Things to know about B.A English.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A) English. It is an undergraduate degree for three years. The course would focus on the main aspects of the language and it will help us develop creative and independent thinking. The course helps us to enhance our communication skills.

Why English Literature?

English Literature introduces us to a world of creativity. You would get a chance to discover poems, novels and plays. You get to read incredible novels as per your prescribed syllabus. You get the knowledge of the history of literature. You will be able to think without confinement. There are no particular reasons but;

  1. If you are drawn to literature.
  2. If you are interested in the language.
  3. If you love reading books.
  4. If you want to make a career based on this course
  5. If you would love to learn about the wide range of cultures.
  6. It will help you broaden your boundary.

The actual answer lies in your perspective and interest.

B.A English Literature Subjects

Literature students will have major, allied and core subjects. The subjects may differ in correspondence to where you are studying. The subjects are as interesting as it sounds. We will get the flavour of distinct eras. The subjects will pull out the self-reliant sense.

  • History of English Literature.
  • American Literature.
  • Victorian Literature.
  • Feminism.
  • Women’s Writing.
  • Linguistics.
  • Indian writing.
  • Poetry and
  • Literary Criticism.

Best College to Study Literature

  • Loyola College.
  • Stella Maris College.
  • Madras Christian College.
  • Ethiraj College for Women.
  • Meenakshi College for Women.
  • Women’s Christian College.
  • Patrician College of Arts and Science.

When it comes to college, we have a few things to consider. The accommodation, fees structure, reputation of the institution, etc. In that case, I have listed out colleges in Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The chrome will help you sort out colleges in your location.

Job Opportunities After B.A. English Literature.

  • Content writer.
  • Educator.
  • Editor.
  • Writer.
  • Journalist.
  • Public relations.
  • Blogging.
  • Creative writing.
  • Language translator.
  • Media and advertising, etc…

The career opportunities are impressive and you can be a freelancer too. Although, many prefer to do Masters in Literature. There are alternatives.

Books for Literature Students

The books may vary according to the syllabus prescribed. Classics to add to your never-ending reading list are;

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  • Jane Austen’s works.
  • Shakespeare’s works.
  • A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.

As literature students, we might have the self-expectation of reading a particular genre. You need not read only classics to be acknowledged as a literature student. Try to savour the stories.

To know the history of English literature, you can refer to;

1. An Outline History of English Literature by William Henry Hudson.

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2. A Critical History of English Literature Vol 1 & 2 by David Daiches.

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Side Hustles for Litreature Students

I’m no expert, but I do have few ideas. Book lovers know the pain of having N number of books on their wishlist and not being able to get them all. Well, with side hustles we will be able to squeeze in extra books while buying.

  • Content Writing.
  • Freelancing.
  • Book logging & Bookstagram.
  • Bootubing (although the channel will take some time to get monetized.)
  • Copywriting.
  • Proofreading.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing.

However, the above-stated side hustles won’t make you rich but will be more like pocket money. There are plenty of internships that will pay you with a certificate.

For clear ideas, consult your counsellor, teachers and mentors. Is Literature tough? No, it is neither easy nor difficult. Unlike the olden days, we have technology and the internet facility. Literature is a wonderful way to know history.

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling.
Source – Google.

Man of Comedy and Tragedy

What is history without literature? What is art with the words of an author? When we think of words, poems, stories, of plays, the only name that comes as a flashcard in our head is Shakespeare. William Shakespeare, a magnificent author, poet, known for his famous plays all over the world but what do we know of his life? 

William Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, in the Elizabethan era, to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare and was the third child out of his eight siblings. Seeing the proof of his extraordinary work, Shakespeare was an enthusiast for reading, writing, and even acting. Literature had played an important role in his life, from the very first of his learnings. Latin was the language that used to go around in those times and William being a curious student learned Latin and hence most of his texts, plays and other writings are in Latin and then have been translated into English. Eventually, he started writing in English as he was fluent in the historic native English that he spoke in his everyday life. 

William Shakespeare got married when he was 18 years old to Anne Hathaway who was 26-year-old at that time. Soon after they were blessed with a daughter named Susanna in 1583. After another two years, Anne Hathaway gave birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith. Unfortunately, Shakespeare’s son Hamnet died when he was 11 years old due to an unknown illness. 

William Shakespeare lived a life filled with astonishing wordplay and interesting theories about life in a tragedy which he depicted in his writing, leaving a trace for upcoming authors, writers, poets to continue a dramatic course of literature around the world. His work was indeed a work of art. Writing plays about kings and queens, about betrayal, about revenge were his best works till today. Writing plays like Romeo and Juliet, which became a world classic story of romance in the Elizabethan era, made him the most astounding writer globally. 

Hamlet, one of his longest plays, has been his most famous after Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare found humor in most of his writings. He wrote plays like Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to imbibe the role of tragic comedy in society giving a new view and perspective to the world and encouraging by implying that there is nothing wrong in finding humor in difficult times, just like in his plays. 

William Shakespeare was an inspiration for many forthcoming writers and even today he has been inspiring young authors and poets to write something that is out of this world. Shakespeare gave words meaning and gave people hope to write imaginary stories and make a new world of fiction through words, whether fantasy or just politically strong made-up scenarios. To all the book lovers, to all the blooming writers, to all the daydreamers, there is a place that can make you feel like the main character and that place is not a place but it is in the plays written by William Shakespeare. As T.S. Elliot rightfully said, “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink”

“HELL IS EMPTY AND ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE”

-WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

‘Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun’ by William Shakespeare.

Will you believe if someone says death can bring happiness and peace? Even the words ‘death’, ’happiness’ and ‘peace’ seem to not fit together. But when we read the extract “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun”, we probe into what death really is. Is it only capable of giving sadness and heartbreaks?

Starting with, this poem is an extract from Shakespeare’s play ‘Cymbeline’. It is sung by two characters Guiderius and Arviragus to the dead in the play. The characters take turns to sing the stanzas and lines of the poem.

The first stanza addresses the dead and it tells the dead not to dread the summer’s heat and winter’s harshness. The dead are set free from all the worldly responsibilities that weigh down the living. The dead needn’t worry about making ends and other materialistic needs. Only death treats all humans equally. Be it the children of high born stations or the ones who work as chimney sweepers, all return to ashes on their death. 

“Golden lads and girls all must,

As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”

The dead needn’t fear the anger of the crown (a ruler by differing from him/her) and are free from the clutches of the tyrant. The dead needn’t worry about opposing and are free from all restraints. They needn’t worry about having proper clothes to wear and a proper meal to eat. And to them everything looks equal, be it big or small. All men powerful, intelligent, strong and valiant will meet the same end – they all return to dust. As the dead cannot bring anything along with them that can distinguish them from others, all are treated the same.

“The sceptre, learning, physic, must

All follow this, and come to dust.”

The dead needn’t fear ‘the lightning flash’ and ‘all-dreaded thunder stones’. They needn’t fear such natural elements and can rest in peace. When living are prone to be talked at by the society, the dead can sleep well without fearing to meet the society’s standards. They needn’t heed to the slanders and other harsh criticisms. The dead have completed all laughing and crying. They have nothing more to cry about and so they can rest well after their tiresome journey on the earth. Death doesn’t look at the age of the person it takes with it. Young or old all return to dust.

“All lovers young, all lovers must

Consign to thee, and come to dust.”

Now, the singers wish that no exorciser disturb the dead from their sleep and no sorcery to enchant them. The singers hope that ghosts will restrain themselves from approaching the dead and that no evil shall come near them. Nothing will dare to approach, for death has come and they pray that the grave should be known by all.

“Nothing ill come near thee!

Quiet consummation have;

And renowned be thy grave!”

When we die, we will be relieved of our burdens and worry. We experience a peace we have never experienced. Death comes with heartbreaks but also with relief. Hence, death may need not always be associated with negative feelings.

The repetition of the phrase, “and come to dust” in all the three stanzas, shows the temporal nature of human life. Everything that is material has no value on death. So, instead of running after material prospects, we should focus on eternal prospects. We can take nothing with us on our death but we can always leave something for the world. Thus, we should be kind and happy while living, and so we can leave happy memories for others on leaving.