There are aspects of English culture that are encapsulated by English literature. Of course, this is quite obvious when studying the works of Shakespeare or of writers, poets and playwrights of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is, however, also true when studying other works of English literature. Students can learn about allusions and references to different aspects of English culture. They can also learn the context and meanings of famous quotes and phrases.
Studying Literature does not confine the students to the traditions of England but includes the possibility of introducing them to traditions which inform English Literature, such as the study of Ancient Greek drama, and to literature in other contexts, such as American literature. It also provides the students with an alternative to the pervasiveness of “television culture” with its immediacy and, often, its shallowness.