RICHARD L. W. CLARKE


 

 

 

LITS2306 HISTORY OF CRITICISM

TERM PAPER 2009-2010

BASED ON MODULE ONE: ANCIENT THOUGHT

Answer ONE (1) of the following questions, referring closely to the text(s) of the theorist(s) in question:

1.    Referring closely to the work of at least ONE theorist which you have studied in this module and illustrating your answer with reference to ONE literary work of your choice, carefully explain one of the following approaches to criticism:

  • the mimetic;
  • the pragmatic;
  • the objective;
  • the expressive.

2.    Referring closely to his views on the nature of reality, knowledge, the mind and the self, discuss the grounds on which Plato advocates in The Republic that poets be banished from his ideal state.

3.    Paying particular attention to his views on plot, discuss Aristotle's conception of literature in the Poetics in the light of his views on the nature of reality, knowledge, the mind and the self.

4.    Referring closely to Aristotle's Poetics, identify the emotional impact of a novel or play of your choice and discuss the precise role played by the plot in particular in the production of this effect.

5.    Aristotle argues in the Poetics that literature is a "representation, not of men, but of action and life" (40) and that it is "chiefly on account of the action" (40) that tragedy is "also a representation of persons" (41).  Show how this claim is at the very heart of the differences separating Aristotle's view of literature from Plato's.

6.    Discuss the concept of the 'sublime' advanced by 'Longinus' in On the Sublime.  How may we recognise it?  What are its five sources? 

7.    Illustrating your answer with reference to a work of your choice, discuss how you might practically apply Longinus' views on the sublime to the study of poetry.

8.    Compare the views of ONE theorist studied in this module who advances a 'philosophical' approach to literary criticism with those of ONE theorist who advances a 'rhetorical' approach.

 

DEADLINE: 4 pm, Thursday, November 12, 2009

LENGTH: 5 - 7 pages (double-spaced)

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