Showing posts from October, 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.

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 …

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.

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

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 h…

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.

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.

‘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.

Analysis of Lord Tennyson’s Tithonus : immortality consumes

Tennyson’s Tithonusrelates 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 essayThe 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.

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.

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

JosephConradholds 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, Josephreworked 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.

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.

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 mys…

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.

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, simpl…

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, compu…

John Keats' Ode To Autumn- All for Autumnal Beauty

Three things help to make the great lyric. These are- the author's feeling, or emotion; the theme; the form and style in which the author expresses both of these. Farther sincerity, intensity, and spontaneity characterize the feeling of the great lyric poem. Such an ode is typically a lyrical verse written in praise of, or dedicated to someone or something which captures the poet's interest or serves as an inspiration for the ode. The structure and rhyme scheme ofOde To Autumn are similar to those of typical odes. It is remarkable for its richness of imagery. It is a feast of sights and sounds. It shows Keats's speaker paying homage to a particular goddess-- the deified season of autumn. Autumn in Keats's ode is a time of warmth and plenty, but it is perched on the brink of winter's desolation.

Casually speaking, Keats was not a thinker; his poetry is not a vehicle for ideas, but a record of acutely felt sensations. It is sometimes affirmed that his messages are co…

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - A General Introduction to the Play and the Character of Shylock

The Merchant of Venice, comedy by English playwright William Shakespeare, written around 1596 is regarded by some scholars as the strongest and most successful of Shakespeare's early comedies. It well illustrates author’s custom of going back to old tales for his plots. Some of the medieval manuscripts, like the Gesta Roman orum (Deeds of the Romans) were storehouses of literary material to thousands of writers who followed. There is also a historical basis for the play in the high feeling toward the Jew as a race. This feeling was particularly strong from the fourteenth century until the middle of the Seventeenth. It was unjust, but it is a historical fact.
The original title given by Shakespeare was A Jew of Venice. The change to The Merchant of Venice is indicative of the fact that the author wished to throw to the front the other character. Technically, Antonio is the main character; dramatically, Shylock is. The play is a comedy, for the main character is extricated from his …

Figure of Speech -Figures of Resemblance or Similarity

A Figure of Speech, word or group of words used to give particular emphasis to an idea or sentiment, is any deviation for increased effect from the plain and ordinary method of speaking.The special emphasis is typically accomplished by the user's conscious deviation from the strict literal sense of a word, or from the more commonly used form of word order or sentence construction. From ancient times to the present, such figurative locutions have been extensively employed by orators and writers to strengthen and embellish their styles of speech and composition. Broadly speaking rhetoric is the art of speaking in which we can locate dressing or ornamentation. But it is always to be remembered that it is not the essence of the poem rather one of the essentials.
Figures of Speech are usually classified as
I. Figures of Resemblance or Similarity. II. Contrast. III. Association or Contiguity. IV. Miscellaneous Figures.
I. Figures of resemblance.

A Simile (Lat. similis, like), specific compari…

Antony and Cleopatra Makes No Attempt to Rival the Four Great Tragedies – Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello

The question whether Antony and Cleopatra is a close compeer or rival of the four great tragedies (Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello) is born of one page of Coleridgean general criticism where the great critic recorded his highest praise for the play by expressing his doubt as to whether the astonishing play was a formidable rival to the four great Shakespearean tragedies. A. C. Bradley, another great Shakespearean critic has construed Coleridge’s remarks as amounting to an assertion of great tragedies. Assuming this to be true, Bradley states that this is an error of judgment and evaluation on the part of Coleridge and proceeds to note the features which mark out Antony and Cleopatra as decidedly different from the famous four tragedies known as great in Shakespeare.
The peculiar marks of Antony and Cleopatra which discriminate it from the four great tragedies and put it in a different class are found both its form and substance. It is a presentable play generally, although not …

Important Short Questions & Answers from William Shakespeare's Macbeth : Act II

Act – II
Scene – I
The belief in evil spirits, and in the power of witches to do harm by their aid, was wide-spread both amongst Catholics and Protestants in the i6th and 17th centuries England.
1. Who is Hecate?
Hecate, in Greek mythology, goddess of darkness, and the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria. Unlike Artemis, who represented the moonlight and splendor of the night, Hecate represented its darkness and its terrors. On moonless nights she was believed to roam the earth with a pack of ghostly, howling dogs. She was the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft and was especially worshiped by magicians and witches.However, The introduction of Hecate is only but a superfluous character who takes no real part in the action of the play.

2. Was the dagger seen by Macbeth is real?

            No, the dagger was a creation of his heat oppressed brain.
3. Who is ‘Tarquin’?
            Tarquin was the last king of Rome, expelled from Rome for high disposition.
Try To Answer these Questions:  Wha…