How Daunting is English Literature?

Essay by naeem July 2004

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English Literature: The untold story

English Literature is one of those subjects, which many people tend to regard as "impossibly difficult to understand", "has no specific use in one's future" and "intensely and totally boring" (quotes courtesy of my friends who has never done E. Lit). The question is, how true are these accusations?

First of all, E. Lit (despite the exaggerated rumours) is NOT "impossibly difficult" at all. Difficult? Well, maybe, but not to the extent where you can't understand every single word and phrase (though an ability to at least understand English would obviously help).

It is a matter of opinion actually. If we really think about it, ALL subjects are DIFFICULT, but in different ways. For example, I would rather do a character analysis of Macbeth than explain the process of the oxidation of benzaldehyde. It all depends on our interests really. If you are interested in the use of language and in-depth analysis of characters and speeches, then E.

Lit may be the thing for you. However, if you are the type of person who finds that too many words may result in major headaches, then look elsewhere. But still, it wouldn't hurt to know a thing or two about E. Lit.

Who says E. Lit has no use in one's future? E. Lit can help us improve our English and analytical skills (Lawyers-to-be: take note!). Analytical skills are an advantage especially when you want to be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a lawyer, or a teacher/lecturer, and other careers, which involve a lot of research.

Boring?! E. Lit is far from boring. Believe it or not, reading literature books is like watching a movie! Take Shakespeare as an example: From Romeo's wonderfully romantic accolade to Juliet's beauty- "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" to...