AD's English Literature : June 2016

Symbolism in John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger”: The Bear and Squirrel Game

Some critics feel that the bear and squirrel game is simply a device to escape the harsh and cruel realities of life in the face of mutual conflicts and tensions and the failure of marriage between Alison and Jimmy. This is true as far as it goes, but it does not go very far.

This game is not merely a device for the evasion of the complexities of a marriage. It is the statement of the nature of human love to share the pain and pleasure of life. It seems that Jimmy ultimately reconciles himself to an animal relationship with Alison.

Is T. S. Eliot A Genuine Classicist in “Tradition and the Individual Talent”?



Eliot’s ideas of ‘tradition’, ‘classicism’ and ‘depersonalization’ in  “Tradition and the Individual Talent” should not mislead us. He is not Orthodox or traditionalist in every sense of the terms. He does not like a retreat to Roman Catholicism. He becomes a citizen of England. The land of his forefathers and adopts the religion of that Nation. In his later essays like ‘Frontiers of Criticism’ he does not insist on Tradition. In essays and lectures, Eliot profoundly influenced modern literary criticism. In the collection The Sacred Wood (1920), he contended that the critic must develop a strong historical sense to judge literature from the proper perspective, and that the poet must be impersonal in the creative exercise of the craft.

The Real Secret of Greatness and Popularity of Charles Dickens as a Novelist

Charles Dickens is a good story-teller. His stories are gripping in their interest. Critics after critics have recognized the genius of Dickens; they have also emphasized his many glaring social criticism.  However, critics have mentioned time and again several weaknesses in Dickens’ plot-construction such as superfluity, verbosity, incoherence, lack of unity, improbability, abuse of coincidence, over-crowding of events, lack of logical relationship between the plot and character, subordination of plot and character, over-moralizing, etc.

Are Shakespearean Sonnets a Psychological Drama in Five Acts?

"Shakespeare's verbal imagination was also his dramatic imagination."

Inga-Stina Ewbank (1932 - 2004)
British academic and critic.

Shakespeare and the Arts of Language, "Companion to Shakespeare Studies"


Shakespeare’s sonnets have been a riddle to critics and readers alike and in the maze of criticism and interpretation it is more likely for one to lose his way than to get out of it. For those who believe that the sonnets display a chronological order of composition, the separate poems do not have much value by themselves unless they feel the developing situations show a definite pattern of sustained dramatic utterance. For them it is the poetry of self-dramatization unfolding a psychological drama in full five acts.

The Hidden Mystery behind “The Winter’s Tale” as one of the Dramatic Romances of Shakespeare’s Last period: Reflecting His New Attitude of Life



The Winter’s Tale is one of the last plays of Shakespeare along with Pericles, Cymbeline and The Tempest. These are a cluster of plays, forming as it were a distinct group, indicating a happy end of a long joinery of spirit along the many-splendoured path of drama and poesy. They resemble the romantic comedies and are in a way an extension of the preceding tragic mood at least in patches. They combine in their queer way realism and romance and give to Elizabethan fancy and imagination “a local habitation and a name”. The cruelties and caprices of characters and situations are ultimately redeemed in happy ending with innocence getting victorious in a not-unlike Spenserian world of flower and poetry depicting the charms of a pastoral beauty. The recurrent theme is of recognition, redemption and if one might say regeneration.

Most Important Thing You Need To Know About “The Poet’s Poet”: Edmund Spenser Bridged the Medieval and Elizabethan Periods



"I was promised on a time

To have reason for my rhyme;

From that time unto this season,

I received nor rhyme nor reason."

Edmund Spenser (1552? - 1599)
English poet.

It was Charles Lamb who called Edmund Spenser ‘The poet’s poet’ and in giving him that honoured title, the prince of essayists and critics, was not wrong. Spenser is regarded the poets poet and the second father of English poetry. Chaucer being the real father, because Spenser rendered incalculable service to English poetry in a variety of ways and left behind him models of poetic excellence to be imitated and Spenser followed by a host of poets came in his wake. He is the great English poet, who bridged the medieval and Elizabethan periods, and who is most famous for his long allegorical romance, The Faerie Queene.

Why Some Critics Almost Always Get Confused with William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as a Kind of Romance Written in a Tragic Mood

We find William Shakespeare’s so-called final period producing three romances of which The Tempest is the best representative. Several views persist about these romances and some critic almost always get confused with William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as a kind of romance written in a tragic mood. Dowden finds in them a serene self-possession after the sounding of depths in sorrow; suffering and guilt and consequently he think that the spirit of reconciliation observed in the happy endings is not merely a function of stage device but of a compulsive moral need. Lytton Strachey who challenges Dowden holds that the happy ending may not be a response to stage necessity but is demanded by a fairy-tale atmosphere for which a bored poet was hankering after tragic exhaustion. Dover Wilson challenges Strachey and finds in these plays and particularly The Tempest a spiritual conversion of Shakespeare trying to look into the heart of things. Tillyard opines that there s no cleavage between tragedies and romances, they being supplementary creations.

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