Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2011

A Critical Analysis of the Title of William Shakespeare’s Play As You Like It

As You Like It is a light-hearted comedy which appeals to the readers at all stages and all in lighter moods. It pleases some by its idyllic romance, others by its optimistic philosophy of simple goodness, and yet others by its cynical ironies. Indeed you can take this as you like it.” G. B. Harrison {ed. Shakespeare: The Complete Works. New York: Harcourt, 1952 (Page 776).}

Indo European family of languages

Languages, which show some common features and some shared properties, are said to belong to one family. It is assumed that such systematic similarities cannot be accidental; these similarities are there because the concerned languages have ‘descended’ from a common ‘parent’. That is, at some point of time, there was a language spoken all over a given geographical area which over a period of time broke up, fragmented, into a number of ‘sibling’ varieties. With the passage of time these varieties become sufficiently different from each other to be considered as separate languages.

Porter Scene Act II, SCENE Macbeth By William Shakespeare

Macbeth By William ShakespeareSignificance of ‘Porter Scene’ in Macbeth Act II, SCENE III. Court of Macbeth's castle.(porter Scene)
Knocking within. Enter a PorterPorter
Here's a knocking indeed! If a
man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
old turning the key.
Knocking within
knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of
Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged
himself on the expectation of plenty: come in
time; have napkins enow about you; here
you'll sweat for't.
Knocking within
knock! Who's there, in the other devil's
name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
swear in both the scales against either scale;
who committed treason enough for God's sake,
yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come
in, equivocator.
Knocking within


1.Generally all the monosyllabic words are unaccented; but in metrical composition such words are often accented. The monosyllabic words having a diphthong such as “power”, “flower”, “our”, “shower”, are always accented. 2.In metrical composition, monosyllabic ‘content’ words are almost always accented. On the other hand, the ‘structural’ words almost always remain unaccented. 3.Each and every disyllabic word must have only one accent, on either the first or the second syllable. 4.But the disyllabic words like “any”, “many”, and “very” sometimes may remain unaccented, whereas the monosyllabic words like “yet”, “still” and “all” are accented very often. 5.In a long polysyllabic word, we may have one or more accents. In general case, either the first or the second syllable must have the accent. Very few exceptional words like “returnee” have the first two syllables unaccented, followed by the accent on the third (re-turn-'ee). In fact, the English tendency is to put the accent as near t…


1. In matters of syllabifying, there are no concrete rules, no invariable guidelines or no supreme authorities. So, it is often seen that a word can be syllabified in two ways. But the number of syllables is always the same in a word, in spite of its different kinds of syllabification. Examples follow – * Even = e–ven / ev – en: * Passive= pass-ive / pas-sive: * Familiar = fa-mi-liar / fam-I-liar [In each case, both the ways of syllabification are valid.]
2. As the vowel sound is the heart of a syllable, we, whenever to syllabify a word, must be guided by pronunciation, by the sound of the word but never by etymology or the letters or the spelling of the word. Examples follow-
* Peruse = pe-ruse (but ‘per-use’ not acceptable); * Running = run-ning (but ‘run-ing’ or ‘runn-ing’ not correct); * Island = is-land (but ‘isl-and’ not acceptable); * Iron = iron (but ‘I-ron’ or ‘ir-on’ incorrect. ‘Iron’ is monosyllabic);

THE SUPERANNUATED MAN by CHARLES LAMB---The Feeling of Lamb Before and After His Retirement

"It is now six and thirty years since I took my seat at the desk in Mincing-lane. For the first day or two I felt stunned, overwhelmed. I could only apprehend my felicity; I was too confused to taste it sincerely. I wandered about, thinking I was happy, and knowing that I was not."--- The Superannuated Man

Charles Lamb in “The Superannuated Man” has given an account of his feeling before and after his retirement. Lamb served as a clerk for long thirty-six years and then retired. Lamb’s life as a clerk was tedious and boring. He, however, had a respite from work on a Sunday every week.

Critical Appreciation of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Pied Beauty

(The Devotional Element--- Sensuousness and Religiousness --  The Religious and Spiritual Characteristics ) Nineteenth-century English poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins is admired for the highly original use of rhythm in his poetry, a quality that can be seen in the following poems, “The Windhover,” “Pied Beauty,” and “Hurrahing in Harvest.” A windhover, also known as a kestrel, is a small type of falcon. These three poems express Hopkins’s devotion to the Catholic faith, as well as his fascination with the natural world. Like most of Hopkins’s poetry, the poems were first published in 1918, nearly 20 years after his death.

The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock--a song of frustration and conflict, of loneliness and boredom

Prufrock is an embodiment of split personality – a separation of head and heart, a paralysis of the will and too much worry regarding a love proposal. The poem marks a complete break of the modern civilization with all its ugliness – the never ending streets, smoking chimneys, yellow fog, dirty drains and smell of female bodies. It is urban in its theme and setting. In a series of paragraphs the lover analysis the reason for a resolution and indecision and tries to justify his cowardice and lack of nerves. Behind this, mental state is a disease of modern routine – the aimless life of the city dwellers and the monotonous sound of social parties.

How Did Language Originate?

No one knows exactly how language originated. And because of this, there is no dearth of speculations about the origins of human speech.
Language is a ‘System of sounds, words, patterns, etc. used by humans to communicate thoughts and feelings’. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 1989).No one, however, knows exactly how language originated. And because of this, there is no dearth of speculations about the origins of human speech. Let us briefly consider some of these.


ADVICE- This word is an example of French loan word. The middle English 'avis' got this form  French . Due to renaissance influence 'ad' Latin 'advisum' was added as original prefix to 'avis' and we have the English word advice. Read More Philology ALMS- Old English 'aelmesse' is derived from Greek 'eleemosune'. Middle English from of the word was 'almesse' and plural was 'almesses'. In fact ,'alms' is singular as 's' belongs to the original word.   

Short Questions from Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer

1.Is it a Laughing Comedy in protest of Sentimental Comedy?
Ans:When the play was first produced, it was discussed as an example of the revival of laughing comedy over the sentimental comedy . Truly speaking it is a comic laughing comedy in celebration of fun, frolic and humour .The affectation of sentimentalism and moralization is altogether omitted here.  2.How is She Stoops to Conquer aComedy of Manners?
Ans:The play can also be seen as a comedy of manners, where, set in a polite society, the comedy arises from the gap between the characters' attempts to preserve standards of polite behaviour that contrasts to their true behaviour.
3.How is She Stoops to ConquerA Romantic Comedy?
Ans:It also seen by some critics as a romantic comedy, which depicts how seriously young people take love, and how foolishly it makes them behave (similar to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream); in She Stoops to Conquer, Kate’s stooping and Marlow’s nervousness are good examples of romantic com…

Model English Test -3 for PGT , TGT and Other Competitive Examinations

1.What do you trace ‘Myth making faculty’ in Shelley and Keats? Substantiate your answer. 2.How do you know that Shelley’s Skylark is not a creature of ‘flesh and blood’? 3.What does the bird specially know in Hardy’s poem? 4.What was the last thought that was not in vain for the lover in The Last Ride Together? 5.Why ‘the listeners’ in the Mare’s poem do not react? 6.How do you explain the title strange Meeting? 7.What historical period do you find as hints in The Lagoon? 8.Why did Mrs. Thurlow remain unsympathetic towards her  husband? 9.Ulysses provides an interesting study in contrast along with another poem of Tennyson’s The Lotos Eaters – discuss. 10. “Drive my dead thoughts over the Universe like withered leaves to quicken a new birth” – explain the line with critical comment.

11.Describe The Traveler in the poem The Listeners. 12. “Della, being slender, had mastered the art” – What was the art that Della mastered? 13.Define The Ox as a short story.

History of English Literature-The Revival of Learning (1450-1550)

From Chaucer to Spenser OR The Revival of Learning (1450-1550) History / EventsLiterature 1455-85 Wars of the Roses begin
1492 Columbus lands in West Indies
1535 Sir Thomas More, St John Fisher, Anne Boleyn, William Tyndale executed.
1549 Book of Common Prayer.
1476 Printing press started. 1412 Govenail of princes by Hoccieve.
1422 The Kings Quair by James I
1470 Morte Darthur by Malory (1085)
1516 Utopia by More (Latin) 1551 Utopia by More (English)
1557 Tottel’s Miscellany by Wyatt.

History of English Literature--The Inter – War years (1918-39)

The Inter – War years (1918-39) Historical eventsLiterature 1936 – :Allen Lane founded The Penguin Books, B B C        starts.
1939 –: World War II begins. 1922 –: Ulysses –- Joyce The Waste Land – -T. S. Eliot. Forsyte Saga – -Galsworthy. 1932 –: Brave New World- – Huxley. 1935 – Murder in The Cathedral – T. S. Eliot
Rulers1910-1936 George V 1936 Edward VIII

Authors1888-1965 T. S. Eliot 1903-1950 George Orwell 1904-1991 Graham Greene 1907-1973 W. H. Auden 1914-1953 Dylan Thomas
Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brute Edward Thomas etc are war poets. 1906

Samuel Beckett
1.Name the important works published in 1922.
Ans. In 1922 the famous poem entitled The Waste Land creat

G. K. Chesterton reveals the beauty of Gothic Architecture in The Architect of Spears

In the essay The Architect of Spears, Chesterton makes an imaginative exploration of the charm and beauty of the Gothic Architecture. He discovers the very soul of the stone that he finds in Lincoln cathedral. And every stone appears to him alive, dynamic and thought provoking, full of abounding energy and spontaneity, bearing ample marks of the very beauty of Gothic Architecture. But the striking feature of this essay is the clarity of Chesterton’s imaginative vision happily wedded to his wit. The mingling of the richness of wit and imagination makes Chesterton’s style somewhat paradoxical, and yet all the more lively and interesting. So, in The Architect of Spears, are do not find a simple narrative or a logically developed idea. Instead, “The talent of Chesterton has succeeded in instilling new life into many truism”.

Analysis of the Title of J. M. Synge’s Play---Riders to the Sea

J. M. Synge’s one-act play on the life of the poor peasant and fisher folk of the Aran Island of the west –coast of Ireland has been named “Riders to the Sea”. Who are the riders and what past does the sea play in their life? The riders in the drama refer to those male members of the family of the poor peasant woman Maurya. They, one by one go on horse back to the sea-shore for boarding the ship along with horses, goats and sheep which they have reared up at home for selling in the neighboring market. The sea is the only link with the world outside. Hence these people have no choice of going by any other route. So in compelling circumstances, they are to journey across the turbulent sea staking their life.
                In “Riders to the Sea” because of the limited space of a one-act play, only the deaths of two riders – Michael and Bartley are enacted. But we are reported of the gruesome deaths of many other riders of the same family. It is the family of the old peasant woman, Maury…

Quick and Easy Reminder For Your Five Major Types of Comedy

The main trends of English comedy can broadly be classified into Five groups, namely ‘romantic comedy’, ‘comedy of manners’, ‘comedy of humours’, ‘sentimental comedy’ and the ‘tragi-comedy’ or ‘dark comedy’.
Romantic Comedy

The term ‘romantic comedy’ is a somewhat vague appellation, which denotes a form of drama is which love is the main theme and love leads to a happy ending. The team ‘romantic comedy’ is generally applied to plays developed by Shakespeare and some of his Elizabethan contemporaries. These plays are generally concerned with love affairs that involve a beautiful and idealized heroine; the course of this love does not run smooth, but ultimately overcomes all difficulties to end in a happy union. In theAnatomy of Criticism (P.P 182-183) Northrop Frye points out that some of Shakespeare romantic comedies involve a movement from the normal world of conflict and trouble into the ‘green world’ – the idyllic, pastoral world of the Forest of Arden as inAs You Like It, on the fai…

Brilliant Ways To Remind Different techniques of Writing Novels

There is visibly a distinction between the scope of a dramatist and that of a novelist. A dramatist enjoys a very limited scope to unfold his purpose of vision of life. For, within two or three stage hours he must complete his dramatic design, complying with the principles of three unities the unity of time, place and action. But a novelist, on the other hand, can enjoy unlimited time and scope to build up the characters in his novel. And if he so wishes, he can also include long explanation in favour of his own philosophy. It is obvious, therefore, that a novelist can enjoy greater liberty and wider scope by adopting different technical devices in his novel, while the liberty of a dramatist is all too restricted. However, of the different narrative devices, mention may be made to the few important narrative models: omniscient view, the first person narrative, epistolary novel, dialogue in novel and stream of consciousness novel.
Omniscient view: - The most usual kind of narration adop…

W. B. Yeats' No Second Troy as a Love Poem

W. B. Yeats is generally regarded as a link between the decadent aestheticism of the nineties and a new realism of the modern age. He is also one of the greatest love poets of the English language and the complexity! The lyric grace and authenticity of feeling of his love poems along with his intensity and his expression of the sense of loss resulting from failure in love all go into ranking him with the other great love poets in the World Literature. Such a typical poem is hisNo Second Troy. The whole poem is framed out into four rhetorical questions as a means of coming to terms with the reality of his unrequited love relationship with Maud Gonne.

Critical Appreciation of Philip Larkin’s ‘At Grass’

Philip Larkin’s ‘At Grass’ taken from ‘The Less Deceived’ is essentially a Movement Poem which depicts Larkin’s close scrutiny of life , its maturity and death.
The poem is about the race horses in their retirement. However, Larkin himself announced that he has never seen any race horse in the field of horse – racing, in which people stock money. Perhaps, he was inspired by a news-reel film on Brown Jack, the race horse in its retirement. The race horses that he describes are no more in their glory; these superannuated horses no longer participated in race. With case and comfort under the cool shade of trees they are grazing:
“The eye can hardly pick them out From the cold shade they shelter in,
Till wind distresses tail and mane;
Then one crops grass, and moves about
- The other seeming to look on -
And stands anonymous again”

Tennyson’s “Ulysses”--- The Representative of Victorian Times

Tennyson, (1809-1892) a great literary titan, is the representative poet of Victorian Age and mirrors the most vital problem of industrial and moral life – “religious doubts, social problems, the revolt of the cultured mind against a corrupt society, pride in a far-flung Empire, the spirit of compromise so characteristic of the Victorian period”. He was, thus, a truly national poet and from a nationalistic view-point declares;                 “There is no land like England                 Where’re light of day be:                 There is no hearts like English hearts,                 Such hearts of oak as they be”.

Sri Aurobindo’s Ccontribution to Indian English Poetry

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh ranks among the greatest personalities of modern India. He is a multi-faceted genius – a political revolutionary, social reformer, historian, educationist, philosopher, yogi and above all men of letters. He is a journalist, editor, literary critic, linguist, translator, essayist, short story writer, dramatist and more than all of these,a  great poet.

History of English Literature--The Birth of Modern Literature (1890-1918)

The Birth of Modern Literature (1890-1918)
The publication dates of works of literature in the context of important historical, social, and cultural events
Historical events Literature 1903 – Daily Morror started
1914 – First World War starts. Huge recruitment campaign for the Army.
1917 – Russian Revolution

1918 – Woman over 30 gains vote.
1921 – Irish Home Rule Bill passed, warnings of possible civil war(1914). Irish free state established 1891 – Tess of The D’urbervilles – Hardy
1895 – Almayer’s Folly – Conrad 1895 – Time Machine – H. G.Wells 1897 – Nigger of The Narcissus – Conrad
1898 – Plays: Pleasant and unpleasant – Shaw
1889 – The Wanderings of Oisin – Yeats
1907 – The playboy of The Western world – Synge.
1910 – Justice – Galsworthy 1915--The Love Song of J. AlfredPrufrock- T S Eliot

1916--A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce 1917--Prufrock and Other Observations- T S Eliot

Why Does Tragedy Give Us Pleasure?

In  Poetics, Aristotle gives us the definition of tragedy: “A tragedy then, is a imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having certain magnitudes, complete in itself; in language with pleasure accessories in kind brought in separately in the parts of his works; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, where with to accomplish its ‘catharsis’ of such emotions”.  It is obvious from the above definition that tragedy concerns with action, but not with the ordinary actions of men. It concerns with those actions which - ‘are serious and also, as having certain magnitudes complete in itself’. In this context, Aristotle refers to another pre-condition of tragedy by saying that tragedy must evoke an emotion of ‘pity and fear’ in the mind of the spectators.

W. H. Auden’s “The Unknown Citizen” as a Satirical Poem.

W. H. Auden, (1907-1973) , a major poet of the modern period ,is typically modern in his choice of subject, technique and articulation. Like T.S. Eliot he represents the dreadful picture of a modern spiritual ice-age in his poetry in his perspectives of history, theology and philosophy. Using the desolate and rocky background of Post-War Europe of 1930’s he delineates the rise of dictatorship, the exploitation of the poor and under privileged, economic disparity, spiritual bankruptcy, anxiety and boredom of modern life. Thus his real subject for Poetry is man and his day-to-day activity, and nature is merely cinematic setting for that activity.It is quite an anti-romantic approach to life and sometimes tragic in vision.

Soliloquy in Macbeth -- an Important Dramatic Convention

Soliloquy is a solo speech in a dramatic language in order to communicate “the inner structure and working of mind in a character”. It is described as “the outcome of natural situations on the state of character’s emotions”. Characters do, and at some length what person never do – speak alone for a considerable length of time, and in verse too. But the soliloquy has the unique ability to suggest the subtleties of the hidden self of the speaker. In the Elizabethan dramatic tradition soliloquy became widely use as a vehicle for subjective utterance and became an important dramatic convention. Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Dr. Faustus all contain important examples.
Much like a monologue a soliloquy and its imaginative space convey a great deal of information about characters their inner most thoughts, feelings, passions and motives. In Macbeth too much of the psychological and philosophical interest of the play reside in them. The soliloquies of Macbeth are more like interior debates, a fa…

Wilfred Owen's “Attitude to War’” -- Analysis of 'Futility'

Futility by  Wilfred  Owen Move him into the sun - Gently its touch awoke him once, At home, whispering of fields unsown. Always it woke him, even in France, Until this morning and this snow. If anything might rouse him now The kind old sun will know. Think how it wakes the seeds, - Woke, once, the clays of a cold star. Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides, Full-nerved, - still warm, - too hard to stir? Was it for this the clay grew tall? - O what made fatuous sunbeams toil

To break earth's sleep at all?
Wilfred  Owen's  “Attitude to War’”
The First World War left a broad and deep mark on the literature of the World. Aldington’s ‘The Death of a Hero’. Ednund Blunden’s ‘The Undertones of War’, the poetry of R. Brooke, Owen and Sasson are the most remarkable products of the War Literature.  Wilfred  Owen is a realist and exposes the ugliness and horror of the War. He points out the lie hidden in the dictum – “Dulced of decorum est pro patra Mori”. His poetry of war underlines – “My subject is W…