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Showing posts from April, 2019

A COOKING EGG

'A Cooking Egg' is a fantastic poem by Eliot. Eliot is one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. This poem is a dramatic monologue. Here the poet reviews his past and contrasts it with the present and the future. 'A Cooking Egg' appeared in 1920. Its title is highly significant. A cooking egg is an egg, which has grown old and stale but can still be used for cooking. Like such an egg the poet has also grown old and lost the freshness of youth. In short, the title is appropriate. 'A cooking Egg' is a well-knit poem in quatrains but it has an internal structure too. It has three parts. The first part presents a scene. The second part looks to the future and the third to the past. In short, the first part presents his reality, the second his realised hopes and the third bewails their fulfillment. The first scene of the poem takes place in Pipit's room. She is sitting silently opposite the speaker. He recollects that Pipit was the partner of his childhoo…

ARMS AND THE MAN

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Shaw is a very great dramatist of England. His 'Arms and the Man' is a pleasant play. It is both amusing and thought provoking. It makes us laugh and it makes us think. Its title is suitable. It conveys the main theme of the play. The plot of the play deals with arms and war. Moreover, the romantic illusions of love and war are shattered here through discussion and action. In this play Shaw shows that the man is always greater than the machine. The title of this play justifies this idea. Thus it is highly appropriate. This title is taken from Dryden's translation of Virgil's Aeneid. Aeneid is an epic in which arms and war are glorified. But Shaw has reversed this order in his play. According to him man should not fight war to gain glory and humour. Man should try to live; soldiers should try to save their lives.

In fact, 'Arms and the Man' is a drama of ideas. Its plot revolves round war. It deals with men and their arms. Act I constitutes the Exposition of the…

BYE BYE BLACKBIRD

Anita Desai is a reputed Indo Anglican woman novelist. In her novels the focus is on the inner climate. They deal with the cultural displacement of the protagonists. Her protagonists are acutely aware of their nothingness in the modern set up. They feel that they are not worth anything in society. Their sense of futility is extremely appalling. Desai's 'Bye Bye Blackbird' is a fine novel. It presents the theme of alienation and East- West clash. It is a study of human relationships also. This third novel of Desai deals with the travels of Indian immigrants in England. It describes the emotional trauma and disturbances experienced by Indian immigrants in England. The major theme of 'Bye Bye Blackbird' is alienation. All the three major characters- Dev, Sarah and Adit suffer from alienation. Dev is a young man who comes to London to study economics. He stays there with Adit and Sarah. He is not happy to see the humiliation of Indians at the hands of Britishers. Due to …

SLEEP WALKING SCENE

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Macbeth is one of the greatest tragedies of William Shakespeare. It is called the tragedy of ambition and fate. In this play there are some significant scenes. They have their dramatic significance. Among them ' Sleep Walking Scene' is one of the most memorable and remarkable scene. This important scene occurs at the beginning of Act 5. Scene 1 of this act is the famous sleep walking scene. Here we find that Lady Macbeth is walking in sleep. She has become mad. In her madness she accepts her guilt. She is full of darkness. She needs light even in the day. 'Sleep Walking Scene' opens in an anteroom of the castle of Dunsinane. A doctor has been called in as a result of Lady Macbeth's sleep walking. When the doctor is talking to the waiting woman, Lady Macbeth enters. She is walking in sleep. She has a burning candle in her hand. Her eyes are open. She is rubbing her hands together as if she wants to wash something out of them:

" Out, damned spot! I say! - One; two…

MACBETH

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Macbeth is the protagonist of the play 'Macbeth'. It is a very complex character. Macbeth's motives cannot be clearly analysed and labelled. His imagination and sensibilities are better elements in his character. His ambition is his tragic trait. Macbeth is a man of ambition. It becomes the root cause of his downfall. This ambition draws him to commit severe crimes. He wants to be the king of Scotland. The witches and Lady Macbeth play important roles to make Macbeth a man of high ambition. To achieve his aim he kills king Duncan, Banquo and many others. His weakness of will is responsible for his crime. Macbeth, no doubt, is a great warrior. He is loyal to the king. He is a very good man at heart. But the witches exercise a subtle influence upon him. It means that Macbeth has not a strong will. That is why he comes in the grip of evils. It is Macbeth's weakness of will that throws him into the power of witches and of Lady Macbeth. Due to this weakness, he easily surrend…

RIDERS TO THE SEA

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J. M. Synge is one of the greatest dramatists of modern period. His contribution to the Irish theatre is notable. He wrote both tragedies and highly moving comedies. He reacted sharply against the popular realistic drama. So, he reverted to legend and myth. He is a great observer of peasantry. As a playwright his greatness lies in his use of the idiom of peasantry. ‘Riders to the Sea' is a powerful and deeply moving tragedy in one act. The action of this poignant tragedy takes place on one of Aran Islands. It deals with the life of Maurya and her family members. Their belief and suffering have been presented. It starts with the note of foreboding and ends with the note of resignation.

‘Riders to the Sea' is a drama about primitive life. In primitive life the sea plays an important role. In this play the sea has been presented as a mysterious power. It has the capacity of giving and taking away life. Maurya is the main character of this play. The sea has played the game of great …

HOPKINS

G. M. Hopkins is a unique figure in the history of English poetry. He belongs to the 19th century. He has composed about three hundred poems. He is considered to be an original poet. He made some revolutionary innovations. Hopkins's poetry reflects his detailed observations of nature and architecture. His writing was exclusively religious. He discarded the romantic style of verse. It was he who changed the current of English poetry. On this basis he is ranked as a modern poet also. All the poetry of Hopkins has one unifying theme- the glory and greatness of God. The ascetic and aesthetic combine in his themes. His love of God and his dedication to God can be found in his poetry. He was indebted to Donne and other metaphysical poets. He was committed to religion as a Jesuit Priest. This limited his themes to God, Man and Nature. His poems deal with the struggle between self and duty. After Milton, Hopkins is the greatest religious poet of England. The beauty of nature is a recurren…

GABRIEL OAK

It is generally admitted that mastery of character is the first essential of the novelist's art. Hardy's greatness in this field is seldom questioned. Gabriel Oak is the hero of ' Far From the Madding Crowd'. He is one of the Hardy's most impressive creations. He is the protagonist of the whole human drama. He represents Hardy's conception of rural character at its best. Gabriel Oak is an ideal shepherd farmer. He knows well how to take care of newborn lambs and to feed them. He works as double supervisor of Bathsheba's and Bold wood's farms. He shows the gifts of management and prudence in agricultural affairs. After Bold wood's imprisonment, he makes arrangements for taking the Little Weatherbury farm in his own hands. Thus he is a complete shepherd and a complete farmer. Hardy's ' Far From the Crowd' begins with the description of Gabriel Oak as a countryman. He has all the good qualities of a countryman. He loves nature and enjoys out…

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

‘Far From the Madding Crowd' is one of the best-known novels of Hardy. It is Hardy's finest masterpiece. In this novel many sides of Hardy's genius are shown fully developed. The title of this novel is apt and justified. This is part and parcel of the novel. It is ironic. Here we find Hardy's ironic view of human endeavour. The limited location of this novel is centred on the village of Puddle Town. Most of the action of this novel takes place in the countryside. The story of this novel has the wealth of variety. It has many facets. Joy and sorrow, action and description flash past in turn. The story runs through numerous incidents before it comes to happy consummation. Here we find the humour of rustic life and description of nature. What strikes us most is the variety of the moods and interests. ' Far From The Madding Crowd' is a purely pastoral novel. It has all the elements of a pastoral story and it maintains the dignity of pastoral tradition. In short, this…

PIED BEAUTY

G. M. Hopkins is a unique figure in the history of English poetry. He is a great religious poet and creator of an original poetic medium of his own. He has praised the beauty and bounty of nature as God's gift and a mark of his presence in he world. Pied Beauty is a very beautiful poem by Hopkins. It deals with religious theme. It was composed in 1877. Then the poet was a Jesuit Priest.Like his many poems, Pied Beauty deals with the glory and greatness of God. Being a Jesuit Priest, Hopkins noticed unexpected beauty in Nature. This beauty impressed the poet. He praised God for it. He perceived Christ in the landscape, which inspired him to write sonnets as this one. Pied Beauty is divided into two parts. In the first part of the poem the poet describes the pied or variegated beauty of nature. This beauty is described through vivid and concrete visual imagery. The poet mentions many dappled things as the skies, the rose, chestnuts, landscape etc. According to Hopkins such beauty is …

CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Christina Rossetti is considered to be one of the important poets of English literature. She was a pre- Raphaelite poet. Like all other poets of pre- Raphaelite School of poetry, she was a true artist. Art was her religion. She followed the ideal of simplicity. Rossetti was born in London in 1830. She belonged to a talented family. She has a religious bent of mind. She lived the life of an ascetic. She loved a man but she refused to marry him because he did not share her faith. Thus she was passionately devoted to her beliefs. Rossetti's poetry is predominantly religious. Her personal faith is reflected in her poetry. She believes in Keatsian philosophy of' Beauty is truth, truth beauty'. She showed a lyrical gift, a pure sense of melody and remarkable power of versification.
The thematic consistency of her work makes her poetry a composite whole. Death is an important theme of her poetry. In this context she can be compared with Emily Dickinson. Her most exquisite songs are …

VALENTINE'S DAY

Charles Lamb is a greatest essayist. He acquired immortal recognition for himself. He is known as the prince of the English essays. His "Valentine's Day" is a beautiful essay. His essays are mostly subjective and this essay is not an exception. "Valentine's Day" is an essay, which is written, in lighter vein. It opens with an invocation to Bishop Valentine. In a humorous manner the description is given with numerous minute details. In this essay the essayist talks about "Valentine's Day". This is celebrated mostly in the Christian world on 14th February. It is associated with St. Valentine. He was a Bishop. He was martyred and became very popular. But this day is celebrated by the lovers to express their love. Love tokens are exchanged between the lovers. Thus Bishop Valentine acts as an immortal agent between lovers. Lamb says that the gifts that are given on this day are called "Valentine's". These gifts bear a symbol of the hum…

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

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Jane Austen is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. She produced six full length novels. Among them "Pride and Prejudice" is the most popular novel. It is regarded as a fine piece of composition. It has an indelible place in history of English novels. In the words of an eminent writer "Pride & Prejudice” occupies the highest position amongst the novels of Jane Austen. It is indeed the most widely read and popular novel of the writer.           Love and marriage form an important element in Jane Austen's novels. Hers was a practical idealism. She was preoccupied with the subject of love and marriage. In her novels a young woman falls in love with a rich and desirable man. She has to face a lot of difficulties in the way of her marriage, but everything ends well. Austen is against illicit love. According to her love must terminate in matrimony. For a successful marriage mutual harmony is essential. Husband and wife should be spiritual counterparts of…

TINTERN ABBEY

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The 'Tintern Abbey' is one of the most representative poems by William Wordsworth. It occupies an important place among his shorter poems. It reveals the spiritual development of the poet. This poem deals with his attitude towards Nature. The 'Tintern Abbey' is the last poem of the 'Lyrical Ballads'. This great poet paid a second visit to the famous Wye Valley in July 1798. His sister Dorothy was with him. It was a delightful and pleasant spot. Being impressed by the beauty of this place, the poet composed this poem. The present poem consists of three parts. The first part describes the scene in the valley. Here we find the description of mountains, fruit gardens, green trees, river, hedge rows and rising smoke. In the second part of the poem the poet tells us the various stages of his approach to Nature. The third part is addressed to his sister Dorothy. The poet says that Nature would console her in the miseries. Nature never betrays its worshipper. This poem …

THE TYGER

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‘The Tyger’ is a unique poem by William Blake. It is a matchless, dignified and popular poem in the annals of English poetry. It has been extracted from ' The Songs of Experience '. Mysticism is its hallmark. Here the poet has attained sublimity. ‘The Tyger’ reveals the poet's preoccupation with evil. He is of the view that the sins of man will be punished by his own creation. Here we get an inkling of the cosmic forces that have created this world. Through questions the poet conveys his wonder at the creation of the tiger. The opening of the poem is fantastic. Here the poet addresses the tiger. A dream image emerges: Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In this opening stanza we get a terrifying picture of the tiger who lives in forest. His eyes shine in the darkness of the night. He has been fashioned by an unknown spirit. The tiger is a symbol for the fierce in the soul. The forests signify the d…

ELIZABETH BENNET

Jane Austen is known for her art of characterisation. In her 'Pride and Prejudice', we find many living characters. Among them Elizabeth Bennet is one. She is the heroine of the novel. In the novel she is the embodiment of prejudice. She is compared with Shakespeare's Beatrice. Saintsbury regards her as one of the five finest heroines of the 19th century English literature. Elizabeth is one of the five daughters of Bennets. She is a clever, witty and lively character. She is very attractive and charming. She is very intelligent and she has the most fascinating features. Her eyes are very attractive. They attract the hero of the novel. She is full of humour. She is mentally sane and well disciplined spiritually and emotionally. The title of the novel makes it clear that Elizabeth is an object lesson of prejudice. When Darcy rejects the proposal of dance and passes harsh comments, she feels shocked. She develops a prejudice against him. She rejects Darcy's proposal of mar…

DARCY

Darcy is the hero of the novel 'Pride & Prejudice'. He appears almost in the beginning of the novel. He is a very wealthy young man. He is a very handsome and smart. But he has a weakness in his character. This weakness is that he suffers from pride. In the novel we find that he is a haughty man. Elizabeth's prejudice subsides in the end; there is never any abatement of Darcy's pride. Various characters of the novel also feel that pride has often been his best friend. This weakness of his character has formed the beginning part of the title of this novel. Pride is a general attribute of a rich man. As Darcy is a prosperous man, he also suffers from this weakness. He feels that any beautiful lady will be ready to marry her. At the dance occasion he does not regard Elizabeth as a suitable partner. Almost all the ladies regard him a proud young man. No lady would like to feel attraction towards such a person. Thus no woman feels the slightest attraction towards him. Th…

THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

Jonathan Swift is one of the best satirist of English literature. He belongs to the 18th century England. He is always remembered for his ‘A Tale of a Tub’, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and ‘The Battle of the Books’. All these satires earned wide acclaim. In these three satires, he vehemently satirised the follies and vices of the life of the time. The political, religious and literary controversies are treated as major themes in these satires. His satires are full of imagination, inventiveness and rhetorical skill. ‘The Battle of the Books’ is written on the famous controversies on the relative matters of the ancient writers. In this controversy Swift took the side of Sir William Temple, his patron. Temple favoured the merits of the ancients. Bentley and Wotton challenged Temple's views. The battle started. In this battle the author favoures the ancient writers. Swift has given this controversy a shape of satire. This controversy is the major theme of ‘The Battle of the Books’. This beauti…