The Morning Critic by Marifa Khan

Submitted by: Marifa Khan (211013012) Course: ENG 2203: Literary Criticism Term: Summer 2022 Department of English and Humanities (DEH), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

Submitted by: Marifa Khan (211013012)
Course: ENG 2203: Literary Criticism
Term: Summer 2022
Department of English and Humanities (DEH), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh


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M A R I F A K H A N , E N G 2 2 0 3 , 1 3 S E P T E M B E R , 2 0 2 2




illiam Wordsworth, aged 47, of Cumberland was

seen staging a riot at the residence of Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, aged 45, of Devonshire yesterday at 9 PM

GMT. Since the declaration of friendship between

the two renowned figures through their collection

of poems Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth and Coleridge have been spotted

in public quite a few times, displaying their amicable and strong

relationship. However, after the publication of Coleridge’s book

Biographia Literaria, people assumed there was a disruption in their

friendship. The poets dismissed these rumours when they were seen

cordially catching up over coffee the very next day of Coleridge’s book


However, things did not seem as picture perfect as the two poets wanted

them to appear. People seated nearby reported sensing an air of hostility

and threat from the pair. Some even claimed to have witnessed an

intense game of feet scuffling under the table, which ended in Coleridge

grinning with joy and Wordsworth holding back tears of probable pain.

We reached out to an insider from Coleridge’s team, who informed us

that the poet has been receiving oddly specific threats and insults in the

Page 1| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

mail since that incident at the coffee shop. After some hesitation, the

insider shared a few of the letters, which included, but were definitely not

limited to, phrases such as “You don’t think poetry should be

experimental? I am slightly confused as your face seems to perfectly

resemble a failed experiment”, “Your version of “The Three Graves” will

never be better than mine- I mean, Wordsworth’s”, and lastly “Count your

days because the only accidental poet I see is you and I can remedy that

mistake”. Although the sender remains anonymous, the public has

garnered a wild guess as to who it could be.

Following these incidents, it came as no surprise to locals when

Wordsworth was found situated outside of Coleridge’s home, in an one-

man protest. Passersby reported hearing him shout, “Only losers don’t

show emotion in their poetry!”, “I dare you to come down and tell me to

my face that my writing sucks!” and finally, a very distraught, “I thought

you said “Ruth” was one of the finest works in our collection, how could

you do this to me?” The source of this very public outburst is still quite

unclear, however, many internet users have chimed in saying that it may

be due to Coleridge’s strong distaste towards Wordsworth’s writing finally

being known to the latter poet.

When approached by reporters, Wordsworth said, “I

could have never guessed I would be betrayed so

harshly by someone I trusted so much. It is true

when they say your closest ones always tend to

betray you.” Before any further questions could be

asked, Wordsworth burst into hysterical tears and

ran away from the scene.

Page 2| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

We were able to catch Coleridge leaving his residence the next day,

looking pleased with a joyful skip in his step. Once asked about the

happenings of the night prior, he said, in poorly-concealed delight, “I sang

William’s praises as much as I pointed out his flaws. It may be that he is

too insecure about his works to be able to take my criticism, however, that

has nothing to do with me. He should look into the sources of his

insecurity. Maybe it is the way he claims to write in rustic language but

only uses a few words that can be considered rustic, or the way he thinks

metre is an ornamental element to poetry just to conceal the fact that he

cannot utilise it properly. But, hey, that’s just my opinion.” With that, our

reporters watched as he bid them goodbye, strolling away whilst

humming a cheerful tune.

This is the extent of the story till the present time. The public has

expressed heightened interest regarding the direction of Wordsworth and

Coleridge's friendship after the events that have transpired. Every news

outlet is following their actions and words very closely, eager to find the

next big feud and quench the public’s overarching thirst.





amuel Johnson is a beholder of numerous titles: biographer, essayist,

poet among others. However, he has gained immense fame (and

notoriety) as a critic after his essay “Preface to Shakespeare”, where he

highlights the good and bad in the renowned William Shakespeare’s

works. He attempts to identify the reasons why Shakespeare is as

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influential as he is. We sat down with him in order to gain a deeper look

into his criticism.

When asked why he thinks his essay received such a

colossal amount of attention, Johnson explains that

it may be because his perspective is different from

the ones who have criticised Shakespeare before,

due to the fact that he is not the typical critic

belonging to the elite class of society. Johnson

claims his humble beginnings gave him the

opportunity to offer an intriguing perspective. When asked about the

identity of these aforementioned high class critics, Johnson coughs and

opts to go for a drink of water.

Johnson begins his essay with praises of Shakespeare, bringing out the

reasons why his works have remained so significant and monumental

even after decades. “He knew how to present his art in a way that

perfectly imitated nature,” says Johnson, “and he practised universality,

which is what drew every kind of audience to his works. His use of

language was also understandable by the common people.”

Johnson compliments Shakespeare on his ability to blend genres, namely

tragedy and comedy. “The Merchant of Venice is a perfect example of a

tragicomedy, it has all the sombre elements of a tragedy and the quick

relief of a comedy,” he says. “We are never only melancholy or only joyous,

a tragicomedy is able to imitate our complex emotions.”

Johnson straightens in his chair as he proceeds to the next part. He

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blames Shakespeare for lacking morality in his plays. “I agree that art is

entertainment and Shakespeare provided that abundantly, however, art

should also teach morals and lessons. It should carry a sense of

practicality.” Johnson continues with the opinion that Shakespeare’s plays

lack a strong and effective plot due to inconsistent order of time and

chronology. When confronted with the fact that reality and universality

do not follow such chronology most times, Johnson falters and clears his

throat. “These are merely my strongly appraised opinions, do with it as

you will,” he says.

Shakespeare’s vulgar use of language is also negatively criticised by

Johnson. The critic claims to not be fond of the sexist jokes, informal

language and frequent puns found in the plays. Johnson says, “A

gentleman should only joke when the time is appropriate and in a

manner that is not so crude, and only then is the humour acceptable.”

Finally, Johnson points out Shakespeare’s inability to maintain the rules of

unities but professes that these inconsistencies are what make

Shakespeare a legendary figure in literature. “Shakespeare was able to be

appealing to a large audience due to these characteristics in his plays,

and was able to set himself to a standard only a few have been able to

reach since.”



T he world of literary criticism has only grown in the past few centuries

with many knowledgeable individuals sharing their opinions and advice

on literary genres, works, and creators. Reading the words of critics only

Page 5| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

broadens our own vision and offers a perspective that we may have not

thought of before. It is a great medium to strengthen our literary

knowledge. However, with the benefits of literary criticism, there are quite

a few downsides that come along, one of them being the trend of classism.

Classist opinions are, unfortunately, very prevalent in the works of many

well-known critics like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Matthew Arnold.

Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria offers different perspective with which to

look at poetry, and while it does so in an excellent manner, it also portrays

discriminatory opinions. He believed informal language or the language

used by the common people was not adequate to generate superior

thoughts and emotions. While learning to speak in formal, high class

language can be an expansion of knowledge, it certainly is not the only

medium of expression.

Matthew Arnold’s The Study of Poetry offers a strong

yet problematic belief that only critics who carry

knowledge of prior great works can criticise art.

Through this statement, he was creating a limitation

to who can and cannot offer their criticism. Being as

academically powerful and influential as he was, it is

no surprise that he put his faith wholeheartedly in

education. However, not only the educated population are capable of

showing different, creative perspectives of literature.

Critics like Coleridge and Arnold present numerous educational aspects

through their works. However, their strong opinions on idealising and

allowing only a certain class of people to be able to access and create

literature are restrictive and incorrect.

Page 6| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

Boxing champion Neander showed the crowd the strength of his

judgements as he knocked down legendary boxer Lisideius last Friday

night at the John Dryden Stadium. The arena was brimmed with

palpable tension as the two boxers took to the ring. French drama lovers

cheered on for Lisideius while Neander received roars of encouragement

from English drama enthusiasts.



The first punch was thrown by Lisideius as he claimed the rules of unities

were strictly maintained by French dramas, enhancing their greatness.

Neander stumbled back from the power of the blow but came back

strong as he stated that following these rules only restricted and limited

a drama’s potential, damaging its quality. He did not let Lisideius rest as

he hit again with the fact that subplots and other diverse characteristics

only assisted to enrich a drama.

Lisideius could be seen on the brink of defeat at this point. He offered a

comparatively weak punch as he claimed that French dramatists never

mixed two genres together, preserving the rules of literature. Neander

struck with his usual fervour, asserting that the blending of two genres

only made a drama better. With this, Neander went for another powerful

hit, knocking Lisideius out and crowning himself as revolutionary and

modern yet again

Page 7| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

All you will need to take

your poetry to the

classical level!




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Page 8| The Morning Critic| 13 September, 2022

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