Great Masters of National Literature


(At Classes we reach out to our students to help them with placement and customization of their knowledge so that they can not only earn the most rewards possible from their studies, but also raise their overall knowledge base. Most of our students happily display learning and utilization on their term papers, and as a result earn a combined higher career opportunity. This is great news for us; however, sometimes the improper use of our energy can really decrease our results. In this article you will see how we can take the time to strategically place and customize the time for a successful steady knowledge base in literature.)

Introduction: Each country of note has produced its national literature-Homer, Herodotus, Xenophon, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Demosthenes, think what these have done to stamp upon civilization Greek life and ideals, as shown in epic, history, drama, and oration. Virgil, Horace, Plautus, Terence, Livy, Cicero the tram of Latin writers achieved the same for Rome. And how quickly we associate such names as Kalidas, Goethe, Schiller, Voltaire, Tolstoy, Andersen, Shakespeare, and Ibsen, each with the nationality that produced it! The study of a single national literature might well consume a lifetime, so great and wonderful is the output.

Homer: Homer, the name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics that have survived from Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact it is a matter of controversy whether a single person can be said to have created both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Linguistic and historical evidence, however, suggests that the poems were composed in the Greek settlements on the west coast of Asia Minor sometime in the 8th century bc.

Herodotus: Herodotus (484?-425 bc), Greek historian, known as the father of history, born in Halicarnassus (now Bodrum, Turkey). He is believed to have been exiled from Halicarnassus about 457 bc for conspiring against Persian rule. In 443 bc Herodotus settled in the Panhellenic colony of Thurii in southern Italy. He devoted the remainder of his life to the completion of his great work, entitled History, the Greek word for “inquiry.”

Xenophon: Xenophon (430?-355? bc), Greek historian, soldier, and essayist, whose works contribute greatly to knowledge of Greece and Persia in the 4th century BC.

Aeschylus: Aeschylus (525?-456 bc), Greek dramatist, the earliest of the great tragic poets of Athens. As the predecessor of Sophocles and Euripides, he is called the father of Greek tragedy. Aeschylus was born in Eleusis, near Athens.

Sophocles: Sophocles (496?-406? bc), one of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Euripides. Sophocles composed more than 100 plays, of which 7 complete tragedies and fragments of 80 or 90 others are preserved. 

Euripides: Euripides (480?-406? bc), Greek dramatist, with Aeschylus and Sophocles, the third of the great Attic tragic poets. His work, fairly popular in his own time, exerted great influence on Roman drama. 

Aristophanes: Aristophanes (448?-385 bc), Athenian playwright, considered one of the greatest writers of comedy in literary history. His plays have been produced through the centuries and have remained popular because of their wit, comic invention, and poetic language.

Virgil: Virgil (70-19 bc), Roman poet, author of the masterpiece the Aeneid, the most influential work of literature produced in ancient Rome.

Horace: Horace (65-8 bc), Roman lyric poet and satirist, whose works are masterpieces of Latin literature of the Golden Age.

Plautus: Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus (254?-184 bc), Roman comic dramatist, who enjoyed immense popularity among the Romans and greatly influenced post-Renaissance European dramatic literature.

Terence: Terence (190?-159 BC), Roman playwright, whose plays were forerunners of the modern comedy of manners. 

Livy: Livy, full name Titus Livius (59 bc-ad17), Roman historian, whose History of Rome is one of the basic sources of information about early Rome and one of the classics of ancient Roman literature. 

Cicero: Cicero (106-43 bc), Roman writer, statesman, and orator. Although he had a distinguished political career, he is best known as Rome's greatest orator and as a man of letters. 

Kalidas: Kalidasa (375?-415?), Indian court poet and dramatist. He belonged to the second period of Sanskrit literature, when the writing of the anonymous Vedic hymns gave way to the writings of secular drama and poetry by known authors.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832): German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist. Goethe’s poetry expresses a modern view of humanity’s relationship to nature, history, and society; his plays and novels reflect a profound understanding of human individuality. 

Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805): German poet, dramatist, philosopher, and historian, who is regarded as the greatest dramatist in the history of the German theater and one of the greatest in European literature.

Voltaire: Voltaire, assumed name of François Marie Arouet (1694-1778), French writer and philosopher, who was one of the leaders of the Enlightenment.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910): Russian writer and moral philosopher, one of the world’s greatest novelists. His writings profoundly influenced much of 20th-century literature, and his moral teachings helped shape the thinking of several important spiritual and political leaders.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875): Danish author, whose fairy tales have been translated into more than 80 languages and have inspired plays, ballets, films, and works of sculpture and painting. Born in Odense, he suffered from poverty and neglect during his childhood, and when he was 14 years of age he ran away to Copenhagen. There he worked for Jonas Collin, director of the Royal Theater, until Collin raised money to provide him with an education.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): English playwright and poet, recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Hundreds of editions of his plays have been published, including translations in all major languages. Scholars have written thousands of books and articles about his plots, characters, themes, and language. He is the most widely quoted author in history, and his plays have probably been performed more times than those of any other dramatist.

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906): Norwegian dramatist, whose well-constructed, plays dealing realistically with psychological and social problems won him recognition as the father of modern drama.


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