BRITISH LITERATURE: 19th CENTURY
BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Q.I Explain with reference to context the following lines:
(i) Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
Ans. These lines are from the poem “The Lotos-Eaters” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The speaker is describing a desire to escape the troubles and cares of the world and live in a peaceful and idyllic place called the “Lotos-land.”
The Lotos-land is a symbol of an ideal state of mind where people can live free from the stress and worries of everyday life.
The speaker suggests that they should make an oath to keep their minds equal, meaning that they should remain balanced and free from any extreme emotions or thoughts.
They should vow to live and recline on the hills of the Lotos-land like gods, free from the worries and concerns of the world.
The phrase “careless of mankind” indicates that the speaker believes that human society and its concerns are not worth worrying about, and that they can find a more fulfilling and peaceful life in the Lotos-land.
The phrase also suggests a sense of detachment from society, as if the speaker is looking down upon the world from a higher plane.
Overall, these lines express a longing for a peaceful, idyllic life in a world free from the cares and concerns of everyday life, where one can live like a god, reclining on the hills and without worrying about the problems of human society.
(ii) No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
of pain, darkness and cold.
Ans. These lines are from the poem “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The speaker, Ulysses, is an aging hero who has grown tired of his life of ease and comfort at home. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He is speaking to his fellow sailors, urging them to set sail with him on a new adventure.
The lines express Ulysses’ desire to experience life to the fullest, to taste everything that it has to offer, just as the heroes of old did.
He is not content to live a comfortable life at home, but instead wants to live a life of adventure and excitement, facing the challenges and hardships that come with it.
When Ulysses speaks of “bearing the brunt,” he means that he is willing to face the difficulties and challenges of life head-on, to take on the heavy burden of the world and all its problems.
He sees this as a noble and heroic act, just as the heroes of old did, and is willing to pay the price of pain, darkness, and cold that comes with it.
The phrase “minute pay glad life’s arrears” means that Ulysses is willing to pay back all the debt he owes to life, all the experiences and adventures he has yet to have.
He is eager to do this quickly, in a minute, so that he can enjoy the rest of his life with no regrets. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The lines suggest that Ulysses has a strong sense of duty and honor, and is willing to face whatever challenges come his way in order to fulfill his destiny as a hero.
He is not afraid of pain, darkness, or cold, but instead welcomes them as a necessary part of the adventure.
Overall, these lines express Ulysses’ longing for adventure and excitement, and his willingness to face the challenges and hardships that come with it. He is determined to live life to the fullest and fulfill his destiny as a hero, just as the heroes of old did.
(iii) One summer morn forsook
His friends, and went to learn the gypsy lore,
And roam’ed the world with that wild brotherhood,
And came, as most men deem’d, to little good,
But came to Oxford and his friends no more.
Ans. These lines are from the poem “The Scholar Gipsy” by Matthew Arnold. The poem tells the story of a young scholar who becomes fascinated with the gypsy lifestyle and abandons his studies to join their community.
The lines describe how the scholar forsakes his friends one summer morning to learn the gypsy lore and roam the world with this wild brotherhood.
He sets out on a journey of self-discovery and adventure, leaving behind the comfort and security of his former life.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The phrase “gypsy lore” refers to the traditional knowledge and practices of the gypsy community, which the scholar seeks to learn and understand.
The gypsy lifestyle represents a freedom and spontaneity that the scholar finds appealing, and he is drawn to their unconventional way of life.
The lines also suggest that the scholar’s journey is not a conventional one, and that many people do not understand or approve of his decision to join the gypsies.
They view his choice as a mistake, and believe that he has come to little good by abandoning his studies and leaving his friends behind.
The phrase “came to Oxford and his friends no more” implies that the scholar’s journey has taken him far away from his former life and the people who knew him there.
He has left behind his academic pursuits and his social connections, and has embarked on a new path of adventure and self-discovery.
Overall, these lines express the theme of the poem, which is the conflict between the demands of conventional society and the desire for freedom and self-discovery.
The scholar’s decision to join the gypsies represents a rejection of the expectations and limitations of his former life, and a desire to explore the unknown and embrace the unconventional. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
While his decision may be seen as foolish or misguided by some, it also represents a brave and adventurous spirit that is willing to take risks and explore new possibilities.
(iv) Then joining hands to little hands
Would bid them cling together,
“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
Ans. These lines are from the poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley. The poem is about a young orphan girl named Annie, who is taken in by a family and helps with household chores and childcare.
The lines describe how the children in the household would join hands with one another, and be reminded of the importance of family and friendship.
The speaker tells the children that there is no friend like a sister, emphasizing the bond of sisterhood as a source of comfort and strength, both in times of calm and in times of hardship.
The phrase “joining hands to little hands” suggests a gesture of unity and solidarity, as the older children reach out to the younger ones and remind them that they are not alone.
This moment of connection and togetherness is a reminder of the importance of family and community, and of the support and care that we can offer one another.
The speaker’s emphasis on the bond of sisterhood suggests a theme of family and kinship that runs throughout the poem.
Annie, as an orphan, has no family of her own, but is welcomed into a new family and finds a sense of belonging there. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The children in the household, by joining hands and clinging together, symbolize the importance of these familial ties, and the comfort and security that they can provide.
The phrase “calm or stormy weather” implies that these bonds of sisterhood and family are important not just in times of ease and comfort, but also in times of difficulty and challenge.
The image of a storm suggests a moment of crisis or upheaval, and the speaker’s words suggest that it is in these moments that the bond of sisterhood can be most important, as a source of strength and support.
Q 1. What role did the women play in the French Revolution as seen in A Tale of Two Cities?
Ans. The French Revolution was a period of political and social upheaval in France from 1789 to 1799, which had significant implications for women’s roles in society.
Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities” is set during this tumultuous period and explores the experiences of women during the French Revolution.
Women played an active and significant role in the French Revolution, both as participants in the revolutionary events and as victims of the violence that characterized the period. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In “A Tale of Two Cities”, Dickens portrays women in a variety of roles, from aristocrats to peasants, and from victims to revolutionaries.
Throughout the novel, women are portrayed as powerful agents of change, who are able to effect change in their society despite the many obstacles they face.
One of the most notable female characters in “A Tale of Two Cities” is Madame Defarge, who plays a key role in the French Revolution as a leader of the revolutionary forces.
Madame Defarge is a strong, independent woman who is fiercely committed to the cause of the revolution, and who is willing to use violence to achieve her goals.
Her knitting, which she does constantly throughout the novel, serves as a symbol of her role in the revolution, as she uses her skills with the needles to create a record of the enemies of the revolution.
Madame Defarge is also a survivor of the violence of the old regime, and her experiences have made her determined to seek revenge against the aristocrats who oppressed her people.
Her husband and sister were both murdered by members of the aristocracy, and Madame Defarge is motivated by a deep desire for justice and retribution.
She is also a symbol of the transformative power of the revolution, as she is able to rise from a position of powerlessness and victimization to become a powerful force for change.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another important female character in “A Tale of Two Cities” is Lucie Manette, who is the daughter of Dr. Manette, a former prisoner of the Bastille.
Lucie is portrayed as a gentle, loving woman, who represents the ideals of love and compassion that the revolution seeks to uphold.
Her presence in the novel serves as a counterpoint to the violence and chaos of the revolution, and her unwavering love for her husband, Charles Darnay, is a symbol of the transformative power of love.
Lucie is also a victim of the violence of the revolution, as she is threatened by the mobs that roam the streets of Paris, and she is forced to flee the city with her family in order to escape the violence.
However, her presence in the novel also represents the hope and optimism that the revolution brings, as she is able to find happiness and love despite the many obstacles she faces.
Other female characters in the novel, such as the seamstress who is executed alongside Sydney Carton, and the young girl who is crushed by the mobs in the streets, represent the victims of the violence of the revolution.
These characters serve as a reminder of the human cost of the revolution, and of the many innocent lives that were lost in the pursuit of political change.
In conclusion, “A Tale of Two Cities” portrays women in a variety of roles during the French Revolution, from leaders to victims, and from aristocrats to peasants.
Women played a significant role in the revolution, both as participants in the events and as victims of the violence that characterized the period.
Dickens’ novel portrays women as powerful agents of change, who are able to effect change in their society despite the many obstacles they face.
The novel also serves as a reminder of the human cost of the revolution, and of the many innocent lives that were lost in the pursuit of political change.
Q 2. Trace the theme of fatalism in the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Ans. The Mayor of Casterbridge, a novel by Thomas Hardy, explores the theme of fatalism through its protagonist, Michael Henchard.
Henchard is a complex character who is plagued by his past mistakes and a sense of inevitability about his future. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Throughout the novel, Hardy uses symbolism, foreshadowing, and irony to emphasize the theme of fatalism and the idea that one’s fate is predetermined.
One of the key symbols of fatalism in the novel is the weather. Hardy uses descriptions of the weather to foreshadow events and to create a sense of foreboding.
For example, when Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane arrive in Casterbridge, the weather is described as “murky and lowering”, which suggests that their arrival will bring trouble and turmoil to the town.
Similarly, when Henchard is about to discover his past misdeeds, the weather is described as “an inclement day in November”, which creates a sense of unease and suggests that his discovery is inevitable.
Another symbol of fatalism in the novel is Henchard’s handwriting. Henchard has a habit of writing impulsively and without much thought, which leads to many of his mistakes and misfortunes.
For example, he writes a drunken letter to Farfrae, his business partner, which leads to their falling out and ultimately to Henchard’s downfall.
His handwriting is also symbolic of his inability to control his fate and his tendency to act impulsively without considering the consequences of his actions.
Irony is another technique that Hardy uses to emphasize the theme of fatalism. For example, when Henchard is at his lowest point, he is elected mayor of Casterbridge, which seems to suggest that his fate is predetermined and that he cannot escape his past mistakes. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Similarly, when Henchard tries to make amends for his past by confessing his misdeeds to Farfrae, his confession only leads to further misunderstandings and ultimately to his downfall.
Foreshadowing is another technique that Hardy uses to emphasize the theme of fatalism.
For example, early in the novel, Henchard sells his wife and daughter at a fair, which sets the stage for his later downfall.
This event foreshadows his inability to escape his past and the sense of inevitability that he feels about his fate.
Similarly, when Henchard meets Lucetta, his second wife, he has a sense of foreboding that their relationship will end badly. This foreshadows the tragic ending of their relationship and Henchard’s ultimate downfall.
Finally, the theme of fatalism is reinforced through the character of Henchard himself. Henchard is a tragic figure who is unable to escape his past mistakes and who feels that his fate is predetermined.
He is haunted by his past misdeeds and by the sense that he is powerless to change his future. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This sense of fatalism is reinforced by the way that Hardy portrays Henchard’s character, as a flawed and imperfect human being who is ultimately unable to escape the consequences of his actions.
Q 3. What poetic devices has Browning employed in his poem ‘Meeting at Night’?
Ans. Robert Browning’s poem “Meeting at Night” is a beautiful depiction of the emotions of two lovers who are meeting clandestinely.
The poem is filled with a range of poetic devices that add to the beauty of the poem and help to convey the emotions of the lovers.
The poetic devices employed by Browning in “Meeting at Night” include imagery, metaphors, personification, and symbolism.
One of the key poetic devices that Browning uses in “Meeting at Night” is imagery. He uses vivid, sensory language to describe the landscape and setting of the poem, which helps to create a rich and vivid picture in the reader’s mind.
For example, in the first stanza, Browning uses imagery to describe the sea at night, with the waves “wrinkling” and “crisp” and the “long, white, mounded lines” of the waves. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This imagery helps to create a sense of the power and beauty of the sea at night, and sets the scene for the lovers’ clandestine meeting.
Browning also employs metaphors in “Meeting at Night” to convey the emotions of the lovers.
For example, in the second stanza, Browning compares the journey of the lover to the journey of a bird, saying that he is “like a bird that has flown / Somewhere, back to its native unknown.”
This metaphor helps to convey the sense of longing and desire that the lover feels as he travels to meet his beloved.
Personification is another poetic device that Browning uses in “Meeting at Night.” He gives human qualities to non-human objects, which helps to create a sense of movement and life in the poem.
For example, in the first stanza, Browning personifies the sea, saying that it “booms and bellows,” and in the third stanza, he personifies the land, saying that it “quivers” and “rustles.”
This personification helps to create a sense of movement and energy in the poem, and adds to the overall sense of excitement and anticipation of the lovers’ meeting.
Finally, Browning employs symbolism in “Meeting at Night” to convey the themes and emotions of the poem. For example, in the second stanza, he uses the symbol of a lighthouse to represent the lover’s beloved.
The lighthouse is described as “a beacon for me to steer by,” which suggests that the lover’s beloved is a guiding light in his life.
Similarly, in the final stanza, Browning uses the symbol of a “red wire” to represent the passion and love between the lovers. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This symbol helps to convey the intensity of their feelings for each other and adds to the overall sense of romance and emotion in the poem.
Q 4. Write a critical appreciation of the poem ‘The Splendour Falls’.
Ans. “The Splendour Falls” is a beautiful poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem is a vivid depiction of the beauty and grandeur of nature, and the emotions that it evokes in the poet.
The poem is filled with vivid imagery, rich language, and a sense of wonder that captures the reader’s imagination.
The poem begins with a beautiful description of a waterfall, which the poet describes as a “splendour” that “falls on castle walls.”
The imagery here is incredibly vivid and creates a sense of majesty and awe. The image of the waterfall cascading down the castle walls is particularly striking and creates a sense of contrast between the natural world and the man-made world.
Throughout the poem, Tennyson uses a variety of poetic devices to create a sense of wonder and awe. He uses metaphors, similes, and personification to bring the natural world to life. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in the third stanza, Tennyson compares the sound of the waterfall to the “clangor of arms” which creates a sense of power and strength.
In the fifth stanza, Tennyson personifies the wind, saying that it “weeps” and “whispers” which creates a sense of intimacy and emotion.
Another key theme of the poem is the idea of memory and the passing of time. Tennyson describes how the beauty of nature can evoke memories and emotions, and how these memories can stay with us long after the moment has passed.
In the seventh stanza, Tennyson describes how the memory of the waterfall will stay with the poet long after he has left the castle:
“Forever and forever, farewell Cassivelaunus’ tower!
Farewell to every stone on every streamed battlement,
This broken banquet hall, where ruin drips and glimmers.”
This sense of nostalgia and longing is a recurring theme throughout the poem and adds to its emotional depth.
Finally, the poem is notable for its use of sound and rhythm. Tennyson’s use of alliteration and repetition creates a sense of musicality that adds to the poem’s beauty. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in the first stanza, Tennyson repeats the “s” sound, creating a sense of fluidity and movement:
“The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.”
Overall, “The Splendour Falls” is a beautiful and evocative poem that captures the beauty and grandeur of nature, and the emotions that it can evoke in us.
Tennyson’s use of vivid imagery, rich language, and a sense of wonder creates a powerful and emotional effect that stays with the reader long after they have finished the poem.
The themes of memory, time, and the beauty of the natural world are timeless and resonate with readers of all ages, making “The Splendour Falls” a true masterpiece of English literature.
Q 1. Write a detailed note on Dickens’ representation of the French revolution.
Ans. Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” is set during the French Revolution and provides a vivid representation of the social and political turmoil of the time.
Dickens’ portrayal of the revolution is complex and multifaceted, encompassing both the violence and brutality of the era as well as the underlying social and economic tensions that fueled the revolution.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the central themes of the novel is the idea of justice and injustice, and Dickens uses the French Revolution as a backdrop to explore these themes.
He portrays the revolution as a necessary and just response to the oppressive social and political conditions of the time, but also highlights the excesses and violence that accompanied the revolution.
Throughout the novel, Dickens presents a stark contrast between the opulent lifestyles of the aristocracy and the poverty and hardship experienced by the working-class people of Paris.
The harsh living conditions of the poor are depicted in vivid detail, and Dickens portrays the aristocracy as corrupt and decadent.
This portrayal serves to highlight the underlying tensions and grievances that fueled the revolution, and helps to contextualize the violence and brutality that followed.
One of the most powerful scenes in the novel is the storming of the Bastille, which Dickens depicts in graphic detail.
The violence and chaos of the scene are vividly portrayed, with the mob tearing down the walls of the prison and killing the governor.
This scene serves to highlight the desperation and anger of the people, and the lengths they were willing to go to in order to achieve justice and freedom.
However, Dickens also portrays the revolution as a violent and bloody struggle that ultimately leads to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
The character of Madame Defarge, in particular, represents the dark side of the revolution, as she seeks revenge against the aristocracy and becomes a symbol of the violent and vengeful aspects of the revolution.
Another key aspect of Dickens’ representation of the revolution is his portrayal of the role of the individual in shaping history.
The novel’s central characters – Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton, and Lucie Manette – all play important roles in the unfolding events of the revolution, and their individual choices and actions have significant consequences for the course of history.
This focus on the individual serves to highlight the complexity and unpredictability of historical events, and underscores the idea that history is shaped by the actions and decisions of individuals.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In addition to his representation of the revolution itself, Dickens also portrays the wider social and political context in which the revolution occurred.
He highlights the corruption and decadence of the aristocracy, and their indifference to the suffering of the working class.
This portrayal serves to underscore the underlying tensions and grievances that fueled the revolution, and helps to contextualize the violence and brutality that followed.
Another important theme in the novel is the idea of sacrifice and redemption.
The character of Sydney Carton, in particular, embodies this theme, as he sacrifices himself for the sake of the woman he loves and the greater cause of freedom and justice.
Through his selfless act of sacrifice, Carton is able to redeem himself and find meaning and purpose in his life.
One of the most striking aspects of Dickens’ representation of the revolution is his use of imagery and symbolism.
Throughout the novel, he uses a variety of symbolic elements – such as the blood-soaked streets of Paris, the guillotine, and the knitting women – to evoke the violence, brutality, and passion of the revolution.
This use of symbolism serves to heighten the emotional impact of the novel and underscores the significance of the events that are unfolding.
At the same time, Dickens also employs a range of literary techniques – such as foreshadowing, irony, and metaphor – to convey his message and deepen the meaning of the novel. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, the novel’s opening lines – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – use a powerful contrast to highlight the paradoxical nature of the revolution and the complex and contradictory forces that were at work.
Overall, Dickens’ representation of the French Revolution in “A Tale of Two Cities” is a powerful and nuanced portrayal of one of the most significant events in modern history.
Through his vivid depiction of the social and political context in which the revolution occurred, as well as his complex and multifaceted characterization of the revolution itself, Dickens offers a profound commentary on the nature of power, justice, and the human condition.
His novel remains a lasting testament to the enduring impact of the French Revolution and its continued relevance to the present day.
Q 2. “Character is destiny and destiny is character.” Discuss this statement keeping in mind Henchards role in the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Ans. The statement “Character is destiny and destiny is character” is a philosophical idea that suggests that a person’s character is the determining factor of their fate in life.
This idea is particularly relevant in the context of the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, as the central character, Michael Henchard, embodies this concept in his rise to power and his eventual downfall.
Henchard’s character is marked by a number of qualities that define his personality and determine his fate.
He is a man of great ambition, drive, and determination, who rises to become the mayor of Casterbridge through his hard work and perseverance.
However, his character is also marked by a deep sense of pride, arrogance, and impulsiveness, which ultimately lead to his downfall.
Throughout the novel, Henchard’s fate is closely linked to his character. His impulsive decisions and erratic behavior often lead to disastrous consequences, and his pride and arrogance prevent him from seeing the consequences of his actions.
For example, his decision to sell his wife and daughter at the beginning of the novel sets in motion a series of events that ultimately lead to his downfall.
His refusal to forgive his wife and daughter, and his insistence on maintaining his dignity and reputation, lead to his isolation and eventual ruin.
At the same time, Henchard’s character also shapes his destiny in more subtle ways. His relentless drive and determination propel him to success, but his inability to let go of his past mistakes and failures ultimately prevent him from achieving true happiness and fulfillment. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
His constant striving and ambition come at a great cost to his relationships and personal life, as he alienates those closest to him and is left alone in his pursuit of power and success.
Despite his flaws and shortcomings, however, Henchard remains a sympathetic character. His struggles and failures are relatable and understandable, and his eventual downfall is tragic and poignant.
His character is complex and multifaceted, and his fate is the result of both his strengths and weaknesses as a person.
In many ways, Henchard’s character embodies the idea that destiny is character. His flaws and shortcomings are inextricably linked to his fate, and his struggles and failures are the result of his personality and temperament.
At the same time, his strengths and virtues also shape his destiny, as his drive and determination propel him to success and recognition.
Moreover, Henchard’s character is also deeply affected by his past, which contributes to his destiny. His past is a source of great shame and guilt, and he is haunted by the mistakes he has made in his life.
This sense of regret and remorse shapes his personality and drives him to pursue success and recognition as a means of compensating for his past mistakes.
Another important factor in Henchard’s destiny is his relationships with others. His interactions with other characters in the novel have a significant impact on his fate, and his character is often revealed through these relationships.
His relationships with Susan and Elizabeth-Jane, for example, reveal his capacity for love and tenderness, as well as his flaws and shortcomings.
Similarly, his relationships with Farfrae and Donaldson reveal his jealousy and pride, as well as his desire for recognition and power.
In the end, Henchard’s fate is sealed by his own character and choices. His pride and arrogance prevent him from seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, and his determination and drive blind him to the true costs of his actions.
He is a tragic figure, driven by his own flaws and shortcomings to a fate that he cannot escape.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, Henchard’s fate is not entirely predetermined by his character. Throughout the novel, he has the opportunity to make different choices and change the course of his life.
He could have chosen to forgive Susan and Elizabeth-Jane, or to seek reconciliation with Farfrae and Donaldson. Instead, he chooses to cling to his pride and ambition, ultimately sealing his own fate.
Q 3. Critically analyse Browing’s ‘My Last Duchess’.
Ans.”My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue that tells the story of a wealthy Duke who is giving a tour of his art collection to a potential marriage prospect’s emissary.
The poem is full of rich imagery and language, and is a powerful exploration of power, control, jealousy, and love.
One of the most striking aspects of “My Last Duchess” is the way in which the Duke’s character is revealed through his speech.
The entire poem is a monologue, with the Duke speaking directly to the emissary, and it quickly becomes clear that the Duke is controlling, possessive, and deeply jealous.
He speaks about his late wife, the “last Duchess,” with a sense of ownership and entitlement, as though she was nothing more than a possession that he had the right to control and manipulate.
The way in which he describes her as “my” and “mine” underscores this sense of ownership, and his fixation on her smile and behavior around other men reveals his deep insecurity and need for control.
Another important aspect of “My Last Duchess” is the way in which Browning uses language and imagery to reveal the Duke’s character.
The language of the poem is rich and ornate, full of allusions and metaphorical language that reveal the Duke’s obsession with power and control.
The Duke describes his late wife’s smile as something that he “gave commands for,” and his reference to “the curtain I have drawn for you” underscores his desire to control the narrative and shape the emissary’s perception of the Duchess.
The imagery of the poem is also striking, particularly the use of the portrait of the Duchess as a symbol of her beauty and the Duke’s desire to possess and control her.
The portrait itself becomes a metaphor for the way in which the Duke sees his wife as an object to be owned and controlled, rather than a person with her own agency and desires. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The fact that the portrait is hidden behind a curtain, and can only be revealed at the Duke’s discretion, underscores his desire to control the narrative and shape the emissary’s perception of the Duchess.
Despite the power and control that the Duke wields throughout the poem, there are moments when his vulnerability and insecurity are revealed.
When he speaks about the Duchess’s behavior around other men, there is a sense of jealousy and possessiveness that borders on obsession.
He is deeply insecure about his own position of power and wealth, and this insecurity is reflected in his need to control and dominate those around him.
Another important theme in “My Last Duchess” is the idea of gender roles and the way in which the Duke sees women.
The Duke’s treatment of his late wife is emblematic of the way in which women were often treated as possessions rather than individuals in patriarchal societies.
The Duke sees his wife as little more than an object to be controlled and manipulated, and he is deeply threatened by her independent spirit and her interactions with other men.
At the same time, the poem is also a commentary on the nature of art and the role that it plays in shaping our perceptions of the world around us.
The portrait of the Duchess is a work of art, and yet it is also a representation of the way in which the Duke sees his wife.
The fact that the portrait is hidden behind a curtain, and can only be revealed at the Duke’s discretion, underscores the power of art to shape our perceptions of the world and the people around us.
The poem also highlights the tension between the public and private spheres, and the way in which the Duke’s desire for control spills over into both realms.
The fact that the Duke is showing the emissary his art collection in the first place suggests that he is interested in shaping the emissary’s perception of him, and the way in which he speaks about his late wife and her behavior with other men underscores his desire to control the narrative and shape the way in which others see him.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the most powerful moments in the poem is the final line, in which the Duke dismisses the emissary and turns his attention to a new prospect.
The fact that he is already looking for a new wife suggests that he sees women as little more than objects to be possessed and controlled, and it underscores the deeply disturbing nature of his character.
Overall, “My Last Duchess” is a powerful and disturbing poem that explores some of the darkest aspects of human nature.
Browning’s use of language and imagery is masterful, and he uses the dramatic monologue form to great effect in revealing the Duke’s character and motivations.
The poem is a powerful reminder of the dangers of possessiveness and jealousy, and a warning against the kind of power and control that the Duke wields over his late wife and those around him.
Q 4. Write a critical appreciation of Arnold’s poem ‘The Scholar Gypsy’.
Ans. Matthew Arnold’s “The Scholar Gypsy” is a poem that explores the theme of the search for knowledge and the allure of the unorthodox.
The poem tells the story of a young Oxford student who abandons his studies and joins a band of gypsies in search of a mystical figure known as the “scholar gypsy.”
The poem is a meditation on the nature of knowledge, the allure of the exotic, and the power of the human spirit to transcend conventional boundaries.
One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of language and imagery to create a vivid and evocative portrait of the gypsy way of life.
Arnold’s descriptions of the gypsy camp, with its bonfires, dancing, and music, are richly detailed and imbued with a sense of mystery and enchantment.
The poem captures the allure of the exotic and the unknown, and celebrates the idea of breaking free from the constraints of conventional society in search of something more profound.BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
At the same time, the poem is also a meditation on the nature of knowledge and the search for meaning in life.
The scholar gypsy represents the idea of the unorthodox, the outsider who challenges conventional wisdom and pursues knowledge in unconventional ways.
The young student’s decision to join the gypsies in search of the scholar gypsy is a powerful affirmation of the human spirit and the desire to break free from the constraints of conventional thinking in order to discover something more profound and meaningful.
Throughout the poem, Arnold employs a range of poetic devices to create a sense of wonder and enchantment.
His use of alliteration, assonance, and other sound devices gives the poem a musical quality that evokes the rhythms of the gypsy camp.
The repetition of certain phrases and images throughout the poem, such as the image of the scholar gypsy as a figure of mystery and fascination, reinforces the central themes of the poem and helps to create a sense of unity and coherence.
Another important aspect of the poem is its exploration of the tension between reason and imagination.
The young student’s decision to join the gypsies in search of the scholar gypsy is a rejection of the rigid confines of reason and a celebration of the power of imagination and intuition.
The poem suggests that there is a deeper truth that can be found through the intuitive powers of the human spirit, and that this truth is often obscured by the rigid structures of conventional thinking and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.
The scholar gypsy himself is a fascinating figure, and one that embodies many of the themes of the poem.
He is a symbol of the power of knowledge and the allure of the unorthodox, and his mysterious presence in the poem reinforces the sense of wonder and enchantment that pervades the gypsy camp. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
At the same time, he is also a symbol of the dangers of knowledge and the pitfalls of unconventional thinking, as his fate remains a mystery and his ultimate fate is uncertain.
Ultimately, “The Scholar Gypsy” is a poem that celebrates the power of the human spirit to transcend conventional boundaries and pursue knowledge and meaning in unconventional ways.
Arnold’s use of language, imagery, and poetic devices creates a vivid and evocative portrait of the gypsy camp, and his exploration of the themes of reason, imagination, and the search for knowledge is both thought-provoking and inspiring.
The poem is a powerful reminder of the importance of questioning conventional wisdom and pursuing one’s own path in life, and it remains a classic of English literature to this day.
Furthermore, Arnold’s poem serves as a critique of the rigid social conventions and expectations of Victorian society.
The scholar gypsy is an outsider, rejected by mainstream society for his unconventional lifestyle and pursuit of knowledge.
The poem suggests that society’s emphasis on conformity and material success stifles creativity, curiosity, and individuality.
The scholar gypsy, in contrast, is a model of intellectual and spiritual independence, whose rejection of worldly success in favor of knowledge and self-discovery represents a challenge to the values of Victorian society.
Another significant aspect of “The Scholar Gypsy” is its exploration of the relationship between nature and spirituality. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Arnold suggests that nature can serve as a source of spiritual renewal and inspiration, and that the scholar gypsy’s connection to the natural world is essential to his intellectual and emotional well-being.
The poem describes the scholar gypsy’s retreat to the woods, where he is surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature.
The forest becomes a symbol of spiritual transcendence, a place where the scholar gypsy can escape the mundane concerns of daily life and connect with the deeper truths of existence.
Arnold also employs the metaphor of music to convey the scholar gypsy’s spiritual quest.
Music represents a form of expression that is both transcendent and universal, capable of communicating emotions and ideas that cannot be put into words.
The scholar gypsy is described as a master of music, capable of evoking powerful emotions in his listeners through his skillful playing.
This connection between music and spirituality suggests that the scholar gypsy’s pursuit of knowledge is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a deeply emotional and spiritual one.
In terms of form and style, “The Scholar Gypsy” is characterized by its use of rich, evocative language and powerful imagery.
Arnold employs a range of literary techniques, including alliteration, metaphor, and simile, to create a vivid and immersive poetic landscape.
The poem is written in a series of elegiac stanzas, each of which serves to advance the narrative and deepen the emotional resonance of the work.
The use of the elegiac form is particularly appropriate, given the poem’s emphasis on loss, longing, and the transience of life.
Overall, “The Scholar Gypsy” is a powerful and evocative poem that speaks to the human longing for knowledge, freedom, and spiritual fulfillment.
Arnold’s use of vivid imagery, powerful metaphor, and evocative language creates a poetic landscape that is both beautiful and thought-provoking.
The poem’s exploration of the relationship between nature and spirituality, as well as its critique of Victorian social norms, make it a work of enduring relevance and significance. BEGC 110 Solved Free Assignment 2023
“The Scholar Gypsy” remains a testament to the power of poetry to capture the essence of human experience and illuminate the deepest truths of existence.