AD's English Literature : June 2015

Characteristics of Do-Well in William Langland’s" Piers the Plowman": Stands for Certain Virtues and Positive Values

The second part of William Langland’s Piers the Plowman or Visio Willelmi de Piers depicts the life of Do-Well. Do-Well (Dowel) manifests itself in the form of Do-Well, Do-Better and Do-Best. The life of Do-Well is seen from Passus VIII to Passus XIV. The poet is in quest of Do-Well. He meets various abstract qualities, such as Thought, Wit, Clergy, Scripture, Imagination, etc. He enquires of them about Do-Well. Each replies in its own way, but the Dreamer is not satisfied with any reply. Read More Middle English As Wikipedia says, “Piers the Plowman —part theological allegory, part social satire—concerns the narrator's intense quest for the true Christian life, from the perspective of medieval Catholicism. This quest entails a series of dream-visions and an examination into the lives of three allegorical characters, Dowel ("Do-Well"), Dobet ("Do-Better"), and Dobest ("Do-Best").”

Elements of Poetry that Differ from Drama and Novel

"When you write in prose, you cook the rice. When you write poetry, you turn rice into rice wine. Cooked rice doesn't change its shape, but rice wine changes both in quality and shape. Cooked rice makes one full so one can live out one's life span . . . wine, on the other hand, makes one drunk, makes the sad happy, and the happy sad. Its effect is sublimely beyond explanation." - Wu Qiao 
The elements of poetry that differentiate it from the other major genres of literature, drama and the novel, give us a better understanding of poetry. With some suitable eyes, a reader is able to indicate as well as demonstrate the nature of these elements and their contribution to the effectiveness or quality of a poem. The elements – imagery, rhythm, sound and diction –are the vehicles that the poet utilizes to convey his thoughts and emotions as well as delight his readers. Read More: How to analyze a poem: Technicality &  Ethics

Second Reading of Walter De la Mare's 'Silver' (Slowly, silently, now the moon)

Walter De la Mare's 'Silver'   describes the beauty of a moonlit night and the effect of the moonlight on the earth. The poet has sketched a number of different pictures of the moonlight scene through extended metaphors. But as we know De la Mare's writings have an eerie, fantastic quality, which serves as a means of entry into a world of deeper reality, his perceptions in 'Silver' endow   with charm and candor . Read More Poetry

Critical Commentry on Bacon’s Essay ‘Of Marriage And Single Life’

"He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief."

Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

(Bacon, who is notorious for his Machiavellism, is also very simple and pleasant when the subject happens to be of human interest apart from ambition or politics etc. Bacon’s scholarship, observation, wisdom and analytical faculties are always  evident  ; and are employed to great advantage. )

The essay Of Marriage And Single Life  was published in the second edition of Bacon’s Essays (1612). In  Of Marriage And Single Life  the essayist have given a comparative study between the traits and characteristics, virtues and vices of married and unmarried persons.

Analyses, after Marcel Junod, how “Hiroshima had ceased to exist” in “The First Atom Bomb”: Brutal Destruction of Hiroshima Pains us and Makes us Aware of the Great Dangers of a Nuclear War

Marcel Junod’s essay The First Atom Bomb describes the terrible destruction of practically everything of the once prosperous city of Hiroshima in Japan on 6th August, 1945 as a result of the atom bomb, used for the first time in warfare. Though the Second World War ended soon after, it revealed the great danger of a war in future. The whole essay may be divided into three sharp sections on the three following points

(a) The description of the prosperous Hiroshima,

(b) The detailed account of the destruction of the city by the atom bomb,

(c) MacArthur’s speech on the futility of war.

Critical Analyses of Oscar Wilde’s "The Selfish Giant":One of the Stylish Fairy Tales

Oscar Wilde’s one of the stylish fairy tales The Selfish Giant was included in, The Happy Prince and Other Tales published in 1888. Noted for his witty dialogues, humour, careful choice of words and arrangement of words, Oscar Wilde showed his best in The Selfish Giant . Very simple and very interesting story The Selfish Giant is full of inner meaning and moral message. It suggests that if we give happiness to others we can also feel happiness in our life. The story tells about a giant who was really selfish. In fact, The Selfish Giant moves around a person who is very selfish by nature. He is tall, massive and looks ugly. He doesn’t like the children who are playing in his Garden. His selfishness was quite evident in the act of his depriving the children from the pleasures of his garden.

The Last Romantic : W. B. Yeats, Inspired by a Profound Romantic Urge

"Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry."

W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)

Like the romantic poets of the 19th Century, Yeats was also inspired by a profound romantic urge. He has also evinced in his poetry all the salient characteristics of romanticism, discerned in the poetical works of Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and Coleridge. In perfect and close affinity with the Lake School of poets, he upheld the principles of humanism and love of nature.

The romantic movement of the 19th century which brought about a thorough change in the form and content of poetry was responsible for emancipating English Literature from the neo-classical rigidity and strictest norms. Indeed the romantic poets and specially the chief exponents of the romantic movement, namely Wordsworth, Shelley and Coleridge rescued poetry from the neo-classical artificiality. Subsequently W. B. Yeats is found to strike the very same note in the 20th Century English poetry, which despite its wide range and astonishing   variety, lacks the mellifluous lyricism of the romantics. It would, of course, be a travesty of truth to hold such view that the 20th century literature is artificial, flat, prosaic and jejune. 

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 91

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

A.  Match the items in the List – I with items in List – II according to the code given below:

List – I

List – II

i  1066
1. Henry’s son Edward defeated the rebel factions and restored his father to power.

ii 1215
2. William Duke of Normandy invaded in 1066 and defeated Harold in the famous battle of Hastings.
Iii 1264
3. The Magna Carta agreement signed.
Iv. 1267

4. The outbreak of the second Barons war.



B. This is told about The Hundred Years War:

I.   the interference of France in England’s attempt to control Scotland was the only reason for the conflict.

II. Following the Norman Conquest, the connection of England to the continent has been broken. This was succeeded by conflict of interests and hostilities with France between 1337 to 1453. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions) 

III. The time that was spent fighting in the battlefield was too long, and this provoked a feeling of animosity in the minds of the English, French, the language of the enemy country was in use in England. The hundred years war was partly responsible for the downward trend experienced in the use of the French language in England.

IV. Canons were first used in 1346 by the English at the battle of Crecy.

Find out the correct combination according to the code:

(A) I, II and III are correct, as IV is true explanation of it

(B) I, II and IV are correct, but III is false

(C) I, III and IV are correct, as II is true explanation of it

(D) II, III and IV are correct, but as I is false

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 90

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


Turning Points in English Literature

(a) How many parts, according to Aristotle, are there in a tragedy? (i) Three (ii) four (iii) five (iv) six

 (b) Coleridge belongs to ---- school of criticism (i) Neo-classica (ii) Classical (iii) romantic (iv) Aesthetic Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

(c) Poetry has been defined as ‘criticism of life’ by (i) Aristotle (ii) Dr. Johnson

(iii) Matthew Arnold (iv) T.S. Eliot

(d) Ben Jonson is one of the first significant critics in English.

(a) Romantic (b) Academic (c) Neo-classic (d) Classical

(e) Who called Dryden ‘the father of English Criticism’?

(a) Alexander Pope (b) Doctor Johnson (c) Coleridge (d) Hazlitt Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

(f) How do you Define of Humanism?  What are its characteristics?

We may define Humanism as the rejection of a religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts, a cultural movement of the Renaissance based on Classical studies. It is the belief that people can live using their intelligence and reason rather than depending on a god or religion. Someone who believes in humanism is called a humanist (see Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus, 2006 and Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, 2007). Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

 Humanism, whether, it is viewed as a form of dictate, philosophy, religion, politics, ethics, law, critique, social dictate, fiction, a system or even as a culture, however, and in this what scope and rationality, it may be viewed to exist and function. It is human angle, and is a form of rational and correct behaviour when viewed from the angle of the members of its school of thought or disciples. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 89

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


Turning Points in English Language: Old English (AD 450-1100)
A. English Language can be developed through these phrases: Old English (AD 450-1100), Middle English (1100-1500), and Modern English (1500- until now). 

B. Indo-European family has sub-groups called Italic and Germanic. Germanic is also known as Teutonic. Latin and French developed from Italic at different times. The Germanic group has three branches namely North Germanic, East Germanic, and West Germanic.

C. English came to England only at about the middle of the 5th century, whereas men had inhabited Britain for thousands of years before then.  Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 88

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


Turning Points in English Literary History: Reasoning

A. 597.   In 597 Pope Gregory decided to send a group of missionaries to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The missionaries began by converting King Ethelbert of Kent, in the southeast part of England. The capital of Kent – “Kenwearabyrig,” or Canterbury – thus became the center of Christianity in England, as it still is. They then moved on, from kingdom to kingdom. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)     If they persuaded the king to convert, the king announced to the people that they were now Christian. The missionaries tried to make the conversion as painless as possible. They turned the old pagan temples into Christian-churches, and they turned the old pagan seasonal festivals like “Easter” and “Yule” into Christian holidays. Within about a century all England had become, at least nominally, Christian.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 87

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

A. What is dialect?

Dialect refers to the features of grammar and vocabulary, which convey information about a person’s geographical origin. Speakers of the same language spread across different locations may speak in ways that are slightly different to reflect their geographical setting. Dialects often result from historical and geographical dispersal or separation of members from the original speech community. For instance, English, which was originally located in the British Isles, has dialects spread across the world far away from its original community. So, English has the native dialect – dialects spoken by some people as their mother tongue in places such as Britain, America, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)     

B. What is accent?

The term accent is different from dialect in the sense that it refers mainly to the features of pronunciation, which indicate the regional or the social identity of a speaker. It is also a characteristic pronunciation determined by the phonetic habits of the speaker's native language carried over to his or her use of another language. Accent is only part of dialect variation.

Theme of Time in English Text: A Perennial Theme With The Poets of All Ages

"Time would pass, old empires would fall and new ones take their place…before I discovered that it is not quality of goods and utility which matter, but movement; not where you are or what you have, but where you have come from, where you are going and the rate at which you are getting there."
C. L. R. James (1901 - 1989)

Time theme has been a perennial theme with the poets of all ages. Time is the thief of life and time makes us conscious of our changes in age and decay. Shakespeare, through the mouth of Jaques says that it was nine one ‘hour before and it will be eleven one hour after. So we ripe every hour and thus rot, and like ripe fruits we fall. Rosalind expresses our acute sense of time when she says to Orlando how time ambles to some, how time trots to some, how time gallops to some. Shakespeare on another occasion has said that time must have a stop. In Heaven, time does not move, and it is ‘a seat of bliss’. Read More literary essays  Time is the tyrant that makes us submit to it and work according to the clock time or machine time in the modern age. Elizabeth Drew calls the tyranny of time as the ‘foremost’ in human life. Poetry can be immortal, but man himself is doomed to a time world. The Elizabethan sonneteers  including Shakespeare treat the time theme and say how their love and poetry will conquer time and death. ‘Love’s not time’s Fool’. The friend in Shakespeare’s sonnets fears that time of year when yellow leaves, or none or few do hang. When confronted with love and poetry, finite Time bows down to infinite poetry and in finite love. ‘Carpe Diem’ theme made popular by the Roman poet Catullus runs through the lyrics and sonnets of the Elizabethan time — ‘Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may/Tomorrow will be dying”. Andrew Marvell in his poem To His Coy Mistress treats time in a witty manner and brings out the serious theme of brevity of human life and love.
“But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity”.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 86

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


(a). What is the sources of Farces? Name two Farcist playwrights.

Farces   have its origin in France and Germany: well known Farcist playwright   Hans Sachs (France),   John Heywood (England). 

(b). What are the Masques?

 Masques are a type of play with poetry, music, dance and songs that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

(c). How far can you trace Travel literature?

Travel literature gained currency during the song Dynasty (960 – 1279) of medieval China. The travel literature authors: Fan Chengda (1126 – 1193) and Xu Xiake (1587 – 1641) in China ;  Sir John Mandeville, the account of Marco Polo’s journey to China, Elizabeth an age of navigation, the discovery of Americas and West Indies as reported by Hakluyt, Raleigh and Drake in Britain.

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