IGNOU BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BEGC-102

European Classical Literature

BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment January 2023

Section A

Q 1. Write short notes in about 100 words each:

(i) Epic

(ii) Unity of Action

Ans. An epic is a long narrative poem that typically tells the story of a heroic figure or group of figures, often set against a backdrop of significant historical or mythological events.

Epics are characterized by their grand scope, their elevated language, and their use of epic conventions such as formal invocation of the muse, epic similes, and catalogs of warriors or ships.

The oldest and most famous epics come from ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, and India. Examples of these include the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, the Aeneid of Virgil, and the Mahabharata and Ramayana of India.

These epics typically focus on heroic figures such as Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, and Rama, and often involve conflicts between gods and mortals or between different groups of humans.

BEGC 102 Assignment Question

Epics often serve as cultural touchstones, reflecting the values, beliefs, and cultural heritage of the society in which they were created.

They are often considered foundational works of literature and have had a profound influence on subsequent literary traditions.

In addition to ancient epics, there are also many modern examples of the genre. These include works such as Milton’s Paradise Lost, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and the modernist epic The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot.

Modern epics often explore contemporary issues and themes, but they still retain many of the traditional epic conventions and characteristics.

Overall, the epic is a rich and diverse genre that has played an important role in the development of literature and culture.

From the heroic tales of ancient Greece and Rome to the modernist experiments of the 20th century, the epic remains a powerful form of storytelling that continues to captivate and inspire readers around the world.

Ans. (ii) Unity of action is a principle of dramatic structure that states that a play should have one central storyline or plot that is coherent and focused.

It is one of the three classical unities, along with unity of time and unity of place, that were first articulated by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

According to Aristotle, unity of action means that a play should have a single, unified plot that is tightly constructed and has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

The plot should be focused on a central character or group of characters, and all the events and conflicts in the play should be related to that central plot.

Any subplots or secondary characters should serve to support or complicate the main plot, and should not distract from it.

The principle of unity of action is important because it helps to create a sense of coherence and focus in a play. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

By having a single, unified plot, the playwright can create a strong sense of momentum and tension, as the audience becomes invested in the outcome of the story.

It also helps to make the play more accessible and easier to follow, as the audience is not distracted by multiple plotlines or irrelevant details.

Many great works of drama, both ancient and modern, have employed the principle of unity of action to great effect.

For example, Shakespeare’s Hamlet focuses on the central plot of Hamlet’s attempt to avenge his father’s murder, while also including subplots such as the love story between Hamlet and Ophelia.

Similarly, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman has a single, unified plot focused on the downfall of Willy Loman, a salesman struggling with the pressures of modern American capitalism. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Overall, unity of action is an important principle of dramatic structure that helps to create coherence and focus in a play.

By keeping the plot focused on a central storyline and avoiding distractions or unnecessary subplots, playwrights can create a strong sense of momentum and tension that keeps the audience engaged and invested in the outcome of the story.

Q 2. Reference to the Context in about 100 words each:

(i) “… This proclamation I address to all:-
Thebans, if any knows the man by whom
Laius, son of Labadacus, was slain,
I summon him to make clean shrift to me.”

(ii) “…What happened after that I cannot tell,
Nor how the end befell, for with a shriek
Burst on us Oedipus; all eyes were fixed
On Oedipus, as up and down he strode,
Nor could we mark her agony to the end”.

Ans.(i) This quote is from the opening scene of the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Oedipus, the King of Thebes, is addressing the people of his city in an effort to solve the mystery of who killed King Laius, his predecessor.

In his proclamation, Oedipus promises to punish whoever is responsible for the crime, and he encourages anyone with information to come forward and speak the truth. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

This proclamation sets the plot in motion and establishes the central conflict of the play. Oedipus is a just and determined ruler who is committed to finding justice for the murdered king, but he is also unwittingly searching for himself.

As the play unfolds, it becomes clear that Oedipus is actually the murderer he is seeking, and that he is the son of Laius and Jocasta, his own mother.

The irony of the situation is that Oedipus is both the investigator and the subject of the investigation, which creates a sense of dramatic tension and tragedy.

Furthermore, the proclamation also establishes Oedipus as a just and moral character, who is committed to upholding the law and punishing wrongdoers.

This sets up a sharp contrast with his eventual downfall, as he realizes that he himself is guilty of the very crime he has sworn to punish.

The proclamation also reveals the importance of truth-telling and confession in the play, as Oedipus seeks to uncover the truth about the murder and bring the perpetrator to justice.

In this sense, the proclamation serves as a thematic statement for the play as a whole, highlighting the importance of truth, justice, and moral accountability in society. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Overall, this quote is a significant moment in Oedipus Rex, as it establishes the central conflict and themes of the play, while also revealing key aspects of Oedipus’s character and moral worldview.

Ans. (ii) This quote is from the final scene of the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. It is spoken by the Chorus, as they reflect on the events that have unfolded and describe the final moments of Oedipus and Jocasta.

In this scene, Oedipus has just discovered the truth about his identity and the crimes he has committed, and he is overwhelmed by a sense of horror and despair.

The quote captures the dramatic intensity of this moment, as Oedipus reacts with a loud shriek and begins to pace up and down the stage.

The Chorus describes how all eyes are fixed on Oedipus, as he grapples with the devastating realization that he has killed his own father and married his own mother.

This moment is a turning point in the play, as Oedipus’s world is shattered and his sense of identity is completely destroyed.

The quote also highlights the tragic fate of Jocasta, Oedipus’s mother and wife, who is driven to despair by the revelations of the play.

The Chorus cannot describe her agony to the end, suggesting that she too is overwhelmed by the horror of the situation and may even take her own life.

This adds to the overall sense of tragedy and despair in the play, as the characters are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the cruel twists of fate that have brought them to this point.

Furthermore, this quote also serves to underscore the theme of fate and free will in the play. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Despite Oedipus’s efforts to escape his fate and avoid the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, he ultimately finds himself powerless in the face of destiny.

The Chorus’s description of the final moments of the play suggests that Oedipus’s fate is inescapable and that his tragic end was always preordained.

Overall, this quote captures the emotional and dramatic climax of Oedipus Rex, as the characters are forced to confront the brutal truth of their lives and the power of fate to shape their destinies.

It is a poignant and haunting moment that underscores the enduring power and relevance of Sophocles’s masterpiece.

Section B

Q 1. Write a note on the different facets of war that is highlighted in the Iliad.

Ans. The Iliad, an epic poem by Homer, depicts the Trojan War between the Greeks and the Trojans. The poem explores various facets of war and its impact on individuals, society, and culture.

Here are some of the different facets of war that are highlighted in the Iliad:

Honor and glory: In the Iliad, honor and glory are highly valued by the warriors, and they are willing to fight and die for them. Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior, initially refuses to fight because he feels that his honor has been insulted.

The poem explores how the pursuit of honor and glory can lead to both heroic deeds and tragic consequences.

Violence and brutality: The Iliad is a graphic portrayal of the violence and brutality of war. The warriors engage in bloody battles, and the descriptions of the killings are often vivid and disturbing. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The poem also depicts how war can dehumanize people and turn them into ruthless killers.

Trauma and suffering: The Iliad explores the psychological impact of war on the warriors. The characters experience trauma and suffering, and their lives are forever changed by their experiences in battle.

The poem shows how war can leave deep emotional scars and haunt individuals long after the fighting has ended.

Leadership and politics: The Iliad depicts the role of leaders and politics in war. Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek army, is depicted as a flawed and arrogant ruler whose actions often lead to conflict and division among his own troops.

The poem explores how leadership and politics can shape the outcome of war and have a profound impact on the lives of the soldiers.

The costs of war: The Iliad explores the costs of war, not just in terms of the physical destruction and loss of life, but also in terms of the impact on families, communities, and society as a whole.

The poem depicts how war can tear apart families and communities and leave lasting scars on entire cultures.

Overall, the Iliad portrays war as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that affects individuals and societies on many different levels.

The poem explores the heroism, violence, trauma, and politics of war, as well as its costs and consequences.

It is a powerful and timeless meditation on the human experience of war and its enduring impact on our lives and culture.

Q 2. Does Oedipus Rex resonate with us even today? Discuss.

Ans. Oedipus Rex, the ancient Greek tragedy written by Sophocles, tells the story of Oedipus, a king who unknowingly fulfills a prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Despite being written over 2,000 years ago, the play continues to resonate with audiences today. Here are some reasons why:

Universal themes: Oedipus Rex deals with universal themes that are still relevant today, such as fate, free will, identity, and truth.

The play explores the idea of whether we have control over our destinies or if our lives are predetermined by fate.

It also raises questions about the nature of identity and whether we can ever truly know ourselves. These themes are still relevant and resonate with audiences today.

Complex characters: The characters in Oedipus Rex are complex and multifaceted, which makes them relatable to audiences. Oedipus, for example, is a tragic hero who is both admirable and flawed.

He is a great leader who cares deeply about his people, but he is also impulsive and stubborn.

The other characters in the play, such as Jocasta and Creon, are similarly complex and nuanced, which makes them feel like real people rather than one-dimensional archetypes.

Psychological depth: Oedipus Rex delves into the psychological depths of its characters, particularly Oedipus.

The play explores his inner turmoil as he struggles to come to terms with the truth about his identity and his actions.

His descent into madness and his realization of his own guilt are both powerful and poignant, and they continue to resonate with audiences today.

Timelessness: Despite being set in ancient Greece, Oedipus Rex is a timeless play that speaks to audiences of all cultures and backgrounds.

The themes and issues it raises are universal and enduring, which means that the play is still relevant and resonant today.

The power of tragedy: Oedipus Rex is a tragedy, and it demonstrates the power of this genre to move and affect audiences.

The play evokes feelings of pity and fear in the audience, as they watch Oedipus’s tragic downfall unfold. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Tragedy continues to be a powerful form of storytelling today, and Oedipus Rex is a prime example of its enduring appeal.

Q 3. Does Euclio get integrated into society at the end of the Pot of Gold? Comment.

Ans. In the play “The Pot of Gold” by Titus Maccius Plautus, the character Euclio is portrayed as a miserly man who hoards a pot of gold that he has found in his courtyard.

The play revolves around Euclio’s attempts to protect his gold from others who try to steal it.

However, in the end, he is forced to give up his gold and is left with nothing. It can be argued that Euclio does not get integrated into society at the end of the play, as his greed and selfishness prevent him from being accepted by others.

Throughout the play, Euclio is shown to be a miserly man who is obsessed with his pot of gold. He hides it in various places and takes extreme measures to protect it, even going so far as to accuse his own daughter of theft.

His greed and selfishness make him an outcast in society, as he is unwilling to share his wealth with others. This is evident when he refuses to pay his daughter’s dowry, even though it would help her to marry a good man.

In the final scene of the play, Euclio is forced to give up his gold to Megadorus, a wealthy man who wants to marry his daughter.

This marks a turning point for Euclio, as he realizes that his obsession with wealth has caused him to lose everything.

However, even though he gives up his gold, he does not become integrated into society. Instead, he is left alone and penniless, with no friends or family to turn to.

This is evident in the final lines of the play, where Euclio laments his fate and realizes that he has been a fool to hoard his gold.

Thus, it can be argued that Euclio does not get integrated into society at the end of the play. His greed and selfishness have made him an outcast, and even though he gives up his gold, he is still unable to connect with others.

The play highlights the dangers of greed and the importance of social connections in life. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

It suggests that those who are obsessed with wealth and material possessions are doomed to a life of loneliness and isolation, and that true happiness can only be found through relationships with others.

Furthermore, it is important to note that Euclio’s isolation is not only a result of his own actions, but also a product of the society in which he lives.

The play is set in ancient Rome, a society that placed great value on social status and wealth. Euclio’s status as a poor man with no connections or social capital makes him an outsider in this society.

This is evident in his interactions with other characters, who often look down on him and treat him with contempt.

For example, Megadorus, the wealthy man who wants to marry Euclio’s daughter, only shows interest in him because of his wealth. Once Euclio has given up his gold, Megadorus no longer has any use for him.

In this sense, the play can be seen as a commentary on the social inequalities of ancient Rome. Euclio’s isolation is not simply a result of his own actions, but also a product of a society that values wealth and social status above all else.

The play suggests that those who are not born into privileged positions are doomed to a life of struggle and isolation, and that the pursuit of wealth and material possessions can ultimately lead to one’s downfall.

Q 4. Examine the satire as a genre.

Ans. Satire is a genre of literature that uses humor, irony, and exaggeration to criticize and expose the flaws of individuals, institutions, and society as a whole.

Its purpose is to provoke thought and reflection, and to expose the absurdities and contradictions of human behavior.

Satire can take many forms, including essays, novels, plays, and poetry, and it can be both serious and humorous. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Satire has a long history in literature, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was used to comment on political and social issues.

One of the most famous satirical works from this time is “The Frogs” by Aristophanes, which criticizes the political leaders of Athens through the use of humor and satire.

In the Middle Ages, satire was often used to comment on the hypocrisy and corruption of the church and its leaders.

One of the most famous examples of this is Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” which satirizes the greed and corruption of the clergy through the character of the Pardoner.

During the Renaissance, satire became a popular form of social criticism, with writers like Erasmus and Thomas More using it to comment on the political and religious upheavals of the time.

The Enlightenment saw the rise of satirical novels like Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” which uses satire to comment on the moral and intellectual failings of human beings.

In the 20th century, satire continued to be an important genre in literature, with writers like George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, and Joseph Heller using it to criticize totalitarianism, war, and capitalism.

Satire also became a popular form of comedy, with TV shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show” using humor and satire to comment on current events and politics. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the key features of satire is its use of irony and exaggeration. Satirical writers often use these techniques to highlight the absurdities and contradictions of human behavior, and to draw attention to the flaws and shortcomings of individuals, institutions, and society as a whole.

For example, Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” uses irony and exaggeration to criticize the economic and political policies of the British government, while Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” uses satire to comment on the horrors of war and the absurdity of human violence.

Another important feature of satire is its use of humor. Satirical writers often use humor to make their criticisms more palatable and engaging, and to draw attention to the ridiculousness of the situations they are criticizing.

This humor can take many forms, including sarcasm, wit, and parody.

Satire is also often characterized by its social commentary. Satirical works often comment on the issues and problems of the day, whether they be political, social, or cultural.

By using humor and irony to criticize these issues, satirical writers can help to provoke thought and reflection, and to expose the flaws and contradictions of human behavior. BEGC 102 Solved Free Assignment 2023

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