Answer the following questions. (Types of Poems)
(i) Define poetry.
Ans. Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language --- such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre -- to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.  
(ii) What is an aubade?
Ans. Aubade is a love poem welcoming or lamenting the arrival of the dawn. One of the finest aubades in literature occurs in Act II, Scene III, of Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. It begins with the famous words, "Hark, hark! The lark at heaven's gate sings". Donne's "The Sun Rising" is also an aubade. 
(iii) What is a ballad?
Ans. A narrative poem, often of folk origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain. The Anonymous medieval ballad, "Barbara Allan", exemplifies the genre. 
(iv) What is a folk ballad?
Ans.Folk ballad is a song that it traditionally sung by the common people or a region and forms part of their culture. Folk ballads are anonymous and recount tragic, comic, or heroic stories with emphasis on a central dramatic event. Examples include "Barbara Allan" and "John Henry". 
(v) Define a carol?
Ans. A carol is a hymn or poem often sung by a group, with an individual taking the changing stanzas and the group taking the burden or refrain. Examples include "The Burning Babe" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas" 
(vi) What is a dramatic monologue?
Ans. A dramatic monologue is a poem in which an imagined speaker addresses a silent listener. It is a 'mono-drama in verse'. Examples include Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" and T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".
(vii) Define elegy.
Ans. An elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song of a lament for the dead. It usually ends in consolation. Examples include John Milton's "Lycidas" and W.H. Auden's "In Memory of W.B. Yeats". 
(viii) Define an epic.
Ans. An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation narrated in elevated style. For example, Homer's "Iliad" is an epic. 
(ix) What is a mock epic?
Ans. A mock epic is a satire or parody that mocks common classical stereotypes or heroes and heroic literature. Typically, a mock epic either puts a fool in the role of the hero or exaggerates the heroic qualities to such a point that they become absurd. Examples include John Dryden's "Mac Flecknoe" and Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock". 
(x) What is an epigram?
Ans. An epigram is a short, satirical and witty poem (statement) usually written as a couplet or quatrain but can also be a one lined phrase. It is a brief and forceful remark with a funny ending. Examples include Walter Savage Landor's "Dirce" and Ben Jonson's "On Gut". 
(xi) What is an epithalamion?
Ans. An epithalamion is a lyric ode in honour of a bride and bridegroom usually containing suggestive language and innuendo. Examples include Theocritus' "The 18th Idyll" and Edmund Spenser's "Epithalamion". 
(xii) What is a hymn? 
Ans. A hymn is a religious poem praising God or the divine, often sung. In English, the most popular hymns were written between the 17th and 19th centuries. Examples include Isaac Walts' "Our God, Our Help" and Charles Welsey's "My God! I Know, I Feel Thee Mine". 
(xiii) What is a lyric? 
Ans. A lyric is a short poem which expresses personal emotions or feelings, often in a song-like style or form. It is typically written in the first person. Examples include John Clare's "I Hid My Love" and Louise Bogan's "Song for the Last Act". 
(xiv) Define an ode. 
Ans. An ode is a long, often elaborate stanzaic poem of varying line lengths and sometimes intricate rhyme schemes devoted to the praise of a person, animal, place, thing or idea. Examples include P.B. Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn". 
(xv) What is a sonnet?
Ans. A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes. In English, a sonnet has 3 quatrains followed by a couplet and ten syllables per line. (iambic pentameter). It usually expresses a single, complete thought, idea or sentiment. Examples include P.B. Shelley's "Ozymandias" and John Keats' "When I Have Fears". 


Symbolism in Blake's Poetry

     The poetry as well as the whole art of William Blake is abundant with symbols. There is hardly any poem in the "Songs of Innocence and Experience" which does not possess symbols. A symbol is an object which stands for something else as Shelley's wind symbolizes inspiration, Ted Hughes's Hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature and S.T. Coleridge's Albatross represents a psychological burden that feels like a curse. Most symbols are not like code signals, like traffic lights, where red means stop and green means go, but part of a complex language in which green can mean jealously or fertility, or even both, depending on context. The major symbols in Blake's poetry are; lamb, rose, children, tiger, garden, stars, forest, looms and net.
1. Lamb
     William Blake loves lambs. They connect religion with both human and natural world. Traditionally, the lamb is a symbol of renewal, victory of life upon death, gentleness, tenderness and innocence. White colour of the lamb stands for purity. In the Christian Gospels, Jesus Christ is compared to a lamb because he goes meekly to be sacrificed on behalf of humanity. Moreover, lambs, as baby sheep, are connected to the theme of childhood that runs through the "Songs of Innocence". By contrast, "Songs of Experience" contains only one reference to a lamb. The Speaker of "The Tyger" asks, 
"Did he who made the lamb make thee"? 
2. Rose
     Sunflower, lily and rose are the common flowers that appear in Blake's poetry as symbols. Sunflower represents a man who is bound to earth, but is pinning for eternity. Lily is a symbol of love which is without any self-reference, neither defending itself nor causing any pain and destruction. Rose, as a symbol, has a rich and ancient history. In the ancient Rome, roses were grown in the funerary gardens to symbolize resurrection. According to medieval tradition, they represent chastity or virginity and thus are associated with young girls. In Christianity, the rose is a frequent symbol for the Virgin Mary, who is called a "rose without thorns". The rose garden is a symbol of paradise. However, the rose of William Blake symbolizes beauty, virginity, innocence and London. 
3. Children
     On account of their playfulness and freshness, Blake sees children as symbols of imagination and artistic creativity. He also uses them as an image of innocence. The child motif emphasizes the suggestions of simplicity and lack of sophistication. Much of the moralistic teaching of Blake's day stressed the infant and boy Jesus as a figure with whom children could identify. However, the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth and childhood include experience of human violence and so emphasize the vulnerability of the child. Thus like the lamb, the child represents gentleness and innocence, together with vulnerability and openness to exploitation.
4. Tiger
     It is unclear what the tiger exactly symbolizes. It may symbolize the violent and terrifying forces within the individual man. The splendid but terrifying tiger makes us realize the God's purposes are not so easily understood. At the same time, the tiger is symbolic of the Creator's masterly skill which enabled Him to frame the "fearful symmetry" of the tiger. But the lion described in the poem "Night" offers an interesting contrary to the tiger. Both the beasts seem dreadful, but the lion, like the beast of the fairy tale, can be magically transformed into a good and gentle creature: the tiger cannot. The tiger also represents the energy and imagination of man. Really, the list is almost infinite. The point is, the tiger is important, and Blake's poem "The Tyger" barely limits the possibilities.
5. Garden
     The garden is a symbol providing the location of love and temptation leading to captivity. The garden is commonly recalled in the "Songs of Experience". In the garden, mankind is walled or fenced off from his neighbours; man tends his own desires, particularly by self-conscious affections and jealousies. The garden is a sickly consolation among the evils of London. There are "Soft Gardens" and "Secret Gardens". In a garden of delight, mankind is surrounded by shadows. Urizen himself planted a "garden of fruits". This is Eden, never associated with innocence, but always with temptation, the tree of mystery and forbidden knowledge. This aspect of Eden is prototype of Blake's symbol of the garden.
6. Stars
     Stars are often used to symbolize heavenly bodies, purity, distance, light in the darkness, unattainable things, good luck and eternity. In dreams, a shooting star is a sign of self-fulfillment and advancement in life. However, Blake uses the star symbol in his own specific sense. The stars are never romantic. At one level, stars and darkness are commonly assumed to endanger health. The symbol of the stars assumes another dimension when it is associated with material and spiritual repression. This is said to reflect Blake's reaction against the rational thoughts of his times.
7. Forest
     The forest, that seems to overgrow the hills of Innocence, with its impenetrable superstition, is one of Blake's most powerful symbols. The conventional beginning is seen in the "Poetical Sketches" where the "thickest shades" provide concealment from the sun in "To Summer", and in "To the Evening Star", the lion "glares through the dense forest". This poem is typical in its refined holiness of eighteenth century mannerism, which Blake soon outgrew. In "Songs of Innocence", the groves of "Night" and "The Little Black Boy" still occur in a religious context, and we are moving towards the mention in "America" where the Royalist oppressors crouch terrified in their caverns.
8. Looms and Net
     A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. In the prophetic books, the symbols of loom, with the action of weaving, the web and the net represent the soft, delusive terror of sexual dominance and these symbols run together. "The silken net" in "How Sweet I Roamed from Field to Field", suggests the trap of tenderness. The eighteenth century sought in public works to slave its conscience over prostitution, poverty and disease. For Blake, it was hypocrisy, while the old order perpetuated itself, and an oppressive social and moral code fostered the destitution and traffic in childhood that all professed to deplore.  
     It is established that Blake is a highly symbolic poet. His use of symbolism is unique and cinematic. It paints a lively and pulsating picture of dynamic life before us. He has depicted nature and human nature; animals and plants as simple but profound symbols of powerful forces. What is different in Blake is that he is not modeling after any symbols but his own. His handling of symbols is markedly different from that of the French symbolists. His symbols are not mechanical or inflexible. He has used archetypal symbolism in his poetry. In short, symbolism is the main trait of William Blake as a poet and this has been well crystallized in his legendary work, "The Songs of Innocence and Experience".

Answer the following questions. (Structural Elements of a Poem)
(i) How many types are there of verse form?
Ans. There are more than 50 types of verse form. Famous verse forms include: ballad, blank verse, dramatic monologue, elegy, epic, epithalamion, free verse, limerick, ode and sonnet etc. 
(ii) What do you understand by rhyme scheme?
Ans. A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line of a poem. Words that have different beginning sounds but whose endings sound alike are said to rhyme. Examples: time, slime, mime/ revival, arrival, survival/ greenery, machinery, scenery. 
(iii) What is rhythm?
Ans. Rhythm is the pattern of flow of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllabls in accentual verse or of long and short syllables in quantitative verse. Rhythm is a pattern of beats, while meter organizes these beats in an understandable way.
(iv) What is a couplet?
Ans.A couplet is a unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and have the same meter and often forming a complete thought or syntactic unit. This is the shortest stanza. A couplet may be formal (closed) or run-on (open).
(v) What is a heroic couplet?
Ans. A heroic couplet is a traditional form for English poetry, commonly used in epic and narrative poetry. It refers to poems constructed from a sequence of rhyming pairs of lines in iambic pentameter. For example: "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan/ The proper study of Mankind is Man". 
(vi) Define a stanza?
Ans. A stanza is a grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from other stanzas by a blank line or indentation. It is equivalent of a paragraph in an essay. One way to identify a stanza is to count the number of lines. Thus: couplet (2 lines), tercet (3 lines), quatrain (4 lines), cinquain (5 lines), sestet (6 lines), septet (7 lines), octave (8 lines). 
(vii) What is a quatrain?
Ans. A quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines. There are twelve possible rhyme schemes but the most traditional and common are: AABB as in A.E. Houseman's "To an Athlete Dying Young" and ABAB as in Gwendolyn Brooks' "Sadie and Maud".
(viii) What is a sestet?
Ans. A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry, especially the last six lines of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet. Common rhyme schemes of a sestet include CDECDE or CDCCDC.
(ix) What is an octave?
Ans. An octave or octet is a group of eight lines of poetry, especially the first eight lines of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet. Common rhyme scheme of an octave is ABBAABBA.
(x) What is a blank verse?
Ans. Blank verse is a category of poetry based on unrhymed lines and a definite meter, usually iambic pentameter. Examples of blank verse can be found in Shakespeare, William Cullen Bryant and Robert Frost. 
(xi) What is a free verse?
Ans. Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter pattern, rhyme or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech. Examples of free verse can be found in Mathew Arnold, T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. 
(xii) Define meter.
Ans. Meter is the rhythmical pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse. The predominant meter in English poetry is accentual-syllabic. Falling meter refers to trochees and dactyls while iambs and anapests are called rising meter. Each unit of stress and unstressed syllables is called a "foot". 
(xiii) What is an iamb?
Ans. An iamb is a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The words "unite" and "provide" are both iambic. It is the most common meter in all the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. In Robert Frost's "After Apple Picking", the iamb is the vehicle for the "natural", colloquial speech pattern. 
(xiv) Define iambic pentameter.
Ans. Iambic pentameter is a kind of rhythmic pattern that consists of five iambs per line, almost like five heartbeats: daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM. Many of Shakespeare's works are great examples of iambic pentameter. For example, If MUsic Be the FOOD of LOVE, play ON. (Twelfth Night)
(xv) What is foot is poetry?
Ans. A foot is a unit of meter, consisting of a combination of stressed and unstressed syllables. A combination of feet makes up a line of meter. The most common feet in English are iamb (daDUM), trochee (DUMda), dactyle (DUMDUM) and anapest (dadaDUM).


Wordsworth As a Poet of Nature

1. Introduction

2. Nature is a Living Being
     Wordsworth conceives of Nature as a living personality. He believes that there is a divine spirit pervading all the objects of Nature. This belief called Pantheism finds a complete expression in the "Tintern Abbey" when he tells us that he has felt the presence of a sublime spirit in the setting sun, the round ocean, the living air, the blue sky, the mind of man etc. This spirit, he say, rolls through all things:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 
And rolls through all things.
3. Nature is a Teacher 
     Wordsworth considers Nature to be our best and truest teacher. Like the senior Duke in "As You Like It" by Shakespeare, he too finds --
Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, and good in everything. (Act II, Scene I)
In Wordsworth's words --
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man, 
Of moral evil and of good, 
                                        Than all the sages can.     (The Tables Turned) 
4. Nature is a Healer
     Nature is "the balm of hurt minds", Wordsworth discovered when he was in the grip of great spiritual crisis. England's declaration of war against France was a great shock to Wordsworth. The crisis deepened when Napoleon betrayed the French Revolution by entering upon a career of military aggression. All his hopes for the betterment of humanity collapsed. He was filled with gloom and despair. From his mood he was rescued by the influence of his sister Dorothy. And she was able to to this by directing him to his first love - Nature of Lake District of England. Wordsworth came back from Germany. The lovely hills, stormy winds, murmuring fountains, meandering rivers, and the mighty mountains of the beautiful Lake District brought peace and solace to his subjected soul. 
5. Man is a Part of Nature
     Rather than placing Man and Nature in opposition, Wordsworth views them as complementary elements of a whole, recognizing Man as a part of Nature. He perceives that there is a harmony between the soul and Nature and the soul of Man. This harmony is everlasting if Man's soul is unsophisticated. He relates in "The Prelude" how shepherds of the Lake hills had been seen by him as part of the wild scenery in which he lived and he mixed up their lives with the grandeur of Nature and came to honour them as part of its being. Indeed, many of Wordsworth men and women are felt to be the incarnations of the different moods of Nature. Lucy and the Highland Girl seem to embody the spirit of joy in Nature: Ruth, Margaret and the Leech-gatherer are incarnations of its more grave aspects. 
6. Company of Nature Gives Joy

7. A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever
     The beautiful sights and melodious sounds in the world of nature have a permanent place in Wordsworth's heart. These never sink into oblivion. And, when recollected, these render him great joy in his pensive hours. In his poem "Daffodils", Wordsworth says how the beautiful scene of the daffodil flowers dancing in the gentle breeze is painted on screen of his mind, never to be wiped out. It flashes upon his inward eye and fills his heart with pleasure. It is the "bliss of solitude". Similarly, the sweet music of the solitary reaper in "The Solitary Reaper" is stored in his memory as a source of joy and inspiration. In short, this is Wordsworth's theory of "emotion recollected in tranquility". 
8. Nature is a Source of Comfort and Strength

9. Absence of Ugly Side of Nature
     Wordsworth celebrates the beauty, harmony and sublimity of Nature, he is fortified by its calm and unbroken order, 'the holy plan' of Nature. But Nature is not all a May-day. She has a harsh and terrifying sight, of which Wordsworth was apparently oblivious. He loses sight of Nature "red in tooth and claw with rapine". He is silent as to her mysterious disorders of pain, cruelty and death. Nature is cruel and careless of the happiness of her millions of subjects. The scenes where the poet found pleasure and solace are battlefield and slaughter-house for other creatures. Pain, fear and bloodshed are a part of the law of life. Thus "Wordsworth's eyes avert their kin from half of human fate", it has been said. To this extent his poetry of Nature has been considered partial and incomplete. 
10. Conclusion

Answer the following questions. (Sound Devices Used in Poetry) 
(i) Define alliteration.
Ans. Alliteration is a stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series of multiple words. For example, A big bully beats a baby boy.
(ii) Define assonance.
Ans. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds or diphthong in non-rhyming words. Assonance is merely a syllabic resemblance. For example, "Men sell the wedding bells", "that dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea". (William Butler Yeats) 
(iii) What is consonance?
Ans. Consonance is the repetition of the same consonants within a sentence of phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession. The repetitive sound is often found at the end of a word. For example, "He struck a streak of bad luck", "All mammals named Same are clammy".
(iv) Define resonance.
Ans. Resonance is the quality of richness or variety of sound in poetic texture, as in Milton's: "and the thunder .......... cease now / To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep".
(v) What is cacophony?
Ans. Cacophony is the use of words that combine sharp, hard, hissing, or unmelodious sounds. These words have jarring and dissonant sounds that create a disturbing, objectionable atmosphere. For example, "With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, / Agape they heard me call." (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.T. Coleridge) 
(vi) What is euphony?
Ans. Euphony is the use of words and phrases that are distinguished as have a wide range of noteworthy melody or loveliness in the sounds they create. For example, "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, / Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; / Conspiring with him how to load and bless / With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;" (Ode to Autumn by John Keats) 
(vii) Define onomatopoeia.
Ans. Onomatopoeia is a word which imitates the natural sound of a thing or action. It creates a sound effect that mimics that thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting. For example, "The moan of doves in immemorial elms, / And murmuring of innumerable bees ....". (Come Down, O Maid by Alfred Lord Tennyson) 
(viii) What is repetition?
Ans. Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. For example, "Because I do not hope to turn again / Because I do not hope / Because I do not hope to turn .... (Ash-Wednesday by T.S. Eliot)
(ix) Define rhyme.
Ans. A rhyme is a matching similarity of sounds in two or more words, especially when their accented vowels and all succeeding consonants are identical. For instance, the word-pairs listed here are all rhymes: skating/dating, emotion/demotion, fascinate/deracinate, and plain/stain. 
(x) What is an internal rhyme?
Ans. Internal rhyme is a rhyme in which a word in the middle of a line rhymes with a word at the end of the same metrical line. It is also called middle rhyme, since it comes in the middle of lines. For example, "Double, double toil and trouble. / Fire burn and cauldron bubble". (Macbeth by William Shakespeare) 
(xi) What is a near rhyme?
Ans. A near rhyme is a rhyme in which the stressed syllables of ending consonants match, however, the preceding vowel sounds do not match. It is also called half rhyme, imperfect rhyme or slant rhyme. For example, "If love is like a bridge / or maybe like a grudge, (To My Wife by George Wolff) 
(xii) Define rhythm.
Ans. Rhythm is the pattern of flow of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables in accentual verse or of long and short syllables in quantitative verse. Rhythm is a pattern of beats, while meter organizes these beats in an understandable way.
(xiii) What is an accent?
Ans. Accent is a rhythmically significant stress on the syllables of a verse within a particular metrical pattern, usually at regular intervals. In basic analysis of a poem by scansion, accents are represented with a slash (/). 
(xiv) What is modulation?
Ans. Modulation is the harmonious use of language relative to the variation of stress and pitch. It is a process by which the stress values of accents can be increased or decreased within a fixed metrical pattern.
(xv) Define meter.
Ans. Meter is the rhythmical pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse. The predominant meter in English poetry is accentual-syllabic. Falling meter refers to trochees and dactyls while iambs and anapests are called rising meter. Each unit of stress and unstressed syllables is called a "foot".


Shelley As a Romantic Poet

     Romantic poetry is the poetry of the Romantic era; an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. It involved a reaction against prevailing Enlightenment ideas of the 18th century, and lasted from 1800 to 1850, approximately. Romantic poetry contrasts with neoclassical poetry, which is poetry of intellect and reason, while romantic poetry is the product of emotions, sentiments and the heart. The best known romantic poets are William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, John Keats, S.T Coleridge, Mathew Arnold and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The major romantic elements found in the poetry of  Shelley are; love of nature, imagination, melancholy, supernaturalism, Hellenism, beauty, idealism and subjectivity. 
1. Love of Nature
     Like the other Romantic poets, Shelley too was an ardent lover of Nature. Like Wordsworth, Shelley conceives of Nature as one spirit, the Supreme Power, working through all things. He celebrates Nature in most of his poems as his main theme such as The Cloud, To a Skylark, To the Moon, Ode to the West Wind, A Dream of the Unknown. In his treatment of Nature, he describes the things in Nature as they are, and never gives them colours. He gives them human life through his personifications, but he does it unintentionally for he felt they are living beings capable of doing the work of human beings. His mythopoeic power has made him the best romanticist of his age. He also believes in the healing aspect of Nature and this is revealed in his "Euganean Hills" in which he is healed and soothed by the natural scene around him and also the imaginary land. 
2. Imagination
     Belief in the importance of imagination is a distinctive feature of romantic poets. 'Facts' said Shelley, 'are not what we want to know in poetry, in history, in the lives of individual, in satire or panegyric. They are the many diversions, the arbitrary points on which we hang and to which we refer those delicate and evanescent hues of mind, which language delights and instructs us in precise proportion as it expresses.' Shelley calls poetry "the expression of imagination", because in it diverse things are brought together in harmony instead of being separated through analysis. Shelley made a bold expedition into the unknown and he felt reasons should be related to the imagination. His expedition was successful when he made the people understand that the task of imagination is to create shapes by which reality can be revealed to the world.
3. Melancholy
     Melancholy occupies a prominent place in romantic poetry, because it is a major source of inspiration for the Romantic poets. Though Shelley was a man of hope and expectation and spiritualistic about the future of mankind, yet he represents himself in his poems as a man of ill luck, subject to evil and suffering. He expresses this in his "Ode to the West Wind":
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud.
I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bound
One to like thee. 
4. Supernaturalism
     Most of the Romantic poets used supernatural elements in their poetry. Shelley's interest in the supernatural repeatedly appears in his work. The ghosts and spirits in his poems suggest the possibility of glimpsing a world beyond the one in which we live. In "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", the speaker searches for ghosts and explains that ghosts are one of the ways men have tried to interpret the world beyond. The speaker of "Mont Blanc" encounters ghosts and shadows of real natural objects in the cave of "Poesy". Ghosts are inadequate in both poems: the speaker finds no ghosts in "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", and the ghosts of Poesy in "Mont Blanc" are not real thing, a discovery that emphasizes the elusiveness and mystery of supernatural forces.
5. Hellenism
     The world of classical Greece was important to the Romantics. Shelley wrote "Hellas" which is the ancient name of Greece. "Ozymandias" is an ancient Greek name for Ramses II of Egypt. Shelley was mainly influenced by Platonism. Plato thought that the supreme power in the universe was the spirit of beauty. Shelley borrowed this conception from Plato and developed it in his metaphysical poem "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty". Intellectual Beauty is omni-potent and man must worship it. The last stanza of "The Cloud" is Shelley's Platonic symbol of human life. In fact, Shelley frequently turned to Greece as a model of ideal beauty, transcendent philosophy, democratic politics, and homosociality or homosexuality.
6. Beauty
     Beauty is an other element of Romanticism in Shelley's poetry. Beauty, to Shelley, is an ideal in itself and a microcosm of the beauty of Nature and he calls it "Intellectual Beauty". He celebrates Beauty as a mysterious power. In the de arts, to intellectual Beauty, he says that when Intellectual Beauty departs this world becomes a "dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate" and if human heart is its temple, then man would become immortal and omnipotent:
Man were immortal and omnipotent
Did'st thou, unknown and awful as thou art, 
Keep with thy glorious train firm state
Within his heart. 
7. Idealism
     Idealism is the very much common characteristic especially in second generation Romantic poets. Shelley's idealism falls under three subheadings. Revolutionary, Religious and Erotic.
(i) Revolutionary Idealism: His revolutionary idealism is mainly due to French Revolution. Through his Queen Man, The Revolt of Islam, and Prometheus Unbound, he inspired people to revolt against by scorning at the tyranny of state, church and society and hoping for a golden age.
(ii) Religious Idealism: Though Shelley was a rebel, he was not an atheist. He believed in the super power of God, and he imagined God as supreme 'Thought' and 'Infinite Love'.
(iii) Erotic Idealism: Shelley believed in the abstract quality of love and beauty -- love as infinite and beauty as intellectual. He celebrates love as a creator and preserver in his "Symposium"; and beauty as Supreme Spirit in "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty".
8. Poetic Style
     Shelley's poetic style is also romantic. To some extent, it is an imitation of William Wordsworth's style. He uses a lot of powerful symbolism and imagery, especially visual. The series of gorgeous similes in "The Skylark" show the romantic exuberance of Shelley. His diction is lush and tactile. But he never uses any ornamental word and every word fits in its place and carries its own weight. They express the diverse feelings of the poet with the notes of music which appeal to every human beings's ears. He uses terza rima in his "Ode to the West Wind" which is one of the finest uses of terza rima in an English-language poem.
     In brief we can say that every bit of Shelley's poetry is romantic. Shelley's joy, his magnanimity, his faith in humanity, and his optimism are unique among the Romantics; his expression of these feelings makes him one of the early nineteenth century's most significant writers in English. Of all the Romantics; Shelley is the one who most obviously possessed the quality of genius-quickness, grasp of intellect, the capacity of learning languages rapidly, ability to assimilate and place scientific principles and discoveries. Due to his premature death, he attained the iconic status as the representative tragic Romantic artist like Byron and Keats. No wonder Shelley is heralded as the best Romantic poet of his age. 

 Answer the following questions. (Poetic Devices of Meaning I) 
(i) What do you mean by figurative language?
Ans. Figurative language means language in which figures of speech like similes and metaphors are used to build meaning beyond the literal. It has five different forms; understatement or emphasis, relationship or resemblance, figures of sound, errors and verbal games. For example, "She runs like the wind", "How could she marry a snake like that?"
(ii) What is a literary allusion?
Ans. An allusion is a casual reference to a person, place, event, or another passage of literature, often without explicit identification. Allusions can originate in mythology, biblical references, historical events, legends, geography, or earlier literary works. For example, "Don't act like a Romeo in front of her." - "Romeo" is a reference to Shakespeare's Romeo, a passionate lover of Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet". 
(iii) What is an analogy?
Ans. An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. Metaphors and similes are tools used to draw an analogy. For example, "This flea is you and I, and this / Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is". (The Flea by John Donne)
(iv) What is an ambiguity?
Ans. Ambiguity is a word, phrase or statement which has more than one meaning. Ambiguity leads to vagueness and confusion. For example, "Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness", (Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats). "Still here may mean "an unmoving object" or may may be interpreted as "yet unchanged". 
(v) What is apostrophe?
Ans. Apostrophe is an exclamatory figure of speech in which the poet addresses an absent person, an abstract idea, or personification. For example, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"(vi) What is an allegory?
Ans. An allegory is an extended metaphor in which abstract ideas, concepts and principles are described in terms of characters, figures and events in ways that are comprehensible to its viewers, readers, or listeners. For example, George Orwell's novel "Animal Farm" is a political allegory.
(vii) How is a simile different from a metaphor?
Ans. A simile directly compares two things with the help of words "like" or "as". For example, "Her cheeks are red like a rose". Whereas, metaphor identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing. For example, "All the world's a stage".
(viii) What is personification?
Ans. Personification is an ontological metaphor in which an inanimate object or abstraction is represented as a living person. For example, "No time to turn at Beauty's glace / And watch her feet, how they can dance." (Leisure by William Davies). The poet has personified Beauty. 
(ix) What is hyperbole?
Ans. Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It is used to create emphasis on a situation. It may be used to evoke strong feelings to create a strong impression, but is not to meant to be taken literally. For example, "I had to wait in the station for ten days - an eternity". (The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)
(x) Define symbolism.
Ans. Symbolism is the use of words, places, characters, or objects that mean something beyond what they are on a literal level. For example, Blake's tiger symbolizes creative energy, Shelley's wind symbolizes inspiration, Ted Hughes's Hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature. 
(xi) Define understatement.
Ans. An understatement, the opposite of hyperbole, is a literary device in which a writer or speaker attributes less importance or conveys less passion than the subject would seem to demand. For example, "The desert is sometimes dry and sandy" is an understatement.
(xii) Define irony.
Ans. Irony is a contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen. For example, "The butter is as soft as a marble piece."
(xiii) What is a dramatic irony?
Ans. Dramatic irony is the dramatic effect achieved by leading an audience to understand an incongruity between a situation and the accompanying speeches, while the characters in the play remain of the incongruity. Probably the most famous example of dramatic irony is the situation facing Oedipus in the play "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles. 
(xiv) What is imagery?
Ans. Imagery is the use of figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. There are seven kinds of imagery. These include visual, auditory, tactile, thermal, olfactory, gustatory and kinesthetic imagery. For example, "The Woods are lovey, dark and deep". (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost)
(xv) What is euphemism?
Ans. Euphemism means using a mild or gentle word or phrase instead of a blunt, embarrassing, or painful one. For instance, saying "Grandfather has gone to a better place" is a euphemism for "Grandfather has died". Frequently, words referring directly to death, unpopular politics, blasphemy, crime, and sexual or excremental activities are replaced by euphemisms. 


Keats As a Poet of Beauty

Answer the following questions. (Poetic Devices of Meaning II) 
(i) Define oxymoron.
Ans. Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting meanings e.g., "cruel kindness" or "living death". However, the contrasting words/phrases are not always glued together. The contrasting ideas may be spaced out in a sentence e.g., "In order to lead, you must walk behind. 
(ii) What is a paradox?
Ans. A paradox is an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ides for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition - and analysis - which involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or the explain their presence. For example, "I must be cruel to be kind" (Hamlet by Shakespeare), "Child is the father of man". (William Wordsworth) 
(iii) Define satire.
Ans. Satire is a technique employed to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society by using humour, irony, wit, exaggeration or ridicule. 
(iv) What is escapism?
Ans. Escapism is the desire to retreat into imaginative entertainment rather than deal with the stress, tedium, and daily problems of the mundane world. Pitted against its supposedly superior counterpart, realism, escapism is considered inconsequential and superfluous. Genres which can have elements of escapism include; romantic poetry, romance novels, fantasy fiction and thrillers etc. 
(v) What is escape literature?
Ans. Escape literature includes books and short stories about desperate protagonists escaping from confinement -- especially from prisoner-of-war camps during the First and Second World Wars. Examples include; The Tunnellers of Holzminden by H.G. Dunford and The Wooden Horse by Eric Williams. 
(vi) What is pessimism?
Ans. Pessimism is a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardships in life outweigh the good or luxuries. Pessimism is often described by using the crappy metaphor that a glass of water is half empty rather than half full. Friendrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Hobbes and Charles Baudelaire are some famous pessimists.
(vii) What is mysticism?
Ans. Mysticism is a belief in direct experience of transcendent reality or God, especially by means of contemplation and asceticism instead of rational thought. The poetry of William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Rumi is full of mysticism. 
(viii) Define romanticism.
Ans. Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 1700s and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure form attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions. The major Romantic poets include; Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley and Byron. 
(ix) What is negative capability?
Ans. Negative capability is a term coined by English poet, John Keats. It is a writer's ability to accept uncertainties, mysteries and doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. An author possessing negative capability is objective and emotionally detached, as opposed to one who writes for didactic purposes. 
(x) What is Hellenism?
Ans. Hellenism was a neoclassical movement which emerged after the European Renaissance in Germany and England. The term Hellenism refers stories, novels, dramas, or poetry that has been inspired by classic Greek literature or makes use of classic Greek style or forms. In English, Keats, Shelley and Byron are considered examplars of Hellenism. 
(xi) What do you mean by supernaturalism?
Ans. Supernaturalism is a secular designation for those who believe that there are beings, forces, and phenomena such as the human soul, God, angels, miracles, pixies, faeries, hobbits, magic etc which claim to interact with the physical universe in remarkable and unique ways. The poetry of S.T. Coleridge is full of supernaturalism.
(xii) What do you understand by medievalism?
Ans. Medievalism is the systme of belief and practice characteristic of the Middle Ages, or devotion to elements of that period, which has been expressed in areas such as architecture, literature, music, art, philosophy, scholarship, and various vechicles of popular culture. 
(xiii) Define comedy.
Ans. A comedy is a dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict. A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare, Every Man in His Humor by Ben Johnson and Arms and the Man by Bernard Shaw are examples of comedy. 
(xiv) What is a parable?
Ans. A parable is a story or short narrative designed to reveal allegorically some religious principle, moral lesson, psychological reality, or general truth. The Blind Men and the Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad are examples of parables. 
(xv) What is sensuousness?
Ans. Sensuousness is poetry is that quality which appeals to our five senses. In other words, it is a quality which affects our five senses of smell, taste, touch, hear and sight at one. The poetry of Keats is full of sensuousness. 


Important Features of T.S. Eliot's Poetry


Answer the following questions. 
(i) What is Epic Theatre?
Ans. Epic theatre is a form of political drama intended to appeal to reason rather than the emotions. It replaces the dramatic unities with an episodic structure; an important feature is the alienation effect, in which actors and audience are discouraged from identifying with the characters of scenes depicted. The best examples of this drama are Brechet's plays "The Three Penny Opera" and "Mother Courage".
(ii) What is Theatre of the Absurd?
Ans. Theatre of the Absurd is a form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett is an example of the Theatre of the Absurd.
(iii) What is socialism?
Ans. Socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc, in the community as a whole.  "Animal Farm" by George Orwell is an exponent of socialism.
(iv) Why is 'Hedda Gabler' rather than 'Hedda Tesman' the title of the drama?
Ans. Hedda's married name is Hedda Tesman; Gabler is her maiden name. On the subject of the title, Ibsen wrote: "My intention is giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as a personality is to be regarded rather as her father's daughter than her husband's wife".
(v) Why does Ibsen choose a woman as his protagonist in 'Hedda Gabler'?
Ans. Life was tough for a woman in Victorian Norway and Henrik Ibsen was a feminist so he chose a woman as his protagonist in "Hedda Gabler". Hedda is 'the female Hamlet" in "Hedda Gabler".
(vi) Describe the physical appearance of Hedda. 
Ans. Hedda is a woman whose "face and figure show refinement and distinction. Her complexion is pale and opaque. Her steel-grey eyes express a cold, unruffled repose. Her hair is of an agreeable brown, but not particularly abundant".
(vii) Is Hedda a symbol of new woman?
Ans. At the time Ibsen wrote "Hedda Gabler", the term 'new woman' has emerged to describe 'women who were pushing against the limits which society imposed on women". Hedda is an idle, emancipated woman. She is a model case of a 'new woman' who ultimately finds no satisfaction in liberation.
(viii) What clashes between aristocracy and the bourgeoisie does the play 'Hedda Gabler' reveal?
Ans. The aristocratic Hedda, Brack, and Lovborg have dark colour whereas the bourgeois Thea, Miss Tesman, and Geroge are all fair. The aristocrats are smart, quick, rebellious, jaded and aware while the bourgeois are middle-class, slower, more naive, and end up getting played by the other camp.
(ix) What does Hedda complain?
Ans. Hedda complains throughout the play that she is bored by a tedious, monotonous life in which nothing new ever happens. Even after her marriage, she complains to Brack about the unending tedium of her honeymoon with Tesman.
(x) Why is Hedda so cruel to other females in 'Hedda Gabler'?
Ans. Hedda is cruel to Aunt Julia and Mrs. Elvsted because she is not a nice lady. She is a jealous, dishonest and neurotic woman. She wants to be a man and resents her sex. That's why she hates Thea so much -- because Thea is the epitome of femininity.
(xi) How do we know that Hedda is a dishonest character?
Ans. Hedda tells Tesman that he ought to to write Eilert Lowvborg a long letter but then immediately reveals to Mrs. Elvsted that she only did this to get rid of him. When talking to Judge Brack, Hedda says that she really does not care for the house Tesman has bought for her, yet she lets Tesman go on believing that the house is precious to her. From these examples we know that Hedda is a dishonest character.
(xii) Hedda may be portrayed as a victim of circumstances.
Ans. Hedda is a female of Victorian era who finds no outlet for her personal demands. She is trapped in a loveless marriage, completely stifled, living below her standards, married to a buffoon, and about to have a baby she in no way wants. Thus she is a victim of circumstances.
(xiii) According to Hedda, what is 'beautiful death'?
Ans. For Hedda, suicide is the "beautiful death" because in suicide one has to power to determine when and how to die. She gives Lovborg one of her pistols to have a "beautiful death" but when he dies from an unintended shot, she realizes that the "beautiful death" is still a fantasy.
(xiv) For the achievement of what ideal does Hedda die?
Ans. Hedda is unhappy, bored, trapped in a loveless marriage, completely stifled, living below her standards, married to a buffoon, and about to have a baby she in no way wants. She commits suicide because she thinks that death will confer on her ultimate immunity from exposure and scandal, and absolute freedom from the control of husbands and would-be lovers.  
(xv) What is the thematic significance to Aunt Rina's sickness and death? 
Ans. Rina is Julie Tesman's sister and George's aunt. Rina is terminally ill at the beginning of the play and dies towards the end. Her sickness lingers over the action. Auntie Julie cannot every stay long at the Tesman's home because she must take care of Rina. Rina's impending death occasions Tesman's absence at the beginning of Act IV, making an opportunity for Brack to have his final, secret, manipulative meeting with Hedda.


Character Sketch of Hedda

Answer the following questions. 
(i) Name three other plays written by Shaw.
Ans. The famous plays of Bernard Shaw include; Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil's Disciple, Caesar and Cleopatra, Man and Superman.
(ii) What is the source of the title 'Arms and the Man'?
Ans. The title of the play, "Arms and the Man", has been taken from Dryden's translation of the opening lines of "Aenied" by Roman poet, Virgil. The opening lines of Dryden's translation run as follows: "Arms and the Man I sing, who forced by fate, / And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate".
(iii) What is the historical background of the play 'Arms and the Man'?
Ans. Victorian rule (1837 - 1901), Victorian literature and Serbo-Bulgarian War (14 November 1885 - 28 November 1885) is the historical background of the play "Arms and the Man".
(iv) What are the major themes of 'Arms and the Man'?
Ans. Love, war, imcompetent authority, ingorance vs. knowledge, class, bravery and personal honesty are the major themes of "Arms and the Man".
(v) What is the major conflict in 'Arms and the Man'?
Ans. There are two distinct conflicts in the play. The first conflict is the view of war as romantic and idealistic and the true realities of war as illustrated by the character of Bluntschli. The second conflict would be the view of love and marriage as illustrated through the character of Louka.
(vi) In which two countries the war was going in 'Arms and the Man'?
Ans. The war was going on between Serbia and Bulgaria. The Serbo-Bulgarian War erupted on 14 November 1885 and lasted until 28 November 1885. Final peace was signed on 3 March 1886 in Bucharest.
(vii) What is pragmatism?
Ans. Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Instead, pragmatists consider thought an instrument or tool for prediction, problem solving and action.
(viii) How does Bernard Shaw view romanticism?
Ans. Shaw has a low opinion of romanticism. Romanticism in "Arms and the Man" serves as the play's theoretical villain. It is always a reflection of ignorance; once a character gains knowledge, they abandon their poetic ideas as Sergius and Raina do.
(ix) What is meant by the subtitle 'An Anti-Romantic Comedy'?
Ans.Arms and the Man, subtitle "An Anti-Romantic Comedy" means that the dramatist purpose is to satirize the romantic conception of life. Shaw has no faith in emotions and sentiments. Throughout the drama he denounces the idealism and insists on realism. He does it through humour of character and homour of situation at the same time.
(x) What is Byronism?
Ans. Byronism refers to an attitude which possesses the characteristics of English poet Byron or his poetry, especially romanticism, melancholy, and melodramatic energy. Byronism is seen in the character of Major Saranoff, who is a shining example of Raina and her mother's romanticized image of a hero. Sergius is also a Byronic hero because he has an underlying despair about life.
(xi) There are many types of war and many types of love in 'Arms and the Man'.
Ans. There are two wars; Serbo-Bulgarian War and Russain-Austrian War. There are two types of war; romanticized war and realistic war. Three love affairs; Raina-Sergius, Raina-Bluntschli, and Louka-Sergius can be grouped into two categories - romantic love and realistic love.
(xii) What characteristics make a person a good soldier?
Ans. Captain Bluntschli represents Shaw's ideal soldier. He harbors no romantic ideals; he views was as business to be efficiently dispatched. If Bluntschli demonstrates what a soldier should be, Sergius and Major Petkoff demonstrate what he should not be. Sergius is filled with poetic ideas about bravery and honour, and Major Petkoff is the picture of incompetence.
(xiii) Which character best serves as Shaw's spokesman?
Ans. Captain Bluntschli serves best as Shaw's spokesman. He is a thirty four year old realist who sees through the absurd romanticism of war. He is the representative of average humanity; he is what Shaw would like Man to be.
(xiv) Which characters have illusions about themselves and the world they live in?
Ans. Raina, Catherine and Sergius have illusions about themselves and the world they live in. Raina reads romantic novels and imagines herself a heroine. Raina's mother, Catherine, shares many of her daughter's allusions about love and warfare. Sergius believes in the romantic ideals championed by poetry and opera.
(xv) Who holds the most power in Petkoff's household? 
Ans. Catherine, Raina's mother and Petkoff's wife, holds the most power in Petkoff's household. She runs her house energetically and ably, with a strong ruling will and definite ideas about upholding her position as an aristocrat.


Major Themes in "Arms and the Man"

1. Ignorance vs. Knowledge
     The play is mainly concerned with the clash between knowledge and ignorance, or, otherwise stated, between realism and romanticism. Raina and her fiance Sergius are steeped in the romanticism of operettas and paperback novels. Bluntschli uses his superior knowledge to disabuse Raina of her military delusions, while the experience of war itself strips Sergius of the grand ideals he held. The couple's idealized vision of warfare deflates in the face of additional information. In the realm of love, the couple's pretensions are defeated by the thoroughgoing pragmatism of their respective new matches: Bluntschli and Louka. Both the Swiss Captain and Bulgarian man confront their lovers about the gap between their words and their true selves. When faced with reality, both Raina and Sergius are able to abandon their romantic delusions and embrace their honest desires.
2. The Realities of War
     When Catherine and Raina imagine war they picture brave and dashing officers fighting honorable battles. The reality of war falls far from this romanticized vision. In the play's opening scene Bulgarian soldiers hunt and kill fleeing Serbians. Once Captain Bluntschli appears, he becomes an eloquent messenger for the horrors of war. He describes conditions of starvation and exhaustion at the front lines. What first appears to be most glorious moment in the war, Sergius' cavalry charge, is revealed to be an absurd case of dumb luck. Later in the play Captain Bluntschli helps Major Petkoff and Sergius coordinate the return routes of surviving troops so as to prevent starvation. Since the play begins in the aftermath of the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the reader does not experience any titillating battles, only a grinding post-war reality where hunger and death loom in the background.
3. The Realities of Love
     Raina and Sergius are as delusional about love as they are about war, seeming to have derived their understanding of romance primarily from Byronic poetry. They celebrate each other with formal and pretentious declarations of "higher love", yet clearly feel uncomfortable in one another's presence. The couple, with their good looks, noble blood and idealist outlook, seem to be a perfect match, but in Shaw's world love does not function as it does in fairy tales. Instead Raina falls for the practical and competent Swiss mercenary that crawls through her bedroom window and Sergius for the pragmatic and clever household maid. Love does not adhere to conventions. Moreover, love is not some abstract expression of poetic purity. Love in the play is ultimately directed at those who understand the characters best and who ground them in reality.
4. Jingoism and National Pride
     Every war is initiated either in the name of nationalism or to manifest one's creed and its superiority. Bernard Shaw focuses on the notion that none focuses the superiority of humanity and the values associated with it. Catherine wants her daughter to be worthy of her fiance because he is a war hero: "Oh, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back." Catherine does not like the treaty of peace because the Serves ought to be taught that the Bulgarians are mighty.
5. Feminine Sentimentalism
     Sentimentality of the fair sex has always been subject to criticism and fun for the writers since ages. Women are considered soft at heart and weak in the mind. They are easy to move and influence. Our dear Raina and her mother prove to be of this category; however, Louka, a rough and tough maid, proves to be of another kind. The way the daughter and mother help escape the fugitive soldier is really amazing and unbelievable.
6. Incompetent Authority
     Throughout the play competence and power do not align with established authority. Louka repeatedly flouts social rules. By violating traditional ideas of authority and power, she is able to win marriage to a handsome and wealthy war hero. Her manipulation of Sergius demonstrates that control does not necessarily derive from social authority. Likewise, Catherine manipulates her husband Major Petkoff, withholding information and shepherding him about. Major Petkoff, as the oldest wealthy male, should be the most powerful character according to contemporary social hierarchy. Yet Petkoff proves to be a buffoon; he is, in fact, the character least able to control outcomes, as he rarely understands what is unfolding before him.
7. Class
     Class has a large and continuous presence in the play. The Petkoff's upper-class pretensions are portrayed as ridiculous and consistently played for laughs. The family's pride in their so-called library becomes a running joke throughout the play. Shaw praises the family's more local and humble roots: admiring the oriental decorations in Raina's bedroom and describing Catherine earthy local beauty. Raina's outdated Viennese fashions and Catherine's tea gowns are treated as ridiculous. Louka's struggle demonstrates many of the effects of class in Bulgarian society. She feels restricted by her station, which condemns her to a life where reading books is considered presumptuous. Using her wit, Louka manages to escape these boundaries, achieving equality with the wealthy Sergius.
8. Hypocrisy
     Hypocrisy has been the age old problem with mankind. Humans claim one thing while believe in another. Similarly, the soldiers fighting in the name of national pride and bravery are cowards. The aristocrats have hypocrites and they present themselves for what they are really not. They show off a humane and gentle appearance but inside of them they are cheaters and losers. Sergius flirts with Louka while Raina has romantic imagination about the Swiss despite both Raina and Sergius are engaged with each other. Ironically, both vow of great and pure love which is "higher love" for Sergius and "worthy" love for Raina. Catherine would not shout for the servant because it is considered indecent.
9. Bravery
     In the beginning Sergius, like Catherine and Raina, imagines bravery as the will to undertake glorious and theatrical actions. This belief leads him to lead a regiment of cavalry against a line of machine guns. Despite his dumb luck, the action identifies him as an incompetent figure. When he returns at the end of the war, Louka challenges his romantic notions of bravery. Sergius admits that "carnage is cheap": anyone can have the will to inflict violence. Louka submits that the subtle bravery required to live outside social rules and constrains is more worthy to praise. At the play's end Sergius demonstrates this kind of bravery when he embraces Louka in front of the others and agrees to marry her. Like Sergius, Captain Bluntschli also undermines traditional understanding of bravery.
10. Personal Honesty
     It is through personal honesty that all the play's major conflicts are resolved. Raina abandons her indignant posturing and admits that Sergius exasperates her, allowing her to pair up with Bluntschi. Likewise, Sergius overcomes his overly romantic understanding of the meaning of love and bravery, opening himself to an engagement with Louka. It is only when the couple confronts and accepts their true desires and feelings that they find happiness with their ideal partners. Pretending to share noble love makes both Raina and Sergius miserable. In the end, even Bluntschli embraces his inner romantic self, asking for the hand of the girl he is smitten with. Each characters gives in to his honest desires and is rewarded with an optimal outcome.

Answer the following questions. 
(i) When and where does the play 'Waiting for Godot' take place?
Ans. All the action takes place next to a tree on a country road, beginning on the evening of one day and ending on the evening of the next. The presence of the tree and a rock of some sort is apparently important, at least according to Beckett -- the setting, he says, is complete with animal, vegetable, and mineral.
(ii) Why is the play 'Waiting for Godot' in two acts?
Ans. "Waiting for Godot" appears to have been structured on sets of binaries. There are two messenger boys, two sets of characters and hence two acts. The two acts show two sides of the same character. Moreover, the two acts describe circular events which means the play could go on forever.
(iii) What is the basic difference between Act I and Act II of 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. "Waiting for Godot" has a circular structure. From Act I to Act II, there is no difference in either the setting or in the time. The basic difference between Act I and Act II is the reversal of fortune of Pozzo and Lucky. Whereas Pozzo was clearly the master and Lucky was his slave in Act I, in Act II Pozzo is blind and Lucky mute. They have become dependent on each other for survival.
(iv) What are the major themes of 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. Humour and the absurd, freedom and confinement, modernism and postmodernism, condition of the universe, devaluation of language, uncertainty of all knowledge, search for meaning, choices, truth, time, religion, friendship, hope and dependency are the major themes of "Waiting for Godot".
(v) What is the significance of Godot in the play 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. Beckett denies that Godot is "God". On the surface, Godot is a person for whom the characters are waiting, but who never arrives. In this play, Godot represents a personal god to which we attach our hopes to make our lives better. Vladimir and Estragon wait Godot to get their lives improved.
(vi) What is an absurd play?
Ans. An absurd play is a form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett is an example of absurd play.
(vii) How does 'Waiting for Godot' demonstrate the qualities of theatre of the Absurd?
Ans. "Waiting for Godot" has a loose plot, there is no significant change in setting, its characters are mechanical puppets, its theme is unexplained, there is no witty repartee and pointed dialogue, and above all Estrogen and Vladimir's endless waiting for Godot is completely absurd.
(viii) Mention the modern qualities which are present in 'Waiting for Godot'.
Ans. "Waiting for Godot" is a modern play in the sense that it defies classic standards. Modern writers had a new liking for fragmented forms and discontinuous narratives, and "Waiting for Godot" is a superb example of fragmented form.
(ix) How is 'Waiting for Godot' a tragicomedy?
Ans. "Waiting for Godot is a mixture of comic and tragic elements. Musical devices, circus acts, cross-talks and the atmosphere of the play are stuff of pure comedy. However, Lucky's pathetic situation, the night-mares, the attempted suicide and above all Estrogen and Vladimir's waiting for something who never comes turn this comedy into a tragicomedy.
(x) What is the moral of the play 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. Life is condensed down into absolutely nothing and only the friendship between Vladimir and Estragon is able to stave off temporarily the loneliness of such a barren existence. We enter the world with no sense of identity and gradually as we grow up assume our identity from things around us -- our families, our achievements etc. However, our assumed identity may be based on illusory concepts.
(xi) In what language was 'Waiting for Godot' originally written?
Ans. "Waiting for Godot" was originally written in French in 1948, with the title "En attendant Godot". Beckett personally translated the play into English.  The world premiere was held on January 5, 1953, in the Left Bank Theater of Babylon in Paris.
(xii) What is 'mandrake'? What is its symbolic reference?
Ans. Mandrake is a plant of the nightshade family, with a forked fleshy root which supposedly resembles the human form and which was formerly used in herbal medicine and magic; it was alleged to shriek when pulled from the ground. In "Waiting for Godot", Vladimir says, "Where it falls mandrakes grow". It refers that mandrakes grow where the semen of the hanged man has dripped onto the ground.
(xiii) What does the song about the dog signify in 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. In the beginning of Act II, Vladimir moves about feverishly on the stage and suddenly begins to sing a dog song -- an old German Balled. It is a circular song. It is emblematic of the circularity and repetitiveness of the play as a whole. It also reinforces Beckett's idea of the loss of individuality, and creates more conflict between Vladimir and Estragon.
(xiv) What does Lucky's 'Dance in a Net' symbolize?
Ans. When Lucky is commanded to dance in Act I, Pozzo reveals that he calls his dance "The Net", adding, "He thinks he's entangled in a net". Thus Lucky's dance symbolizes the agony, strain and entanglement in life to magnify the ultimate suffering of human existence.
(xv) What is the function of the audience in 'Waiting for Godot'?
Ans. In the Theatre of the Absurd, there is an attempt to draw the audience into the play and make them feel involved. In "Waiting for Godot" it is never revealed conclusively who or what Godot is, this unknown force can be seen metaphorically represent that for which the audience is waiting in their own lives. The audience relates to the protagonists because waiting is common for all.


"Waiting for Godot" As an Absurd Play

Answer the following questions. 
(i) Write the names of four major plays of Edward Bond.
Ans. Edward Bond is the author of some fifty plays. His major plays include; Early Morning, Lear, The Sea, Bingo, Saved, Narrow Road to the Deep North.
(ii) When did Edward Bond win the Obie award?
Ans. In 1976, Edward Bond's play "Bingo" won the Obie award as Best Off-Broadway play at Yale Repertory Theatre.
(iii) What is Bond's attitude towards religion?
Ans. "Edward Bond is an atheist and a humanist", says Tony Coult. Bond believes in mutual respect of religion. In one of his letters, Bond says, "Art can of course be captured by religion and corrupted by ideology".
(iv) What are the major themes of 'The Sea'?
Ans. Man's ability to survive the worst, man's desire for change, relationship between individual and society, mutual respect of religion and self appear are the major themes of "The Sea".
(v) Define symbolism.
Ans. Symbolism is the use of words, places, characters, or objects that mean something beyond what they are on a literal level. For example, Blake's tiger symbolizes creative energy, Shelley's wind symbolizes inspiration, Ted Hughes's Hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature.
(vi) What does the character of Willy symbolize?
Ans. Willy is not native of the town. He is a symbol of change in this pessimistic and lunatic town. He is also symbolic of the truth which is doubted by most. He stands as a voice for the oppressed ones while the society is unable to listen. He is the voice of positive change. He appears as a linking force between the oppressed and the oppressor.
(vii) How is "The Sea" a poetic tragedy?
Ans. "The Sea", set in the rural background of North Cost of England, was intended as a satirical comedy by the author but deep tragic elements overshadow the comic aspects of the play. So it is labelled as a poetic tragedy.
(viii) Describe surrealism in 'The Sea'.
Ans. Surrealism in literature is an artistic attempt to bridge together reality and the imagination. Edward Bond is a surrealist. In "The Sea" Bond surrealistically shows the ability of human beings to survive the worst, to retain their optimism, and not to be brought down by the lunacy and injustice of the world they live in.
(ix) What is the setting of the play 'The Sea'?
Ans. "The Sea" is a comedy by Edward Bond set in a small seaside village in rural East Anglia in 1907 in the Edwardian period.
(x) What is the significance of the title 'The Sea'?
Ans. Bond's earliest projected titles for "The Sea" were "Was Anything Done?" and "Two Storms". The Sea is a symbol of power, strength, life, mystery, hope and truth. The tightly knit society of a small town on the East Coast of England is a battleground just like the Sea over which the victims of an oppressive and morally impoverished culture wander in made distraction.
(xi) What is the main target of satire in 'The Sea'?
Ans. English form of repression -- the operations and influence of a rigid class structure, which is carefully worked into the whole fabric of the play, is the main target of satire in "The Sea".
(xii) Why does Bond encourage the audience to 'change the world'?
Ans. It is a world ludicrously bent on self-destruction. Bond encourages the audience to "change the world", for betterment must be desired. He believes in social change with the will of individuals. With this aim of change, the playwright directs his satire on the rigid, aggressive and repressive class structure of English society.
(xiii) Sea is the domain of life. How?
Ans. This line is from Edward Bond's play "The Sea". Domain is an area of territory owed or controlled by a particular ruler or government. There are three domains of life; earth, air and sea. Sea is the domain of life for fishes, plants and other marine organisms. Sea is also a metaphor of life.
(xiv) 'People are judged by what they have on their hands. They are important'. What does it mean?
Ans. These words are spoken by Mrs. Rafi in Scene II of the play "The Sea" by Edward Bond. She is in Hatch's shop and orders Hatch to show her the gloves available with him. She tries several gloves and finally likes "style" of a pair. Gloves are very important for her because she thinks that one uses one's hand to point, emphasize, gesture, and be judged.
(xv) 'It's a bad world. You have to be a bit mad to understand it'. What does it mean? 
Ans. This line is from Scene III of the play "The Sea" by Edward Bond. It means that this world is very dangerous, convoluted and cruel. Our common senses cannot understand the mysteries of this world. So we have to be insane, irrational and senseless to avoid its understanding.


Symbolism in "The Sea"

Answer the following questions. 
(i) What are the major themes in ‘The Cherry Orchard’?
Ans. Society and Class, Memory and the Past, Social Changes and Progress, Failure to Grasp Reality, The Struggle over Memory, Contrasting Regions, Class Distinctions, Self-Destruction, love, time and wealth are the major themes in "The Cherry Orchard". 
(ii) What are the major symbols in ‘The Cherry Orchard?
Ans. Cherry Orchard, breaking string, dropped purse, Fiers' death, nursery, telegraph poles and Varya's keys are the major symbols in "The Cherry Orchard".
(iii) What is the role of music in ‘The Cherry Orchard’?
Ans. Music is only heard in Act III, during a party on the day of the auction of the cherry orchard. Madam Ranevsky says, "And the musicians needn't have come, and we needn't have got up this ball." She wants to hear music for the catharsis of her pent-up emotions. When Lopakhin purchases the cherry orchard, he commands the musicians to play to express his happiness. 
(iv) What is naturalism?
Ans. Naturalism was a literary movement or tendency from the 1880s to 1930s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character. It was mainly unorganized literary movement that sought to depict believable everyday reality, as opposed to such movements as Romanticism or Surrealism.  
(v) How is ‘The Cherry Orchard’ a naturalistic play?
Ans. "The Cherry Orchard" is a naturalistic play because it focuses on scientific, objective details. It this is like realism, in that it attempts to portray life "as it really is". The characters are realistic and complex as human beings are. Like other naturalistic plays, there is a use of symbolic elements as key devices to communicate wider meanings. 
(vi) What does ‘The Cherry Orchard’ signify?
Ans. The Cherry Orchard means different things to different people. It represents Lyubov's heritage and her youth -- a disappearing paradise. For Gayev, it is a symbol of status. For Lopakhin it is a financial opportunity. Trofimov sees the orchard as a symbol of injustice. Anya gives up her sentimental attachment to it for a new life.  
(vii) Define tragicomedy.
Ans. Tragicomedy is a literary genre that blends aspect of both tragic and comic forms. Most often seen in dramatic literature, the term can variously describe either a tragic play with contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood, or, often, a serious play with a happy ending. "The Merchant of Venice" by Shakespeare and "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov are examples of tragicomedy. 
(viii) Is ‘The Cherry Orchard’ a tragedy or comedy?
Ans. "The Cherry Orchard" might be said to belong to the same category as "The Winter's Tale": it contains a tragedy but does not allow it to be fulfilled. Anton Chekhov conceived of this play as a comedy. The play in fact, portrays an end of an aristocratic era with both tragic and comic elements. Thus it best characterized as a tragicomedy. 
(ix) What is modernism?
Ans. Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by the horror of World War I. 
(x) What is modern about ‘The Cherry Orchard’?
Ans. One thing which is modern about "The Cherry Orchard" is the emphasis on realism. Moreover, money in the play is a modern element which dictates the transformation of landscapes from pastoral to industrial. Thus the play is 'out with the old and in with the new.'
(xi) What is the setting of ‘The Cherry Orchard?
Ans. The action takes place between May and October at a rural estate in Russian three to four decades after Czar Alexander II freed the serf in 1861. 
(xii) What is the central conflict in ‘The Cherry Orchard’?
Ans. The central conflict of the play is the battle between the values of the old Russia and the values of the new Russia. 
(xiii) How is ‘The Cherry Orchard’ perceived by the servant class?
Ans. Firs is the representative of the servant class. To Fiers, the cherry orchard is something to be revered and remembered, and something that is intimately connected with past times and a very different kind of life from the life that is being experienced by the Ranevsky family now. 
(xiv) What is the significance of the axe falling in ‘The Cherry Orchard’?
Ans. The axe falling on the tress in Act IV represents the destruction of the orchard and the old aristocratic way of life in Russia. 
(xv) What is the ultimate fate of Firs at the end of ‘The Cherry Orchard’? 
Ans. Firs is an old footman, faithful to the Ranevsky family for generations. Concerned only with the well-being of his employers, he is inadvertently left to die in the abandoned house, a symbol of the dying past.


Salient Features of Twentieth Century Drama


Answer the following questions. 
(i) What elements in 'Heart of Darkness' appear to be drawn from Conrad's own life?
Ans. "Heart of Darkness" is a record of Conrad's own experiences in the course of his visit to Congo in 1890. Marlow's experiences and feelings are very much the same as Conrad's own had been. Marlow appears as a pessimist in the novel; and Conrad himself was a pessimist too.  Both in external and in terms of the inward mental life, Marlow meets the same fate which Conrad had met.
(ii) What are the unspeakable rites in 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. The unspeakable rites in "Heart of Darkness" concern human sacrifices and Kurtz's consuming a portion of the sacrificial victims. These sacrifices were established in the interest of perpetuating Kurtz's position as a man-god.
(iii) What does the Congo river symbolize in 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. The Congo River resembles a snake, and the snake symbolizes the idea of temptation and evil. The river leads Marlow and other Europeans into the heart of the continent where the temptations prove to be too much for many of them. Marlow's journey on the river represents a journey into one's inner spirit. As Marlow progresses further up the river in his search of Kurtz, he begins to learn more and more about himself.
(iv) How does Conrad complicate the idea of colonization being 'good'? What kind of negative effects does it have on both white and the black men of Africa?
Ans. Conrad complicates the idea of colonization being "good" by stating that the goal of European colonization of Africa is to civilize and educate the savages. The white men see the Africans as savages, and the Africans see the white men as unwelcome intruders. No party is happy in this situation.
(v) What does darkness represent in 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. Darkness is the inability to see: this may sound simple, but as a description of the human condition it has profound implications. Failing to see another human being means failing to understand the individual and failing to establish any sort of sympathetic communion with him or her. It also represents the inherent evil in humanity.
(vi) Trace the role of Russian in 'Heart of Darkness'.
Ans. The Russian is a devoted follower of Kurtz. The main purpose of the Russian is that he is the fool of the novel. He acts as a conduit of  information about Kurtz that neither Marlow nor the reader knew before.
(vii) What is the overall impression of the natives that Conrad produces?
Ans. When the narrator identifies natives as a sea of waving disembodied arms, it seems that Conrad produces a racist perspective on African natives. However, the narrator views the natives in groups rather than as individuals, and they seem to have very similar or identical intentions, but there is not necessarily any racist aspect of that interpretation.
(viii) How does Conrad depict Africans as different from Europeans?
Ans. Conrad depicts the Africans as dark savages and brutes, cannibals; dehumanizing them to mere animals. Kurtz repeatedly says, "Exterminate the brutes". In contrast the Europeans are portrayed as almost an Aryan race. Conrad depicts them as very proper and well groomed which is completely opposite of his description of the "savages".
(ix) Which literary devices in 'Heart of Darkness' are proto-Modernist?
Ans. Conrad uses an unreliable narrator, a hallmark of proto-Modernist writing. The narrator is not by his nature a liar but rather put under great pressure by his environment. As we learn at the beginning of the novel, Africa has driven mad a great many men. Themes of alienation, confrontation of the other, and disjointing of man from the natural world are also proto-Modernist.
(x) Who attacks the steamboat as it reaches the Inner Station?
Ans. As Marlow's steamship reaches the Inner Station in a heavy fog, arrows begin to fly out from the jungle. Marlow blows the steam whistle on the ship and scares off the attackers. Later, the Harlequin explains that the Africans attacked the ship because they were afraid the ship was coming to take Kurtz away from them.
(xi) Who is the Intended in "Heart of Darkness"?
Ans. The Intended is Kurtz's naive and long-suffering fiancee, whom Marlow goes to visit after Kurtz's death. Her unshakable certainty about Kurtz's love for her reinforces Marlow's belief that women live in a dream world, well insulated from reality.
(xii) What is the major conflict in 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. Both Marlow and Kurtz confront a conflict between their images of themselves as "civilized" Europeans and the temptation to abandon morality completely once they leave the context of European society.
(xiii) How are women characterized in 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. Conrad is a misogynist and all about the gentlemen. All the women within "Heart of Darkness" reflect the values of their society and are viewed as nothing more than trophies for men. They hardly appear to be rounded out characters. They appear one-dimensional. They live in a separate world.
(xiv) What is the message of 'Heart of Darkness'?
Ans. The message of "Heart of Darkness" is that every man must make certain to repress the heart of darkness within -- the uncivilized man. For if this is not done, chaos reigns. It also gives us the message that the result of imperialism is madness.
(xv) Besides Marlow and Kurtz, other character are not given personal names. Why? 
Ans. The reason behind leaving so many characters without names is to show the dehumanization of men in the wilderness of the Congo. Most of the people involved in the trade of the Congo have simply lost their humanity, that is why they do not have human names; they are reduced to description similar to the way we refer to inanimate objects.


Character Sketch of Marlow

Answer the following questions.
(i) Write the names of four novels of D.H. Lawrence.
Ans. D.H. Lawrence is best known for his novels: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover.
(ii) What is the setting of 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. The novel is primarily set at Bestwood, an English coal-mining town in Nottinghamshire in the early 1900's. Other places include The Bottoms and Willey Farm. The Bottoms is Bestwood's neighbourhood in which the Morel family lives. Willey Farm is the home of Miriam Lievers, Paul Morel's first lover.
(iii) What is the significance of the title 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. Before publication the novel was titled "Paul Morel", however, it was finally titled "Sons and Lovers" to broaden its scope. "Sons and Lovers" signify something incestuous, in the sense that Paul is simultaneously Mrs. Morels' son and her lover.
(iv) Why does D.H. Lawrence adopt the omniscient narrator in 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. By choosing an omniscient third person narrator, Lawrence positions the Morel's problems inside the larger historical conflicts of modern industry -- e.g., the English mining industry that graces the book's opening pages. Moreover, the third-person omniscient narrator allows Lawrence to make us a little sympathetic toward evil or pathetic characters like Walter Morel, whom every other character seems to hate.
(v) What are the major themes in 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. Oedipus complex, bondage, contradictions and oppositions, nature and flowers, drugs and alcohol, women and femininity, men and masculinity, art and culture, technology and modernization, family, love and pride are the major themes in "Sons and Lovers".
(vi) What is Oedipus complex?
Ans. The term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrates upon a child's desire to have sexual relations with the parent of the opposite sex.
(vii) How does 'Sons and Lovers' explore the Oedipus complex?
Ans. In "Sons and Lovers", Paul is hopelessly devoted to his mother, and that love often borders on romantic desire. Lawrence writes many scenes between the two that go beyond the bounds of conventional mother-son love. Completing the Oedipal equation, Paul murderously hates his father and often fantasizes about his death.
(viii) What relationships have been described in 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. In this novel, each character pairs up with someone who is quite unlike them, and they attract to each other either spiritually or sensually. Paul is torn between his passion for two women, Miriam and his mother Gertrude. His relationship with his mother is an example of Oedipus complex.
(ix) Why is 'Sons and Lovers' a bildungsroman?
Ans. Bildungsroman is a form of fiction which allows the novelist to recreate through the maturing of his protagonist some of his own remembered intensity of experience. In "Sons and Loves", the scenes of family life, the mining background, Paul and Miriam relationship, and Mr. Morel as a father are examples of Lawrence's own experience.
(x) What are the elements of Freudian psychoanalysis in 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. The elements of Freudian psychoanalysis in "Sons and Lovers" are Oedipus Complex and Euthanasia. Paul is hopelessly devoted to his mother, and that love often borders on romantic desire. At the end of the novel, Paul intentionally overdoses his dying mother with morphia, an act that reduces her suffering and subverts his Oedipal fate, since he does not kill his father, but his mother.
(xi) What is euthanasia? Who are the victims of euthanasia in 'Sons and Lovers'?
Ans. Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. At the end of the novel, Paul intentionally overdoses his dying mother with morphia to reduce her pain and suffering. Thus Paul is a victim of Euthanasia.
(xii) What are the factors that keep Morel family together in spite of their differences?
Ans. According to Lawrence, 'blood contact', not mental communion, is a prerequisite in family relations. It is the reason why Paul's father and mother stay together in spite of their disrupted marriage, and has kept Morel family together in spite of their differences.
(xiii) Interpret 'He was an outsider. He had denied the God in him'.
Ans. This line is from "Sons and Lovers" by D.H. Lawrence. This line is spoken by a hidden authorial voice. It is stating that Walter Morel is a bad person. He is a pretty bad husband and father. There is no sympathy,  consideration and humanity in his character.
(xiv) Who is Gertrude?
Ans. Gertrude is the first protagonist of the novel "Sons and Lovers". She is unhappily married to Walter Morel, and she redirects her attention to her children. She is first obsessed with William, but his death leaves her empty and redirects her energies towards Paul. She bitterly disapproves of all the women these two son encounter, masking her jealously with other excuses.
(xv) Who is Walter Morel?
Ans. Walter Morel is Gertrude's husband and a coal miner. He was once a humorous, lively man, but over time he has become a cruel, selfish alcoholic. His family, especially, Mrs. Morel, despises him, and Paul frequently entertains fantasies of his father's dying.


Mother - Son Relationship in "Sons and Lovers"

Answer the following questions.
(i) Write the names of four novels of Virginia Woolf.
Ans. The major novels of Virginia Woolf are; The Voyage Out, Night and Day, Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, The Years, Between the Acts.
(ii) What is the function of the 'to' in the title? Why isn't the title just 'The Lighthouse'?
Ans. "The Lighthouse" in this novel is a symbol of things that are desired, longed for, and unknown. The "to" in the title suggests that it is a journey to the Lighthouse. The characters in the novel seem to be like lost little ships, which all seem guidance, and struggle to find their way in life.
(iii) In how many sections 'To the Lighthouse' has been divided? Also write the names of the sections.
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" has been divided into three sections, each of which has been given a title: The Window, Time Passes and The Lighthouse.
(iv) What is the importance of brackets in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Brackets is an effective plot device to fast-forward time and to age the surviving characters. The sentences in Brackets in "To the Lighthouse" convey personal information about the characters, recount the deaths of Prue and Andrew Ramsay, indicate violence and potential survival, and act as bookends about Mr. Carmichael.
(v) What is stream-of-consciousness?
Ans. Stream of consciousness is a narrative mode or device that seeks "to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. Another term for it is "interior monologue". The term was coined by William James in 1890 and in 1918 May Sinclair first applied this term in a literary context, when discussing Dorothy Richardson's novels.
(vi) What does the lighthouse symbolize in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The lighthouse symbolizes human desire, a force that pulsates over the indifferent sea of the natural world and guides people's passage across it. Yet even as the lighthouse stands constant night and day, season after season, it remains curiously unattainable.
(vii) How is 'To the Lighthouse' a study of human relationships?
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" reveals a close study of the ways and means by which satisfactory and congenial human relationship might be established. Almost throughout the novel, we find the movements of characters towards one another from the state of isolation in which each character is trapped by his own sense of inadequacy or his private worries. Mrs. Ramsay plays a very significant part to establish communication between people.
(viii) What is the relationship between the Lighthouse and the novel's narrator?
Ans. Just as Lighthouse guides ships during turbulent times, narrator guides readers (with indirect interior monologue, parenthesis, and stream of consciousness). Narrator is very much present -- and the autobiographical element does not allow author to fully disappear from the novel.
(ix) What is the effect of the passage of time in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Time is not experienced conventionally in "To the Lighthouse". Instead, time is anchored in certain select moments, which completely distorts it from the way a clock experiences time. Time is measured as it is experienced by certain people, which infuses select moments with incredible importance and duration. Time is both elongated and compressed to show the destructiveness of time.
(x) What are some of the main symbols in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The Lighthouse, Lily's Painting, The Ramsays' Summer House, The Sea, The Land, The Boar's Skull, The Fruit Basket, and The Hen in Mr. Banker's Memory are the main symbols in "To the Lighthouse".
(xi) What are the major conflicts in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. (i) James wants to go to the Lighthouse but his father says that the weather won't be good enough to go.
(ii) Lily wants to paint but Charles tells her that women can't write or paint.
(iii) The common conflict that each of the characters faces is to bring meaning and order to the chaos of life.
(xii) How does Virginia Woolf depict marriage in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Marriage in Woolf's text is anti-climactic, filled with the day-today duties of paying bills, attending to company and raising children. Marriage acts as a unifying thread throughout novel, connecting incongruous moments with structural unity and clarity. The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay, shows the distinctness of character within each counterpart as they are unified to become a third entity -- the married couple.
(xiii) What is the significance of water in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Water has a great role throughout the novel, in particular as the characters spend a great deal of time looking at the sea that separates the Ramsay's summer home from the Lighthouse. The symbolism of water is complex. It seems to represent both permanence and ephemerality. It also represents a destructive and erosive force.
(xiv) What is the place of objectivity and omniscience in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The repression of subjectivity and use of omniscience in "To the Lighthouse" enhance the consciousness effect. Woolf discards both the first person and the third person narration in her novel because she finds the method of narration known as multiple inner points of view as the best means to project her theme in the novel.
(xv) Would you consider the ending of 'To the Lighthouse' a happy ending? 
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" ends with Lily Briscoe having a revelation about her own work. She has seen from a distance that Mr. Ramsay has arrived at the Lighthouse, his children, James and Cam in tow. This sump up happily not only the achievement of Lily's artistic project, but also of the project of "To the Lighthouse" as a whole.


Stream of Consciousness in "To the Lighthouse"

Answer the following questions.
(i) From where has Achebe taken the title 'Things Fall Apart'?
Ans. The title of Achebe's novel "Things Fall Apart" is taken from William Butler Yeats' poem "Second Coming".
(ii) What is the significance of the title 'Things Fall Apart'?
Ans. The title of Achebe's novel "Things Fall Apart" is taken from William Butler Yeats' poem "Second Coming". The title foreshadows the tragedy which the novel depicts. It also draws attention to the parallels between the English oppression of Ireland and its oppression of Nigeria.
(iii) Describe the Feast of the New Yam.
Ans. Just before the harvest, the village Umuofia holds the Feast of the New Yam to give thanks to the earth goddess, Ani. The women scrub and decorate their huts, throw away all of their unused yams from the previous year, and use cam wood to paint their skin and that of their children with decorative designs. This is the beginning of new year.
(iv) What is the meaning of the Igbo proverb, 'When a man says yes his chi says yes also'?
Ans. The chi is an individual's personal god. This Ibgo proverb implies that a man's actions affect his destiny as determined by his chi. Okonkwo's chi is considered "good" but he "[says] yes very strongly, so his chi [agrees]." In other words, Okonkwo's actions to overcome adversity seem justified, but because he is guided by his chi, his denial of kindness, gentleness, and affection for less successful men will prove self-destructive.
(v) Why had the men of Umuofia called a meeting?
Ans. A neighbouring tribe Mbaino had murdered an Umuofia woman and they gathered to discuss revenge. They also wanted to make sure that every man was okay for the battle.
(vi) What role do egwugwu play in village culture?
Ans. The egwugwu are a symbol of the culture and independence of the Umuofia. The egwugwu are seen as ancestral gods, though in actuality they are masked Umuofia elders. The egwugwu served as respected judges in the village culture, listening to complaints and prescribing punishments and deciding conflicts.
(vii) What was considered the greatest crime in Umofia?
Ans. The greatest crime a man could commit was to unmask an egwugwu in public, or to say or do any thing which might reduce its immortal prestige in the eyes of the uninitiated. And this was what Enoch did. This was more of a crime than killing even a holy royal python or a fellow clans-member.
(viii) Describe the 'Isa-ifi' ceremony.
Ans. The marriage ceremony presented in "Things Fall Apart" has three parts; The Bride Price, Uri and Isa-ifi. In the Isa-ifi ceremony, the bride sits in the centre of the circle of women and men and holds a hen in her right hand. She is asked some questions. If all the questions are answered truthfully, the hen's throat is slit and the groom takes the bride away to go on a honeymoon.
(ix) What does 'Ezigbo' mean?
Ans. 'Ezigbo' means the good one (child). Ezigbo is the daughter of Ekwefi and Okonkow. She is also called Ezimna; meaning true beauty.
(x) What were the ingredients that went into making the medicine for 'iba'?
Ans. The earth provides ways for humans to combat disease. The ingredients that went into making the medicine for 'iba' were the leaves, grasses and barks of tree.
(xi) Give an account of Chielo's journey to Agbala, having Ezinma on her back.
Ans. While Ekwefi and Ezinma are telling folktales to each other during a moonless night, Chielo arrives. She says that the god Agbala wants to see Ezinma. Ezinma, who is very afraid, climbs on Chielo's back. In the dark night, Cheilo having Ezinma on her back is headed towards the cave of Agbala. Ekwefi follows them. Chielo enters the cave with Ezinma. Ekwefi sits and waits outside the cave.
(xii) Why was Okonkow famous?
Ans. Okonkow was famous because he defeated the most famous wrestler, Alalinze. Moreover, he a a well known farmer and warrior. He was also famous because of how he was able to define his in conjunction with socially established norms of "success".
(xiii) According to the oracle, why do Unoka's crops fail year after year?
Ans. Unoka, Okonkwo's father, visits the tribe's oracle, Agbala, to discover why he has bad harvests. Agbala's priestess says that he has no one but himself to blame for his bad harvests. She points out his laziness in contrast to his neighbours' admirable work ethic and sends him away with simple advicd: "go home and work like a man."
(xiv) What does the repetition the the number seven suggest in 'Things Fall Apart'?
Ans. In several places, the novel explicitly focuses on the theological and moral similarities between Christianity and Igbo religion. The repetition of the number seven -- symbolically important to both religions -- is another way of highlighting the similarities between the two cultures. The text refers to resting on the seventh day for both cultures.
(xv) Who brings the pots of wine in 'Uri' ceremony of Obierika's daughter? 
Ans. The groom's family brings the pots of wine in 'Uri' ceremony of Obierika's daughter. They bring fifty pots of palm-wine, a very respectable number. The women of the house drink some wine, including the bride, Akueke.


Okonkwo As a Tragic Hero

Answer the following questions.
(i) Write the names of four novels of William Golding.
Ans. The major novels of William Golding are; Lord of Flies, The Inheritors, Pincher Martin, Free Fall, The Spire, The Pyramid, The Scorpion God, Darkness Visible, The Paper Men, To the Ends of the Earth, Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, Fire Down Below, The Double Tongue.
(ii) What is the setting of 'Lord of the Flies'?
Ans. "Lord of the Flies" takes place on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean probably in 1950. This island is tropical and has a jungle and beaches, and a mountain. Throughout the book, the setting is in different parts of the island.
(iii) What is the significance of the title 'Lord of the Flies'?
Ans. "Lord" is a word of power, and "Flies" connote death and decay. So "Lord of the Flies" is a power of corruption, decay and death. "Lord of the Flies" is also the popular translation of Beelzebub, who is either a demon or the devil himself. Simon calls the severed pig's head "Lord of the Flies" because he sees it as a manifestation of the boy's nature -- and possibly his own.
(iv) Why does Golding use British schoolboys in 'Lord of the Flies'?
Ans. Golding was British. He probably used British schoolboys to illustrate how even boy who have been brought up in a world of rules, regulations and the classics, who are the very epitome of civilization, can quickly revert to "savagery" if the right situation arises. He excluded girls because, in his own words, he did not want "sex to rear its ugly head".
(v) What are the major themes of 'Lord of the Flies'?
Ans. Civilization vs. savagery, individualism vs. community, man vs. Nature, speech and silence, rules and orders, loss of innocence, the nature of evil, dehumanization of relationships, the negative consequences of war, and effects of fear are the major themes of "Lord of Flies".
(vi) How do the boys happen to come to the island?
Ans. The boys are from Military School Britain. The time seems like World War II. They are being evacuated somewhere by a plane. Their plane crashes but they survive and happen to come to the island.
(vii) What is the role of religion in the lives of the boys?
Ans. Simon is a Christ like figure and other boys are devils. Like a religious person, Simon looks into his own heart and accepts that there is a beast within, and face it squarely. There is almost no role of religion in the lives of other boys who kill Simon.
(viii) What is the purpose of the expedition of Jack, Ralph and Simon?
Ans. There are two expeditions of Jack, Ralph and Simon. The purpose of first expedition in Chapter I is to find out if the land is actually an island. On the second expedition, the mission is to find the beast that Sam and Eric spotted.
(ix) What role does the conch play in 'Lord of the Flies'?
Ans. The conch is a symbol of social order, respect, decency and power. When the boys hold meetings around the camp fire, only the speaker who is holding the conch may address the crowd. The speaker with the conch is supposed to be respected by the group and heard. When the conch gets destroyed, the boys' civilized world also becomes unglued.
(x) How and why do the boys make fire?
Ans. Boys gather woods and make fire by using Piggy's glasses. They think that this fire may draw the attention of a plane or passing ship, and in turn, help facilitate their rescue.
(xi) Who or what is the Lord of the Flies?
Ans. "Lord" is a word of power, and "Flies" connote death and decay. So "Lord of the Flies" is a power of corruption, decay and death. "Lord of the Flies" is also the popular translation of Beelzebub, who is either a demon or the devil himself. Simon calls the severed pig's head "Lord of the Flies" because he sees it as a manifestation of the boy's nature -- and possibly his own.
(xii) Interpret 'The head is for the beast. It's a gift'.
Ans. This line is from Chapter 8 in "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. This line is spoken by Jack. Jack and his hunters sharpen a stick at both ends and place the dismembered head of a pig on it as a kind of offering for the imaginary beast. It also shows boys' lust for blood.
(xiii) Interpret 'Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood'.
Ans. This line is from Chapter 9 in "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. This line is, in fact, the boys' savage chant in the novel. It symbolizes the loss of reason and blind emotion. When boys get involved in it, nothing seems real, they lose their grip on reality. This is why the boys mistake Simon as the Beast and murder him.
(xiv) What does the dead parachutist symbolize?
Ans. The dead parachutist symbolizes; the civilization from which the boys have been cut off, a link to the adult world, the lack of adult supervision on the island, the lack of order on the island, the essence of the beast and the lord of the flies, savagery and evil in action.
(xv) Why does the boys' plan for rescue fail? 
Ans. The boys only had one plan for rescue, which was to keep a signal fire burning on the mountain top. One day Ralph spotted a passing ship. All the boys were on a pig hunt and the fire was left untended. The ship passed by and the boys remained unrescued.


Role of Fear in "Lord of Flies"


Answer the following questions. 
(i) What is literary criticism?
Ans. Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literary works like poem, drama, and novel etc. Plato's cautions against the risky consequences of poetic inspiration in general in his "Republic" are often taken as the earliest important examples of literary criticism.
(ii) What does Plato say about poetry?
(iii) The subject of 'Republic' is politics. Comment.
(iv) What does 'Poetics' deal with?
(v) How does Aristotle define poetry?
(vi) In what three ways does Aristotle differentiate various art forms from one another?
(vii) What is the difference between epic poetry and tragedy?
(viii) Why does Aristotle value Homer so highly as a poet in 'Poetics'?
(ix) How does Aristotle define 'the universal'?
(x) What are the three meanings of imitation?
(xi) Define the term 'mock epic'.
(xii) What is the main difference between poetry and history?
(xiii) What are the six parts every tragedy must have? Which, according to Aristotle, is the most important?
(xiv) What, according to Aristotle, is the primary purpose of tragedy?
(xv) What is the place of cathersis in tragedy? 


Aristotle's Concept of Imitation

Answer the following questions.


Sidney As a Critic

Answer the following questions.


T.S. Eliot As a Critic

Answer the following questions. 


Brooks' View on Keats' Urn

Answer the following questions. 


Relationship Between Criticism and Commonsense


(a) When all the world is young ..... when all was young!

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Young and Old
(ii) Poet: Charles Kingsley (1819 - 1875)

2. Lines 1-2
When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;

3. Lines 3-4
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;

4. Lines 5-6
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away!

5. Lines 7-8
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

6. Lines 9-10
When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;

7. Lines 11-12
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;

8. Lines 13-14
Creep home, and take your place there
The spent and maim'd among;

9. Lines 15-16
God grant you find one face there
You loved when all was young!

10. Conclusion

(b) Everyone suddenly burst ..... the singing will never be done.

1. Introduction


(a) 'Nature' is what we see ...... to her Simplicity.

1. Introduction
(i) Title:
(ii) Poet:

2. Lines 1-2
'Nature' is what we see --
The Hill -- the Afternoon --

3. Lines 3-4
Squirrel -- Eclipse -- the Bumble bee --
Nay -- Nature is Heaven --

4. Lines 5-6
Nature is what we hear --
The Bobolink -- the Sea --

5. Lines 7-8
Thunder -- the Cricket --
Nay -- Nature is Harmony --

6. Lines 9-10
Nature is what we know --
Yet have no art to say --

7. Lines 11-12
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

8. Literary Devices

9. Conclusion

(b) Where had I heard this wind ...... no one left but God.

1. Introduction
(i) Title:
(ii) Poet:
2. Lines 1-2
Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?

3. Lines 3-4
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,

4. Lines 5-6
Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and the day was past.

5. Lines 7-8
Sombre clouds in the west were massed.
Out on the porch's sagging floor,

6. Lines 9-10
Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
Blindly struck at my knee and missed.

7. Lines 11-12
Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known.

8. Lines 13-14
Word I was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,

9. Lines 15-16
Word I was in my life alone,
Word I had no one left but God.

10. Conclusion


(a) There be none of Beauty's ..... swell of summer's ocean.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: There be None of Beauty's Daughters / Stanzas for Music
(ii) Poet: Lord Byron (1788-1824)
(iii) Poetic Genre: Lyrical poem
(iv) Rhyme Scheme: ABABCCDD/ABABCCDD
(v) Meter Check: Iambic tetrameters and iambic trimeters.
(vi) Theme: Magic of Beauty and power of music
(vii) Tone: Expressive adoring beauty.
(viii) Personification: Beauty, ocean, moon, wind
2. Lines 1-2
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
     In these lines Beauty has been personified. Beauty is a female and has many children. All her children are also female i.e. daughters. These daughters are all beautiful women. There is no match of these beautiful women in this world. This Beauty can also be a reference to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology who was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But Helen of Troy had only one daughter, Hermoine.  Moreover, Beauty is like magic: Beauty has the power of influencing others by using mysterious forces. Beauty's magic is superior to all other magic arts because Beauty's charms and spells are the most powerful. 
3. Lines 3-4
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
     These lines describe the personified Beauty as a soprano. She has a very musical, melodious and symphonic voice. Her voice has been compared with the musical sound of the waves of waters. "Waters" here means ocean. It is a powerful imagery. "Beauty like waters" is a perfect simile because water is a standard female symbol in literature. The speaker is mesmerized with the "sweet voice" of Beauty. Beauty here can also be a reference to Minerva, a virgin goddess of music. However, the personified Beauty is not virgin. She has many daughters. 
4. Lines 5-6
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
     These lines describe the power of the sound of personified Beauty. The sound of Beauty is so robust, prevailing and dominant that it causes the waves of the charmed ocean to pause. The word "charmed" suggests that the waves of ocean are under the magical spell of Beauty. However, this spell is not everlasting because "pause" is a temporary stop in action. Thus Beauty is a mermaid who controls the ocean by the powerful sound of her voice. In short, "when" Beauty sings, it causes to pause all other music in the world. 
5. Lines 7-8
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
     These lines are merely overwritten extensions of an already trite theme - the power of the sound of personified Beauty. The waves of ocean and winds of air are hypnotized by the magical sound of Beauty. The waves of ocean become motionless and gleaming. The winds go to sleep and seem dreaming. "Winds" have been personified here because sleeping and dreaming are human attributes. In short, the sounds of waves and winds cease to sing and become the obedient audience of the powerful and magical voice of Beauty. 
6. Lines 9-10
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep,
     These lines describe that the moon is also under the spell of the magical voice of Beauty. The word "midnight" highlights the atmosphere of calm, peace and quiet. Moon has been personified as a woman who is weaving. In many myths, the moon is depicted as a gigantic spider which weaves the thread of each man's destiny. Moreover, there is a myth of an old woman weaving at moon. This old woman spends her time weaving a never-ending garment. However, here the moon is weaving "her bright chain". It is, in fact, a crater chain - a roughly circular depression on the surface of ocean. The moon is weaving this depression from bottom to top. 
7. Lines 11-12
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant's asleep:
      These lines portray sexual and angelic imagery. The ocean has been personified as a female. Her "breast" is an example of sexual imagery. The words "gently heaving" enhance the impact of sexual imagery. Under the influence of the magical voice of Beauty, the ocean raises her breast in an amiable and tender motion or as an infant's asleep. "As an infant's asleep" is a simile and an other imagery. Infants don't sleep as deeply as adults. Thus the charm of the voice of Beauty on the ocean is temporary. In short, the comparison of ocean's heaving to an infant's sleep suggests that ocean is innocent and guilt free because it is a part of nature and beauty. 
8. Lines 13-14
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
     These lines recapitulate the power of the voice of Beauty. The spirit of ocean, wind, moon and the speaker all bow in submission before Beauty.  "Bows before" is an example of alliteration. When Beauty sings, the waves of ocean pause, the winds go to sleep and seem dreaming, the moon starts weaving. These natural objects and phenomena do so just to listen and adore the melodious voice of Beauty. "And adore" is an other example of alliteration. The speaker's spirit is also showing adoration for the magical voice of Beauty. 
9. Lines 15-16
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of summer's ocean. 
     These lines describe how do others applause the voice of Beauty. The spirit of ocean, wind, moon and the speaker adore the voice of Beauty "with a full but soft emotion". "Full" means that they are praising the Beauty's voice as much as possible and "soft emotion" suggests they are admiring the Beauty's voice with love, affection and devotion. The poem comes to its climax at "swell". Swell is a gradual increase in amount, intensity, or volume. Swell is also a sexual imagery. It is a point at which the sibilance of "summer's ocean" offers a gentle release. 
10. Conclusion
     The poem is couched in feminine references and is most conveniently discussed as a love lyric to a woman. However, there is no physical dimension to the love articulated in the poem. It is famous for its gentle rhythm and the softness of its imagery -- the quiet tone of the poem creates a tranquil sense of peace, whilst the rhythm lulls the reader with its ebb and flow, as if the poem itself has breath of its own. It is written to be set to music, and its musical qualities have bearing upon its theme and structure. In short, the poem is a clever way of intermingling two of the greatest pleasures in life: love and music. With its gleaming waters, dreaming winds, weaving moon, and heaving breast, it is a truly magical poem. 
(b) Bright Star! Would I ..... else swoon to death.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Bright Star! Would I were Stedfast as Thou Art / Keats's Last Sonnet
(ii) Poet: John Keats (1795 - 1821)
(iii) Date of Composition: 1819 and revised in 1820
(iv) Collection: Joseph Severn's Copy of "The Poetical Works of William Shakespeare"
(v) Poetic Genre: Shakespearean Sonnet
(vi) Setting: The time is night. North Star hints that the speaker is somewhere far from home, may be at sea.
(vii) Speaker: John Keats
(viii) Addressee: Bright Star and Fanny Brawne
2. Lines 1-2
Bright star! Would I were stedfast as thou art --
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
     In these lines the speaker wishes to be steadfast as the "Bright Star", but does not wish to be alone like this star. The word "stedfast" suggests that he is talking to the North Star, also known as Polaris, which is the only star that remains motionless in the sky. However, the speaker immediately realizes that steadfastness cannot be achieved by a human in this world of change and flux. So he asserts a negative "Not". He points out the star's splendour and isolation in the night. In fact, the speaker does not want to lead a life of  "splendour" in loneliness and isolation. 
3. Lines 3-4
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
     These line emphasize the star's loneliness and motionlessness. The star keeps an eye on stuff. It spends its time watching with "eternal lids". "Eternal lids" is a transferred epithet. So, the idea is that, not only does the star watch things and keep its eyelids open, but it does so eternally. "Patient" and "sleepless" are both adjectives modifying "Eremite"; a religious hermit who has retired into a solitary life. The star's sleeplessness is a part of the characterization of the star's non-humanness, which makes it an impossible goal for a human being to aspire to. In short, the comparison of the star with an Eremite is a good simile. 
4. Lines 5-6
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
    The star observes that the waters of the earth are engaged in a "priestlike task" of ablution. There is movement, aliveness and spiritually on the earth. The meaning of "ablution" here is of ritual cleansing. Thus it matches up pretty well with the idea of "priestlike" quality of the waters' task. "Earth's human shores" means that human activity has stretched all over the globe; the shores of a continent of land are the edges of human life. In short, the speaker knows that he is subsequent to change and needs something to return to his pure state. 
5. Lines 7-8
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors --
     These lines describe snow as being a mask that hides the ugliness of the mountains and moors. The star is gazing on the "masque of snow". "Masque" here is just an old-fashioned, slightly way of spelling "mask". However, this mask is not a real mask, but instead a metaphorical mask. Literally speaking, the star is gazing on a layer of "new" and "soft" snow falling upon "the mountains and the moors". "Moor" is a barren, lonely, uninhabited place. And so are mountains, usually . Thus beauty (the snow) is found in diverse places on earth. In short, we get a chilly feeling from these lines. 
6. Lines 9-10
No -- yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
     These lines show the real intent of the poem. The "No" at the beginning is like an exclamation, the speaker's final comment on everything that has come before. "Still" is an old-fashioned way of saying "always". So the idea is that the speaker will be "always steadfast, always unchangeable". He would love to be as "stedfast" as the star, but he is not jazzed about sitting up in the high heavens taking in all those dreary sights. Instead, he would like to be just as "stedfast" in resting his head on his girlfriend's "ripening breast". "Ripening" here means that the speaker's girlfriend is still fairly young and so is still in the process of "filling out". 
7. Lines 11-12
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
     These lines describe the speaker's desire, in which his lover be alive for eternity. While resting his head on his girlfriend's breast, the speaker wants to feel her breathing. "For ever" emphasizes the main aspect of the star's existence the speaker likes to have: its permanence. "Soft" intensifies the sensuality introduced with "pillow'd". The speaker spins out his description of what he likes to do even further. Even though he is resting his face on his girlfriend's breast like a pillow, he does not want to fall asleep there and miss out on all the action. Instead, he wants to remain awake forever. "Sweet unrest" is an oxymoron and a typical Keatsian paradox. 
8. Lines 13-14
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever --- or else swoon to death.
     In these lines the speaker says that if he cannot hear his lover breathe, he will welcome his own death with no regrets. Repetition of "still" suggests that the speaker wants to do the same thing forever and ever for the rest of all eternity. "Breath" is flux, and "tender" makes it positive. "Ever" emphasizes the eternity of love, passion and sensuality. In a swift reversal, the speaker accepts the possibility of dying from pleasure. "Swoon" has sexual overtones and "death" carries a great deal of weight in the final effect and meaning of the poem. In short, these lines portray the speaker's feelings towards life where death brings no fear and life means nothing without his lover. 
9. Literary Devices
(i) Rhyme Scheme: ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG
(ii) Meter Check: Iambic pentameter
(iii) Alliteration: "the mountains and the moors", "still steadfast, still unchangeable", "soft fall and swell", still, still to hear her tender-taken breath", "so live ever ---or else".
(iv) Symbols: Bright Star (eternity, isolation), Eremite (isolation), pillow (comfort), ripening breast (growth, warmth) 
(v) Personification: The Star (it is watching and gazing) and waters (they are engaged in the task of ablution)
(vi) Tone: Sad and depressed
(vii) Imagery: Bright Star, moving waters, earth's human shores, mask of snow upon the mountains and the moors, love's ripening breast.
(viii) Themes: Love, death, time, loneliness, change and transformation, man and the natural world, art and experience.
10. Conclusion
     The sonnet shows the speaker's infatuation to be with his lover for eternity. He aspires to the fixed and ethereal beauty of the Star, yet is aware of its limitations: though bright, steadfast and splendid, it is at the same time solitary and non-human. The human heart can never be tranquil like the star, for human emotions know the conflict of joy and pain. The speaker tends to dip into mystic and unexplained phenomena in the universe to describe his feelings. This is probably due to the fact that his earthly human self is on the verge towards death and his spiritual side is fully alive. In short, Keats, like Shakespeare, has combined a brilliant poetic mind with deep insight into human emotions and experiences. Thus the poem is a powerful meditation on love, death, time, and nature. 


  1. plz literary criticism or short stories k b short questions with answer upload kr den plz plz

  2. I am confused about rhyming scheme of the poem...plzz tell how can we identify the rhyming scheme of the poem..

    1. its quiet easy, u just have to concentrate on the last syllable of the last word in each line. for instance, if a verse ends on a word "very" and the next verse ends on "hurry" it means that its rhyming scheme is "a a".
      if there is a stanza, we shall assign each syllable an alphabet, similar syllables will b assigned same alphabets.