Cursing ‘Thees’ and ‘Thous’: Why I Used To Flunk Literature

Don’t you just hate studying Literature? When I was in high school (and even after) this subject was the absolute plague for me, together with similar subjects like Creative Writing and History. This was the only subject that required me to read hundreds of pages of the densest prose and dozens of lines of the most confusing poetry ever invented by man, woman or whatever beast I thought brought this plague into existence.

It all started when we started taking up Shakespeare. One look at Romeo and Juliet’s first page almost got me into convulsions. I was amazed at how old the thing was and it really showed in the way it was written. What did I care about two young teenagers who became too horny for their own good? I was gearing up to be a mechanic and I was definitely not going to need all the ‘thees’ and the ‘thous’ to change someone’s oil. It didn’t help that the teacher was an ancient dude who spoke in whispers and would get totally

I just decided to read an old synopsis on the Internet for the test and as expected, I totally failed. I wondered why. I had memorized the old, musty character names. Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio… I memorized them all. I knew the basic plot. So how could I fail? I would curse the name of Literature (and Shakespeare) after that.

But after a few years, I fell in love. It was a forbidden love because her parents thought I was shit. Whatever I did, we just couldn’t be together, no matter how hard I fought for the relationship. We went our separate ways and I fell into depression. It was in these dark times that I picked up Romeo and Juliet from under a stack of papers and finally got it…

Literature is more than memorizing names and phrases—it’s a reflection of man’s greatest experiences and ideas. It brought me great comfort reading those lines and it changed the way I looked at myself and the rest of the world. I’m now a confessed literary fan—who happens to be a mechanic too!

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