Classic Literature: It’s not Just for School

lars mugshot-2With the whirlwind of snow days that have assailed us lately, it is fairly safe to assume that the student body of Loy Norrix has been driven mad with boredom. While many a high school student may be found barricaded in their homes netflixing, texting, or sipping scalding hot chocolate on such days, surely some of you must be seeking other pastimes, right? Of course you are. So why not curl up under your heated blankets with a good old fashioned book. And just to add an extra touch of adventure, why not make that book a classic. While this particular group of books may have gained a slightly negative stigma amongst students, there is no reason that a hundred year old novel can’t bring you as much joy as “Harry Potter” or “The Hunger Games.”

A nice way to start your literary escapade could be with a timeless tale such as Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” This tragedy is a masterpiece worthy of the name. Filled to the brim with eerie happenstances, ominous prophecies, and bloodthirsty, conniving lords and ladies, “Macbeth” is a quick read sure to entertain you.

Of course, Shakespearean tragedies can tend to be downers, so if you’re looking for something a bit more uplifting, you can never go wrong with Austen. Such titles as “Pride and Prejudice” or “Emma” may elicit grimaces from many young people, but these classic stories of the lives of those in nineteenth century Britain’s high society have themes and characters who transcend their somewhat superficial facades. Austen’s stories may be set in a time centuries away, but the people within them could easily be found walking down the halls of Loy Norrix.

Take Mr. Darcy, an arrogant snob who turns  out to be far more humane than he first appears, or Emma a manipulative matchmaker who discovers how little she knows of her own heart during her games with the love lives of other people. Not only do these characters bear resemblance to people you may know, they are a part of stories which are filled with conflicts still present today such as class tensions, monetary struggles, and an insurmountable abundance of love triangles.

If you are in the mood for a tale of adventure filled with romance, vengeance, action, prison breaks, and even a treasure hunt, I would recommend trying Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo” on for size. Sure it’s a bit lengthy, with most translations weighing in at around 1200 pages, but “The Count of Monte Cristo” is filled with suspense and can be an easy enough read. Besides, if we continue on this snow day trend, you’ll probably have enough time to read the complete works of William Shakespeare, and maybe “Les Misérables” for good measure.

So, if perchance we are hit by another snowstorm, or if you simply feel like relaxing with a good book, consider picking up something by Wilde or one of the Brontë sisters, as classics truly are great for reading outside of school. The language of these novels may be a bit antiquated, but there stories are relevant, relatable and deeply meaningful in modern society.