest units of story (siuzhet) development: they may be dynamic, moving the plot (fabula) forward, or static and descriptive but indispensable for the story (siuzhet). The significance of a motif depends not on its own meaning but rather on its role in the artistic structure.

motif

A principal repeated element in an ornamental design.

motif

1. a distinctive idea, esp a theme elaborated on in a piece of music, literature, etc.
2. a recurring form or shape in a design or pattern

Motif

The standard graphical user interface and window manager from OSF, running on the X Window System.

Motif

The graphical user interface (GUI) endorsed by the Open Software Foundation. Motif became the standard graphical interface for Unix workstations. Although it is still used, numerous other graphical interfaces have become more popular (see KDE and GNOME). See Open Group.


The Motif GUI
For several years, Motif was the de facto standard graphical interface in the Unix world. (Screen shot courtesy of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Those motifs that are known universally or widespread chaotically across the world have no interest for our research and have not been included into the catalogue (http://www.
Motif 2Fe-2S is a structural motif, from the comparison of the coding proteins between rice and spinach chlorine monooxygenase (CMOs), rice CMO potentially shares two conservative motifs including a Rieske-type [2Fe-2S] [5] cluster and a mononuclear non-heme Fe binding sequence.
At press time, the top-performing motifs included Biotech Breakthroughs (with a one-year return of 56.
The author's interpretation of the first literary motif, namely that the crossing of water was exploited by Mesopotamian kings and became a metaphor for conquest, encounters two methodological problems: first, the author isolates the motif from its context and does not consider other motifs related to conquest; second, the literary motif is not sufficiently considered in relation to the historical facts.
In the Boyne Valley passage graves, at Loughcrew, Knockroe and other Irish sites, and at Barclodiad y Gawres and Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales, Robin convincingly demonstrates that particular motifs occur recurrently in specific positions.
As wrist adornment Paradis offers a yellow gold charm bracelet strung with Paspaley South Sea pearls and petal motifs.
This symbolism has changed with time and the names the embroidery motifs carry now are somewhat traditional and practical--expressing a woman's daily life and her identity.
This core motif may play a key role in preventing or limiting infection, an insight that could accelerate a major advancement in antimicrobial drug development.
Between the Light features large-scale leaf motifs within a loosely gridded framework.
Winkfield's motifs evoke not only our mythic history (as in the case of the Orphic lyre and the guitar on the right in Concert, 2003, or the tilting steeple in the background on the left) but also still more elemental archetypes.
Using these approaches, Roach discovers that Mother Nature motifs reveal three main concepts of mother: good mother, bad mother, and hurt mother.
At first this may sound similar to many art historical publications that establish artistic influence by comparing visual motifs.