AD's English Literature : April 2015

Theory of Catharsis: Various Interpretations and Analyses



 ‘Catharsis’ is a Greek word. It means “purgation”, “purification” and “clarification”. It has been used only once by Aristotle in his ‘Poetics’ while defining Tragedy, “Tragedy then is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude through pity and fear effecting the proper ‘Catharsis’ of these emotions” Based on the three meanings of the word, ‘Catharsis’ different theories have been evolved to explain Aristotle’s conception of tragic ‘Catharsis. Read More Criticism

(A) Purgation Theory
(i) Medical Interpretation: ‘Catharsis’ has been taken to be a medical metaphor. ‘Purgation’ denotes a pathological effect on the soul similar to the effect of medicine on the body. Some have referred it to Homeopathic treatment with the like curing the like. Thus, pity and fear are roused and form ‘purgation’ of these emotions. Read More CriticismThus, ‘Catharsis’ implies relief. As per Pathological treatment with the unlike curing unlike, the arousing of pity and fear was supposed to bring about the purgation of other emotions like anger and pride.

Three dramatic Genres in the Greek Classical Theatre: Tragedy, Comedy and Satyr




 " How dreadful the knowledge of truth can be 
When there's no help in truth."-
Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex

Tragic drama: Tragic drama which Aristotle defined as an imitation of actions of illustrious men and women, and which aims at the purgation of pity and fear, was by far, the most esteemed of all the genres, and the first to be originated and accorded in the 6th century bc by Attic poet Thespis in City Dionysian. Read More Drama
Tragedy, As Aristotle said, it evolved from the Improvisations of the leaders of dithyramb. Why did the Greeks esteem tragedy over comedy and satyr? The answer is not far to seek. Tragedy was the only genre that provided the people an opportunity to watch their moral philosophy issue forth in actions. Read More Drama The classical Greek people were quite strong and boisterous in nature. They made a lot of conquest over nations and even over nature, and possessed the ability to meet almost any emergency, but they realized that in spite of the seemingly divine element in man, he has his position, very much lower than that of the gods. So, man should know himself. He should, no matter the strength of his wisdom and intelligence, seek to equate himself with gods; else he will rob himself of his life. Another Greek moral principle which tragedy helped to clarify was “nothing in excess”.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 83



A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
UGC NET ENGLISH QUESTION BANK

 1. The term “Negritude” was coined by :  Ainee Cesaire and Leopold SenghorAime Cesaire in his poem Notebook of a Return to the native Land 1939 first coined the term. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    
2. Bertolt Brecht’s concept of theatre was influenced by:  Irwin Piscator .In fact, Brecht had collaborated with Erwin Piscator, father of political theatre. Piscator's theatre was utilitarian.  Just like Brecht, Piscator's theatre was a direct response to the events taking place around him.
3. The relationship between Othello and Iago is an example of:  inversion .Inversion (thetre), a rearrangement of the ideas/ characters of a drama, or a reversal of position or order in a sequence of incidents. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    
4. A metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is:
  iamb.

One Checklist That You Should Keep In Mind Before Attending Teaching English As Foreign Language (TEFL): Teaching of English Grammar

"I would never use a long word, even, where a short one would answer the purpose."
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894)

Learning or teaching of English grammar in the class is quite contrary to the way the child learns grammar in their mother tongue. A child at the age of 4 or 5 can speak his mother tongue fluently without knowing the rules of language. Read More Teaching English Research into grammar by academics at different stages suggests that a significant proportion of language speakers are unable to understand some basic sentences.   Regardless of educational attainment or dialect we are all supposed to be equally good at grammar, in the sense of being able to use grammatical cues to understand the meaning of sentences. The target language can easily be understood through social sphere if it is a mother tongue but English for TEFL Students can be rather misunderstood without the knowledge-base of grammar.

George Bernard Shaw’s "Man and Superman" is 'a Comedy and a Philosophy' — Trick for Getting the Public to Listen Shavian Theory

"He identified genius with immunity from the cravings and turpitudes which make us human. Hence his regime of sexual continence which so confused and dismayed the women he persisted in loving, and hence too his abstinent diet of grated vegetables."
Michael Holroyd

Frequently the subtitles of George Bernard Shaw’s plays are just as informative as the prefaces. They are often just as clever; they are always more to the point. Such is the case with Heartbreak House, which is subtitled A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes; Fanny’s First Play, An Easy Play for a Little Theatre; and  In Good King Charles’s Golden Days,  A True History that Never Happened. So, too, with Man and Superman, this is subtitled simply but significantly a Comedy and a Philosophy. For Man and Superman, though it was written early in Shaw’s career, represents the culmination of Shaw’s theory that the drama is but a device—a trick, if you like—for getting the public to listen to one’s philosophy: social philosophy, political philosophy, economic philosophy, Shavian philosophy. With the possible exception of Back to Methuselah, Man and Superman is Shaw’s most philosophical play.

Ten Common Difficulties in Teaching English to TEFL Students



" I pay the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys that educate my son."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

The teacher of English generally faces certain difficulties in connection with the teaching of it. A TEFL teacher artificially constructs an environment to teach and to serve this purpose. The most famous and widespread artificial way is to mimicry the western standards. As today, English is used in more countries as an official language or as the main means of international communication than any other language, the real TEFL  teacher as well as real institutes is a rarity. The TEFL teacher and the academic authority, while laying down the principles of teaching English, shall take into consideration value education, fuming up child’s knowledge, potentiality and talents; Development of physical and mental abilities to the fullest extent; Learning through activities, discoveries and exploration in a child friendly and child-centred manner;  Medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in English; Comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s  understands of knowledge and his or her ability to apply the same.



But instead the teachers face these problems en route to his/ her goal accomplished.

Critical Appreciation of Joseph Addison’s essay, “The Exercise of the Fan”: Theme and Style



  “Mr. SPECTATOR,

Women are armed with Fans as Men with Swords, and sometimes do more Execution with them.”
 The EXERCISE of the FAN The Spectator n.102 Wednesday 27 June 1711
 “The Exercise of the Fan” is a delightful and equally interesting Essay  of Joseph Addison. It aims at providing innocent diversion. The method of the Essay  is derived from the fables of Phaedrus. The Essay  is in epistolary form which revels the classical influence of Seneca’s Moral Epistles. It or the like started a form of writing which was to affect both the subsequent Essay  and the Novel. It hints “The mind ought sometimes to be diverted, that it may return the better to thinking.” The very idea of the fan as a weapon of ‘offense’ requiring specialized training for its effective use is hilariously amusing. So is the picture of a female regiment assayed in a hall, each one aimed with a fan, and waiting to execute commands like Ground your fans or Discharge your fans. The Essay  contains neatness and lucidity. II has precision of expression. Its style is highly polished and cultivated. There is spontaneity and ease in it. It is also written in a familiar and elegant manner. The Essay  contains neatness and lucidity. It has precision of expression. Its style is highly polished and cultivated. There is spontaneity and ease in it. It is written in a familiar and elegant manner. We observe in it delightful plasticity of language. Its prose is smooth and highly refined. It is a tint example of Addison’s style. It is very delightful and pleasant. The sentences line embellished and polished. Their movement is smooth and brisk. The language is not very ornamental and ornate. The ideas are expressed clearly and vividly. The Essay  reveals clarity of ideas. It has compact and dignified expression. Its language is forceful fluent and impressive. It has charm and freshness of its own. It has simplicity of manner. It shows ease of expression. 

Aristotle’s Theory of ‘Poetic Imitation’: Salient Features of Theory of Imitation and Contrast with those of Plato



  “Mimesis, then, or imitation is, in Aristotle’s view, the essential in a fine art. It is that which distinguishes creative or fine art from all other products of the human mind” -
THE MAKING OF LITERATURE

(SOME PRINCIPLES OF CRITICISM EXAMINED IN THE LIGHT OF ANCIENT AND MODERN THEORY)
 BY R. A. SCOTT-JAMES

In Aristotle’s view, poetic imitation is an act of imaginative creation by which the poet draws his poetic material from the phenomenal world, and makes something new out of it. 



Plato and Aristotle on Poetic Imitation: It was Plato, not Aristotle who invented the term ‘Imitation’. In Platos’ view, a work of art is no more than an imitation of imitation. He argues that a carpenter can make no more than an imitation of the reality, and the bed he makes is once removed from the truth. But, the painter’s bed is, argues Plato, twice removed from the truth. Read More Drama It is an imitation of imitation. In like manner the poet too creates only a copy of a copy, Aristotle holds that poetry, or for that matter any fine art, is not an imitation of imitation, but imitation of reality. In his view, Imitation is the objective representation of life in literature. It is the imaginative reconstruction of life. Thus, “Imitation distinguishes what we call creative literature from literature which is didactic” (Scott-James).

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