Critics and criticism have gone through various transformations over time. And so, defining a critic’s character like an author of a specific trend is nearly impossible. But, they always remain inseparable parts of the evaluation.
From time immemorial, humans witnessed criticism as an integral part of art. But when it finally got an independent place in arts like literature remains unanswered. However, this association with art raised a big question about whether criticism has anything to do with creativity. The reason is literature is an integral part of creative arts.
Expertise in minute observation clarifies that criticism or evaluation got rated as something completely different from creations. Even though any concrete discussion about critics and criticism remains incomplete without having significant talks about creative arts like literature and others. And this association suggests that critics are, in reality, supposed to judge the works of art. At the same time, it also reveals why the notion that criticism is a part of literature but not associated with creativity has emerged.
Criticism implies the exercise of examining and providing judgment on specific matters. And this act of evaluation creates separation between creators and critics. For instance, it puts a poet in one category and the critics of poetry in another. It is beyond doubt that this notion of idle categorization can get traced to the lap of antiquity.
Now, a valid question is when the world first witnessed critics and criticism. According to many experts, it is hard to specify a specific period as the beginning period of analysts and their evaluation. They say that even the age of comic playwright Aristophanes had sophists who were experts in fixing poetic dramas. They were teachers who specialized in several areas of education and art like philosophy, mathematics, music, and athletics. But, can they be called critics? Or, can their specialization in correcting the wrongdoings be called criticism?
In truth, most people worldwide, even today, believe that Aristotle was the first critic in the real sense. And for the first time, criticism found its root with him. His unrivaled creation Poetics was probably the first robust theory on literary discourse. It was an acute philosophical treatise focusing minutely on literary theory. In fact, many readers take it as the delicacy of Greek dramatic theory.
Aristotle’s expert opinion in the said treatise, to some extent, provided him the entity of law enforcer in the poetic matter. He made certain generalizations of serious writing theory regarding drama. In a word, he appraised some serious issues in writing as an evaluator and simultaneously denounced and praised some features from an author’s perspective. He laid down some rules that he formed with his deep percept.
In a word, Aristotle’s work manifested the necessity of analysis. A significant number of people even today take it as the beginning of using criticism to pinpoint what is right and what is wrong. They believe that the journey of critics and criticism as inseparable parts received a solid momentum from the era of Aristotle. And form here onwards, the practice of admiration and denunciation started booming, especially in the literary field.