Throughout Literary History The Definition And Application

939 WordsMay 4, 20174 Pages
Throughout literary history the definition and application of interpretation has been debated vigorously. Interpretation is essentially how a reader finds meaning and value in the work. Although some theorist have similar views as to what interpretation means, no to two definitions are alike. Interpretation is fluid and shaped to each theorists views. Two show the different definition interpretation has had throughout history we will follow the views of five different theorists and their works: Matthew Arnold (1867), Sigmund Freud (1900), Wolfgang Iser (1960), Stanley Fish (1976), and Stephen Greenblatt (1960). Our first theorist comes from the Romantic theory and criticism. This era’s focus on the “individual which led to an unprecedented…show more content…
And “culture is considered not merely as the endeavour to see and learn this, but as the endeavour, also, to make it prevail, the moral, social, and beneficent character of culture becomes manifest” (Arnold 716). Culture, and literature, causes us to stop and reflection on what’s within us, as it is an “internal condition”. He uses the example of having the Kingdom of God within you as a Christian, so you would be reflecting on the will of God which Arnold calls the “study of perfection” (Arnold 717). Interpretation to make sense of the work. Arnold’s emphasis culture and the pursuit of moral goodness and the study of perfection throughout his writing. Arnold’s interpretations is that of learning about the will of God, and a reflection on culture. Arnold states outright that “Criticism is not, ultimately, something one does; it gestures toward who one is” (Leitch, et al. 693). Our next theorists is Sigmund Freud. His works comes from the psychoanalytic theory period. This theory is about how the mind of an individual is made up of both conscious and unconscious parts with the unconscious being the more powerful of the two. Freud explains how to make sense of the unconscious minds desires and dream through his work, The Interpretation of Dreams. He stresses the importance in connecting the meaning between the
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