Showing posts from September, 2011

William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: Dramatic Significance of the Political Background

The political background of  English dramatist William Shakespeare's tragedy , Antony and Cleopatra is manifest from the very beginning of the play and its quite natural being  a historical drama. As we all know the story is based on the intertwined lives of Roman general Mark Antony and Cleopatra, queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 bc. For his account of the characters and times, Shakespeare used Sir Thomas North's 1579 translation of Greek biographer Plutarch's Parallel Lives. The very first act of the play shows the internal political situation at Rome consequent upon Antony’s dotage on Queen Cleopatra of Egypt at Alexandria. The play opens in Alexandria, Egypt, where Antony rules the Roman Empire with Octavius Caesar (later the emperor Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Although Antony and Cleopatra are already lovers, Antony has returned to Rome from Egypt and married Octavius’s sister, Octavia, in order to assuage Octavius’s misgivings about his leadership capabiliti…

A Brief Introduction to Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'To a Skylark'

Introduction: English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley becomes known as one of the greatest lyric poets of English literature. Among his best-known poems are 'To a Skylark' and 'To the West Wind.' Like acting or the playing of music, it is an art of interpretation, more difficult than mare saying so. Percy Bysshe Shelley, the supreme lyric in the romantic period, always longs for something ethereal, something that is far beyond the earthly, spare of sorrow. His ‘To a Skylark’ as Wordsworth puts in “the expression of the highest to which the poets genius has attained”. It is one of the most marvelous of English lyric ever written. It is the expression of a genius who sings In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
In fact, some recent scholars have attributed the modern ideas of personality to the Romantic poets, whose focus on personal, emotional, and subjective experience may have given rise to our notions of individuality. The discussion that follows makes clear the fact tha…

Edward Sapira- The Leader in American Structural Linguistics

Edward Sapir was a German-born American anthropologist-linguist and a leader in American structural linguistics. His name is borrowed in what is now called the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. He was a highly influential figure in American linguistics, influencing several generations of linguists across several schools of the discipline. Following the methods developed by Boas; Sapir gave up his work in classical philology and started analyzing languages of Amerindian tribes. In their pioneering research on unwritten American native languages, anthropologists Franz Boas and Edward Sapir developed the techniques of descriptive linguistics and theorized on the ways in which language shapes our perceptions of the world.

James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young: The epigraph, Bildungsroman,The Christmas dinner, Episodes in the early life of Stephen, Daedalus myth, Charles Stewart Parnell, Stephen’s mother

 The epigraph of A portrait of the Artist As A young Man:
This Latin epigraph is taken over from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, VIII, 188 means ‘And he applies his mind to obscure arts’. The epigraph sums up the theme of the novel. The mythic Daedalus escaped himself from the labyrinth of crete forming wax wings. Stephen Dedalus, too, is out to emancipate himself from labyrinth like Ireland with which he is disgusted. Evidently he will escape himself from there not by was wings but by ‘viewless wings’ of imagination. So the aim of the mythic Dadalus and Stephen Dedalus are alike.

Critical Short Questions From Bates's story "The Ox"

ANS: The bi-cycle is the symbol of sole companionship for Mrs. Thurlow . She dreams about it and cannot walk without it. The bi-cycle is an object that externalizes the sway of emotions that lie suppressed in her.
Q. what is the symbolic significance of Mrs. Thurlow's cottage?
Ans: The location of Mrs. Thurlow's house and the movement of seasons   are all symbolic of a symbolic image of the human condition of gloom, despair,isolation and suffering where someone like Mrs. Thurlow symbolizes a Sisyphus-like existentialist fortitude and stoicism which makes her go on amid all the misery.

Rhythm, Meter and Scansation of the Poem

Like the rhythms in nature, such as the motion of the planets, the succession of seasons, and the beating of the heart, poetic rhythm usually is organized in regularly recurring patterns. Such patterns regulate the motion of the music and aid the human ear in grasping its structure. The most basic rhythmic unit is the Iambic pentameter, alternates weak unstressed and strong stressed syllables to make a ten-syllable line (weak strong/weak strong/weak strong/weak strong/weak strong).
iamb-- x / . . . . . . . . . (adjective form = iambic)
trochee-- / x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = trochaic) anapest-- x x / . . . . . . . (adjective form = anapestic) dactyl-- / x x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = dactylic) pyrrhic-- x x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = pyrrhic) spondee-- / / . . . . . . . . (adjective form = spondaic)
dimeter  --two feet per line trimeter --three feet per line tetrameter   --four feet per line pentameter  --five feet per line hexameter--six feet per line heptameter --s…

Character and Role of Fitzwilliam Darcy in Jane Austen‘s novel Pride and Prejudice

Fitzwilliam Darcy is the hero of Jane Austen‘s novel Pride and Prejudice. The ups and downs in the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth form the principal interest of the novel. The pride of Darcygives rise to the Prejudice of Elizabeth and the complications of the plot are due to the increasing prejudice of Elizabeth against Darcy. Most interestingly with the mingling of positive and negative traits, Darcyseems deeply human. 

Chance and Coincidence: Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding crowd-A Wanton Field of Destiny

Hardy in a fatalist and to him destiny is always hostile to mankind. Fate acts according to its own whims in the form of chances, accidents and coincidences. Hardy thinks that the expected happy reality; the unexpected happens suddenly. The fate of his characters especially the hero or the heroine depends on the working of fate. In far from the Madding crowd there are number of events which make the characters to place them in the odd situation from which they have no way to get out. Chance in its purely malevolent aspect enters our life and spoils it, brings trails and tribulations, sorrows and sufferings, pain and agony in its train. What is the use of being play thing in the hands of “the President of the Immortals”.Hardy's novelFar from the Madding crowd is also a wanton field of destiny.

Plot Structure of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen at a considerable skill in constructing her plots which were simple plans of novels the plans for telling her story the way she would like too. Read More NovelThe plot of the novel Pride and Prejudice turns on the development of love between Darcy and Elizabeth and its final culmination in marriage Jane Austen has shown remarkable dramatic scene in exhibiting the different stages of growth of pride and prejudice of the hero and the heroine and their final self knowledge which cure their feelings. 


What Chaucer has done in the 14th century England in his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, Pope in the 18th century in his Rope of the Lock and Tennyson in the 19th century England in his poems, R. K. Narayan has done the same in his novels of the 20th century India. His novels are the miniature form of India. We find everything what are typically Indian in his novel as his novels are blessed with ‘Bharat Darshan’. The idiosyncratic, likeable Indian characters in Narayan’s novels and the mythic town of Malgudi that he created as the setting of his ‘Man Eater of Malgudi’ are well known all over the world.

Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly” : As a Short Story

Modern short story has grown mere or to the lyric and close to the psychological mood-poem. Katherine Mansfield’s short story “The Fly” is a case in point. It has the minimum of story in its shaping. Read More Short StoriesIt radically differs from the conventional short story in its mechanics of presentation. In it the treatment is not clear and logical enough. It offers a sympathetic insight into human soul in a moment of shock relying on atmosphere and suggestion. Read More Short StoriesIt has not plot and technique it is akin to the “stream of consciousness method” of fiction.

The Structural Approach to the Teaching of English: the Possible Grounds for Dissatisfaction

The structural approach to the teaching of English is technique by which students are taught to master the pattern of sentences. In the words of Menon and Patel, the structural approach is based on the belief that in the learning of a foreign language, mastery of structures is more important than the acquisition of vocabulary. This approach employs techniques of the direct method of teaching. Speech is mainly stressed bat reading and writing is not neglected. The structural approach is not a method in the strict sense of the term. It is an approach, a technique, a device which can be used to put into practice any method successfully. It is a way to teach English by using only of the traditional method like grammar translation or direct method etc. According to Prof. B. D. Srivastava, “The structural approach is, in fact, the situational approach of language teaching"
Objectives of the structural approach –
According to Menon and Patel the following are the objectives of the new st…

The Man Eater of Malgudi: Sketching the character of H. Vasu

H. Vasu like Iago in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Healthcliffe in Emile Bronte’s ‘Withering Heights’, Voss in Patrick White’s ‘Voss’ “is the prince of darkness and in darkness his activities are to be conducted”. He has been called ‘man-eater’, ‘terrifying’, ‘unreasonable’, ‘man with the dark halo’, ‘cruel’, ‘rakshasha’, ‘arrogant by implication’ and one who laughs ‘diabolically’. Vasu, a gigantic ex-circus “trong-man”, is farther attributed as wild animal hunter and a taxidermist.

Analysis of the chatacters of Cathleen and Nora as chorus in J.M. Synge's Riders to the Sea

Before we set our discussion on Nora and Cathleen as a choric element in Synge’s play,Riders to the Sea, it is better to pip into the chorus first. Chorus, the term, used originally by the ancient Greeks in Attic drama of the 6th and 5th centuries bc, is a group of singers and dancers who take part in a drama and are accompanied by music. Being independent from the crux of the action they represent as objective observer, commentator, author’s point of view and even a conscience of the audience. Since its first use as a dramatic convention chorus do have many changes depending upon the dramatist’s purpose. However, the main elements remain more or less the same.

Robert Browning’s treatment of human psychology and attitude to life reflected in : Two in the Campagna and The Laboratory

“Through out my life I have learned to love. Love is the Summum bonum of my life”. – says Robert Browning in a letter to his friend. And what he says here constitutes the philosophy he wishes to advocate in all his poems. Browning’s philosophy is optimistic, heartening and cheering. He is a poet of hope, joy faith, and immortality of soul, invincibility of good and supremacy of God. The best of his poems: The Last Ride Together, A Grammarian’s Funeral, Fralippo Lippi, Pophyria’s Lover etc. been ample evidence of his philosophic outlook. As a dramatic monologue, Browning’s  poem Two In The Campagna sheds light on another facts of his philosophy of life, namely ‘an instant cannot be made eternal’, while poems like Porphyria’s Lover and Andrea Del Sarto strongly uphold the poet’s apposite point of view that instant can be made eternal. In Two In the Campagna, Browning holds just the opposite view, stressing the ever fluctuating nature of human thoughts and feeling including the moment of…

“Araby” by James Joyce is a Realistic Short Story with Symbolic Overtones

“Araby” is one of the fifteen short stories that together make up Joyce’s collection, Dubliners {Published 1914}. It is the most typical of Joyce’s short stories and is told from the perspective of a boy just on the verge of adolescence in that it is more like prose – lyric or psychological mood – poem. It relies more on symbolic suggestions than on straight forward narration. It is essentially poetic in tone and texture in spite of the occasional jarring notes provided by its shabby realistic setting. Read More Short StoriesRealism and romantic vision coexist in it and form its very stuff. It is much more than a mere story; it is a vivid waiting – waiting with baited breath for the realization of an ideal that remains ever elusive. Its symbolic design more than the rigid frame work of a conventional short story befits the mysterious working of an adolescent heart experiencing the first impulse of love that ends in utter frustration. Symbolically the boy’s failure in love suggests the…

Katherine Mansfield‘s “The Fly”: Analyzing Woodifield

 The Old Triumvirate:Ketherine Mansfield has presented three old men in her story, “The Fly” – the old Boss, Old Woodifield and Old Macey. The Boss is the Central character in the story; Old Woodifield, an old and infirm man, who is only allowed to leave his house on Tuesdays and who lives with his wife and daughter,is a minor figure, but he is of much importance in the story.  He fulfills some important function in the story. Farther his story displays sensitivity to emotion by giving attention to the inner conflicts of his character.

Students' Digest - William Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT

As You Like It,(Written and performed about 1599 and first published in 1623) five-act comedy by English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, with its engaging characters, situations, and mix-ups, delights the theater goers. Based on the prose romance Rosalynde (1590) by Thomas Lodge, a pastoral romance of the sentimental type, Shakespeare’sAs You Like It becomes a portrait of innocence rural life as well as a satire on the conventional sentimental pastoral comedy. Again Shakespeare transforms Lodge's sentimental Rosalynde into the witty, strong, and warm-hearted main character Rosalind