Prepare MEG 05 Literary Criticism and Theory

Syllabus, Analysis, Strategy, Notes, Lectures, Previous year questions and everything you need to pass or ace the MEG-5 Literary Criticism and Theory.

A subject with combination of all that you have learned in your first year course and compulsory subject of IGNOU MA English course and most important for UGC NET aspirants as well.


Design with Ease


Its a tough subject and I am trying to provide every thing at one place, Now it's on your how much time you are investing on reading this post and learning this course.

We have divided the strategy in two styles

1. To pass(40-50 score) and finish the Masters course at the earliest. (PASS)

2. To ace a career in the field of literature and need (70+ score ). (MERIT)


(Pass only 80:20 rule)
Just cover these units, you are done with 80% of syllabus in 20% of time.

Block 1:unit5

Block2: unit2,3,4

Block3:unit2,3,4

Block4:unit1,2,4

Block5:unit2,3,6

Block6:unit2,3,4,5

Block7:unit1,2,4,5

Block8:unit2,3,4



Question Paper Pattern

Q1. SHORT NOTES (to be done for PASS & MERIT )

( -5 Short-notes will be given, you have to attempt any 2 ,

- Maximum from BLOCK 1 & Sometimes from OTHER BLOCKS)


Q2. BLOCK 2 - " CLASSICAL CRUTICISM" PASS & MERIT

Q3. BLOCK 3 - "ROMANTIC CRITISIM" PASS & MERIT

Q4. BLOCK 4 - "NEW CRITICISM" only for MERIT

Q5. BLOCK 5 - "MARXIST VIEW OF LITERATURE"

Q6. BLOCK 6 - "FEMINIST THEORIES" PASSMERIT

Q7. BLOCK 7 - "DECONSTRUCTION"

Or sometimes from

BLOCK 8 - "CONTEMPORARY LITERARY THEORY" Only for MERIT

Q8.BLOCK 8 - "CONTEMPORARY LITERARY THEORY"


Important topics or questions in every block
  • SHORT NOTES. 30min / 1hr for each

  1. Rasa

  2. Dhvani

  3. Alamkara

  4. Ethos (Character)

  5. Hamartia

  6. Signifier and Signified

  7. Myth (Plot)

  8. Poetic Diction

  9. Gyno text (Gyno Critisim)

  10. Sphota Theory

  11. Superstructure and Base

  12. Ideology

  13. The intentinal fallacy

  14. Irony

  15. Auchitya

  16. Objective

  17. Correlative

  18. Orientalism

  19. Sphota theory BLOCK 1 - " AN INTRODUCTION " Sphota Theory, by Sanskrit theoretician Acc.

  20. To Mathew Arnold is the function of criticism Structuralism -meaning -functions 4. Literary Criticism -meaning -theories -uses -functions 5. Rasa 6. Dhavni 7. Alamkara 8. Ideology 9. Achutiya 10. Linguistic sign BLOCK 2 - “CLASSICAL CRUTICISM" 1. Aristotle and Plato. 4 hrs. - Compare and contrast in your words Plato and Aristotle As Literary theorists - Mimesis in Light of Plato and Aristotle's Postulation - Theory of Imitation - Theory of Mimesis - Diff. B/w Plato and Aristotle Approach to Imitation - for Plato the term Imitation (Mimesis) arrives a negative connotation: to produce a copy a version that is less than the original. Comment 2. Six Elements of tragedy according to Aristotle (with examples) 2 hr + 30-45 min =3 hrs 3. Ethos and Mythos. 30min for each - Aristotle views on mythos (plot) and ethos - Acc. To Aristotle is Plots more important than Characters in Tragedy 4. Catharsis in Tragedy 30min 5. Hamartia. 30 min 6. Reason for Plato's Hostility towards Art. Explain. 1hr 7. Salient features of Plato's attack on poetry. 1hr 8. Why he was hostile towards the poet's (diff. In narrative views) 45min - 1hr 9. Tragic falling and Explain how it leads to Tragedy 45min- 1hr BLOCK 3 - "ROMANTIC CRITISIM" 1. William Wordsworth. 2hrs - Wordsworth's 'Preface to the Lyrical Ballads' , (1800) as an attack on the "inane phraseology" of many 18th century with examples - Outline Wordsworth Theory of Poetic Diction with special reference to 'Lyrical Ballad' - Role of spontaneity, emotion and personality have in Wordsworth's theory of poetry? Elucidate - Poetic Diction 2. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1hr 30min-2hrs - Diff. b/w fancy and imagination by Coleridge in Biographia literaria - Coleridge theory of Imagination - power of poetic imagination 3. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) 1hr 30 min - 2 hr - P.B Shelley's "Defense of Poetry" - Shelley assign to poets in the 19th century - Romantic Theory of Art 4. Present in your words the Romantic theory of knowledge 1hr BLOCK 4 - "NEW CRITICISM" 1. Features of New Criticism. 1hr +30min 2. T. S. Eliot mean by "The dissociation of sensibility” 1hr 30min 3. I. A. Richard. 2 hrs. - 3 hrs. - 4 Obstacles to proper response that I. A. Richards Catalogues in Practical Criticism - Richard's Contribution to Literary Criticism

4. Wimsatt. 1 hr - Wimsatt's notion of 'Intentional Fallacy' - 'intentional Fallacy, respond to the concept of New critic of Wimsatt

5. T. S. Eliot. 2 hr 30min - Eliot means by the 'Dissociation of sensibility ' with respect to 17th century Ethos : Elaborate. - Two Seminal Critical concepts formulated by Eliot - Eliot relate tradition to Impersonality. Explain in lightvof his idea of 'historical sense'


6. Ideas expressed by Cleanthes Brooks in his essay 'Irony as a Principle of structure' 1hr 7. John Crowe Ransom. 1hr 30 min - Role of literary Critic in the Modern World acc. to John Crowe Ransom - 'Duties' of a critic acc. to John Crowe Ransom - Ransom mean who he advocates Criticism Inc. : !? 8. Objective Correlative 9. Irony BLOCK 5 - "MARXIST VIEW OF LITERATURE" 1. Relation b/w Literature and Ideology 2. Role of Ideology in literary production following the Marxist critical theory 3. Marx's view of the Base - superstructure relationship. Hw does an artist become conscious of it in his/her creations 4. Marxian concept of Base - superstructure, examples 5. Marxist Literary Theory area the aspect that should identify and locate in literature / (essentials of literary theory or Freudian Psychoanalysis) 6. Essay on Marxism is opposed to both Idealism and Mechanical Materialism 7. Essay on Marxism has influenced many critics in 20th Century, example 8. Role of ideology in literary production following the Marxist critical theory BLOCK 6 - "FEMINIST THEORIES" 1. Mary Wollstonecraft's - Wollstonecraft's contribution to women's right and their Education - Nature of the revolution in women's education proposed by Wollstonecraft - 'From the tyranny of man.... the greater no. Of females Follies proceed'. In the light of this statement evaluate Wollstonecraft thoughts on women. 2. Gyno text

3. Elaine Showalter's contribution to feminist criticism - Elaine Showalter's feminist concerns in literature 4. - Sex and gender - Implications of the distinction b/w Ex and Gender theories 5. - Significance of Simon De Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex' - Beauvoir's thesis indicate (a) its strength (b) its limitations 7. - Major concerns of feminist theory - Feminist theories do not give sufficient attention to class conflict in society. Discuss 8. Virginia Woolf - Virginia Woolf as a feminist critic - 'Room of One's Own ' by Virginia Woolf 9. Ideologies set forth by Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf as Pioneer Feminists

BLOCK 7 - "DECONSTRUCTION" 1. Roland Barthes - "Work" and "Text" •Roland Barthes idea on "Work" and "Text" in her essay "From Work to Text" Or •Barthes differentiate a "Work" from a "Text'. Explain in ur own words Or •Acc. To Barthes is difference b/w "work" and "text" (Image - Music - Text) 1977 - Reader Text - Writerly Text - Main ideas in Barthes essay 'The Death of the Author'. 2. Signifier and signified 3. - Structuralism - approaches of Structuralism to theory of sign-system - deconstructive reading of a poem different from a structuralism reading of it. 4. - Deconstruction - Is 'deconstruction ‘an effective tool For analysis a literary text. Reason? - Drama as a form lends itself well to the deconstruction approach. Discuss with reference to the drama text in your course 5. Annalise John Donne's 'the Canonization' with the tools of 'Deconstruction' 6. Examine how 'Waiting for Godot' problematizes the meaningless - shortness of life 7. Why does Derrida resist definitions? Reason?

BLOCK 8 - "CONTEMPORARY LITERARY THEORY" 1. Postmodernism - Define Post modernism? Discuss with reference to Lyotard. - Post modernism differ from modernism - Attempt a critique of Midnight's children as a Postmodernist text 2. Post-Colonial - Main concerns of Post-Colonial - Historical importance of Post-Colonial for the third world - the seminal issues that Post-Colonial theory addresses - Two major Post-Colonial critics and their contribution to our understanding of literature 3. Lacan - Lacan's main contribution to critical theory - Lacan has said that unconscious is structured like a language. Discuss

- 'Lack' and 'Desire' closely connected in Lacan's theory 4.Theory of Psychological Criticism 5. Critically interpret Edward Said's concept of Orientalism 6. Foucault's view on discourse and power? Explain 7. Emergence of Cultural studies with reference to the theories of Edward Said, Spivak and Bhabha 8. Spivak mean by 'Subalternity' (with examples) 9. Raymond William's contribution to Cultural studies.



Past Papers

GROUP 1

Short Notes (200 words)

1. Signifier and signified (J15, J17, D18)

2. Objective Correlative (J15, D17)

3.Rasa (J16, J17, J18)

4.Dhvani (J16, D16, D18)

5. Sphota (J16, D17)

6. Alamkara (J17, D17)

7. Sruti (D16, D17)