AD's English Literature : September 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 33

Short notes on History of English Literature: Gulliver’s Travels 

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

  1. It is Jonathan Swift’s most comprehensive and brilliantly worked out satire on man and his civilization.
  1. Lemuel Gulliver, the ship’s doctor on the ‘Antelope’, is ship-wrecked.
  1. He manages to make for the shore and he finds himself in the land of Lilliputs- humans only six inches tall.
  2.  He exposes the infinite littleness and absurd pretensions of man.
  3. Book has four parts: In Part I: A journey to Lilliput, a land where the people are twelve times smaller than in England.
  1. In Part II: A journey to Brobdingnag, a land where every living being is twelve times larger than in England.
  2. In Part III:   Gulliver visits the islands of Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdribb, and Japan.
Image courtesy
  1. In Part IV: Gulliver journeys to the land of the Houyhnhnms, rational horses, and the Yahoos, appallingly irrational humans.
  1. He becomes the pigmy and the same moral is driven out.
  1. In the third voyage to laputa and other islands, Swift attacks philosophers, projectors and inventors all who waste their energies in pursuit of fantastic things.
  1. The fourth voyage is to the land of Houynhnhm, a country governed by intelligent horses.
  1. In the land of the Houyhnhnms, humans are the unintelligent servants of automobiles. The flying island legends have a connection to the aboriginal Canadian Cree myths of creation.
  1.  In Gulliver and his views we find on colonialism, manifest destiny, and the white man’s burden.
  1. Knowledge of English politics at the time Swift was writing will make several of the characters more understandable, but is not essential for enjoyment of Gulliver’s Travels as a fantasy.
  1. Terms: “Big-Endians”, “Little-Endians”, “Big-Endians”, “Little-Endians.”
  1. The characters: Lemuel Gulliver; Emperor of Blefuscu, Brobdingnagian etc.
  1. Swift’s tale is not simply is a charming children’s fantasy, it is a tricky question whether or not it is better to introduce it to children or not.
  1. Gulliver legendsThe Borrowers by Mary Norton; H. G. Wells’s Food of the Gods; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequel Honey, I Blew Up the Baby; “Hundred Worlds” literary development of the first Star Trek television series by producer Gene Roddenberry.
  1. The most delightful of children’s book turns out to be one of the bitterest satires on mankind ever described. Swift suggest that man should be governed by reason, but the lower elements of his nature debase what is fine within him.
  1. The irony is devastating and the style is powerful, lucid and colloquial.
  1. If a modern equivalent to Gulliver’s Travels were written today, every nation would be satirized, instead of England and France.
  1. Notably, Gulliver’s journey to the land of the Houyhnhnms, in which humans are the unintelligent servants of automobiles.
  2. It is Swift’s political satire in his description of Lilliput effective in terms of Victorian as well as modern times.
  1. Gulliver’s Travels is suitable as children’s literature as well as adults.
  2. Gulliver’s Travels is written in the style of travelogue.
  3. In Gulliver’s Travels we cannot deny the fact that here is an imaginary world of nowhere. 

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 31

Short notes on History of English Literature: Wuthering Heights

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

  • Wuthering Heights is the single novel and masterpiece of Emily Bronte published in 1847.
  •  It is a chronicle of two generations of Earnshaws in their farmland home.
  •  The chief character of this novel is Heathcliff, a wait picked off the Liverpool Street and brought home by the senior Mr. Earnshaw.
  • Emily Brontë is careful to emphasize the contrasts between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
  • The strange elemental passion that binds Heathcliff and young Catherine is upset when Catherine is given in marriage to Edgar Linton. This provides the basis for Heathcliff’s vengeful action, for Heathcliff returns to ruin the two families.
  • Bronte in her novel Wuthering Heights created somehow of her imagination a stark, passionate world, reminiscent at times of the storm scenes in king Lear.

  •  In other hands the story might be mere melodrama, but resembles Othello when told in a different way.
  • As Emily Bronte narrates it, the story has a wild and cruel reality, and is original beyond any other novel in the history of English literature.
  • Lockwood smugly accounts for Heathcliff's behavior by implying that Heathcliff is just like Lockwood himself.
  • Lockwood gives a thorough description of Wuthering Heights.
  • Emily Brontë is careful to emphasize the contrasts between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
  • Catherine Linton is particularly delighted when Hareton learns to read.
  • A major obstacle to Heathcliff and Cathy's romance is their lack of financial security.
  •  The moors play a role in Wuthering Heights almost as important as that played by the characters.
  • Several of the themes of Wuthering Heights (for example, the powerful influence of the environment on human beings) are evident in Emily Brontë's poems too.
  • The characters of Cathy Earnshaw and her daughter, Catherine Linton have many Comparing and contrasting elements.
  •  The inhabitants of Wuthering Heights are very interesting points.
  • Lockwood gives such a thorough description of Wuthering Heights.
  • Hindley's strong aversion for Heathcliff is a critical point.
  • Catherine Linton is particularly delighted when Hareton learns to read.
  • A major obstacle to Heathcliff and Cathy's romance is their lack of financial security.
  • The moors play a role in Wuthering Heights almost as important as that played by the characters.
  • Wuthering Heights was adapted to the screen in a 1939 production directed by William Wyler and starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, and David Niven.
  • Catherine Linton tells Heathcliff that he is a 'cruel man' but not a 'fiend.'
  • Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte is a tale of great, though morbid and undisciplined power. 
  • The basic plot of Wuthering Heights may seem to be a timeless love story, but the characters and situations reflect many of the real social problems of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature
     3. Microsoft Students Encarta

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 32

Short notes on History of English Literature: Dr. Faustus

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

a.        Christopher Marlowe’s masterpiece is The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.

b.       The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is a famous of Christopher Marlowe that is usually regarded as his greatest.

c.       Earlier playwrights had concentrated on comedy; Marlowe worked on tragedy and advanced it considerably as a dramatic medium.

d.      In the 1580s a group of educated men, sometimes called the University Wits, prepared the way for Shakespeare.

e.       The best-known members of this group were playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe and dramatist Thomas Kyd.

f.        Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), English playwright and poet, considered the first great English dramatist and the most important Elizabethan dramatist before William Shakespeare, although his entire activity as a playwright lasted only six years.

g.       English dramatist Christopher Marlowe incorporated elements of the medieval morality play, in which good and evil vie for the human soul, Faustus’s thirst for knowledge is more characteristic of Renaissance concerns: "Where art thou Faustus, wretch, what hast thou done?
Damned art thou Faustus, damned; despair and die!"

h.       Marlowe's plays, such as The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus(1588) is remarkable primarily for their daring depictions of world-shattering characters who strive to go beyond the normal human limitations as the Christian medieval ethos had conceived them.
i.         The story is that of a scholar and a necromancer who lings for infinite knowledge, and who turns from Theology, Philosophy, Medicine and law, the four sciences of the time, to the study of magic, much as a child might turn from jewels to tinsel and coloured paper.

j.         By revealing the possibilities for strength and variety of expression in blank verse, Marlowe helped to establish the verse form as the predominant form in English drama. His The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1589?), one of the earliest dramatizations of the Faust legend, is also advance in blank verse.

k.      Marlowe's finest play is" Doctor Faustus," founded on the legend which also gave birth to the greatest work of the greatest modern poet, Goethe's " Faust."

l.         Dramatist Christopher Marlowe perfected the Senecan and so-called tragicomic models to create such masterpieces as TheTragical History of Doctor Faustus (1588?).

m.     In order to learn magic, he sells himself to the devil, on condition that he shall have twenty-four years of absolute power and knowledge.

n.       The play is the story of those twenty-four years.

o.      The end of Faustus is disastrous.

p.      There is rich, dramatic irony when Faustus, having conjured up Mephistopheles, finds him “pliant and full of obedience and humility”, and even more so when Mephistopheles has the truth of his real condition forced out of him and Faustus  laughs at him for being superstitious and lacking ‘manly fortitude’.

q.      Self-confidence has made him fatuous and he signs his contact with Mephistopheles, gaining twenty-four years of knowledge and power and a life of ‘full voluptuousness’- with a braggart light-heartedness: 
                    Had I as many soul as there be stars
                   I would give them all for Mephistopheles.

r. Like Tamburlaine, it is lacking in dramatic construction but has an unusual                     number of passages of rare poetic beauty.

s.        In The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1589?), scholar and magician Faustus sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles in return for magical power and scientific knowledge.

t.        The various tales that gathered about Faust's name first appeared in literature in Historia von Dr. Johann Fausten (1587), published in Frankfurt.

u.        It provided the basis for the powerful drama The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1588?) by the English playwright Christopher Marlowe.

Christopher Marlowe
v.  Foust Stories: Historia von Dr. Johann Fausten (1587); The narrative appeared in English verse in 1587; in German verse in 1588; In 1592 it appeared in French and English prose versions; The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1588?) by the English playwright Christopher Marlowe; poetic drama Faust (first part, 1808; second, 1832) by the German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; the dramatic epic Faust (1835), by Nikolaus Lenau; Heinrich Heine's ballad Faust (1851), and the novel Doktor Faustus (1947) by Thomas Mann.

w.     Each of Marlowe's important plays has as a central character a passionate man doomed to destruction by an inordinate desire for power.

x.       Faustus conjures the legendary beauty Helen of Troy. He seals his doom when he kisses Helen, actually a demon in human form.

y.       In Goethe's play we find the genius of a great poet united with the wisdom, the self-restraint, the knowledge of the world possessed by a clear, cold, elaborately cultivated mind.

z.        In Marlowe's we find also the genius of a great poet, but disfigured by the want of self-restraint, the extravagance and the turbulence of a fiery and ill-regulated mind.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

Answered: Stream of Consciousness Technique; English psychological novel; ‘Interior Monologue’

Q. What is known as Stream of Consciousness technique?

Ans: The significant feature of contemporary fiction is the movement towards greater inwardness. Stream of Consciousness, literary technique, first used in the late 19th century, employed to evince subjective as well as objective reality. It reveals the character's feelings, thoughts, and actions, often following an associative rather than a logical sequence, without commentary by the author. It has a progression in the direction of inwardness of the characters from the earliest impression.

Q. Who first coined the phrase “The stream of consciousness”?

Ans: The stream of consciousness is a phrase coined by William James in his Principles of Psychology to describe a particular narrative method.

Q. Who first had begun the tradition of writing “The streamof consciousness” novel?

Ans: Many a novelists use an in-depth analysis to describe the unspoken thoughts or conventional dialogue. But, technically the trend was begun by the French novelist Dujardin’s novel The Laurels. The technique was adopted and developed by Joyce himself, D. Richardson, V. Woolf, M. Prout and others in English.

Q. Are Stream of Consciousness technique and ‘interior monologue’ the same?

Ans: The ability to represent the flux of character thoughts, impressions, emotions and memories often without logical sequences or syntax, marked a revolution in the form of the novel. The related phrase ‘interior monologue’ is also used to describe the inner movements of consciousness in a character’s mind.  However, Stream of consciousness is often confused with interior monologue, but the latter technique works the sensations of the mind into a more formal pattern: a flow of thoughts inwardly expressed, similar to a soliloquy. The technique of stream of consciousness, however, attempts to portray the remote, preconscious state that exists before the mind organizes sensations. Consequently, the re-creation of a stream of consciousness frequently lacks the unity, explicit cohesion, and selectivity of direct thought.

Q. Whom do you rate as the first English psychological novelist?

Ans:  The first English psychological novelist is Dorothy Richardson who began her career with the 1915 novel Pointed Roofs. It is the first of a sequence of highly autobiographical novels entitled the Pilgrimage. Her novel Pilgrimage (1911-1938), a 12-volume sequence, is an intense analysis of the development of a sensitive young woman and her responses to the world around her.The last volume March Moonlight appeared posthumously. She was a pioneer of the stream of consciousness technique narrating the action through the mind of her heroin Marian Henderson, she believed in unpunctuated female prose and Virginia Woolf credited her with inventing the psychological sentence of the famine gender’. The novel is also important as a feminist one which enters fully into the struggles of a young, very gifted but at the same time utterly underprivileged woman in a world made by men for men.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Analysis of Alfred Edward Housman's "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now"

Loveliest of Trees
Alfred Edward Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Alfred Edward Housman is best known nature poet remarkable for his simple diction, lyric beauty, and gentle, ironic pessimism. Set in the English countryside, the poem Loveliest of Trees expresses rejoice and frolic of young poet. The theme of fleeting youth, as in the famous poem “When I Was One and Twenty” is also incorporated here. The eternity of nature beauty is here contrasted with the earthly passage of youth and broadly, life. In technique the poem combines elements of the classical ode and the English ballad.

What is comedy? What are the sources of comic pleasure? what is the nature of the comic pleasure?

Etymologically the word comedy as Aristotle suggested in the poetics might have originated either from komas meaning, ‘revel or merrymaking', or from komae meaning the “Hamlets “where the plays were staged". Aristotle jocularly hinted that the comedians strolled from Hamlet to hamlet, lack of appreciation keeping them out of the city .such facetiousness apart; the Oxford English Dictionary defines comedy as a stage play of a light and amusing character with a happy conclusion to its plot. Many definition stress the sadistic on egoistic element in human beings, asserting that comedies were written chiefly to amuse the audience by appealing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Defining The Art of Story Telling by Richard Steele

It is rather curious that while Steele named his essay The Art of Story-Telling he makes an incidental comment that story-telling is not an art but what we call a knack. If story –telling is not exactly an art, why does Steele call his essay The Art of Story-Telling? The point is that the word ‘art’ contains two meanings. First, it denotes a product of creative imagination, and in this sense a painting of Picasso is as much a work of art as a sonnet of Shakespeare. But the second meaning of the word denotes, according to Concise oxford Dictionary, ‘human skill as opposed to nature’. Steele sees the word ‘art’ in the title of his essay, keeping the first meaning of it in mind. But when he says, ‘story-telling is therefore not an art but what we call a knack’, he has recourse to the second meaning of the word. In fact, it is taken for granted that art is the manifestation of man’s innate power his genius; it follows that art is not opposed to nature, for genius it self is a gift of nature. However, by ‘knack’ steel means ‘genius’ which indicates that steel seeks to distinguish between nature (art) and nature (knack). According to him, story telling involves a faculty of nature; unless one is naturally gifted, one will not be cut a smart figure as a story teller.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 29

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

  1. The sub-title of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience is ‘showing the two contrary states of the human soul.’
  1. Tales in Canterbury Tales which are Chaucer’s own: Tale of Malibeus and The Parson’s Tale.
  1. Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley.
  1. The three principles of the French Revolution are ‘liberty, equality, and fraternity’.
  1. Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria means ‘literary biography’.
  1. Coleridge’s play – Remorse.
  1. Shakespeare performed in The Globe.
  1. Elizabethan revenge tragedies – Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 30

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers: Textual
  1.  What do the words ‘Astrophel’ and ‘Stella’ mean in Sidney’s sonnet?
Ans:- Literally ‘Astrophel’ means ‘one enamoured of the star’ and ‘Stella’ which is a hat in term, means ‘star’. In the context, Sidney is ‘Astrophel’ and Penelope Deverex the daughter of the Earl of Essex, whom the poet loved is referred to as ‘Stella’.

  1.  To whom are the bulk of the sonnets addressed in Shakespeare’s sonnet sequence?
Ans:- Out of the one hundred and fifty four sonnets Shakespeare addressed 126 sonnets to young man “Mr. W. H” two sonnets are about Cupid and the remaining twenty six are addressed to an unknown dark lady.

  1.   What will be destroyed by the ‘bending sickles’ in Shakespeare’s sonnet – 116.
Ans:- The Shakespeare’s sonnet-116, time is compared to a ‘bending sickles’. Like sickles, time takes away the charming hue of youth and the physical attraction along with other things except love.

Joseph Addison as a Social Critic with Special References to Mischiefs of Party Spirit

Mischiefs of Party Spirit by Joseph Addison , The Spectator No 125

As an essayist Addison’s professed doctrine was to improve the morals and mores of his contemporary society. Social criticism is by and large the core of his essay. In his Spectator essays, as also in some of his Tatler publications, Addison wrote to focus on the flames and depravities of his fellowmen and pointed out how these lacunae could be overcome. This is not to suggest that he had any professed political or ideological standpoint; nor was he motivated by any terrible reformistic zeal. He was a benign essayist at bottom and, accordingly satire or bitter criticism of human frailties was not his domain. He, with a Chaucerian view, laughed good humorously at the foibles, specifically related to social manners and social health, with the purpose of killing as well as laughing with those faults of those persons he laughed at. In his essay entitled Mischiefs of Party Spirit, Addison focuses on the evils that are escalated in society through a zealous adherence to narrow and parochial party interest, as practiced by political personages. 

Lateral Sound, Glottal Stop, Stress Timed Language,Stressed Syllable,Tone Group, Assimilation,Stress shift ETC.

  1. Which stricture is involved during the production of a lateral sound?
Ans: The stricture is one of the central closing at the alveador ridge with the air passing out laterally through the rides of the tongue.
            The stricture in a plosive is complete closure and sudden release of the air stream/ the stricture involved in the production of fricative sounds is close approximation /
The stricture involved in affricate sounds is complete closure and slow release / The stricture in lateral sound is central closure with lateral release of the air stream / The stricture involved in the production of nasal sounds is complete oral closure ./ The stricture involved in the English /r/ sound are either one of frictionless continuation or of one tap trill (flap).

  1. What is the position of the glottis during the production of a glottal stop?
Ans:  During the glottal stop the glottis is completely closed and then suddenly released. It occurs in English when a speaker pronounces the words. There are in such a way as to separate them distinctly with no linking [r]. In some languages such as Danish the glottal stop is phonemically distinctive.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Voiced Sound; Nasal; Semi - vowels; Cardinal Vowels; Open Syllable etc..


  1. What is the position of glottis during the production of a voiced sound?
Ans:   During the production of a voiced sound the Vocal Cords are held loosely together, so that the glottis is narrow and the Vocal Cords vibrate. (During a voiceless sound the Vocal Cord are drawn wide apart and the glottis is open).

  1. What is the position of a soft palate during the production of a Nasal?
Ans:  The Soft Palate is lowered towards the back of the tongue, so that the air passes through the nasal cavity.

  1. Why are the semi vowels called semi - vowels?
Ans:  The semi - vowels are so called because although they are articulated like vowels, they cannot from the nucleus of a syllable, and therefore do not function as vowels. (Semi - vowels are those phonemes which are articulated like vowels but do not functions as voice because they cannot from the nucleus of a syllable)

Restoration Comedy of Manners: Defining and Expanding

Introduction: During the Restoration period the chief dramatic mode was comedy. In spite of the prohibition of play acting during the commonwealth, comedy had still been preformed from time to time, chiefly in the form of droll. Immediately after the Restoration, these were an eager recurrence to the Johnsonian tradition which is evident in ‘The Cheats’ by Wilson. The comedy of intrigue did not win popularity until the 18th century. Many of Restoration comedies contain the element of intrigue.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

T.S. Eliot’s Murder in The Cathedral:The Religious Elements ; Becket as a Passive Character: Becket’s Martyrdom and its Significance

  T.S. Eliot’s Murder in The Cathedral

The religious elements: In this play T.S. Eliot has shown how drama can still bean instrument of community in the two senses corresponding to its original function as an extension of the liturgy and as an interpretation of god’s word in terms of flesh and blood.

The purpose of this play is to interpret the significance of martyrdom and the audience being invited to participate in the celebration of an act of martyrdom. Part-11 has something of the quality of liturgical celebration. It is not a plain representation of the historical fact which is lice that of the Holy Communion to the last super.

Bondage into Several Ways: Exploring our World in Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage"

Of Human Bondage (1915)  by Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

 Philip Carey; Mildred Rogers; Sally Athelny; Thorpe Athelny;Harry Griffiths; Norah; Emil Miller; Dunsford; Dr. Jacobs; Landlady

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), English author, whose novels and short stories are characterized by great narrative facility, simplicity of style, and a disillusioned and ironic point of view. Somerset Maugham’s partially autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) is generally acknowledged as his masterpiece and is one of the best realistic English novels of the early 20th century.Of Human Bondage reveals Maugham’s “belief in the meaninglessness of life”. simply it is a story about a medical student who falls in love with a mean-spirited waitress. Released in 1934, this film was based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. After medical student Philip Carey  falls in love with a vulgar waitress named Mildred Rogers , she breaks his heart again and again. Carey has a deformed foot, and Mildred tells him she could never love a “cripple.” She runs off with a salesman, then with one of Carey’s classmates.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Model Question TET/SSC Difficulty Level: Post Graduation Time: 2hrs Word Limit: 30 Words

Model Question TET/SSC
Difficulty Level: Post Graduation
Time: 2hrs  Word Limit: 30 Words
  1. “Her image accompanied me even me in places the most hostile to romance.” – Mention the places’ most hostile to romance’. 
  2. ”I do not know what I answered but it was understood that I accept their proposal.” – What was ‘their proposal’? Who accepted it? What was his feeling then? 
  3. What was the story associated with Norfolk? 
  4.  “Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, a box where sweets compacted lie’ –How has the poet described the spring? 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne ‘s " The Scarlet Letter": Interpreted Differently in Different Times

A classic like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter has been interpreted differently in different times. There has been of the shifting critical responses to The Scarlet letter and different point of time. It is evaluated in terms of a realistic work of fiction with an excess of allegorical and symbolic references. Critics have observed it as a romance novel in which allegory and symbolism play a crucial role.

Saint Joan by G.B. Shaw: Analyzing Key Questions

George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan is considered as a powerful and effective historical play. The central character of the play is a great figure and is memorable in the history of France. Saint Joan has become a legendary figure. Joan remains a symbol of courage and hope to the oppressed and the exploited unfortunate people. In the selection of different events of the play show her followed history. It is the historical environment in the play and is maintained a wonderful fidelity to the age. Read More Drama Shaw has beautifully and truthfully recaptured the medieval world. Shaw’s approach to history in Saint Joan is both modern and popular. As a historical play Saint Joan is certainly a triumph of dramatic genius. Despite all this, Saint Joan is not history proper; it is rather a tragedy based on history. Shaw has not followed history in details. He has made judicious selection of events and episodes appropriate to the basic needs of drama. Actually he has condensed and combined different historical events in artistic manner to suit the purpose of drama. After all, Shaw is a dramatist not a historian.

John Keats’ Style and Image: The Magic of Verbal Perfection

Keats is famous for the magic of verbal perfection and the rounded felicity of expression for the which Arnold gives him a place as high a that of Shakespeare .His motto of an artistic style was to “lead every rift of a subject with ore” He himself said that he looked upon a time phrase as lover looks upon his beloved. His poems are full of such phrases as haunt the imagination by leas on of their aptness and musical quality. In most of Keats’s phases there is a quality which makes unlike Shakespeare’s something fanciful or rather suggestive phrases which display their poesy rather than their meaning. Closely allied to these imaginative phrases are the short vivid pictures he gives us, which are the master-pieces in word-painting and which show clearly his influence on the pre-Raphaelite School of poets. His is the originality as a pictorial artist in his descriptions which appeal mainly to senses. “There is something furnished and firm about these pictures as if they were welded on a metal plate”.

Compare and Contrast the Characters of Raina and Lauka. Whom do you think the heroine of the drama Arms and The Man? Give reasons for your answer.

Shaw has been pre-occupied mainly with the exposition of his ideas through the media of plays and this has been more so in so far as Arms and The Man is concerned. Characterization or depiction of characters in their full human round has never his forte. But nonetheless the feminine characters created by Shaw are undeniably marvelous. Raina and Louka in Arms and The Man, Joan in Saint Joan and Ann Whitefield in Man and Superman are some of the unique creations bearing the impress of Shaw’s mature and superb literary merit.

What is known as ‘drama of Ideas’? How do you classify Arms and The Man as a ‘drama of ideas?

Drama of Ideas or the drama of social criticism in the real sense is a modern development. A number of contemporary problems and evils are subjected to discussion and searching examinations and criticism in these plays. Thus in it, the structure and characterization are of subordinate importance; it ids the ‘discussion’ that counts. Ibsen and then Shaw, Galsworthy and Granville Barker were the chief exponents of this realistic drama of ideas.

To Shaw, drama was preeminently a medium for articulating his own ideas and philosophy. He enunciated the philosophy of life force which he sought to disseminate through his dramas. Thus Shavian plays are the vehicles for the transportation of ideas, however, propagandizing they may be. Shaw wanted to cast his ideas through discussions.


  1. Correct the sentence stating error: “My son is going to the school for the past five years.” 
  2. Which of the two sentences is correct? Why? :(i) “Dinner is at 9 p.m”(ii) “Are you altering the dinner tonight the Grand hotel”? 
  3. Convert the following compound sentences to simple one: I. You had intervened otherwise he would have been insulted. II. He was ill; therefore, he could not come.
  4. Convert the following simple sentence to complex one: I worked hard for the purpose of winning a prize.
  5. Write a single paragraph on ‘The problem of unemployment in India’.[Within 50 to 60 words] 
  6. What is hyperbaton?

English Literature Mock Test Examination: Difficulty Level: Graduation: PART – II The University of Burdwan

The University of Burdwan
Mock Test Examination 
Difficulty Level: Graduation

1. Give short answer to any eight of the following questions.              2*8=16

  1. “I see the fearfulest thing”- Who saw the fearfulest thing and where?
  1. Quote any of the Irish expressions from Riders To The Sea.
  1. What is the geographical location of Aran Islands?
  1. Give the meaning of ‘Arma virumque cano’. Where from it is quoted?
  1. Who is Don Quixote? Why is he famous in literature?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 27

  1. Lollard Movement:- Originally a movement by group of Oxford followers of the unorthodox doctrines of John Wycliffe in the fourteenth century, the Lollard Movement continued till the 16th century. Their main demands were for freely available vernacular translations of the Bible, and a reduction in the materialism and power of the Catholic Church.
  1. Political satire written in the Restoration Period/verse satire of 17th century.
Ans:-  a) Hudibras by Samuel Butler.
           b) Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden.  
  1. Blank verse tragedies of the Restoration Period.
Ans;-  a) The Rival Queens by Nathaniel Lee.
           b) The Orphan by Thomas Otway.
           c) Venice Preserved by Thomas Otway.


 HARD TIMES was serialized in Dickens’ magazine HOUSEHOLD WORDS in the winter of 1853 -54. Before the publication of the novel, Dickens took great pain with the title of the book. He experimented with as many as 24 titles Like ' According cooker the grindstone ' ' something tangible ' ' Rust and Dust’, ‘Hard Heads and Soft Hearts’ etc. Later on those whittled down to just four : ' Two and Two are Four ' ,‘A matter of calculation’  , ' The Gradgrind philosophy ' and ‘stubborn things’ of these the first three admittedly pointed to the utilitarian apotheosis of facts , figures and averages . The last one however, indicates the unbeatable nature of fancy and imagination. But these titles too were left out in favour of the present one - Hard Times. Understandably Dickens intention is not, to figure at the irrational reverence for fact in Victorian society but to outline the dystopia to which this leads. The present title implies that the novel's principal thematic preoccupation is the hard times which Dickens argues are the logical backlash of fact ' -- worship to the total neglect of tender human impulses.

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