It is difficult to define English Literature. So much so that, a book with a title such as “doing english” (“What is English Literature?” in the Japanese translation) has been published. Literature in general is, so to speak, a mirror to reflect human minds, societies and times. We can travel beyond boundaries and times through the study of literature and learn about human feelings and thought and also how one should live. Literary study goes beyond inner textual criticism. Historical as well as cultural studies give us more accurate and richer insights into literary works. You may think our thoughts are all unique to us, but our thoughts are considerably influenced by the genius of the place and the time we live in. We can look back at the days gone by and reflect on how to live life through the study of literature.
Do you think you have to study psychology to understand human minds? In the works of literature, you can encounter people beyond your imagination. It is the fun part of literary study to find the overwhelming power and beauty of words and to have deeper understanding about people and gain wider perspectives to view the world.
Is Shakespeare useless? If our ultimate goal were the profit-seeking way of life and finding only one correct answer in things, we might think in that way. However, isn’t the world filled with problems with no clear answers? Literature that admits various ways of thinking and living will certainly give us strength to accept what life has to offer us and to live our own life.
Subject of Studies : English Literature