"Criticism asks what literature is, what it does, and what it is worth." -Encyclopedia Britannica
Literary criticism comes in a variety of forms, including essays, articles, and monographs. Though the term "criticism" sounds negative, it isn't necessarily so. Criticism is all about interpretation. It is examining and analyzing the makings of a work of literature, such as its characterization, tone, social themes, religious allusions, etc. As the quote from Encyclopedia Britannica above so aptly states, literary criticism "asks what literature is, what it does, and what it is worth."