AD's English Literature

Delight and Utility in Literature

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.
T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)
U.S.-born British poet and playwright.
The Sacred Wood, "Philip Massinger"
Literature is valued in various ways. Some think of ‘pure’ literature or pure poetry. Horace analyses the function of poetry by the terms dulce et utile. (Delight and Utility). Longinus like Plato emphasizes the sublimity in poetry as conducing to the production of feelings of greatness and grandeur. Plato indicates the moral function of poetry. But no critic wants poetry to be homiletic or didactic. Aristotle wants purification of feelings through the structure of a poem or tragedy. Sidney following Scaliger indicates the function of poetry as delightful instruction. The philosopher teaches by precept, the historian by example, but the poet teaches through delight, through exciting the feelings and thrilling the senses. Poetry, according to Sidney conduces to virtue. Wordsworth says: “didacticism is my abhorrence”. But for him, the pleasure of poetry is of an exalted kind. He regards poetry as the most philosophical of all writings. “It is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge, the impassioned expression that is in the countenance of all science”. Poetry divorced from morality is valueless. Poetry is highest music wedded to highest thoughts. Literature transmits feelings and ideas that exalt the mind, quicken the sensibility and widen the vision. Arnold characterizes poetry as criticism of life in terms of truth and beauty. Eliot who is the exponent of the theory of impersonality in poetry posits the moral function of poetry. “Poetry is not a substitute for philosophy or theology or religion, it has its own function. But as this function is not intellectual but emotional, it cannot be defined adequately in intellectual terms. We can say that it provided ‘consolation’, strange consolation, which is provided equally by writers so different as Dante and Shakespeare.” The Waste Land which is the most objective and impersonal of all writings suggests a message through the diagnosis of the decay and deadness of civilization.

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

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

An Introduction to Linguistics and Applied Linguistics: A, B, C

G. H. Lewes in The Study of Psychology says, “Just as birds have wings, man has language. The wings give the bird its peculiar attitude for aerial locomotion. Language enables man’s intelligence and passions of acquire their peculiar characters of intellect and sentiment.”

Whatever else people do when they come together—whether they play, flight, make automobiles, or makes love—they talk. We live in world of languages; we talk to our parents, friends, family- , friends, relatives, our teachers and our neighbours. We talk to ' rickshaw-pullers, strangers, bus drivers, co-passengers in trains. To talk face to face and over telephone and everyone responds with more talk. Television, radio and internet chat in computer further swell this torrent of Words. We talk to our pets and sometimes to ourselves. We are the only animal to do so—that talks or uses words appropriately.

Mansions of ‘Quality’ in School Education : English Language Situation

English is needed as a supporting languages—the discussion about language teaching would remain incomplete if another thing remains uncluttered, i.e. learning of another language apart from mother language. Nowadays another supporting language is taught in the school besides the mother tongue all over the world. It is necessary to learn a second language in order to maintain a link not only in the international level but also in the interstate level.

An Analysis of H. W. Longfellow’s Daybreak: Fundamental Human Relationships with Nature and Their Consequences


'Daybreak' taken from Birds of Passage, a collection of his poems by H. W. Longfellow is basically a nature poem lyrical in tone. The activity of sea wind blowing cheerfully, making the components of the environment respond to its flow at dawn is described in the poem. Keeping in mind the flow of the wind, the poet applies a breezy style to the poem. Longfellow has personified the sea wind and presented the poem in form of a dialogue.

The theme of ‘freedom’ and ‘providence’ in Shakespeare ‘The Tempest’


The Tempest which is certainly much more than spectacle or story of a magician’s supernatural dominance over human beings and spirits is one of the greatest plays of Shakespeare. It has considerable suspense. The conflict that makes drama can be seen in Prospero, and its resolution comes, not so much of physical, as of moral and mental suffering. The two functions of the rational soul, speculative and, ratical, at last fuse. The former has prepared ‘the mynde and (made) it apt to receive virtue’ the latter wills and acts virtuously. ‘Degree’ is preserved: reason, the distinctive attribute of man, triumphs over passion. When Ariel, who locks human sympathy but who recognizes suffering when he sees it, reports the sorrowful plight of Gonzalo, and the penitence and grief of Alonso, the ‘enemy...inveterate’, Prospero meets the challenge.”

Impression of the Traveler in Walter De La Mare’s “The Listeners”


The traveler in Walter De La Mare’s The Listeners has been presented as a representative from the world of men, who has come to the abode of spirits. But instead of giving full details about him, the poet has drawn him simply with a few suggestive touches, so that there is a lot of vagueness about this nocturnal traveler. He has undertaken a somewhat challenging journey to a lonely house in the midst of a forest at the dead of night, to keep his promise. This indicates that he is a man of word, who knows how to honour an appointment, and that he is a courageous and dauntless sort of person, not at all afraid of meeting unearthly creatures at unearthly hours, at a place far away from human habitation.

Imagery in William Shakespeare’s Plays: “We should see each play as an extended metaphor”

 Imagery in a play has certain functions to fulfill mainly to compensate dramatic presentation for the heavy liabilities inherent in its form. This is more so in the case of poetic drama whether of ancient Aeschylus, Elizabethan Shakespeare or modern Synge. The poetic drama for its success must cultivate the virtue of intensity and compactness—a virtue which is very much dependent on functional imagery for its breadth and scope, for rousing in us an acute awareness of the broader perspective against the backdrop of which the dramatic events actually occur, Again, drama, while clinging to its ongoing motion can convey the charge carried by its imagery to achieve a more detailed exposition or fuller elaboration of a character or a theme ma short time, which is not possible in the case of reflective verse and prose with its leisurely pace and descriptive method. These functions of imagery in poetic drama are equally observable at all times and climes in the western world. According to Una Ellis-Fermor, these “may be seen at work in the Greek drama as in that of the Elizabethans, at intervals in the drama of the con-tinent down to the present day and in England again since the revival of the poetic drama in the twentieth century.” (The Frontiers of Drama).

“Character is Destiny.”- Is this a Completely Satisfying Description of the Tragic Vision of Life in the Tragedies of William Shakespeare? (The Role of Fate)

 As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.
 They kill us for their sport.” King Lear: Act 4, Scene 1

The supernatural even when treated by a genius like Shakespeare sometimes appears to offer a crude method in tragedy for achieving that universality which remains the main tragic concern of a dramatist. The appearance of witches and ghosts as in Macbeth and Hamlet may not fully satisfy the modern audience, somewhat free of primeval impulses. Perhaps a better method employed to secure this universal effect lies in the sense of fate which is represented in a number of tragedies, both ancient and modern. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, we feel the presence of some force constantly baffling human effort. This sense of fate again appears in Shakespeare in a different, modified and perhaps refined form.

Every Woman is not Ann but Ann is Everywoman: Characterization of Shaw’s Ann Whitefield in Man and Superman


Shaw has been pre-occupied mainly with the exposition of his philosophy through the media of plays and this is a crystal truth as far as Man and Superman is concerned. Characterization or depiction of characters in their full human round has never been his forte. But nonetheless the feminine characters created by Shaw are undeniably marvelous. Raina in Arms and the Man, St Joan in Saint Joan and Ann Whitefield in Man and Superman are some of the unique creations bearing the impress of Shaw’s mature and superb literary merit.

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you along with the usual strong will  of  earning some money  through  selling ad space. I also feel proud to be in 'free' literature learning initiative because it will be more  easy to get and find you out there . Already thousand posts written and a few thousand healthy discussions made in this blog. And if  you want to contribute in writing or support in money,  you're welcome." 

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