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HAND-OUT FOR TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT OF LITERATURE STUDIES

MIDTERM, 2ND SEMESTER A.Y. 2019-2020

FORMALIST CRITICISM
• This approach regards literature as “a unique form of human knowledge that needs to be examined on its own
terms.”
• All the elements (elements of form style, structure, tone, imagery, etc.) are necessary for understanding the work
itself.
• primary goal for formalist critics is to determine how such elements work together with the text’s content to shape its
effect upon readers.
Questions that may be answered from a formalist perspective include:
• What is the structure of the piece? • What symbols help convey a message?
• What imagery is used? • What is the theme?
A Formalist View of Literature Discounts or Ignores Certain Aspects of Literature
• The name of the author is not important. • The political beliefs of the author are not
• The time in which the author lived is not important.
important. • The actual reader is not important.
• Any cultural impact on the author’s life is not
important.
BIOGRAPHICAL CRITICISM
• a form of Literary Criticism that analyzes an author’s biography to show the relationship between the author’s life
and their works of literature.
• The goal is understanding why the author wrote what he or she wrote.
3 Benefits of Biographical Criticism
• Fact’s about an author’s experience can help us decide how to interpret a text.
• We can better appreciate the text by knowing the writer’s struggles in writing text.
• We understand a writer’s preoccupation by studying the way they apply and modify their life experience in the work.
Question and Strategies
-Research the author’s life and relate that information to the work.
-Research the authors life and relate that information to the work.
-What elements of the author’s come out in the work.
-What was the author’s world view? Which of the author’s belief seem reflected in the piece?

HISTORICAL CRITICISM
• Is a branch of criticism that investigates the origins of ancient text in order to understand “the word behind the text.
• Seeks to understand a literary work by investigating the social, cultural, and intellectual context that produced it – a
context that necessarily includes the artist’s biographical and milieu.
• Historical criticism is not criticism in the sense of disapproval or the examination of faults and mistakes, but instead
is an analysis of the text in the hope of better understanding it.
Questions to consider?
 Who wrote it?  Old Historicism is concerned with the “world” of
 When was it written? the past, New Historicism deals with the “word” of
 What is happening at the time of its writing? the past.

GENDER CRITICISM
• What is gender?
- The state of being a man (masculine) and a Woman/Feminine
 This approach examines how sexual identity influences the creation of literary works.
 Gender criticism is an extension of feminist literary criticism focusing not just on women but on the construction of
gender and sexuality, especially LGBTQ issues, which gives rise to queer theory.
Objectives
 To know the significance of the studying Gender Criticism
 To identify the different approaches of Gender Criticism
 To understand how gender generally influences the works of literature
 To know some of the authors and literary works involved in gender criticism.
Historical Background
• In 1960’s, the gender criticism approach began when feminist criticism arose. There are definite differences that
have been noted between gender criticism and feminist criticism. The difference is sex and sexuality. Gender
Criticism is based on common conceptions of gender.
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HAND-OUT FOR TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT OF LITERATURE STUDIES
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Approaches of Gender Criticism


• Masculinist (advocated by poet Robert Bly)
-an ideology of masculinity; and ideology opposed to, or opposed by feminism.
• Feminist
-is a social theory or political movement arguing that legal and social restrictions on females must be removed in
order to bring about equality or both sexes in all aspects of public and private life.
Purpose of gender criticism
 To criticize gender as we commonly conceive it.
• Gender Essentialism- concentrates of the differences between men and women and their bodies.
• Gender Constructionism- concentrates in the differences being related to nurture not nature.

PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM

SIGMUND FREUD
- was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through
dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.
- was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. 

PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM
- adopts the methods of "reading" employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts.
- argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary
work is a manifestation of the author's own neuroses.

 It seems natural to think about novels in terms of dreams. Like dreams, novels are fictions, inventions of the mind that,
although based on reality, are by definition not literally true. Like a novel, a dream may have some truth to tell, but, like a
novel, it may need to be interpreted before that truth can be grasped.
 There are many different ways to approach analyzing a work of literature. Conventionally, we look at plot, theme, character,
setting, and tone. Other forms of criticism focus on reading through a biographical lens or on social forces impacting a
text. However, starting in the twentieth century, critics began to do psychoanalytic readings of texts.
 In this method, which began by applying Freudian theory to literary texts, literary critics examined the unconscious
motivations driving characters in literature. One of the most famous examples of this is the psychoanalysis of Hamlet to
show that Claudius enacted Hamlet's Oedipal impulses. Claudius fulfilled Hamlet's repressed, unconscious desire to kill
his father and marry his mother.
 Another example of psychoanalysis is the work of Edgar Allan Poe In this method, which began by applying Freudian theory
to literary texts, literary critics examined the unconscious motivations driving characters in literature. One of the most
famous examples of this is the psychoanalysis of Hamlet to show that Claudius enacted Hamlet's Oedipal impulses.
Claudius fulfilled Hamlet's repressed, unconscious desire to kill his father and marry his mother.
 In order to understand well we need to know the background of the author, the time he wrote the text,symbols and
characters state of the mind.
 Psychological critic view works through the lens of psychology.
 looks either at psychological motivations of the characters or the authors themselves
SOCIOLOGICAL CRITICISM
Kenneth Burke- introduced the idea of sociological criticism.
• examines literature in the cultural, economic and political context in which it is written or received
explore relationships between the artist and society
MYTHOLOGICAL CRITICISM
• emphasizes on “the recurrent universal patterns underlying most literary works.”
• Combining the insights from anthropology, psychology, history, and comparative religion, mythological criticism
“explores the artist’s common humanity by tracing how the individual imagination uses myths and symbols common
to different culture and epochs.”
READER-RESPONSE CRITICISM
• takes as a fundamental tenet that “literature” exist not as an artifact upon a printed page but as a transaction
between the physical text and the mind of a reader.
• attempts “to describe what happens to reader’s mind while interpreting a text” and reflects that reading like writing is
a creative process.
DECONSTRUCTIONIST CRITICISM
• This approach “rejects the traditional assumption that language can accurately represent reality.”
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Deconstructionism emphasizes the breakdown of any meaning within a text because the variety of the different

readers.
• tries to demonstrate that any text is not a discrete whole but contains several irreconcilable and contradictory
meanings
FEMINIST CRITICISM (1960S-PRESENT)
 concerned with the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic,
political, social, and psychological oppression of woman" (Tyson 83).
 it concerned on how we critique a certain piece with the feminist point of view.
 used to explore the inequalities, social injustices, and abusive messages directed to women.

Three (3) waves of feminism:


1. First Wave Feminism (men's treatment of women)
-the way men's treat women in the society. The way how they interact with each other. The way men act as
dominated one rather than women.
2. Second Wave Feminism (gynocriticism)
-it means that gynocriticism relates to women.Related to literary works of women. It is the female framework for the
analysis of women's literature.
3. Third Wave Criticism (over simplified of second wave feminism)
-borrows from post-structural and contemporary gender and race theories to expand on marginalized population's
experiences.
Important terms:
Patriarchy- traditional male dominated in the society.
-is social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral
authority, social privilege, and control of property.
- also associated with a set of ideas that acts to explain and justify this dominance and attributes it to inherent
natural differences between men and women.
Marginalization- the process or state of being forced to the edges of social and political significance.
- social disadvantage and relegation to the fringe of society.
-there's a limit or boundary on how they act in a certain society.

MARXIST CRITICISM
Historical Development
Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883)
 Born in Trier, Germany in 1818
 German philosopher who rejected the tenets of Romanticism in favor of philosophy of dialectical materialism.
 Criticized the injustice inherent in the European class/capitalist system of economics operating in the 19 th Century.
 Believed that capitalism allowed the bourgeoisie to benefit at the expense of the workers.
 The Communist Manifesto.
 Das Kapital, analyzes the capitalist form of wealth production and its consequences for culture.
Characteristics of Marxism
 Attention to the material conditions of people's lives, and lived relations among people
 People’s consciousness of the conditions of their lives reflects these material conditions and relations
 “Social class" = differing relations to production (a particular position within such relations)
 Material conditions and social relations: historically malleable
 View of history: class struggle (evolving conflict between classes with opposing interests) structures each historical
period
 A sympathy for the working class
 The ultimate interests of workers best match those of humanity in general
 Workers' revolution: the means of achieving human emancipation and enlightenment
 The actual mechanism through which such a revolution might occur and succeed
Marxist criticism
 A Marxist critic may begin such an analysis by showing how an author’s text reflects his or her ideology through an
examination of the fictional world’s characters, settings, society, or any other aspect of the text.
 A form of critique or discourse for interrogating all societies and their texts in terms of certain specific issues –
including race, class, and the attitudes shared within a given culture.
 Ideology:

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 Consciousness and perceptions within a  Confuses the alienated groups


society  Creates false consciousness
 Often controlled by the ruling class  Example: commodity fetishism
 Determined according to what is in the (perceiving labor as capital ~ a
ruling class's best interests degradation of human life)
Exploitation:
 Exploitation of an entire segment or class of society by another
 An inherent feature and key element of capitalism and free markets
 Profit gained by the capitalist = the value of the product made by the worker + the actual wage that the
worker receives
 Paying workers less than the full value of their labour
 To enable the capitalist class to turn a profit
The critic may then launch an investigation into …
1. The author’s social class
2. Its effects upon the author’s society
3. Examining the history and the culture of the times as reflected in the text
4. Investigate how the author either correctly or incorrectly pictures this historical period
Marxist Literary Theory
 Focuses on the representation of class distinctions and class conflict in literature
 Focuses more on social and political elements than artistic and visual (aesthetic) elements of a text
Questions Raised By the Marxist Literary Lens
 How does the author’s social and economic class show through the work?
 Does the work support the economic and social status quo, or does it advocate change?
 What roles does the class system play in the work?
 What role does class play in the work; what is the author’s analysis of class relations?
 How do characters overcome oppression?
 What does the work say about oppression; or are social conflicts ignored or blamed elsewhere?
 Does the work propose some form of utopian vision as a solution to the problems encountered in the work?
 In what ways does the work serve as propaganda for the status quo; or does it try to undermine it?
 Does the literature reflect the author’s own class or analysis of class relations?
NEW CRITICISM
 is a critical movement that propagates the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’.
 New Critics intentionally ignore the author, the reader, and the social context.
 evaluate work based only on the text itself
 requires taking apart a text and looking at its individual elements, such as theme, setting, plot, and structure, for
example.
 an approach to literature made popular in the 20th century that evolved out of formalist criticism.
 New Criticism coined by John Crowe Ransom’s The New Criticism in 1941, came to be applied to a theory and
practice that was prominent in American literary criticism until late in the 1960s.
FEATURES OF NEW CRITICISM
 New Criticism is distinctly formalist in character.
 The method of New Criticism focuses on a close reading of rhythm, meter, theme, imagery, metaphor, etc.
 New Critics favored poetry over other literary forms because for them poetry is the purest exemplification of the
literary values which they upheld. Still, the techniques like close reading and structural analysis of the works are also
applied to drama, novel, and other literary forms.
 evaluate the text based on its FORM
POST COLONIALISM CRITICISM
 The word colonialism comes from the Roman word “colonia” “farm” or “settlement” and referred to romans who
settle in or out still reteined their citizenship.
 It creates the most complex and traumatic relationship in human.
 It speaks about the human consequences of external control and economic exploitation of native people and their
land.
 New perspective to look.
 Post colonialism is about changing the world
 A world that has been changed by struggle
 It is all about language and power and identity crisis

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 Examines the effects of colonial rule on the cultural aspects of the colony and its treatment of women, language,
humanity, and literature.
POST-MODERNISM
- the era or time period after modernism.
 At its heart postmodernism is the critique of, and the quest to move beyond modernism.
 Represents a questioning or rejection of modernism.
 is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, or races, and instead focuses on
the relative truths of each person.
 In postmodernism, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretation of what the
world means to us individually.
 Consequently, postmodernism marks the end of a single view. It resists unified, all encompassing, and universally
valid explanations.
 Postmodernism replaces this unified world view with a respect for difference and a celebration of the local and
particular at the expense of the universal.
POST-STRUCTURALISM
 Offers a way of studying how knowledge is produced and critiques structuralist premises.
 A number of literary theories fall under the larger umbrella of post-structuralism, including the reader-response
criticism.
 It has something to do with the reader’s response criticism. It is more likely the understanding of the reader to the
text. It has something to do with the deconstructive criticism. Meaning, post-structuralism criticism is also a reader
centered theories of meaning.
Who was Jacques Derrida?
 He was a French philosopher. His work is mostly associated with post-structuralism and post-modernism.
 His work has been impact on anthropology, sociology, semiotics, literary studies etc.
 He rejected structuralism, and a result, the Saussurean schema (the signifier/signified relationship) has been
rethought.

 The SIGNIFIER- The sign: a word, colour or image (i.e. the colour blue)
 The SIGNIFIED- the concept/meaning/associations that the sign refers to (i.e. BLUE is often associated with
sadness or the sea etc.)
READER RESPONSE CRITICISM (1960s-present)
At its most basic level, reader-response criticism considers readers' reactions to literature as vital to interpreting the
meaning of the text. However, reader-response criticism can take a number of different approaches. A critic
deploying reader-response theory can use a psychoanalytic lens, a feminist lens, or even a structuralist lens. What
these different lenses have in common when using a reader-response approach is they maintain "...that what a text
is cannot be separated from what it does" (Tyson 154).
Tyson explains that "...reader-response theorists share two beliefs: 1) that the role of the reader cannot be omitted
from our understanding of literature and 2) that readers do not passively consume the meaning presented to them
by an objective literary text; rather they actively make the meaning they find in literature" (154). In this way, reader-
response theory shares common ground with some of the deconstructionists discussed in the Post-structural area
when they talk about "the death of the author," or her displacement as the (author)itarian figure in the text.
Typical questions:
How does the interaction of text and reader create meaning?
What does a phrase-by-phrase analysis of a short literary text, or a key portion of a longer text, tell us about the
reading experience pre structured by (built into) that text?
Do the sounds/shapes of the words as they appear on the page or how they are spoken by the reader enhance or
change the meaning of the word/work?
How might we interpret a literary text to show that the reader's response is, or is analogous to, the topic of the
story?
What does the body of criticism published about a literary text suggest about the critics who interpreted that text
and/or about the reading experience produced by that text? (Tyson 191)

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New Historicism
 is a literary theory based on the idea that literature should be studied and interpreted within the context of both the
history of the author and the history of the critic.
 acknowledges not only that a work of literature is influenced by its author's times and circumstances, but that the
critic's response to that work is also influenced by his environment, beliefs, and prejudices.
 a method of literary criticism that emphasizes the historicity of a text by relating it to the configurations of power,
society, or ideology in a given time(Merriam- Webster).
Characteristics of New Historicism
 Parallel Reading
 A historicist movement. Interested in history as represented and recorded in written documents-history as text.
 The aim is not to represent the past as really was, but to present a new reality by re- situating it.
Why is it important?
 New Historicism reopened the interpretation of literature to the social, political, and historical milieu that produced
it.
 Literature is not the record of a single mind, but the end product of a particular cultural moment
 New Historicists attempt to situate artistic texts both as products of a historical context and as the means to
understand cultural and intellectual history.

Stephen Jay Greenblatt


- An American Shakespearean, literary historian, and author
- First used the term “New Historicism” (in his 1982 introduction to ‘The Power of Forms in the English
Renaissance’)

CULTURAL STUDIES
Cultural studies, interdisciplinary field concerned with the role of social institutions in the shaping of  culture. Cultural
studies emerged in Britain in the late 1950s and subsequently spread internationally, notably to the United States
and Australia. Originally identified with the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of
Birmingham (founded 1964) and with such scholars as Richard Hoggart, Stuart Hall, and Raymond Williams,
cultural studies later became a well-established field in many academic institutions, and it has since had broad
influence in sociology, anthropology, historiography, literary criticism, philosophy, and art criticism. Among its
central concerns are the place of race or ethnicity, class, and gender in the production of cultural knowledge.
(Duignan,2010)
Cultural studies is an interdisciplinary field of studies, which means that it draws from many different subject areas,
including sociology, anthropology, political science, and history. Although it is sometimes misunderstood as being
the study of popular culture, cultural studies is, in fact, the study of the ways in which culture is constructed and
organized and the ways in which it evolves and changes over time.
Because it is an academic field of study, cultural studies is built on certain theories and concepts that guide
scholars in their work. Among these, the most significant is the concept of cultural construction, which is the theory
that many influential social and cultural characteristics are not inherent but are constructed by people.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURAL STUDIES
In his 1994 book, Introducing Cultural Studies, Ziauddin Sardar lists the following five main characteristics of cultural
studies:[6]
• The aim of cultural studies is to examine cultural practices and their relation to power. For example, a study of
a subculture (such as white working class youth in London) would consider their social practices against those of
the dominant culture (in this example, the middle and upper classes in London who control the political and financial
sectors that create policies affecting the well-being of white working class youth in London).
• The objective of cultural studies includes understanding culture in all its complex forms and analyzing the social and
political context in which culture manifests itself.
• Cultural studies is a site of both study/analysis and political criticism/action. (For example, not only would a cultural
studies scholar study an object, but s/he would connect this study to a larger, progressive political project.)
• Cultural studies attempts to expose and reconcile constructed divisions of knowledge that purport to be grounded in
nature.
• Cultural studies has a commitment to an ethical evaluation of modern society and to a radical line of political action.

QUEER STUDIES

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Queer theory’s origin is hard to clearly define, since it came from multiple critical and cultural contexts, including
feminism, post-structuralist theory, radical movements of people of color, the gay and lesbian movements, AIDS
activism, many sexual subcultural practices such as sadomasochism, and postcolonialism
Queer theory as an Academic Tool:
 Came about in part from gender and sexuality studies that in turn had their origin from lesbians and gay studies and
feminist theory.
 Was established on 1990s and contests many of the set ideas of the more established fields it comes from by
challenging the notion of defined and finite identity categories, as well as the norms that create a binary of good
versus bad sexualities.
 Queer theories contention, is that there is no set normal, only changing norms that people may or may not fit into,
making queer theorists’ main challenge to disrupt binaries in hopes that this will destroy difference as well as
inequality.
Queer theory as a term :
 The term “queer theory” itself came from Teresa de Lauretis’ 1991 work in feminist cultural studies journal
differences titled “Queer theory: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities
Heteronormativity
 This pertains to the institutions, structures of understanding, and practical orientations that make heterosexuality
seem not only coherent that is organized as a sexuality- but also priviledge.” (Berlant)
 A worldview that promotes heterosexuality as the normal and/or preferred sexual orientation, and is reinforced in
society through the institution of marriage , taxes, employment, and adoption rights, among many others.
 A form of power and control that applies pressure to both straight and gay individuals though institutional
arrangements and accepted social norms.

Core theorist in the development of queer theory:


Michael Foucult
 Michael Foucult’s work on sexuality said that it was a discursive production production rather than an essential part
of a human, which came from his larger idea of power not being repressive and negative as production and
generative.
Gayle Rubin
 Gayle Rubin’s essay “Thinking Sex” is often identified as one of the fundamental texts, and it continues Foucult’s
rejection of biological explanation of sexuality by thinking about the way that sexual identities as well as behaviors
are hierarchically organized through systems of sexual classifications.
 She demonstrates in her essay the way that certain sexual expressions are made more valuable than others, and
by doing that, allowing those who are outside of these parameters to be oppressed.
 Rubin also argued against the feminist belief that through gender, sexuality was obtained or the belief that gender
and sexuality was obtained or the belief that gender and sexuality are the same .
Eve Kosofsky Sedwick
 “Epistemology of the closet”
- In this book, she argues that the homo-hetero difference in the modern sexual definition is vitally disjointed for two
reasons:
a) That homosexuality is thought to be part of minority group.
b) And, how homosexuality is gendered to be either masculine or feminine.
 She points out that the definitions of sexuality depend a lot on the gender of the romantic partner one makes,
making the assumption that the gender one has and the gender of the person one is attracted to make up the most
important element of sexuality.
Judith Butler
 Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble” argues that the gender, like sexuality , is not an essential truth obtained from one’s
body but something that is acted out and portrayed a “reality “
 She argues that the belief that there is a truth of sex makes heterosexuality as the only proper outcome because of
the coherent binary created of feminine and masculine and thus creating the only logical out come of either being
male or female.
 Butler makes the case that gender performativity could be a strategy of resistance with examples such as drag,
cross-dressing, and the sexual non-realistic depiction of butch and femme identities that poke fun at the laid out
gender norms in society.
 on her later book, “Undoing Gender”, Butler makes it clear that performativity is not the same as performance .
She explains that gender performativity is a repeated process that ultimately creates the subject as a subject.
Implications of Queer Theory

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 Analyzing with a queer perspective has the potential to undermine the base structure on which any identity relies
on, the theory has been understood to be just about questions of sexuality.
 This perception that queer theory is solely about sexuality has been opposed by having an intersectional approach
that starts off with the hypothesis that sexuality cannot be disconnected from other categories of social status and
identity. This allow queer theory to become interdisciplinary and thus create new ways of thinking in how sexuality
shapes and is shaped by other factors.
Future of Queer Theory
 As a whole, queer theorists disagree about many things, but one thing they do not disagree on is that if queer
theory is to be understood as a way to test the established and stable categories of identity, then it should not be
defined too early (or at all) because of the possibility of it becoming too limited.
Periods of Literature
THE HOMERIC AGE (1200-800 BCE)
Spirit of the Time
 Emphasis of literature  The invention of drama
 Whole western literacy tradition  Both tragedy and comedy
Time Span of Heroic/ Hero Era
 1200-800 BCE * oral tradition
 Much disagreements amongst scholars  Dark Age
 “The Three Ages of Homer” *1100 BCE to 760 BCE
 Greek Mycenaean Age  Homer Age
*1550 BCE to 1100 BCE * finally written down
* “Greek Renaissance”
Recurring Themes
 War *superhuman qualities
*necessary and important  Glory
 Morality  Wrath
*Violent death  Homecoming
*Human  Fate
Bard
• A poet traditionally one reciting and associated with a particular oral tradition.
Trojan War
• In Greek mythology, the Trojan War against the city of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus king of Sparta.
Homer
• whether and when he lived is unknown • Composer of the Iliad and Odyssey
• 850 BCE other suggest 1102 BCE • Scholars argued that Homer was not one person
• Born in Melesigenes or Smyrna • Protos didaskalos “first teacher”
Iliad
• composed by Homer *Achilles
• Epic Poem • Antagonist
• Followed by The Odyssey *King Agamemnon
• Set in Troy *Dactylic hexameter
*Trojan War - a metrical pattern in which the line is
• Battles and events in the final year of war broken up into thick feet, each foot consisting of a small
• Protagonist syllable followed by two short syllables.
Odyssey
• The sequel to Iliad • Narrative on mortality-humans
• Played a strong influence in the European • gods are the only ones exempt from death
renaissance
Religious Practices
• Hero-worship • How people worshiped any given god, as we
• Animal-sacrifices know from the historical evidence of the Classical
• No mention of practices in poems era
Hesiod
• Didactic poet, greek, c. 750-c. 700 BCE • Instructive and moralizing poetry
• One of the earliest Greek poets whose work has *Greek mythology
survived *Farming techniques
• Creator of didactic poetry *archaic Greek astronomy
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*ancient time-keeping
Creophylus
• Legendary early Greek epic poet • Author of the lost Capture of Oechalia
• Native to Samos and Chios • Panyassis of Halicarnassas stole it
Influences in Modern Times
• Theatre & performing arts *Structure of stories
• Fashion • Sciences
• Literature *astronomy
PATRISTIC PERIOD (1200-800 BCE)
 Greek legends orally translated, containing information about Greek gods, warring factions, and overseas
travels and travails. It was the primary means of information for the Greeks about their Gods (Lloyd 2013).

Elements of Homeric Literature:


• Myths- “part legend, based sometimes on the dim memory of historical events; part folktale; and part religious
speculation” and could be used by poet to “express new concepts” (Mackgridge 2016)
Epic Narrative- “long narrative poem, in an elevated style, celebrating heroic achievement” (Mackridge, 2016)

THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD (455 CE – 1485 CE)


I. THE OLD ENGLISH (ANGLO-SAXON) PERIOD
 The so-called “Dark Ages” (455 CE – 799 CE) occur when Rome falls and Barbarian tribe move into Europe.
 Franks, Ostrogoths, Lombards, and Goths settle in the ruins of Europe and the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
migrate to Britain.
 Early old English poems such as “Beowulf”, “The Wanderer”, and “The Seafarer” originate sometime late in the
Anglo-Saxon period.
CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE (800-850 CE)
 The Carolingian Renaissance emerges in Europe. In central Europe, text include early medieval grammars,
encyclopedias, etc. In northern Europe, this time period marks the setting of Viking Sagas.

CAROLINE AGE (1625-1649) & COMMONWEALTH PERIOD or PURITAN


INTERREGNUM (1649-1660)
CAROLINE AGE
 This age is named after Charles I who reigned over England from 1625 to 1649. Caroline is derived from the word
“carocus” the Latin version of Charles.
 The age of Caroline is an age of three kinds of schools:
 puritan
 metaphysical
 cavalier school of poetry

GENERAL CHARACTERISTIC OF THE AGE


 CIVIL WAR
There was a long civil war between “ cavaliers” most of them were lords and their dependants and “ Roundheads”
were those who supported parliament, Most of them were Puritans.
THE RISE OF PURITANISM
•The puritan movement may be regarded as a second and renaissance, a rebirth of the moral the nature of man following
the first renaissance, intellectual awakening of Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Puritanism became a political
as well as a moral religious force. Puritanism had two chief objects: the first was personal righteousness; second was civil
liberty.
 Hampden, Eliot, Milton, Hooker and Cromwell -eminent puritans.
POETRY OF THE AGE
•Milton represents the best of the Renaissance and the puritanism.
•though a Puritan, he was also a classicist and humanist. He delighted in everything that pleased his eyes.
•he was passionate lover of beauty. He did not share the puritan contempt for the stage.
•Nevertheless, he possessed the moral earnestness and the religious zeal of the Puritan.

HIS POETRY IS REMARKABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

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 Sublimity  Classicism
 Love of beauty  Flawless of poetic art
 Puritan
METAPHYSICAL POET
 A new kind of poetry, known as the metaphysical poetry,, began with Jhon Donne. It is characterized by much
genuine poetic feeling, harsh metres, those strained w/ whimsical images & turns of speech, which are called
conceits.
GEORGE HERBERT
 Is the most widely read of all the metaphysical poets. His poems were published posthumously. His poetry is
distinguished by clearness of expression, concrete imagery and intelligible conceits.
RICHARD CRAWSHAW
 was both secular and religious in his poetry. His best work is Steps to the Temple (1946). His poetry is noticeable
for striking but fantastic conceits, for its religious fire and fervour. It is emotional rather than thoughtful.
ABRAHAM COWLEY
 Distinguished himself as classical scholar. His well known poem are the mistress, the Davideis and the Pindaric
Odes. He is important as a transitional poets of the period. He was last of the metaphysical poets and in many
respect, he foreshadows the English classicist.
THE FF. ARE CHARACTERISTIC OF METAPHYSICAL POETRY:
 Fantastic conceits  Monstrous hyperboles
 Treatment of the inwards  Obscurity
 Far-fetch images  Learning
THE CAVALIER POETS
 A group of English poets associated with Charles I and his exiled son- Cavalier poets
 most of their work was done between 1637 and 1660.
 poetry embodied the life and culture of upper-class, pre commonwealth England
 They mixed sophistication with naïveté, elegance with raciness.
 writing on the courtly themes of beauty, love, and loyalty, they produced finely finished verses and expressed with
wit and directness.
 poetry reveals their indebtedness to both Ben Jonson and John Donne
 The leading cavalier poets were Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, Sir Jhon sukling, and Thomas Carew.
 the most common characteristics of cavalier poetry is its use of direct language which expresses a highly
individualistic personality.
 the cavaliers, while writing, accept the ideal of the renaissance gentleman who is at once a lover, a soldier, witty, a
man of affairs, a musician, and a poet, but abandon the notion of his being also a pattern of Christian chivalry.
 they avoid the subject of religion, apart from making one or two graceful speeches. They attempt no plumbing of the
depths of the soul.
 they treat life cavalierly, indeed, and sometimes they treat poetic convention cavalierly too.
THOMAS CAREW
-was one of the cavalier poets. He was educated at Merton college, Oxford. He had a short diplomatic
career on the continent, then returned to England and became a favourite of Charles I and a court official.
RIHARD LOVELACE
- son of a Kentish Knight and was educated at Oxford.
ROBERT HERRICK
-became a disciple of Ben Jonson, about whom he wrote five poems.
COMMONWEALTH PERIOD or PURITAN INTEGRATION (1649-1660)
 is the period when there was no monarch in England. After the death of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan
leader, came to power. He died in 1658 when his son Richard Cromwell became the ruler of England. He ruled
England till 1660.
MAJOR WRITERS:
 John Milton  Jeremy Taylor
 Thomas Hobbes  Vaughan

VICTORIAN PERIOD
 Literature that evolved during the reign of Queen Victoria is famously known as the Victorian era literature.
 Fusion of romantic and realist style of writing.
 Novel was most important in the Victorian period.
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Victorian novels
 Idealized portraits of difficult lives in which hard work, perseverance; love and luck win out in the end. They were
usually inclined towards being of improving nature with a central moral lesson at heart. While this formula was the basis
for much of earlier Victorian fiction, the situation became more complex as the century progressed.
Three general marks of Victorian Era
1. Literature tended to come face to face with realism. This reflected more on practical problems and interests. It
becomes a powerful instrument for human progress.
2. Literature seems to deviate from the strict principle of “art for art’s sake” and asserts its moral purpose.
3. Age of pessimism and confusion. The influence of science was strongly felt here.

Characteristics of Victorian Literature


1. Industrialization and Progress
 Example: Dickens's novel entitled Hard Times is about the grittier side of factory life, workers' rights, and the
circus. Some novels even presents problem of workers and living conditions crops.
2. Class
 The Victorians were super status conscious.
3. Nostalgia
 Victorian literature is riddled with nostalgia: from historical novels about Robin Hood, to epic poems about the
golden days of Camelot.
-Example of this is the novel Ulysses' adventures: as soon as he's home, he's imagining that things
were so much better when he was fighting in foreign wars and getting chased by a Cyclops.
4. The Woman Question
 The question of what women could (or should) do attracted a lot of debate in the Victorian era.
Examples: Jane Eyre, Vanity Fair, and The Turn of the Screw), to the New Woman novels at the end of the century,
"The Woman Question" was being asked in a lot of different ways.
5. Utilitarianism
 "What will make the most people the most happy?"
 George Eliot's novels often boil down to choices—what to do, why to do it, and for whose happiness?  While
novelist Daniel Deronda has a lot of tough choices. How do the characters measure happiness?
Famous Authors
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 – 1863)
- Known for his satirical works.
- Works: Vanity Fair, A Novel without a Hero, which is an example of a form popular in Victorian
literature.
Brontë sisters
- Three Brontë sisters, Charlotte (1816–1855), Emily (1818–1848) and Anne (1820–1849) published
significant works in the 1840s. Charlotte's "Jane Eyre" was the first to achieve success, while
Emily's "Wuthering Heights", Anne's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and other works were not
immediately appreciated by Victorian critics.
George Eliot (1819 – 1880)
- Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was one of the leading writers of the
Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels: "Adam Bede", "The Mill on the Floss", "Silas
Marner", "Romola", "Felix Holt, the Radical", "Middlemarch", and "Daniel Deronda", most of which
are known for their realism and psychological insight.
Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928)
- Thomas Hardy was the most important novelist. He was influenced both in his novels and in his
poetry by Romanticism. His works include "Under the Greenwood Tree", "Far from the Madding
Crowd", "The Mayor of Casterbridge", "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", "The Woodlandersand" and
"Jude the Obscure".
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)
- mOccupation: writer, social critic
- Created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest
novelist of the Victorian era.
- Works:The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) "Oliver
Twist", "A Christmas Carol", "Dombey and Son", "David Copperfield", "Bleak House", "Little Dorrit",
"A Tale of Two Cities", and "Great Expectations".
MODERN PERIOD (1914-1945)
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 The Modernist period in English Literature occupied the years from shortly after the beginning of the 20 th
century.
 was marked by a strong and international break with tradition
 Modernist literature came into its own due to increasing industrialization and globalization.
 Influences the change of the American literary landscape by the country’s changing of the manufacturing
industries, advancement in technologies and the uprooting of many citizens.
 writers of the Modernist period saw literature more as a craft than a flowering of creativity
 Modernist poetry often includes foreign languages, dense vocabulary and invented words.
THEME IN LITERATURE
 Search for New Sources of Hope in the Face of War
WRITERS
 ROBERT FROST (A Boy’s Will (poem)
 ERNEST HEMINGWAY [In our time(1925)]
POSTMODERN PERIOD
 Postmodern literature is a form of literature which is marked, both stylistically and ideologically, by a reliance on
such literary conventions as fragmentation, paradox, unrealiable narrators, often unrealistic and downright
impossible plots, games, parody, paranoia, dark humor and authorial self-reference.
 Postmodern literature also often rejects the boundaries between high and low forms of art and literature, as well as
the distinctions between different genres and forms of writing and storytelling.
Example of stylistic techniques in postmodern literature:
 Pastiche  Temporal Distortion  Magical Realism
 Intertextuality  Minimalism  Faction
 Metafiction  Maximalism  Reader Involvement
Postmodern authors
 Samuel Beckett  Hunter S. Thompson  William S. Burroughs
 Mark Z. Danielewski  Bret Easton Ellis  David Foster Wallace
 Kurt Vonnegut  Joseph Heller
 Jorge Luis Borges  Thomas Pynchon

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