Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2016

Sir Thomas Browne’s "Religio Medici" (Religion of a Doctor/Physician): Skepticism and Scientific Reasoning are Mixed with Faith and Revelation

“And, considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God that we can die but once.”

Thomas Browne (1605 - 1682)

English physician and writer.

Religio Medici

Sir Thomas Browne’s first important work, Religio Medici (Religion of a Doctor/Physician), probably written in 1635 at the age of thirty, is a rambling discourse in which skepticism and scientific reasoning are mixed with faith and revelation. The book was published in 1642 and translated into Latin, Dutch, French and German. Soon after its appearance in the continent, the book became popular. In France, particularly, Browne’s Religio Medici was highly esteemed and the author revered. Read More Age of Dryden

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 102

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
1.Tottel’s Miscellany is a collection of songs and sonnets of the Elizabethan period. It was published in 1557.Volumes of poems other than Tottel‘s Miscellany:  Paradyse Dyntry Devises (1576), The Handful of Pleasant Delites( 1584), The Phoenix Nest (1593).

2.First regular satire in English poetry that appeared in the   Elizabethan period: The Steele Glas (1576) written by   George Gascoigne, in blank verse.

3. “ Astrophel and  Stella “ mean: “ Astrophel ‘” means lover of the star whereas “ Stella “ means star. In real life they were Philip Sidney and Penelope Devereux. The sonnet sequence contains 108 sonnets.

4. Sir Philip Sidney wrote The Apologie for Poetry. It was published in 1595.

Comparative Reading of Hemingway's “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” and William Faulkner’s “The Bear”

Hemingway's “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” and William Faulkner’s “The Bear” are two different kinds of stories. The former deals with the terrible fate of an old man, is completed within the duration of a few hours and the space of less than 4 pages: the latter treats the ‘growing up’ of an adolescent, Ike, spans over more than 10 years and runs into over a 100 pages. The former uses sparse narrative, bits of dialogue, and very few characters; the latter is written in a spontaneous flow of rhetorical narrative and reveals almost a panoramic range of characters. Nothing much happens in the former story; but a great deal of action takes place in the latter.
Thematically “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” unfolds the despairing predicament of an old man of eighty, bereft of wife and children, almost deaf, unsteady on feet who attempted to commit suicide the previous week. “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” seems to be a very simple, unemotional, and almost unfinished short story.

The Belief in Evil Spirits or Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries: Outcome in English Literature

The belief in evil spirits, and in the power of witches  or Witchcraft to do harm by their aid, was wide-spread both among Catholics and Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Allusions to it are frequent in literature. Statutes were constantly passed against sorcery, and there are many accounts of the trials of persons suspected of the practice. The most interesting contemporary books on the subject are Harsnet's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603); and Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft. Harsnet's tract is an enquiry into certain cases of demoniacal possession alleged to have been cured by Parsons, the Jesuit: Scot's is a noteworthy attack upon the whole superstition, and is crammed with curious magical lore. It is said to have been publicly burnt, and was reprinted in 1651.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 101

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
1.Duchess of Malfi; Hamlet; Gorboduc are Revenge Tragedy. 2.Alice Munro’s Meneseteung is a rich tale spanning several decades. 3.George Saunders’s Pastoralia focuses on a man who is stuck in a life he hates in a dystopian future.

The Revenge Theme Earlier Writers of Tragedy in the English Language

“Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.” Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) English philosopher, statesman, and lawyer. Essays, "Of Revenge"
The earlier writers of tragedy in the English language Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton, fastened on a story of revenge for the Gorboduc, first produced in 1561. Since then, for another six years revenge continued to be one of the popular themes of dramatic representation. Gorboduc has a simple plot: Gorboduc, King of Britain, divides his realm between his sons, Ferrex and Porrex and retires from rule. Soon afterwards vaulting ambition enslaves both the brothers; the younger Porrex acts quickly, invades Ferrex’s territory and slays his brother with his own hand. Queen Videna revenges the murder of her first son by killing Porrex. The outraged public rise in revolt and murder both the King and the Queen.

Death of Cordelia in the Light of Poetic Justice in William Shakespeare’s "King Lear"

Poetic justice is a sort of ideal justice, which the poets and critics are expected to impart in apportioning rewards and Punishments to the characters they create. It is an ideal world of justice where crime and punishment exist, bound more of less by a nexus of transcendental mathematics. As an idea, however, it is too bookish and fails to explain the wicked world in which men and women live and die. It thinks more of the world as it should be than the world as it is. The world of daily existence is a world where the wicked prosper and evil thrive while the good is wasted and ignored. Such a world provides stuff for tragedies of Shakespeare who accepts the world as it is and King Lear is no exception to it.