Selections from Indian Writing: Cultural Diversity
BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Explain the following passages with reference to the context.
Q 1. “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and to be king stands not within the
prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? Or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting.”
Ans. This passage is a quote from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, in which Macbeth encounters three witches on a heath. The witches tell him that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and eventually become king.
In this passage, Macbeth is confused about how he could become the Thane of Cawdor, as he knows the current Thane is alive and well.
He is skeptical of the witches’ prophecy, but he still wants to know where they got their information.
The first line is spoken by Macbeth to the witches, asking them to explain more about their prophecy.
He then goes on to express his confusion about the Thane of Cawdor, saying that he knows he is already the Thane of Glamis because of Sinel’s death.
However, he doesn’t understand how he could become the Thane of Cawdor since the current Thane is alive and prosperous. He also doubts that he could become king, as it seems unlikely and unbelievable.
Macbeth then demands to know where the witches got their information and why they are stopping him on the heath with their prophetic greeting.
This passage shows Macbeth’s skepticism and confusion about the witches’ prophecy, but also his desire to learn more and understand how it could be possible.
Q 2. “Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee: –
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind? A false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?”
Ans. The passage is a soliloquy from the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. The character of Macbeth is alone and is experiencing a hallucination of a dagger in front of him. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He questions whether what he is seeing is real or if it is a figment of his imagination. He wonders if the dagger is a physical object that he can touch and feel or if it is only a product of his troubled mind.
The phrase “Is this a dagger which I see before me” suggests Macbeth’s confusion as he struggles to differentiate between reality and his own perception.
He then goes on to say “I have thee not, and yet I see thee still”, which emphasizes his uncertainty about the existence of the dagger.
Macbeth also considers whether the vision of the dagger is a sign of his own guilt and fear.
He refers to it as a “fatal vision” and wonders if it is a manifestation of his own troubled thoughts, a “dagger of the mind”, rather than a real object.
Overall, the passage reflects Macbeth’s mental and emotional state as he contemplates his upcoming regicide and the consequences of his actions.
Q 3. “How strange it is to be talked to in such a way! You know, I’ve
always gone on like that. I mean the noble attitude and the thrilling
voice. I did it when I was a tiny child to my nurse. She believed in
it. I do it before my parents. They believe in it.”
Ans. This passage appears to be a reflection of a character’s reaction to someone speaking to them in a noble and thrilling way.
The speaker seems to find it strange and may be realizing for the first time that this way of speaking is not the norm. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The speaker then reflects on how they have always spoken in this manner, using a “noble attitude” and a “thrilling voice”.
They admit to doing this even as a child, to their nurse, who believed in it. They also mention doing it in front of their parents, who also believe in it.
From this, it can be inferred that the speaker has been brought up in an environment where this type of speech is valued and encouraged.
It is also possible that the speaker may have been unaware of how different this is from how most people speak until someone spoke to them in a more ordinary way.
The passage may be a commentary on the ways in which our upbringing and environment can shape our behavior and attitudes, even in ways that we may not be fully aware of. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
It also highlights the power of language and the different ways in which it can be used to convey meaning and evoke emotion.
Q 4. “The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within himself make pure!”
Ans. This passage is from the poem “The Passing of Arthur” by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The lines suggest a recognition of change and acceptance of the idea that the old ways must give way to the new.
The phrase “the old order changeth, yielding place to new” refers to the inevitability of change and the idea that new ideas and ways of thinking will eventually replace old ones.
The speaker seems to suggest that this is necessary to prevent a “good custom” from becoming corrupt and causing harm in the world.
The phrase “God fulfils himself in many ways” may suggest a belief that change and progress are a natural part of a larger divine plan.
The speaker seems to be resigned to the fact that change is happening and that they can no longer exert much control over it.
The last lines of the passage suggest that the speaker has lived their life and that they have done what they could. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They seem to be seeking comfort and solace in the belief that their actions may be made pure by a higher power. This may suggest a belief in the idea of redemption or the power of forgiveness.
Overall, the passage is a reflection on the inevitability of change and the need to accept it. It also touches on larger themes of divinity, redemption, and the human experience.
II. Write short notes on the following:
a. Thomas Hardy and the fictional region of Wessex.
Ans. (a)Thomas Hardy is one of the most celebrated authors of English literature, and his works are renowned for their vivid descriptions of rural life in the fictional region of Wessex.
Hardy’s literary landscape of Wessex spans the counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire in Southwestern England, and it features prominently in many of his novels and poems.
Hardy’s fictional region of Wessex is not only a setting for his stories but also an integral part of his narrative. The landscape of Wessex is often portrayed as harsh and unforgiving, reflecting the difficult lives of its inhabitants.
Hardy’s stories are often characterized by a sense of fatalism, and his characters are often at the mercy of the landscape and the forces of nature.
One of the most notable aspects of Hardy’s works is his attention to detail when it comes to the depiction of the natural world.
His descriptions of the landscape of Wessex are rich and evocative, and he often uses the natural world as a metaphor for the human condition.
For example, in his novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” the lush and fertile landscape of Wessex is juxtaposed with the tragic fate of the novel’s protagonist, Tess.
Hardy’s portrayal of the rural landscape of Wessex also reflects his concerns about the impact of industrialization and modernization on traditional ways of life.
In his novel “Jude the Obscure,” he depicts the destruction of traditional rural communities by the encroachment of urbanization and the spread of modern industry. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Despite the challenges faced by the inhabitants of Wessex, Hardy’s works often celebrate the resilience and determination of his characters in the face of adversity.
His stories are also characterized by a sense of nostalgia for a simpler way of life, and they often depict a longing for a lost rural idyll.
Thomas Hardy’s fictional region of Wessex is a central part of his literary legacy. It serves as a metaphor for the human condition and reflects his concerns about the impact of modernization on traditional ways of life.
Hardy’s descriptions of the landscape of Wessex are vivid and evocative, and they often celebrate the resilience and determination of his characters in the face of adversity.
His works are a testament to the enduring power of the natural world and the importance of our connection to it.
b. Hardy’s classification of his own novels.
(b) Thomas Hardy, the renowned English author, classified his own novels into three categories based on their theme and plot.
The first category is “Novels of Character and Environment,” which includes his early works such as “Under the Greenwood Tree” and “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
These novels focus on the lives and experiences of rural characters in Wessex, the fictional region in southwestern England that features prominently in Hardy’s works.
The second category is “Novels of Ingenuity,” which includes his more experimental works such as “Jude the Obscure” and “The Woodlanders.”
These novels often challenge conventional literary conventions and explore complex themes such as the nature of love, relationships, and social norms.
The third category is “Romances and Fantasies,” which includes novels such as “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “The Return of the Native.”
These works are often characterized by a strong sense of fatalism, and they explore themes such as love, loss, and the search for identity.
Despite the classification of his works, it is important to note that Hardy’s novels often transcend these categories and contain elements of all three.
For example, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” contains both elements of romance and social commentary, while “The Return of the Native” is a novel of character and environment that also explores themes of love and loss.
Hardy’s classification of his novels is indicative of his attempt to define his own literary legacy and to categorize his works based on their central themes and ideas.
However, it is important to note that his works are often complex and multifaceted, and they defy easy categorization. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Ultimately, the enduring popularity of Hardy’s novels lies in their ability to capture the complexity and richness of the human experience in all its forms.
c. The ‘Porter Scene’ in Macbeth.
(c) The “Porter Scene” in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a darkly comic interlude that comes immediately after the murder of King Duncan.
The scene features the drunken Porter, who is the keeper of the gate at Macbeth’s castle, and his attempts to humorously rationalize the knocking at the castle’s gate.
The Porter’s jokes and puns create a stark contrast to the murder that has just taken place and highlight the absurdity of the situation.
His drunken rambling also serves as a reminder of the moral decay that is taking place in Macbeth’s castle and the larger society.
The Porter’s comments on the knocking at the gate can also be interpreted as a metaphor for the knocking of the conscience.
The knocking becomes a symbol for the guilt that is beginning to consume Macbeth and his wife, and their attempts to suppress it.
The Porter’s monologue serves as a commentary on the consequences of denying one’s own conscience and the dangers of giving in to temptation.
Additionally, the Porter Scene serves as a moment of relief from the intense drama and tension that has built up in the play up until this point.
The scene provides a brief respite for the audience before the play continues with the discovery of King Duncan’s body and the ensuing chaos that follows.
Overall, the “Porter Scene” in “Macbeth” is a notable moment of comic relief in an otherwise bleak and intense play.
Its humor and puns contrast sharply with the tragic events that have just taken place and serve as a reminder of the moral decay and corruption that is taking place in the play’s world. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
d. Tennyson as a representative poet of Victorian England.
(d) Alfred Lord Tennyson is often considered as one of the most representative poets of the Victorian era, which was a period of significant social, economic, and cultural change in England.
Tennyson’s work reflects the broader concerns and themes of the time, as well as the sensibilities and values of Victorian society.
Firstly, Tennyson’s poetry often explores the idea of progress and change, which was a central concern of the Victorian era.
His poem “In Memoriam” reflects the scientific and technological advancements of the time, as well as the increasing sense of uncertainty and doubt that accompanied these changes. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Secondly, Tennyson’s poetry is characterized by a deep concern for morality and spirituality, which were important themes in Victorian society.
His poem “The Idylls of the King” explores the themes of honor, duty, and virtue, which were highly valued in Victorian England.
Thirdly, Tennyson’s poetry often reflects the romanticism of the time, with its focus on nature, emotion, and imagination.
His poem “The Lady of Shalott” explores these themes, as well as the idea of artistic creativity and individualism.
Fourthly, Tennyson’s work also reflects the social and political concerns of Victorian England, including the changing roles of women and the growing divide between social classes.
His poem “The Princess” addresses these issues and presents a vision of a more egalitarian society.
Finally, Tennyson’s work is characterized by its emphasis on form and technique, reflecting the Victorian interest in order, discipline, and precision.
His use of meter, rhyme, and other poetic devices are often seen as representative of the Victorian emphasis on craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Tennyson’s work is widely regarded as representative of the broader concerns and themes of Victorian England.
His poetry reflects the social, cultural, and political changes of the time, as well as the sensibilities and values of Victorian society.
III. Write short essays on the following:
A. Justify the title of Bernard Shaw’s play Arms and the Man.
Ans. George Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man” is a satirical comedy that critiques the romantic ideals of war and love.
The title itself is a reference to the opening line of Virgil’s epic poem, “The Aeneid,” which begins “Arms and the man I sing.”
Firstly, the title “Arms and the Man” highlights the central theme of the play, which is the contrast between the romantic ideals of war and love and the reality of their harshness and absurdity. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The play satirizes the glorification of war, which was a common ideal in the 19th century, by portraying its characters as foolish and naive.
The play’s protagonist, Captain Bluntschli, is a pragmatic Swiss soldier who exposes the futility and cruelty of war through his experiences on the battlefield.
Similarly, the play satirizes the romantic ideals of love, by portraying the relationship between the protagonist and the female lead, Raina, as being based on superficialities and pretense rather than genuine feeling.
Secondly, the title “Arms and the Man” suggests a thematic link between war and love, which are both portrayed as being based on illusion and deception.
In the play, Raina’s romantic idealism is shattered by the pragmatic and unromantic reality of Bluntschli, who exposes her illusions and pretenses.
Similarly, the play portrays war as being based on illusion, as the soldiers’ uniforms and the romantic ideals of heroism conceal the reality of the violence and brutality of war. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The play suggests that both war and love are based on illusion and deception, and that a pragmatic and realistic approach is necessary to see through these illusions and understand the true nature of these human experiences.
Thirdly, the title “Arms and the Man” is an apt representation of the play’s style and tone, which is a blend of comedy and satire.
The title plays on the romantic associations of the phrase “Arms and the Man,” which suggests heroism and valor, but the play subverts these associations by portraying its characters as foolish and naive.
The play’s humor and irony are used to highlight the absurdities of war and love, and to expose the illusions and pretenses that underlie them.
The play’s style and tone are both playful and serious, as it uses humor and satire to critique the romantic ideals of its time.
Fourthly, the title “Arms and the Man” is a reference to the opening line of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid,” which is an apt allusion to the themes of the play.
Virgil’s poem celebrates the heroism and valor of the Trojan hero Aeneas, but also explores the cost of war and the moral ambiguities of heroism.
Similarly, Shaw’s play critiques the romantic ideals of heroism and valor, while also exploring the cost and moral ambiguities of war and love.
The allusion to Virgil’s poem suggests a thematic continuity between the two works, and emphasizes the play’s engagement with the classical traditions of literature.
Conclude, the title “Arms and the Man” is an apt representation of the themes and ideas explored in the play. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
It highlights the contrast between the romantic ideals of war and love and the reality of their harshness and absurdity, and suggests a thematic link between them based on illusion and deception.
The title also reflects the play’s style and tone, which is a blend of comedy and satire, and alludes to the classical traditions of literature.
Overall, the title of the play is a fitting representation of its satirical critique of the romantic ideals of its time.
b. Explain the significance of the symbols employed in ‘Morte d’Arthur’.
(b) “Morte d’Arthur” is a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which tells the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. The poem is full of symbolic imagery, which Tennyson uses to convey the themes of the story.
One of the most significant symbols in the poem is the sword Excalibur, which Arthur receives from the Lady of the Lake. Excalibur is a symbol of power, and it represents Arthur’s status as the rightful king of England.
The sword is also a symbol of Arthur’s purity and nobility, as it is said to be so sharp that it can cut through iron and stone.
However, the sword is also a symbol of Arthur’s downfall, as it eventually leads to his death when it is stolen by Mordred, his treacherous nephew.
Another important symbol in the poem is the Round Table, which is a symbol of equality and fellowship. The Round Table is a physical representation of the ideals of the chivalric code, which emphasizes honor, loyalty, and bravery.
The Round Table represents a utopian ideal of society, where all members are equal and work together for the common good.
However, the Round Table is also a symbol of the impermanence of human achievements, as it is destroyed in the final battle between Arthur and Mordred.
The Holy Grail is another symbol in the poem, which represents spiritual fulfillment and the quest for transcendence. The Grail is a symbol of divine grace and represents the highest spiritual attainment.
The quest for the Grail is a metaphor for the spiritual journey, as the knights who seek the Grail must confront their own inner demons and overcome their flaws to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
The figure of Merlin is also a symbolic character in the poem, representing wisdom and magic. Merlin is a symbol of the power of knowledge, and he serves as Arthur’s mentor and guide. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He is also a symbol of the supernatural, and his magic represents the forces of fate and destiny that shape the lives of the characters in the story.
Finally, the sea is a recurring symbol in the poem, representing the vastness and mystery of the unknown.
The sea is a symbol of the unconscious mind, and it represents the dark and unknowable aspects of human nature. The sea is also a symbol of the transience of human life, as it is constantly changing and shifting.
Morte d’Arthur” is a richly symbolic poem that employs a variety of symbols to convey its themes.
The sword Excalibur, the Round Table, the Holy Grail, Merlin, and the sea are all symbols that represent different aspects of the human experience.
The poem explores the themes of power, honor, spiritual fulfillment, wisdom, fate, and mortality through the use of these symbols, and in doing so, it creates a vivid and powerful representation of the Arthurian legend.
Q IV. Discuss Hardy’s approach to the natural world, as expressed in Far from the Madding Crowd.
Ans. Thomas Hardy is known for his unique approach to the natural world in his novels. In “Far from the Madding Crowd,” he portrays the natural world as a powerful force that is both beautiful and cruel.
Hardy’s approach to the natural world is expressed through his vivid descriptions of the landscape, his use of symbolism, and his exploration of the relationship between humans and nature. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the most striking aspects of Hardy’s approach to the natural world is his vivid descriptions of the landscape. He uses rich, detailed language to paint a picture of the rural countryside of Wessex.
He captures the changing seasons, the changing light, and the changing weather, which all have a profound impact on the lives of the characters in the novel.
The natural world is not just a backdrop to the story, but a character in its own right, which shapes the lives of the characters.
Hardy’s use of symbolism is another key aspect of his approach to the natural world. He uses natural symbols to reflect the themes of the novel.
For example, the storm that breaks the haystack and the wind that blows Bathsheba’s hat off are both symbolic of the disruption that occurs in the characters’ lives. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The oak tree that Bathsheba saves from destruction is a symbol of her own strength and resilience.
The natural world is not just a source of beauty and inspiration, but also a source of meaning and symbolism.
Hardy also explores the relationship between humans and nature in “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
He portrays nature as both a source of comfort and a source of danger. The characters seek solace in nature, but they are also at the mercy of its power.
The landscape is both welcoming and threatening, and the characters must learn to navigate its twists and turns in order to survive. The natural world is not just a passive force, but an active participant in the story.
One of the most memorable scenes in the novel is the description of the sheep-shearing festival. Hardy uses this scene to explore the relationship between humans and animals. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The sheep are not just a source of wool, but also a source of life and sustenance for the characters. The shearing of the sheep is a ritual that connects the characters to the natural world and to each other.
The festival is a celebration of life and community, and it highlights the importance of the natural world to human existence.
Another important aspect of Hardy’s approach to the natural world is his exploration of the impact of human activity on the environment. He portrays the landscape as fragile and vulnerable to human intervention.
The characters’ actions have a profound impact on the natural world, and their mistakes have dire consequences.
For example, Bathsheba’s decision to send her dog to pursue a stray sheep leads to the destruction of the haystack, which represents the destruction of the natural world by human activity.
Hardy’s approach to the natural world in “Far from the Madding Crowd” is not just an aesthetic choice, but a philosophical one.
He uses the natural world to explore fundamental questions about the nature of life, death, and the human condition. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He shows the beauty and power of the natural world, but also its cruelty and indifference to human suffering.
The natural world is not just a setting for the story, but a central theme that shapes the lives of the characters.
At Last, Hardy’s approach to the natural world in “Far from the Madding Crowd” is a complex and nuanced one. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He portrays the natural world as a powerful force that shapes the lives of the characters, and he uses it to explore fundamental questions about the human condition.
His vivid descriptions of the landscape, his use of symbolism, and his exploration of the relationship between humans and nature all contribute to a rich and meaningful portrayal of the natural world. BEGC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023