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Easy Understanding of English Literature

Updated on May 14, 2015

Literature at a Glance

Simply putting Literature is the manifestation of human feelings and emotions employed through literary characters as well as the situations in which they are caught up from time to time. Literature shares what humans identify other humans with. Literature, published all around the world, is universal whether it is published in one language or another; provided, it is unbiased, objective and original. This is one reason the likes of William Shakespeare can't die because their writings depicted human episodes which repeat themselves day after in every region and among every race of the planet we call earth. So, literature is the recorded version of human history, though an individual perspective of a universal predicament of man.

Building its foundations upon Greek, Russian, French and German literatures and mythology, English Literature, is the widely read medium in published works. The huge variety of language, symbolic system, myths, stream of consciousness, citations, techniques and characterizations have reached into the hearts of people while the thematic expressions have also been very popular. English comedies, tragedies, drama, soaps, novel and poetry have all been popular throughout the world. William Shakespeare, Jane Austin,Ernest Hemingway, John Keats and several other writers are renowned world over for they have been published in hundreds of other languages.

English is not only a rich language for its synonyms systems and vocabulary but it is also very adaptive for the translation of other works originally published in other languages. For instance "The Prophet" was not written in English originally but the translation of this work in English carries strong weight and impresses upon the readers just because of the significance of English language which adapted and embraced the style of the book. Similarly, other books like "En Attendent Godot" and Saadi's "Gulistan" have been translated into English. Both have retained their original charm despite being translations.

How to understand literature is the key question most literature users would like ask. Well, to me this is quite simple. Just grasp the situation and live with the character if you can, in your imagination. Finding it difficult, you may opt to go through the original text of the play. Be focused and try not to interpret it in the way you generally think. Be careful, you did not write the play, it was written by some one else meant for certain thematic aspects; therefore, be impartial and don't apply your prejudice to while judging and understanding a piece of art.

How to Judge and Interpret Literature

First up, be patient and don't draw conclusions. The below points will help you further:

  1. Try to read the text.
  2. Try to understand the text. Skimming is not bad, but skipping is bad.
  3. Don't loose the focus because everything revolves around the plot, pivotal in art.
  4. Build things up and be open headed, think what the author might have suggested symbolical hints etc.
  5. Observe characters from beginning till end,do they change? If they do, in what sense.
  6. Draw the plot and find out the gaps among characters and language.
  7. Find out the impact of language and the role it plays in the piece of art.
  8. Build relationships and observe them.
  9. Finally, judge the endings.

© 2015 Ijaz Muhammad


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