Last updated on February 14th, 2023 at 02:11 pm
Samuel Johnson is considered the father of English criticism. He was a lexicographer, poet, essayist, and literary critic who lived in the 18th century. He is best known for his groundbreaking work, “A Dictionary of the English Language,” which was published in 1755 and remains an important reference work to this day. Johnson was also a prolific writer of essays and critiques, and his works, such as “The Rambler” and “The Lives of the Poets,” are considered some of the finest examples of literary criticism in English. Johnson’s writing style was renowned for its wit, clarity, and elegance, and his influence on the field of criticism continues to be felt even today. He was a man of great learning and wisdom, and his contributions to the English language and literature are immeasurable.
One of the most influential writers of the 18th century was an Englishman named Samuel Johnson, who lived from 1709 to 1784. He was a poet, essayist, lexicographer, and critic best known for his seminal work, “A Dictionary of the English Language,” which was published in 1755 and is still a crucial source of information. Johnson was a highly educated and wise man, and his writing was praised for its elegance, wit, and clarity. In addition, he was a well-known philanthropist and supporter of humanitarian issues. Johnson is recognized as one of the most significant individuals in the history of English literature due to his enormous influence on the English language and literature.
Samuel Johnson – Career, Major Works, and Accomplishments
- In 1746, Samuel Johnson received a proposal from publishers for a project that would pay him 1,500 guineas to write an English language dictionary. He promised to complete it in three years. Even so, it took him close to eight years to compile the information because the amount of data was so great.
- Prior to the creation of “The Oxford Dictionary,” his dictionary was one of the most extensively used resources. It was published in 1755 and gained him a lot of praise.
- He wrote several essays, poems, and sermons in addition to the dictionary. ‘The Rambler,’ a collection of essays, was what came next, and it was pure genius. The Vanity of Human Wishes, a well-known poem, was another work by him.
- His most famous work is “A Dictionary of the English Language,” which was published in 1755 and remains an important reference work to this day. The dictionary was the first to provide a comprehensive, authoritative definition of the English language, and it was widely considered a triumph of scholarship and linguistic rigor. The 42,773 entries in the dictionary made it by far the most accurate in terms of the literature and language of the 18th century. The “New English Dictionary” and “Webster’s Dictionary” still contain many of the dictionary’s words and quotations.
- For his work on the English language, he was awarded a “Master of Arts” degree from Oxford University. In 1765, he received an honorary doctorate from “Trinity College Dublin.”
- He had a meeting with King George III in the Queen’s residence library in 1767. He obtained a second doctorate from “Oxford University” later in 1775.
- Johnson also wrote extensively on literary topics, including a series of essays entitled “The Rambler” and a collection of biographical and critical studies of English poets called “Lives of the Poets.” These works established him as a leading literary critic of his time and helped to shape the development of English literary criticism.
- In addition to his literary achievements, Johnson was also known for his philanthropy and was a passionate advocate for social causes. Despite his many accomplishments, he lived much of his life in poverty, but his works continue to be widely read and celebrated.
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Samuel Johnson as the Father of English Criticism
Samuel Johnson is considered the father of English criticism because of his influential works in literary criticism. Some of the reasons are:
- Comprehensive Dictionary: Samuel Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language” was the first comprehensive English dictionary and set the standard for future dictionaries. It was considered a landmark work of scholarship in its time.
- Literary Biography and Criticism: Johnson’s “Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets” was a pioneering work of literary biography and criticism, offering insightful analysis of the works and lives of the poets he wrote about.
- Moral and Aesthetic Views: Johnson’s critical writings were marked by his strong moral and aesthetic views, and he used these principles as the basis for his literary judgments.
- Influence on 18th-Century Criticism: Johnson’s works had a significant impact on 18th-century literary criticism and his views and opinions were widely respected and influential in his time.
- Continuing Relevance: Johnson’s works continue to be widely read and respected today, and his contributions to literary criticism and scholarship continue to be recognized and valued.
FAQs on Father of English Criticism
Samuel Johnson is considered the father of English criticism.
Samuel Johnson’s most famous work is his “A Dictionary of the English Language,” published in 1755, which was the first comprehensive English dictionary.
Samuel Johnson’s critical views, which were based on strong moral and aesthetic principles, were influential in 18th-century literary criticism. His works, such as “A Dictionary of the English Language” and “Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets,” are still widely read and respected today.
Samuel Johnson is referred to as the “Father of English Criticism” due to his significant contributions to the field of literary criticism, including his comprehensive dictionary and his pioneering work in literary biography and criticism. His works helped establish the standards and principles of literary criticism in English literature and continue to be widely read and respected today.
Samuel Johnson’s contribution to English criticism includes the creation of a comprehensive English dictionary and his pioneering work in literary biography and criticism. His critical writings helped establish the standards and principles of literary criticism in English literature.