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CHIEF CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AGE OF CHAUCER

INTRODUCTION: The age of Chaucer is the first significant period in the literary history of England. In every walk of life there were signs of change. The social, political, religious and literary changes were taking place. In short, it was an age of change.

AN AGE OF TRANSITION: The age of Chaucer was a transitional age. The medievalism was departing and modernism was developing slowly. Wycliffe and his followers were sowing the seeds of Reformation. They were making attack upon the church. Individualism was being emphasized. Military events were contributing to the growth of patriotism and national consciousness. The industrial development was giving rise to the middle and working classes. It led to the end of feudal system. In this way we find that the age of Chaucer was an era of transition.

GROWTH OF NATIONAL SENTIMENT: The age of Chaucer witnessed the beginning of the Hundred Years War. England was at war with Scotland and France. This war brought great victories in the battles …

CHAUCER'S HUMOUR

INTRODUCTION:  Chaucer is the father of English poetry. He is called the first great English humourist also. The current of good humour flows in all his poetry. It has great variety. It is subtle, sly, spontaneous, natural, paradoxical and commonplace. No other writer of his age equals him in this field. He is highly praised for his fantastic humour. In this respect Chaucer can be compared with Shakespeare and Dickens.

DEEP INSIGHT AND SYMPATHETIC ATTITUDE: Humour produces laughter and smile. With the help of this literary weapon the author laughs at someone and at something. It is sometimes limited to gentle and sympathetic laughter. Chaucer's humour is based on his deep insight and sympathetic attitude. His laughter is never the laughter of contempt. It is because this great poet has no scorn for idiots. He has no strong feeling of distaste for rascals. It is the laughter that springs from the frailties and foibles of mankind.

KEEN OBSERVATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE: 'The Prologue t…

CHAUCER AS A POET

Chaucer is called the father of English poetry. It is he who founded English language and poetry alike. He is always remembered for his humour, realism, characterization, humanism and narrative art.

HUMOUR: Chaucer is the father of English humour also. He made it the life and soul of his writings. His humour is allied to his humanism. It is healthy device to penetrate into human heart. It is not sarcastic, bitter and pungent. But it is marked by tolerance, charity, forgiveness and sympathy. These qualities make his humour genial. With the help of this humour, the poet laughs at the frailties and foibles of mankind.

REALISM:As the first great realist Chaucer presents the true picture of the 14th century England. He plays the role of a true social chronicler. By choosing a pilgrimage framework He has given a realistic touch to the setting of ' The Canterbury Tales'. He sees things and paints them as he sees. He portrays men and women truthfully. He gives us minute details of their…

TWELFTH NIGHT AS A ROMANTIC COMEDY

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Introduction:  William Shakespeare is a great playwright.Twelfth Night is one of the best romantic comedies by him. It can be compared with the Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing and As you Like It. It deals with the light and trivial incidents of life. It combines romantic elements with comic elements. It has a happy ending. Happiness through Marriages: Twelfth Night possesses certain features which are common to all romantic comedies of Shakespeare. It is based on love leading to marriage. Almost all the characters are the patients of the same disease - love. The fifth act brings them all happiness through marriage. The Duke gets Viola, Olivia gets Sebastian and Sir Toby feels content with Maria. The entire fifth act echoes with the wedding bells and offers a happy ending.

Female Dominance: In Shakespearean romantic comedies female characters play important role. This predominance gives the play an air of romance. In this play the entire story revolves round the two female ch…

HAMLET'S MADNESS

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INTRODUCTION: 'Hamlet' is considered to be the best tragedy of Shakespeare. The prince of Denmark, Hamlet, is the protagonist of this play. He is a very complex character. His madness in the play is a contradictory issue. On this issue the critics of Shakespeare and the characters of the play are divided in their opinions. Some critics are of the view that Hamlet is really mad. Some others say that his madness is a mere pretence. Is Hamlet's madness real or feigned? This question demands discussion. To know the answer of this big question, it is essential to analyse and evaluate the major incidents of this play.

FEIGNED MADNESS: First of all it should be noted that the feigning of madness is a part of the Revenge play. In 'Hamlet' Shakespeare maintains this convention. Hamlet is sane throughout but feigns insanity. Some important critics like Dowden, Richardson and Wilson Knight say that Hamlet's madness is not real but it is pretence. Some others call it craf…

HAMLET AS A REVENGE TRAGEDY

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Shakespeare is the best dramatist of English literature. Hamlet is his most popular play. It is called a Revenge tragedy. When we go through the whole play, it seems that it is a revenge play. Many critics approve it. Revenge is a powerful, natural and dangerous emotion. To satisfy inner urge, an individual takes the law into his own hands. Some times the revenge appears as the source of political and domestic horror. It is a feeling that never sleeps. It appeals to dramatist because it provides a logical framework for the depiction of human passions. It also appealed to Shakespeare and he used it as a major theme in his Hamlet. The Revenge Tragedy is especially associated with Seneca, an ancient Roman dramatist. Seneca produced the tragic effect by horrifying incidents, bloody actions. This type of tragedy reached in England during Elizabethan period. Kyd opened a new chapter in the history of The Revenge play. Shakespeare also adopted the dramatic tradition of the Revenge…

DR. FAUSTUS REFLECTS THE SPIRIT OF RENAISSANCE: DR. HARESHWAR ROY

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INTRODUCTION: The Renaissance gave birth a new age in England. It cleared off the cobwebs of ignorance and superstition. It made the way clear for the diffusion of new thoughts and new ideals. It developed the passion for knowledge infinite and love for more and more power. Deep learning began to find flavour. People of this age began to take interest in the exploration of new world and in the adventure. Literature, music, dance and mirth played a significant role in the general life of the people of this age. Interest in science, nature and geography stirred the people of the age.

DR. FAUSTUS:The Renaissance inspired the writers of the age to give expressions to the values that the Renaissance had brought in its wake. Marlowe also showed his love for the Renaissance spirit. His 'Dr. Faustus' reflects all the important features of the Renaissance. The hero of the play is a great Renaissance figure. His career may be described as the 'Microcosm of Renaissance humanism'. …

DR.FAUSTUS AS A SPIRITUAL TRAGEDY

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 Marlowe is a great dramatist. He is called the man of Renaissance. He holds a unique place in the realm of English literature. He is a great innovator of techniques. He has put a new life in the blank verse. His mighty lines are as famous as the pyramids of Egypt are. Dr. Faustus is Marlowe's masterpiece. It has been composed in blank verse. It deals with the dramatization of the medieval legend of Dr. Faustus. He was a necromancer of the 16th century. Marlowe has taken this legendary character as the principal character of this play. He has added to it the note of hunger for infinite power. This is the major theme of this drama. Its plot or structure is loose and weak. But the interest and appeal of the play depends upon its unity of the character. Dr. Faustus himself is a living play with living acts, scenes, incidents and episodes.
In the play Dr. Faustus is fond of study. He wavers among many subjects. But at last he decides to study magic and necromancy to gain power,…