MEG-05: Literary Criticism and Theory (Online Course for IGNOU)

Gyaniversity Education
Last Update 13 May 2024
0 already enrolled

About This Course

Welcome to the Literary Criticism and Theory course!

This comprehensive eLearning course, available on Gyaniversity Education, is designed to explore the depths of Literary Criticism and Theory, covering a vast range of topics such as Classical Criticism, Romantic Criticism, New Criticism, Marxist View of Literature, Feminist Theories, Deconstruction, and Contemporary Literary Theory. The curriculum is meticulously structured into various blocks for a seamless learning experience, aligned with IGNOU’s suggested structure, ensuring a rich and engaging exploration of the subject.

What You Will Get

  • Videos for Every Unit: Dive into each topic with detailed videos, making complex theories accessible and engaging.
  • Practice Quizzes for Every Block: Test your understanding and reinforce learning with quizzes tailored to each block.
  • Reference Material: Access a curated collection of Previous Year Question Papers & the official University textbook to enhance your study.
  • FREE Gyaniversity Guidebook: Elevate your preparation with the exclusive guidebook, featuring Solved PYQs, insightful Q&A sessions with teachers, key exam strategies, and a Guess Paper highlighting the most important and predicted exam questions.
  • Custom Graded Assignments: Receive personalized feedback on assignments from our experienced teachers, aiding in deeper understanding.
  • Mock Tests: Experience exam-like conditions before the actual test to boost confidence and improve performance.

UGC-NET Exam Preparation Included!

This course has been specifically tailored not only for IGNOU students pursuing Masters and PG Diploma level programs but also to aid in their preparation for the UGC-NET exam. You can trust that our comprehensive curriculum covers a vast array of topics essential for both your academic journey and exam success.

Learning Objectives

Literature, Criticism and Theory
Overview of Western Critical Thought
Twentieth Century Developments
The Function of Criticism
Indian Aesthetics
Resistance to Theory/How to Read a Reader
Features of Classical Criticism
Plato on Imitation and Art
Aristotle’s Theory of Imitation
Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy-I
Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy-II
Criticism as Dialogue
Wordsworth: Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
Coleridge: Biographia Literaria
P.B.Shelley: A Defiance of Poetry
John Crowe Ransom and Cleanth Brooks
Wordsworth: Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
Society and History: Marxist View
Representing and Critiquing SOCIETY: Superstructures
Commitment in Literature
Autonomy in Literature
Literature and Ideology
Features of Feminist Criticism
Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own
Simone de Beauvoir: The Second Sex
Elaine Showalter: ‘Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness’
Feminist Concerns in India Today
Roots: New Criticism and Structuralism
Beginning Deconstruction
Deconstructing Poetry
Deconstructing Drama
Re-Assessing Deconstruction

Material Includes

  • Animated Video Lessons
  • Practice Quizzes
  • Previous Year Question Papers
  • Gyaniversity Guidebook
  • Q&A with Teachers
  • Important Exam Strategy
  • Guess Paper: Important Qs
  • Custom Graded Assignments
  • University Textbook
  • Mock Tests
  • Bonus Course Content


  • Watch the video lessons carefully. Make notes as required.
  • Test your knowledge with our quizzes and mock tests.
  • Refer to the Gyaniversity Guide book for solved previous year Q&A
  • Submit an optional assignment and get it evaluated by a teacher.

Target Audience

  • IGNOU Masters, PG Diploma Students, Master of Arts (English), Post Graduate Diploma in Writings from India (PGDWI), Post Graduate Diploma in British Literature (PGDBLT),
  • Post Graduate Diploma in The Novel (PGDNOV), Post Graduate Diploma in Writings from the Margins (PGDWM), Post Graduate Diploma in American Literature (PGDAML), Post Graduate Diploma in New Literatures in English (PGDNLEG) Students


78 Lessons

Course Introduction and Exam Strategy

This section serves as an introduction to the course and provides valuable insights into the features of this online course and effective exam strategies for studying this subject. Go through this section carefully to make the best of this course.
Question Paper Pattern00:01:39
Example of a Solved Question Paper
Guess Paper: List of Most Important Questions00:01:40
Acing Your IGNOU Exams: Strategies for Success00:02:29

Block 1: An Introduction

Embark on a journey through the vibrant world of literature and its accompanying critical perspectives. This module explores the evolution of Western critical thought, delves into significant developments of the twentieth century, and examines the purpose of criticism. You'll also discover the rich traditions of Indian aesthetics and engage with contemporary debates on the resistance to theory. This comprehensive overview is your gateway to understanding how we read, interpret, and appreciate literary texts.

Block 2: Classical Criticism

Dive into the foundations of Classical Criticism, exploring its defining features and the seminal thoughts of Plato and Aristotle on imitation and art. Understand Aristotle's nuanced Theory of Tragedy through a two-part exploration, revealing the intricacies of dramatic form and catharsis. Conclude with the role of criticism as a form of dialogue, a space where ancient wisdom interacts with contemporary understanding, shaping our appreciation of literature's timeless beauty.

Block 3: Romantic Criticism

Explore Romantic Criticism, where emotion and individualism reign supreme. Discover Romanticism's heart through Wordsworth's groundbreaking Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, delve into Coleridge's Biographia Literaria for a deep philosophical insight, and embrace P.B. Shelley's A Defence of Poetry as a manifesto celebrating the poet's role in society. This journey unveils the Romantic era's revolutionary views on art and creativity, emphasizing the power of imagination and the expression of the sublime.

Block 4: New Criticism

Delve into New Criticism, a movement prioritizing the text itself over historical or biographical contexts. Engage with the ideas of foundational figures like I.A. Richards, T.S. Eliot, and F.R. Leavis, alongside John Crowe Ransom and Cleanth Brooks' contributions. Discover W.K. Wimsatt's insights, culminating in a comprehensive understanding of New Criticism's focus on close reading, the intentional fallacy, and the intrinsic unity of literary works. This exploration highlights the autonomy of the text in literary analysis.

Block 5: Marxist View of Literature

Dive into the Marxist View of Literature, unraveling how literature reflects and challenges societal structures. Explore the interplay between society, history, and literature through a Marxist lens, examining how narratives can both mirror and critique societal superstructures. Delve into the debates on literature's commitment to social causes, its autonomy, and the role of ideology in shaping literary expression. This journey offers a critical framework for understanding the power dynamics embedded within literary works.

Block 6: Feminist Theories

Embark on a transformative exploration with Feminist Theories, uncovering the layers of feminist criticism and its pivotal texts. From Mary Wollstonecraft's foundational treatise to Virginia Woolf's iconic reflections, Simone de Beauvoir's groundbreaking analysis, and Elaine Showalter's critical perspective, each lesson weaves through the rich tapestry of feminist thought. Delve into the evolution of feminist concerns, to understand the enduring struggle for gender equality and the empowerment of women's voices in literature.

Block 7: Deconstruction

Venture into the realm of Deconstruction, where traditional literary texts unravel to reveal unseen layers of meaning. Starting from its roots in New Criticism and Structuralism, explore the methodology of beginning deconstruction, understanding its far-reaching implications. Through examining poetry and drama, discover the intricate play of words and structures that defy conventional interpretation. Conclude by reassessing deconstruction's impact on literary criticism, challenging the very notion of fixed meaning in the dynamic landscape of text analysis.

Block 8: Contemporary Literary Theory

Delve into the dynamic field of Contemporary Literary Theory, navigating through foundational issues to the cutting-edge discussions of today. Engage with the essentials of Postmodernism, the depths of Psychoanalytic Theory with Freud and Lacan, and the critical perspectives of Postcolonial Theory through Said, Spivak, and Bhabha. Explore the emergence of Cultural Studies and New Historicism, culminating in a comprehensive summing-up of literary criticism and theory's evolution.

Bonus Course Content

This section offers valuable resources to supplement your learning. Access the free Gyaniversity guide book, previous year question papers, and university textbooks. Test your knowledge with a mock test and complete an optional assignment which will be evaluated by our Explore the Bonus Course Content and unlock your full potential!


33% off
78 lectures

Material Includes

  • Animated Video Lessons
  • Practice Quizzes
  • Previous Year Question Papers
  • Gyaniversity Guidebook
  • Q&A with Teachers
  • Important Exam Strategy
  • Guess Paper: Important Qs
  • Custom Graded Assignments
  • University Textbook
  • Mock Tests
  • Bonus Course Content
Enrollment validity: Lifetime

Want to receive push notifications for all major on-site activities?

My Courses

Don't have an account yet? Sign up for free