Is classical literature worth the read?

Gain reading and writing, comprehension and analytical skills

You hear it almost every day about classical literature from all kinds of students: “Do we really need to learn this? Does this really matter?” And everyone has a different answer to this, but mine is a definite yes.

Not many people read classical literature anymore and there are some good reasons; it can be hard to read, to understand and to follow along, and some of it is, honestly, pretty boring. But there is a lot you can learn from reading something from Shakespeare or Jane Austen. Not only do you learn how to read the literature, you also learn how to analyze it and it can help with reading skills.

“I don’t really like reading classical literature,” said one English major from MNSU, “but it has made me a better reader and my comprehension skills are better.”

Comprehension skills are especially important in college because you will be reading a lot, and not just textbooks. If you have to take an English class, you will most likely read a novel and you can be sure it’ll be a classic.

Analyzing is also a great skill to have. Because you’ll be reading a lot in college, you’ll also be analyzing literature, as well. With reading classical literature you’ll have to analyze almost everything; if not for yourself and your own comprehension, then for a class. Analyzing helps you to understand what is happening in the literature you read and there tends to be a lot going on in classical literature.

But aside from gaining important reading skills, you can also learn much about the time period in which it was written. When reading something like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, there are a lot of differences from the world in which we live today. Women were expected to marry and behave a certain way, as were men.

It’s important to learn about our history and how the world used to be, not only to compare how the world is today but to learn from it, too. You can also learn about past writing techniques and the importance of them, as well.

But not everyone agrees, as mentioned before. A senior engineer student says, “I really don’t see the importance of classical literature. I’m an engineer student so I won’t need to learn from old books, ya know?”

While he probably won’t need classical literature in terms of his major, it can still improve his writing, reading comprehension, and analysis, which are great skills to have as an adult and a college student. There is no way to get around reading in life and it is important to gain those skills.

So, whether or not you’re majoring or minoring in English, reading classical literature can improve many skills. If you’re not going to college for English, don’t keep classical literature out of the question; pick up a book or a collection of literature and try it out. You could end up liking it and hopefully gain the skills talked about earlier in this article.

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