MEG – 02
MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
IGNOU MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Q 1. Discuss Waiting for Godot from the perspective of the theatre of the Absurd.
Ans. Waiting for Godot is a play written by Samuel Beckett in 1949, which is considered one of the best examples of Theatre of the Absurd.
The play is a reflection of the post-World War II world and the human condition, which is characterized by existentialist angst, anxiety, and a sense of meaninglessness.
The play is a perfect example of the Theatre of the Absurd, which is a literary and philosophical movement that emerged in the 1950s in France and spread throughout Europe.
The Theatre of the Absurd is characterized by its rejection of traditional forms of theatre and its exploration of the human condition, using unconventional and often absurd techniques.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the most significant features of the Theatre of the Absurd is its rejection of traditional narrative structures.
In Waiting for Godot, Beckett challenges the traditional idea of plot, which is linear and follows a cause-and-effect structure.
Instead, the play is a series of events that are not necessarily connected, and the characters seem to exist in a perpetual present, where time is cyclical and meaningless.
The two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting for Godot, who never arrives. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The play is structured around their waiting, but Godot never appears, leaving the characters and the audience with a sense of unfulfilled expectations.
The lack of plot and the repetition of actions create a sense of stasis, which is another key feature of the Theatre of the Absurd.
Vladimir and Estragon are stuck in their waiting, unable to move forward or find meaning in their lives.
The play presents a world where there is no progress or resolution, and the characters are trapped in an eternal present.
This sense of stasis is emphasized by the setting, which is a desolate and barren landscape with a single tree. The tree is a symbol of the futility of life and the impermanence of existence.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another important feature of the Theatre of the Absurd is the use of language. Beckett’s play is characterized by its fragmented and disjointed dialogue, which reflects the breakdown of communication in the post-World War II world.
The characters engage in meaningless and circular conversations, often repeating the same phrases and questions.
The dialogue is often non-sequitur, and the characters seem to be speaking past each other.
The play’s language emphasizes the characters’ inability to connect with each other and the world around them.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Theatre of the Absurd also emphasizes the absurdity of human existence. In Waiting for Godot, the characters’ actions are often illogical and nonsensical.
Vladimir and Estragon engage in activities that have no purpose or meaning, such as trying to hang themselves or taking off their shoes repeatedly.
The play challenges the traditional idea of rationality and logic, suggesting that human behavior is often irrational and meaningless.
The characters’ actions reflect the absurdity of the human condition, where individuals are forced to create meaning in a meaningless world.
Theatre of the Absurd is also characterized by the use of symbolism. Beckett’s play is full of symbols that represent the themes of the play. The most significant symbol is Godot, who represents the idea of hope and salvation.
The characters are waiting for Godot, hoping that he will bring meaning to their lives, but he never arrives. Godot’s absence emphasizes the characters’ sense of despair and hopelessness. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The tree is another important symbol in the play, representing the impermanence of life and the futility of existence.
The play’s use of repetition is also a significant feature of the Theatre of the Absurd. The characters’ actions and dialogue are often repeated, emphasizing the sense of stasis and meaninglessness.
*The repetition also reflects the characters’ inability to move forward or find meaning in their lives.
Another key element of the Theatre of the Absurd in Waiting for Godot is the use of humor. Beckett’s play is often described as a comedy, but it is a dark and bleak form of humor. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The humor in the play arises from the characters’ absurd actions and dialogue, which highlight the absurdity of the human condition.
The characters’ attempts to find meaning in their lives are often met with failure and ridicule, emphasizing the play’s sense of hopelessness and despair.
Theatre of the Absurd is also characterized by its rejection of traditional characterization. In Waiting for Godot, the characters are not fully developed individuals with backstories and personalities.
Instead, they are archetypes that represent the human condition. Vladimir and Estragon are the everyman characters, representing the struggles and anxieties of the post-World War II world.
Pozzo and Lucky, the other two characters in the play, represent the power structures and the dehumanizing nature of modern society.
The lack of individual characterization emphasizes the play’s focus on the human condition and the universality of human experience.
Finally, the Theatre of the Absurd is a form of theatre that challenges the audience’s expectations and conventions. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Waiting for Godot defies traditional forms of theatre and challenges the audience to question their own existence and the meaning of life.
The play forces the audience to confront the absurdity of the human condition and the futility of existence.
The play’s lack of resolution and closure leaves the audience with a sense of unease, emphasizing the play’s challenge to traditional forms of theatre and the human experience itself.
Q 2. Discuss the typical Shakespearean comic elements in the play in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Ans. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, filled with typical Shakespearean comic elements.
These elements include mistaken identity, love triangles, comic misunderstandings, slapstick humor, and the use of puns and wordplay.
One of the most prominent comic elements in the play is mistaken identity. The play features several cases of characters being mistaken for someone else, leading to confusion and comic situations. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in the first act, Puck mistakenly puts the love potion meant for Demetrius into the eyes of Lysander, causing him to fall in love with Helena instead of Hermia.
This leads to a series of comic misunderstandings and complications, as the characters struggle to sort out their true feelings and identities.
Another common comic element in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the use of love triangles. The play features multiple characters vying for the affections of others, often leading to humorous situations.
For example, both Demetrius and Lysander are in love with Hermia, while Helena is in love with Demetrius.
The love triangle between these characters creates tension and humor, as they struggle to sort out their true feelings and desires.
Comic misunderstandings also play a prominent role in the play. Characters frequently misinterpret each other’s words and actions, leading to humorous situations. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in Act 3, Bottom is transformed into an ass by Puck, and when Titania, the fairy queen, wakes up and sees him, she falls in love with him.
The audience understands the absurdity of this situation, but the characters do not, leading to a comic misunderstanding that adds to the play’s overall comedic tone.
Slapstick humor is another common element in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play features several physical comedy scenes, including the famous scene in which the amateur actors attempt to rehearse their play, Pyramus and Thisbe.
The actors’ comically exaggerated movements and gestures add to the play’s overall comedic tone and highlight the characters’ lack of theatrical skill.
Shakespeare also employs puns and wordplay throughout the play, adding to its humor. For example, in Act 1, Scene 1, Theseus says, “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / Are of imagination all compact.” MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The word “compact” can mean both “composed” and “conspiring,” highlighting the play’s focus on the power of imagination and the tricks that it can play on people.
In addition to these typical Shakespearean comic elements, A Midsummer Night’s Dream also features elements of the fantastical and the magical.
The play takes place in a world of fairies and magic, and the characters are often under the influence of love potions and spells.
This adds to the play’s overall sense of whimsy and playfulness, as the characters struggle to navigate this fantastical world.
Overall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a prime example of a Shakespearean comedy, filled with typical Shakespearean comic elements such as mistaken identity, love triangles, comic misunderstandings, slapstick humor, and the use of puns and wordplay.
These elements, combined with the play’s fantastical and magical setting, make it a beloved and enduring work of literature that continues to delight audiences to this day.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another common element of Shakespearean comedy present in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the theme of love.
Love is portrayed in various forms throughout the play, from the young and passionate love between Hermia and Lysander, to the mature and practical love between Theseus and Hippolyta.
However, love is also portrayed as fickle and unpredictable, as characters are quickly swayed by magic and whims.
This theme of love adds depth to the play and provides a contrast to the play’s more lighthearted moments.
Additionally, A Midsummer Night’s Dream features a wide array of characters, from the aristocratic and sophisticated Theseus and Hippolyta, to the bumbling and comical amateur actors. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Each character is unique and brings something different to the play, allowing for a diverse range of comedic situations and interactions.
The interplay between the different characters adds to the play’s overall sense of vitality and energy, as well as its humor.
Finally, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is notable for its use of language and poetry. Shakespeare’s language is often complex and layered, full of puns, wordplay, and poetic imagery.
This language adds to the play’s overall sense of playfulness and beauty, and allows for moments of humor and insight. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The play’s use of verse and prose also contributes to its comedic tone, as characters often speak in exaggerated and stylized language that adds to the play’s overall sense of whimsy and theatricality.
Q 3. What do you think is the dominant quality of Hamlet’s character? Discuss with suitable examples.
Ans. Hamlet is one of the most complex and well-known characters in all of literature, and his dominant quality has been the subject of much debate among scholars and readers alike.
Some argue that his dominant quality is his intelligence and wit, while others believe it is his indecisiveness or his melancholy nature.
However, I believe that the dominant quality of Hamlet’s character is his complexity, which is demonstrated through his multifaceted personality, his conflicting desires, and his internal struggles.
One of the most notable qualities of Hamlet’s character is his multifaceted personality. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He is a man of many contradictions, and his behavior and attitudes often seem to be at odds with each other.
For example, he is both intelligent and witty, yet also indecisive and melancholic. He is both brave and cowardly, and both sensitive and cruel.
This complexity is demonstrated throughout the play, as Hamlet grapples with his conflicting desires and emotions.
One example of this complexity is Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, Queen Gertrude.
On the one hand, he is deeply angry and resentful towards her for marrying his uncle so soon after his father’s death, and he accuses her of betraying his father’s memory. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
On the other hand, he also seems to have a strong attachment to her, and he is deeply affected by her death later in the play.
This complex relationship demonstrates Hamlet’s conflicting emotions and his struggle to reconcile them.
Another example of Hamlet’s complexity is his attitude towards revenge. He is consumed by a desire for revenge against his uncle, who he believes killed his father and stole his throne.
However, he is also deeply conflicted about the morality of revenge, and he agonizes over the consequences of his actions.
He questions whether revenge is worth the cost, and he worries about the effect that his revenge will have on his own soul. This internal struggle demonstrates Hamlet’s complexity and his deep sense of morality.
Furthermore, Hamlet’s internal struggles are a significant aspect of his character. He is plagued by doubts and uncertainties, and he often engages in intense introspection as he tries to understand his own thoughts and feelings.
This internal struggle is evident in his famous soliloquies, which reveal his innermost thoughts and emotions. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, his soliloquy in Act III, Scene 1, in which he muses on the nature of existence and the meaning of life, is a powerful demonstration of his internal struggles.
Another important aspect of Hamlet’s character is his intelligence and wit. He is a highly educated man, and he uses his intelligence to great effect throughout the play.
He is skilled at wordplay and rhetoric, and he often engages in intellectual sparring with other characters.
This intelligence and wit add depth and complexity to his character, and they contribute to his overall sense of complexity.
Hamlet’s internal struggles are also a significant aspect of his character. He is constantly questioning his own actions and motivations, and he is plagued by self-doubt and guilt.
This is exemplified in his famous soliloquy, in which he questions the value of life and considers suicide. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This internal struggle adds depth to his character and makes him relatable to audiences, as it is a common human experience to grapple with existential questions and doubts.
Another dominant quality of Hamlet’s character is his intelligence and wit. He is a highly educated man, and his language is often complex and nuanced.
He is also skilled in the art of wordplay and rhetoric, and he uses these skills to manipulate those around him.
His intelligence and wit are demonstrated throughout the play, as he engages in verbal sparring with other characters and delivers lengthy soliloquies that reveal his innermost thoughts and emotions.
Finally, Hamlet’s sense of tragedy is a significant aspect of his character. He is a tragic hero, consumed by his desire for revenge and ultimately brought down by his own flaws and weaknesses. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
His tragic nature is exemplified in the play’s final scene, in which he dies in a duel with his uncle, leaving behind a legacy of pain and tragedy.
This sense of tragedy adds a depth of emotion to the play and makes Hamlet a truly memorable character.
Q 6. Discuss the art of characterisation in The Playboy of the Western World?
Ans. “The Playboy of the Western World” by J.M. Synge is a play that explores the themes of identity, masculinity, and the power of storytelling.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this play is its rich and complex characterization. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Synge creates a cast of vivid and memorable characters, each with their own distinctive personality and voice.
The central character of the play is Christy Mahon, a young man who arrives in a small Irish village claiming to have killed his father.
Christy is an enigmatic figure, and the other characters are immediately drawn to him. He is handsome and charismatic, with a talent for storytelling that captivates the villagers.
Synge uses Christy’s character to explore the theme of identity. At the beginning of the play, Christy is a shy and timid figure, but as he gains confidence, he begins to assert his masculinity and his identity.
Through his interactions with the other characters, we see him evolve from a frightened young man into a confident and assertive individual.
One of the most notable aspects of Christy’s character is his gift for storytelling. Synge uses Christy’s talent for storytelling to highlight the power of narrative in shaping our perception of reality. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Christy’s stories are often embellished, but the villagers are eager to believe him, and his tales of adventure and danger quickly make him the most popular man in the village.
However, when the truth about his past is revealed, the villagers turn on him, and he is forced to confront the consequences of his lies.
Through Christy’s character, Synge shows how storytelling can be both a source of power and a trap, and how our perception of reality is often shaped by the stories we tell ourselves.
Another key character in the play is Pegeen Mike, the owner of the local pub and the object of Christy’s affection. Pegeen is a strong-willed and independent woman who defies the traditional gender roles of her society.
She is unapologetic about her desire for Christy and is not afraid to challenge the other characters when they try to interfere with her love life.
Pegeen’s character is a reflection of the changing roles of women in Irish society at the time. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Synge uses Pegeen to show how women were beginning to assert their independence and challenge the traditional gender roles that had been imposed upon them for centuries.
Synge also uses Pegeen’s character to explore the theme of masculinity. Pegeen is attracted to Christy because of his supposed bravery and his tales of adventure.
She is looking for a strong and assertive man who can protect her and provide for her. However, as Christy’s character evolves, Pegeen begins to see him in a different light.
She realizes that his bravado is just a façade and that he is not the man she thought he was.
Through Pegeen’s character, Synge shows how our perception of masculinity is often shaped by society’s expectations and how these expectations can be damaging and limiting.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The other characters in the play are also richly drawn and memorable. Old Mahon, Christy’s father, is a bitter and abusive man who is disliked by everyone in the village.
He is the antithesis of his son, and his character is used to highlight the contrast between Christy’s perceived bravery and his own cowardice.
The Widow Quin is a manipulative and seductive woman who tries to lure Christy away from Pegeen. She represents the darker side of female sexuality and is used to explore the theme of temptation.
The other villagers, including Shawn Keogh, Michael Flaherty, and Philly The other villagers, including Shawn Keogh, Michael Flaherty, and Philly Michael is the village gossip and represents the power of storytelling in shaping public opinion.
Philly is a shy and gentle young man who is attracted to the Widow Quin and represents the vulnerability of youth.
Q 7. Discuss Murder in the Cathedral as a poetic drama.
Ans. Murder in the Cathedral, written by T.S. Eliot, is a poetic drama that tells the story of the assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. The play explores themes such as power, martyrdom, and the nature of the divine.
Firstly, the play is written in verse. The use of verse is one of the most significant features of poetic drama. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Eliot employs blank verse, a form of unrhymed iambic pentameter, throughout the play.
This style of writing is often associated with Shakespearean plays and is commonly used in poetic drama.
The use of verse in the play enhances the dramatic effect of the play by emphasizing the poetic language, creating a rhythm that reinforces the meaning of the dialogue, and helping to create the atmosphere of the play.
Secondly, the play is structured as a series of four scenes, each with its own chorus. The chorus in Greek drama is a group of performers who provide commentary on the action of the play. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In Murder in the Cathedral, the chorus serves a similar purpose. They represent the people of Canterbury and provide insight into the thoughts and feelings of the community towards the events that are unfolding.
The chorus is also used to convey important themes in the play. For example, in the first chorus, they discuss the nature of suffering and how it relates to the divine. The use of the chorus in this way is a common feature of poetic drama.
Thirdly, the play is full of symbolism and imagery. Eliot uses symbolism to represent abstract ideas in a concrete way, making them more accessible to the audience.
For example, the four knights who assassinate Thomas Becket represent different aspects of power: the first knight represents physical strength, the second knight represents wealth, the third knight represents political power, and the fourth knight represents spiritual power.
This use of symbolism allows the audience to understand the complex ideas presented in the play more easily.
In addition to symbolism, Eliot uses imagery to create a vivid picture of the setting and characters in the play. MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in the opening scene, the chorus describes the winter landscape of Canterbury, with “The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, / Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends” (lines 8-9).
This imagery creates a sense of desolation and purity that foreshadows the martyrdom of Thomas Becket.
Similarly, the description of the knights as “men of blood and iron” (line 179) creates an image of violence and brutality that is associated with their actions.
Fourthly, the play explores the Eliot uses the character of Thomas Becket to explore the conflict between worldly power and divine power.
Becket is portrayed as a man who is torn between his loyalty to the king and his duty to the church. He ultimately chooses to defend the church and uphold the power of the divine, even if it means sacrificing his own life.
Through Becket’s actions, the play explores the idea of martyrdom and the willingness to suffer for one’s beliefs.MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Finally, the play is a reflection of the historical context in which it was written. Eliot wrote the play in the aftermath of World War II, a time when Europe was grappling with the consequences of war and the rise of totalitarianism.
The play can be seen as a warning against the dangers of political power and the importance of defending the values of democracy and individual freedom.