Literary Theories And Literary Criticism

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Literary theories and literary criticism New Historicism 1. • It is a literary theory based on the criticism of Stephen Greenblatt and philosophy Michel Foucault. • It states that literature should be studied and interpreted in context with the author’s history as well as the history of the critic. • Acknowledges that the author’s literature is influenced by his/her situations or surroundings. • The critic’s response is also influenced by his/her surroundings, beliefs, values and prejudices. • Shows how the author’s settings affected their work and how the literary work reflects on the author. • Recognizes current cultural contexts, which helps critic’s to come to their conclusions about the literary work at hand. 2. • Literary context/work: The Merchant of Venice. • One wanted to know if the play written by Shakespeare, was anti-Semitic. • One could not simply answer yes/no. Research needed to be done and the text needed to be studied and analysed. • You needed to look into the cultural history of the play to come to a conclusion. (Study social classes; point of view of the Jews). • By studying the cultural history of the given work reveals a deeper meaning of the text as well as seeing what the history is about. Post-colonialism - "the extension of civilization" 1. • Joseph-Ernest Renan • Analyses, explains and responds to the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism. • The study of knowledge, its nature and verifiability • Focusses on human values of external
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