MEG01 QUICK NOTES
Discuss “Canterbury Tales” as portrait gallery?
Ans :- The prologue to the Canterbury Tales has been called a veritable picture gallery by legoues. The various cnargesten in the prologue are as observed by Arthur Toff man kike figures in a tapestry Blake remarked about the variety of characters in the prologue “As Newton numbered the stars, as lynxes numbered the classes of men” Chaucer has varied the heads and forms of his personages into all nature’s variety. He has taken into his compass the various manners and humours of the whole English nation into his age. There is such a variety of characters that Difolen remarked “Here is God’s plenty” the thirty or so pilgrims are in fact a fair sample of society in general with the exception of the nobility that wouldn’t join package tour and the poorest labourers who could not afford to go. Here we have the representative of the church and laity (person’s not representing church) country men and town’s men the professions commerce and the Milton.
Framework:- The phrase “veritable picture gallery implies that the portraits which appear to the prologue have a designed togetherness the portraits exist as a part of unity. Such unity is partly a function of exterior frame work of a pilgrimage to canterbray. But the unity of the prologue as Hoff man has pointed out may be also partly a matter of internal relationships among the portraits. These relationships among the portraits are many and various. The exterior unity achieved by the realistic device and broadly symbolic frame work of pilgrimage is made stronger and tighter in the portraits partly by local sequences and pairings but most impressively by various illustrations of love. The note of love is sounded in different keys. The Knight loves chivalry the squire is a lover that cannot sleep more than a nightingale. The prioress believes that to conquer all the Monk has a love knot on his gold pin the clerk loves books and so on.
Realism to Characterization:- Chaucer’s zest for actual life is revealed not only in the plenty and variety of his pilgrims but especially in their normality. Nevill cloqhill rightly points out that Chaucer did not exaggerate or look for freaks. He delighted in the world as he found it. He had the perennial happiness of touch which according to Dryden belongs only to a master. Chaucer’s delight in normality is normally what chiefly differentiates him from Orkens who is a master of the eccentric. Chaucer’s world is almost freak free. His character perfectly life size only the life of Bath seems larger.
Living characters:- Many of the characters in the prologue seem almost to leap out of the page because the descriptions appear to tumble out just as they come into the narrator’s mind. The effect is as if we were listening to an eye witness pouring out his news without pausing to reflect and to rearrange it in a logical order.
Characters as types:- It is significant that Chaucer presents in the prologue one Knight, one squire, one yeoman one Monk, one Frat and so on . This indicates that Chaucer wished each figure to be a type and that is what it actually is. Maurice Hussey has demonstrated how each character whether secular or religious represents his class. The Monk represents a general decline in the devotion to religion and the deserves of his class to live a life of comfort and luxury. The doctor represents the typical reliance on herbal medicines and on astronomy and astrology. He also reveals the typical greed of his fellow professionals making profits out of plague.
Character as individuals:- Dryden was one of the first to note how all pilgrims in the prologue are distinguished from each other not only in their inclinations but in their very physiognomies and persons. Even the grave and serious characters like the clerk the parson the plowman are distinguished by their several sorts of gravity. The reeve the miller and the cook are distinguished from each other just as the country. The characters are also individualized by adding distinctive personal details.
Physical appearance and character:- Chaucer has tried to link the physical appearance of a character with his moral qualities thus the apparently naturalistic detail of the gap tooth of wife of Bath is lifted from physiognomy manuals to serve as a symbol of her lusty vagrancy. The diseased skin of the summoner is an indication of his inner corruption and debauchery.
Universality:- Dryden has complemented Chaucer for the universality of his characters. Blake observed that Chaucer’s pilgrims are the characters which compose all ages and nations. As one age falls another rises, different to mortal sight but to immortals only the same. Some of the names or titles are altered by time but the characters themselves forever remain unaltered. Every age is a Canterbury pilgrimage.
NUN’S PRIESS TALE
NPT collocates a number of stories. Some of them are dream stories told by the cock and the priest. The widow the protagonist of the other story of the other story (which is setting for the comic gable of the cock, the hen and the fox) is contrasted at once with the cock and the nun by implication. The dream stories are embedded in the fable. The fable in the widow’s story the widow’s story in the priest’s. the cock the priest and the poet are the three story tellers of this tale. What makes the tale dramatic is that the author does not say a single word directly. In the prologue to the tale the Knight the Host and the priest talk and in the main body the priest the story teller and the character of the tale talk. The ironic structure of NPT is prominent in the play of wit at the core of the story. The Fox and the cock outwit each other by turns. Discretion and politeness characteristic of the priest, require that his criticism of the prioress his immediate target and of women in general should be indirect or ironical. The boldness of the ironist is the most remarkable aspect of his character as a person and an artist.
As the story taller is a priest the story is aptly a sermon. The most of the sermon is given at the end of the story. It is dramatic rather than didactic or hortatory. There are three morals down
respectively by the cock the fox and the priest. The cock’s experience which had verged on the tragic had by a lucky flash of intelligence turned comic. And his moral is one should keep one’s eye open. The fox loses the game and is served right. He sounds a wiseacre in his moral. The priest’s moral is given in three and a half couplets. The tale is an exemplum or example illustrating the moral the ‘defence’ of poetry had traditionally been that it is both entertainment and edification.
Reflection:- The description of the human setting of the fable is reflective or normative. The widow and her way of life is approved. The cock’s reflection on murder and god’s justice is conventional but his reflection on “woman” is much more characteristic and highly ironical.
Mock heroic:- NPT is primarily a fable and a fable is intrinsically mock heroic for it assumes an identity or parallelism between animals and humans. Moreover the tale reflects the poet’s serio-comic outlook in the use of hyperbole and disproportion.
Comedy:- comedy is the essential aspect of the form of the tale it is not mere sugarcoating for the sermon. The pure fun and humour of the fable is the superficial comic element.
Dream:- Fiction is like dream or day dream. The use of dream in fiction is therefore doubly insubstantial. Dreams have always exercised the human mind. In Middle English poetry the dream is used as a poetic technique and suggests vision or imagination. The moral of the tale is a no man should been too reecheless of dremes” and some dreams are to be dreaded. The major themes of the tale are.
1. The simple life and the plain diet. The Christian or religious altitude to poverty and wealth poverty has moral approval. Wealth is regarded as sinful.
2. The medico scientific view of dreams contrasted with the popular superstitious view. 3. Reflection on murder or homicide.
4. Man woman relationship.
5. Free will and predetermination.
6. Reflection on flattery and the role of courtiers.
7. Destiny inescapable, fortune sudden turns.
Pertelote dismisses dreams as meaningless. She takes the scientific but imaginative stand that they are caused by physical disorder. She prescribes laxatives and herbs as a remedy for bad dreams. She does not tell any stories. But Chanticleer tells many stories to prove the truth of
his view that dreams are significant they provide a vision of the future prophecy vision, imagination are human
faculties which may be described as walking dreams. Chanticleer’s first story is from “oon of the grelteste auctour that men rede. The story is of two pilgrims who had to part company and put up for the night in separate lodgings. One of them dreamt about the other that he was in danger of death, the dream was repeated. But he did not take it seriously but he could not ignore the third dream. In the first two dreams the fellow pilgrim seemed to be making an appeal for help. In the third dream the spirit of the fellow pilgrim reports that he is slain, the second theme of the story is mordre wol out” assort of moral drawn But the relevant moral is that dreams should not be dismissed as empty and irrelevant.
Q2. Speech, dialogue reflection and narration in NPT.
Ans. On the primary level the nun’s priest’s tale is a brilliant and complex exposure of vanity self esteem and self indulgence through the mock heroic treatment of a beast fable on the secondary level. The Nun’s priest joins the discussions of the pilgrims on poverty (man of law, wife of bath),Women’s advice (merchant, rhetoric and marriage. He is also presenting in the contrast between the widow and chanticleer a veiled comment on his position vis-à-vis the prioress Finally on the level of involuntary revelation be falls into the pedantry that he is ridiculing and uncovers for a moment in his confusion the feelings of a misogynist dependent on a Woman. In this moment there is revealed a second conflict the conflict between the octist building with the materials of his act a world where his feelings achieve symbolic and universal expression and the man expressing his feelings directly”.
NPT is a dramatic Tale. The action here is more verbal than non verbal. The debate on dreams of the play of wit between the hero (chanticleer) and the villain (Colfox) the reflections of the priest the dramatic storey teller are all verbal action speeches dialogue and reflection are more important in this tale than action of the other type the tale is thus remarkable for psychic and mental action it is whole literary or linguistic than bright appear on that surface the speech of the fox addressed to the cock is highly rhetorical and full of dramatic issue . The priest is using the tale as an exemplum. His storey is a contemplative and didactic sermon. His reflection on the theological problem of free will and predetermination relates. This tale to the knights tale and to Troilus and reside. And in all the three “Chaucer’s balance in his just comprehension of tragedy and his gentle sense of humour” may be seen. Poetry and philosophy are united dramatically. In this respect Chaucer is second only to Shakespeare among great English poets. The priest reflection on Women is curiously class objective Chaucer’s narrative act combines description reflection and narration in an aesthetic complex. The narrative has all the qualities that a good narrative requires (a) the pace and movement of the storey (b) suspense and crises (c) transmission from the serious to the gay tone and back (d) drama (e) action (f) contemplating or reflecting on the action (g) artistic control of the material of experience. Description is poetic and places eg. The description of chanticleer voice and appearance it is not always so poetic. It is matter of fact in tone more frequently the use of poetic devices like the simile and rhetorical devices like exclamations may be noticed for particular consideration. In the use of similes Chaucer is the supreme English poet. The most important aspect of Chaucer’s style is that the tale is a verse narrative. The music of the heroic couplets of NPT should be appreciated. The verse of Chaucer’s poem is radically different from the traditional alliterative influence of Chaucer verse of his age. The influence of Chaucer on the letter English poets is immeasurable because they found the syllabic verse pattern introduced by him more congenial than the old alliterative verse
While calling T.S. Eliot’s poetry the music of ideas I A Richards makes the following comments on his poetry. When he discusses several aspects of the waste land in particular the critical question in all cases is whether the poem is worth the trouble it entails. For the wasteland this is considerable there is Miss Weston’s From Ritual to Romance to read and its astral trimming to be discarded. They have nothing to do with Mr. Eliot’s poem. There is canto XXVI of the purgatoriv to be studied the relevance of the close of that canto to the whole of Mr. Eliot’s work must be insisted upon. It illuminates his persistent concern with sex the problem of our generation as religion was the problem of the last then is the central position of the Tiresias in the poem to be puzzled out the cryptic form of the note which Eliot writes on the point is just a little tiresome. It is a way of underlining the fact that the poem is concerned with many aspects of the one fact of sex, a hint that it perhaps neither indispensable nor entirely successful.
When all this has been done by the reader when the materials with which the worlds are to clothe themselves have been collected the poem still remains to be read. And it is easy to fail in this undertaking. An altitude of intellectual suspicious must certainly abandoned but his is not difficult to whose who still know how to give their feelings precedence to their thoughts who can accept and unity an experience without trying to catch it in an intellectual net or to squeeze out a doctrine one form of this attempt must be mentioned. Some misled no doubt by its origin in a mystery have endeavored to give the poem a symbolical reading But its symbols are not mystical but emotional they stand that is not for ineffable objects but for normal human experience the poem in fact is radically naturalistic only its compression makes it appear to other wise And in this it probably comes nearer to the original mystery where it perpetuates than transcendentalism does.
“If it were desired to label in three words the most characteristic feature of Mr. Eliot’s techniques this might be done by calling his poetry a music of ideas the ideas are of all kinds abstract and concrete general and particular and like the musicians phrases they are arranged not that they may tell us something but that their effect in us may combine into a coherent whole of feeling and attitude and produce a peculiar liberation of the will they are there to be responded to, not to be pondered or worked and this is of course a method used intermittently in very much poetry, and accentuation and isolation are only one of its normal resources . The peculiarity of Mr. Eliot’s later more puzzling work is his deliberate and most exclusive employment o f it. In the earlier poems this logical freedom appears only occasionally.
Q-3 Discuss the title of the poem the Wasteland ?
Ans:- A great poet while writing himself should write of his time. Eliot’s wasteland expresses the mood of weariness and despair of post war Europe. Eliot gives us a horrid picture of the despair ridden humanity thereby giving a sort of detached commentary on the disintegration of post war civilization. His poems and poetic dramas deal with the condition of human souls which are always in a state of anxiety and in a state on irredeemable crisis.
A spiritual approach to life. As for the socio political situation is concerned the age passing through a crisis. His wasteland depicts irreconcilable conflicts of human souls which make the reader aware not only of the problems of modern life but also of mankind as a whole. The soul of man finds itself in horror and loneliness unless it is redeemed by faith and courage. Eliot has a spiritual approach to life which is rare in the twentieth century dominated by science and materialism.
Human mind devoid of hope and faith. Eliot gives us a horrible picture of the anxiety ridden post war state of mind in his poem. The mind of the human is compared to a wasteland and it is devoid of faith and hope. The poet surveys the desolate scene of the world with a searching gaze Eliot in the section of “the Burial of the dead emphasizes the inevitable dissolution. The sacred wisdom too has fallen on evil days and it is shown by the introduction of the Tarot pack of cards, used formerly for divination now for fortune telling.
Sex in the modern world mechanical and sterile. The sex and which had holy associations in the past has degenerated into sexual boredom in the modern world. It has become mechanical and sterile and breeding not life and fulfillment but disgust and unanswerable questions. The modern lady typist in “the Fire Seemow” does not give any importance to chastity and after the completion of the mechanical sex act for money.
A Game of chess- a neurasthenic episode. As Allen Tate observes “this scene gives a terrible into the modern western civilization. Eliot in the section “A game of chess” presents a rich neurotic lady who is obsessed with sex and anxiety. The rich neurotic lady with her dry hair spread out in fiery points” is the symbol of loveless lust so also her husband is obsessed with sex like hamlet the condition of the poor is also pitiable lil suffers from the evil physical effects of abortion and also of contraceptives. The people have one anxiety ridden perhaps it is these psychological perversions of the moderns may be the reason which induced prof. F.R leavis to call. A game of chess a “neurasthenic episode. Fear and anxiety are the cardinal causes for impotency in the modern world “the central conception of the wasteland says Prof. Pinto “is
sexual impotence used as a symbol for the spiritual malady of the modern world. The presence of fertility nymphs is a nightmare to the casual lovers assembled on the banks of Thames wasteland in the minds of individuals. Actually wasteland is located nowhere and it is present everywhere in the minds of individuals it is the spiritual wasteland of you and I presented in a number of frustrated sexual images signifying death it is a cosmic vision into the immense panorama of futility and anarchy that is modern civilization. The poem is full of broken images which is also the state of modern civilization. Eliot describes an age without purpose being haunted by fear the poem consists of a series of scenes rather like film shots fading and dissolving into each other seen from the view point of an impersonal observer who is the quester representing the all inclusive consciousness.
Hope for the Parched and sterile. It is true that skepticism in matters of belief and confusion in thought are the order of the day. This bewilderment and confusion have a direct bearing upon art and letters. This same sense of anxiety fear the sense of aimlessness and frustration and impotence as in Eliot is found in the poem of Hardy Housman Hopkins They are also in search of a faith which is eluding through the world remains parched. It is not meaningless. It has got a meaning says Prof. Pinto. According to AG George the natural end of the emotional sequence is line
Religious affirmation of life- the only remedy. The absence of humility complete self surrender and faith in God account for the note of confusion madness and does pair on which the poem ends. The same view is held by Dr. S Radhakrishnan who in his book the Recovery of faith sees no escape from the nemesis of purely materialistic civilization except in a return to the life of faith and to the fundamental religious affirmation of life.
Q4. Themes and the art of the poem The Wasteland:-
T.S. Eliot projects several levels of modern experience in “The Wasteland” these are related to various sympatric wastelands in modern times such as
a. The wasteland of religion where there are but no water.
b. The wasteland of spirit where all moral springs have dried up and
c. The wasteland of the reproduction instead of sex have become a means of physical satisfaction rather than a source of regeneration.
The poet communicates to the reader his own sense of anarchy and futility that he finds everywhere to the contemporary world. He has no intention of expressing the disillusionment of an entire generation. But the poem remains an important document of social criticism of the world to which Eliot belonged. The wasteland is mainly concerned with the theme of barrenness in the mythical wasteland of the twentieth century. The land having lost its fertility nothing useful can grow in it. The animals and crops have forgotten the true significance of their reproductive function which was meant to rejuvenate the land. The negative condition of the land is closely related to that of its lord, the Fisher King who too through illness and maiming has lost his procreative power. There is some curse on the land and its master and this could be removed only by a concerted effort at spiritual regeneration. At a different fact of meaning one of the themes of the poem is also death. Death by water being only one aspect of it. According to Cleanth Brooks the poem deals with the contrast of two kinds of life and two kinds of death. Death in life and life in death. Life devoid of meaning is a kind of death while death is a sacrifice is a renewal of life as it provides hope of life to Come. Through all the five section so if the wasteland Eliot explores at some length the variations of this paradoxical theme. Along with this, he presents through his poetic art the wonderful trinity of religion culture and sex.
The theme of the poem is a variation upon the theme of so much of Eliot’s poetry the relation between sexual incompetence to love and spiritual death and that life is empty without an external divine help. Hen the idea that the abuse of love has meant the denial of life is treated as a musician might handle it although perhaps never as directly it is implied. Rather than stated but the suggested idea is introduced counterpointed is repeated complicated transposed and developed with musicians skill and symphonic effect. The poem is about the degeneracy of human nature, in particular with regard to the experience of sex and the nature of love it concerns itself mainly with degraded forms of love even where by implication it refers to finer loves. It suggests that such loves do not now occur its hope lies in that love which is generous and the sympathetic the seduction. Theme is universalizes and becomes relevant to
the whole of England. It is developed in most parts of the titles “Game of Chess” and “Fire sermon” They depict scenes of lust at various levels of society. The game of chess is a device to cover up affairs between ladies and gents in the most luxurious surroundings reminiscent of Cleopatra and Dido.
Q.5 Myth imagery and symbolism in Wastland?
Ans. Eliot uses the symbolistic technique to express a complex and decadent civilization. His symbolism is predominantly traditional and so comparatively easy to understand. Even when he uses a private symbol it is easy to understand its suggestive significance from the context of Eliot’s symbols are drawn from the literature and mythologies of the past. Moreover the same symbols are frequently repeated and this helps to classify their suggestive significance. In the wasteland dry bones signify spiritual decay and desolation and rats the ugliness and humor of modern civilization. In the same way dry grass cactus land rocks winds are all of spiritual sterility from what reserves the desolation of the contemporary wasteland as well as the wastelands of the past.
But the most significant of his symbols are drawn from ancient myths and legends and are centered round the basic theme of birth-death rebirth. Thus spring stands for rebirth, winter for death, rain for spiritual fertility, draught for spiritual dryness. Fishing symbolizes spiritual rebirth and rejuvenation water is an ambivalent symbol. It symbolizes destruction as well as transformation and purification. Fire symbolizes list and passion which are destructive. But ambivalently it also symbolizes spiritual exhalative abut ambivalently it also symbolizes spiritual exaltation and purification.
The first lines of the wasteland “April is the cruelest month is an invention of the popular myth that April is a time of warmth love and joy. The chrotains connect it with Easter and the resurrection of Christ. In the fertility myths the coming of spring is associated with the growth of potency and fertility in mankind animals and the earth the trees and plants drawing life giving sap from the land through their roots grow leaves and flowers in their branches. The flowers eventually develop into fruits with seeds that are a promise of the life to come in the following years. But these things are anticipated in Eliot’s poem with fear rather than hope and thus April is cruel rather than the kind tiresias observes with dismay the coming of April and its perverse effect on the people of the wasteland. They fear the onset of the season of life giving rain since they are incapable of enjoying the mysterious process of the regeneration of the earth.
The myths and symbols of fertility and sterility are central to the first part of “the wasteland” These are noticed in the images of the Hyacinth girl Madam Sosostris, the plaoenecian sailor and the corpse in the garden which are linked to speculations on life. Life in death, death in life, decay and renewal winter and spring memory and desire (Past, Present). The fertility theme is projected through the symbolism of spring rain, wet hair vegetation and flowers. At the same time, it is contrasted with the dryness of the arid landscape. The dead trees provide no shelter the dry stones give no sound, if water caught between two shadows of morning and evening of youth and age the mankind is haunted by the fear of mortality and doons.
The two episodes of love in “The Burial of the Dead” are studies in contrast symbolizing the gulf separating the ecstasy of love from the frustrations in love. The Hyacinth girl standing in rain with flower in her arms is an image of youthful aspiration and passion that is bound to have a tragic end that is how Eliot the contsummate poet conveys his impression of the frustrations suffered by his contemporary generation.
The Sweeney image stresses the mental paralysis of humanity since it can neither understand nor speak about the terrible state in which it finds itself in the modern world of twentieth century.
Q.6 Discuss briefly Shelley of a romantic?
Ans. Romanticism emerged as the romantic movement or criticism in the last quarter of 18th century in Germany as criticism of prevailing neo classical models which emphasized. The mechanical and impersonal style of literature. Rationalism is regarded by them as greatest value and poetry for them is only a craft Dr. Johmoon wrote “the business of the poet is to examine not the individual but the specious. He must neglect the minute discrimination.
The peculiar quality of Romanticism lies in this that in apparently detaching us from the real world. It restores us to reality at a higher point. Intense emotion coupled with an intense display of imagery such is the frame of mind which supports and feels the new literature. Intense emotions of love beauty and patriotism are generally accompanied with an intense display of images. But when a poet medicates upon an object or an idea his intellect provides him with philosophy or a sublime strain of poetry rather than the glimmer of images.
Shelley’s skylark is a product of quivering imagination. The bird has been compared with a cloud of fire. On un bodied joy a star of heaven. The arrow of that silver sphere a poet hidden in the light of thought a high born maiden and with these images go intense emotions.
Shelley a romantic poet. Politically and socially the romantics in England supported republicanism liberty and equality of individuals. Shelley 1792, 1827 was a radical and un orthodox in his views and writings. His works contain metaphysics and radicalism clothed in beautiful lyrics and human passion and melancholy. In his essay a defense of poetry he writes that poetry is an expression of imagination and a poem is the very image of life expressed in its external truth. He considers imagination and reason as two classes of mental action. Reason is a synthesis and incorporates those forms which are common to universal nature and existence itself. Reason is the enumeration of qualities already known. The romantic writer decried down the importance attached to reason by the neo classics or Augustans. Reason is not regarded by the romantic poets as an infallible guide.
Imagination. The romantics criticize the rationalistic aesthetic of eighteenth century as mechanical regarding poetry as craftsmanship of a poet is to follow definite rules like making a clock or an engine. Blake rejected this emphasizes on reason and praised imagination. He considers imagination as Geo operating in the human mind. Wordsworth also stresses “the imagination also shapes and creates a sublime consciousness of the soul in her own mighty and almost divine powers. Imagination is a mysterious creative faculty. In a man and natural moving them towards perfection and unity and so it transcends reason cofesidge calls the bridge that links sensation and thought as “the shaping spirit of imagination Shelley writes Renson is to imagination as the body to the spirit, as the shadow to a substance. Imagination is mind acting upon those thoughts so as to colour them with its own light and developing from them other ideas. Imagination studies not differences but similitudes in things.
Inspiration:- In Romantic criticism inspiration is a pivotal concept it is Apollo the God of poetry in Greek mythology ‘the holy spirit’ in Christianity and collective unconsciousness in modern psychology. Shelley considers poetry as the result of in voluntary inspiration. He writes when composition begins inspiration is already on the decline.
Forms of poetry:- The romantic poets believe that forms of act and poetry centers on individualism emotions and inner or self expression of the poet so form of poetry to a large extent depend on the mode of expression of a poet. The Greek considered the gods as supreme man is only a puppet in the hands of gods and so the outer world and fate played a great part and so they considered drama special by tragedies as the highest form of art with romantics mans inner self his soul or spirit is the source of poetry so they write lyrics songs expressing their innate emotions feelings or ideas. For that reason even in lyrics, the poets follow individual forms in their poetry. Wordsworth Keats Coleridge or Shelley express their ideas or emotions in different forms. Shelley writes
that language colour form and religion civil habits of action are all instruments and materials of poetry. An observation of the mode of the recurrence of harmony in the language of a poetical mind together with relation to music, produced meter of certain system of traditional forms of harmony and language Shelley discarded even the distinction between a poet and prose. Writers as a Vulgar error. He considers distinction between a poet and a philosopher as meaningless. He regards Plato as poet.
Imagination inspiration individualism liberty equality of men and women rationalism and republicanism. Shelley was extremely dissatisfied with the political and social environment in England. He was disgusted with the violence and reaction all-round.
Critical summary of the poem The Trimph of Life ?
Ans. The triumph of life is Shelley’s last incomplete poem. He met his untimely death while writing this poem. So the long poem of 545 lines comes to an abrupt end with “Then What is life” than it remains a fragmentary poem yet regarded by critics as Shelley’s masterpiece. T.S. Eliot calls it Shelley’s finest work. Carles Baker says “The triumph of life is filled with solemn music and charged with deep melancholy. It is more nearly mature in the inward control and majestically dignified in its quiet outward demeanour.
A romantic and humanitarian poet who believed in liberty and love. Shelley is a poet with metaphysical vision a radical unorthodox person and a great lover of true liberty who hated tyrants and religious practices as shackles of humanity. He is a romantic and humanitarian poet who believed in liberty and love. He gives a new concept of a poet and poetry in his essay. A defense of poetry written in 1821 before his last poem A Triumph of life. So in his poem he holds a different view of a poet or poetry the poem thus describes Shelley’s sorrow and despair considering the triumph of life over the hidden innate divine vision of a perfect world of freedom, equality and love as its basic principles. Shelley begins the poem. Unfolding his philosophy of man but his death cut short his vision.
Poetry as “an expression of imagination. Shelley consider poetry as an expression of imagination” A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth. And poets who imagine and express this indestructible order are not only the authors of the language and of music of the dance and architecture and statuary and painting they are the institutions of laws and the founders of the civil society the inventors of acts of life and the teachers who see in flashes “the beautiful and the true that partial agencies of the invisible world called religion” poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. Thus poets are virtuous persons having the spark or invisible divine vision within them but moving towards perfection. They have creative faculty and with their ideas have advanced human civilization. In whole human progress from primitive time to modern age poets or thinkers sages and ruler have changed the world. The spirit within them and in the native have moved the world and are still moving it towards innate perfection the intellectual beauty, of the love liberty and equality.
The title of the poem suggests its theme. In the triumph of life Shelley is said the title of the poem suggests its theme. The triumph of worthy life making the spark of vision within man or a poet impelling him towards perfection getting weaker and distorted. Shelley was deeply dissatisfied with his life or life around and considered it as an impediment in the process of attaining perfection. In A?C. Bradley’s words, “He is haunted by the fancy that if he could only get at the one the external idea in complete aloofness from the many from life with all its change, decay struggle sorrow and evil. He would have reached the true object of poetry” so he writes.
Life like a dove of many colour glass
Stains the white radiance of Eternity.
Human civilization has advanced through the imagination and creative efforts of poets. In the triumph of life Shelley is sad that though a poet has a vision within him. The human civilization has advanced through the imagination and creative efforts of poets thinkers rulers artists etc. yet the progress towards perfection has been blended by the charms or power of the cold blinding glare of the triumphant life.
In the third part of the poem the triumph of life Rousseau describes great men and women, who had the divine spark within them but in their worldly pursuits or love of nature could not find time to look their innate into their innate self for the true guidance of the creative imagination and fell prey to the cold glare of the life and became a part of the captive multitudes. Shelley calls them poets whose imagination and wisdom advanced human civilization in the progress of human from primitive time they could have escaped slavery to life and remain free lie Socrates and Christ of they have looked into that soul and followed the true spirit. These men and women moving aimlessly with the sad vast procession chained by the cold light of the life are Plato. Aristotle, Alexander the great Dante, Napoleon a product of the great French revolution and later on trampling liberty as a tyrant. The fourth section of the poem is highly allegorical. Rousseau notice pope Gregory VII and other Popes Who have given Christian doctrine such as orthodox shape that it distorts the original simple principle bringing a shadow between man and God. Roseau like a true poet had the divine spark within
him. But he was corrupted by the nature. In the firth section of the poem Harold Bloom observes There is small region to doubt that Shelley at the end saw himself as having shared in Rousseau fate Shelley believed that in a true poet the power of imagination could redeem life but life always triumphs for luminaries like Rousseau all great men and women in the poem. The triumph of life are poets who had the divine spark within theme. They could regenerate life in the world but like Rousseau and Shelley like himself fell victim to the nature and charms of worldly life and are corrupted and deformed. In lines 472-75 Shelley describes that Dante was led through the lowest depths of hell and paradise with his beloved Beatrice.
Life could deform and corrupt everything but love Rousseau could not nurture properly the divine spirits dictates within him and is subdued by the life. The poem is full of despair and Shelley’s disenchantment of life. Whom he took as a lasting and loneliness. To conclude the great poem is a fragment so it cannot be printed out precisely how Shelley had completed it. Find for that reason it remains full of sorrow but a wonderful romantic poem of literature
Q.7 Critical appreciation?
Ans. Keats Hyperion is a fragment but very significant it deals with the story of the dethronement of titans by the Olympians Keats wanted to raise the poem to the epic grandeur of Milton’s paradise lost. But it does not come anywhere near Milton’s poem. It has only the elevated style but two fundamental characteristics of an epic great action and great characters are lacking.
Theme of the struggle between old order and new. Keat interwove into is fiber his entire philosophy of life and will be loved and remembered for the depth of its though and feelings the message Keats conveys is that older order must yield place to new and the struggle between the Titans and the Olympians assumes an allegorical significance in the light of the struggle between the haves and have not’s during French revolution. Oceanus tells the fallen titans that they must accept the supremacy of the new order.
Theme of beauty as creative force. Oceanus tells the theme of beauty as creative force explaining to the fallen gods that their fall was inevitable because they had started lacking in the creative force of the universe while the new generation of gods is above us in their beauty and must reign in right thereof, tis the eternal law that first in beauty should be first in might.
Personal element in the poem:- The third book of Hyperion touches upon Keats personal life. Apollo is no other than Keats himself. Keeping Milton before him as his model, Keats gave it the intensity and restraint of an epic, the discipline and structural coherence, firmness and integrity the connotative intensity and richness of imagery. He has been able to elevate the style to a large degree though it cannot match Milton’s maturity and perfection. His blank verse is fine but is deficient in Milton’s imagery and dramatic passion and movement.
Q8. Analyze Hyperion as an epic?
Ans. An epic is a narrative poem organic in structure dealing with great actions and great characters in a dignified style commensurate with the loftiness of the theme. In an epic there is an attempt to idealize its chief characters with the embellishment of its subject and action by means of episodes and implications.
Keats Hyperion as an epic. In view of the definition of epic we may say that it lacks great action and great characters though its theme is lofty and style elevated. Milton’s epic paradise lost was a model before him and every ambitious poet thought of a long narrative poem so that he is remembered by the posterity as a great poet. Alexander and Pope Dryden also made
attempt and successfully wrote long poem though moderate in length. Keats could not complete even three books and thus failed to write full fledged epic with twelve books as normally it is presumed to be the length of along narrative.
Life of action As we analyze this poem we find it deficient in action. Milton’s paradise lost is vibrating with action. When we find Satan and his allies the fallen angles clamoring for action and show their uncompromising spirit with their struggle against the supreme authority they are prepared to go to all extent to avenge their defeat . Here in this poem the fallen angels including Saturn their chief leader is in a mood of submission and there is no sign of revolt or challenge to the opposition. There is complete dismay ad spirit of submission and surrender in their camp though momentarily they awake at the
instance of Escalades and supported by Hyperion the God of sun. Hyperion appears at this critical juncture who is already shaken and feels disheartened to see fallen angels as passive as ever. If we compare the two scenes Milton’s treatment of angels is full of action and enthusiasm as they declare and take a vow that it is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven. They are virtually superior in strength and action and are not prepared to accept the superiority and supremacy of God. Keats fallen gods do not give the impression that they would adopt an aggressive altitude and would fight to the finish as it happens in Milton’s paradise lost.
Characters do not rise to great height. Similarly we notice that character too do not rise to great height as they remain submissive and inactive throughout thus Hyperion not only lacks great action. It lacks great characters too, because it is only by virtue of the action that character establishes his supremacy. Keats character being super human-big in size and stature but do not retain greatness by virtue of great action, rather they take no action and it is a big lacuna in this poem which dilutes its reputation as an epic. It is true that Keats character d not act according to their status and ability.
Style So far style of the poem is concerned it is befittingly elevated and dignified. It can sensate the loss which hit suffers on account of little action. No great action is planned or expected on any level. Keats’s seems to have learnt a lot from Milton’s and make this poem equally rich in expression. He has made an occurrence at use of Milton’s inversion. He has tried to elevate the language to Milton’s height. There is complete restraint on the part of poet who does not indulge in any superficiality and superfluous material. The rhythm is stately and dignified there is lucidity of outline and dignified march of doubt but it lacks stately action.
Lyrical quality weakens the character of Epic:- Besides Hyperion possesses on added beauty of its own that is its lyrical qualify though it is contrary to the spirit of epic with war like atmosphere yet Keats being genius of lyrical poetry introduces lyrical qualify of which further weakens its character and reputation as an epic.
The poem is lovable:- Of course he takes up Apollo once more and Book III is entirely dedicated to the history of his own soul thus the third book of Hyperons has a charm of its own we find whole panorama of flowers giving sweet fragrance all around while narrating Apollo he gives him knowledge enormous and “makes a god of me” As a matter of fact Keats’s reputation as writer of lyrical poetry especially and odes, makes the critic think that he would be marvelous here in epic as well but they found some basic qualities of epic poetry missing it should not be forgotten that despite his failua as an epic writer this poem has appeal and it is a lovable poem it lacks a few ingredients of epic poetry but does not lack all and allegorical significance the sustained elevation of style goes in its favour the gigantic figure are undoubtedly stately figure of course not acting accordingly.
Imitation and reminiscence of Mitton:- It has an elevated style and its opening is very impressive appropriate to an epic thus Keats maintains epic like tone and grandeur by adopting Milton’s method Mr. Pedley quotes the passage “ His place bright flushed angrily” which suggests Miltonic voice and imagination so we find here and there the imitation and reminiscences of Milton both verbally and an idiom frequently.
A memorable literary piece:- With all its drawbacks Hyperion is a lovable poem it presents a thesis of life in a concrete shape. Though it deals with superhuman characters yet it retains human character, it has its artistic beauty which makes it a memorable literary piece.
To memorable literary piece. To conclude Hypeuon is free from superfluous material and there is no loading of every lift with ore. As in other languor poem like Endymion there are no
irrelevant episodes and phantom journeys through subterranean corridors and submarine caves. As it has been rightly summed up by one critic. “Hyperion presents a Greek theme in the Greek manner with Miltonic echoes nevertheless a new and original creation with merits and drawbacks all its own yet a symbolic meaning enters to quicken and ancient myth a new life.
Q.9 Discuss Hyperion as a political allegory?
Ans:- Meaning of allegory:- Hyperion is an allegory means it has multiple meaning and the real purpose of writer is quite different from what it appears to the eyes. In other words we may say that storey can be interpreted in more than one way and the readers should not give undue importance to the surface story so an allegory is a story which has different meaning to convey one should not go after its surface meaning but should go deep and find out the real purpose or intention of the writer.
Allegory and political repression:- As a matter of fact it is quite obvious that during political repression it is an extremely risky step to criticize the govt. or the powers to be writers resort to allegorical stories the artists are sensitive lot and they cannot remain quiet when nation is facing crisis and there is no way out they may wish to censure the govt. but cannot do for fear of retaliatory action by govt.
Romantic writers wrote for a cause of the oppressed.
All the romantic writers were enamored of liberty equality and fraternity of human being Shelley and Byron were the fire brand leaders who openly came out to save the poor from the clutches of unscrupulous and immoral capitalists, landlords and employers. Keats too was against the present situation in which a poor person like him were to face humiliation and censorship and sometimes persecution. View convey implicitly and not explicitly:- Thus the writers want to convey their views to the public implicitly and not explicitly as it would have invited the wrath of the govt. so they write about Gods and Goddess and thereby convey their actual message and meaning.
The titans and Saturn represent the ancient regime and political system before the French revolution:- Politically the Titans represent the ancient regime and the political system before the French revolution they stand for kingship and one man’s rule. Like a king of the ancient regime. Saturn has ruled alone like dictator with absolute authority when he is defeated and over thrown he also sits alone and thus maintains his identity as distinct personality thus stern an absolute monarch is sitting alone, benefit of all powers, crest fallen and defected. He is utterly confused and reacts with despair unable to think. He has been a ruthless ruler and was so blinded by power that he could not suspect the simmering fire of revolt. Oceanus tells him that he was never wide awake and was blind from sheer supremacy.
Saturn is led by others and a female deily. .So naturally he is upset. He does not know why it so happened and what he should do next. He is still boastful and sporadically talks of his former glory and majesty. He offers no idea at the Titans conference as way out. He is asked by other duties to join the other Titans if he could not lead them former position of power. Ultimately he is led by others as he is completely shaken and finds no support from any quarter. Saturn is led by a female diety indicates that formal regime with its value is over and is taken by new revolutionary council it represents the end of patriarchal system in which old, male duties govern and their authority goes unchallenged. Goddesses are relatively unimportant and play secondary role.
Dethronement of satern means replacement of kingship by democracy. Escalades is spokesman of warring element. He stands for war and for all those who favoured patriarchal system the forces which overthrew them were the radical who be lieved that kings indulged in their game of selfishness and greed and they soldeom gave any consideration to the poor masses whom they ruled thus the reactionary forces against the monarchy revolted and crushed the king and destroyed one man rule.
To conclude we say Hyperion is key figure in this political allegory. He stands for aristocracy since he is allied to the king in all state matters, he wields power but he is worried to see the pitiable condition of Saturn. Hyperion is motivated by self interest. He adopts the policy of aloofness from the rest of Titans. He represents on aristocrat class which is selfish and is guided solely by self interest. He supports the king with the vain hope that with the restoration of kingship his position will remain safe and secure and he would be able to enjoy all privileges
and luxuries unchecked Hyperion does reflect his involvement in the new ideas and concepts which brought French revolution and the air was thick with political turmoil and the ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity gathered moment.
Q 10:- An epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot Popes self dramatization in the poem?
Ans:- Self justification and a defence:- Pope’s professed purpose in writing An epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot as he states in the advertisement to the poem was to supply to his readers true and accurate information about his own person his morals and his family. He felt it necessary to do so because some of his literary enemies had been maligning him for various reasons because they were Tealors of success as a poet. However, the immediate provocation in writing this poem was a publication of a poem entitled verses addressed to the imitator of Horace by Lord Harvey. Therefore the Epistle can be called an apologia a self justification and a defence. Therefore it is quite understandable that pope should project a flattering image of himself showing himself to be a faultless man, a pardgon of virtues praising himself and his friends and justifying his attacks on opponents considering it as his duty as a poet to satirize bad poets as well as nobles who are hostile to him. He also asserts that his poem will offered only those who are vicious and ungenerous. Acting on the advice of his fried Dr. Arbuthnot he has refrained from naming his enemies so that they should not become a laughing stock of the people.
Autobiographical part one of the three divisions of the poem:-
Broadly the poem can be divided into three poets attack on bad poets in general and patrons attack on his enemies and autobiographical. In most of the lines we see lines are devoted to the praise of Dr. Arbuthnot.
A born poet encouraged by parents to write poetry:- He tells the readers that he was a born poet. He chose to be a poet and writing of poetry was his consolation in his life which he calls a long disease. He published what he wrote because eminent writers and critics praised his work and wanted him to publish. And he also states that when critics attacked him he did not hit back and kept his peace. In lines 125-27 he dramatizes himself why did he write? For what sin of his own or that of his parents he began to write poetry? And he also calls writing an idle trade.
Lover of solitude serenity peace and poetry:- In lines 261-304 he states that he always desired for solitude and serenity as a poet and wished to lead a simple like in the company of his friends or of his favourite books. He was not interested in politics people refused to believe that he had no other interest in life except writing then he clarifies that as a satirist he did not harm the innocent or honest persons. The targets of his lash were those who disturbed the peace of their neighbors who lie libel are vain, swear falsely or criticize badly. In these lines pope asserts that his concern was with the moral in life as well as in his poetry.
A defence of his Satire on moral basis:- In lines 360-405 pope explains to Arbuthnot he reasons for satirizing his enemies. Arbuthnot asks pope why he continues to write satire “ to insult the poor and
affront the great” pope states in his defence that satire does not discriminate between the poor and the great. He then informs his friend that for ten years he has been standard and abused and names of bitter enemies. Some of them have even insulted his father a truly virtuous and blameless person pope expresses the wish to lead a simple and virtuous life like that of his father and die like him peacefully.
He idealizes himself as a man and a poet:-
In the last 14 lines pope wishes that this friend Arbuthnot should enforce domestic happiness curing the sufferings and pains of the sick and afflicted. An analysis of the autobiographical passages shows that pope has attempted to present himself not as what he is but what he wished others to believe about him. He idealizes himself as a man and as a poet. He tells us in this poem that he served his sick mother with great love and care but his mother has died two years before the publication of this poem. Also he had some good friends and he valued their friendship and tried to retain them as his friends. It is also true that he was a born poet and began to publish quite early in his life and attained fame poetry to sublimate his sufferings his anger and frustration. Besides that all that pope states in his autobiographical passage is incorrect exaggerated and is due to his desire to dramatize himself. He tells us as if he did not
like writings poetry but the fact is that he enjoyed writing it worked hard on his poems revising and extending them. His claim that he did not seek the friendship of the great of his age is also incorrect. He sought them and cultivated them. He wrote because of his personal animosity and not on moral grounds. The worst about Pope’s behaviors his diatribe against bad poets these poor creatures had not doubt false notions about their talent and attempted to make a living by their pens. Such poets and writers are more to be pitied than satirized and ridiculed. He devotes a great deal of space in his poem to such poets who pester him and torment him at all times and at all places.
Q 11:- Portraits in the poem?
Ans:- Portraits of minor poets revealing Pope’s grudge and malice:- There are two kinds of portraits of his opponents in An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Those whom pope considered minor fries are caricatured in a line or two and thus dismissed the list of these men is given below from which it appears that pope attacked even those poets who deserved to be ignored. This shows how vindictive pope was some minor poets attacked pope in their poems. Pope also bore a grudge against them. In attacking Bentley Tibald and Tate Pope showed his malice and falsifies his own statements in the poem that he accepted all criticism without reacting to his critics. His attack on Bentley was most unfair and unjustified. Bentley was a great classical scholar and had edited the works of Milton. Then there are the portraits somewhat detailed of those whom he considered his worst enemies. Among them are Ambrose Philip, John Dennis Colley Cibber etc. Pope devotes some lines to Philip in which he accuses him of stealing material for his poems from other writers. He ignores critics line Dennis.
Most sustained libelous obscene vulgar attack on Lord Harvey:-
Pope’s most sustained Libelous Obscene Vulgar attack is made on Lord Harvey whom he names as Sporus. In this poem, in an earlier poem he had nicknamed him as Lord Fanny and was thus the first to provoke Lord Harvey. He devotes 28 lines to lampooning Lord Harvey and coins choicest epithetical to hit him some of the most telling epithets are “that thing of silk” that white curd of Ass’s milk this Bug with gilded wings” this painted child of Dirt that stinks and stings” He describes him as a dull headed and thick skinned man who can not understand whether the other man is talking. Seriously or mockingly he is such an insignificant fellow that it is waste of time to satirize him. He is a weak and in effective fellow no better than an insect with artificial wings coated with golden colour . He has the bad habit of painting his face to look attractive while he is actually like a dirty child who stinks.
A flatterer and “personification of his own contradictions:- He is a puppet of Walpole the Prime Minister. He has and access to Queen Caroline and Whispers in her ear words which Pope compress with the speech of Serpent (Satan) to Eve which made him disobey Gods Command. He talks politics invents false incidents tells lies uses puns and rhymes. He is obscene in his talk and attacking a stable mind he goes on talking of this or that at one time he will talk about exalted things and at another time about vulgar things. He is personification of his own contradictions and is always expressing contradictory views.
George Bubble Codington and Earl of Halifax Satired in the portrait of Buffo.
Buffo is two characters rolled into one George Bubble Codington and the Eacl of Halifax who symbolize in the poem false and unworthy patrons. Such patrons in the popes age had more than one poets under their patronage they were actually false and did not sincerely extend their patronage to the poets they seemingly patronized. In Bugo’s Library were busts of ancient poets and also a headless statue of the Greek poets Pindar. Poets who sought Bufos patronage flattered him by admiring his artiste taste and also praised his great mansion. However in portraying Addison pope has raised above personal feelings of animosity and vindictiveness as evidenced in every other character sketch. But immediately after paying his brief tributes to Addison pope arrows as charge sheet against Addison. He paints out with regret that this man so highly gifted has developed some serious faults. He has become
dictatorial and rules like a tyrant over the Kingdom of letters. He has scores for fellow poets and considers no one as his equal and feels fellows of a poet who seems to have achieved equal eminence. He hates those who try to achieve eminence in the way he himself did he wants to attack openly the reputation of some other poets but he is too timid to do. He lacks the generosity to praise poets who discuss to be praised openly.
Q 12:- Imagery in the poem?
An:- The poem is a condensed autobiography on the whole cause and patterns of pope’s life and on his motives and reasons for being a poet and a satirist it is an attempt at self justification, self education and self definition. The poet is defending his personal integrity. The poet makes us to understand how has been forced to change from a poet of pure description to one of satire and how he was motivated in doing so not by malevolence but the simple desire to live in peace and honour with family and friends. The Epistle thus presents us with a vivid close up of with many year as they affected the literary world popes views on good lasting poetry are also indirectly revealed. The poem also describes to an extent the process of Popes personal development his growth as a satirist. He defends his satire on the ground that he selected his friends on pure merit was not misled by wealth power fashion.
Popes imagery in the poem is an integral part of poem and has been used to achieve an effect which no amount of direct description could have achieved. They are never entirely decorative. Also the heroic couplet demands compression and this compression can be attained with the help of imagery or figures of speech because one image can do what a paragraph cannot do. At times the compression is so intense that the image do not seem to be images at all. The poem opens with pope resisting the invasion of his home and privacy by a horde of insectile and variously deranged bad poets. In a way pope is surrounded and tortured by a swarm of insects or a pack of hounds which “renew” the charge and stop the chariot. Dog Star Sirius reappears in late summer heat which is traditionally a time of satiric rage. It is dangerous in the ascendant to sanity one thinks of mad dogs and mad men. But it was the customary time for public recitals of poetry in Ancient Rome.
The two major animal images used by pope throughout the poem are of a dog and as ass the ass taken literally as a symbol of stupidity and not as a vulgarized metaphor which it has become of late pope seems to suggest that the royal courts set in motion the process of corruption in sound judgment and good taste Midas receives his asses ears for wrongly judging that pan was a better poet than Apollo. These ears are a mark of his folly. The second time ASS’s milk is contemptuously used in connection with sporus. Brought up on ass’s milk lord Harvey is too insensitive and foolish to even realize that he is being ridiculed. The reference however is both ironic and incongruous because ass’s milk was commonly described as a tonic in all weakly constitutions as being more easily digestible than even cow’s milk and pope himself was advised a valetudinary diet. Soon thereafter pope calls sporus a well bred spaniel with dares not bite whose smiles betray emptiness. Pope describes savage as a puppy who was said to have lived in convivial familiarity with the town authors and to have secretly supplied pope with scandalous anecdotes about them like a poppy he fetched and carried in his mouth the works of all the muses. Even though pope himself was the beneficiary he sees the wits and witlings as disease carrying insects. Sporus is supposed to have a cherub’s face and a reptile’s body pope stresses that he is a true Christian to prove that he is a far superior poet and human being than those he has been satirizing in the poem. He pays his debts
believes in a God and says his prayers Pope is the Christian son of Christian parents an obedient loving and devoted son of an ailing mother.
Dryden himself described Mac Flecknoe as varronian satire in his essay Discourse on Satire and Varro is described as “Studious of laughter. His business was more to divert his reader than to teach him”. Thus Dryden intending this work too as a satire Mac Flecknoe is a mock epic in which Dryden attempted to satirize ridicule and lampoon Shadwell who had attacked him violently in his poem. The Medal of John Bayes Bul it was a larger purpose as well namely the purpose of attacking the common run of versifiers of his period as well as the public taste which appreciated and thus encouraged such literary men.
Flecknoe was a Catholic priest who had pretensions to being a literary man. He wrote some plays and poetry Flecknoe is depicted to be monarch of kingdom of Dullness and father of the Prince of Dullness and nonsense. The portrait of Shadwell the prince of dullness is a superb lampoon and caricature Dryden selects one trait dullness and builds up the poem around his theme. The poems them is that Flecknoe selects Shadwell as his successor to his throne of kingdom of dullness in preference to all other of his children Dryden stung to the quick by Shadwell’s attack on him was not concerned with his merit as a poet, his main concern was to make him the archetype of all bad in competent poets.
Shadwell then is a falling off from the ideal poet. He is depicted in terms of inadequacy as someone lacking the essential spiritual qualities that make the poet. As a man he lacks his essential and full attributes of man. This is very clear from Dryden’s use of the term human things for both father and son and also for all the denizens of the realms of Nonsense absolute Shadwell like the essential poetic qualities of invention the ability to create life like the rational creatures of the Almighty Poet. The true poet according to Dryden by his art imitates the creative impulse of nature.
It is said that Mac Flacon is not a satire. In the light of the above observation, it can be stated that Mac Flecknoe is not a satire. No doubt it is very amusing but its aim is not to reform its victim. Right from the start to the end the poem sets in motion a process of annihilating the victim. Both Mac Flecnoe and Shadwell father and son have been depicted as supreme embodiment of dullness and nonsense. He considers them less than human because he used the phrase ‘ human things’ for them. It should also be noted that for Dryden both Mac Flecknoe and Shadwell are archetypes of bad poets and dramatists. Shadwell’s dullness is reflected in his come lies and characters. A genuine poet according to Dryden is inventive capable of creating life and has spiritual values but these two poets lack these essential qualification, for a poet Dryden extends his attack on all poetasters of his age. His criticism of many contemporary writers on his age is pure and simple denunciation and is to a certain extends highly unfair Shadwell was a mediocre writer and some of his comedies were very popular in the period. And this is what a writer of invective is he is deliberately unfair to his victim and refuses to recognize any merit whatsoever in him. In this poem Dryden’s hatred for Shadwell MacFlecknoe and their kind is naked. Though the modern reader does not know anything about Flecknoe and Shadwell yet. He can immensely enjoy the lampoon, the comic and the satire that is found in abundance in this poem. The poem also proves that Dryden was a great wit and had a deep perception of the incongruous and the ridiculous in life and knew how to use his perception of the incongruous and ridiculous in this poem as well as in his other satirical poems.
Church going is one of those poem of Larkin that throw liquid on his agnosticism and his perfectly rational out look towards religion and religious ceremonies. It was written in 1954 and was included in the value. The less Deceived the 1950’s was a period of a general decline in the attendance of the church going people. According to Stephen Region at the beginning of 1950 less than ten percent of the population were church gars. Thus is appears to Larkin that Gods home was fast getting deserted and desolated. However his dilemma is not for God or the Church but what to put in Gods place. Andrew Motion therefore remarks that larkin here is concerned not with religion but with going to church. According to him that time is not far off when people world stop going to the Churches because they would have lost all their faith in God and the holy rituals. Their rationality althosm, or secularism would put all the churches to disuse. They will turn into ruined towers. Yet some inner compulsions some desire for wisdom or spiritual consolation will provoke some people to visit some churches. Thus the poem ends with the secularistic approach of the poet towards the church.
In this way the poet agrees and asserts that the church is a “serious” house, something that has a very special place in man’s life. It is a place where all our compulsions meet. Here we seek wisdom from the huge pile of graves and it is something that never can be obsoletes. The poet foresees that the growing skepticism and agnosticism will dissuade more and more people to go to church. Yet the significances of the church for mans spiritual and intellectual needs cannot be undermined. Church going as a ritual, habit or tradition is irrational and the modern skeptic Englishman would find the church service as mere hocus-pocus uninteresting, futile and useless. The poem to a very large extent presents his vision of the poet. His tone is altogether ironical and mockish.
Next the poet speculates what would happen to the majestic churches when the people would completely stop going there. In that situation only a few of churches could be converted into museums. The other Churches would fall in complete disuse with the rain falling freely upon them and the sheep coming to graze there. However, superstition might still inspire a few stray unknown women to visit those ghostly and deserted church. They might look to them for magical cures for concur and other deadly diseases. They might hope for seeing the spirits of their nears and dears berried in the church yard. The last part of the poem makes the poet serious and he acknowledges that the church is a serious house on earth. He asserts that in future the church goers would be fewer but its spiritual significances would not be lost. Rather it would stand as a place of emotional and spiritual solace even in those times when agnosticism and skepticism have swept off peoples belief in God.
The title of the poem Andrew Motion things is suggestive of a union of the important stages of human life birth marriage and death which going to church represents. In other words the poem describes a strictly secular faith and its authors speculations about what church would become when they have fallen completely out of use. The speculations lead the poet to conclusion in which the fear of death and the loss of religious belief are counter acted by a shakable faith in human and individual potential.
The Whitsun Weddings is from the collection. The Whitsun Weddings published in 1964 it is distinguished for ease poise balance and in collusiveness (P.R.King) George Macbeth regards it as Larkin’s most famous poem written since 1945. It has the same blend of restrained feeling as Gray’s “Elegy written” in a country church yard. The poems of this collection generally conform to the altitudes and styles associated with the movement. The speaker during his journey to London sees Wedding parties boarding the train at different stations on Whitsun Sunday. He remains detached and rather an involved in the happiness of Wedding parties and sees things without wallowing in sentimentalism. There is more of local colour in this poem than in his other poems. The first two Stanzas are excellent evocation of panorama of English rural and urban lands capes. The very movement of the train is caught in the depiction of the scenes such as following back of the backs of the houses closing of a street of blinding Windscreen. The rivers level of drifting breath to the farm land of Lincoln Shire. The slow movement of the train is reflected in the slow movement of the verse. The poet’s references to a particular time when he boarded the train to the most of the compartments lying empty. In fact every detail given in the first two stanzas heightens the realism.
The subsequent five Stanzas portray the feelings and behavior of the people gathered on the platforms of different stations to see off the newly wedson. The accurate delineation of the manners and the emotions of the wedding party’s tespedes to his power observation. At first the speaker did not take notice of the noise made by the wedding parties on the platform because he was appressed by the heat of the sun. The poet seems to satirize the behavior of the Young girls with his reference to their grinning pomaded and parodies of fashion, but at the same time compassion and sympathy gleam through the lines. The girls share the happiness of the bride and their joy is deepened by the prospeel of their own marriages. This pleasantly amusing sight sharpened his curiosity to watch closely the altitude of the elderly people. The poet describes vividly how different sections of people who composed the wedding parties viewed the proceedings on the platform. The fathers felt that the whole affair was at once gorgeous and farcical. For the mothers, it was a secret like a ‘happy funeral’. The girls who held their handbags tightly looked proceeding it as ‘a religious wounding’.
The poet witnesses the whole proceeding like a detached contemplative artist ‘single and the married couples in the carriage yet he is caught up by them quickened into a sense of physical existence in time. In the concluding lines poet’s involvement is discernible. The newly married couples who watched the landscape sitting side by side were managed into a harmonious entity by the journey. He prayed for the fulfillment and portion of the marriage in the shape of progeny. As the train reached Landon the journey symbolizes the change taking place in the lives of couples. The slowing down the train for tells their settling down to a happy life in London. The poem may be interpreted as dealing with the English society as a whole by its presentation of panoramic lands capes and couples symbolizing not only the re-juvenating changes but hopes of fulfillment in the future which is still a remote possibility.
Donne was the founder of metaphysical school of poetry which was a revolt against the romantic conventionalism of Elizabethan love poetry. The term Metaphysical was applied to the poetry of Donner and his followers first by Dryden and then by Dr. Johnson, Dr. Johnson borrowed Dryden’s idea and in his life of Cowley called Cowley a poet of the metaphysical school of Donne. The term metaphysical denotes according to saints bury, “ the habit common to this express something after something behind the simple obvious first sense and suggestion of a subject. As metaphysical means ‘beyond physical’ the term is rightly applied to the poets like Donne Cowley. Herbert and Marvell as in their poetry there is the habit of always seeking to express something after something behind.
T.S Eliot A.C Ward on the metaphysical poetry.
The main characteristics of their poetry is planty of passion combined with intellectual activity T.S. Eliot thinks that ‘passionate thinking’ is the chief mark of metaphysical poetry. The metaphysical poetry lays stress on the fantastic, on the intellectual on wit on learned imagery on conceits based on the psychology of flights from the material to the spiritual plane, on obscure and philosophical allusions and on the blending of passion and thought. According to
A.C. Ward the metaphysical style is a combination of two elements the fantastic in form and style and the incongruous in matter and manner.
(a) The metaphysical poets want to say something that has never been said before they play with words and ideas and look up occult resemblances in things apparently unlike. (b) They make excessive use of the figures of speech and hyperbole. Their similes and metaphors are far-fetched and are often drawn from unfamiliar sources. (c) Their imagery is logical and intellectual rather than sensuous or emotional.
Contribution of the Poets to literature.
(1) The metaphysical poets have given to the English language its best religious poetry. (2) In the field of love poetry too the contribution of the metaphysical poets is considerable and quite important from the historical point of view. Donne started a vein of highly realistic frankly sensual and sometimes downright cynical amatory verse. He was critical of the Elizabethan lyricists who put their mistresses real or imaginary on the pedestal of a diety and pretended to woo them as their “servants” dying or living in accordance with their moods of rejection or acceptance of their supplications.
Donne’s poetry is lyrical religious or amatory. His style is sometime startling in a sudden beauty of phrase and melody of diction. Moreover there are sudden unexpected turns of language and figure of speech, but his historical importance lies in the fact that he initiated the Metaphysical school of poetry Herbert’s poems entitled. The Temple are peculiarly honest intimate, sincere and modest. In Cowley the metaphysical strain had become feeble. Andrew Marvels poem bear more affinity to the Elizabeinans than to the metaphysical. But his poem To His Coy Mistress. Indicates his metaphysical blend of passion and fantastic concert handed by his distinctive control and poise.
Donne is considered the greatest love poet. But his concept of love was not platonic spiritual or intellectual. He believed that love purely of thoughts and ideas was just nonsense. Basically a truly love was something physical a sexual pleasure a union of the male and the female. But the uniqueness and greatness of Donne’s love poetry is that he explains that it is physical love that matures and perfects itself in intellectual or spiritual love. In brief union of the odies of the love and the beloved is a precondition to the exalted spiritual love Flea is one such poem where Donner emphasizes love merges with the spiritual or intellectual love.
The Flea is a dramatic lyric when the lover makes a strange plea to his beloved to consent for a sexual relationship with him thus he says.
Mark but this Flea and mark in this. How little that which thou deny’s is meaning thereby that whereas she allows the flea to suck at her body. She rejects his right of sex with her. She would notice that first it has sucked his blood and then hers and in this way their bloods mingle in its body as they do in sexual intercourse. The flea has enjoyed in a way a union with her without any courtship or marriage yet this is not considered any loss of honour. There is no shames no loss of honour. Neither is it sin. The Flea enjoys all this before any license of right.
He is unhappy that he has been denied the premarital sex with his beloved. The poem to a large extent demonstrates Donne’s excellent use of conceit and wit. As the beloved gets ready to kill the flea the lover asks her to stay and not to kill the poor creature. Their bloods have been united together in its body as they are united thought marriage in church. So its body is a temple in which they have been married. Their bloods have got mixed u into the Flea’s body. In other words the fusion of their bloods amounts to a kind of sexual intercourse. The love poet’s argument is both strange and peculiar. He says that since the beloved has no objection to their union onside the flea’s body, she would also have no objection to yield to him. Therefore the lover asks the beloved not to kill the flea. It would amount to triple murder. The flea has three lives within its body a part of the lovers a part of the beloveds and its own life. Hence the beloved should spare it. It is really very amusing to note how deeply Donne uses religious terms for the trivial act of killing a fleas. The beloved herself admits that the loss
of a drop of blood which the flea has sucked her in no way weak. Besides there has been no loss of honour as well . Thus the poem powerfully demolishes the platonic altitude towards love sex or physical union is the first condition of love. The poem makes a fantastic demonstration of a supremely great poet of wit and conceit.
Twicknam Garden is a sonorous and thoughtful lyric. The poem was addressed to the counters Lucy of Bed ford a cultured and accomplished lady of the seventeenth century. She entertained a friendly affection for Donne the poet which could hardly be given the name of love. The poets a sad and forlorn lover finds himself an a mood of defection. Even nature fails to soothe his tormented soul. It is a song of sorrow pervaded by nothing except the bleakness of despair it expressed the anguish of a lover’s heart who has fallen a prey to sorrow and who cannot drown it even in nature. For its sombri atmosphere and intensity of grief the poem has not been surpassed by any lyric in English poetry. It is a passionate outburst of sorrow expressing Yearings of unfulfilled love. The lady to whom it is addressed was never in love with Donne, it is possible that Donne mis-constructed her friendly regard for him.
According to medieval and mystical conception Ecstasie is a trance like state in which the soul leaves the body comes out and holds communion with the Divine. In this the souls on the lover and the beloved come out of the body and converse with each other. The poet’s purpose is to bring out the essentially sensuous and spiritual physical basis of spiritual love. The poem for its background has number of medieval beliefs and Philosopher. First the idea of the soul’s coming out of the body is derived from plotions who believed in a moment of trance the soul comes out of the body and converses with the divine. In the poem the souls of the lovers come out of the body and converse with each other and the mystery of love is thus resolved.
Secondly according to the medieval psychology the soul of man was supposed to be compounded out of three different elements (1) the animal or sensual soul closely bound to the body (2) the logical or reasoning human soul (3) intellectual soul. Thirdly according to another belief the blood contains certain power or spirits which together make up the soul. The poem has skillfully combined the Renaissance and the Modern. The purpose of the poem is to show the real nature of love as having its basis in the physical and the serious. James Reeves regards it as a great metaphysical poem in which there is a perfect reconciliation of the spiritual and the physical.
The Cannonization is a poem by John Donne whose poetry is marked by sparkling wit beautiful fancies and metaphor and deep personal tone. He is recognized as the greatest of the so called metaphysical poets whose works were full of unconventional and for fetched images and conceits drawn from the most unlikely sources. His poetry exhibited a dramatic power and an individuality. The theme of the Connonization is love which is selfless and saintly affection as worthy of respect or worship Donne’s love is both of body and soul. It is both romantic and sensual. Here he presents a love which is physical passion and the lovers really believe in sexual indulgence. Their bodies become one but so do their souls as in a religious mystery. The poet wants his friend who tries to discourage him from making love to shut his mouth and allow him to love without hindrance.
The poem has all the characteristics of metaphysical poetry. It is dramatic and argumentative. Donne’s poet is a blend of thought and feeling.
Q 15 :- Victorian period in Literature?
Ans:- The Victorian age in English Literature takes its name from Queen Victoria of Great Britain who ascended the throne in 1837 and was monarch until her death in 1901 prior to the Victorian age was romanticism.
The great Victorian poets are undisputedly Tennyson Browning and Mathew Arnold and each in his own way was influenced by the masters of the Romantic age. Early Tennyson was very powerfully under the influence of Keats and in certain respects excelled him. The intensity born out of the association of the Romantic poets with nature and the individual passions of men is not to be found in the poetry of Victorian poets but Tennyson’s Wider response to a variety of emotions attached with love War medievalism Browning’s treatment of the theme of patriotism liberation and the complex psychology of men and Arnold’s criticism of life with its portrait of the Victorian ‘ Sick hurry and divided aims or his vision of his generation as hanging between “one dead and the other powerless to be born” is not to be found in the poetry of romantic revival. The Victorian poets more importantly discovered a suitable medium for themselves
Tennyson’s exquisite discovery of the music of the English language, Browning’s discovery of the dramatic monologue and Arnold’s revesal to the classical model. They have tried their level best to expand themes and techniques of their poems Browning was to become more confident and liberal ideal, the scientific changes and desire to explore English language to its depths not for the resonance and mellifluousness as Tennyson desired but for a nakedness of speech of a highly compelling quality, became his all consuming pursuit. From the words like church Bible, Vivers it is clear that the religious flavour was abundantly found in the Victorian poems. We get strong messages after going through Victorian poem. Because the themes are often of religious significances. The themes of these poems have a great appeal for the common man and they seem relevant to all ages. Because the way they had been universalized by the Victorian poets. She accent on the Bible as a source of guidance in life underlined the importance of authority and an object of worship for all Englishmen. Sexual love becomes an important poetic subject in the Victorian period in a way that it had not been for the Romantic poets Browing’s poetry has a more than usually strongly felt awareness of sexuality so conclude we can say as it is also said in Victorian criticism that the growth of evolutionary and biological science and rationalism played have with religious faith. Faith in old ideals and value was shaken so that one can say with Tennyson that the old order was changing yielding place to the new.
Q 16:- Modernist poets and post modernist poets?
Ans:- The Modernism tag is used to cover the poetry of mostly 20th Century poets like Ezra pound Yeats T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden it incorporates a variety of cultural tendencies post dating naturalism. These poets tried to experience a subtle relationship between material and spiritual world. It was during the First World War modernism found expression in movements such as post impressionism cubism imagism Vorticism and later in expressionism dada and surrealism. The modernists represented an abrupt break with all tradition. The modernists believed in the aesthetic autonomy of a work of act as it is clear from Eliot’s views on poetry.
Post modernism has been looked at by different critics in different dimensions and ways. Irving Howe and Harry Levi looked at post modernism disappointedly as a descend from great modernist experiments. The modernism has been profoundly influenced by friend. According to a famous critic Hab Hassan modernism insists on purpose while post modernism emphasizes play modernism values chance design post modernism value chance modernism asserts tantalization post modernism asserts deconstruction. Modernism thrusts upon genre and boundary post modernism thrust upon text and inter text, modernism gives value to determinacy and transcendence while post modernism gives value to indeterminacy and immense. Post modernism is now a well established term that describes not only literature but the second half of the 20th century culture as a whole but in France these post modernism term was replaced by neo modernism.
Modernism is English poetry reflected post war dis-illuminated the import of science and industrial society and an elite cosmopolitanism. The literary movements like symbolism imagism classicism surrealism socialism etc. contributed to its emergence. As far as the modernist’s poet are concerned we have long list of poets who come under this umbrella. These poets are Dylan Thomas Larkin and Yeats and many more. Different modernist and post modernist poet have defined poetry in its different decisions Dr. Johnson terms poetry as the act of uniting pleasure with truth. Some poets say that nothing depends upon the subject of poetry but all upon the treatment subject. Some poets have different views about poetry as they say that the greatness of literature cannot be determined solely by literacy standards. Some say that poetry is a state of particular facts which obscures and distorts that which should be beautiful.
Q 17- Justify the sub-title of The Prelude as 'Growth of a Poet's Mind'
Ans The Prelude begun in 1799 and was completed in 1805, but was published a year after the poet’s death in 1850. In this work the poet describes his experiences of growing up as a man and a poet with fullness, closeness and laborious anxiety that is unique in English literature. The Prelude is the finest work of Wordsworth’s great creative period. Wordsworth conceived the idea of writing a history of the growth of his own mind, and the various texts of the poem cover a very long period in the poet’s life during which his style and opinion both changed considerably.The Prelude is in fact the first long autobiographical poem written in a drawn out process of self- exploration. Wordsworth worked his way towards modern psychological understanding of his own nature and more broadly of human nature. There, he places poetry
at the center of human experience. This introspective account of his own development was completed in 1805 and, after substantial revision, published posthumously in 1850. Many critics rank it as Wordsworth’s greatest work. The Prelude begins with an account of the poet’s childhood in the English Lake Country.
He first gives a record of that innocent life out of which his poetry grew; then he goes on to explore how the mind develops. He reveals a strange world, and the deeper we dive into it, the stronger it becomes. Like the short poem, besides touching upon many other things, this long poem traces the development of the poet’s attitudes to nature, his poetic genius, and his understanding of fellow-beings and the spirit of the universe; he moves from the typical childhood animal pleasures, through adolescent, sensual passion for the wild and gloomy, to the adult awareness of the relation of our perception of the natural world, and finally to our sense of the human and moral world. Wordsworth basically tries to recapture and record the full and intense life lived through the senses as a child and as a youth. The child or the first stage is characterized by a vague understanding of the influence of the nature’s moral influence because the child is indulged in mere bodily pleasures; the adolescent phase is marked with dizzy raptures; he speaks of youthful love of freedom and liberty, which he enjoyed in rambles through the woods and on the mountain paths where he did not feel fettered by the claims of the society and schoolwork. But those pleasures soon ended naturally after the youth began to understand human suffering so that, back in the nature, he began to make ‘spiritual interpretation of Nature as a living entity, by following whose ways he could get rid of the eternal problems of human misery. At one phase of his youth, Wordsworth became strongly attracted to the cause of the French Revolution, feeling that he was tied emotionally and spiritually to the popular struggle against the monarchy. But the destructiveness of the revolution and the popular indifference to the real causes and the real heroes, and the corrupted nature of the leading revolutionaries, disillusioned him, and he returned home spiritually broken, feeling that the innocent blood has poisoned the real causes of liberty. At that phase of life, he turned to the nature, finding there not only the solace but also the law and order lacking in the human society. Wordsworth opposed the mechanical reasoning of the materialistic sciences and the logical philosophy as too superficial to probe into the sciences and the logical philosophy as too superficial to probe into the meaning and experience of life and nature. Wordsworth has said, “To every natural form…. I gave a moral life”. His theory has been called one of natural pantheism for this reason.
The Prelude is an autobiographical poem but it is not only the poet’s personal confessions; it is an account of the growth of a poet’s mind. In it he tells the story of his inner life from the earliest childhood up to 1798. But the events do not always follow each of the chronological or even logical order, for the poem is shaped by a kind of internal logic of the growth of mind rather than by the sequence of eternal events. The development is roughly chronological but even as the poem has progressed well into adulthood, at significant points, reference is made back to his childhood contrasting later attitudes, or illustrating important aspects of his theme. The poet’s faith is however based on intuition, and not on reasoning, to understand or analyze life or nature. But his mysticism is not an escape from common experience, with the help of some kind of fancy, but a probing deep into common things and experience. His poetry has in fact been called ‘the highest poetry of the lowest and prosaic things”. According to Wordsworth’s The Prelude, nature had two basic formative influences on the poet’s mind: one was of inspiration with its beauty and joy, and the other one was that of fear and awe-inspiring influences that disciplined his mind since early in life.
The Prelude presents a unique and original understanding of min, life, creativity and such other things in its examination and linking of the factors both important and trivial, which go to make up a complex human personality. The poet indeed has an amazing gift for grasping the significance of the apparently insignificant, and seeing all things as part of a meaningful whole. He tries to show us what he and his poetry are made of, and they are made not only of great events and emotions of marriage and passion, and the French revolution, but of small things that a less observant or creative mind would have forgotten: of boating expeditions, of a chance meeting with old sailors, or dreams, of the noise of the wind in the mountains, of the sight of the ash trees outside his bedroom window.
It is interesting to note that while The Prelude is a poem rooted in the past, a culmination of many traditions of thought and culture, it is at the same time that the first great modern poem. In it Wordsworth is essentially concerned with human nature, with aspects of consciousness
and being that are still relevant to our modern interest and predicaments. The Prelude presents the poet in the quest for his identity. It shows that Wordsworth is trying to seek a point of stability within himself. It is an attempt to establish a principle of continuity and equilibrium within change. He said, “The vacancy between me (present) and those days which yet have such self presence in my mind is so great that sometimes when I think of them I see two consciousnesses, the consciousness of myself and that of some other being in me”. This theme has indeed obsessed the modern imagination, replacing the quest of Everyman or Bunyan’s Pilgrim. In so far as The Prelude is concerned with the growth of a poet’s mind, it anticipates all these modern works, which might be lumped together under the common title of “A Portrait of an Artist t as a Young man.”
The Prelude is a modern poem in another sense; it is a self-reflective poem. By this we mean a poem that has a part of its subject the writing of the poem itself. The Prelude is a poem that incorporates the discovery of its ‘ars poetica’. It’s surely the true ancestor of all those subsequent works of art that coil back upon themselves. Both the beginning and the end of the double, quest, the voyage of self-exploration and the effort to articulate the experience are perhaps those spots of time included the earliest moments of moral and spiritual awareness and they are usually associated with intensely felt responses to the nature even when he was a child.
Q 18- Comment on the images of sensuality in the Amoretti sonnets by spenser
Edmund Spenser's famous collection of sonnets, Amoretti, is a series of love sonnets dedicated to Elizabeth Boyle, the lady of his dreams whom he pursues and eventually marries in 1594. The term "amoretti" is literally defined as "little loves" or "little cupids." Spenser closely follows many conventions of the Elizabethan sonnets, but in some ways his sonnets deviate from the norm for this era. For instance, many Elizabethan sonnets call on the idea of the Muses, the mythological Greek goddesses that provided inspiration for literature, science, and the arts. Spenser frequently references the Muses in his sonnets.
Spenser's sonnets deal largely with the idea of love. Primarily focus on the frustration of unreturned romantic desires. On the other hand, celebrates the happiness of love shared between two people (Spenser and Elizabeth), as well as celebrating divine love. The frustration of unrequited love is a common theme in the Elizabethan sonnets; however, the celebration of successful love is largely a deviation from the typical themes. In addition, Spenser focuses on courtship and the power dynamic in successful relationships. In particular, he portrays that women want to have the authority in a romantic relationship, echoing Geoffrey Chaucer's central theme in "The Wife of Bath" from The Canterbury Tales. Furthermore, he discusses true beauty and the ways in which writing poetry can immortalize things that otherwise cannot be immortalized, such as people. Finally, Spenser's poetry often references God and religion, celebrating the theme of divine love in the second half of the sequence.
He had a richly sensuous nature. He was a great lover of beauty followed by Keats and several others. His love of beauty made him dwell lingeringly on the female form. As far as Spenser's concept of love is concerned, the Amoretti has some features that distinguish it from other sequences. In the first place, most of Spenser's sonnets, like Petrarch's, show a strong element of idealism: his lady's ideal and heavenly features are celebrated, whereas earthly and mortal things are ignored. Spenser was the first poet who introduced the new and sacred concept of marriage into the traditional and established concept of love. the Amoretti does not tell the details or events of a story.
It deals with the purity and the inspiration of the poet's love. Love enlightens his soul. His beloved is endowed with divine power; her beauty is heavenly and it represses or calms the stormy physical and base desires. She is the image of the Maker's beauty; her beauty is likened to heaven's light and it relieves the lover's soul. She is not a mistress whose suitor is a servant dying for a smile or a kiss from her. Love in Spenser is not erotic or lustful. He thought of love as aspiration to the perfect beauty which was God. This principle is neo-platonic. Pure and transcendent love seems dominant in the Amoretti.Chastity and spirituality replace carnal love. Spenser is not concerned with the pleasures of sensuality. He disapproves of sensual indulgence which can reduce a man to a beast and lead him up to a state of degradation. Man for Spenser should have virtues that raise him above his animal nature.Though sex makes the sequence pleasant to read, yet Spenser's purpose is not the praise of sensual love. The type of love Spenser expresses, R. D. Trivedi notes, was " real and not pretended." He adds that it was also pure because it was expressed to an unmarried woman, not as was the case with Sidney's love which was expressed to a married woman. His sensitiveness of ear is shown by the melody of his verse, so constant yet so varied, but there are so many passages in which he makes the music of Nature an element of pleasure, notably in the description of the bower of bliss. Spender has the resources of the whole world of sensation at command and he never fails to heighten them with the illusions in his work.
Q 19- Comment on the themes of death and suicide in the poetry of Sylvia Plath
Ans Death is one of the significant and recurrent themes in the poetry of Sylvia Plath but it is nowhere more present, powerful and intimate than in her late poems, written in the months prior to her suicide and published posthumously in the book Ariel. The poems are confessional in nature, exploring Plath’s innermost emotions and private subject matters with a menacing focus on death. The imagery is explicit and intense and leaves a haunting impression but most intriguing is Plath’s dualistic portrayal of death. In these poems, in a somewhat contradicting manner, death is represented both as a rebirth or renewal, sometimes transcending, and as the more traditional, ominous and melancholic end of all ends. The nature of the poems mark a notable change in Plath’s writing-style which, in Ariel, she turns on its head moving away from the universal to the entirely intimate and private in her subjects. The confessional style of expression of topics such as death, suicide, sexuality and mental illness, which Plath explores in Ariel and were considered taboo in her time, is characteristic of the literature movement of confessional poetry that emerged in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s and owes its origin, partly, to Plath’s work. The all-encompassing theme of death and its twofold nature denotes Plath’s private struggle with mental illness and suicidal tendencies at the time of Ariel’s conception. Ariel marks the transfiguration of Plath’s poetry and establishes her as a poet of the personal and author of confessional poetry. The focus of this essay is to explore the theme of death in selected poems from Ariel by analyzing its representation with the objective of exposing its dual essence and to assert the relevance of Ariel as an instigating work tying Plath to the literature movement of confessional poetry.
The varying imagery in both verses is relevant when highlighting different aspects in the poem. The use of disturbing imagery represents the horrific nature of death as a force, which destroys the mind and the life in a person. Death extracts a person’s life, mind and feelings from a human body thus representing a process of dehumanisation . The fear and horror of death can also be perceived as a means of self-destruction by an individual. This shifts the perspective from death acting as a force on the individual to the individual choosing death. Death is an act of self-destruction, which draws focus to the pain and suffering. This poem is often regarded by critics as an instance of the death instinct which Sigmund Freud referred to specifically as self destruction.
An aspiration for self-destruction also questions the significance and causation of death. The personas in both poems are attempting to make a statement and are confronted with rejection from society. The idea of death as a means of rebirth and regeneration is an element, which makes the poetry so distinguishing. The use of nature as the poems backdrop has equal significance. Nature is often associated with trees and plants which are stereotypically symbols of life. The notion that death can result in new life creates an irony however these differences allow the reader to approach death in an alternative way. This poem is highly atmospheric and takes on a very calm tone. The use of nature as a setting helps to reinforce the serenity in death just as the use of first person point of view in the poem allows a for more personal and in-depth experience. The contrast between a vibrant nature full of life and death opposes the
traditional view of dying as morbid. This then proposes that life and death are somewhat inter related and one can be used as means of understanding the other.
Sylvia Plath‘s Ariel (1965) has, for the most part, been judged in terms of its autobiographical content rather than for its poetic achievement. However, it is impossible to separate the life of Sylvia Plath from her poetry; the two are too intertwined to be disentangled. Ariel is a work of great significance that shows how the poet matures, through a remarkably sudden change in style that marks her move into confessional poetry. In the most superficial sense of confessional poetry, many view Plath’s poetry simply as a long suicide note, a far too simplistic interpretation, as Ariel is worthy on its own merits and not just as a symbol of her final work or a morbid obsession with death. Importantly, she also expanded the biographical aspects of her work so that it can be read in an emblematic way on a universal level. Sylvia Plath’s inherent melancholia and rejection stems, for the most part, from her estrangement with her father, after his death, and the rejection and infidelity of her husband Ted Hughes. In Ariel she effectively expels and conquers these oppressing figures that once governed her life. Through the rituals carried out in her poems, she is resurrected and she even transcends death. The separation of the body and soul is a central theme in Plath’s work and conveys her distorted and detached sense of self and difficulty with self-realization. From that exact sense stems her unique, twofold nature of death, as a resurrection through the defiant conquest of death and her visions of actual or imminent death. Her ambivalent attitude towards death is characterized by both fear and fascination by it, a dread of the decaying image of the flesh and an intriguing and bold desire of the resurrection of the self. Most intriguing though, is the underlying hope present in some of her more melancholic poems where death seems to be permanent. However, if examined closely, these poems seem to convey a paradoxical sense of transcendence, death is not the end of all ends but instead an ulterior existence beyond the physical level. As such death is a transformation of the self and means to rebirth. Plath’s poems would constitute the same thing even if she had not committed suicide, however, that is not to say they are not truly, and on the deepest level, confessional in nature. It is arguably so that her late poems came into existence because of the sheer fact she was seriously depressed and that she invested so much in them they became inseparable from herself. As such, they are a true representation of her private “self” and invariably so, a testament of confessional poetry.
Q 20- Comments on the dramatic monologue of Browning .
Robert Browning aspired to be a dramatist. He wrote eight dramas and all of them failed on the stage. Browning’s genius was contemplating than dramatic. Its main reason was that neither Browning was so mature for writing a drama nor was his audience. Browning made a practical compromise and decided to write the drama of the soul – dramatic monologue. This drama is acted within the mind of the character. It is not projected on the stage of a theatre. So, Browning interiorized the drama. Dramatic monologue is different from a drama and a soliloquy. In drama the action is external but in dramatic monologue, the action is internal and his soul is the stage. In a soliloquy, only one character speaks to himself and there is no interference of any other character but in a monologue, one character speaks his mind and the character is listening to him, but he is not interfering in the action.
Victorianism was an age of renaissance. It was an age when British colonies were being forced. British Empire was reducing to England. So people were very much disturbed. The whole of the England was in a state of crisis. There was also a restriction of the people that they could not discuss this issue with others in public places. So there was a conflict in the minds of the people and they were thinking in their minds of the people. They were thinking and talking only to themselves. Browning wanted to present all this on the stage but in this period of gloominess it was not possible for him to stage a drama. Even the intellectuals were not allowed to write on critical issues of the country. Browning thought a very clever device and
decided to write dramatic monologue. This was exactly the situation of the people that they had a drama in their minds but they could not express it. So they were only talking to themselves. Browning did not directly write about England rather he picked up the same situation of Italian Renaissance, some 200 years earlier, in Italy. At that time Italy was passing through the same critical situation as it was in the England in Browning’s times. In this period every Englishman was suffering from a critical situation. Every individual was thinking about the past glory of the England, there was a conflict in his mind. He was thinking about his present and past. His soul was in confusion, he was thinking about the causes of this failure, he tried to give some justifications and everyone had a sense of optimism in his mind though that might not be a false one. So we see that Browning’s characters are also representing the same situation of English people and the pessimism of the age.
Browning’s dramatic monologue deals with the subject of failure. He takes a character who has been failed in his life. He is caught up in crisis and now tells his story of crisis and bores out his soul before us. The last rider, Fra Lippo Lippi, Bishop at his death bed and Andrea are the typical example of this kind. Fra Lippo Lippi has been caught up in an area of prostitutes. Browning’s characters are in a conflict, they are in a critical situation and they now try to cope up with their situation. To deal out with this situation Browning presents the whole of his case. Browning shows us the past and present of his character and how this character gets involved in this critical situation. So Browning unfolds the whole of the life of his character to make it possible to analyze the history of the character. This is Browning’s technique of case-making. The stronger is the case, the interesting will be the poem. Through the technique of case making, browning dissects the soul of his character and this technique of soul dissection helps the reader to understand the character and clearly see why his character reaches to this critical juncture. To conclude, Browning’s business is to render the soul or psyche of his protagonists and so he follows the same technique as the modern impressionist. With the help of the technique of soul dissection, we clearly see the soul of the character. In his monologues, Browning constantly strikes a curiously modern note.
Q. Discuss the charm of Marvell
Write critical account of Andrew Marvell’s Imagery
Marvell’s ;poetry has both “Elizabethan and ‘Metaphysical element
Andrew Marvell was a Metaphysical poet - Consider
Marvell is a poet attracted by complexity and paradox, and he is reluctant to oversimplify the themes and experiences that he explores in his poems, be they pastoral lyrics or overtly political works. His best poems frequently display an ambiguity and irony that is not a mere stylistic device but rather a reflection of Marvell’s penchant for seeing many sides of an ostensibly simple situation. In addition, Marvell was artistically influenced by other Metaphysical poets such as John Donne, who avoided hackneyed poetic conventions and used clever, convoluted logic and incongruous imagery to bring fresh perspectives to bear on traditional poetic subjects such as love and death. The term “Metaphysical poet” is not one with which Marvell would have been familiar. Although it was first used by Dryden in criticizing Donne for his use of farfetched, extravagant metaphors and abstract logic in poems dealing with emotional subjects, it gained a nonpejorative status and wider currency as a result of Eliot’s seminal 1921 essay “The Metaphysical Poets.” Eliot’s essay praises the Metaphysical poets (including Marvell) for their harmonious uniting of reason and emotion. Some qualities of Metaphysical poetry that Marvell shares are a logical and analytical strain in dealing with emotional subjects; the use of extended, incongruous metaphors, or “conceits,” that link dissimilar images; a fondness for puns and paradox; and, occasionally, a deliberate roughness or unevenness of meter designed to add vigor to the lines.
“The Definition of Love” illustrates some of these qualities. In it, Marvell explores the paradox of an unrequited love that by its very impossibility achieves perfection. Marvell inverts traditional poetic images, referring to “Magnanimous Despair” and “feeble Hope.” Like Donne, who compared his love to a compass, Marvell employs mapmaking imagery to describe the separation from his lover. He and his beloved are like “the distant Poles,” around whom the entire world turns. He speaks of love in terms of oblique angles and infinite parallel lines that can never meet, and he invokes the oxymoronic image of a planisphere (literally a flat sphere, a term used to describe two-dimensional representation of the globe) to illustrate the impossibility of their union. He “defines” his love by these images of impossibility. Many of Marvell’s earlier poems deal with the subject of retirement or withdrawal from public life to a life of private contemplation. Indeed, many critics divide Marvell’s work into two bodies: his early poems in praise of the contemplative life and his later poems that address more explicitly political subjects and advocate engagement in public, political life. Many of his poems praising retirement employ imagery of gardens and green woods, a trait that has led to his being called “the green poet” or “the garden poet” for his pastoral works.
“The Garden” exemplifies this type of poem. In it, Marvell wavers between whimsy and melancholy as he describes the joys of solitude in a lush, green garden. The garden is the home of “Fair Quiet” and “Innocence,” far from the “busy companies of men.” Paradoxically, the lack of human company results in a higher form of civilization: “Society is all but rude,/ To this delicious solitude.” In arguing that solitude in the garden is superior to love, he inverts romantic images from classical mythology, claiming that Apollo was rewarded, rather than thwarted, when Daphne, his romantic quarry, was metamorphosed into a tree; likewise, he suggests that Pan pursued Syrinx “Not as a nymph, but for a reed.” In typical fashion, however, Marvell subtly qualifies the paradisiacal scene, suggesting that the garden may not be as perfect as the speaker describes. The speaker stumbles over fruits and vines and says “Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass,” recalling Adam’s fall in Eden. As the speaker withdraws further and further into inward contemplation in the garden, his thoughts destructively begin “Annihilating all that’s made/ To a green thought in a green shade.” Marvell moves this vaguely unhealthy solipsism into hubris as the self-absorbed speaker criticizes the Divine plan, saying “Two paradises ’twere in one/ To live in paradise alone.” As in many of Marvell’s poems, the meaning rests on the reader’s interpretation of the tone. Despite the subtly qualifying negative imagery, the garden is portrayed throughout as beautiful and peaceful. Marvell appears neither to embrace wholeheartedly nor to reject entirely retirement in the garden, and his equivocal lyrics seem to suggest an ideal of balance between total withdrawal and engagement in society.
Q- Write a note on the elements of Romanticism in 'Dejection : an ode'
An understanding of the romantic imagination allows the reader to conceptualize the nature of Coleridge’s state of mind, represented in “Dejection,” which is a poem clearly about the effect of depression on the poet’s creative life. As the late social psychologist and professor at the University of Missouri, J.L. Simmons once explained, the author’s mental condition is one that “stifles his perceptions and in turn calls forth a treatment of poetic terms of his aesthetic philosophy”. Coleridge is lacking in inspiration and motivation to create his own reality; the agony of losing the power of creativity and his driving passion disturbs the poet more so than the depression he experiences. Throughout the work, the author conveys the imagery of grief and sadness, and how this dejection, as it were, affects the experiences of the speaker. The struggle that ensues is a bitter battle with the numbness that pervades Coleridge’s life during his period of depression. He repeatedly wishes to be moved by the sights and sounds that are around him, but is unable to be so. All of the perceptions of life and 67 nature do nothing to motivate the speaker. When the fruitlessness of looking outward to find the inspiration to break the sadness, or at least to make it productive, fail, Coleridge asserts that the inspiration must come from within. This is the conception, the ideal, which gives rise to the Romantic poets’ emphasis on the imagination and internal realities. For the Romantics, reality is created first in the mind; feelings and personal attributions are internal creations that give meaning to external experiences in a phenomena known as the egotistical sublime. These are the ideas that occur to Coleridge as the poem continues. Although his constant depression and lack of joy, is of concern to him, the poet is more disconcerted by the nature of his depression: It is utterly lifeless. “Dejection” is not a poem about the miseries that cause and accompany depression, nor even about depression itself, but rather the agony that results from the inability to feel. Whereas past bouts with depression and unhappiness have been productive to Coleridge, as
he describes in strophe 6 as A time when, thought my path was rough, This joy within me dallied with distress, And all misfortunes were but as the stuff Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness, the present depression has a numbing effect on his affections. The frustration arises from the lack of internal life. Misery arises not from depression, but from unproductive depression, the lack of feeling inside the person.
There is a certain level of depression, of sadness, that fosters the creative powers, pushing writers to their best abilities; there is a certain level of stress, of anxiety that facilitates work and aids in the creative process. Beyond this level, depression becomes debilitating, nonsensical, and numb. It is this unproductive depression that Coleridge experiences in “Dejection.” Coleridge recognized the difference between a depression that caudles creativity and one that
destroys it. The thing that determines whether depression takes on one form rather than the other is none other than the presence of imagination, 68 the person’s ability to create an internal reality that takes the lifelessness of depression and makes it live. Psychological studies have examined the effect of cognition on depression treatment. Psychologists Beevers and Wells from the University of Texas, and Miller of Brown University, in a 2007 study, found that negative cognition reduces a person’s response to treatment. Treatment of, and recovery from, depression are related to the attitude of the patient. This result supports the Romantic notion that internal attribution does, indeed, influence perception of external experiences. Depression is more severe if negative cognition is associated. Therefore, Coleridge does not lament his depression, but rather his inability to make it productive with the use of imagination, which the Romantics regard as a paramount part of being. To illustrate the importance of the imagination in the depths of depression, Coleridge’s recognition of a productive and nonproductive depression must be examined. Coleridge recognizes that there is a sadness that informs creation and pleasure, and one that destroys it. Noted Romantic poet, Percy Shelley, in his Defense of Poetry, conceives poetry as the product of imagination, and he points to the paradox of pleasure created by poetry. It is not always happiness that yields the best poetry, that exercises fully the imagination, but rather it is that “sorrow, terror, anguish, despair itself are often the chosen expressions of an approximation to the highest good” . This commentary suggests that Coleridge, Shelley, and the Romantics believed in a productive depression. In “Dejection,” the author writes in strophe 6 of his past unhappy experiences that had been relieved by “this joy within me,” which “dallied with distress/And all misfortunes were but as the stuff/Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness”. The joy he speaks of is the imagination, which creates something out of despair. It is this “beauty-making power” that had previously pulled him through his deepest depressions. The realization of a productive form of depression embodies the importance of internal attribution in Romantic ideas.
Q- 21- Examine JS Eliot’s use of mythology in ‘ The Waste Land’
T.S. Eliot’s ‘The waste Land’ is an important landmark in the history of English poetry and one of the most talked about poems of the 20th century. It is a long poem of about four hundred forty lines in five parts entitled (1) The Burial of the Dead. (2) A game of chess (3) The Fire sermon. (4) Death by water and (5) What the Thunder said. The poem was first published in serial from in the criterion in October and November, 1922. The First publication of the poem raised a storm of adverse criticism. It was considered, at best, a series of slightly related Separate poems. The new statement called it, “Several separate poems entitled ‘The waste land.” Alec Brown in The scrutinizes called it,” a set of shorter poems talked together,” and Even as important a critic as E.V. Lucas, reviewing the Poem in 1923 commented that the poet found his inspiration in literature rather than in life, and Untermeyer, writing in the same vein, said the poem appeals only to our acquired knowledge.On the eve of the composition of the waste land, T.S. Eliot had been reading Jessie Weston’s book from Ritual to Romance, and James Frazer’s famous book the Golden tough. The poet himself has acknowledged that he was deeply influenced by these works or anthropology, and the ancient and primitive myths and legends which from the mythical background to poem are derived from these books Miss Weston’s book supplied him with the legend of the Grail and the Eisner King, and from the Golden Bough he derived his knowledge of a number of vegetation and fertility myths and
rituals, especially those connected with Attics, Adonis and Osiris. The Holy Grail legend is a medieval legend associated with the adventure of King Author and his Knights of the Round Table. The Grail was the cup or plate used by Christ for his last supper, in which the blood of the savior was collected when he was crucified. It was not long before this holy vessel was discovered to have acquired medicinal and also miraculous properties so that it became an object of devotion and warship, and chapels for it became to be built in several countries and its warship was organized. The lance used to pierce the sides of Christ was also kept with it. But a time came when the original Grail disappeared mysteriously from the chapel where it was kept many a bold knight staked his life and lost in the arduous task of searching for it.
It is said that in the course of their hazardous quest Parsifal, the quested, and his fellow – adventurers happened to arrive in a country ruled over by a prince named the fisher king. It was one of the regions where Grail work ship had been anciently in vogue, and a temple, known as chapel perilous, still stood there, broken and dilapidated as a mournful memorial of what once was, but later had ceased to be. It was said that the lost grail was hidden in this chapel.
At that time the king himself had become a physical work, maimed and important, as a result, it was whispered, of a sin committed by his soldiery in outraging the chastity of a group of nuns attached to the Grail chapel. The impotency of the fisher king was reflected sympathetically in the Land of which he was the head and the ruler. It had become dry and barren the haunt and home of want and famine the king, however, was waiting with hope, despite his illness, that one day the night of the pure soul would visit his star – crossed kingdom, march to the chapel perilous, answer questions and solve riddles. This would be followed by a ritual washing of his, king fisher’s sinful body, which would purge it and renew its health and energy. It was also hoped that this rebirth of the king would be followed by the life giving rains to the parched land and the thirsty kingdom, which would once more enjoy its earlier fertility. The poem was considered as a sort of scholarly nonsense, and the hope was expressed that it would be left gradually, “to sink itself.”The mythical land of the fisher king symbolizes contemporary decay and spiritual sterility. The Sick king symbolizes the sick humanity and this sickness results, as in the case of the fisher king from its Sexual sins. It has been degraded to mere ‘animal copulation’, and this Sexual perversion has led to Spiritual death. Spiritual health can be regained only through penance, suffering and self-discipline
Eliot has used the mythical method in Germanton, in Sweeney among the Nightingales and in most other poems of the volume entitled the Poems 1920. However, the waste Land is the most extended example of Eliot’s use of the mythical technique. For the modern waste land, Eliot Finds Several close parallels in the waste land of the past, what is happening today is not peculiar to the present age; it also happened in the death. This has been represented symbolically be the picture of a kingdom laid waste by the sexual sin or Sickness of its ruler or by war. The land becomes waste, but it is invariably restored to health either by the hero, or by the penance of the ruler himself. Salvation has always come, and so it is bound to come to the modern waste land as well, only if its denizens are prepared to pay the price – sacrifice and suffering by the use of this technique, the poem is able to bring together several planes of experience, suggest the likeness between them, and increase the richness and allusiveness of his Poem. It has been said that Eliot uses the mythical method as a criticism of the present. The past is glorified and the sordidness and squalor of the present is accentuated by contrast. Even such a penetrating critic as Elizabeth Drew commits this mistake nothing can be Further from the truth. As a matter of fact, Eliot merely suggests “The sameness as the heart of contrast,” “resembling contrasts” – that human life has basically been the same despite superficial differences for example, though in a famous passage in “The fire sermon”, the mention of, “Elizabeth and Leicester brings an illusion of glamour, close thought reveals that the stale pretence of their relationship left it essentially as empty as that between the typist and Cleark.” But the poet does not say so explicitly; he juxtaposes the past and the present and leaves the readers to draw out their own conclusions. The Contrast Ps obvious, but the sameness is implicit. The passage also illustrates that not only does Eliot use Pagan myths and legends for ordering and controlling his material, he also uses European literature, the literature of his own country, as well as Biblical myths for the same purpose. His use of allusions and quotations is not pedantic; it is functional. It is part of his technique of juxtaposing the past and the present. In the famous passage at the close of the Burial of the dead, ‘the unreal city’ is London or any other city in the modern waste land. But it is also the city of Baudelaire as well as the Limbo of Dante the boredom and depression of the crowds moving over London Bridge reminds one of Similar personages in Dante and the implication is that the reminds one of similar methods of salvation are also the same. The opening of what
the thunder said is a fine example of the way in which Eliot portrays the Sameness of different experience by linking together different myths drawn from various source, the final scenes from the life of Christ, from the perilous quest of Galanad, and the pagan vegetation myths. He has enclosed ‘vast immensities’ within little space. Eliot eliminates all connectives, everything that was not entirely essential, and in this way increased the energy and lyric intensity f the poem. He thus created a work of art, a triumph of intellectual organization and conscious effort. To wind up, myths as “Objective co-relatives” one aspects of Eliot’s use of the mythical technique is his use of ancient myths as “objective correlatives.’ Eliot defined objective correlative as a, “set of objects, a situation, and a chain of events” which shall be formula for some particular emotion of the Poet, so that when the external facts are given, the emotion is immediately evoked’. The waste Land contains, according to A.G. George.“A series of emotions and impressions of the poet which are expressed through the objective correlative of the mythical waste lands, a series of emotions and also impressions which originate in the Poet’s mind as he surveys human life in the present as well as in the past.”The ancient myths act as objective co-relatives for the poet’s emotions, in ancient customs and rituals he finds symbols for his emotions and ideas.