At some point in our lives we read the classics, but the questions are, why are they so hard to read? What makes them hard to understand when it comes to reading? Well here are ten reasons it is hard to understand the classics.
Despite the language still being the same one you speak, the language is much different in way of usage and pronunciation. For example English. In English there are many differences between English in the classics and English to day varies. Shakespeare is a great example. The slang, word patterns, grammar, and even words. When reading classics this will be a big barrier to understanding the literature.
2. Reading level
On top of the language being much different, the reading level isn’t going to help either. Back in the day literature was pretty much the only form of entertainment. This would cause much of the great classics that we read today to be much more difficult. This difficulty makes it hard to get around the story that is written, but eventually you can get around the hard reading level.
3. Narrative Convection
The narrative convection of the classics is another part that makes them difficult to read. The narrative convection is how the story is told. This means that you are going to have to understand how the story is going to work before you go and read it. Forgetting this will make the story even harder to read, so make sure that you can understand the narrative convection of the story before reading it.
4. What they were published for
The thing about many classics is that they weren’t made to be read like novels. Shakespeare is an example of this. When reading Shakespeare you will notice that it is written in the format of a play. That is because it was. Because of this going into the story and thinking of it like you think of a novel will cause problems for the story. So if your classic is a play make sure that you can understand if it was meant to be a play or not.
In the classics there are many symbols used in order to convey a message. Now you might not see it at first because you are reading it and not actually seeing any pictures, but you need to pay attention to important objects in the story. In many classics, even items that make an appearance once, have a meaning behind it. It could be talking about importance of something, or maybe even a part of the character in question. This symbolism is something that will fly over someones head if they don’t pay enough attention to it.
Understanding the culture is an important part of understanding the classics. Cultures vary from classic to classic depending on the region and time it came from. Shakespeare will be different from something like the Great Gatsby. Both are in English, but both come from different times and different cultures. To understand a classic, you must understand the time period it is from and what country it comes from. This will make them much easier to read.
7. The reason for its publication
The thing about the classics are is that they were not always made for everyone’s reading. Many of them were made for the rich and powerful during their time. So the context they were writing, way they were writing, and even the plot they were writing would have been written with them in mind. This requires you to place your self in their shoes to understand how the story works
8. Connecting with the people
Despite the cultural differences between you and the people in the story they do have things in common with you. You must be able to put similarities in your life to similarities in theirs. So in order to understand the story you must find similarities between their culture and yours
9. Lack of understanding
If you don’t understand the context of the story then you won’t understand it, and this applies to classics. You must understand the context of the story. So before you read a classic make sure you can understand it.
The biggest part about understanding a classic is the interest in them. Now if you don’t really have an interest in classics you are going to have a hard time reading them, as not only do you have to put effort in, but you must put interest in them. With out it you won’t go far.