- 1 SECTION A
- 2 I. Explain the following passages with reference to the context. 10×4=40
- 3 Section B
- 4 II. Write short notes on the following: 5×4=20
- 5 III. Write short essays on the following: 10×2=20
- 6 Section C
- 7 IV Discuss Hardy’s approach to the natural world, as expressed in Far from the Madding Crowd
|Title||BEGC-133: IGNOU BAG Solved Assignment 2022-2023|
|Degree||Bachelor Degree Programme|
|Course Name||BRITISH LITERATURE|
|Programme Name||Bachelor of Arts (General)|
|Last Date for Submission of Assignment:||For June Examination: 31st April|
For December Examination: 30th September
I. Explain the following passages with reference to the context. 10×4=40
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: In the passage, Macbeth is addressing the witches and is asking for more information about their prophecy. He is surprised to hear that he is the Thane of Glamis (a title he already holds) but is curious about the prophecy that he will also become the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth expresses skepticism about the possibility of becoming king, as it seems beyond belief to him. He then asks the witches where they received this information and why they have stopped him and Banquo on the heath with their “prophetic greeting.”
In this passage, Macbeth is depicted as a man of ambition who is both intrigued and intimidated by the witches’ prophecy. He is eager to know more but is also wary of the source of their information. The passage sets the stage for the rest of the play, in which Macbeth’s ambition and desire for power lead him down a dark path.
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: In the passage, Macbeth is speaking to the dagger, imagining it to be a tangible object that he can grasp. He wonders if it is a real weapon or simply a figment of his imagination, created by his overheated brain. Macbeth is torn between his ambition and his guilt, and the vision of the dagger symbolizes the conflict within him.
The passage is significant because it highlights the psychological torment that Macbeth is undergoing as he prepares to commit the murder. It also showcases Shakespeare’s mastery of language and his ability to convey complex emotions and psychological states through metaphor and imagery. Overall, the passage is a memorable moment in “Macbeth” that serves to deepen the audience’s understanding of the protagonist’s character and the motivations behind his actions.
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 is likely from a fictional work, and the context of the passage is unclear without further information. However, from the words alone, it appears to be a character reflecting on their behavior. The character mentions that they have been adopting a “noble attitude” and using a “thrilling voice” for a long time, even as a child. They mention that their nurse and parents believe in this behavior, implying that they may be putting on an act or pretending to be someone they are not.
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: In this particular passage, the speaker is reflecting on the idea that change is inevitable and that the old ways of doing things must eventually yield to new ways. The speaker acknowledges that God works in mysterious ways and that change is necessary to prevent stagnation and corruption. The speaker then offers comfort to someone, saying that they should find solace in the idea that even though the old order is changing, God will work to bring good out of it. The speaker also reflects on their own life and actions, expressing a hope that God will purify them.
The poem as a whole is an exploration of themes such as change, mortality, and the passage of time. This passage in particular touches on the idea that change is not always easy, but that it is a necessary part of life and growth. The speaker’s hope that God will purify their actions suggests a belief in the idea of redemption and the possibility of making amends for one’s mistakes. Overall, this passage highlights Tennyson’s mastery of language and his ability to convey complex emotions and ideas through poetry.
II. Write short notes on the following: 5×4=20
a. Thomas Hardy and the fictional region of Wessex.
Ans: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English novelist and poet known for his works set in the imaginary county of Wessex in southern England. Hardy’s works often explored themes of rural life, tragedy, and social change. Some of his most famous novels include “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” “Jude the Obscure,” and “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
Wessex is a fictional region created by Hardy and serves as the setting for many of his novels. Wessex represents a nostalgic view of rural England and is modeled after the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire, where Hardy lived and worked. In Hardy’s works, Wessex serves as a backdrop for the struggles of his characters and represents the rural traditions and values that Hardy saw as being threatened by the rapid changes brought on by modernization and industrialization.
b. Hardy’s classification of his own novels.
Ans: Thomas Hardy classified his own novels into two categories: “Novels of Character and Environment” and “Novels of Inception.”
“Novels of Character and Environment” include works such as “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Far from the Madding Crowd,” in which the characters and their environment are interdependent and shape each other. In these novels, Hardy examines how the natural and social environments influence the actions and fate of his characters.
“Novels of Inception” include works such as “Jude the Obscure” and “The Return of the Native,” in which the focus is on the psychological and intellectual development of the characters. In these novels, Hardy explores the inner struggles and motivations of his characters, and how they respond to the challenges they face.
Overall, Hardy’s classification reflects his interest in the complex interplay between individual experience and larger societal forces, and his belief in the interdependence of character and environment.
c. The ‘Porter Scene’ in Macbeth.
Ans: The “Porter Scene” is a short comic interlude in William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth.” The scene takes place in Act 2, Scene 3, and features a drunken porter who is roused from sleep by knocking at the gate of Macbeth’s castle. The porter, who is employed as the gatekeeper, imagines himself as the keeper of Hell’s gate and delivers a comical monologue in which he decides who should be allowed to enter and who should be turned away.
The “Porter Scene” provides a contrast to the dark and intense atmosphere of the rest of the play and serves as a brief moment of comic relief. It is also significant because it offers a glimpse into the moral decay that is spreading through Scotland as a result of Macbeth’s ruthless pursuit of power. The porter’s drunken state and irresponsible behavior are symbolic of the general breakdown of order and morality in the play.
Overall, the “Porter Scene” is a memorable moment in “Macbeth” that showcases Shakespeare’s mastery of both comedy and tragedy, and demonstrates his ability to balance these elements in his plays.
d. Tennyson as a representative poet of Victorian England.
Ans: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was one of the most famous poets of the Victorian era in England and was appointed as the Poet Laureate in 1850. His works are characterized by their imaginative, musical language and are known for their exploration of themes such as love, death, and nature.
Tennyson was a representative poet of Victorian England in several ways. Firstly, his works reflected the social, cultural, and technological changes of the era. For example, his poems about science, technology, and industrialization reflect the increasing scientific and technological advancements of the time. Secondly, his works also touched on the moral and spiritual issues that were prevalent in Victorian England, such as the loss of faith and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world.
Additionally, Tennyson’s writing style and literary techniques were also in line with the literary conventions of the Victorian era. He was known for his use of formal meter, rhyme, and alliteration, and his works often displayed a mastery of classical forms such as sonnets and odes.
Overall, Tennyson was a major influence on Victorian poetry and was considered to be one of the greatest poets of his time. His works continue to be widely read and admired, and are seen as an important part of the literary legacy of Victorian England.
III. Write short essays on the following: 10×2=20
a. Justify the title of Bernard Shaw’s play Arms and the Man.
Ans: Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man” is a comedic critique of the romantic ideals of war and heroism that were prevalent in the late 19th century. The title of the play is a reference to the famous opening line of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”: “Arms, and the man I sing.” In this poem, Virgil celebrates the heroism and bravery of the Trojan warrior Aeneas, and the title of Shaw’s play is a nod to this traditional view of warfare and heroism.
However, in Shaw’s play, the title serves to subvert these romanticized ideas and instead presents a more realistic and cynical view of war and its participants. The characters in the play are far from the noble and heroic figures celebrated in traditional epic poetry. Instead, they are flawed and human, driven by personal motives and desires rather than a desire for glory or honor.
For example, the main character, Captain Bluntschli, is a mercenary who fights not for love of country or a desire for glory, but simply for a paycheck. He is presented as a practical and realistic figure, in contrast to the idealized view of the heroic soldier. In this way, the title “Arms and the Man” is a reference to the traditional celebration of war and heroism, but at the same time it serves to critique these ideas and present a more nuanced and realistic view of the realities of war.
In conclusion, the title of Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man” is a reference to traditional epic poetry and its celebration of heroism in warfare. However, the play serves to subvert these romanticized ideas and instead presents a more realistic and cynical view of war and its participants. The title thus serves to set the tone for the play and to provide a framework for Shaw’s critique of traditional views of war and heroism.
b. Explain the significance of the symbols employed in ‘Morte d’Arthur’.
Ans: “Morte d’Arthur” is a legendary poem written by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century, and it is a central text in the Arthurian legend. The poem is rich with symbols that add depth and meaning to the story and enhance our understanding of the characters and their motivations.
One of the most significant symbols in “Morte d’Arthur” is the Sword in the Stone, which represents the idea of a just and rightful ruler. When Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, he proves himself to be the true and legitimate king of Britain, chosen by divine providence. This symbol of the Sword in the Stone represents the idea of divine appointment, and it reinforces the idea that Arthur is a special and chosen ruler.
Another important symbol in “Morte d’Arthur” is the Round Table, which represents unity, equality, and the idea of a fellowship of knights. The Round Table represents the idea that everyone is equal, and that the knights should work together to achieve common goals and to uphold the values of chivalry. The Round Table symbolizes Arthur’s vision of a just society, where everyone is treated fairly and honorably.
The Holy Grail is another important symbol in “Morte d’Arthur”, representing the ultimate quest for spiritual fulfillment and redemption. The Grail quest is a journey to find the ultimate spiritual truth, and it is symbolic of the quest for meaning and purpose in life. The Grail represents the idea that there is something greater and more important than worldly concerns, and that it is worth striving for even if it means facing great challenges and obstacles.
IV Discuss Hardy’s approach to the natural world, as expressed in Far from the Madding Crowd
Ans: Thomas Hardy’s approach to the natural world, as expressed in “Far from the Madding Crowd”, is one of a deep reverence and awe for the power and majesty of nature. Hardy portrays the natural world as a force that is indifferent to the hopes, dreams, and desires of humans, and yet which exerts a profound influence over their lives. Throughout the novel, Hardy uses the setting of the English countryside to illustrate his belief in the primacy of nature and its role in shaping human experience.
In Hardy’s view, the natural world is not just a backdrop to human life, but is an active participant in shaping the course of events. For example, he portrays the countryside as a source of both comfort and danger, with its rolling hills, lush meadows, and stunning landscapes providing a refuge from the stress of civilization, while at the same time, its storms, floods, and other natural disasters serving as a reminder of its raw power.
Hardy also emphasizes the cyclical nature of life and death in the natural world, as seen in the recurring images of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and the accompanying cycles of growth, maturity, and decay. This cyclical nature of life is mirrored in the experiences of the characters in the novel, who find themselves caught in a web of fate and circumstance, with the natural world playing a central role in determining their outcomes.
Moreover, Hardy also explores the idea that the natural world is a source of inspiration and spiritual insight, offering a glimpse into the mysteries of existence and the workings of the universe. This is reflected in the character of Gabriel Oak, who finds solace in the beauty and majesty of the countryside, and in the speeches of the rural folk who express their connection to the land and their belief in its timeless wisdom.
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For June Examination: 31st April, For December Examination: 30th October