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The first 200 words of this essay...
'A literary text needs to be understood in relation to its historical context.'
'A literary text transcends its time and achieves universality.'
Which of these statements do you find more convincing, and why?
Answer with reference to one or more texts on the module.
In my essay I am going to look at both the importance of historical context and universalism in relation to literary texts, particularly looking at Thomas More's 'Utopia'. Despite having the opinion that both historical context and universality are of great importance when considering a text, I am going to argue in favour of universalism and that a literary text does transcend its time and typically achieves universality. These various views over text and context are possibly the largest area of debate in the field of English studies.
However, in the first part of my essay I am going to consider the importance and usefulness of taking historical context into account when examining a text. This way of exploring a text is found in the theory of historicism. This literary movement believes that historical context is key when interpreting a text:
"For new historicism and cultural
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