Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Three Major Forms of Literature

Poetry, Prose and Drama are the three major forms of literature. As men and women gradually learned, through the passing ages, to write down their thoughts, feelings, desires and opinions, they used many different ways or forms of expressing themselves. It is not very easy to distinguish these “forms”, if we try to talk of Literature in exact historical order; but we can safely say that it seems as if men used verse before prose – that is, for their literary works as apart from their everyday speech when, for instance, they discussed their affairs, or quarrelled, or asked other people to supply their needs. In other words, when man was emotionally moved he used verse: when he wanted to convey some point of view, he used prose. Drama came at a later stage when action was added to that which so far had been written down to be read. Dramas can be written both in verse and prose. For example, Shakespeare uses both verse and prose for his plays, and the plays of both George Bernard Shaw and John Galsworthy are in prose. But critics like T.S. Eliot are of the view that Drama is a form of poetry. Drama is dramatic-poetry, just as there is lyric-poetry or epic-poetry. He regards prose drama as something unnatural and artificial.

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