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WILLIAM HAZLITT

William Hazlitt is one of the greatest English essayists. He is classified as a romantic essayist. He was a prolific writer. He was eager to inquire into human life with all its variety. He wrote of a vast range of topics. He was keenly interested in a vast variety of things-books of all kinds, politics, sports, stage etc. He conveyed his enjoyment and observation to the readers through his essays. Hazlitt's essays are grave in nature. They are very serious and thought provoking. They show his philosophic bent of mind. A large number of his essays are on abstract ideas such as Egotism, Reason, Imagination, and the fear of Death etc. He is more interested in the idea than in the essay as a form. He does not indulge in moralizing. In his hands essay became a means of self-expression. His essays are autobiographical in nature. He puts himself as the centre of his essay. He often glides into the past. He weaves the texture of his essays by the threads of memory. He thus reveals his lif…

THOMAS GRAY

Thomas Gray is the greatest poet between Milton and Wordsworth. He is called the poetical classic of the 18th century. It is he who has offered some immortal poems to the literature of his nation. 'An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' is the best example of it. Gray is a great and matchless elegiac poet in the annals of English poetry. He indulged himself in the luxury of tears. Melancholy is the distinguishing feature of his poems. His poetry is full of sorrow, suffering, disease and death. As a true mourner Gray mourns the tragic fate of mankind. He always deals with the mortality and meaninglessness of human life. His 'ELEGY...' is a sincere song of mourning. Thus Gray is par excellence a poet of death and mourning. Thomas Gray is transitional poet. He showed his merit between the Neo-Classical and Romantic Age. Thus his position as a classic and as a precursor of Romanticism is established. It is said that he began his career as Classicist but ended as a Romanti…

FROM FAIREST CREATURES BY SHAKESPEAERE

‘From fairest creatures’ is an excellent poem. It has been composed by Shakespeare. This poem belongs to the poet's first group of sonnet. It deals with the metaphorical pictures of Time, Youth and Beauty. The present sonnet is addressed to a young man. He is a man of matchless beauty. He is the friend of the poet. The poet requests his friend to immortalize himself through his issues. The poet's friend is the fairest of creation. He is of very tender age. His social position is very high. The poet expects from him that he should develop his own race. It seems that the young man is unwilling to marry. In the beginning of the poem the poet says to his friend that he should follow the laws of nature. According to the poet all the beautiful things should be multiplied. Thus the fair youth should marry and beget children. The poet is of the view that the life is a subject to decay and death. Thus the fair youth should try to produce children to perpetuate his image. In the middle pa…

DOVER BEACH BY MATTHEW ARNOLD

Matthew Arnold is a very great poet of English literature. His 'DOVERBEACH' is one of the finest lyrics of the 19th century. It is the most famous lyric among all his lyrics. It reflects the melancholy of a troubled but brave spirit. Here the world has been presented as dreary and desert. About the dates and sources the scholars are divided in their opinions. It is said that this poem was not composed in one sitting. It is because there is a break between its last two stanzas. But on the whole this fine poem heightens our appreciation for Arnold's melancholy. 'DoverBeach' starts with the images of stasis. The poet is standing at the English coast. He is watching the waves of the sea. The sea is calm and quiet. Arnold's keen observation of the sea is remarkable. He describes the process through which rough pebbles are made smooth. Thus we can say his description of nature is vivid, pictorial and accurate. The first two stanzas depict the mood of tranquility. The po…

DICKENS

Charles Dickens is the representative novelist. He represents the tendencies, manners, vices and virtues of his age. For the first time he introduced the poor and the oppressed. He felt the suffering of the poor and depicted pictures of their lives in his novels. He aroused the conscience of the people. He is considered to be the greatest creative genius of England. He is among the greatest humorists of the world. For Sheer variety and abundance of invention he has no equal. Realism: Dickens is the pioneer of realism. His keen observation makes him a realist of high order. As a realist he centred his eyes on London and low life. To him London was the epitome of contemporary English life. He knew London thoroughly. Thus he was the first genuine storyteller of London life. His best characters belong to the lower class. In his novel we find workhouses, slums, prisons, cruel laws and poverty. As a realist, he exposes the various evils of Industrial Revolution. He describes vividly the terr…

DARNAY

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest novelists of English literature. He is known for his art of characterisation. In his 'A Tale of Two Cities', we get a lot of characters.Charles Darnay is one of them. He is considered to be the hero of the novel. He is central character of the story. He plays his role from the beginning to the end of the story. Charles Darnay is a young man. He is well grown and well looking. He has sunburnt cheek and dark eyes. He belongs to a rich aristocratic family. But he has no attraction for prosperity. He wants to lead a peaceful and simple life in London. Thus he accepts the job of a teacher for his living. He is an ideal son who loves his mother ardently. He frequently goes to Paris to see her. Darnay is an impressive character. He is kind, generous and humanitarian. He is polite and he has love and kindness for the poor. Darnay and Lucie love each other. To lead a peaceful life he marries Lucie with the consent of her father. Before marriage he d…

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Charles Dickens is a unique novelist of 19th century. He is known as the chronicler of town life. He precisely depicts the town life and melancholy of middle class. As a social reformer he uses fiction as a plot form for his social appeals. Laughter and tears lie closely together in his writings. He is the most lovable of the novelist. Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities" is a very popular novel. It deals with the happenings of the two cities - Paris and London during French Revolution. The novelist has presented the incidents and characters of both the cities without any partiality. Here the characters move freely from Paris to London. Hence, the novelist has rightly named the novel as "A Tale of Two Cities". The plot of this novel is compact, well constructed, economical, racy and dramatic. It is full of suspense, drama and curiosity. Here the aim of the novelist is not describe the French Revolution in detail. He has simply taken some of the incidents of Revolutio…