Phases of Literary Criticism
Categories : Literary Criticism
Phases of Literary Criticism



Hellenic Criticism:

Criticism follows the creative activity. Generally in Greece, Plato and Aristotle were the most important critics in literature. Aristotle is the first scientific critic, theorist. A study of poetics is therefore a starting point for students of literature.

Hellenistic Phase:

The close of the 3rd century B.C., Athenian culture was declined, Alexandria came up in Egypt. It made a contribution to preserving, classifying, conducting research, and more.

Greco-Roman :

Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire. The scholars are inspired by ancient Greece wanted to equal and excel. They aimed at originality in their age. Criticism largely consisted of elaboration, interpretation, and application of rules. The purity of Aristotle was colored, clouded by Horace, Quintillion, Longinus, and more.

The Dark Middle Ages :

Roman Empire broke up in fifth century A.D. Confusion and dislocation prevailed. Literature was frowned upon as sensuous and pagan. The only ray of hope was Dante.

Renaissance :

Constantinople fell to Turks in 1453 and consequent Western movement of literary masterpieces of antiquity. One sees spurt in literary and critical activity. End of medievalism and renewal of zest for life and the enjoyment of beauty are hallmarks. Desire to emulate examples of ancient Greece and Rome is remarkable. In England in the last phase, justification of literature and art against the attacks of Puritans and moralist Sidney’s work, “Apology of Poetry”. Ben Johnson is the most important contributor.

Neo Classic criticism:

Classicism became rigid and stringent with passage of time. John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, and Samuel Johnson are some of the greatest critics during this period.

The Romantic Phase :

French revolution and German idealism had an effect on England. Hollow rules were discarded. The major writers were Wordsworth’s “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1800)” and Coleridge’s “Biographia Literaria” paved the way leading to new beauty.

Victorian Criticism:

Mood and individualism of romantics resulted in many excesses and absurdities in the Victorian age. Mathew Arnold, a critic leading aesthetic movement as a consequence of French symbolist Baudelaire “Art for art’s sake” cult of Walter Pater turned to impressionism and expressive.

The Modern Age :

The legend T.S.Eliot, the Neo-classic critic sought to correct the faults of impressions by appealing to tradition and authority. Dr. I.A.Richards developed the study of psychology. Dr.F.R.Leavis is the most competent critics of the Textual school of criticism.

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