Literary studies or literary criticism focus on the evaluation of written works such as poetry, drama, and narrative fictions. The term literary studies usually refer to methodologies which analyse the richness of a written work through the use of languages.
These studies are usually influenced by the literary theory, a philosophical discussion on the literature’s purposes and methodology.
Literary theory is the study of the nature of literature and the method utilised to analyse this subject. The theory includes considerations of intellectual history, social prophecy, and moral philosophy.
The practice of literary theory has become important over the 20th century. However, it has its roots in the ancient Greece, India and Rome. As well as this, the philosophical theories of the 18th 19th century played an important role in this topic.
Literary studies are usually published under the form of essays or books and they have changed their focus over the time.
Classical and medieval literary studies focused more on religious texts and religious traditions, above all on the three Abrahamic religions: Jewish Literature, Christian Literature and Islamic Literature.
Renaissance literary studies concentrated on the concept of the unity of form and content, proclaiming the literature as the heart of the culture.
Enlightenment literary studies were influenced by the values and stylistic writing of that time and the authors’ religion believes.
Romantic literary studies focused on the aestheticism, meaning that the object of literature was not beautiful, noble or perfect but sublime.
Finally, the most recent literary studies have concentrated on the authorial intention and reader response.
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