Our history is based upon written information, archives of stories and facts that led to us knowing what happened in the past without actually being there. Literature has been a constant for decades that told history through a fictionalized story.
In the very beginning, when cavemen existed pictures were drawn on cave walls which showed us how life was perceived during that time. Then came a more advanced way of describing everything around us. Books were invented, plays were written, people had wrote poetry, different was of showing their ideals, thoughts, and way of life through variations of words. Every country expressed their heritage in different lights.
Shakespeare, for example was born in 1564 and passed away in 1616. During his time he wrote plays regarding different characters overcoming a tragic event. He wrote Henry IV to express a fictionalized retelling of royal history in England. This play had emphasized a royal blood line that needed to be maintained. The royal lineage was a very important factor in Englands history and the importance was shown through Shakespeare’s work. It showed how the royal family needs to be perceived as knowledgable and able to fulfill their duties to the country. This idea was shown through the country perception of Prince Hal and his drunken, do nothing standards. It also showed the growing greatness of Prince Hal from lazy to a great leader.
The history plays he had written, however, were different than his other play genres. Othello, a tragedy, took place in Cyprus. The way this play was written expressed more racial aspects considering the main male role was a “moor”, someone who is muslim or from an area around Africa. It also emphasized the idea of irrational actions, how easily manipulation can change the perspective of someone. Othello was manipulated to believe his wife was cheating on him and acted irrationally by killing her.
Both plays tell different stories and show how different they are from each other, although they are written by the same author. They take place in different locations and emphasize different plot ideas. England’s rendition of their history shows courage and greatness, while Cyprus shows the desire for higher power.
Literature shows the reader how life was during a time period. Othello showed how important racial aspects in Cyprus were and how titles were extremely important. How acquiring a higher position was all a matter of manipulation. While Henry IV shows how royal lineage is the only way to rule. Its not a matter of defeating the king and instantly taking over that title, there has to be a royal blood line.
Literature expresses different historian ideals that are a vital importance to our society today. Literature is the building block for all countries to separate themselves from everybody else by using different voices.