What is Literary Criticism?
Definition and Concept
For understanding literary criticism, we first need to drive home the concept of literature which is best not defined on the basis of whether it can be imaginative or fictional.
However, it can be described in terms of the way it makes use of languages in different ways. With respect to this theory, literature falls under the category of writing that represents a sophisticated violence conducted on a simple speech according to Roman Jakobson, a Russian critic. Hence, literary criticism or literary analysis can be defined as,
“An informed analysis and evaluation of a piece of literature”.
“A written study, evaluation and interpretation of a work of literature”.
The literary criticism is a concept, formed on the basis of critical analysis and primarily estimates the value and merit of literary works for the presence or quality of certain parameters of literary characteristics.
Literary Analysis on the Basis of Literary Theory
The literary theory is a boarder concept incorporating various strict senses and merits for the systematic study of the nature of literature and provides a complete set of methods for analyzing literature.
Examples of Literary Criticism
Some popular topics and areas for literary analysis are:
- Literary Criticism for Oedipus the King
- Shakespeare’s Othello
- Literary Criticism on the Metamorphosis
- Literary Criticism on Keats John
- Literary Criticism on James Joyce’s Novel Dubliners
- Literary Criticism on Gothic the Wasp Factory
- Literary Criticism on the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Types of Literary Criticism
Literacy criticism includes various techniques of literature analysis which are widely used for critical essay writing and drafting analysis for texts and materials against specific merits of evaluation.
An objective analysis makes uses the technique of independently investigating a particular subject matter with reference to the existing facts, figures, events and background information. An objective analysis can also be referred to as statistical interpolation, objective mapping, or systematic probing into a subject and is completely devoid of personal feelings and viewpoint.
The traditional criticism approach examines you examine how the author’s life, his/her biographical information, contemporary times and effect of his life circumstances on his inspiration and their reflection in his works. This technique is commonly used in in general surveys of English literature. It includes a general analysis of the writers as opposed to a detailed analysis of their individual works.
The new criticism approach is mostly used in poetry analysis and evaluates elements like diction, imagery, stanza structure, verse form, meanings, particularly and complexities of meaning. This form of critical analysis refrains from analyzing the biographical and historical context of a poem.
The sociological criticism approach deals with the direct analysis of society with reference to societal problems, conflicts and contemporary issues. Areas of analysis typically include events, happenings, cultural trends and effects of modernism.
The rhetorical criticism approach makes use of the technique of persuasion and aims to understand the conveyance of the content of poetry and other works of art. It evaluates the angle of approach, presentation of arguments, evidence and attitude.
The stylistic critical technique evaluates the manner of presentation for any work and focuses on the minor details like diction, vocabulary, tone and various style elements.
A metaphorical critical analysis makes use of the use, nature, purpose and evaluation of metaphors used in any work. The analysis probes into the meaning and illustration along with the message conveyed of the metaphorical stance being used.
The structural critical analysis studies symmetry, trends and patterns for a particular society or for a societal comparative analysis. of various societies. underlying patterns of symmetry which are held to be common to all societies. Corroboration is drawn from sociology and anthropology, and the study techniques categorize and evaluate the work in larger context rather than assessing its quality alone.
A biographical critical analysis evaluates a with a poem in terms of the reflection of the writer’s psychology, or as biographical data piece. This kind of analysis focuses on the interrelationship of a particular work in context of understanding the influences, inspiration and circumstances of the writer.
In case of the Marxist critical analysis, poetry is analyzed on the basis of its political correctness and calls for mention of support for workers against capitalist exploitation and perils of free market perils.
Historical criticism analyzes poem works in their historical context and evaluates the use of allusions, words, phrases and diction along with conventions and expectations at the time of the written works produced.
Psychological (Freudian) Criticism
Psychological critical analysis examine texts an works for the portrayal of sexual imagery and against other Freudian concepts; struggles of the superego, the Oedipus complex, repressed contents of consciousness, etc. The purpose of Freudian analysis is to highlight the existence of psychic conflicts rather than looking for aesthetical merits.
Mythological (Archetypal) Criticism
Mythological criticism evaluates content for instinctual and inmost emotions in human nature which are influenced by certain events, happenings and character situations. The analysis is based on communal beliefs since mythology is strongly derived from religious beliefs, anthropology, and cultural history.
The moral critical approach examines poetry and art works against standard ethical and civil criteria; humanistic, societal impact, tolerance, equality, social justice and sensitivity. This approach adheres to the humanistic and civil element in poems, dramas and other art work and evaluates the impact and influence of works of literature in a stringent moral context.
Feminist critical analysis is concerned with the politics of women’s authorship, representation of the women’s condition within literature. Origin of feminine criticism is originally derived from the classic works of 19th Century women authors like George Eliot and Margaret Fuller. Based on the feminist theory, the feminist critical evaluation analyzes elements like stereotypes of women, images of women in literature, literary mistreatment of women, place of women in patriarchal societies and challenges faced by women in the modern era.
Understanding Concepts in Literature
If a literature consists of more factual script, it also omits a great amount of fiction. An example of this can be Superman comics as wells Boon and Mills novels which are fictional however they are not usually considered as literature. In the case where literature is regarded as imaginative or creative script, it remains a question if philosophy, history along with natural sciences is taken as unimaginative or uncreative.
Trends in the Field of Literature during Early Years
Formalism This concept was significantly the appliance of linguistics in the field of literature. Formalists observed literature as a group of deviation from specific norms, a type of linguistic violence. This implies that literary language is a special type as compared to the ordinary one which can use commonly. However, to identify the deviations, it means the ability to spot the norms through which it deviates.
Lingual Instruments and Terms Used by Critics
It is true that the external objects exhibit the quality of beauty but in the entire discussion regarding the art works the exaggeration shown by language on this view point can be observed. This appears to increase the difficulty related to innumerable issues and there is a need to constantly permit it to happen. Following are some of the terms which are examples of this:
Criticism of Art
Critical Analysis of Paintings
Criticism for Music
Evaluating Ethics, Morals and Values
Literature covers the following aspects while discussing morals, ethics and values:
- Conscious Experiences
- Forming Opinion
It is very simple to categorize life experiences into bad and good, valuable and invaluable ones instead of finding out what we do while we are making these divisions. History related to the opinions regarding what is constituted in value, like when and why anything can be labeled as good, demonstrates a lot of differences.
Questions in the Present Time Literature
In the current era, the arguments on this are narrowed down to two basic questions.
First question: It asks if the distinction between the experiences that are labeled as valuable and the ones which are invaluable can be defined completely in terms of psychology. If there is a need of some extra moral of ethical ideas which are not of psychological nature required here or not.
Second question: It states the same analysis of psychology required to describe value if no more ethical concept is regarded as important.
First question however will not confine us for a long time. It has been maintained and accepted largely that when we state that a particular experience has been good then we are mainly stating that it has a particular ethical characteristic. This is not reduced to any type of psychological attribute like being approved or desired. Also no more clarification of this particular ethical attribute through analysis is probable.
The term “Good” here is not at all a shorthand concept for a further explicit account. Mostly those who have this opinion state that only the things that are good for them are particular conscious experiences. Examples of this can be admiring beauty contemplation, knowledge as well as feelings of veneration and affection in some cases. Other things like books, mountains, courageous actions and railways are labeled as good instrumentally.
The reason for this is because they make probable state of mind that is essentially valuable. Therefore, the incidence of state of mind that is discovered to be good is considered as a separate notion of experience that is not able to be accounted for or connected to other human attributes as a result of the development which is made familiar through biological sciences.
Sensuous and Super Sensuous Entities
The credibility of this opinion comes mainly from the belief that there are attributes in the form of existing elements that link to present particular. However, they may get attached to nothing without any absurdity. These entities or elements that are referred to as Notions, Ideas, Universals or Concepts can be categorized into two types:
- Super Sensuous: The sensuous are the ones that can be understood with the help of senses like swift, cold, red, round and painful.
- Sensuous: The super sensuous on the other hand can be understood in other ways. Logical links like impossibility or necessity as well as ideas like cause, willing or end can be understood by the mind.
Summing up, we can conclude that literary criticism is a form of discourse with an analytical angle of approach and varies depending on the subject matters under review. The best practice to attempt a literary review or analysis will be to first gain reasonable insight into the field of study and then proceed.