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There are different types of literature that are classified according to the period or artistic movement of the works, according to the genre and according to the way in which the story is transmitted. For example: medieval literature, classic literature, narrative literature.

Literature is a type of art that is realized through words and that differs from other discourses because it has an aesthetic purpose. However, the concept of literature changed and changed according to the times. One of the most important characteristics of literature is that language is used with a poetic function and, therefore, is distinguished from common language, whose purpose is communicative. Literature seeks to highlight the aesthetic side of language and to do so makes use of rhetorical figures. Furthermore, literature always assumes a fictional pact with the reader, that is to say, the reader knows that this discourse has to be interpreted as fiction and not as a narration about something real.

Types of literature according to the time or the artistic movement

If the literary works of the same period or movement pose differences, they also pose certain characteristics in common. Bearing in mind these characteristics, literature can be:

Ancient Literature: 

It is the set of literary works that were produced in Antiquity (2500 BC – 476 AD). Generally, the majority of these works began to circulate orally and then moved on to written texts. As for the themes, they only narrate battles, myths and legends. In addition, this literature had the function of transmitting religious values ​​or knowledge of the time. This type of literature gave rise to three major literary genres: the epic, the lyrical and the dramatic. For example: History of the eloquent peasant (Egypt 1900 BC).

Classic Literature: 

It is the set of works that were produced in Antigua Greece and in Antigua Rome. If so, these works belong to ancient times, they differ from other works because they were fundamental in Western culture. The majority of classic works belong to the epic, lyrical or dramatic genres and are about myths or transcendental historical characters. For example: Odyssey by Homer (VIII century BC Greece).

Medieval literature: 

It is the set of literary works that were produced in the Middle Ages. Much of these works are anonymous and started circulating orally and later became written texts. These works deal with different themes, but are characterized by including legends and religious elements. Some of the typical compositions of this time are the songs of deeds, the dramatic texts, the sagas, the fables, some poetic compositions and the short stories. For example: El cantor del mio Cid (anonymous – 1200 – Spain).

Renaissance literature: 

It is the set of literary works that were produced in the 15th and 16th centuries. One of the main characteristics of this literature is that it takes up the themes and compositions of classical literature, although it differed because it included Catholic themes and the idea of ​​man as the center of culture. At this time, the dramatic genre and the soap opera stood out, and new compositions emerged, such as the sonnet and the essay. For example: El lazarillo de Tormes (anonymous – 1554 – Spain).

Baroque Literature: 

It is the set of literary works that were produced in the Baroque, an artistic movement of the 17th century. The themes of this literature appear as a form of rejection of the themes of the Renaissance, for example, if in the Renaissance one talks about the progress of man, in the Baroque one talks about the finitude of life. One of the fundamental characteristics is that the ornamental language was used, it is decir, a very recharged language, which made the works difficult to understand. For example: La vida del Buscón by Francisco de Quevedo (1626 - Spain).

Romantic Literature: 

This literature emerged at the end of the 18th century in Germany and spread throughout Europe and America until the end of the 19th century. The central themes of this time were identity, nature, expression of feelings and emotions, originality, artistic creativity and love. Poetic, narrative and dramatic works were produced. For example: "El gato negro" by Edgar Allan Poe (1843 - United States).

Contemporary Literature: 

It is that literature that emerged at the end of the 19th century and is still in force. It is a set of very varied works, because they can belong to realism, to naturalism, to the fantastic, to science fiction, among others. However, in the face of so much variety, this literature is characterized by being freer in terms of form, that is, it does not have strict rules for its composition, as other previous literary movements have. For example: Colonel Chabert de Honoré de Balzac (1832 – France).

Avant-garde literature:

It is the set of works that were produced at the beginning of the 20th century and that belong to some of the currents of the historical vanguards, such as Dadaism or Cubism. Most of these works are poetic, although there are also works that belong to the narrative. The objective of these compositions was to create new ways of expression and break with the concept of work of art, artist and literature that existed at the time. For example: Handwriting by Guillaume Apollinaire (1918 – France).

Types of literature according to the literary genre

According to the genre in which it is inscribed, literature can be classic literature:

Narrative literature: 

It is the set of literary works in which a story is told. The narrator can be in first or third persona and, in some cases, in second persona. This type of literature has subgenres, such as la novela and el cuento. For example: Moby Dick, by Herman Melville (1851 - United States).

Poetic Literature: 

It is the set of literary works that are written, mostly, in verse, although they can also be written in prose. These texts are supposed to express the subjectivity of the author. Las compositions can have fixed metric rules, like sonnets, or no rules. For example: In shooting dice will never abolish chance, by Stéphane Mallarmé (1897 – France).

Dramatic literature: 

It is the set of those works that were written to be represented in front of an audience. Generally, they are works in which there is more of a character and are not narrated, rather the actions are represented and the story advances with the dialogues. For example: Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (1597 - England).

Essay Literature: 

It is the set of texts that reflect on a theme. The author always expresses his point of view or his opinion on the subject and uses arguments to defend his position. For example: Otras inquisition, by Jorge Luis Borges (1952 – Argentina).

Oral literature: 

It is that literature that is transmitted orally. The works can have different versions, because they were transmitted from generation to generation. Muchas of these works have since passed to writing. For example: Odyssey, by Homer (VIII century BC – Greece).

Written literature: 

It is that literature that was written by an author and whose works do not have more than one version. For example: El castillo, by Franz Kakfa (1922 – Czechoslovakia).

Types of literature


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