"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
There is more to the English language than spelling, grammar and pronunciation. Sure, it will teach the basics and help you communicate with other speakers. What it cannot deliver however is a deeper appreciation of its culture. This can also lead to other branches of study such as literary translation. The best of English literature is that it will allow you to gain access to the wealth of written and cinematic works delivered in this language. Let’s consider:
#1 William Shakespeare
Undoubtedly, this literary legend is among the elite class of authors the world has known. His works have been read and celebrated for generations. This is evidenced by the stage plays, books, magazines, films and other creative works that it has inspired. Shakespeare’s renowned books have solidified its place in the leading educational institutions around the globe.
The deep respect for this laureate is felt all the way to the United Nations, which celebrates its English Language Day on April 23. It is the day regarded as William Shakespeare’s birthday as well as his death anniversary. Knowing more about the English language will open yourself up to the fictional worlds that he has created. It will fill your imagination with greater clarity and you will be able to discover why Shakespeare is one of the most gifted writers of all times.
Here are some of the classics you might want to pick up, if you have not already:
● Romeo and Juliet
● Julius Caesar
● Much ado about nothing
Learning the English language will also help you decipher what the words contained in its various forms truly mean. The surface level of understanding you once had of certain texts would take on a richer form. Even old versions of the English language become more intelligible, though it would of course still take some effort to comprehend.
Your chances at getting a better job can also improve. Your ability to translate the English language will be refined by an insider type knowledge that is attributed to its cultural background. A study of English literature is essential if you want to be able to truly know the cultural value behind the words used as you translate them between languages.
Knowing about English literature would inevitably lead you into American literature. It has similar vocabulary and grammar rules though with appreciable nuances. Knowing about both through your readings could provide a good foundation for what you will see on screen. The book version will usually be better though it more often becomes exciting for many to see these characters come alive on the big screen. There are a multitude of film adaptations based on English and American literature.
Some of them you may have seen:
● Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
● Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
● Dracula, by Bram Stoker
● To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
● Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
Being able to appreciate such classics both in print and on film will make you more relatable when conversing with English speakers. It is something that can bridge the gap between your cultures and are excellent talking points to break the proverbial ice with. Who knows what kind of deep bonds can be formed when you allow yourself to dive into the fascinating world of English literature?
By the Blogs Team
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