The History of English Literature

English literature roots go back hundreds of years from North Germanic tribes that settled in England around the 5th century. Most Old English works were passed from one generation to the next orally before the introduction of the Latin alphabet by Roman missionaries. From the 12th century, the written word inspired the Middle English; and the most influential writer in this period was Geoffrey Chaucer who composed in various genres, styles and tones. The Renaissance period in Europe marked of the 15th century marked the birth of the printing press that eventually took the written word to the masses.

shutterstock_286357010Why is Studying English Literature Important?

Admittedly, there are a thousand other things that an individual can do in today’s world with 500 channel cable televisions, feature films on phones and even cover hundreds of kilometres in hours. However, just 50 years ago, there were few entertainment options. So, why study English literature? Despite the advancements, a master or bachelor in English literature is still one of the most popular courses in universities all over the world. It is a time-tested and well-worn major that deals with universal themes that foster growth as well as learning more about different time periods and distant places.

The Significance of English Literature Today

Depending on the type of English literature you choose to focus on, there are several things you can learn from writings. Literature is not only about history, but an art and is even a direct reflection of the society around you and distant places. Properly recorded and preserved literature provides a stunningly clear account of events that happened and shaped what the future is today. English literature is also a stress reliever that can help you, figuratively, step into the shoes of others who have lived a life different from your own. It is both an escape and a gateway chance to step out of your life as you read.