This lesson defines 4 types of literary criticism- viz. 'vilakkamurai thiranayvu' or (rephrasing), 'mathipeetumurai thiranayvu' or (evaluation), or 'oppeetu thiranayvu' or (comparative criticism) and 'paguppumurai thiranayvu' or (analytical criticism). It explains their respective merits and demerits.
'Vilakkamurai thiranayvu' aids in the comprehension of a text by re-phrasing it. It basically seeks to explain a text from various perspectives. In doing so, it comes up with an alternative text. It reiterates the multiplicity of approaches to the understanding of a text.
'Mathipeetumurai thiranayvu' or evaluation analyzes a text from various angles in order to judge its literary value. It examines a text against established touchstones of literature and pronounces its worth.
'Oppeetutthiranayvu' or comparative criticism recommends the study of a literary text in comparison with other similar texts. It points out the similarities and differences between the texts that are compared. Comparative criticism has a long history as far as Tamil literature is concerned. It dates back to the commentaries or 'urai noolgal' written for ancient literary texts. The writers of these commentaries often compared a text with other similar works. Later, with the arrival of Europeans and the subsequent impact of European literature comparative criticism grew into an important form of criticism. Today, comparative criticism and comparative literature have emerged as independent disciplines where a lot of serious research is being undertaken.'Paguppumurai thiranayvu' or analytical criticism is the method of understanding and interpreting a text by analysing the various aspects of a text.