What Is Comparative Philology? Comparative philology deals with sampling, which in essence means the methods and/or procedures used for comparing different literary works. Comparative philology also involves the examination of literary texts from different cultures and periods in order to determine similarities and differences between these texts. In other words, it involves determining what literary works, genres, or individuals are comparable. For this reason, students who choose to major in Comparative Philology will study literary theory, cultural studies, history, etc. The courses will also include a comparative analysis of literary works.
What is comparative philology does not hold alone in its scope the study of literary works. It actually is a method for understanding the evolution of culture through time. It is because of this extensive sampling that scholars have been able to draw inferences as to the etymology of words, to identify cultural phenomena like magic, chivalry, medievalism, Romanticism, and so on and so forth. Comparative philology is therefore not only an important field of study, but it is also very useful. Moreover, what is the comparative philology is useful for those who want to write an essay for college, or who would like to read scholarly articles and books with which they are familiar. In fact, what is comparative philology is often used to identify points of similarity and difference between two texts, which helps to achieve coherence between the texts and thus to facilitate interpretation.
What is comparative philology also helps students to appreciate the diversities between various literary genres and hence to increase appreciation for literature. Thus the study of what is comparative philology becomes important, as it helps in appreciating literary works from a wider perspective. What is comparative philology does not deny the importance of genre in the making of literary works. But it also emphasizes the importance of identifying and describing similarities and differences in texts.
Comparative analysis of literary works can help students in many ways. One of the most important things that they learn is how to analyze literary texts by analyzing the same word or phrase, and comparing the same idea or motif between two texts. For example, a contrast may be drawn between a story that have the subject “The Red Hat” and another story that have the title “The Hat”. The student will then have to compare these two ideas, using the same words and phrases in both the passages.
Another important part of what is comparative philology is learning how to compare literary works from different periods and cultures, thus acquiring a greater understanding of world history and mankind as a whole. Comparative analysis makes the student aware of the variety of previous artistic forms and the diversity of human thought and culture in previous ages. He will learn how different cultures viewed the same phenomena, how different events in past civilizations were interpreted differently by their respective societies, and how similar events in different civilizations can be understood through the similar phenomena of the former.
The first step in what is comparative philology is to familiarize the student with the different types of texts that are considered in the field. Then, he should familiarize himself with the different genres of the written word. Once the student is familiar with the different types of the written word, he should move on to a brief description of each genre and, finally, a brief discussion of the most common words used in each genre.
What is comparative philology does not contain a great amount of vocabulary or a great deal of technical language. Most of it consists of descriptions of literary works. The student should learn to use the words “authority” and “discovery”, for example. He should also learn the various genres in medieval history, such as romance, tragedy, comedy, essay, and narrative. Comparative philology is an ideal way of expanding the knowledge of the student concerning world history and the modern world. The student should be able to recognize and describe, in simple terms, concepts that have an influence on his reading and learning.
A second step in what is comparative philology is the comparison of texts that are of different authors. A good example would be comparing Shakespeare’s comedies to Pope’s tragedies. In general terms, there are three categories of texts that can be compared: antiquity, modern, and antiquity/modern. The comparative analysis is sometimes performed on literary works from each category and sometimes on other literary works. A third category may overlap the two previous ones.
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