Dr. Samuel Johnson(1709-1784), a spokesman of the classical school. He is a pioneer in the field of biographical criticism. In his criticism of Shakespeare, Dr. Johnson basically reveals the merits and demerits of Shakespeare. So he is rightly called a critic of Shakespeare.
Merits of Shakespeare:
Johnson in his preface illustrates the merits of Shakespeare.
- A representation of general human nature.
- A faithful mirror of manners and life.
- Intransient characters.
- Realistic dialogues
- Theme of love, not exaggerated
- Individuality of character
- Unforgettable character
- His drama, the mirror of life
- Originator of tragi-comedy
- Spontaneous comic sense
- Father of English drama
- Versatile genius
To read more : What are the merits of Shakespeare for which Johnson admires him so much?
Demerits of Shakespeare:
Dr. Johnson defends Shakespeare saying that the faults of Shakespeare are actually not his fault. It’s the fault of that age.
- Violator of chronology
- Neglection of ending portion.
- Careless plot construction
- Lack of morality
- Defects in language
- Puns and quibbles
- Violator of classical three unities