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BBL 3103 LITERARY THEORY FROM PLATO TO TS ELIOT DR. IDA

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BBL 3103
LITERARY THEORY
FROM PLATO TO T. S.
ELIOT
DR. IDA BAIZURA BAHAR
03 OVERVIEW: LITERARY CRITICISM
HISTORY
i. Hellenic
 In 4 & 5 BC, Athens was a centre of literary
activity
 Plato and Aristotle were the first to formulate
theories on art and literature

ii. Hellenistic
 New centres of culture displace Athens
 Imitative literary production

iii. Graeco-Roman
 Rise of Roman empire
 Aimed at originality, but ultimately imitative
 Neoclassical

03 OVERVIEW: LITERARY CRITICISM
HISTORY
iv. Medieval/Middle/Dark Ages
 Rise of Christianity
 Greek and Roman literature and culture became
pagan
 Literary activity was focused on theology

v. Renaissance
 Shackles of medievalism broken
 Conscious effort to revive glory of ancient Greece
 Texts translated into vernacular

03 OVERVIEW: LITERARY CRITICISM
HISTORY
 vi.
Neoclassical
 Aristotle’s descriptive tenets of
poetry become fully prescriptive
 vii.
Romantic
 Emphasis on individuality,
subjectivity, passion, inspiration
03 OVERVIEW: LITERARY CRITICISM
HISTORY
viii. Victorian
 Reaction against Romanticism, aimed to be more
detached
 Criticism rises in significance

ix. Modern Age
 No overriding trend; criticism is complex and
varied
 Of late, however, there is a leaning towards
sociological criticism in academia

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