The History Of Literature Essay

2050 words - 8 pages

Literature is defined as writing or books that are influential and well-remembered. To me it is more than writing, its learning and discovering and entertainment. Literature has been an important part of culture since the Greeks and is constantly changing. If you try hard enough, I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll love to read.
Greek literature is probably considered the earliest form of knowledgeable and truly devoted literature. It makes so much sense because Greece has long been hailed as the birthplace of learning and culture. Because of the warring states of Greece, a definitive competiveness became part of all aspects of Greek culture, from the Olympics, war, art and literature.
Before Greek times and innovation, writing was simply a form of short hand communication and record. Greek philosophers and writers sought to change all that. For the first time in history, literature and writing is used for more record. They used writing for teaching, sharing ideas, spreading thoughts and individualism and to entertain. This was a revolution or renaissance for writing and literature into what we know now.
Greek Mythology started as an oral tradition, more of a folklore type tale that one would hear from a grandparent or storyteller. Soon, as all interesting stories are, they began to be written down, becoming the first true form of Greek Literature. The stories featured 12 gods and goddesses who lived on mount Olympus. These stories were used to explain why things happened (ex. Creation of man, Trojan War etc.) and to entertain.
The first true works of literature were the Iliad and the Odyssey. They are accredited to Homer (who was probably just a storyteller) and written before 700 BC. These writings detailed the comings of the first Greeks to the land, and explained their “god-like power”. Early epic poems also began to emerge around 800 to 300 BC, and most no longer exist. The Homeric Hymns also come about at this point and were a form of mythology. Elegists were common around this time, writing lyrical poems of mythology and Greek cultures.
As Greece matured, so did her literature. The Greek classical period brought writing with characteristics of economy of words, direct expressions and subtlety of thought.
Greek Drama formed. This new form of literature evolved from song and dance ceremonies honoring the gods. They took on several different styles. The first style is tragedies: Tragedies were dramatic stories detailing an event. Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were known for writing these.
Attic old comedy soon followed a new form of drama. It was more rowdy and humorous, to make the audience laugh. Middle Comedy was more sedate and less farce than attic old. The type of comedy we think of now is New Greek comedy.
In the midst of myths, drama, and comedy another style emerged: History. Greek history is history at its finest! It developed in several different styles. Some authors wrote in a way so...

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