Literature for Scholars

The World of Literature

"At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst."--Aristotle

Aristotle was a prolific thinker whose written ideas, in The Republic and other writings, transformed the Ancient world and shaped the modern one in which we live. His philosophy of life, politics, and ethics informed the thinkers who created governments and established the rule of law in a world of chaos.

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,"--Shakespeare in Hamlet

     Shakespeare's writing on love, politics, and the human potential transformed writing for generations to come. He is perhaps the most prolific and influential writer of all time. It is fitting that we still read his work today and that we consider his significant influence on literature and society at large.

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it."--Malcolm X

Malcolm X fundamentally changed America with his ideology and words. He, and other Civil Rights leaders, used the power of language to challenge the status quo and the idea of America itself. His voice has left a lasting impression on modern society and he has found a place in the heart of every revolutionary.

The power of words is universal. Words have crippled dictatorial governments, they have inspired thinkers and actors in the world, and they have defined who we are as a people. Whether or not you know it, you are shaped and defined by words and by the world of ideas that has informed your understanding. It is time for you to find your own voice and to change your world with that voice.