There has been an ongoing debate in academic circles about the relevance of classical literature and its place in education. One camp states that classics are irrelevant and have little to teach students in the modern world, that they’re too archaic and that students will be more interested in reading modern, popular novels that they can relate to.
The case for classical literature states that modern students have a lot to learn form classical literature. First of all, they learn about the richness and evolution of language. The works of Shakespeare alone, contain thousands of examples of words and phrases that, although there’s some debate about how many were actually coined by the Bard, were first written down and popularized by him. These are still in common use today. Second, classical novels provide a glimpse into the contemporary life of people in the times in which they were written. They often deal with important facets of human nature that still hold true. Superior language and storytelling transcends time and place. A well-written book that tells the truth about our humanity, about who we are and why we do the things we do, will always remain relevant.
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