The poem “Wild Nights- Wild Nights” apparently reads like a poem of sexual pleasures enjoyed with lover during nights. The poet says if she were with her lover, the wild nights would be a luxury. The wild nights would be a luxury means the poet will enjoy unbounded sexual pleasures with her lover during nights. On reading the poem, the first thing that occurs to a reader is this unbounded enjoyment. But is one level at which the poem can be interpreted in the way- in the way of sexual enjoyment. But it can be interpreted at another level at which it can be seen as a description of mystic experience- experience of the pleasures of union with God. The mystic experience of the famous mystic have been described in terms of worldly pleasures like pleasures from drinking wine, or pleasures from sexual enjoyment. The poet of “Wild Nights- Wild Nights” may have tried to express her mystic experience through the medium of the description of sexual pleasures to an extent of unboundness. From that point of view, the expression “Were I with thee”, means if she were with God, and “wild nights” should be/ our luxury” means the poet’s experiences of intense pleasures in the company of God. The poem therefore has religious significance since mysticism is a term of religious connotations, having relation with God, and experience of God’s company.
Saturday, 30 September 2017
Racism or racialism is any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview-the ideology that humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races”, that there is a casual link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some races are innately superior to others. Racism was at the heart of North American slavery and the overseas colonization and empire-building activities of some western Europeans, especially in the 18th century.
A symbol is anything that signifies or stands for something else. In this sense all words are symbol. Symbol may be public or conventional or private. “The cross”, “the red” etc are public or conventional symbols they signify objects of which the further significance is fixed and traditional in a particular culture. Private symbol are those whose significance the writers generate for themselves, and the readers are in difficulty in understanding them.
Friday, 29 September 2017
Dickinson’s poetic world is permeated with pain and suffering and the struggle to evade, face, overcome and wrest meaning from it, or growing from it. Suffering is central to her poetic faith, and it is involved in the creative processes as well. It is part of her ambivalent response to the mysteries of time and nature. Suffering plays a major role in her poems on suffering. Her poems on the subjects of suffering and growth can be divided into three groups: (1) poems that focus on deprivation as a cause of suffering, (2) those dealing with suffering bring compensatory rewards or spiritual growth.
Attitude to life is a very comprehensive term which encompasses a great many aspects of life. Life consists of not a few elements, but almost an infinite variety of things. However, a poet usually does have some attitude towards life which in his/her case may mean he/she highlights some particular aspect of life – not too many, of course. In the case of Emily Dickinson we find that she has highlighted some important aspects of life - friendship, society, pain and suffering and growth in life, and the most potent factor of life, that is love.
The theme of isolation or alienation is a recurrent one in Frost’s poems. In Frost’ poetry we frequently find man isolated or alienated from his immediate environment. Even Nature appears extraneous to man’s physical existence. Man is isolated from other men from a sense of fear. Man is isolated in space from the stars and the sky. He is isolated from God and even from himself, that is, from his own self. Women’s isolation or alienation seems harder than men’s. According to Frost’s vision of life it is man’s lot to be alienated from all the other things and beings of the universe and destined to live alone, live a lonely existence.
In spite of the Pastoral element predominant in Frost’s poems, he is still a modern poet because his poetry has been endowed with the awareness of the problems of man living in the modern world dominated by Science and Technology.
Critics have a difference of opinion over considering him a modern poet. Frost is a pastoral poet – poet of pastures and plains, mountains and rivers, woods and gardens, groves and bowers, fruits and flowers, and seeds and birds. They do not treat such characteristically modern subjects as ‘the boredom implicit in sensuality’, ‘the consciousness of neuroses’ and ‘the feeling of damnation’. Cleanth Brooks says: Frost’s best poetry exhibits the structure of symbolic metaphysical poetry. Much more clearly than does of many a modern poet.
We can form an idea of Frost as a poet of Nature from a study of the characteristics of his poetry. He can be called a poet of Nature though not in the sense that Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats were poets of Nature. He possessed an attitude to Nature entirely different from theirs, though on the surface he resembled them to a great extent.
Whitman’s poetry contains a profusion of images and it is truly perceived in almost any of his poems. Imagery means the use of images or pictures in words to describe ideas or situations. An image is something that can be perceived through one or more senses-sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, the sense of motion or the sense of heat or cold. Imagery is the pictorial quality of a literary work achieved through a collection of images. It evokes a complex of emotional suggestions and communicates mood, tone and meaning.
The American Civil War proved a turning point in her political and literary history. After that, the American nation ushered in a new era of modern reconstruction. The American literature during this period flourished in a fresh and free atmosphere. Some of the writers broke away from the traditions of the past and emerged as modern writers. Walt Whitman was one of them; he sang of the American nation and American people in his poetry. He brought about some innovations in the poetic art and technique which characterize him as a modern poet.
Troilus visit to the temple in the ceremony marked a serious change in his attitude to women and love. His love at the first sight was one-sided and he had to sorrow bitterly for her love, Pandarus, 'Troilus’ trusted friend and Criseyde s uncle comforted him by the promise of aid in the suit. By applying all his techniques, Pandarus induced Criseyde to return his love for his heroism and Criseyde took pity for his love-sorrow on her account.
Achilles and Agamemnon are two epic characters. Both the characters have their distinct features and both of them are considered very strong.
Achilles is considered to be the central character of Homer’s Iliad. Achilles has been described as the strongest man and his fathers was god and mother a mortal being. He became almost immortal after he was bathed in Styx River. The only part that could be injured was his heel.
Phaedra explains to the Nurse that she has been able to dig into the root of her trouble. She thinks that it is all due to the long absence of her husband. Theseus has gone down to the underworld for a wrong purpose. He has gone to help his friend Peirithous to abduct Persephone. She believes that her husband has gone there with an evil purpose, to seek lust and unlawful marriage. This is how he has broken his marriage vow.
Aeschylus guided the growth and development of tragedy and exerted a great influence on the Greek drama. He represented and faced the conflicting forces quite boldly. Before Aeschylus the chorus occupied an important place. Narratives were addressed to
In ancient Greece there were great writers of tragedy. The most eminent among them were Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. In writing comedies Aristophanes stood out prominently. His Frogs is a remarkable Comedy. His purpose was social reform and in this sense, he was a social reformer. He was a comic poet and not a political propagandist. He was like a teacher and concerned with the well-being of Athens as well as the welfare of her people. He was a seeker of truth and a true patriot. His comedy The Frogs has stood the test of the time. Aristophanes was neither a rationalist, nor a septic. In this play he upheld the cult of Dionysus was the hero who went to the Hades to find out a great tragic dramatist who was then dead.
Euripides has begun Medea only after Jason’s betrayal. We can have a glimpse of Medea as a blushing maiden. She has been described as an unsophisticated maiden who has found her ideal man in Jason. But his betrayal brings about a complete change in her. She becomes firmly determined to avenge the dishonor and teach him a lesson. She is lamenting and cursing behind the veil. She changes into a distraught woman with Ms. Consult with the writer lips, and blood-shot eyes. We can easily realize that a terrible storm is raging within. Medea in her suffering transcends the personal level and becomes the symbol of the suffering women of all ages and climes.
Medea adopted some artful measures to get rid of Glauce and Creon. She asked her children to present a robe and a golden importunity compelled her to accept the gifts and she was immediately consumed by poison. Creon in a bid to save his daughter burnt himself to death.
Medea was the Daughter of a king of Colchis which was a land of magic and enchantment. She was a sorceress, but at the same time was a symbol of maiden purity. She fell in love with Jason and subordinated everything to her love and passion. Jason, her husband, came across Glauce, the daughter of Creon, and secretly married her. It was a bitter betrayal and treachery which was a rude shock to her. Medea became furious and determined to take revenge on her husband.
Medea was not only a wife but also a mother. Though a barbarian, she loved deeply her children. Medea loved her children as much as any mother of the civilized races did. Now her love of the children had been turned into the bitterest hatred. It was not hatred for the children but for their father. She hated her children, and seeing them felt no joy. The servants had a misgiving that the children might be slain. She had often turned her wild and blood-thirsty eyes upon them. So the Nurses as well as the servants advised them not to go in the presence of their mother. We hear the lamentations of Medea from within. As soon as she saw her children, she flared up. She sought to destroy the children only with the father and the whole race. She excited a feeling of horror and our pity and sympathy as well. Medea was a wronged mother and wife. She killed the children only to rend Jason’s heart which would prove fatal to him. He failed to save them and it was a terrible wound to his heart. He could never forget it which would be a long suffering to him.
Medea appears to be the mouthpiece of the oppressed women. She has given expression to her feelings very passionately. Euripides’ treatment of his subject irritates the simple man in two ways. He made his characters half-good and half-bad. He made a point of studying his characters sympathetically. Many regions of thought and character were exposed.
The Red Carpet plays a very significant role in Aeschylus’ play, Agamemnon. Agamemnon was the supreme commander of the Greek which besieged and destroyed troy. He was a great warrior and was enriched in exceptionally good qualities. At the same time he had many weaknesses. His besetting sin was his ‘hubris’ or pride. This evidently is one of the seven deadly sins from the point of view of the ancient Greeks.
Simile is a comparison between two different things dissimilar to each other. This similarity is shown with such words ‘as’ and ‘like’. Homeric similes are elaborate, point by point comparisons, giving an impression of magnificence. Homer has drawn his materials from the direct observation of life and nature around him. Besides, Homeric similes are strikingly picturesque. At times Homeric similes provide relief as well as suspense. For example Athens diverting an arrow aimed at Menelaus is compared to a mother. For describing a humble life a simile has great importance. These similes take us far away from strife-torn battle grounds to the humble life. A few similes relating to humble life are as a woman colors a piece of ivory for a bridle, a child makes castle of sand, diver dips into the water for Oysters carpenters building ships and so on. Lastly Homer’s similes are remarkable for this richness.
Patroclus is a minor Character in The Iliad. However, he is the most intimate friend of Achilles. We rarely see Patroclus as an individual. But he alone can churn the emotion of Achilles. The death of Patroclus has brought in a sea change in the entire episode. So long Achilles is watching the war like a silent spectator. But the death of Patroclus brings about vital change. Achilles realizes that his inaction is responsible for his friend’s death. He wants to appease his fury by punishing Trojans, particularly venting his ire on Hector. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles realizes for the first time that glory is no longer a matter of individual satisfaction. After the death of Patroclus his dearest friend, he admits, ‘destiny for us both to stain the same Soil’. Now Achilles is able to accept his own morality.
The Nurse is an important character in Seneca’s Phaedra. Some cities have called her an admirable foil to Phaedra. The Nurse stands by her, helps Phaedra in her difficulty and gives wise advice and makes her aware of the consequences of her love for her stepson, Hippolytus. Phaedra is rationally aware that her love is impious, but her emotions force her to seek its fulfillment or else to choose death. The Nurse is shocked by Phaedra’s reaction and immediately tries to deflect her from her impulse to commit suicide. When Phaedra shows her determination to die, the Nurse desperately incites her to forget about her reputation, and she charges herself with the duty to try to convince Hippolytus to answer Phaedra’s feelings. In Seneca’s play, the Nurse plays a conspicuously more active role n her relationship with Phaedra and that is why, the nurse has been called an admirable foil. She causes Phaedra. In her emotionally unstable condition, to behave in a way that will prove to be fatal for both herself and Hippolytus, it is she who inspires Phaedra to reveal her feelings to Hippolytus. When he predictably responds in a negative way, it is she who devises the plot to pass the buck to Hippolytus. She shares Phaedra’s responsibility for his death. The Nurse, generally, is an elderly woman acting as a governess or compassion in charge of a young woman of an aristocratic family. She is in charge of Phaedra, her mistress. She is trusted in Phaedra’s private affairs. She consoles or advises her troubled heroine.
Medea was the daughter of a king of Colchis, a land of mystery and magic. According to Symonde she “unfolded like some poisonous flower, gorgeous to look upon, with flaunting petals and intoxicating scent, but deadly”. In the play Medea, she exhibits a deep passion for revenge, but she is not considered to be a symbol of violence and fury. Euripides has studied human character and showed a human character may be monstrous and evil, but it is not without human touch. Medea kills her children to teach Jason a formidable lesson but we cannot forget that she has been wronged deeply. She has loved too well, but not wisely. The human feeling is never lost sight of in the characters of Euripides.
The Revenge Tragedy as its name implies is a tragic play in which the tragedy results from the revenge that is taken for some wrong or wrongs. It is either by the person wronged or someone else on his behalf. This kind of tragedy has its beginning in ancient Greece in the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides. However, in their tragedies there was nothing of that horror element which soon came to be associated with the revenge play.
The Frogs is a remarkable comedy of Aristophanes. It may be termed as a comedy of ideas. It is the happy idea on which it depends. The very idea of this play is to find the Athenians happy and peaceful. Aristophanes wanted to discard violence of all kinds. He did not want that human society and human life would degenerate and the nobler virtues of life would be lost sight of. After the passing away of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides the standard of the drama fell miserably and that was why Dionysus wished to go to the underworld and bring back Euripides to fill up the void created by their death. Euripides was a fashionable writer and a realist. There were, of course, other writers and poets, but they were not up to the mark.
The Agamemnon, Choephori, and Eumenides were the last tragedies composed by Aeschylus along with the satiric drama Proteus. The tetra-logy as a whole was called the Oresteia, a name which, appears to have been in use at any rate as early as the time of Aristophanes. The contents of the Proteus are unknown, and its connection with the preceding tragedies obscure; but it probably dealt with the fortunes of Menelaus, the brother of Agamemnon, and related the story of his detention on the coast of Egypt, and his rescue by the help of Proteus, the sea-god.
An epic has been generally described as a long narrative poem, on a grand scale, about the deeds of warriors and heroes, kings and Gods. It is majestic both in theme and style. “The Iliad” is an epic poem by the ancient Greek poet Homer, which recounts some of the significant events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy.
A hero refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice that is, heroism for some greater good of all humanity. In the epic ‘Iliad’ Achilles, King of the Myrmidons, and Hector, prince of Troy, struck me as the most sharply contrasted characters. I found that Hector had more bravery than Achilles. Hector displayed more courage and he was the better man all around. In my opinion, Hector is the real hero of the epic.
Phaedra, is a play by philosopher and dramatist Lucius Annaeus Seneca, which tells the story of Phaedra, wife of King Theseus of Athens, and her consuming lust for her stepson, Hippolytus. Based on Greek Mythology and the tragedy Hippolytus by Greek playwright Euripides, Seneca's Phaedra is one of several artistic explorations of this tragic story. Seneca portrays the title character as knowing and direct in the pursuit of her stepson, while in other iterations of the myth she is more of a passive victim of fate. This Phaedra takes on the scheming nature and the cynicism often assigned to the Nurse character.
“Agamemnon” is the masterpiece of Aeschylus. In it the action takes place before the palace of Agamemnon in Argos at the time of his victorious return from the Trojan War. Besides, the grand theme of the play based on sin, murder, punishment and a fatalistic conception of human life', the intense dramatic suspense around Agamemnon's homecoming occupies an important theme of the play. The suspense is created before Agamemnon's arrival by the speeches of Watchman, Elders of Argos, Herald and so on. There is hope and also forbidding in the speeches.
Joseph Addison is one of the greatest of English essayists. His essays were contributed mostly to The Spectator. The best of his essays are those which center round the figure of Sir Roger De Coverley, and hence are known as the Coverley Papers. Two things Addison did for English literature which is of inestimable value. First he overcame a certain corrupt tendency bequeathed by restoration literature. Addison set himself squarely against this unworthy tendency. Secondly, prompted and aided by the more original genius of his friend Steele, Addison seized upon the new social life of the clubs and made it the subject of endless pleasant essays upon types of mean and manners.
The Victorian Age was a complex and contradictory era: it was the age of progress, stability, great social reforms but it was also characterized by poverty, injustice and social unrest. The Victorians promoted a code of values that reflect the world as they wanted it to be, not as it really was, based on personal duty, hard work, respectability and charity. Respectability was a mixture of morality and hypocrisy, severity and conformity to social standards. It implied the possession of good manners, the ownership of comfortable house with servants and a carriage, regular attendance at church, and charity activity. Philanthropy addressed itself to every kind of poverty, to 'stray children, fallen women and drunken men' and absorbed the energies of thousands of Victorians.
Satire can be described as the literary art in verse or prose, the function of which is to expose the vices or follies of some person o r persons, with the purpose of ridiculing or bantering. The objective of satire is critical, but a good satire, as noted by Dryden, has clinical and corrective effects too.
The Forest of Arden plays a very significant role in As You Like It. It appears differently to everyone in it depending on it depending on their personalities. To Duke Senior, the life in the Forest of Arden is sweeter than that of in the court. However, Oliver comes across quite a different version of the forest later on in the play. He encounters snakes and lioness.
The conception of the humor of the medieval age has a great impact in Ben Jonson’s Volpone, especially in the character development. Actually, Volpone is, to many extents, based upon the humor theory. In the play, Volpone, Mosca, Corvino, Corbaccio, Voltore, Sir politic Would be and this imbalance make the play a comedy since these abnormal characters pave the way for making the plot satiric and amusing. Each character is peculiar and singular in his own way. Here Jonson shows that the mental imbalance is more dangerous than physical imbalance as he shows that, the characters Nano, Castrone and androgyno being physically abnormal, are better creatures than the earlier ones. A comedy of humors focuses in characters, each character representing a type of personality. The characters in Volpone are stereotypes. All of the characters are imbalanced as well, so their “humors” are out of balance and they thus act in comical ways. Thus, Volpone is a comedy of humors.