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AP English Lit and Comp Comparison Quiz Study Guide

Terms in this set (12)

Every reader and critic of a piece of literature is allowed to come up with their own interpretation of the piece, but only the author can say what the purpose of the piece truly is. Anyone can say that a piece of art or literature was made just for them to enjoy, but this would not be fair to say without taking the author's or artists' intentions into consideration. Coming up with your own interpretation without considering what the author or artist intended only takes away from the true meaning of the poem, hurting the reader more than the author.
Caesar and Cleopatra, by Bernard Shaw, and The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, are both fictional plays. With that being said, it is understandable why anyone would claim that the authors wrote for the sole purpose of entertaining the public. Taking a deeper look into each play can unlock whether each play was written solely for entertainment, or if the author weaved in an important message for the audience.
Bernard Shaw admitted that Caesar and Cleopatra was a fictionalized account of the relationship between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Shaw is known to have talked about a lot of the symbolism in the play, signifying that the play was not only created for entertainment purposes, but held a lesson for the audience as well.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy, but just because a play is comedic does not denote the fact that it may hold an important message for the audience. In fact, the play has major themes such as: deceit, marriage, respect, and society. To say that a piece of literature or art was created solely for entertainment purposes of the audience, especially without taking the author's/artists' intentions into consideration, (I believe) is a very self-centered way at viewing pieces.