Critical Perspectives

“Whether the critic is good or bad doesn’t depend on his opinions, but on the reasons he can offer for those opinions.” (Harold Clurman, Director/Critic)

Key Terms

objective, descriptive, factual, “clean notice”
subjective, evaluative, impressions, interpretation

intrinsic (internal) vs. extrinsic (external) criticism

Object Exercise

Dave’s qeleshe and scarf

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Sample Critical Perspectives (Types of Criticism)

  1. New Criticism
  2. Reader Response
  3. Psychological
  4. New Historicism
  5. Feminist
  6. Marxist
  7. Post-Colonial
  8. Archetypal/Genre
  9. Moral
  10. Structuralist
  11. Post-Structuralist/Deconstructive
  12. African-American
  13. LGBT/Queer
  14. Postmodern
  15. Ecocriticism

Goethe’s Three Critical Questions

  1. What was the artist trying to do?
  2. Was he/she successful in doing it?
  3. Was it worth doing?

Always Consider…

  • Popular/Commercial Success vs. Critical Success
    Example: Wicked
  • Journalistic vs. Academic Criticism
  • Moral vs. Artistic Criticism
  • Personal Taste and Values

Critical Response Exercise

Samuel Beckett’s Breath