What Are the Two Types of Literature?

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The two types of literature are written and oral. Written literature includes novels and poetry. It also has subsections of prose, fiction, myths, novels and short stories. Oral literature includes folklore, ballads, myths and fables.

Spoken literature tells a story of a person, place or time. It’s expressed vocally and can either be sung, spoken or chanted. One of the most common types of spoken literature is a ballad. Ballads are impersonal, meaning that they’re often created based on an event or a place rather than telling about an individual. One notable example of a famous ballad is “Wreck of the Hesperus,” which was composed by Longfellow. Ballads are found in cultures around the world, and they’re often based on particular themes and traits associated with the community that they’re about. Ballads are usually short in duration, and have a common length of four stanzas. Ballads are somewhat repetitive and tell the tale of an event or action in small segments that eventually lead up to the complete story. The ballad progresses chronologically, like a book with chapters, and it takes listeners through the event like a book takes a reader through a story.

Folklore and Fiction Of the two types of literature, written literature is arguably the most popular and widespread. Written literature exists in many forms, but it’s commonly expressed in the form of poems, short stories and novels. Within the broader category of fiction are several sub-branches, such as poetry, humor, fables, science fiction, horrors, legends and fairy tales. In the United States, one famous example of a folklore is Paul Bunyan. Paul Bunyan is a fictional character who was reportedly a woodsman from Bangor, Maine. Paul Bunyan was a giant man who was delivered to Maine by a stork shortly after his birth. Paul Bunyan reportedly traveled with his constant companion named Babe the Blue Ox. Bunyan’s story is fictional, but his story is potentially based on a real character, say authors at History.com. The real character on which Bunyan’s life was based was a man named Fabian Fournier. Fournier was a French Canadian lumberjack who reportedly had massive hands was given to a life of drinking and carousing.

Poems and Novels Another one of the most common types of literature is poetry. Poems are found in cultures around the world, and they have certainly played a large part in American history. Several notable poems (and poets) have found their way into American history. One example is the poem “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Another is “A Dream Within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe, who is known for his rather dark and mysterious poems. Poems, like ballads, often contain rhyming schemes. While ballads are meant to be sung or chanted, poems are expressed in written form. Although they are initially written, it is not uncommon for poets to give readings of their poems aloud. Novels, another form of written literature, are also expressed in writing. They are longer than poems, however, and do not have a rhyming scheme. Novels vary in length and may be either fiction or nonfiction.