Literature has taught us many things a bout history through poems, videos, action movies and written work. Non-fiction books are not written by historians containing the records of the past happenings however they don’t attempt to teach us all that much a bout the past. (Pavkovic, M. & Morillo, S. 201). We all agree that there are poems or even novels which talk a bout several happenings in history which are based on real events. History influenced everything which is written in literature since they have been experienced or heard about before. Therefore it is much clear that literature and history have a lot of things in common.
A story needs three big things which are a protagonist, an antagonist, and a climax. The same applies in history. For instance, if we consider a poem which was written by William Wordsworth when the Napoleonic wars were taking place in the French emperor. This particular poem teaches us about history. (Pavkovic, M. & Morillo, S. 209). We learn from the poem that the general need or perception of Napoleon Bonaparte was a warmonger as well as a person who did not support peace in the western part of the world.
Shakespeare's historical plays, which was generally concentrated on Julius Caesar and Macbeth, also tells us more a bout the past happenings. The most pronounced being that anybody not considering whether mad or sane can cause a different in history. This is so because a mad man shot and killed Abraham Lincoln who was the American president. This mad man robbed off America by cutting shot the live of one of its very important person in the history. We can ask ourselves that what if the Lincoln was not shot by this mad man? (Michael, C.200).
Literature mainly has fictional characters that are created by writers and history is similar to these characters in so many ways. In literature, writers are allowed to portray characters in any way which suits their roles and so does history. (Pavkovic, M. & Morillo, S. 211). Those who are alive today are very responsible to kind of history which will be read by the future generation. The same way a writer shapes his/her characters while writing literature is the same way we shape our history for future. That is a very important point literature can teach us a bout history.
There exists movie scripts which dramatize both World War 1 and 2 and as we all know that drama is a form of literature. These teaches us some vital points a bout history. One of them is that whatever has happened in the past can happen again. For instance, Germans caused the First World War and again it was Hitler who led his fellow countrymen to start the world war two. (Michael, C.198).Now, one can ask a question that can they cause the third world war? In summary, literature tries to bring it out that history repeats itself.
The above description also shows that literature can prove it that life in the past can be the same as life we live today. Here, we consider history has what have happened before and literature shows us how it happened from that time to today. This is done by focusing on what changed and that has remained the same since that time. Literature cannot only be seen as what offers us history but is also sugarcoat it with delight, wonder, merriment and spices it with tragedy and warnings of how to avoid repetition of history. (Pavkovic, M. & Morillo, S. 205).
Literature also teaches us the history of moral values. Let’s take for example the story of Romeo and Juliet. They valued so much their love more than the outcome of death. The two people had strong love towards each other so much so that they did not want to care about what happened next so long us they kept their love. In my on opinion, that is what I can define as values; something you love is worth dying for. There is defiantly no value if someone is not ready die for what he/she loves. This story does not only tell us a bout love and the forces against it but it also talks about moral background that is portrayed in the whole story.
One should point out that as much as literature teaches us a bout history, it cannot change the history itself but rather it can be used to understand more about the past and it also gives us a chance to learn as much as possible.( Michael, C.98). Literature teaches us history by adding and taking away from it in order to give the reader the appetite to continue reading and discovering. History is basically insisting on facts but at the same time borrowing incessantly from literature. This is because it through this way that it can be past from one generation to the other. Finally, literature can be said to be a mother of history since they go hand in hand with each other.
Direct Essays. "Literary Piece and Lessons about Death." DirectEssays.com. DirectEssays.com, (December 31, 1969). Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
Michael, C .The Discipline of History and the History of Thought. . London: Routledge .1995. Print.
Pavkovic, M. & Morillo, S. What is Military History?Oxford: Polity Press.2006.print.