Dramatic criticism helps interpret the art of the play by giving a reasoned and informed discussion of the play or playscript as literature. By exploring the key components of a dramatic work, dramatic criticism attempts to answer questions such as why was the play written? Does the play inform, entertain, inspire, and/or motivate the audience and why or why not?
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism contains contextual info on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.
ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) - Indexes monographs, journal articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews and dissertations worldwide. Coverage 1920 to the present.
International Index to the Performing Arts (IIPA). Coverage begins in 1864. Provides indexing and some full-text to articles in the scholarly as well as the popular press in dance, theater, stagecraft, and more.
JSTOR. Provides full-text to the entire run of leading journals in many scholarly disciplines including history, literature, and performing arts.
Literature Criticism Online. Covers from classic to modern times. Includes online editions of Contemporary Literary Criticism and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism.
Literature Online (LION). "Searchable library of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, 200 full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources."
Literature Resource Center. Contains literature criticism, biographies, work and topic overviews, and more.
(London) Times Literary Supplement Centenary Archive. (1902-1990). A facsimile of the Times Literary Supplement as well as new information on previously anonymous contributors. Influential criticism, essays, and opinions in letters, poems, essays, reviews and articles comprise the archive.
MLA (Modern Language Association) International Bibliography . The most comprehensive source for scholarly work in language and literature. Provides in-depth critical reviews.
Project Muse. Full-text of journals published by Johns Hopkins University press. Covers a broad range of humanities subjects.