What Is Literature and Why Do We study it?

Topics: Poetry, Literature, Homer Pages: 3 (417 words) Published: November 16, 2014
What Is Literature and Why Do We study it?
Literature is Composition that tells a story, dramatizes a situation expresses emotions, analyzes and advocates ideas
Helps us grow personally and intellectually
Provides an objective base for knowledge and understanding
Shapes our goals and values by clarifying our own
identities, both positively and negatively
Literature makes us human.
Literature is literally “acquaintance with letters” (Latin littera meaning “an individual written character/letter”). The term has come to identify a collection of texts. As a proper noun it refers to a whole body of literary work We are concerned more with imaginative or creative writing. The kind of writing that is not real. A text is a creation of the poet/author/dramatist available to an audience and meant to create an impact – intellectual and emotional Words are the literary artist’s tools. Literature is verbal art. Why?

We study literature because it enriches us; for wisdom, for entertainment, for an understanding of diverse human experiences. We study literature because it is profound, beautiful and moving. We study literature because it is an excellent way to sharpen your close reading skills, enable critical thinking, and refine our general sense of art appreciation.

Greek literature begins with. . .
• Greek literature begins with two
masterpieces, the Iliad and Odyssey,
• which cannot be accurately dated (the
conjectural dates range over three
• and which are attributed to the poet
Homer, about whom nothing is known
except his name.

What makes an epic?
Traditionally an EPIC was a long, narrative poem.
The Iliad -The Odyssey
An EPIC addresses universal concerns
Good vs. Evil
Life and Death
Sin and Redemption
An EPIC is set in many locations (real or imaginary)

The hero is traditionally of high importance.
The hero is pitted against overwhelming odds and must be courageous and strong in an EPIC...
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