Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Plato's Objection to Poetry

Plato was the most distinguished disciple of Socrates. the 4th century BC to which he belonged was an age of inquiry and as such Plato’s chief interest was philosophical investigations which form the subject of his great works in form of dialogues. He wasn't a professed critic of literature and his critical observation isn't found in any single book. They lie scattered in seven of his dialogues, more particularly in the Jon, the symposium, the republic and the laws. 

He was the first systematic critic who inquired into the nature of imagination literature and put forward theories which are both illuminating and provocative. He was himself a great poet and his dialogues are the classic works of the world literature having dramatic, lyrical and fictional elements.

He gives the theory of mimesis (imitation) The arts deal with illusion or they are imitation of an imitation,

The Rivals: Anti-Sentimental Comedy

Undoubtedly Sheridan’s purpose in writing “The Rivals” was to entertain the audience by making them laugh and not by making them shed tears. “The Rivals” was written as a comedy pure and simple. Though there are certainly a few sentimental scenes in this play yet they are regarded as a parody of sentimentality. The scenes between Falkland and Julia are satire on the sentimental comedy 

which was in fashion in those days and against which Sheridan revolted. 

The Life Of John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) by G. P. Landow

John Ruskin was born on 8 February 1819 at 54 Hunter Street, London, the only child of Margaret and John James Ruskin. His father, a prosperous, self-made man who was a founding partner of Pedro Domecq Sherries, collected art and encouraged his son's literary activities, while his mother, a devout evangelical Protestant, 
The Life Of John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) by G. P. Landow

early dedicated her son to the service of God and devoutly wished him to become an Anglican bishop. Ruskin, who received his education at home until the age of twelve, rarely associated with other children and had few toys. During his sixth year he accompanied his parents on the first of many annual tours of the Continent. Encouraged by his father, he published his first poem, 'On Skiddaw and Derwent Water', at the age of eleven, and four years later his first prose work, an article on the waters of the Rhine.

A Comparison between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy by Oliver Goldsmith

The theater, like all other amusements, has its fashions and its prejudices; and when satiated with its excellence, mankind began to mistake change for improvement. For some years tragedy was the reigning entertainment; but of late it has entirely given way to comedy, and our best efforts are now exerted in these lighter kinds 

of composition. The pompous train, the swelling phrase, and the unnatural rant are displaced for that natural portrait of human folly and frailty, of which all are judges, because all have sat for the picture.

But, as in describing nature it is presented with a double face, either of mirth or sadness, our modern writers

Sentimental Comedy

Sentimental comedy, a dramatic genre of the 18th century, denoting plays in which middle-class protagonists triumphantly overcome a series of moral trials. 
Sentimental Comedy

Such comedy aimed at producing tears rather than laughter. Sentimental comedies reflected contemporary

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Development of English Prose Upto Bacon’s Time

The English prose of Alfred’s days differs radically in its linguistic structure from the English of the 1.

4th century It has, therefore, little direct influence upon the development of the new literary prose. Alfred and his contemporaries had fashioned a prose which was wonderfully flexible. According to the nature of the subject treated it was either conversational and intimate in tone or sonorous and periodic in 

Development  of English Prose Upto Bacon’s Time

expression. The prose of the 14th century consists mostly of translation from Latin and French devotional writings and homilies. They aim more at the edification of the common people than at style. The writers had no conception of the function of the sentence This defect persisted as late as the

Elizabethan Prose

The Elizabethans had a genius for poetry and drama but their prose is often intolerable. They enriched the language by adding to its vocabulary many new words and phrases. But some of their prose is heavy, pompous and undisciplined. This pomp and their indiscipline 

Elizabethan Prose picture

are one product of a quest of persuasiveness. They occur chiefly in the works of those who sought to achieve their object by writing periodic prose in the manner of Cicero. Other peculiarities mark the work of those who tried to achieve it by writing what is called euphemistic prose. This was a style John Lily made fashionable. Hooker modeled his style on the structure of

Bacon: A Political and Moral Thinker

Bacon's most important moral work is the Essays on counsels – civil and moral. These were published in the three editions during Bacon’s life time. The first edition appears in 1597 containing ten essays. The third edition appears in 1625 in which the number of essays went up to 58. The moral tone of these essays is at times 

Bacon: A Political and Moral Thinker

questionable. Quite often Bacon appears to be an opportunist. In his morals he is absolutely of this world. There are places where there is shallow worldliness which is highly disturbing and does no credit to this great man. For example even “such a noble and powerful sentiment as love

Bacon: a Scientific Thinker

As a scientific thinker we are not to look to him for any particular discoveries. In fact he did not know very well the many problems connected with scientific inquiry in his own time. In some cases he rejected truth, and followed old fashioned and wrong beliefs.

Bacon: a Scientific Thinker

 But his influence as a scientific thinker, cannot be denied and at the same time underrated. The influence exercised by him was naturally of a kind which we should expect from a thinker who had taken the whole field of knowledge as his province. F.G. Selby points out: “Inquirers were naturally gratified by the dignity which he gave to their labours, and encourage by the prospects which he held out. He gave to science a human interest. He gave it high hopes and a definite aim.” Very often the critics of Bacon try to belittle his importance by saying that he made no scientific discovery and his method of inquiry could never become the method of great scientists later on. This argument does not hold much water. The scientific discovery in itself is not so important as the faith that Science is an important field of human activity which could open up the secrets of Nature. Bush, the critic is very correct when he says “Bacon is not historically negligible a scientific thinker. His scientific deficiency does not essentially weaken the force of his message for his time”. Indeed, it was Bacon who substituted the humble and critical interrogation of Nature for the arbitrary concept of traditional authority. It was a very big achievement indeed for a great lawyer, statesman. To quote Bush once again, “he not only summoned men

Bacon: A Philosophical Thinker

To the students of literature Bacon will remain a great name and force because of his Essays. But the legal, historical and even the moral works do not sum up his most valuable achievement in

scholarship. His greatest contribution to the Advancement of Learning was made possible by his philosophical works. As a philosophical thinker he was inspired by two purposes: 1. He wanted to increase the bounds of human knowledge. 2. He wanted to make man powerful over Nature.

Bacon and Astrology

Bacon had mixed views when it came to the practice of astrology. He felt that astrology was very full of superstition, and argued that there was very little sound evidence to be discovered in it. However, he wanted to see astrology ‘purified’ rather than rejected altogether [Tester, 220]. He believed that astrology needed to be based on reason and physical speculation, and rejected the use of horoscopes, nativities, elections, and query. He argued that these factors were the very “delight” of astrology, and in his judgment, were based on nothing pure or solid. Bacon insisted that the 

Bacon and Astrology

heavenly bodies affected the more sensitive bodies, such as humors, air, spirits, an actually affected solid bodies and large numbers of people. However, he also felt that the influence on an “individual” was so small that it would be insignificant [Tester,

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, and was her first published work when it appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady". A work of romantic fiction, Sense and Sensibility is set in-southwest England between 1792 and 1797, and portrays the life and loves of the Dash-wood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. The novel follows the young ladies to their new home, a meager cottage on a distant relative's property, where they experience love, romance 

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

and heartbreak. The philosophical resolution of the novel is ambiguous: the reader must decide whether sense and sensibility have truly merged.

Summary of Sense and Sensibility

When Mr. Henry Dash-wood dies, leaving all his money to his first wife's son John Dash-wood, his second wife and her three daughters are left with no permanent

A Birthday Present by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's "A Birthday Present" is one of her remarkable creation. 

What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is 

A Birthday Present by Sylvia Plath

this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have

Friday, 12 July 2013

A Short History of the Sonnet


History of the Sonnet:

Invented in Italy in the thirteenth century, the sonnet was brought to a high form of development in the fourteenth century by Francesco Petrarch (1304–74), Italian poet and humanist best remembered now for his sonnets dedicated to an idealized lady named Laura glimpsed in a church, and with whom he fell in love at first sight, or so the legend goes. Laura’s true identity is unknown; 

A Short History of the Sonnet

Our Little Ghost by Louisa May Alcott

FT in the silence of the night, When the lonely moon rides high, when wintry winds are whistling, and we hear the owl's shrill cry; In the quiet, dusky chamber,By the flickering firelight, Rising up between two sleepers, comes a spirit all in white. A winsome little ghost it is,Rosy-cheeked and bright of eye,With yellow curls all 

Our Little Ghost by Louisa May Alcott

breaking loose From the small cap pushed awry; Up it climbs among the pillows,For the "big gars" brings no dread, and a baby's busy fancy Makes a kingdom of a bed. A fearless little ghost it is;Safe the night as is the

Rapunzel by Brothers Grimm

There were once a man and a woman who had long, in vain, wished for a child. At length it appeared that God was about to grant their desire. 

These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all the world. 
Rapunzel by Brothers Grimm

One day the woman was standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a bed which was planted with the most beautiful ramp-ion, and it looked so fresh and

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott.

Little Men, or Life at Plum field with Jo's Boys is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, first published in 1871. The novel reprises characters from Little Women and is considered by 

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott.

some the second book of an unofficial Little Women trilogy, which is completed with Alcott's 1886 novel Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to "Little Men". Little Men tells the story of Jo Bhaer and the children at Plum field Estate School. The book was inspired by the

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Tristan and Isolde

The legend of Tristan and Isolde is the tragic tale of two lovers fated to share a forbidden but undying love. Scholars of mythology believe that the legend originated in Brittany, in western France. In time it was associated with the Arthurian legends and became part of the mythology of medieval Europe, told and retold in various versions and in many languages.

Tristan and Isolde

The Legend. Tristan (sometimes called Tristram), the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, was a symbol of all the virtues of chivalry, including bravery and honor. Some accounts also claim that he was a brilliant harp player. According to the most detailed versions of this legend, the king of Ireland

Thesis Statements for Literary Analysis

What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is the controlling idea of a paper. It expresses succinctly the idea that the body of the paper will prove. Other names for the thesis statement are "main idea," "controlling idea," and "thesis." If the paper is a literary analysis, as all of the papers you will write for your AP literature course will be, your thesis statement will make a debatable claim about one or more works of literature. Usually, thesis statements appear in the first paragraph of the paper.

Thesis Statements for Literary Analysis

Can any statement be a thesis statement? No. A thesis statement should be a fresh idea or opinion that is supportable based on facts or evidence taken from the story, poem or play discussed in the

American Realism (1865-1890)

Realism is the literary term applied to compositions that aim at a faithful representation of reality, interpretations of the actualities of any aspect of life. As an reaction against romanticism it is free of subjective prejudice, idealism or romance and often deals with representing the middle class. Unlike naturalism, however, it does not focus on the scientific laws that control life, but the specific actions and their consequences.

American Realism  (1865-1890)

Realists writers were influenced by British and Foreign writers, but to a great extent the transition from romance to realism was indigenous. The beginnings of realism started with the realistic and detailed

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Picaresque Novel

Picaresque novel, early form of novel, usually a first-person narrative, relating the adventures of a rogue or low-born adventurer (Spanish pícaro) as he drifts from place to place and from one social milieu to another in his effort to survive. In its episodic structure the picaresque novel resembles the long, rambling romances of 

Picaresque Novel

medieval chivalry, to which it provided the first realistic counterpart. Unlike the idealistic knight-errant hero, however, the

picaro is a cynical and a moral rascal who, if given half a chance,would rather live by his wits than by honorable work. The picaro wanders about and has adventures among people from all social classes and professions, often just barely escaping punishment for his own lying, cheating, and stealing. He is a