Question: What are the merits of Shakespeare?
Johnson’s “Preface to Shakespeare” is a critical assessment of Shakespeare’s dramatic art in which the merits of Shakespeare are uphanded.
- Poet of Nature: Shakespeare is called a poet of nature. He is a great natural poet than any other modern writers. His plays offer a faithful picture of real life. Above all, he is a poet of human life.
- Universal Quality: Johnson has praised the universal quality of Shakespeare’s writing. Shakespeare is no a poet of a particular age but all ages, not for one specific country but for all countries. His works not only entertain the audience of his own age or country but also of all ages and countries. Though his plays were written more than many years ago, they are still popular today as before.
- Art of Characterization: In the delineation of character, Shakespeare stands unparalleled in English literature. The characters of Shakespeare are entirely true to life. They are neither devil in human form nor gods and goddesses. But they are ordinary human beings with vice and virtues, joys and sorrows.
More Notes of Criticism
Finally, it can be undoubtedly asserted that Shakespeare, by his merits, has brought the drama in such a pitch which nobody has yet reached.