The word ‘ Criticism ’ is derived from the Greek root ‘ krinei ’ which means to judge and the term ‘ kritikos ’ which means a judge of literature.
Criticism is the reasoned consideration of literary works and issues. It applies, as a term, to any argumentation about literature, whether or not specific works are analyzed. Plato’s cautions against the risky consequences of poetic inspiration in general in his Republic are thus often taken as the earliest important example of literary criticism.
Over the centuries art has been considered to be imitation and expression . Traditionally the word art has referred to skill in the making of something and the artist is the one who makes it .
What the artist makes is considered in some respect imitative of the real world. A painting may mirror some small portion of nature. A statue may imitate a person or animal. A play imitates the human characteristics in real life situations. A shoe both imitates and protects the foot. It was only in the 19th century that art came to be looked upon as expression because it expresses the feelings, ideas, and notions of the artist as well as the skill involved.
Literary criticism is an independent field of study . It justifies the literary work . It is a systematic study of literature . It examines the excellencies and defects of a literary work and finally evaluates its artistic worth .
People specialized in the field of Criticism are called critics.
Critics may appreciate a work of art, but their professional task is to analyze ,evaluate ,and describe it according to some standards and relating to some conceptual frameworks. A critic's business is not only to appreciate but to know. Every critic must understand the nature and quality of the art being criticized. A literary critic, for example, must have a thorough knowledge of the work being written .
Criticism The critic’s chief duty is to interpret and expose the taste and value of the targeted literary work. From this regard the main goal of Criticism is : 1-To interpret 2-To evaluate 3-To justify
Interpretation includes assessment and appreciation. The critic analyses and formulates the meaning he elucidates by direct examination of the artistic and moral principles he encounters in the targeted literary work.
The critic’s job is not as easy as making a simple comment on a literary work, because he has to handle this latter tactfully, bearing in mind and being concsious that he may fail in the trap of subjectivity.
New Criticism is a type of formalist literary criticism that developed in the 1920s-30s and peaked in the 1940s-50s . New Critics treat a work of literature as if it were self-contained. They do not consider the reader's response, author's intention, or historical and cultural contexts. New Critics perform a close reading of the text, and believe the structure and meaning of the text should not be examined separately. New Critics especially appreciate the use of literary devices in a text. The New Criticism has sometimes been called an objective approach to literature, similar to the approach students in public schools are taught to take.
( http :// en . wikipedia . org / wiki / New_Criticism)