post5 1 - 8 Best Classic English Novels

8 Best Classic English Novels

A novel is a different outlet for writers to express or narrate a story about a person, history or value. It has been effective to portray human experiences. Through the years, various novels have passed our eyes and ears, inspiring us and teaching us lessons in life, just like art classes columbus ohio. Check out these classic English novels that you should read:

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678)

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This Christian allegory is one of the most significant works of religious English literature. This was also considered one of the first novels written English. The English text comprises 108,260 words and has been translated into over 200 languages. It tackles about a man in search of truth.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)

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This book is presented as an autobiography of the title character. He was a castaway who 28 years on a distant tropical desert island near Trinidad. There he encountered cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before being rescued. This novel marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)

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This work is a prose satire by Irish writer Jonathan Swift. According to him, he wrote this novel “to vex the world rather than divert it.” It was published seven years after “Robinson Crusoe”, thus critics believe this is a response to Dafoe’s optimistic account of human capability.

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1748)

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Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady tells about a young heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family. She was pressured to marry a wealthy man she detests. According to Richardson, this is “the first book in the world for the knowledge it displays of the human heart.”

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)

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Tom Jones is a comic novel about how Tom eventually transformed himself from being flawed, because of the help of Sophia Western whom he loved so dearly. Their adventure begins when Tom Jones have to banish to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to escape an arranged marriage.

The Life and Opinions of TristramShandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (1759)

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This novel by Sterne was published in nine volumes. The book is apparently Tristram’s narration of his life story in which he finds himself discoursing at length on insults and sexual practices, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare, and philosophy as he struggles to organize and finish the story of his life.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

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Frankenstein or “the Modern Prometheus” tackles about the young scientist Victor Frankenstein who creates a ridiculous but wise creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. The story is infused with Gothic novel and Romantic Movement. This is has been hailed as a masterpiece of horror and morbidity.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

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Also known as “The Whale”, this novel is published during the American Renaissance period. Sailor Ishmael recounts his adventure with the obsessive Captain Ahab on the whaling ship Pequod. They are on a quest for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that bit off Ahab’s leg.

What is your most favorite novel among the choices?

post6 - 6 Most Moving Poems of All Time

6 Most Moving Poems of All Time

The popularity of poetry lives on until the present generation. It is a form of literature that uses aesthetic languages, symbols, and underlying messages. Even if poems have evolved, it still doesn’t lose its effectivity of artistic expression. Here are some of the best poems of all time:

Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

On top of our list is Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” which is one of his best-known 154 sonnets which consists of three quatrains followed by a couplet. It starts with a question “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Shakespeare wanted to tell someone who is incomparable to the summer’s day, as this person doesn’t fade away. The person’s beauty is preserved in the poetry itself.

Holy Sonnet 10: Death, Be Not Proud, John Donne

Also known as Sonnet X, this piece by John Donne is a fourteen-line poem first published in 1633. It is included as one of the 19 sonnets that compose Donne’s Holy Sonnets, among his most well-known works. This tackles about the idea that death should not be the subject of fear and despair. On his sixth rhetorical attack, he mentioned that if a man believes in a soul, then death is nothing to worry about as soul lives eternally.

Daffodils, William Wordsworth

Daffodils is a lyric poem which is considered to be William Wordsworth’s most famous work. This was inspired by Wordsworth’s real encounter with daffodils. It presents the power and beauty of the natural world. He wrote this poem during the time of industrialization when man prides the rise of technology. However, for Wordsworth, nature can bring you more joy and bliss.

A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow wrote this nine-stanza poem to inspire readers to live actively, not allowing the past to stop you nor taking your future for granted. According to the poem, the force of science seems to hinder one’s spirit or soul to act and live. Thus, we need to be active as this can lead to the greatness of mankind.

On His Blindness, by John Milton

English poet Milton wrote this poem with reference to his condition of being totally blind. He transcends the misery he feels in the poem which deals with the limitations and shortcomings in life. He framed himself in the poem not as a suffering or sad individual, but as a failed servant to God. In his blindness, he sees a vision of God commanding thousands. He realizes that serving God requires you to bear hardships that life has burdened you with.

The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus

Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The poem was then engraved on a bronze plaque mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level in 1903. Lazarus compares the Statue of Liberty to the Colossus of Rhodes which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed, however fully recovered during Renaissance. Thus, The New Colossus talks about resilience and the window for new opportunities.

Apart from the list, what are the other poems you think should be included in the list?

post7 - The 5 Most Incredible Plays of All Time

The 5 Most Incredible Plays of All Time

Plays are one of the best art forms of expressions in portraying a story about a certain idea and concept. Writers have been so patient and imaginative in creating these plays with twisted and distinct plots, interesting characters and deep messages. Because of their impact on the world, they have been critically-acclaimed, multi-awarded and considered as among the most influential literary works. Here is our list of the top 5 plays of all time:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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One of the greatest literary pieces is Shakespeare’s Hamlet which dramatizes the tragic story of Prince Hamlet’s revenge towards his uncle Claudius who murdered his brother and married his mother to seize the throne. Shakespeare wrote this tragedy with characters in an abnormal state of mind with Hamlet centered on problems arising from love, death, and betrayal. Hamlet has 5 acts, which is so far the longest play of Shakespeare and is regarded as the most influential work in world literature.

Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill

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This autobiographical play written by Eugene O’Neill in 1940s was considered to be one of the finest plays of the 20th century. It followed his own story with his brother and parents. The play centers the pain of family expressing blame, accusations, and resentments. This includes the mother’s addiction to morphine, father’s miserliness, brothers’ illnesses and the family’s addiction to whiskey. This piece received 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

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This play written by Edward Albee was first staged in 1962. The title of the play is a pun on the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” from Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs. This examines the breakdown of the marriage of the couple, Martha and George. Their disappointment with their relationship leads to bitterness and frustration between them, making them question the difference between reality and illusion. The play won 1963 Tony Award for Best Play and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by Arthur Miller. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances. It revolved around the sad story of the sales man Willy Loman and his delusions that barely keep him afloat. The play uses flashbacks to portray Willy’s memory during the reality. His illusion suggests his past and his lost pastoral life. The more he engages into illusion, the harder for him to know and face reality. Death of a Salesman bagged 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.

Angels in America by Tony Kushner

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Angels in America by Tony Kushner was played into two parts entitled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. The play is a symbolic and metaphorical examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in America during the 1980s. Its major characters are supernatural beings and deceased persons who play multiple roles, all involving homosexuality. Some of them are the gay couple and the homophobic man, among others. This play won numerous awards including the Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has also been made into television series and opera.

Have you seen one of these plays performed in your school?

post9 - The 6 Most Influential Works of Fiction of All Time

The 6 Most Influential Works of Fiction of All Time

Writers have dedicated their ideas and inspirations to put to words the stories of religion, culture, tragedies and basically everything about life. They used distinct styles and devices in crafting their messages in various literary works. Now, let us take a look at some of the most influential works of fictions that you should not miss:

The First Folio by William Shakespeare

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This folio was composed of William Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies which was published in 1623. It was considered one of the most influential books ever published. It was prepared by Shakespeare’s friends, John Heminges and Henry Condell and was dedicated to Shakespeare’s “incomparable pair of brethren” William and Philip Herbert. It contained 36 plays generally accepted by Shakespeare.

The Odyssey by Homer

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The Odyssey is the second of the two epic Greek poems attributed to the ancient poet known as Homer. Apart from The Iliad, it was considered one of the best works of Western literature. It was composed near the end of 8th century. The poem focuses on the hero Odysseus (Ulysses in Roman myths) and his adventure to Ithaca following the fall of Troy.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

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This Spanish novel was published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615. It follows the story of an elderly knight named Don Quixote who had madly read many books of chivalry which led him to set out an adventure with his pragmatic squire Sancho Panza. Ingenious Nobleman Mister Quixote of La Mancha, its full title is one of the earliest European novels. Its author Miguel de Cervantes was almost an exact contemporary of Shakespeare.

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles. This play was first performed in about 430 BCE which tackles the story of Oedipus, the King of Thebes who was prophesized that he is going to kill his own father, Laius and marry his mother. He has successfully solved the riddle of the Sphinx which saved his land from being devastated by plague. He married his mother, Jocasta, without knowing that they are related.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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Very popular with children, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland tells us the story of Alice who fell through a rabbit hole and reached a dreamy world populated by peculiar and fantastic characters including Humpty Dumpty, the Queen of Hearts, Cheshire cat and the Hatter, among others. Lewis Carroll had references on people, situations, and buildings in Oxford and at Christian churches.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories I a frame story between 1387 and 1400. It follows thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury and told these stories in their journey. Chaucer reflected religion in his stories making a significant theme of the work. It was also evident that Chaucer used various linguistic styles and rhetorical devices in his tales.

How many of these fictions have you read?