- 1 Section A
- 2 Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each.
- 3 a) Cultural Materialism
- 4 b) Renaissance
- 6 Section B
- 7 Answer the following reference to the context in about 300 words each:
- 8 a) That wear this world out to the ending doom.So, till the judgement that yourself arise,You live in this, and dwell in lover’s eyes.
- 9 b) Call country ants to harvest offices,Love, all alike, no reason knows, nor clime,Nor hours, days, months, which are therags of time.
- 10 c) Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane ofGlamis;But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor Lives,
- 11 Section C
- 12 Answer the following questions in about 800 words each:
- 13 1. How do you interpret the role of the witches in Macbeth?
- 14 2. Discuss the ending of the play Dr. Faustus.
- 15 3. Critically appreciate “Sonnet 65”.
|BEGC-104: IGNOU BAG Solved Assignment 2022-2023
|Bachelor Degree Programme
|British Poetry and Drama-14th to 17th Century
|Bachelor of Arts (General)
|Last Date for Submission of Assignment:
|For June Examination: 31st April
For December Examination: 30th September
Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each.
a) Cultural Materialism
Ans: Cultural materialism is a theoretical framework that emerged in anthropology and cultural studies in the 1970s and 1980s. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the material conditions of social and cultural life, including the role of economic factors in shaping culture. Cultural materialism argues that cultural practices and beliefs are ultimately shaped by material conditions, such as the availability of resources, technology, and the economic organization of society.
The basic premise of cultural materialism is that cultural practices and beliefs are shaped by the material conditions of society. For example, the type of food people eat, the way they dress, and their social hierarchies are all influenced by the available resources and economic organization of society. Cultural materialism also emphasizes the role of power in shaping culture, as those who control resources and economic systems have a significant influence on the way cultural practices and beliefs develop.
Cultural materialism has been used to analyze a wide range of cultural phenomena, from religious practices to gender roles to art and literature. It has been particularly influential in studies of colonialism, globalization, and social inequality. Cultural materialism has been criticized for being overly deterministic and reductionist, but it continues to be a useful tool for analyzing the complex relationships between culture, economy, and power.
Ans: The Renaissance was a period of cultural and intellectual rebirth that began in Italy in the 14th century and spread throughout Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. The word “Renaissance” means “rebirth” in French, and it is used to describe the period’s focus on classical learning, artistic and scientific innovation, and the humanistic values of individualism and rationality.
The Renaissance was characterized by a revival of interest in the arts and sciences of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Artists, writers, and thinkers were inspired by the classical ideals of beauty, proportion, and harmony, and they sought to emulate them in their work. This led to the development of new artistic techniques and styles, such as perspective in painting and a renewed interest in sculpture and architecture.
The Renaissance was also a period of scientific and intellectual inquiry. Scholars and scientists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Kepler made significant advances in fields such as astronomy, physics, and biology. This period was also marked by the development of humanism, an intellectual movement that emphasized the value and potential of the individual and the importance of reason and critical thinking.
The Renaissance had a profound impact on the development of Western culture and society. Its ideas and values spread throughout Europe and influenced the political, social, and religious institutions of the time. The Renaissance also paved the way for the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, two other periods of intellectual and cultural advancement that followed in the centuries to come.
Answer the following reference to the context in about 300 words each:
a) That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgement that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lover’s eyes.
Ans: These lines are from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55. The sonnet is a part of Shakespeare’s series of poems that focus on the theme of immortality through poetry. The lines suggest that time, the ultimate destroyer of everything, is slowly wearing out the world until it reaches its inevitable end. However, despite this bleak outlook, the speaker suggests that one can still find a sense of eternity through poetry and the act of being remembered in the eyes of a lover. The line “So, till the judgement that yourself arise” suggests that the reader should continue living in the world, despite its eventual demise, until the day of judgement when they will rise to face their eternal fate. Until that time, the speaker encourages the reader to find solace in the beauty of love and the lasting memory it creates. The use of the word “dwell” suggests that love has the power to create a permanent dwelling place in one’s heart and in the eyes of one’s lover. In conclusion, these lines from Sonnet 55 remind us of the fleeting nature of the world we live in and the power of love and poetry to create a lasting impression.
Overall, the sonnet is a beautiful exploration of the relationship between poetry and immortality. It is a reminder that although everything in the world will eventually come to an end, the power of art and love can transcend time and create a lasting legacy. The poem encourages the reader to find solace in the beauty of life and the memories we create with those we love. It is a poignant reminder to live in the present moment and to appreciate the beauty of life before it fades away.
b) Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no reason knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the
rags of time.
Ans: These lines are from John Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising”. The poem is a passionate address to the sun, in which the speaker questions the sun’s arrogance and power. In the lines given, the speaker suggests that love is universal and timeless, with no regard for geographical location or the passage of time.
The phrase “call country ants to harvest offices” implies that the speaker is calling on the country ants to perform their duties of gathering and storing food. The line can be interpreted to mean that love is a force that drives people to work tirelessly and without rest, just as the ants do. The use of the word “offices” suggests a sense of duty and responsibility, as well as a higher purpose or calling.
The second line emphasizes the idea that love is universal and knows no boundaries of reason, geography, or time. Love is an emotion that can be felt by all, regardless of their background or circumstances. The speaker suggests that love is not governed by the passing of time, but rather exists in a timeless realm where days, months, and hours are merely “rags of time” that have no real significance.
c) Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor Lives,
Ans: These lines are spoken by Macbeth, the protagonist in William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. In this scene, Macbeth has just encountered the three witches who have prophesied that he will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland. The lines suggest that Macbeth is intrigued by the witches’ prophecies and wants to know more.
The phrase “imperfect speakers” suggests that Macbeth is skeptical of the witches’ abilities and questions the accuracy of their prophecies. Despite this, he is still eager to hear more about what the witches have to say.
The second line refers to Sinel’s death, who was Macbeth’s father. By mentioning Sinel’s death, Macbeth confirms that he is indeed the Thane of Glamis, which was his father’s title. However, he is confused about how he can become Thane of Cawdor as the current Thane of Cawdor is still alive.
These lines reveal Macbeth’s ambition and desire for power. He is eager to know more about his destiny and is willing to entertain the possibility that the witches’ prophecies might come true. The fact that Macbeth questions the accuracy of the prophecies shows that he is not entirely convinced by the witches’ supernatural powers. Nonetheless, he is still intrigued by what they have to say and is open to the idea that he could become even more powerful than he already is.
Answer the following questions in about 800 words each:
1. How do you interpret the role of the witches in Macbeth?
Ans: The role of the witches in Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, has long been the subject of debate among scholars and audiences alike. At the heart of this debate is the question of whether the witches are real or merely figments of Macbeth’s imagination. Another important question is what exactly the witches represent, and what role they play in the broader themes of the play.
One interpretation of the witches is that they are supernatural beings with the power to predict the future and manipulate events. From this perspective, the witches are central to the plot of the play, as they provide the initial impetus for Macbeth’s actions. When Macbeth and his friend Banquo encounter the witches in Act 1, Scene 3, the witches make three predictions: that Macbeth will become king, that Banquo’s descendants will also be kings, and that Macbeth should beware of Macduff. These prophecies set the stage for the entire play, as Macbeth becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming king and begins to take increasingly violent and ruthless actions to make this happen.
Another interpretation of the witches is that they are a representation of the dark, supernatural forces that lurk beneath the surface of the natural world. From this perspective, the witches are not so much individual characters as they are a symbol of the destructive power of ambition and greed. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the witches are often associated with images of darkness, stormy weather, and other ominous signs of impending doom. For example, in Act 1, Scene 1, the witches meet in a “desolate place” and conjure up a “fog and filthy air” to create a sense of foreboding and unease. This is further reinforced by the fact that the witches often speak in riddles and cryptic language, suggesting that they are not entirely of this world.
A third interpretation of the witches is that they represent the darker aspects of human nature, such as ambition, greed, and the desire for power. This interpretation suggests that the witches are not supernatural beings at all, but rather projections of Macbeth’s own inner turmoil. In this reading, the witches are not so much predictors of the future as they are a manifestation of Macbeth’s own desires and fears. They represent the temptations that Macbeth faces as he struggles to reconcile his personal ambitions with his sense of morality and loyalty to the king.
Regardless of which interpretation one subscribes to, it is clear that the witches play a crucial role in Macbeth. They serve as catalysts for the action of the play, and their predictions and incantations create a sense of foreboding and unease that permeates the entire drama. The witches also play an important symbolic role, representing the darker, more primal aspects of human nature and the supernatural forces that underlie the natural world.
Ultimately, the role of the witches in Macbeth is open to interpretation, and the debate over their significance will likely continue for generations to come. Whether seen as supernatural beings, symbols of dark forces, or projections of Macbeth’s inner turmoil, the witches remain one of the most intriguing and enigmatic elements of this timeless play.
2. Discuss the ending of the play Dr. Faustus.
Ans: The ending of Christopher Marlowe’s play Dr. Faustus is one of the most famous and controversial in all of English literature. The play follows the story of a brilliant but arrogant scholar, Dr. Faustus, who makes a deal with the devil in exchange for unlimited power and knowledge. As the play progresses, Faustus becomes increasingly disillusioned with his decision and ultimately pays a terrible price for his hubris.
The play’s final scene begins with Faustus alone in his study, despairing over his impending damnation. He realizes that his time is almost up and that the devil will soon come to collect his soul. Despite this realization, Faustus continues to cling to the hope that he might still be saved, and he begins to pray for mercy.
As Faustus is praying, a group of scholars enters the room and urges him to repent and turn away from his deal with the devil. They tell him that it is not too late to be saved and that he can still seek forgiveness from God. However, Faustus is too far gone in his despair, and he rejects their pleas. He tells them that he is beyond redemption and that his fate is sealed.
At this point, the devil and his minions enter the room to claim Faustus’s soul. Faustus begs for mercy and tries to escape, but it is too late. The devil drags him offstage, and the play ends with the Chorus delivering a final epilogue.
The ending of Dr. Faustus has been the subject of much debate among critics and scholars. Some see it as a powerful meditation on the dangers of pride and the consequences of making a deal with the devil. Others see it as a commentary on the religious and social conflicts of Marlowe’s time, with Faustus standing in for the rebellious spirit of the Protestant Reformation.
One of the key elements of the play’s ending is the question of whether or not Faustus is truly damned. Some readers have argued that Faustus’s final prayer is evidence that he has not completely given up hope, and that he may still have a chance at redemption. Others, however, have pointed to Faustus’s rejection of the scholars’ pleas and his continued pride as evidence that he is truly damned.
Another important aspect of the play’s ending is its use of dramatic irony. Throughout the play, Faustus is warned repeatedly of the consequences of his actions, but he chooses to ignore these warnings. In the final scene, his fate is sealed, and he is unable to escape the consequences of his own choices. This irony serves to underscore the play’s moral message, reminding audiences that the pursuit of power and knowledge at any cost can ultimately lead to destruction.
3. Critically appreciate “Sonnet 65”.
Ans: “Sonnet 65” is one of William Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets. This particular sonnet is addressed to the speaker’s lover and explores the theme of time and its power to erode and destroy everything, even the most beautiful and precious things.
The sonnet is structured as a three-part argument that builds on the idea that time is an unstoppable force that destroys everything. In the first quatrain, the speaker establishes the central argument of the poem: that time is a destroyer and that even the most beautiful things will eventually succumb to its power. The speaker compares time to a “bloody tyrant” who is relentless in his pursuit of destruction. The use of the word “tyrant” suggests that time is not only powerful, but also cruel and heartless.
In the second quatrain, the speaker presents a counterargument, suggesting that there are some things that time cannot destroy. The speaker uses a metaphor of a “brave day” that is able to resist the “tyrant’s grudging.” This metaphor suggests that there are some moments in life that are so powerful and beautiful that they can resist the destructive power of time. However, the speaker quickly undermines this argument by stating that even the “brave day” will eventually succumb to the power of time.
In the third quatrain, the speaker presents a final argument, suggesting that the only way to resist the destructive power of time is through the power of art. The speaker claims that art has the ability to “give life” to the dead, suggesting that through art, things that have been destroyed by time can be brought back to life. The final couplet reinforces this idea, suggesting that through the power of the poem itself, the speaker’s love will be immortalized and will never die.
Overall, “Sonnet 65” is a powerful exploration of the theme of time and its ability to destroy everything. The poem suggests that even the most beautiful and precious things will eventually succumb to the power of time. However, the poem also suggests that there are some things that can resist the destructive power of time, and that art has the power to bring things back to life.
One of the most striking features of “Sonnet 65” is its use of metaphor and imagery. The metaphor of time as a “bloody tyrant” is particularly powerful, suggesting that time is not just a neutral force, but rather a cruel and destructive force that is actively working to destroy everything in its path. The metaphor of the “brave day” that can resist the power of time is also effective, as it suggests that there are some moments in life that are so powerful and beautiful that they can resist the destructive power of time.
The use of imagery in the poem is also powerful. The image of the “proud pied April” is particularly effective, as it suggests the fleeting beauty of springtime, which is quickly destroyed by the passage of time. The image of the “frosty nights” that follow the warm days is also effective, as it suggests the idea of impermanence and the way that even the most beautiful things can be destroyed by time.
Another notable feature of “Sonnet 65” is its structure. The sonnet is structured as a three-part argument, which allows the speaker to explore the theme of time and its power to destroy in a systematic and persuasive way. The use of the final couplet to reinforce the power of art is particularly effective, as it suggests that even though everything in life will eventually succumb to the power of time, the power of art and poetry can create something that will last forever.
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