Moral & philosophical criticism of hamlet real

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  • For Arnold, literature is a supremely important source of moral guidance and spiritual inspiration. In seeing literature as a worthy substitute for religion, he takes an extreme position. His insistence on the moral and religious significance of literature, however, is very much in harmony with critical tradition.
  • The importance of literature is not merely in its way of saying, but also in what it says.
  • Critics who concentrate on the moral dimensions of literature often judge literary works by their ethical teachings and by their effects on readers: literature that is ethically sound and encourages virtue is praised, and literature that misguides and corrupts is condemned.
  • Although some modern critical theories may make us resist the idea that literature has a didactic purpose, we cannot deny that many (or most) of the greatest writers have considered themselves teachers as well as artists.
  • On the other hand, Other classical thinkers (Aristotle and Horace) considered literature capable of fostering virtue.
  • On the other hand, Other classical thinkers (Aristotle and Horace) considered literature capable of fostering virtue. Usefulness and beauty – delightful and instructive
  • Attempts to extract literature from an ethical context are misguided and ultimately unsuccessful. Siebers faults the New Criticism, for example, for trying to treat literary works as completely autonomous creations, for arguing that any interest either in an author’s intentions or in a work’s effect on its audience is irrelevant to the true business of criticism.
  • However, there are many contemporary critics who promote a moral fervor in their writings Feminist critics who call attention to sexual stereotypes in literary works clearly seem to be applying moral as well as aesthetic criteria when they judge such works inferior. The criticism of the Marxists is at base moral, though the image of man they propose differs greatly from that of the Humanists and is related to more to a social approach. Lawrence Lipking notes that in addition to winning critical attention for many neglected works by women writers, feminist criticism has sparked a reevaluation of many works traditionally granted high, secure places in the canon. “Something peculiar has been happening lately to the classics,” he writes, “some of them now seem less heroic, and some of them less funny. Those ‘irrelevant’ scenes of cruelty to women… have changed their character.”
  • Moral & philosophical criticism of hamlet real

    1. 1. Moral & Philosophical Criticism EH 4301
    2. 2. Moral Criticism <ul><li>“ The best poetry has a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can. … More and more mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us. Without poetry, our science will appear incomplete; and most of what now passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Matthew Arnold, “The Study of Poetry” </li></ul>
    3. 3. Literature <ul><li>An important source of moral guidance and spiritual inspiration </li></ul><ul><li>A worthy substitute for religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>extreme position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in harmony with critical tradition </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Moral approach has the longest history. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not just its way of saying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but also what it says </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Critics who concentrate on the moral dimensions of literature often </li></ul><ul><ul><li>judge literary works by their ethical teachings and by their effects on readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Literature that is ethically sound and encourages virtue is praised. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Literature that misguides and corrupts is condemned. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Some modern critical theories may make us resist the idea that literature has a didactic purpose. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but cannot deny many of the greatest writers have considered themselves teachers as well as artists. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Plato </li></ul><ul><ul><li>acknowledged literature’s power as a teacher by believing it capable of corrupting morals and undermining religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moralism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Utilitarianism </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Aristotle and Horace </li></ul><ul><ul><li>considered literature capable of fostering virtue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Literature should be “delightful and instructive” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Moral Criticism <ul><li>Attempts to extract literature from an ethical context are misguided and ultimately unsuccessful. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faults New Criticism </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Moral Criticism <ul><li>However, there are other critics/critical fields which promote a moral fervor in their writings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feminist criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marxist criticism </li></ul></ul>
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