Literary Theories And Literary Criticism

1318 Words Sep 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Literary theories and literary criticism
New Historicism
• 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.
• 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"
• 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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