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What Makes Literature Classic?

By johweee Sep 17, 2008 603 Words
According to, the definition of classic is “an author or literary work of the first rank, especially one of demonstrably enduring quality”. There are many characteristics that make up what we consider as classic to literatures that we still read today. Classic literature does not necessarily mean that it has to be about the old Greek or Roman myths from long ago because it can be just about a few hundred years old such as the plays that William Shakespeare has written some 400 years ago. Such persevering qualities can be how timeless the piece of work is or the universal message that is trying to reach to their readers or the multiple literary devices that the author uses to create an impression for their readers.

There are a broad variety of literature that exists in our world today. Some can carry a strong message with them, while some are pointless in reading. But a piece of literature that is constantly labeled as “classic” by many readers shows that it is very well-acknowledged because of certain features to it. To be continually known as a classic over the course of many years can mean that the piece of work is timeless. It is being passed down from generation to generation because it contains an everlasting, distinctive memory for us readers. It could mean that the writing has been based on a universal theme that different readers have agreed upon and are touched by over the years. Classic literature will leave an impact on their readers because the message or the moral of the writing can possibly influence one to do better in life such as making a wise decision. Somehow, a classic piece of writing can also be a role model to other writers. This is why literature is all connected in a way because a classic story can be so good that other writers are motivated to use similar ideas for their piece of work. It can be the smooth progression of the plot, and not the ones where something really good happens and then it is quickly brought down without any sort of smooth transition. What makes a piece of literature so classic can have many elements to it. It can be the countless amounts of feelings that are building up inside of us all at once because of just one strong paragraph. It can be that since it is so well-written, it makes us feel as if we are the characters in the writing. It can also be the way that the author chooses to use their literary devices, such as diction and imagery, because since every author has a unique way of writing, the classic ones will leave a deeper, trailing memory for us. It can be something literal like there is this significant hero who sacrifices a lot just so there can be a solution to the problem. Whatever it is, it has been recognized.

In the end, any piece of literature that is declared as a classic is definitely one that is worth reading because it has been shown that many readers have certainly carried something new away with them as they finish reading. It is that relationship level where the reader is on the same level with the author of the writing. If it did not stand out because of disagreement about the theme or a confusing, all-over-the-place plot, it is most likely not a classic piece of writing. Classic literatures are the ones that are constantly identified by different readers and they will leave an unparalleled imprint.

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