Evaluate Dr. Johnson as a critic of Shakespeare

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
Mottaleb Hossain
Mottaleb Hossain

This is Motaleb Hossain, working on studying, a researcher on English literature and Theology.

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