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.

  1.  Who is ‘death’s second self’ in Shakespeare’s sonnet – 73?
Ans:- Shakespeare compared night with ‘death’s second self’. In night there is no light similarly a person who is at the doorstep of death has not a single ray of hope.

  1.  What does ‘The Lion, Angel and Lamb’ signify in Act-iii of she sloops to Conquer?

Ans:- These were the names of the inn rooms. Instead of giving numbers of rooms of inn were given names this way those days.

  1. What is meaning of ‘impediment’ in the context of Shakespeare’s sonnet – 116?
Ans:- In Shakespeare’s sonnet-116, the word ‘impediment’ means obstacles. Shakespeare is unwilling to admit any obstacle to the eternal attachment of minds in true love.

  1.  What is ‘Rake’s Progress’ to which Hardcastle refers in Act-iv of ‘She Stoops to Conquer’?
Ans:- ‘The Rake’s Progress is a famous set of prints by the artist William Hogarth depicting the progressive ruin of young man including in the pursuit of pleasure.

  1.  What are the ‘seven millstones’ to be lifted from ‘man’s neck’ in Major Barbara?
Ans:- The seven millstones that are to be lifted from ‘man’s neck’ are – food, clothing, taxes, rent, children, respectability and shelter.

  1. How many sonnets arte there in the ‘Amoretti’ sequence ?
Ans:- The sonnet sequence ‘Amoretti’ written by Edmund Spenser consists of 89 sonnets.

  1. What is a curragh?
 Curragh is a small Irish fishing boat.

  1.  What is the significance of ‘white board’ that Maurya buys?
Ans:- White symbolically suggestive of death. The ‘boards’ bought of Maurya are to be used to make a coffin for Michael. It also suggests Bartley’s impending death.

  1.  Why does Spenser’s mistress call his efforts a ‘Vaine assay’?
Ans:- Spenser’s lady love told the poet that it was indeed a foolish attempt to eternalize her, who like other mortal beings is subject to decay and death like all other things would futile.

  1. Why would Donne go for a pilgrimage in his ‘song’?
Ans:- To go to visit woman who is once true and fair will be a pilgrimage, a tour to a holy place, for John Donne.

  1.  Who used ‘tautology’ in Mac Flecknoe’?
Ans:- Thomas Shadwell, a rivel poet of Dryden, used tautology in his literary works.

  1.  Mention two items used by the Aran islanders which show that they were very primitive.
Ans:- Spinning wheel and oilskins were used by the Aran islanders which show that were very primitive.

  1. What is literally meant by the word ‘Pandemonium’ in Milton’s Paradise Lost BK-I? Name the architect of the Pandemonium in Paradise lost, BKI.
Ans:- The word ‘Pandemonium’ literally means ‘the home  of all the demons.' Mulciber was the architect of the Pandemonium in Paradise Lost BK-1.

  1.  which poem did Spenser compose as a wedding gift to Elizabeth Boyle?
Ans:- Spenser composed Epithlamion as a wedding gift to Elizabeth Boyle.

  1.  oft turning others’ leaves – Explain the pun on ‘leaves’.
Ans:- Sidney went through the works of the other literary masters to find inspiration and instruction for his poetic creation by following and imitating other great masters.

  1. What do ‘ashes’ refer to in Sonnet No. 73?
Ans:- The word ‘ashes’ signifies the last insignificant residue of the poet’s youthful vigour and passions.

  1. What is an ‘ever fixed mark’?Ans:- True love is referred to as ‘an ever fixed on ark’ since it is steady, constant and unchangeable like a beacon to a ship in the sea.
  1. What are ‘mermaids’?
Ans:- Mermaids are imaginary creatures upward human and downward fish. They are belived to produce sweet songs that soothes every one.

  1. Who was Mammon?
Ans:- “Mammon” is a Syria word that means ‘riches’ or wealth. He was believed to be the God of riches.

  1. Who among the fallen angels came last?
Ans:- Among the fallen angles Belial came last.

  1. And she also to use “new fangleness” – What is meant by “New fangleness”?
Ans:- The word “New fangleness” means objectionable novelty that replaces something good and old. Here it refers to the inconsistent and faithless love of those women who had pretended to have loved the poet sincerely but left him now novelty of random love for other men.

  1. What is the argument of to in Spenser’s Sonnet No -75?
Ans:- Spenser’s lady love Eligabeth Boyle admonished him for his arrogance. According to her, every mortal being is subject to decay. So, by writing names on the sea shore would not bring her mortality in his world.

  1. What does Sidney mean by ‘truant pen; in his sonnet no -1 from Astrophel and Stella?
Ans:- Sidney was incapable of writhing poetry. Not a single word flow from his pen. Sidney regarded his pen as truant as if it is not obeying his commands.


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