Grammar is an important tool in reading. When it comes to aiding a young scholar in the art of interpretation, I find grammar a useful tool. It is a combination of the phonics and holistic argument. In order to see the whole I must see the parts. Grammar is an important tool especially for weak readers to help them see through the fog. It is an important tool for good readers to help them see how they see. Grammar is the mathematics of literature and composition. Grammar is the skeleton upon which we hang the muscles and flesh of lit and comp.
Consider the genre or drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction and immediately one will see the import of grammar. Interpreting Shakespeare is made easier once one considers his grammar. In _Macbeth_ the reader should follow the verb "to do." By following "to do" a common thread is immediately seen in this play and the reader immediately finds the skeleton upon which Shakespeare builds this play. Another play, _Hamlet_ can be unlocked by its grammar too. Follow the noun "ear" and its verb counterpart "hear" which rhymes and has a defining correlation and the reader is instantly privy to the skeleton of this play. Grammar gives the reader a base upon which further interpretation can be had. Grammar is the handle of literature. John Barton, the eminent Shakespearean director urges his players to look to the text when confused or baffled about playing a part. "Look to the text, and see what Shakespeare wrote to see how to play the part." he extols. Barton is saying look to the grammar. Consider the word "art" and "heart" in _The Tempest_ or look to the grammar of _Julius Caesar_ and how it is intricate in the art of persuasion. The grammar between Romeo and Juliet is a key to their words of love and eventual tragedy. Interpreting Shakespeare requires grammar, playing Shakespeare requires grammar, not just writing about Shakespeare.
The key to getting through and to an ee cummings poem is knowledge of grammar. His unconventional use of grammar emphasizes the very need of grammar. He uses punctuation in a true sense of direction and guidance. If the reader heeds the grammar, then the reader will unlock the poem, if not, the reader will remain confused by it. Poetry is built on grammar by its very nature of brevity. The poet utilizes grammatical conventions to present which means the reader must be aware of those conventions to interpret. The grammar of poetry is often called Literary terms which when examined are grammatical. A simile and a metaphor are the same except in their grammar. A simile uses a preposition "like" or "as" while a metaphor uses a verb "be" in making the comparison. Literary terms are grammatical in nature.
In reading fiction, the reader oftentimes gets lost in the complexity of the story and doesn't know how to find the essence. Start with the grammar. Locate the verb in the sentence then the subject and the object and immediately the conflict or plot is found in the verb, the characters are discovered in the subject and objects and the rest are just modifiers in the form of adjective and adverb words, phrases, and clauses. When I have a reader confused by the literature we just step back and analyze the grammar of a paragraph and miraculously the reader begins to see better.
The subtly of non-fiction is built on grammar. Irony and satire are grammatical conventions. We see them when we see the grammar. Authors are spoken about as one who can turn a phrase, that's grammar. Authors whom we like express themselves well, that's grammar. The art of persuasion is grammatical. Authors revel in grammar when they write. Teachers use grammar when analyzing literature. They show patterns, that is grammar. Readers can follow arguments that are well written because of the grammar. Parallelism is an important writing tool because it provides reader clarity. The reader needs parallelism to interpret. Grammar is a major tool to the essayist.
This is a very revealing example about the importance of grammar.
If grammar is so important in writing then it has to be important in reading, too.
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