AD's English Literature : 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Antony in William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra": A Man with Magnificient Rhetoric

Antony: That which is now a horse, even with a thought
The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
As water is in water.

In the very extensive, various and fluid text, the imagery cosmic magnitude, Antony is a man with magnificent rhetoric. He is the observed of all observers. While Antony journeys to Rome, three separate groups – Caesar and Lepidus, Cleopatra and her servants, Pompey and his followers – about little else but Antony. He is judged from a variety view points. We entertain a complex image of Antony or perhaps a series of different complementary images of him, in a way that we scarcely do of Hamlet, Othello, Lear or Macbeth. In this respect the play has much more in common with Coriolanus and Timon of Athens, the question being not the tragic action but what sort of men Antony, Coriolanus and Timon are in these three Plutarchan tragedies, where the heroes are subjected to prolonged ethical scrutiny in which praise and blame are mixed. Antonym has surrendered to passion, to a life dominated by will and impulse and is consequently at the mercy of fortune. When he insists on fighting the crucial battle on sea he is making yet another symbolic choice of throwing away his absolute soldership and committing himself to instability. He struggles for life in an amorphous  ways and becomes hollow, watery, void and unreal, a victim of the moment. To him life has become a succession of phantasmagorical moments in which mere phenomenal experience is all he has.

Cleopatra in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra": a Complex Inscrutable, Indefinable Heroine

Cleopatra: Celerity is never more admir'd
Than by the negligent.

Cleopatra embodies mystery. Shakespeare chose to keep her feminine mystique inexplicable in Antony and Cleopatra. She is, in turn, vain, sensual, violent, cruel, bawdy, cowardly, beautiful, witty, vital, intelligent, a strumpet, a gipsc, a lass unparalleled, a triumphant lady, royal wench, a great fairy, a rare Egyptian. She is all these and more – a source of Perini fascination.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Subject of Death in English Poetry

"Philaster: Oh, but thou dost not know
What 'tis to die.
Bellario: Yes, I do know, my Lord:
'Tis less than to be born; a lasting sleep;
A quiet resting from all jealousy,
A thing we all pursue; I know besides,
It is but giving over of a game,
That must be lost.
Beaumont & Fletcher 

‘O eloquent just and mighty Death’, cried Sir Watter Raleigh in his book – titled so very appropriately -  A History of the World. It is indeed less a history of morality than of mortality, of Thanatos or the Freudian death wise rather than of Eros or the primal love instinct. The consciousness  that death is the ultimate reality, that man’s  life is a short journey from womb to tomb , that man’s very birth is again painfully and paradoxically – the beginning of the end , the death and the intellectual , the virtuous and the vicious has led man to resignation and stoicism, to theology and philosophy.Read More about Poetry   In short dominates his entire life. If poetry be the mirror of life, it will be the re – moldings of reality, if be the effusion of emotions, poetry can certainly not ignore this vital  reality, to some ‘the only reality’. ‘Doth poetry wear Venus Livery?’ asked Herbert, and indeed poetry wears the sable shroud of death too. Death has led poets to write elides and threnodies carpediems and carpe florems and to a host of other poems of non – distinctive genres.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Science Fiction: A Brief History of It's Development

Introduction: Science Fiction is the current name for a class of prose narrative which assumes an imaginary technological or scientific progress, or depends upon an imaginary change in the human environment. Such narrative were first labeled “Science Friction” by the American magazine of the 1920’s, though the term previously used in Britain was ”Scientific Romance”, and many contemporary writers and critics preferred “Speculative Fiction”. Narrations of this kind are distinguished from other kind of fantastic narrative by the claim that they respect the limits of scientific possibility. It also referred to stories that appeared in cheap, so-called pulp magazines, but science fiction now appears in all media, including motion pictures, staged dramas, television programs, and video games, as well as short stories and book-length works.

The Development of the Theatres and Stages from Medieval Drama to Shakespeare’s Time

"HAMLET Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and—as I may say—whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O! it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it."

The development of the theatres and stages from Medieval drama to Shakespeare’s time was revolutionary. The ‘mystry’ and ‘miracle’ plays as they came to be called, were performed on platforms, or carts, that moved around the city to various ‘stations’ where the audience gathered. In early years of Elizabeth’s reign groups of players performed where they could, indoors in hells or courts, but more frequently in the square on the yards of inns. The companies were all licensed by patronage of some great lord, for it unlicensed they were deemed ‘Rogues and Vagabonds’ according to a statue of 1598. the earliest playhouses, ‘The Real Lion’ and ‘The Theatre’ which had permanent stages, were built by 1576 outside the jurisdiction of the critic authorities. The ‘Globe’ the most spectacular of playhouses in Shakespeare’s times and the one patronized by Shakespeare’s himself, was built by Burbage operational by 1599. The leave for the level and the authorship of Globe was divided into two: fifty percent of assets by Cuthbent and Richard Burbage; the other fifty percent was apportioned among five other numbers including Shakespeare himself. It is the nature of contemporary play houses that usually determined Shakespeare’s choice of locale the descriptive language in the actors’ mouth as well as the fertile use of asides and soliloquies.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Analysis of Satire as a Literary Genre

“It's hard not to write satire.”- Juvenal (65? - 128?)
Roman poet.

Introduction: The word satire comes from Latin satura which means “medley” or “mixture,” and is related to the Latin adjective satur. The word also has its origin in the similar Greek term satyros. It was modified into satyra and then in English into satyre. Read More Poetry However, as a result of false etymology, the word was confused with satyr, and so took on the connotation of lasciviousness and crude mockery. In ancient times, however, it was agreed that satires were intended to tax weaknesses and to correct vice wherever found.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

S. T. Coleridge's Definition of Metre

"Poetry is not the proper antithesis to prose, but to science. Poetry is opposed to science, and prose to metre."--

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)

Introduction: ‘Poetry’, declared Dr. Johnson, is metrical composition (Dictionary), and Poe described it more rapturously as ‘the rhythmic creation of beauty’ (The Public Principle), thereby making poetry and metre almost synonymous yet Wordsworth would feign deny metre the right to be equated with poetry. Even though he began his famous Preface with the declaration that he had attempted to provide pleasure by ‘fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men’, and that ‘except with reference to the metre’ poetry was no different from prose, he later hastened to add that his use of metre was only in order to ‘superadd" poetry. The charm which by the consent of all nations, is acknowledge to exist in metrical language’. Wordsworth thus followed 18th century theory and saw metre as ‘superadded’ to poetry; its function is more nearly ornamental, a grace of style and not an essential quality. In contrast Coleridge saw metre as being organic, it functions together with all of the other parts of a poem and is not merely an echo to the sense or an artifice of style. Coleridge also examined the psychological effects of metre, the way it sets up patterns of exception that are either fulfilled or disappointed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Obscenity and Censorship in Literature

Introduction: Obscenity, and its consequent censorship, is perhaps as old as literature itself. If Plato had pleaded for literary censorship, if the Roman Catholic church had come up with the Index Expurgatorial, and if the Elizabethan  period had its own politico-religious system of censorship, the 19th century and 20th centuries have been the champions of ‘moral’ censorship Wielding their excising sword especially on all trace of obscenity, latent or patent, obvious or farfetched, contextualized or in isolation.

Defining Rhetoric : THE AMORETTI (Sonnet 75): Edmund Spenser


                 Edmund Spenser - Sonnet 75

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
Vain man, said she, that doest in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wiped out likewise.
Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name.
Where whenas Death shall all the world subdue,
Out love shall live, and later life renew.

“ One day I wrote her name upon the strand ’’

This a case of Hyperbaton because the normal order of wards has been changed .The ordinary syntactic order world have been  “I wrote her name upon the strand’’.

Defining Rhetoric :Sir Philip Sidney's ASTROPHEL AND STELLA ( Sonnet No 1)

The best known of Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence is  Astrophel and Stella (1591), a sequence of 108 sonnets celebrating an unrequited love affair.
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain:
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite—
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."

‘ Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show’----

 This is a case of Hyperbaton since the order of the second part of the verse has been inverted . Instead of "fain in verse my love to show ", it should be " fain my love to show in verse. "

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Horace’s "Ars Poetica": Horace’s concept of Decorum

Horace’s Ars poetica explains the difficulty and the seriousness of the poetic art, and gives technical advice to aspiring poets. Here he explains the main role of art. Here he defines decorum or in classicist conception par excellence. In fact, Horace prefers craft to nature, and in consequence emphasizes decorum – a studied and diligent attention to what is proper and becoming in thought, action and style. In a good poem action should fit character, and expression should so fit subject matter that grave issues are treated with dignity and trivial matters with humbleness. Thus beauty, according to the principle of decorum, is nothing but order and fitness. Yet, this principle, which is today synonymous with Horace, has its ultimate origin in the Greek doctrine of ideas or forms, especially Aristotle’s to propriety of style discussed in the Rhetoric. Later Cicero in the Orator defined the term in its general application to real life, oratory and poetry. Finally it was left to Horace to illustrate its specific application to poetry. One can today scarcely deny that it is Horace who in spite of never actually using the word ‘decorum’ – his favourite word being literary propriety – transformed it into an all embracing critical doctrine.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Relationship between Poetry and Music as Stated in Plato’s Republic

Plato, who makes his famed The Republic the entreaty of all possible discussions on all the aspects of citizenship and an inquiry into the nature of justice and the organization of a perfect society, brings both poetry and music within his preview. Book III of the Republic, in particular, is concerned with the education of the ideal civilization for his ideal republic. The two kinds of education are mental and physical, and mental education includes the cultivation of both music and poetry. Criticizing the doctrines of atheism and materialism, Plato reaffirmed his idealistic position and asserted his belief in the moral government of the universe and the immortality of the soul. Yet, Plato’s attitude is not of ecstatic enthusiasm but rather of a subdued and resigned acceptance. Music and poetry, if they are finding a place in his somewhat Utopian republic, must not exist as parries. They must subserve, the kind of education Plato seeks, and for that, many aspects of music, as of poetry, must be pruned. It is with this didactic intention that Plato finds a harmony and co-relation between music and poetry. In his The Republic, Plato went so far as to banish some types of artists from his ideal society because he thought their work encouraged immorality or portrayed base characters, and that certain musical compositions caused laziness or incited people to immoderate actions.Plato attacks poetry and music on four basic grounds: moral, emotional,intellectual and utilitarian.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Analysis of P.B. Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind: Adoration of Powerful Force and the Poet's Reformist Words

P.B. Shelley‘s Ode to the West Wind addresses the west wind as a powerful force and asks it to scatter the poet's reformist words throughout the world. It is written in a spirit of exaltation; it is a dignified strain in praise of West Wind. The metrical effects are very beautiful here and in doing so Shelley unifies the content of the poem by focusing the first three stanzas on the powers of the wind and the last two stanzas on the poet's desire to use these powers to spread his words throughout the world.

Analysis of Thomas Hardy's In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations' : Glorious Triumph of Love and Life

The title word In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations' significantly echoes God’s words that He will break the nations and bring destruction (The Bible, Jeremiah LI 20). Ironically enough the optimist Thomas Hardy is here boldly contesting God’s words. He voices the glorious triumph of love and life over the onslaught of war and destruction.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

UGC NET Solved Paper II ; Subject -- English ; December : 2010

Paper – II
Note : This paper contains fifty (50) objective type questions, each question carrying two(2)marks. Attempt all the questions.


1. Jeremy Collier’s A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage attacked among others.
(A) John Bunyan
(B) Thomas Rhymer
(C) William Congreve
(D) Henry Fielding

<Note: When the work of Congreve and his colleagues was attacked by the clergyman Jeremy Collier as licentious, Congreve replied with Amendments of Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations (1698). >

2. The Crystal Palace, a key exhibit of the Great Exhibition, was designed by
(A) Charles Darwin
(B) Edward Moxon
(C) Joseph Paxton
(D) Richard Owen

< Note: Crystal Palace, famous exhibition hall was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, England. Because of its great size and its innovative use of glass and iron in prefabricated units, it was a milestone in the development of modern architecture. >

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sir Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel: Patriotism is an Eternal Ideology for Loving of One’s Country

The bright, fervent love of one’s country i. e. affection with which people care their homeland is an eternal ideology. In the name of patriotism we are eager for the sacrifice which will be celebrated with honor on the occasion of freedom. We all anticipate that happy moment. Whereas, a hater of his homeland is shadowed in the blackest darkness, by reason of the betrayal veil that obscures his sight.The theme of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel is centered on the same subject of patriotism. In simple words, the poet extols patriotism and denounces lackness in patriotism. The tone of the poem is patriotic. Each line thrills with deep patriotic feelings. Love of one’s own country is the kernel of this poem. The lines are highly inspiring.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones: Literary Imagination , Perfection of Plot and Artistic Form

Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones sketches the evolution of novel writing till the close of the eighteenth century that the reader may be reminded of those authors whose influence is still felt and of whom it belongs to the humane life to know. In the more detailed studies we find the story extensively popular, with a lot of literary imagination and artistic form. It marks a progressive change. In estimating Tom Jones’s place and function, a close examination of the work must have to be done.

Lord Alfred Tennyson‘s Crossing the Bar: Spiritual Discourse on the Aftermath of Life

One has to die some day or other, and one cannot die a better death than Jesus. It is his death that brought a revolution into the consciousness of humanity.  Osho (The Dhammapada)

Lord Alfred Tennyson‘s Crossing the Bar is a highly charged spiritual discourse on the aftermath of life. It is a philosophic discourse on the subject of death. However, the central issue in this poem is the personal vision of death presented through the analogical metaphors of sea voyage. In fact, Lord Alfred Tennyson‘s Crossing the Bar is allegorical and steeped in deep symbolic meaning from the beginning to the end. The entire poem is deeply suggestive lesson of final journey of life towards death set forth in the metaphoric language of sea voyage.

Hamlet’s Delay in Action: Critical Commentary on Shakespeare’s Hero

Hamlet has every reason to act swiftly in avenging his father’s murderer; we know he can act quickly, as his behaviour on the pirate ship shows. Yet he seems to find it impossible to kill Claudius, and when he does so it is an immediate response to the death of his mother. Critics debate over the Possible Reasons for this delay. The popular theories are:

The Earlier Play: There is a theory- but it is no more than a theory- that hamlet is based on another, earlier play with essentially the same story, but which treated the issues raised more simply- for example, hamlet simply wants revenge, is prevented from enacting it by practical difficulties of killing a reigning king and adopts madness as a ruse to avoid suspicion. This theory coincides with know practice; Shakespeare’s age did not prize originality of plot a great deal and the majority of Shakespeare’s plays are taken from other books or works. The idea also helps to explain some of the apparent inconsistencies and uncertainties of the play.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Walter de la Mare’s Silver: Simplicity of Dictions, Rhythmic Sounds, Painting of the Nocturnal Setting and Fairy- tale like Ambience

Walter de la Mare’s Silver is simply beautiful for its simplicity of diction, rhythmic sounds, painting of the nocturnal setting and fairy tale like ambiance. Rhyming in couplets the entire poem is a flow of onomatopoeic sounds; but the sounds itself transmutes the colours.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

William Wordsworth’s Interest in Nature: Theory of “Emotion Recollected in Tranquility.”

“The office of the poet is not that of the moralist, and the first aim of Wordsworth's poetry is to give the reader a peculiar kind of pleasure.” --WALTER PATER
 [From Appreciations, 1889. First published in the Fortnightly Review for April, 1874.]

William Wordsworth introduced nature into English poetry and revived interest in natural scenes and country folk in the truest sense of pleasure. Most of his great lyrics and odes had aesthetic pleasure of nature for their theme, for instance, Immortality ode and The Solitary Reaper. Wordsworth not only dwelt on the external beauty of nature but also revealed the inner aesthetic meaning of the various objects of nature. Thus in Immortality Ode he writes –
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Critical appreciation of Bertrand Russell's Free Thought and Official Propaganda :What does Russell mean by the word ‘Free Thought’ and how it is prejudice by the official Propaganda?

Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, mathematician, Nobel laureate and logical analyzer in his critical lecture (DELIVERED AT SOUTH PLACE INSTITUTE ON MARCH 24, 1922), Free Thought  and Official Propaganda observes the nature of Free wills in the individuals and critically portraits the propaganda which curb the destined goal of it. In simple words, according to him reasoning and better civilized world is a performance of the Free Thinker, which time and again are put into control or checked by the orthodox Governmental measures.

R. K. Narayan 's essay , A Writer’s Nightmare : Critical Observation on Censorship of Writings and Writers by the Governmental Parameters

"There are writers- Tolstoy and Henry James to name two- whom we held in awe, writers- Turgenev and Chekhov- for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect- Conrad for example- but who hold us at a long arm's length with their 'courtly foreign grace.' Narayan (whom I don't hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian." --- Graham Greene

            R. K.Narayan in his A Writer’s Nightmare vividly sums up a critical observation on censorship of writings and writers by the Governmental parameters. It is a sweet anecdote of dream like qualities. Here is not only a simplicity of consecration but also of lasting literary merits. R. K. Narayan’s essay, A Writer’s Nightmare reveals his keen observation on the situation of writing in India. The essay is also a virtue of simplicity, precision, clarity and readability. Here, Narayan uses the minimum of words to achieve his purpose, and his vocabulary has a modest range.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shakespeare's Audience: Structural Analysis

Prologue: “If an audience disrespects me it is insulting the music I play and I will not continue, because if they don't want to listen then I don't want to play. An audience chooses to come and see me perform; I don't choose the audience.”-  Nina Simone (1933 - 2003) U.S. jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter.

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as an avant Garde Performances

If Avant-Garde musical is Boulez's Livre Pour Cordes, films in  Michelangelo Antonioni; Ingmar Bergman; Luis Buñuel; Sergey Mikhaylovich Eisenstein; etc, avant-garde theater and playwrights must comply with  Antonin Artaud; Samuel Beckett; Bertolt Brecht; Jean Cocteau; Friedrich Dürrenmatt; Jean Genet; Eugène Ionesco; Alfred Jarry; Vsevolod Meyerhold etc. Notably Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot is an exquisite Avant-Garde production.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Return of the Native By Thomas Hardy : Important Short Questions Part IV

31. Explain the phrase ‘Cretan Labyrinth’ – Explain the context in which it appears.

            Minos, the legendary king of Crete, ordered the construction of an elaborate Labyrinth in which he kept the Minotaur, a monster which was half bull and half man. Each year seven young men and seven young women imprisoned in the labyrinth for the Minotaur to kill.
            This appears in the context of the dreams dreamt by Eustacia about Clym which were very exciting and was certainly never dreamed by a girl in Custacia’s situation before. The dreams of Eustacia had as many remifications as the Cretan Labyrinth.

32. ‘But providence is nothing if not coquettish’ – When and why did Hardy say this?

            Hardy told this when Eustacia resolved to look for the man from Paris i.e. Clym, no more Eustacia was so much fascinated in her dreams that it led her to seek for Clym everyday. Unfortunately she could not see Clym even aftr her fifth visit to the heath. She retired with heart sickness with a sense of shame at her weakness. But when she left all hope, the chance came almost unexpectedly. Hence Hardy passes the remark that Providence is coquettish meaning that it never acts directly or in an expected way.

The Return of the Native By Thomas Hardy : Important Short Questions Part III

21. Why did Thomasin write a letter to Diggory Venn?

            Diggory Venn, the riddle man was once a dairy farmer. He was in love with Thomasin but despite the fact that she considered him to be a good man declined to marry him. In a letter therefore, Thomasin had candidly exclaims her position to him and urged him not to see her again. For this reason only, Thomasin, wrote a letter to Diggory Venn.

22. What was the secret of the reddleman’s deep concern for Thomasin’s happiness?

            Diggory Venn, the reddleman loved Thomasin to the core of his heart and also proposed her. Thomasin Teobrite rejected his proposal and wrote him a letter. But Venn’s love for Thomasin did not wane. He tried her best to ensure Thomasin’s happiness.

23. ‘The reddleman suggested to Eustacia that he would arrange for her escape from Egdon to Budmouth’ – How did he liked to do it? Why did Eustacia reject the suggestion?

            The reddleman’s uncle had been a trustee of a rich widow at Bud mouth for twenty five years. The rich lady lived in a beautiful house facing the sea and was looking for a young company keeper as she was old and lame. The lady would jump to get Eustacia and his uncle would arrange everything.

The Return of the Native By Thomas Hardy : Important Short Questions Part II

11. ‘And if you hear a frog jumped into the pond with a flown, like a stone thrown in, be sure you run and tell me because it is a sign of rain’ – Who said this and to whom? Was the jumping of a frog really a sign of rain? If not, what did it signify?

            This was told by Eustacia to her assistant, Johnny whom she had employed to keep the bonfire burning.

            The jumping of a frog was not really a sign of rain. It was the sound of the stone thrown into the pond, which was the signal of Wildeve’s coming to meet with Eustacia.

The Return of the Native By Thomas Hardy : Important Short Questions Part I

1. ‘The untamable, Ishmaelite thing that Egdon now was it always had been’ – What is meant by Ishmaelite thing? Why Egdon is called Ishmaelite thing?

            The phrase ‘Ishmaelitish thing’ refers to a person or thing cast off from others. In the Bible Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar. Abraham cast out Hagar and Ishmael in-to the desert. Hence the sense of an outcast comes.

            Hardy describes Egdon as Ishmaelitish thing, because it is cast off from the civilized world. It is an enemy to civilization.

2. “The great inviolent place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim” – Name ‘the great inviolent place’. How does the speaker establish the ‘ancient permanence’ of the place which even the ‘sea’ can not claim?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

P.B Shelley's The Cloud: A myth of Nature

 A myth is a story handed down from olden times, especially explanation of natural events or beliefs about the early history of a race. In other words, a myth is a purely fictitious narrative embodying popular ideas on natural phenomena. In relation to poetry and myth, it is definitely be told that a poet must have in his soul a sense of music, myth and imagination or he will never be able to speak rhythmically, universally and pictorially in his poetry. P. B.Shelley stands among those poets who made a perfect fusion of myth and lyrical grace, the most spontaneous, the most lyrical and most mythical. 

John Keats' "To one who has been long in city pent" : Read from the Perspective of Nature Worship

The themes of the Keatsian lyrics cover a great range: nature, country, home, family, friends, conduct, love, God whatever emotion can touch. In the poet's heart and mind it has smoldered until it bursts out in the flame of expression. What range of kind and of intensity there is to human emotion! However, Nature Worship, a kind of poetic devotion paid either to nature as a deified collective entity or to all things in nature, including the elements, celestial bodies, plants, animals, and humanities best exhibited in Keatsian poetry. His To one who has been long in city pent can also be read from that perspective of Nature Worship.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Galsworthy's "Justice” : A Problem Play that Satirizes Crime Law and Divorce Law at Force in Then England

No subject of equal social importance has received such thoughtful consideration in recent years as the question of Crime and Punishment. A number of books by able writers, both in Europe and this country discuss this topic from the historic, psychological, and social standpoint, the consensus of opinion being that present penal institutions and our methods of coping with crime have in every respect proved inadequate as well as wasteful. This new attitude toward one of the gravest social wrongs has also found dramatic interpretation in Galsworthy's "Justice.” It is a problem play that satirizes crime law and divorce law at force in then England.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Application of Information Technology & Multimedia in Teaching English Literature

There has been a sea change, during the past two decades, of the teaching of English literature world wide in the schools and colleges by the introduction of scientific equipments. The earlier teaching of English was characterized largely by a type of instruction which is a type of a lecture method in teaching poetry and prose. But, presently, universalisation of education technology is a matter of great prosperity for the teaching ideology. Particularly Information Technology achieves a wide possible reach for the students. A large number of schools and colleges have been upgraded with emphasis on enhancing visual teaching, reducing abstract rate of insipid learning. Multimedia can succeed in achieving most of these targets. While this is true for teaching every subject, The Application of Multimedia in Teaching English Literature is our primary concern.

The Conch in Golding's "Lord of the Flies" Bears a Mythical Identity : Symbolic Stance of Authority, Civilization, Reason, Structure and Self-discipline.

Introduction: Generally, Conch, the shells of some species, is fashioned into trumpets for use in ceremonial music among certain religious and ethnic groups. For Example, Vishnu is depicted as holding a conch in one of his four hands. The conch in his hand is said to symbolize that from which all existence originates.  The conch in Lord of the Flies also bears a mythical identity with a symbolic stance of authority, of civilization, of respectability, order, intelligence, reason, and self-discipline. The conch Image shows Golding's delicacy of touch in his treatment of the myth in the story. His portrayal is most artistic. However, the study of conch follows several lines. Attention may be centered separately, with a view to understanding it thoroughly and training the mind studying in literary appreciation.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Significance of the Mute Scene in John Galsworthy's "Justice"

 John Galsworthy’s notes in The Mute Scene is an integral part of the drama, Justice which, not to be read as added material, but to be read as material that comments upon and deconstructs the core theme Justice. The Mute Scene (Act III, scene iii) is very important from the theatrical point of view since through this Galsworthy presents the deep agony of a helpless man, Falder in the solitary confinement. The scene arouses not only our pity and fear, but also our hatred for the system. It is heart-gripping in its silent force. The whole scene is a pantomime, taking place in Falder's prison cell.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lady Augusta Gregory's "The Rising of the Moon" as an Irish Play of Patriotism

 THE RISING OF THE MOON is a beautiful one-act little play, written in 1904 by Lady Augusta Gregory who is best known for irish theme and lifelike  characterization. In fact, Her characters who are specialized in realistic depictions of their native land are not at all romanticized, but are very realistic--one of her great talents was being able to catch the vocabulary, speech mannerisms and  rhythms of the Irish people, which she studied as she traveled throughout Ireland, seeking its rich oral tradition. In THE RISING OF THE MOON, one sees the deep conflict between the hearts of the Irish people, even those hired as policemen (who also longed secretly, in their heart of hearts, for freedom, as often as not), and their duty to maintain the status quo, with all the English gold and power and "good common sense" behind it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Principal Features of Old English Language

Old English, a variant of West Germanic, was spoken by certain Germanic peoples (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) of the regions comprising present-day southern Denmark and northern Germany who invaded Britain in the 5th century ad.  They gradually settle in England and regional dialects developed. Old English major dialects had four divisions– Northumbrain, dialect of  Northumberland, Mercian, subdivisions of the dialects spoken by the Angles, West Saxons , a branch of the dialect spoken by the Saxons; and Kentish, originally the dialect spoken by the Jutes;. West Saxon gradually gained ascendancy and the documents, which enable us to study Old English, are documents of West Saxon. By the 9th century, partly through the influence of Alfred, king of the West Saxons and the first ruler of all England, West Saxons became prevalent in prose literature. A Mercian mixed dialect, however, was primarily used for the greatest poetry, such as the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf and the contemporary elegiac poems.

An analysis of Bernard Shaw’s play "Arms and the Man" as an anti-romantic comedy

Bernard Shaw calls Arms and the Man, set during a war in the Balkans between the Bulgarians and the Serbians, an anti-romantic comedy. The main purpose of the dramatist is to satirize the romantic conception of life. Shaw has no faith in emotion and sentiment. Throughout the drama he denounces the idealism and insists on realism. He does it through humor of character and humor of situation at the same time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Break, Break, Break : a sea elegy written by Lord Tennyson on the death of his university friend Arthur Henry Hallum

Lord Tennyson
Break, Break, Break is a sea elegy written by Lord Tennyson on the death of his university friend Arthur Henry Hallum. Here, the ever-breaking sea, the fisherman's boy, the stately ships, etc. all show the permanence of the world around and yet they remain unaffected by the poet's personal grief. However, the thoughts contained in this elegy are not so elaborate and high as in In Memorium but the Current of thoughts is not less pathetic.

Adonais by Percy Bysshe Shelley: Pastoral Elegy on the Death of John Keats.

Pastoral Elegy is a song of grief in which the poet in the guise of a Shepherd mourns the death of some dear and near ones who are also presented as a Shepherd. As it is already stated, pastoral elegists mourn a subject by representing the mourner and the subject as shepherds in a pastoral setting. Representing all these conventions, Adonais is a Pastoral Elegy. It has been criticized on the ground that the expression of grief in it is not sincere, for one who sincerely mourns expresses his grief directly and does not run after metaphors or figurative expression (the dreams and fancies of Adonais as his mourners, to bring in the mountain shepherds, and to personify the power of nature may be good poetry but it is urbanely artificial) But as a matter of fact, Adonais is not an expression of personal sorrow. Shelley never claimed it to be so. It is a lament on the loss of a valuable life as ‘Lycidas’. Also, Keats and Shelley had never been intimate friend, and Shelley did not think highly of any of his of …. than, ‘Hyperior”.

Critical Analysis of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Where The Mind Is Without Fear”

RabindranathTagore's writing is highly imagistic, deeply religious and imbibed with his love of nature and his homeland. RabindranathTagore’s poem, ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’ ,included in the volume called Naibedya, later published in English ‘Gitanjali’ is a prayer to a universal father-figure, presumably, God to elevate his country into a free land. Here Tagore defines Freedom as a fundamental system of reasoning of a sovereign state of mind, established or accepted as a guide for governing the man in a nutshell. A freedom fixes the limits and defines the relations of the moral, ethical and powers of the state of mind, thus setting up the basis for life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Central Thought of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem: Have you not heard his silent steps? (Gitanjali Songs Offerings No.45)

Even a cursory reading of RabindranathTagore’s Gitanjali (Songs Offerings) shows its deeply religious and devotional character. The one hundred and three songs in this celebrated book are written in prayers to God and were intended by Tagore as his personal tribute to his maker. Gitanjali has therefore to be valued and cherished as a book of religious poems which undoubtedly lift the reader spiritually and transport him to an altogether different world from the one in which he lives. In numerous occasions in his songs Rabindranath assures many a time that he is absolutely certain that he has been nothing but hollow bamboos, and God has been singing through him. He has been flutes, but the song is not his. It has flowed through them, but it comes from some unknown source. He has not hindered – that’s all he has done. But he has not created it. The paradox! And, in fact it is the power of supreme father.

Critical Commentry on John Keats' ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’

‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ is one of the finest ballads of art in English poetry. This remarkable baIllad written by John Keats, narrates the fascinating story of a mortal’s love with fairy. It presents the strange way and manners of these enchantresses who use to make fool of men. t is a sad tale of love betrayed; of a knight who was bewitched by her when he was asleep leaving him to wonder in the cold, crazed with love for her. It is thus a tale of melancholy yearnings and unfulfilled desire.

Critical Appreciation of T. S. Eliot’s Preludes:The Rottenness, the Corruption and Decadence of Contemporary Society

T. S. Eliot’s Preludes , which is included in Prufrock and Other Observations, 1977, a collection of poems ,is frankly satirical of modern society, and the love – theme, when it appears, receives an ironic treatment. The rottenness, the corruption and decadence of contemporary society is exposed with a rare poignancy here. It is not unfair to say that the author has miserably failed here to notice anything positive in life .This, however, does not in anyway reduce the significance of his poems, which are excellent poetic manifestations of the themes through their use of imagery.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

‘Spring Offensive’ of Wilfred Owen: Offensive and Its Outcome

 Wilfred Owen Masters the group of war poets who have the first hand experienced of modern war fare. ‘Spring Offensive’ like other poems of Owen, is an eloquent protest against the cruelties and horror of war and it is drawn on Owens own experience of the Anglo French offensive launched in April 1917 to attack the Germans who took shelter behind the river Somme in France.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W. B. Yeats: Prompted by Home Sickness


W. B. Yeats was in London when he wrote The Lake Isle of Innisfree in 1890. The poem was prompted by a feeling of home sickness. Innisfree is an island in a lake near Sligo where as a young man Yeats had dreamed of a smooth life close to nature. He was standing on an actual London pavement (the pavements grey) when a jet of Walter in a chemist shop set him dreaming of this island.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Analysis of Lord Tennyson’s Tithonus : immortality consumes

Tennyson’s Tithonus  relates to the old Greek myth of Tithonus, a very handsome youth and the son of Laomendon, the king of Troy. The legend tells that Tithonus was loved by the dawn goddess, Eos, who bore him a son, the hero Memnon, king of Ethiopia.  As his beloved was beloved was immortal, he requested her for the gift of immortality, Eos requested Zeus, the king of Gods, to grant this boon to her lover. Though immortality was granted, perpetual youth was not bestowed upon him. Thus Tithonus in his old age withered away to a decrepit and shriveled old man. Thus gradually he became old, infirm and ugly so that he pleaded finally to be released from life. At this given situation, the Tennyson’s Tithonus opens with a long soliloquy by title hero.

How to Buy a House by Durrell: The Character of Sabri Tahir

 In Durrell’s story How to Buy a House Sabri Tahir appears as the central character with impressive characteristics. With the help of Sabri Tahir the author is able to purchase a house and it is the very story in a nutshell. It is Sabri whose practical ability as a businessman is a cardinal feature of his character and around him revolves the entire story. Now let us sum up his characteristics under the following heads.

"The Mark on the Wall" by Virginia Woolf : Narrated in ‘Stream of Consciousness’ Technique

With Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf also accepts the stream of consciousness technique in her writing. To record the flaw of consciousness this technique is brought into perfection by certain use of symbols and imagery where plots relegate into the second position. Her present essay The Mark on the Wall is well distinguished by a capacity for a deep and complex response to the experience of the moment, stressing the subtle to and fro activity of the mind.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Central Theme of Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 18 (shall I compare thee To a Summer’s Day)

According to Francis Meres, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, “mellifluous and honey-tongued” Bard of Avon who equals to the Roman Ovid, is a master artist of sonnet writing. Out of 154 of such Shakespearean sonnets, the first 126 sonnets are addressed to a handsome youth, his fair friend. The first 126 sonnets reveal “a story of brief intoxication by a friendship with a young aristocrat of quick disillusion; of a renewal of friendly relations on a quite different basis, when Shakespeare was economically independent of a gradual decay of the relationship”. Shall I compare Thee to a Summer’s Day (sonnet No. 18),” which ranks among the most famous love poems of all time can also be read from the above perspective.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Character of Diggory Venn (the reddleman) in Hardy’s Novel, The Return of the Native

A reddleman is one who sells a red ochre colour to the farmers for redding their sheep. Such a reddleman we find in Hardy’s Novel, The Return of the Native. In fact, Diggory Venn is the real name of the reddleman. He was a dairy farmer by his profession before he became a reddleman. He is now called the “reddleman” because he deals in reddle, a dye used by sheep farmers; as a result of handling it, his clothes, skin, and everything he owns are dyed red, giving him a devilish look. Such a character Venn functions as an image of the traditional rustics of Egdon heath with a philosophic essence of love, faith and natural proximity. According to Hardian precept of fate and morality, he is destined to win the race of life in ultimatum.

Joseph Conrad’s "The Lagoon" Relates Arsat’s Exile and Loneliness

Joseph Conrad holds a particular attraction for present-day readers for his extensive biographical and critical attention. In his works elements of fatalism and nihilism well establishes to postmodern literature and modern life. Citing that precept, here too, Joseph reworked his memories of his Malay trip into his  story The Lagoon, a highly symbolic work that explores the central character, Arsat’s living, learning, and realizing through the central metaphor of a journey to the stagnant lagoon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" as a Colonial Writing or Criticism of Imperialism

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible."
George Orwell (1903 - 1950) British writer.
Shooting an Elephant, "Politics and the English Language"
From a first person narrative perspective of a British officer stationed at Moulmein, Burma, “shooting an Elephant” is an essay which conveys the wrongs of New Imperialism, the intense anti-European feelings in the East. In fact, George Orwell, the essayist, and critic, whose brilliant reporting and political conscience fashioned an impassioned picture of his life and times through his essay “Shooting an Elephant” the political and colonial themes counter the totalitarian tendencies that he felt threatened his age. Here our narrator imparts one very significant event in his career as an Imperial police, which was shooting an elephant for the sake of not seeming like a “fool.”

William Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Lotus Eater’ Paints Thomas Wilson as Lotophagi ("lotus-eaters")

   In Greek mythology, the Lotophagi ("lotus-eaters") were a race of people on an island dominated by lotus plants. The lotus flowers were the primary foodstuff of the island and it caused the people to sleep in peaceful apathy. When Odysseus and his men landed on the island of the lotus-eaters, they began doing as the natives did, eating the lotus flowers. This caused them to sleep and stop caring about ever going home. Finally, Odysseus managed to rescue himself from the apathy and set sail. symbolically lotus-eaters are the people who live in oblivion forgetting their hardship of life. Now we will discuss how William Somerset Maugham’s compelling short story The Lotus Eater’ paints Thomas Wilson as Lotophagi ("lotus-eaters").

Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" as a Detective Story

"The Red-Headed League" is one of the 54 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle famous for its detective storyline and art of expression of the same. It first appeared in The Strand Magazine in August 1891, with illustrations by Sidney Paget. Conan Doyle ranked "The Red-Headed League" second in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. It is also the second of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which was published in 1892.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shakespeare’s Tragic Protagonist Macbeth is a Study of the Evil that is in Every Human Heart: Ambition

What is true to the action of a tragedy is also true to the tragic protagonist for according to Aristotle, both must be ‘spondaious’: be brave, noble, and Solemn. The tragic protagonist has neither the unblemished goodness nor the unmitigated villainy. He is to Aristotle, the intermediate kind of personage, a man not preeminently virtuous of just, whose misfortune is brought upon him not by vice but by ‘some error of judgment’. Now we will judge Shakespeare’s Tragic Protagonist Macbeth's character in these perspectives. 

Critically Commentry on the Opening Scene of “Macbeth”.

The opening scene usually serves the purpose of an exposition and truly, what Coleridge pointed out, strikes a spiritual key-note. Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a tragedy of the triumph of evil: we are in a world of moral anarchy, symbolized by the withered beings, to whom " foul is fair ". In a drama, first impressions are lasting, and Shakespeare contrives to put the spectator in the right mood at once. The first scene, other than being expositional, establishes a mood or an atmosphere for the action of the play. The hostile weather featuring fog and filthy air’ and the loath some witches croaking out middles create a world of darkness and foulness in which are found the echoes of the sinister designs of Macbeth and his wife to be seen later. The gathering of the three witches or the weird sisters in a desolate place in heavy storm, thunder and lightning and their promise to meet after the storm of great Macbeth ‘upon the health’ before the sunset add to the drama’s great mystery and horror. Their decision to meet Macbeth keeps the audience with bated breath and it at once brings up a question in the minds –“what can this man called Macbeth have to do with these witches, rather the distasteful hags”?

Sleep-Walking Scene in Macbeth: A Masterpiece of Dramatic Art

The famous sleep walking scene (ACT: V, SC: I) in ‘Macbeth’ is, ‘a stroke of creative imagination’, there being no hint of it in Holinshed. For the first and the last time in literature sleep walking is used with great and terrible dramatic effect. Indeed the scene is a masterpiece of dramatic art.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How to Approach Short Story and Get A Comprehensive idea About It

What is Short Story

It is hard to define the short story because it is not a made thing, but a growing thing. It is an evolution. To get  a comprehensive idea about It We might try to define it. So to say simply,  a short story is the disentangling of a complicated situation, so that a single definite effect is made. It is a fictional work depicting one character’s inner conflict or conflict with others, usually having one thematic focus. Combining all these they generally produce a single, focused emotional and intellectual response in the reader. The story is built upon groundwork of incident, character, and setting. It was Stevenson who said that he could conceive of but three ways to approach a story in writing it: by means of (1) an incident about which characters group themselves; (2) a character that plays a significant part through incidents; and (3) a mood or feeling, which both incident and character reflect.  The earliest ancestors of short stories are ancient tales, simple stories dated back to golden ancient era. The folk tales from Persia, Arabia, India, and Egypt had its first grains.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Introduction to The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman

The 14th-century poem The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman, better known as Piers Plowman, is generally attributed to William Langland. Three distinct versions of it exist, the first c. 1362, the second c. 1377, and the third 1393 or 1398. It has been described as "a vision of Christ seen through the clouds of humanity."  A religious allegory, the work is written as a dream vision, a popular medieval form in which a story is presented as if the author had dreamed it. 

Utility of School Library for English Learning

 We all know that School libraries are the heart of the education system and are essential component of education. They play a key role in nurturing knowledge and wisdom. It also improves the quality of education. It is an intellectual space, where teachers, children and members of the community can expect to find the means to deepen their knowledge and imagination. It, to a great extend, builds their character and identity.

But before we proceed further, let’s look what is library itself. Library is a collection of books and other informational materials made available to people for reading, study, or reference. The word library comes from liber, the Latin word for “book.” However, library collections have almost always contained a variety of materials. Contemporary libraries maintain collections that include not only printed materials such as manuscripts, books, newspapers, and magazines, but also art reproductions, films, sound and video recordings, maps, photographs, CD-ROMs, computer software, online databases, and other media. In addition to maintaining collections within library buildings, modern libraries often feature telecommunications links that provide users with access to information at remote sites.

Having penned what Library is, we now proceed to consider the way in which its study may be most profitably pursued. In order to fully comprehend any English Literature or Language Learning, and to place it in its true position among its sphere of Knowledge , not only must the given text be studied with due care, but we must pay regard to its outward "environment" and to the circumstances of the times in which the topic lived. We better learn trees instead of the fruits only. Unless the students have not asked themselves a certain number of questions and answered them satisfactorily the pupils cannot be sure of thoroughly understanding the learning model. Such Questions and Answers are fully entertained by Library.

 Libraries at the high school level (Class V to Class XII) differ in several ways from those serving the lower grades. Because classes at the high school level require students to conduct more research, high school libraries usually have larger and more advanced collections than do libraries in the lower grades. The best-equipped high school libraries feature computer labs, professional reference resources for teachers, conference and group study areas, and classrooms within the library. Most high school libraries also include separate areas devoted to college or vocational preparation. These areas typically contain information on individual schools, examples of schools applications, vocational aptitude tests, and other materials designed to provide guidance for completing high school students. Acknowledging thus the importance of school libraries, schools have to take an initiative to bring the school library in its proper functions. First of all it has to be evaluated in terms of the trends, patterns and services.  And finally we can discuss about the implementation these following guidelines for betterment of its functionality in the fields of English Literature or Language Learning:  

  1. We have to enlist different literary books for multifarious reading because mere text book studies will not be sufficient. So we should try to enlarge the catalogue and it is to be updated regularly. Libraries must issue supplements to list new items that the library has acquired. Few modern libraries continue to publish book catalogs and the school should collect them for better utility. The teachers’ purpose throughout has to be twofold. Firstly, it can be sought to provide able students with definite facts and with help towards a personal appreciation of the texts they read. Our other intention has to be to interest and in some degree to satisfy those ''general readers" who have little or no knowledge of literature.
  2. It can also be decided to weekly opening of library even during vacations.
  3. The team work of parents, teachers and the librarian can be chalked out where it can be decided to supply books to the parents.  Being Anxious to learn their feedback, we rather implement an environment of studies. However, a minimum cost will be levied from them. The participation of guardians from different social strata on a single platform would empower the school libraries as well.
  4. Computer connectivity or internet if still is unavailable at the school and digital library can not be accessed there, the students should remain active through other media such as television and radio.  They should find interesting literary topics which will be integrated in their studies..
  5. I think all of my respected readers know the sardar poro (monitorial system) of study. It can be implemented in the Library section too. Elder students should recommend books for their junior students and sometimes they play the part of deputy for them.
  6. Library books rating can be another initiative. By this rating system we can measure up the taste and tendency of our young readers.
            To provide quality education at schools library is a great support to attract children towards school and literature studies. The rural schools though lack some facilities; teachers’ utmost zeal and beloved pupil’s limitless pursuit will bring down the wall of hurdles, I hope. 

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you."