Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LITERATURE

Poetry
The word poetry comes from Greek. The verb poieo means I
create and the noun poiesis refers to a creation out of nothing. There
are notable differences with the narration, as in the poetry the poet
can condense the information, while in the narrative he or she would
need to write more lines in order to explain the same.

Another characteristic is the use of the meaning of a word to


convey another meaning. For example, the cypress conveys the idea
of death, because these trees are very abundant in the graveyards.

In English poetry, the basic rhythm is the iamb, a two syllable


foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed
syllable. The poets used to write in the traditional way of the
language.

Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to define and


assess the quality of poetry. Notably, Aristotle's Poetics describes the
three genres of poetry: the epic, comic, and tragic, and develops rules
to distinguish the highest-quality poetry of each genre, based on the
underlying purposes of that genre. Later aestheticians identified three
major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry and dramatic poetry, treating
comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry.

According to Plato, poets were able to put the ideas and beliefs
of the state into question and it could lead to revolutions. In Middle
Ages, these poets were called scoops or minstrels, poets who had an
extended knowledge about history and could foresee the future.
Therefore, they used to give the kings some advice. In Africa, there
were similar poets who were called griots. They were historians,
storytellers, praise singers, poets and/or musicians. The griot is a
repository of oral tradition, and is also often seen as something of a
societal leader due to his traditional position as an adviser to royal
personages.

In those times, there was a poetry just for pleasure, and the
topics that were covered could be about love, death, solitude or the
loss of a member of the family. These poems were sang with a lyre,
which provided poetry with musicality.
With regard to the literature, the word itself is a relatively
modern word, from the 19th century. It has its origins in the Ancient
Greece and Rome and it means the art of writing anything. Different
genres have been differentiated: poetry, narrative and theatre.

Literature has evolved through the centuries. It became


important in the northern countries with Martin Luther, as it was seen
as a leisure activity. It was meant to unite the community. At the
beginning of the 20th century, it was argued why literature should
have been studied. In 1910, literature began to be taught at
universities and Germans were the ones who had more interest in it.
In 1930, F.R. Leavis decided how English literature should be taught.
An interesting fact about this person is that he didnt belong to
aristocracy, but to the middle class. In 1939, with the beginning of the
Second World War, the sense of nationality began to grow in Britain,
and it was decided that English studies should be taught, and not too
much the Roman and Greek literature.

Comparing with History, which was seen as true, literature was


considered fiction. This word comes from the Greek word fingere,
which means not telling the truth.