The four stages of literary criticism according to M. H. Abrams are as follows: 1. Mimetic Stage: Art + Universe. Locates literary work in the nature it copies. Poem seen as imitation. Exhibits itself in Classical (5th Century BC) thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. 2. Didactic/Pragmatic Stage: Art + Audience. Locates literary work in the audience it finds. Poem seen in the moral message it leaves the reader. Exhibits itself in Renaissance (16th/17th Century) thinkers like Sir Philip Sidney. 3. Expressive Stage: Art + Artist. Locates literary work in the author. Poem seen as an expression of the author's thoughts. Exhibits itself in Romantic (19th Century) thinkers like William Wordsworth. 4. Formal Stage: Art alone. Locates literary work in its own verbal structure. Poem seen as an object. Exhibits itself in Modern thinkers like Henry James.