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Figures of speech
A figure of speech is any use of language which deviates from the obvious or
common usage in order to achieve a special meaning or effect. We use figures of
speech in everyday conversation when we say, for example, 'money talks'
(personification) or 'l've got butterflies in my stomach' (metaphor) or'he's like a
bull in a china shop' (simile).
The density and originality of a writer's use of figures of speech is part of his
characteristic style.
There are many different figures of speech. The most widely used are:
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison between two distinctly different
things is indicated by the word 'like' or 'as'. A simile is made up of three elements:


. the tenor: the subject under discussion;

. the vehicle: what the subject is compared to;
. the ground: what the poet believes the tenor and the vehicle have in common.

We can therefore analyse the simile 'life is like a rollercoaster' as follows:


it has its ups and downs



A metaphor is an implied comparison which creates a total identification

between the two things being compared. Words such as 'like' or'as' are not used.
Like a simile, a metaphor is made up of three elements:
. the tenor: the subject under discussion;
. the vehicle: what the subject is compared to;
. the ground: what the poet believes the tenor and the vehicle have in common.


We can analyse the metaphor'he's a live wire' as follows:


is full of energy/is very lively
is potentially dangerous


live wire

In metonymy (Greek for'a change of name') the term for one thing is applied to
another with which it has become closely associated. 'The crown', for example,
can be used to refer to a king.


In synecdoche (Greek for 'taking together') a part of something is used to signify

the whole or vice versa, although the latter form is quite rare. An example of
synecdoche from everyday speech can be found in the proverb 'Many hands make


light work', where the expression 'many hands' means 'the labour of many people'.
An example of the whole representing a part can be found in expressions such as
'I'm reading Dickens', where an attribute of a literary work (i.e. it was written by
Charles Dickens) is substituted for the work itself.

Personification is a form of comparison in which human characteristics, such as

emotions, personality, behaviour and so on, are attributed to an animal, object or
idea: 'The proud lion surveyed his kingdom'.
The primary function of personification is to make abstract ideas clearer to the
reader by comparing them to everyday human experience. Humanising cold and
complex abstractions can bring them to life, render them more interesting and
make them easier to understand.






*r " ${a;ylo** efigr,#:p "_ " "-,

Images are words or phrases that appeal to our senses. Consider

these lines taken
from Wilfred Owen's poem Dulce et Decorum Est.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags we cursed though sludge.

The poet is describing his experience as a soldier during

the First world war. Through his choice of words he





visual images: bent double, old beggars under sacks,

aural images: coughing like hags, cursed;

o a tactile image: sludge.

If we replace the imagistic words that owen uses with
more generic terms:
Physically exhausted, the soldiers marched across the
wet terrain cursing their fate.

the impact on our senses is lost.

A writer may use an image to help us:
' re-live a sense experience that we have already had. We may be able to conjure

up the sound of old women coughing or the sensation of

walking through
mud from past experience;


Few battles in human

history have caused such

devostation as the Bottle
of the Somme during the
First World War.

have a new sense experience. This is achieved when our

sense memories are
called forth in a pattern that does not correspond to any
of our actual
experiences. Exploited in this way, images allow us to see,
hear, feel, smell and
taste experiences that are new to us.

we use the term imagery to refer to combinations or clusters

of images that are
used to create a dominant impression_. Death, corruption
and disease imagery, for
example, creates a powerful network in Shakesp.i..',
tragedy Hamlet.Writers

often develop meaningful patterns in their imagery, and

a writer,s choice and
arrangement of images is often an important clue to the
overall meaning of his



does the writer want the reader to see, hear, taste,

feel and smell?
o what revealing details bring the place,
the people or the situation to life? Does the writer use
details that
people would usually overlook?

' which are the most striking and revealing images? which images tend to linger on in our mln

they important to the orr.rull meaning of the work?

Does the work appeal to one sense in particular or
to all the senses?
what emotions or attitudes do the images arouse in the reader?


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Sound feotures
- - -r1r of a sound that makes you relax, like the gentle lapping of water against
- -:.>. \ow think of a sound that you cannot stand, perhaps the screeching of
..-i against a blackboard. Differlnt sounds have different effects on us' The
responses in us and writers, especially
--- js of language also create different
words for their sound as well as their
:.! use this inifreir work.
-"::aing, writers create a musicality their work that can evoke strong
they wish to convey.
: _- _:ion;l responses and reinforce the meaning

r: nost common sound features are rhyme, alliteration,

assonance and

- -::tatoPoeia.

a poet repeats the same

,errr} rhyme refers to the effect that is created when
at the end of two or more lines. Rhyme has several important





..Jds a musical quality to the poem;

, -:tarks the end of each line;
. :lakes the poem easier to remember;
. ,:fects the pace and tone of the poem'

-=-t are several different types of rhyme:

beginning of the syllable varies while

-i<le-syllable or masculine rhyme: the
- -: re 5t ttuyt the same, for example day/say light/night;
parts of
: ,uble-syllable or feminine rhyme matches two syllable words or

:>', o ceanfmotion, pretending/'bending;


rhyme matches three-syllable words : be autiful/ dutiful,

comp aris



for example:
::ue or perfect rhyme: the rhymed sounds Colrespond exactlY'
.,-.'70 ;rt, double/ trouble;

of two words is
:lperfect rhyme (half rhyme or slant rhyme): the sound

perfect rhyme'- Generally

:--iar, but it is not as close as is required in true or
but not both, for example
,:Js contain identical vowels or identical consonants

; li ti fl ads, road/mo an/b o qt;


.nd rhvmes fall at the end of the lines;

.:iternal rhymes occur within the same line:
lThe Raven, Edgar Allan Poe)

humorous verse and epigrams. Find examPles of
'.:riccnt poet Ogden l'llsh (1902-1971) is renowned for his
to the theme of the Poem that hunting
" ".'. ines crnd internal rhyme in this short Poem. How does rhyme contribute

", a',7(7gs


The Hunter
by Ogden I'Jash

-: hunter crouchesl in his blindz

:.=ath3 camouflage of every kind,




crouches: kneels

blind: hiding Place

'Neath: under






And conjures up4 a quackings noise

To lend allure to his decoys6,
This grown-up man, with pluckT and luck
Is hoping to outwit8 a duck.
6. lend

4. conjures up: creates

5. quacking: imitating

7. pluck:

... decoys: make his

hunting technique more

duck sounds

courage and

8. outwit:







Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial consonant sound in a sequence

of nearby words. In Anglo-Saxon times, before the introduction of rhyme,
alliteration gave the language of poetry its musical quality and made the poems,
which were often recited, easier to remember. Alliteration is still popular in
modern poetry and can also be found in songs, headlin.r und everyday
expressions such as 'black and blue', 'safe and sound, and ,right as rain,.


Assonance is the repetition of similar or identical vowel sounds in a sequence

nearby words containing different consonants. It creates ,vowel rhyme'
as in

break/play, hope/spoke.

Like alliteration, assonance adds

musical quality to the language and



establishes rhythm:
' open, broad sounds 'o' ,'u' ,'a' (flow, bum, heart, ftame) tend to slow the rhythm down;
' slender 'i' and'e' (hill, met) sounds create a quicker pace.

Find examples of alliteration antl assTnance in this poem
by Engtish novelist and poet rhomas Harcly (1840-192g).


Last \ry..k

in October

by Thomas Hardy


* * ^.-@z



1. fling: throw

: 'l,l
r,'1.r,;.r' 2. window-sill: flat
piece at the base of a
3. robes ... laces:
clothes and


The trees are undressing, and fling1 in many places

On the gray roads, the roof, the window_s ill2-_
Their radiant robes and ribbons and yellow races3;
A leaf each second so is flung at willa,
Here, there, another and another, still and stills.
A spider's web has caught_one while downcoming6,

That stays there danglingi when the rest pus o.r,"

Like a suspended8 criminal hangs he, muirrminge,

In golden garblo, while one yet gr.e.r, trigfr yoni1,
Trembles as fearing such a fate for himseft anontz.



at will: following the

wind's desire
still and still: more
and more


downcoming: falling


dangling; hanging and

swinging about
suspended: there is a play on

two meanings of the word:

a. hanging


b. with a suspended

9. mumming:


garb: clothes

11.yon: over there


12.anon: very soon



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Other rhythmic devices

End-stopped line


a pause occurs

naturally at the end of

line we refer to it

as an


The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
(The Wild Swans at Coole, W.B. Yeats)

or run-on line

Enf ambement or run-on line are the terms we use when the sense of the
sentence extends into the next line:
The room was suddenly rich and the greatbay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
(Snow, Louis MacNeice)

referred to
If a strong break occuls in the middle of a line it is



thing of beautY is a ioY forever

Its loveliness increases; it will never


into nothingness
(EndYmion, John Keats)

rhythm to poetry'
Enjambement and caesura give their own particular

caesura in this extract from william wordsworth's
Find examples of end-stopped lines, eniambement and
(1770-1BSb) long autobiographical poem The Prelude'


frosty season: cold




blazedl' shone with

bright light

3. twilight:



gloom: darkness
5. heeded not: did not
pay attention to

6. summons:

7. indeed: certainly
8. rapture: ecstasy
9. tolled: rang
L0.wheeled about:
moved along with the

William Wordsworth

And in the frosty seasonl, when the sun

Was set, and visible for manY a mile
The cottage window sblaze& through twilight3 glooma
I heeded nots their summons6: happy time
It was indeedT for all of us - for me
It was a time of rapture8! Clear and loud
The village clock tott.On six, - I wheeled aboutlO
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for ti, ho-.11. A1l shod with stee112
We hissed a1ong13 the polishedla ice in games
11.cares not for his home:
does not want to go back
12. shod with steel: having his

making a sharP sibilant

feet protected bY metal

sound while skating

l4.polished: shining

13. hissed


along: continued

aP!.,. .-"

. what

is the rhyme scheme of the poem? Is

it regular throughout?

Are there any examples of internal rhymes?



Are there any examples of onomatopoeia?

metrical structure?
o How would you define the rhythm or trr. poem? Is there a predominant
Does the rhythm of the poem reinforce the meaning?
.u.,,,ru in the poem? uo* do thev arrect the rhvthm or the
. ;r.






Xrtrfumt Es Heaaetry?

*: :e rm sonnet

comes from the Italian word 'sonetto', which means 'little song
: .-,und'. In a sonnet a poet expresses his thoughts and feelings in fourteen
:.:. The sonnet originated in Italy, where it was popularised by the fourteenth:--rir\-poet Petrarch. In the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet the first eight lines --: r.tave - introduce the subject while the last six lines - the sestet - provides a
:-:rent and express the personal feelings of the poet. The rhyming scheme is

The sonnet
Meanwhile, Elsewhere p. C62

..,.1i' ABBA-ABBA-CDC-CDC. The first poet to introduce the Italian sonnet to

. :-and was Sir Thomas Wyatt. Wyatt's sonnets are largely translations or
-.-:::ions of those of Petrarch. However, he changed the rhyming scheme of the

to CDDC-EE, thus creating a quatrain (four lines) and a couplet (two lines).
of Surrey developed the sestet even further, separating the couplet from


: ;uatrain

and using

it to comment on the previous twelve lines. The final

:-:=r11 for the English sonnet comprised of three quatrains (four lines) and a
-:-et (two lines) with the following rhyming scheme: ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG.
",: -s the sonnet form that Shakespeare inherited, and indeed this form is often
:,:rred to as the Shakespearean sonnet.


Shall I Compare Thee (Sonnet 18)

by William Shakespeare

,-- I compare theel to a summer's day?

- -. art2 more lovely and more temperate:
.^.hi rvinds do shake the darling budsa of May,

iummer's lease hath all too short a dates:


.:--erime too


hot the eye of heaven shines

iliten is his gold complexion dimmed6,

: e\-erv fair from fair some time declinesT,


--- """"^-^--- -' -"-'.-rl


dimmed: made




fair ... declines:

beautiful things become


:ranceS, or nature's changing course, untrimmede



By chance: accidentally
untrimmed: unstopped

10.thy: your

--:;hr-10 eternal summer shall not fade11,

-: lose possession of that fair thou owest12,
.: shali death brag13 thou wander'st1a in his shade,


1. thee: you
2. Thou art: you are
3. Rough: violent
4. buds: unopened flowers
5. lease ... date: does not

11. fade: become less strong

12.owest: possess

13.brag: boast, say

14. wander'st: walk around

::en in eternal lines to time thou growestls


15.When... growest:

because you have been

-rng as men can breathe or eyes can see,

made eternal by the

lines of thre poem

- -rng lives this, and this gives life to thee.



,i'hy is the poet's addressee superior to a summer's

:r.,. according to lines 1-4?

2 ,','hat is'the eye of heaven'? When is its 'gold


What destroys beauty in line 8?

Why will the poet's addressee not fade?

-- -rplexion dimmed'?



out the rhyming scheme of the sonnet.

2 Outline the central idea of each of the quatrains. ln

what sense does the final couplet sum up the
preceding twelve lines?



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:lr la;routrefers to tbe rusuaf lbrm a,poet?2 /akes otz apa6re. -/ttstttzporlazt/beczusez1
helps the rcader's understanding by indicating, for example, where he should
pause ot where a new \ine of thought begins. Certain conventions have
estatr\lskred irr tkre \a1-orrt of qoesrs \\re \\rrqs.
. Oo not cover the fuil page as they do in prose;
[ ' u.. usually grouped togettrer into units called verses;
il ' are occasionally grouped into units that repeat the same number of iines, the
; same metre and the same rhyming scheme. These units are called stanzas.
I I" what is referred to as concrete poetry, the visual form of the poem is almost as






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by Roger McGough
Read this poem by the contemporary poet
Roger McGough.





















X The poem describes a middle_aged couple, who
Ionger love each other. As you real the poem
how do
your eyes move? How does this relate to
the fact that
the couple are playing tennis?

T.he most impressive visual feature

of the poem
the large empty space between the two columns.
What, in your opinion, does it represent?


The title of the poem may be read as a tennis

score. The dash may also be read as minus,
in which
case, what does the title mean?



,drama' refers to any work that is intended for performance by actors

The word
from poetry or
rn a stage. It is a type of writing or genre that is very different
component of
jction because the written text, whaiwe call the
text to life:
:he work. other elements are needed to bring a dramatic
. the actors, the people who interpret the parts of the play;
r the director, the person who deiides how the play should be performed;
. the audience, the people who watch the play'
r.\-hen reading aplay,we should always try to imagine how

it could be presented on

versions of the play as possible'

lrage. It always helps to see as many iirr. ot filmed
\ play takes place on a stage. on the stage, a set representing the place where
:ction takes place is buitt. The set
information about the
:oioured backcloths, etc. The set will immediately give us

for example, which historical period it is set in' It will also

of Course' a great variety

,rpectations about what We are about to see' There are,
bare stages' A set is
ri set designs from complex
jescribed as naturalistic, when it represents real life, or symbolic, when it tries to
: rnvey ideas or meaning'
Its primary
an important role in conveying the meaning of a play'

Lighting plays
the stage but it can also focus attention
-:r-rction is to illuminate the actors and
stage while the rest is in darkness oI semi-darkness'
_ r a particular area of the
the time of day when the action takes place' It also
-ighting is used to show
used to produce coloured light which may create
-:eates atmosphere. Filters are
to incorporate spectacular
r.rrrl, cold or eerie atmospheres. Today it is possible
ultraviolet light'
--,ihting effects into a p.tfor*unce by using
-lderfloor lighting and other special

in theatrical

effects may also play an important part

-rke lighting, sound
-_-:oductions. Sounds that come from the stage or sounds made offstage can make
used to create
:le production more realistic and credible. Music is often
in the play'
,:rlosphere or to underline particularly significant moments


BS&a* s Elsexe?m?




in which a character speaks aloud to

- :=.-. The character may not necessarily be alone on the stage; other
.-: j::;:s [ray be present, but if they are, it is assumed they do not hear the
r:-,-,qu)- is a theatrical convention


to convey directly to the

uses soliloquy
-, : the soliloquy. The playwright
motives, intentions and his innermost
- - :-tii the charactet'S

feelings and

parts of the story'

-::-.:s or simply to fill in
purposes' However' it is
:, - rrrlogue is similar to a soliloquy. It serves the same
of other characters on stage who
-- , shorter and takes place m iftl presence

-- rtli is being said.

-: -t:.1 stage device is the aside, in which a character explesses his thoughts in
on the stage cannot hear'
:ids or a short passage that the other characters




(1564-1glor Romeo has iust met and fallen in

taken from.omeo and Juriet by wiuiam shakespearc
but she is unaware of Romeo's presence'
,. tuliet. He is now in the garden of [uliet;s home.luliet is oi the balcony
.,.r*1, is

nRo meo and Juliet

by William

ShakesP ear.e

' , ,:. \\-hat light through yonderl window breaks?

..-: tast, and Juliet is the sun'

,-;-i sun, and kill the envious moon'

-, -'.iteady sick and pale with grief
-. :.-,'u hermaid2 art3 far more fair
- , . :ter maid, since she is envious,
- :>-Jl livery is but sick and green4,
it off6'
:- - rte but iools do wear its, cast


:-'. iadr-, O it is mY love!






i.ta* she wereT!

:.f : :llat


: l--


1, \rele Unmafried
-:,--:. Juliet is Diana's




.- .--'-'i


.. art: \'ou

that she



- :r -. rstal liverY "' green:

-.:!! liverY) worn bY
- : : ser\-ants (vestals) is
' .:.en in colour like




* -:: ::aid: the servants of

- . .he virgin goddess


moonlight and (b)

girls suffering from lack

Utooa. Envious PeoPle
were said to be 'green with
And none ... wear it: Jesters
usuallY wore green. Romeo
means that anYone who
decides never to marrY is a


6. cast it off: throw it awaY

7. thatshe knew she were: I
wish she knew she is mY

lan McKellen
as Romeo in

the 1 976 RoYal



Romeo and
Juliet. '/t is
my ladY, O it is
my love!'





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e &eat*mNa


Irony can be defined as saying something whiie you really mean something else.
It is very common in everyday speech (for example, when we Say 'that was a
clever thing to do' meaning 'that was very fooiish'), and it is also widely used in
literature. The word 'irony' Comes from the Greek word 'eiron', which means
'dissembler'. In fact the ironic speaker dissembles, i.e. hides his real intention.
The three types of irony that occur most frequently in drama are:
. verbal irony, in which there is a contrast between what a character literally


says and what he means;

situational irony, which occurs when an event or situation turns out to be the
reverse of what is expected or appropriate;

dramatic irony, which occurs when the audience knows something that one
or more of the characters on stage do not know. Dramatic irony is often used to
add humour or suspense to a scene.

This scene is taken from the play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). lack Worthing
girl, Cecily,
leads a double life. In the countryside, where he is known as lack, he is the respectable guardian of a young
In order to escape to the pleasures of the city when he
who leacls a wickecl life in Lonclon and needs to be kept under
enjoys life in London and falls in love with a ylung woman
drleamed of marrying a man named Ernest becatrse the name coniures up a person who is serious and sincere,
,earnest,. In the
following scene lack is in a flat in London

The Importance of Being Earnest

bv Oscar Wilde
Charming day it has been, Miss Fairfax.
Gwr,xoomN: Pray don't talk to me about the weather, Mr Worthing.
Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite
certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous.
Jecr<: I do mean something else.
Gwnxpornx: I thought so. In fact, I am never wrong.
And I would like to be allowed to take advantage of Lady Bracknell's
temporary absence ...
Gwp,xoortx: I would certainly advise you to do so. Mamma has a way of
coming back suddenly into a room that I have often had to speak to her



,. ....-,,;


, ,



at any rate: at least

Jacr: lNervously] Miss Fairfax, ever since I met you I have admired you
more than any girl ... I have ever met since ... I met you.
Gwsxoot-Ex: Yes, I am quite well awale of the fact. And I often wish that in
public, at arry rate1, you had been more demonstrative. For me you
have always had an irresistible fascination. Even before I met you I was
far from indifferent to you. [Jacr< looks at her in amazemenf.] We live, as I
hope you know, Mr Worthing, in an age of ideals. The fact is constantly

Wha#is Fiction?,
--:.. ""..::.

comes from the Latin word ftngere and refers to any narrative in
that is entirely or partly the work of the imagination. Although in its
-:: - Se rlSe fiction includes plays and narrative poems, it is most commonly
.--:1 referring to the short story and the novel.
: -,r-rg has always been an essential part of man's

:,:-- fiction'




- -: From the earliest times, man

has exchanged stories

- loth his experience and imagination. Fiction, in the

: :le novel and the short story, most directly fulfils our
-: r=ed for storytelling. It takes us to imaginary times
. :::s. introduces us to new people and tells us about
- -:tr: er-ents in their lives. Fiction, since its emergence in
.' :f the novel in the eighteenth century, has been the

- . : literary genre in Western culture.

t__*,.",ii;l/?,,&!::f i,:.,fur,tfi;,;4fd;'i;f1.-.,-._:,;



-, is the story take place? What kind of world do the characters live in?
-,\- use to refer to the general locale and the historical time in which


, - is the setting. The term is also used to refer to the particular physical
.-. -rt rvhich an episode or scene within the story takes place. The general
: : a novel may be, for example, a large city like London, while the setting
: - =ling scene may be the kitchen of the main character.
. -::-ngs are relatively unimportant. They serve simply as a decorative
-' -- i-relping the reader to visualise the action and adding authenticity to
- : Other settings are closely linked to the meaning of the work: the


: - cuses on elements of setting

: -'r s a major role in shaping the

to create atmosphele or mood, or the

characters' identity and destiny.

_ ,:.eaking, there is a direct ratio between the attention given to the setting
- ,::portance in the total work. If the setting is sketched btiefly, we can
- : ,:3t it is of little importance, or that the writer wishes us to think that
-, , -- could take place anywhere and at any time. If, on the other hand, the


tcsCribing the setting are extensive and highly developed, or are written
:;tive or poetic language, we Can assume that the setting is being used

- rrofound or symbolic purposes.

: - ::e main functions



of setting are:

may reflect a prevailing mood or reinforce the emotions felt by

"., -:: barren landscapes may mirror despair and desperation; stormy
-: ,li\- provide a suitable backdrop for emotional turmoil. However, the

Setting as a mirror

:-ar- also be ironic or Comment on the characters'state of mind or

-.- tn an indirect way.

:..-1S of the story often shapes the characters'identities and destinies : :;ople what they are. Someone growing up in an inner city slum is likeiy
_ - , jliferent outlook on and approach to life than someone who has grown
- . -:; open rural spaces, in close contact with nature. Stories sometimes show
-- :-ters that are direct products of their environment, reflecting its moods
: -.:S. Often, however, stories depict characters who rebel against their
- . ..-,.= settings and fight to break free of their stifling environment.

Setting as
an antagonist




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Setting as a way

of reveali-ng charatter


than about the setting itself. When, for


Setting as a means
of reinforcing theme

The manner in which a character perceives

the setting may tell the reader more about
the character and his or her state of mind
example, an urban landscape is described by
a character as 'desolate, and ,ominous,, the
writer may be telling us more about how the
character is feeling rather than accurately
describing the setting. The writer is using
the outer world setting to give us an insighi
into the character's inner world.
The setting may also reinforce and clarify the theme of a novel or short story. The
physical setting in which the action takes place may symbolically represent the
central ideas of the work. A solitary house in bleak, hostile rr.-rrdings may
reinforce the theme of man's struggle against nature. Many modern noveis take

place in what are termed 'alien settings', where even the familiar seems
unfamiliar. The characters are often exiles, tourists or expatriates, and the
inhospitable setting reinforces the theme of loss of roots and loss of home which
is common to much modern fiction.

Setting in time

The historical period, time of year and time of day are all important features
of the
setting. The fact, for example, that most of a story's action takes place at night

may create an atmosphere of mystery, violence or conspiracy. Authors often


the traditional associations with the seasons and the

rycle of the day to create
appropriate time settings for their work, for example spring-morning-youth.
Social setting

While the setting refers to the time and place in which the action occurs, the
term social setting is used to indicate the social environment in which a story
takes place. The social setting of a novel or story may be explicitly
indicated by
the author or it may be conveyed through the use of social or class markers,
the way the characters talk, where and how they live, the clothes they wear,

they eat, and so on. Like the physical and temporal setting, the social setting
be relatively unimportant or it may play adetermining role in a novel
or story. In

many novels characters are presented as products of their social class, and
authors have explored the themes of conformity to or rebellion against
values and mores of specific social settings.


What is the setting of the work in time and space?

Is the setting briefly sketched or is it described in detail?
Are the descriptions of setting based on visual images?
Is the language used in the descriptions connotative or poetic?
Through whose eyes is the setting seen? Does the setting reveal the characters,
state of mind?
Does the setting:
a. contribute towards creating mood and atmosphere?
b. influence the characters, behaviour?
c. reinforce the main themes of the work?
At what time of daylyear does most of the action take place? Is this relevant?




xN*rqld*Ee*&q,ss m B-&t*rmr}r Agppree&aa$


,,; .,,,



i;;tral:';.1'1 .


What do other people think? What emotions do they experience? How are they
similar to or different fiom us?
Literature allows us to look into the lives of an endless collection of men and
women and find answers to these questions. We can learn about people's hopes
and fears, we can see them struggle through adverse circumstances, we can

rejoice with them in moments of success and sympathise with them in moments
ol despair. In real life we have the opportunity of knowing intimately a relatively
small number of people - family members, Ioved ones, close friends. Literature
allows us to multiply that number by giving us access to the private thoughts and
lives of an endless assortment of fascinating and memorable people'

Defining chorqcters
When we analyse characters in fiction we need to ask some key questions about:
. their relationship to the plot: do they play a major part in the events of the
story or do they have a minor role?
o the degree to which they are developed: are they complex characters or are
they one-dimensionai?
. their growth in the course of story: do they remain the same throughout the
story or do significant changes in their personalities take place?
In order to discuss these issues we need to know the following terms.

Protagonist and

The central character of the plot is called the protagonist. Without this character
there would be no story. The character against whom the protagonist struggles is
called the antagonist. In many novels, howevet, the antagonist is not a human
being. It may, for example, be the naturai environment in which the protagonist
lives, or society, or iilness, or even death.

The terms protagonist and antagonist do not have moral connotations and
therefore should not be confused with 'hero' and 'villain'. Many protagonists are
a mixture of good and evil elements.
Other characters in a story may be referred to as maior or minor characters,
depending on the importance of their roles in developing the plot.


A scene from the film

Othello (1995).
lago and Othello are
an example of
antagonist ond


and are capable of growing and
.:rlotional and intettefiuat depirr
-. : I -,.ior characters in fiction are usually



Round and
flat characters

They are the miset'

embody or leplesent a single characteristic'
opii*i't. They may also be referred to as
' = ]ealous lover, the endle,,
Flat characters are
- -, caricatures when distorted for humorous pulposes'
shouid not be confused with
--- -... . I characters. Howev.,, .r,. term
,badly drawn,. A flat character may in fact be the protagonist
- - -.: oI

- -:r:iters

-:.:llS'5 A Chrisbnas Cqrol'


Huckleberry Finn'
.l;;r",;;o uOriar, for example Mark Twain's
- :tor-els are usuallY dYnamic'
not learn
the events of the story. They do


Dynamic and static


-.IS remain untouched by

a writer makes a static



minor characters' bui sometimes

he wishes to analyse a particular

: : .-rrotagonist of his stofy, becausemaior
roles in stories that show how
:- _--:11it\-. Static characters aiso playor the family,
sometimes make rj hard
_ , -:ch as the social environment
be found in the short story Eveline
. ' ::o\\ and change. An example can



- :rtd start a new liie with her fianc6 in South America'

quthor conveys chorocter


methods for conveying

aie two basic

.siabiishes a character. There
:=.Ling and showing'

by the author' He
direct intervention and commenlary
- -',-e S


'r.S the Protagonist of his novel:


, --.--- r,: uses

aside and allows the

the technique of showing' he steps

i,o* the evidence provided in the dialogue

:>ied to infer character

memory to draw conclusions about
-.-* ,.se his inteliigence and
most writers use a
to favour showing over telling, but
:: ilethods.






H-&t*raary &pprm*&ea&eaxa

lot about who they are and what they think.

Similarly, in fiction, what a character says can help us to understand basic
elements of his personality. The character's attitude towards others may also
emerge from the dialogue. Important information about his origin, education,
In real life what people


say reveals a

occupation or social class may also be revealed by what he says and how he says it.
However, characters in stories do not always say what they really think. Just like
people in real life, they can be deceptive and create a false image of themselves.
We can learn a lot about a character's emotions, attitudes and values by
examining what he does in the course of the story. We should try to understand
the motives for the character's actions, and discover the underlying forces that
make him behave the waY he does.


Is the way a character behaves similar to or different from the way other
characters act? One of the chief functions of minor characters in fiction is to
provide contrast to the main character. What can you learn by comparing the
protagonist to some of the other iess important characters?

Comparison with

other characters

The time and place in which the story unfolds may provide useful information
about the characters. If events take place during a particular historical period (the
Middle Ages, the French Revolution, the Vietnam War) the characters' ideas and
actions may be shaped by important external events. The characters' physical
surrounding (where they Srew up, where they choose to live) may help us to
understand thelr psychological make-up.
References to the social setting may also give us some helpful insight. Do the
characters share or reject the values associated with their social background?


Occasionally the character's name may provide clues to his personality. Emily
Bronte's choice of Heathcliff as a name for the hero of her novel Wuthering
Heights conveys the character's wild, rugged, almost primitive nature. (Heath =
wild, uncultivated land; cliff = high rocky land that usually faces the sea)



In real life it is not advisable to judge a person by his appearance, but in fiction
how a character looks often provides important information about his
personality. References to the clothes a character wears frxy, for example,
indicate his social and economic status. Details of a character's physical
appearance may prove useful in determining his age and the general state of his
physical and emotional health.

Is he a major or a minor character? Is he the protagonist/antagonist of the story?

Is he a round or a flat character?
Is he dynamic or static?
Does the author reveal the character throu gh showing or telling, or does he use both techniques?
What does the way the character speaks reveal about his character?
What information does the way the character behaves provide?
Is he similar to or different from other characters in the story? How does he relate to the other characters?
Has the setting shaped the character's personality? Does the setting reflect his mood or emotional state?
Does the character's name have any importance, relevance or associations?


to X-iter*ary Apprecimtion


of the events that make

The term plot refers to an author's alrangement
as the story' when we telI a
story. The plot of a work is not necessarily
and continue in a chronological order
story we generally start at the beginning
however, do not always follow this
until we come to trre end.
order to.provoke specific responses in
Many writers choose to mix events up in
in the middle of things (in medias res)
the reader. They frvy,for example, start
to previous events.
and use flashback, oi diulogue to refer
stop simply at organising the events
The author's choic., ,.grriing plot do not
story begins, which events should be
of his tale. He must also decide when the
the story tutt bt quickly summarised and
dealt with at length, which aspects of
sublective' The events of several
when the story should end. Time is entirely
a complete chapter may be
years can be condensed into a paragraph,
The author's aim in writing a
dedicated to a particularly signiiicarit moment'
therefore anarysing these aspects of
story will direct the choices he makes, and

each story is unique, many of them
seem to run out of ideas for stories. Although
share some basic elements'

. outside:the main character may be in ionflict with external forces such






as his

family, society, physical hardship or nature

choice, or he may have

within:the character may be forced to make a difficult
to question his values and beliefs'










in many plots. creating


careful ordering of events in the story'

subplot - a second story that

In some stories the main plot is accompanied by a
linked in some way to events
is complete in its own rigirt. The subplot
understanding of it'
in the main plot and genlerally helps to deepen


Is suspense created in the plot? If so,

Are there any subplots? What are their functions?



Suspense is also an important element

access to information which is
generally involves denying the reader immediate
story. The clearest example of this can
essential to the full underitanding of the
does not reveal the identity of the
be found in detective stories, wher"e the author
through the
until the very last moment. Suspense is often created


:. |







EVEe*a e


Norrotors ond point of view



,,-. author does not address the reader directly. He creates a narrator
-: ,.-i hear as we read the story. It is from the narrator's point of view that
: :---t: unfold. The narrator may be a strong plesence in the text
-_-_: --,n and interpreting the material he presents or, at the other end of the


110\-be almost invisible, simply allowing the story to present itself.

_-: iir-ided into two broad categories: first-person narrators and third-

"-..-:::)rs. The category of third-person narrators is divided into three

- r.::r omniscient, limited and dramatic obiective'

'Ilt, -.


consciousness, a relatively recent development in narrative

.:-:r-be an extension of either first or third-person narratives'

;:x:-:erson norrotors

.,lrratots, who refer to themselves aS'l', tell stories in which they are
vision of the story, or
- -., ed, In a first-pelson narrative the reader's
experiences, infers
-:\\-, is limited to what the narrator himself

Point of view

-:t second-hand from others.

.- ::arratives are, by definition, subjective. The only thoughts and

.,. --rst-pelson narrators experience directly are their own' The reader
only as
:,.'-.e Ct to t.. characters and events as they actually are, but
to the
: - i I the 'I' narrator. Therefore special
- : the first-person narrators. Are they
- - ,:: that may influence how they tell

. :>t-pelson nalratives the readel Can understand more than the

,eli. This is often the case when the narrator is a child or a not very
: -:l,-rlt. By contrasting the narrator's perception of events and the
:: .niormed views, the author can create humour or irony.
-_:.:rn narrative is commonly associated with non-fictional literary
- ,,s biographies, memoirs or diaries. When used in fictionai works it
.- .,-iicitv tb tfre story. It is also perhaps the most effective form of
- - - -: getiing the reader inteilectually and emotionally involved.
T **

-person norrotors
told by someone outside the action, he is called a third-person
:--,,lse he refers to everybody in the story in the third person: 'he"



is like an
-:t this form of narration the person who is telling the story



-ient third-person narrator is a kind of god; he is all-knowing'
. .:ting about the fictional world he has created: he can
at once, he
---uerlrlost thoughts, he is able to be in several places
will behave. He is
I . :., h3t is going to happen and how each character
-i :ts lriuch or as littie as he wishes. An omniscient third-person
-ltelrupts the narrative and speaks directly to the readers is called
-: -l&\' use these intrusions to summarise, philosophise, moralise or
: --.- :eader's interpretation of events. This kind of narratol was


the reader directly he is referred to as non-obtrusive.

Omniscient point
of view




q} EE

# E-&tercary &p garee &ca&t*ra

Limited omniscient
point of view

Dramatic or obiective
point of view

.:When an author uses a limited omniscient narrator, he chooses a character

the story and teils the story from his point of view. This character
centre of revelation and the reader sees the events and other characters from
viewpoint. If the narrator moves back and forth between an omniscient
and ihe viewpoint of the focal character, we tefer to the narrative technique
,free indirectityle'. Free indirect style is perhaps the most widely-used mode cnarration in modern fiction. Limited omniscient narration involves the readeon.
more tharr pure omniscient narration. By associating the narrating voice with
of the characters in the story, the author gives it
more interesting for the reader. Also, because
partiai viewpoint of one of the characters, the reader gets the idea that anythin:
can frapp.t lt the course of the novei, iust as it can in real life.
When an author uses a dramatic or objective point of view, the story seems to Lr'
told by no one. This narrative technique has often been compared to a videoC?1T]r.,
left running. The narrator does not mediate between the story and the reader. H'
steps aside and allows the story to present itself through setting, action
diaiogue. The reacler
material with
narrator does not actively participate in the storytelling, he does have an importan:
role to play in this type of narrative. It is the narrator who decides when to turn the
videocamera on and off and where to point it. He decides what material to
and his choices will obviously affect the teadet's response. The dramatic

view is widely used by modern writers because of the impersonal and obiective wat

it presents exPerience.
Stream of

lnterior monologue

Stream of consciousness is the term applied to any attempt by a writer tc

represent the conscious and subconscious thoughts and impressions in the minci
of a character. This technique takes the reader inside the narrating charactet's
mind, where he sees the world of the story through the thoughts and senses oI
the focal character.
At the beginning of the twentieth century some authors, notably James Joyce
virginia woolf and william Faulkner, developed a stream of consciousness
tecinique called interior monologue. The term is borrowed from dtama, where

monologue refers to the part in a play where an actor expresses his innet
thoughtialoud to the audience. In fiction, an interior monologue is a record of a
characters, thoughts and sense impressions.
As people do noi think in complete, well-formed logical sentences, Joyce, Woolf

furtt ner abandoned traditional syntax, punctuation and logical connections

in order to represent the flow of a character's thoughts. For example, in Joyce's
(Jlysses (tgZZi tne reader finds himself with a transcript of one of the character's
thoughts which contains no commas, full stops or capital letters. The stop, start,
disjointed and often illogical nature of interior monologue makes it a challenge


for the reader to interPret.



Does the authol use a first-person or third-person narrator?

Is the third-person narrator omniscient?
If the thircl-personnarrator is limited, does he see the story from the point of view of one of the characters
in the story?
Is the point of view dr(tmatic or objective?
he use to achieve this effect?
Does the author try to represent the thoughts of a character? What technique does
What effect does the author's choice of narrator



Litertnry Appreeietiom


", - "

*ie,;:ffi q4*ffffi:fi


*_ :,

Theme is the central idea that directs and shapes the subject matter of a storr
play or poem. It is the views of life or the insights into human experiences tha.
the author wishes to communicate to his readers. In certain types of literatut.
(fables, parables and propaganda pieces) the theme emerges forcefully as a mora-

or a lesson that the author wishes to teach, while in others the theme i:
embedded in the story. In the past, writers openly stated the theme of their work
They usually put the words into the mouth of a character or used an omniscien:
narrator to voice their opinions. If the theme of a work is clearly stated in th.
text, we refer to it as an overt theme. Most modern writers are reluctant to statc
the themes of their work openly. They prefer to encourage the readers to thini

and draw their own conclusions. When the theme is hidden in the action
characters, setting and language of a story, we refer to it as an implied theme.

Theme versus subject

Formulating theme

Supporting theme

The theme of a literary work should not be confused with the subject or the
story. To say that a work is about'love' is not identifying the theme; it is merelr
stating the subject matter. Saying what happens in a story is also not a way o:
identifying the theme; it is simply summarising the plot. The theme is tht
abstract, generalised comment or statement the author makes about the subieci
of the story. It is the answer to the question 'What does the story mean?', no:
'What is the story about?'.
When formulating the theme of a literary work, hasty generalisations and clich6s
should be avoided. Sweeping statements about life are rarely enlightening, sc'
writers tend to avoid them. They are more inclined to explore complex issues
and propose tentative answers.
The theme of a poem, play or story should emerge from and be confirmed by the
analysis of plot, characters, setting, imagery, sound features and style. If the
theme that is proposed leaves certain elements unexplained, or if there are

aspects of the story that do

incomplete or incorrect.
The title of the work

not support the theme, then it is probablr'

The title the author gives the work should always be taken into carefui
consideration when trying to identify the theme. The title often suggests the
focus of the work and may provide clues about its meaning.

Multiple themes


A single work may contain several themes and readers may identify different,
even opposing themes in the same work. Any theme that is supported by the
other elements of the work should be considered valid.

What is the subiect of the story, play or poem? What general comment is the writer making about the

How do other elements in the story support the theme?

How are the theme and the title of the story, poem or play related?
Is there more than one theme in the work?


Shakespeare's sonnets


in all - were first published in

without the knowledge or consent of thefu author. Though tl

is very little direct evidence which might point to a specific date of composition, on stylistic grou
it is believed that they were written at an earlier date.
The sonnets have been conventionally divided into two groupings:
Sonnets 1-126 are addressed to or concern an unnamed'fair youth', probably Shakespeare's fri
and patron the Earl of Southampton.

to as the'dark lady', presumi

woman (who is married)
Shakespeare's mistress. The
describes a painful relationship in which they are both unfaithful to each other.

Sonnets 127-154 are about a woman who is conventionally referred

Themes The range of emotions explored in the sonnets is extraordinary: confident declaratior
unselfish love, sad parting words, expressions of joy at reunion or bitter disappointment at mu
Styles The range of styles is greatly varied. In many sonnets the style is complex and rich whi
others the vocabulary, syntax and form are disarmingly simple. The best of the sonnets are wi
considered to be the finest love poems in English literature.

Answer these questions.

a. How many sonnets did

Shakespeare write?

b. Who are sonnets 1-126 addressed to?

c. Who is the 'darklady'?
d. Are all the sonnets written in the same style?

The few existing documents about Shakespeare only certify


eighteen, had three children, left Stratford and went to London, became an actor and owned a s
of the Globe Theatre. Evidence also exists that he returned to Stratford in his forties, bought i
house, looked after his properties and died in 1676.In his will there is no mention of returns l

plays or poems. Only six examples of his handwriting exist: six signatures, all with a diffe
spelling of his name. His death went totally unnoticed. Scholars have wondered how someone
Shakespeare's social and educational background could know so much about history, Italy, L
Greek and all the other subjects that filted his plays. For over a century now many have voiced
doubts about the real identity of the author of 'Shakespeare's plays'.

T"E{H ffiHruAXSS"&h}CH

* ffme*ry

The beginnings Little


known about the events

in Stratford-upon-Avon -:
1564, probably on April 23rd. His father, a glover by trade, \ as :
prominent local figure who held important positions in tl-.
government of the town. His mother came from a prospero'rj


Shakespeare's life. He was born

local family.

William Shakespeare probably attended Stratford grarrma:

school, but he did not go on to study at university. When he rt''

eighteen he married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years h::
senior, and six months later his first child Susanna was bon

followed three years later by twins Hamnet and Judith.

It is commonly believed that Shakespeare left Stratford to avo-;
being arrested for poaching.

Career He went to London where he did

a series of jobs, including holding theatre-goers' hors..

outside playhouses. He eventually became an actot, and by 1592 he was sufficiently well-known as i
dramatist to be the subject of an attack by the playwright Robert Greene (1558-1592). Greene wrote :
pamphlet in which he complained that uneducated dramatists were becoming more popular tha:
university men like himself. In it he called Shakespeare 'an upstart Crow, beautified with our feather>


prosperity In


1595 Shakespeare joined an important company of actors called The Lo'""

Chamberlain's Men (later changed to The King's Men) and performed at court. His success as a dramatis:
grew. He mixed in high social circles and the Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his sonneti
became his patron and friend. His improved financial standing allowed him to invest
of the Globe Theatre and in L597 he bought New Place, the finest house in Stratford.

Retirement and


He retired to his hometown

in the buildin.

in 1611, where he died on April 23rd



Answer these questions.

a. When and where was Shakespeare born?

b. Who did he marry and at what age?

c. Why did

Robert Creene call him 'an upstart crow'?

d. What was The Lord Chomberlain's

e. What was The Globe?



How did he spend the last years of his life?



in a period .to 1671. He used manY sources :-- -

Shakespeare wrote thirty-seven plays

about twenty years, from 1591

his plays including the classical Greek and Latin writings of Plutarch and Plautus, the Italian rvorks -:
Matteo Bandello, Giraldo Cinzio and Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, and the English historian Holinshe; '
Clrorticles of Ertglttrttl, Sctttltuttl on(l lrelan(l i577\, a source of material for ntanr- Elizabethatl E,lau',rt{il.:





from notes taken in the

Shakespeare did not publish his plays. Some of his works were put together
:heatres or reconstructed from memory by actors. They are referred to as Bad Quartos. Quartos
books made of sheets of folded paper. They are called 'Bad'because they are full of

,nd mistakes.


1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, two former actors and friends of Shakespeare's,
:ieminge and Condell, decided to publish the first collection of his plays. The so-called Firsf
and Tragedies'.
-rcluded thirty-five plays that were divided into 'Comedies, Histories
Tlrc Four


The plays were not dated. However, approximate dates have subsequently been

r-\-en to them based on:

. :eferences to contemporary events in the play;

. :eierences to the works of other writers which are dated;
r >tr-le, plot, characterisation and metre used in the play.
!:akespeare's plays are usually divided into four periods:
:.,st period The first period covers the years from 1590 to 1595 and was a period of learning
:rirerimentation. In these years Shakespeare wrote very different types of
. :ironicle plays dealing with the history of England, such as Henry VI and Richard III;

. :lnedies which include A Midsummer llight's Dreqm

. :he tragedies Titus Andronicus and Romeo and luliet'

and The Taming of the Shrew;

.^e Globe Theotre, southwark' from vischers view of London (161 6).


ffi .4e

T"X*E ffiEH,eHS$,qrueH


Period During the second period, from 1596 to

the turn of the century, Shakespeare foc *
on chronicle plays and comedies and it is generally
agreed that it was during these years tha: -,
wrote his best comedies, includin g The Merchant
of venice, The Merry wives of windsor, Muci,
About Nothing' As You Like It and T\uelftlt
Night, which base their comedy on
a wide range of the :. ,
such as the pain and pleasure of love,
mistaken identity and the degrading of
materialistic , second

humourless people.

Third Period During the third

period, from 1600 to 1608, Shakespeare

wrote his great trageu,:
These plays have given world theatre
unforgettable characters such as Hamlet,
King Lear,

and Macbeth.
The comedies that were written in this period
no longer have the bright, optimistic appeal
of ea: ..
works' The darker elements that are found
in works such as Measure
Measure seem to suggest :: for
Shakespeare was experiencing difficulties
in his personal life which made his outlook
rat:- .

Period A return to a happier state of mind

is refrected in the plays of the final
period fi
7609 to 1672' The Tempest, fot example,
is set in the ideal world of an enchanted
where :atmosphere of magic, music, romance
and harmony prevails.

Shakespeare is widely regardei

one of the greatest dramatists


world literature. The univer_',

appeal of his work is based on ..

timeless themes, urr(orgett&k,

characters and powerful
His ability to engage the
attention has remained
to the present day.


A scene from prospero,s

a peter Creenaway




) bosed on The fempest

by Wi
I I ia

ha kespea re.

Main characteristics and

Shakespeare,s reputation
is based on:



Plays for audiences The relationship between audiences and

performers was very intimate in Elizabethan theatres. Spectators
sat on the stage or stood close to the performer and openly
--::j= - their opinions about what was taking place on stage. Shakespeare had an unparalleled
- ., :ltertain all sections of his audiences; the more intellectual elements enjoyed the poetic
-' - -: - - :1d subtle characterisation of his work while the less educated spectators delighted in the
- .,: ,-:-: storr.iines, gory battlescenes and humorous intrigues.

r, . f tlterttes The variety of timeless themes in Shakespeare's

works is unsurpassed:
an unsophisticated life in harmony with nature (As You Like It);
' .- -rrd lealousy, deception and crime (Macbeth, Othello);
ir - :.:-- - ::uption and ingratitude (KingLear);

( r"




r, : - - : :rlitics (Antony and Cleopatra);

d -"' - - :---r and punishment (Macbeth, Richard III);
n , . -- - :rquering power of love (Much Ado About Nothing);
r "r -" - j:-ince of youth (Romeo and luliet);
,., 'l'r

" -.




:nd pleasures of love

(The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado AboutNothing, As You Like It).

r; ,itltle choracters Shakespeare portrayed an unforgettable gallery

- :. : Colr1p1ex and sensitive idealist who is paralysed by indecision;

,n, -- -::r.

? proud misguided father

: - : naive victim

who loses his mind when he understands his daughters' true

of his enemy's envy and treachery;

-: -lr, a soldier who is transformed into

- :

r:r bv ambition;
r.lrcbeth, a scheming, ambitious wife
:-r-ises, too late, the horror of what she

- . '.::

-.: rll, ahar, manipulator and murderer.

ilh{"l,I :*, of language The highly poetic quality

:a{u?ge is a feature of all Shakespeare's

ilizabethan theatres scenery and props




: r-- -,St non-existent

so Shakespeare had to

--: -ip settings, moods, and atmospheres

- , ",,-ords. His richly dense language, with
* , -:,S imagery and musicality, is perhaps

, --::r.St legacy. Many of the lines from his

- :r: so memorable that they have become
-- -:-,' :ar-ings in the English language, for
*r : = -"!l's Well That Ends Well (title of a play),
-- :,-

, borrower nor a lender be' (Hamlet).


of characters:

;-- , crief talk in which you outline the

reasons for Shakespeare's greatness.


T"HE ffiEh{,&tS5.&hlCfr

* E}oetry

I Pqti:t




154 in all - were first published in 1609

without the knowledge or consent of their author. Though there
is very little direct evidence which might point to a specific date of composition, on stylistic grounds
it is believed that they were written at an earlier date.
The sonnets have been conventionally divided into two groupings:
Shakespeare's sonnets

Sonnets 1-126 are addressed

to or concern an unnamed 'fair youth', probably Shakespeare's friend

and patron the Earl of Southampton.


the 'dark lady', presumabhShakespeare's mistress. The poet speaks about his troubled love for the woman (who is married) anc
describes a painful relationship in which they are both unfaithful to each other.

Sonnets 127-154 are about a woman who is conventionally referred


Themes The range of emotions explored in the sonnets is extraordinary: confident declarations of
unselfish love, sad parting words, expressions of joy at reunion or bitter disappointment at mutuainfidelity.

Styles The range of styles is greatly varied. In many sonnets the style is complex and rich while ic
others the vocabulary, syntax and form are disarmingly simple. The best of the sonnets are wideir
considered to be the finest love poems in English literature.

, .iA5
Answer these questions.

a. How many sonnets did

Shakespeare write?

b. Who are sonnetsl-126 addressed to?

c. Who is the 'darklady'?

d. Are all the sonnets written in the same style?

The few existing documents about Shakespeare only certify tha:

he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, got married a:
eighteen, had three children, left Stratford and went to London, became an actor and owned a shar.
of the Globe Theatre. Evidence also exists that he returned to Stratford in his forties, bought a b..
house, looked after his properties and died in 1616. In his will there is no mention of returns frorplays or poems. Only six examples of his handwriting exist: six signatures, all with a differer-spelling of his name. His death went totally unnoticed. Scholars have wondered how someone rri::
Shakespeare's social and educational background could know so much about history, Italy, Lati:Greek and all the other subiects that filled his plays. For over a century now many have voiced thedoubts about the real identity of the author of 'Shakespeare's plays'.






,"L l:

YBflE ffiffiru,&&S$"&rufffl

y&ae ilacx*xt

The Liter ary Bockground

: .. ",,iti


eii,;zlfu#; :".. :."-*i


Perhaps the most important development in the sixteenth century r.,

the revival of interest in classical culture known as Humanism.
In 1453 Constantinople fell to the Turks. The Greek refugees who fled to It,.brought with them masterpieces of Greek literature, science, ph1,si:r
mathematics, astronomy and medicine. From ltaly, Humanism spread
to oti-:
countries where it was embraced by great men of learning such as
ih.,.Erasmus, the Frenchman Montaigne and the Englishman Thomas
Humanism was a radical departure from the principles that governed
art and literature. The focus of attention was no longer God but Man.
Lor-e .
this world was underlined rather than preparation for the next. For
the first ti:,
man was explored as an individual, and the idea that a man could shape
his o:.,,
destiny was widely accepted.
The re-awakening of interest in classical Greece affected all aspects
of cultu:=
and took place during the period called The Renaissance. Compared

The Renaissance

European countries such as rtaly, the Renaissance came relatively

Its first great exponent was Thomas More.
Thomas More


to oti.lite to tnglar- -

Thomas More was one of the most influential figures of his

day. He r.,.
appointed Lord Chancellor by Henry VIII, making him the most powerful
n-,in England after the king. He was al:. deeply religious man and refusec
acknowledge Henry VIII as the Heac
the Church of England after r.-:
schism. Because of this he was arre>::and beheaded in 1535. His gre &.::work, Utopia, an attack on the er-i,>
English society, was widely reac
England and in many other count:,:
Utopia, which was published in L,.


1516 and later translated


English and other languages, is the form of a dialogue betrr-=..

More and an imaginary traveller, -:

divided into two books:

. in the first book More denou::.

England for its corruption, and c:-:
cises the misuse of private


A woodcut


Holbein from

the Bosle edition

of Thomas
More's Utopia

(1518) showing
a self-sufficient
island of happy

religious intolerance, the exploita:1


of workers and cruelty to anima,: -_

the form of hunting;
o in the second book he describes

imaginary island of Utopia, \r:. - has the best possible form of .Qo',.::ment, a societr, based on stj:::
propertr., education for both :-.
and rromen and religious tolera::.

*fu* H"***rearv




c. What office did Thomas More hold?

,',er these questions.




the revival of interest in classical culture

- -J1
.: :UI

-at did Humanism focus on?


d. What literary form is Utopia written in?

e. What negative features of contemporary society
are criticised in Utopia?

I the Renaissance flourished. Elizabeth's reign was a

j. of unprecedented prosperity, and both the court and the emerging middle
-:::S dedicated a lot of time to art and literature. The classics were widely
, ---d, and influential Greek and Latin writers such as Plutarch and Seneca were
-, -.:-ated into English.
- : .,,untry which had the greatest influence
on the development of the English
:r..r\ Renaissance was Italy. From there the cultural revival which signalled an
: - - , -, the medieval period in Europe had sprung up, flourished and spread
. :s rhe continent. Leading English writers of the time, including Shakespeare,
" - ---:ed Italy as the cradle of culture, the home of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio
. . - :,.rrdello. Castiglione's The Courtier was widely read by the upper classes and
-, -.sed as a model for courtly behaviour.

-:: the reign of Elizabeth

--. - ,


:rere was the influence of Italian models more strongly felt than

: --'.. The Petrarchan sonnet was introduced


:-, er,

Visual Link C6


rn r i503-1542) and the Earl of Surrey (1517-7547).

- s sonnets were largely translations or imitations of those of Petrarch.

Itnlian influence


to England by Sir Thomas



patron of the arts

He did,

From Petrarchqn sonnet

to Elizabethan sonnet

change the structure of the poetic form thus creating what became known

In the original Italian sonnet the first eight lines - the

,-:-.: - introduced the problem, while the last six lines - the sextet - provided an
- ,'','.r or comment and expressed the personal feelings of the poet. The rhyming
.-.= Elizabethan sonnet.

, -::le

rvas usually ABBA-ABBA-CDC-DCD. Wyatt changed the rhyming scheme of

. ::Stet to CDDC-EE thus creating a quatrain (four lines) and a couplet (two lines).
-. -arl of Surrey developed the sestet even further, separating the couplet from the
" -, .-:,n and using it to comment on the previous twelve lines. The final pattern for

' -'-Iizabethan sonnet comprised

therefore three quatrains (four lines) and (two lines) with the scheme ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG.

:.: Philip Sydney excelled in the Elizabethan sonnet form. In his sequence of
: :onnets Astrophel and Stella (1591) he addresses his lover Stella and explores
-: :iteme of love. His sonnets contain variations on the Petrarchan model and
-: :hemes strongly echo those of the Italian poet in his sonnets to Laura.


Philip Sydney


-:'.i\- inspired a literary trend which continued throughout the Elizabethan

:r---rd and produced such notable works as Edmund Spenser's Amoretti,
, -- -rshed in 1595, and William Shakespeare's 154 sonnets written in the last
- - of the century.


Edmund Spenser

Spenser wrote eighty-eight sonnets, the Amoretti, celebrating his love

:-izabeth Boyle. Italian influence was also evident in Spenser's great work The
,-,:irtles Calender (1579), inspired by the fifteenth-century Italian writer who,
- - r:r the name of Manuanus, wrote allegorical pastorals. Spenser's work
:-:rir-ied a series of short poems, one for each month of the year, describing the
,- ,-cia111, idyllic life of shepherds in language which is highly stylised.
- =--ser's masterpiece is, however, The Fqerie Queene, published in 7590. The
| .".,
Qrrcene is a religious and political allegory* that can be understood on two

pp. Ca0-a3

The Sheperdes Calender


E"EH ffiHru"&ESSAlqfeE

Y$s* Cmmtest

An illustration for the

Shepherdes Calender
(1579) by Edmund

The Faerie Queene

or more levels. Originally intended to be twelve books, only half of the work was
completed. Each book recounts the adventures of a knight, who represents one
of the twelve virtues that make a perfect gentleman. The main theme of the work
is the glorification of Queen Elizabeth and her court. In fact, at the end of the
story, Prince Arthur, the most important knight, is to marry the Faerie Queene
Gloriana, who represented Queen Elizabeth.
The Faerie Queene shows Spenser's great gift for creating refined and vivid word
pictures, and his ear for the musicality of the language. He introduced a new
metre into English poetry called the Spenserian stanza, which consisted of eight
lines of ten syllables plus a twelve-syllable line containing six iambic feet, with
the rhyming scheme ABABBCBCC. Spenser's belief that poetry should deal with
subjects far removed from everyday life and should be written in refined
language - unlike that which was used by common people - became the basic
principle for poetry throughout much of the Elizabethan period.
Although it introduced new elements inspired by classical and continental
Renaissance models, Elizabethan love poetry maintained many of the features of
the courtly love poems of the Middle Ages. The lady to whom the poem was
addressed was distant and idealised and the poetic language was highly ornate
and musical. Poems were often set to music and sung to the accompaniment of
an instrument.

Choose the correct option.

Edmund Spenser wrote

During Elizabeth's reign the arts flourished


religious poems each of which glorifies one of

the twelve virtues.

tfr. economy

was strong and people had more

time and money for the arts.

@ allegorical

Creek refugees introduced classical Creek

culture to England.


2 ltaly was regarded

E with both contempt and admiration.
E with suspicion and scorn.
3 Sir Philip Sidney wrote
E tul.r in the style of Boccaccio's tales.
@ ronn"ts based on Petrarch's

themes and style.

poems which, on one level, are

meant to glorify the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The Fairie Queene, Spenser

E ,t"r a new poetic metre and highly refined


glorifies the everyday life of common people.


i-itrr*rv Background



much Renaissance poetry is of a very high quality, the greatest

,:.rar\- rvorks of the period are plays. The medieval tradition of Mystery
.:J \firacle plays continued under the reign of Henry VII. However, after the
.::.rsm from Rome and the Reformation, HenryVIII put an end to medieval
:=--gious drama. Humanism revived interest in classical drama and the plays of
. :-itus, Terence and Seneca, among others, were translated into English,
- ,riished and widely read. Seneca's tragedies were particularly popular and
-,=ated a taste for horror and bloodshed.
-.r e\ample of Seneca's influence on English drama can be seen in the works of
Thomas Kyd. His highly popular play about bloody revenge called The Spanish
-";-:edv (1587) has many Senecan elements including horror, villains,
: -::uption, intrigue and the supernatural.
:.:-r- English Renaissance playwrights accepted some of the conventions of clas, ::1 theatre, but they adapted the form to suit their needs and did not content
,--=mselves with simply producing poor imitations of classical models.
: : >er-eral reasons English drama flourished under Elizabeth I and James I:
. ::eatre appealed to all social classes, from the sovereign to the lowest class;
. :-ar-s could be understood by the illiterate, who formed the largest section of


Thomas Kyd


Why drama flourished

.:.e population;

. ::ere had been a strong theatre-going tradition in Britain since the Middle

-:c theatre was patronised by the Court and the aristocracy;

. ::e language of drama was less artificial than that of poetry;

. -:ere

was a great number of talented playwrights who produced works of extra-:dinary quality;
. .:e prosperity of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods meant that people had
r rth the time and money to go to the theatre.
- :'na was strictly linked to the Elizabethan world view which emphasised above
i. .lse the principle of order. Early Elizabethans believed that a hierarchy existed
" :he natural world which ascended from inanimate objects to animals, men,
,:.els and eventually God. Man was the central link in this chain: his body
i-red him to the animal world below him while his soul linked him to the spiri:-'i rr.orld above him. Man was at the centre of the universe because the moon,
-.---i sun, the planets and the stars all revolved in orbit around the earth.
-. rumber of factors, however, weakened Elizabethan beliefs in the principle of
*:ir-ersal order. The development of modern experimental science, for example,

The principle of order

Questioning the principle

of order

:>:ablished that the earth and other planets revolved around the sun, thus
:-splacing man from the centre of creation. In The Prince (1513) Machiavelli
:=;ected the notion of a divinely ordained political hierarchy and explained how
:,rlitical power could be won and held with no reference to the will of God.
',.'-lch Elizabethan drama is concerned with the hierarchical order of the universe
,:-J rvhat may occur if it is broken. ln Mqcbeth when the king is killed the natural
:ler of society is broken, and the result is chaos and tragedy. The loss of order is
:-:,t refleCted in the natural world (darkness in daytime, owls killing falcons,

- -,rses eating each other) and in the inner world of the characters (Lady
u"l:cbeth's insanity). Only at the end of the play, when the rightful king sits on
-:-. throne, is order restored. The breaking of the laws of order may also result in
- -:ledy. In A Midsummer l.Jight's Dreqm the disciplined ordered world of Athens is
- ntrasted with the night-time wood, which is a dark realm of disorder, chaos
.:d confusion. Elizabethan heroes are no longer the aliegorical paragons of
-:iue of Medieval drama. They are full of passion and doubts and constantly
: -cstion the world that surrounds them.

Texts CB and C9

Texts C4 and C5



FamilY background and

education Little is known
his date of birth is
rife of Daniel Defoe. Even
nter did not
t e hi s r ath e r' t
L' " :t 11',i "1,,'"ll'1" i:l,H:
that Daniel Foe - he later


horn in
l*lH nl; ; ; ;;in ;' mb "'.1X
:' ::
0-Y'"?: :::, ; Iff ':
*n:T ;ilioi, Dissenters' wher: :1 ::: 1':l
llllll; :H; rorhis studies he wenr T.i":i
into trade :i;;::"?l;

S e p te






lt riters Gallerr - !onatnan

>1\ rt


FamilY and educatron Jonathan

Swift was born in Dublin of

he was born and he was

English Parents. His father died before
at Trinity College'
maintained bY a rich relative. He was educated
Dublin, where he was an unruly and uninterested

he became
stella In 16g9 he moved to England, where Frustrated in

william Temple, a retired statesman'

to Ireland and was
his expectations of a career, he returned
Life as a modest parish
ordained a priest in the church of Ireland.
'Ste1la' in his writings'

secretary to Sir

loxlrnAN Swlrr

-r7 4s)

returned to


[-t]fldorl When his patron died in L6gg,Swift

Addison and Steele (> p' D104)
.:-1:-,|::1,, ;il;;'#;;Jir.o,r..,t trips to London he met 6 .-:cL -.-^^ ^^*irzol., inrznltrerl
invorved in


was activerv

*riters or theperiod, Swirt

.or hrz
bv their alliance with the
ffi;rted the whigs. Disgusted,
- ^..^ ^-.1 ,^rcc
introduced to
was in+rnrlrrced
a ctose iriend orrorv leaders and
anrl congreve
annqreve () pp'
" ,,:"i.ilir:Ti#J;.
^ r-\1AQ\ and




p. D10B)

(> pp.
,r.r, u,
of stmttar
inferest and
,Scriblerus club, to discuss topics of contemporary interest
Together they formed the



- :_3.


-,,lorate on ioint literary proiects'

which were
a series of letters to Esther-Stella'
time spent in London that he wrote
letters, written in part in baby talk'
as the rournar to steua.The
of the eighteenth
view of rife in London at the beginning
: , -:: s softer side and give a fascinating
in the
lady, whom he called 'vanessa'
Swift started seeing another young
'vanessa' demanded that
The relationship ended abruptly when
-,.,=rr Cadenus and vanessa.
vanessa's death 'of a broken heart'


- ,,,;;s during his

led to
:,:--,,;een her and Stella. The separation

where, outraged by the iniustices he
some of
Irish causes,
he used his writing sk,Is to support
.- :rqland,s treatment of Irerand,
use of
of A Modest Proposal for the
-,: :rost memorable political pamphlets. The publication
Travels (1726) won
_ . \[tnufacture (r7zo), The Drapier,s Letters (1724) and his masterpie ce Guuiver's
arone and with serious health
- : public acclaim. Swift,s final years were spent largely
at the age of seventy-eight and
Sierla,s death in rlzg.He died

1.r, k

i, rreland In 1713 Swift moved back to Ireland

individual' His biting satirical
Swift was a complex, passionate
rirt n*n and the writer Jonathan
However, he showed great
the idea that he was a misanthrope.
charities and dedicating
spending a third of his income on
- _:cern
of the poor and the victims of iniustice'
- -ch of his time and writing to the causes

TA$ .,


: -:than Swift had


formed of
his life, what opinion have you
complex personality. After reading about





JonathanSwiftwasaprolificwriterwhoisbestremembered:three great satirical works'

battle between
satire in which Swift imagines a real
Lrrr Books (r704)is a mock-heroic
of the
fiattrc (rr
Tha Ancients
I ne Battle
about ancient and modern learning'
books at the Royar Library over the controversy
ale under the leadership of Milton'
are led by Homer while the Moderns
in eighteenthabout the three maior religious groupings
A Tale of a Tub (1704) is a satirical allegory
of a fathe:
and Dissenters. The narrator tells the story
century Britain: Roman catholics,
strict instructions that on nt
a coat (the christian religion) with
the Anglicar
peter (St - the Roman catholic church), Martin (Luther account should they alter it.
their coats tc
gradually disobey their father by altering
church) and Jack (calvin - the Dissenters)
of England' manr
the book was meant to defend the church
make them more fashionable. Though
on all three opponents'
passages pour a torrent of ridicule
one of the grea:
tegarded to be Jonattran Swit{s masterpiece'
Gulliver,s Travers
Srri:work of all time. Like all of his other writings'
literary works and perhaps the greatest satiric
-rravers under a pseudonym. Severar of his writings had already incurred
pubrished the
of the English government and monarchr-timportant people, and there was enough criticism
to write a satire on the vices and follies of his
bring charges of sedition. Initially Swift set out
to target virtually every aspect of human experienct
but as the work proceeded he widened his aim
task is to expose absurdities, not to provide
Swift,s satire is pointed and pessimistic: his
It ::
literature, which at the time was
The book takes the form of a parody of travel
divided into four books:
ship, tells of how he was shipwrecked anc
rn Bookl Lemuel Gulriver, a surgeon on a merchant
the inhabitants are only six inches tall' Despite
washed up on the isrand of Lilliput, where

of grandeur, and the pomp of their emperc':

diminutive size, the Liliiputians have delusions
with their neighbours across the channel (the tta:
(representing the British monarchy) and their war
of giants. In an interview with the king abou:
rn Bookll Guiliver is in Brobding .'ag, akingdom
the marvels of gunpowder and the glory of the iudiciaEuropean civilisation, Gulliver boasts about
would lead hirlis horrified and says that what he has heard
system. To Guliver,s surprise, the king
Nature e\-e:
,the most pernicious Race of little odious
to believe that mankind is
suffered to crawl upon the surface of the Earth''

where the nobles literally have their heads in
rn BookIII Gurliver visits Laputa, a flying island
men of science and historians'
cloud. Here the satire is directed against philosophers,
are totallt
so absorbed in their speculations that they
Gulliver meets philosophers who have become
divorced from realitY.

Houyhnhnms, rational horse-like creatures that
rn Booklv Gulliver travels to the land of the
yahoos. The two races represent the two extremes of humar
contrasted with the filthy humanlike

orvrreturns home, he feels so alienated from his

potential: rationality and bestiality. When Gulliver
in the stable with the horses than with his own
species that he prefers to spend his time


,Swift,s Works, into a thirty-second talk. As you do not have much time You should
Condense the text
only choose the most significant information'




.. :: :.: :a '


triffigg&ru, ffiEs$ffi$aeaE#ru &ru$} ,&q.n&ffsEeru &ffies

* Ba* cmxse:*{

The Literory Bockground

Puritqn ond Restorotion Literoture

The Cavalier poets

For a period after the Renaissance, poetry lost its originality and po\r'c,
and generally consisted of poor copies of Elizabethan models. There wer.
however, some poets who broke with the Elizabethan tradition. They are commot-i-'
divided into two groups: the Cavalier poets and the Metaphysical poets.
The Cavalier poets defended the monarchy against the Puritans during the reigrr Charles I. They included Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew, Robert Lovelace and Si:
John Suckling. They did not believe in an overly studious approach to the writir:
of poetry. They saw the ideal gentleman as being a lover, a soldier, a wit, a musict;and a poet, and their poetry reflects their rather light-hearted approach to life. The
poems embodied the spirit of the upper classes before the Puritan Commonwealtr.
They wrote poetry for occasions such as births, marriages or great parties. Ther- a-.
remembered primarily as the first poets to celebrate the events of everyday 1i-.
and as such are the forerunners of an important tradition in English literature.
The Metaphysical poets, who included George Herbert, Richard Crashaw ar.-,

The Metaphysical poets

Henry Vaughan, followed in the tradition of John Donne. The features

Metaphysical poetry are:
. the use of conceits*: comparisons between objects which at first glance seem :
have nothing in common;
. the argumentative quality of the love poems, in which the poet tries to persua: his lover to share his point of view;
o the dramatic quality of the language, which often seems to be one side oi
dialogue between the poet and his lover, or God, or himself;
. the wide range of sublects from which the poet draws his imagery. Metaphysic:.
poets used, for example, the areas of the sciences, travel, medicine, alchen-and philosophy to create original imagery. This is in stark contrast with mr-rc
of Elizabethan poetry which used the stock imagery of the period (birc:
flowers, sun/ moon, stars);
. the use of wit*: wit in the seventeenth century referred to the ability to rela: dissimilar ideas, and implied intellectual genius. The Metaphysical po::
displayed this form of genius in the use of paradoxes*, conceits* and puns*.
The term 'metaphysical', which was used by the literary critic Samuel Johnsc:(> p. D104) in the eighteenth century, may be misleading because the poetr,v d,:
not deal with philosophical speculation but with the themes of religion and 1or.
Johnson, who was not an admirer of this form of poetry, used the wor_
'metaphysical' to criticise what he considered to be the poets' desire to be original ,
any cost. He was not alone in his criticism and, in fact, the Metaphysical poeis 1e:.
unpopular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was not uni,
the beginning of the twentieth century that the admiration of the great moder:poet T.S. E1iot helped generate new appreciation for Donne and his followers.
lohn Donne

The father of metaphysical poetry was John Donne (> pp. Dz-g). Although h.
lived in the Elizabethan era, his poems were published posthumously and belon:
both thematically and stylistically to this period.

Songs and Sonnets

In Sorrgs and Sonnefs Donne deals with the theme of love in a way that strongi,.
contrasts with the Elizabethan tradition. Love is presented as an intensel,,

The Liter0



:-r:r and physical experience' Th9 poems are
of trre poems l' lh:,'[t"lT "^'"11t:'.iil"','r'-l
rrrv rrrl
PL'.L J vY'v' il;,r'vrh,"
and origina I images called conceits*
: --= linguage
& .- ) -----^*
^+^ common
and puns* are
, ,,.';t;;;iju, ia.ur, whle paradoxes*, epigrams*
of view
ffi;-r.t. ffiil, often tries to persuade his lover


intellect and the emotions^r-,

uotrr to the tit:tl:::
*r'i.r' appeals uogr
.i poetry *rriarr
'"1i,:i: ,1""-t
in the Hoty sonnets tnan equallv original
ffi::.,il::1ffiil"r".G""r1r,.*es that
suffering and love to describe his spiritual
,r$,.rc- -1e ianguage of physical



ffi' ]'ffi

#;;;H;; ;;;'


Uf:i: :=r-OtiOfl.
one of
categories of Metaphysical or Cavalier'
W.:_.,. some poets fall clearly into the
Maivell (> pp'
ltr,,,E ;.rtest poets of the era, Andrew

Holy Sonnets

Andrew Marvell


of the metaphysicals'

is reminiscent
i of intense imagery, paradox andiit*
but it is for his poems' which WeIe
\\.aS a prolific
is best remembered.
::.nted three years after his death, that he




Milton (> pp. Dl -zZ) also defies

::eatest seventeenth century poet John
works were published in the
..;,.-:ication. Although some oi fti, greatest
Puritan age of cromwell',s
{s'. _ iation period, Milton belongs in lpirit-to1h.
He was educated as a Humanist
- .:-:ionwealth, which he suppori.O f.tu.ntly'


is ivritten in the style of the Aeneid or the
Paradise foit

his sentence structure
:::-, iirSt rnParadiseLostruns to sixteen lines - andboth
and diction greatly
l*: :ich vocabulaly are largely Latin-derived' His style
- , ;enced later English PoetrY'
The son of a
seen in the work of John Dryden'
- ..>ical influencei .u.t ulro be
and had a thorough
, ::-:h), Puritan family, he received a classical education
He was inspired by the Latin poets
r-,-.tledge of Greef. #A Latin literature.
and tried to reproduce the balance and
:..-1, Horace, ovid and Tibullus
master of the heroic couplet* - two
, -:eir work in his poetry. He became a
such as
- -, ming lines of iimbic pentameters - and rhetorical devices

lohn Dryden

, ::rasterpiece

Visual Link D4


was written
considered to be his greatest poem,
--:.:toplrcl (16g1-16g2), generally

political crisis'
support of the court in a period of
rris poetry, Dryden also w-rote prose
_ :hough he is best remembered
of literary criticism'
:rima and is *i;;il ,.guro.o as the fathei
to establish guidelines for good taste in

::!l\-s on poetly and theatre, and tried

influence on the pottt of the early eighteenth
-r:ature. He exercised a maior
(> pp' DZ3-27)'
::rrury, in particular Alexander Pope


of both the Cavalier

Wrote poems combining features
and the MetaPhYsical Poets

"','ite name on each
:ather of literarY criticism

:ather of MetaPhYsical PoetrY


rote Paradise Losf ...........

.'i I'ot Songs and Sonnets """""""'


Was mainlY insPired bY Latin Poets

Wrote Absalom and Achitophel """"'

Wrote the HolY Sonnets

KX#H S}KJffi,HY&N, HAU5Yffiffi,AYE#}J Affi'X} AJ&qJSY'Aru

Theqtres closed


No great dramatists emerged in the immediate post-Shakespearean perioc

Playwrights continued to write in the Shakespealean style but did no:
reach the same great literary heights or introduce innovations of any
places fo:
In 1642 the
were nc:
decent people. Theatres

,.op.n.d until Charles II

was restored to the throne

in 1660' After th;

Restoration the frugal, sober and sombre society created by the Puritans
The immor"'
replaced by a more i1.rrrr.-teeking and licentious attitude to life.
the uppe:
behaviour of the Court set

I,{ew theqtres

Restoration theatres

Visual Link D4

Heroic tragedy

The king, Charles II, nicknamed 'the

Merry Monarch', was a Patron of the
theatre and during his reign he commissioned the building of two new
theatres: DrurY Lane (7674) and the
Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (1732).

Restoration theatres were very different from Elizabethan playhouses

(> pp. C5B-60). TheY were smaller
and indoor. The audience no longer
surrounded the stage but sat facing the
actors, who did not enter the stage
through doors at the back as they had
in Ehzabethan times, but from the
sides. Painted scenery was used to
reproduce settings. Performances took
place at night: the audience sat in the
dark while the stage was illuminated
by candles and torches. Female roles,
which in the past had been PlaYed bY
young boys, were now PlaYed bY

The middle and lower classes, who still lived by a strict Puritan moral code
considered theatre-going to be immoral, so drama became a form c:
entertainment for the upper classes, and theatres became meeting places whe:.
socialites displayed their fashionable clothes and discussed the latest gossip.
Restoration audiences favoured spectacular productions. Shakespeare's work:
continued to be performed but changes were often made to the original texts
make the produ.liont more lavish and
twenty years in France, and the French influence can be seen in a new type :
drama called heroic tragedy, which became popular for a while. Heroic tragedies:
. tried to emulate epic poetry;
. were mainly abouilove and valour; the main character was generally a hero rthci'
passionat.iorr. conflicted with the demands of honour and his patriotic dutr
. were written in rhyming couplets and in an elevated style, both of which ila;:


The Comedy of Manners

the language extremely artificial.

Dryden,s All for Love is a good example of this type of drama.
It was, however, in a typ. of play called the comedy of Manners that t:
Restoration found its peculiar excellence.
Its main features were:
o it reflected the life of the Court, which was portraved as being immoral, corrn:
and licentious but also elegant, nrittv and intelligent;

. _:s rlain targets of criticism were middle-class values and ideals, conventions,

was rarely a theme

:tr-pocrisy u.rd ubor. all the institution of marriage. True love
;s sex was favoured over feelings;
. :ne dialogues wele prose rather than verse. The comic effect was achieved
often in the
:,rimarily ttrrough the wit and sparkle of the dialogue, which was
,repartee', a kind of verbil fencing match of witty comments and replies;
:,:rrm of
. -r-r Elizabethan drama comic characters were usually low and humble in origin'
and gentlemen who
_n the Comedy of Manners they were aristocratic ladies
of society;
:r-ere easily recognised by the audience as

fop' The
o new male character types were created: the gallant and the
tallant was usually the hero of the play.
i-et cynical lover. The fop was a figure of fun, ridiculed for his stupidity

o 1\\

ilolxpous pretenti ousness;

female characters generally had no feelings or morals. Their only
.nterests were fashion and breaking their marital vows;
. rire characters usually had names that captured some aspects of their
personality: Scandal,Lady Fidget, Petulant, Mrs Squeamish, Sir Fopling
and Tattle. Although this-forrn of character
had no
plays (> p. 847), it is important to note that the comedy of Manners
moral didactic purpose. th.t. plays were

. ,h. leading


it was
',r'hile the comedy of Manners was a distinctly English form of drama,
:lear1y influenceo uy cot tinental writers and trends. Restoration
-earned how to deveiop
\673),whose elegantityt. also became a model1o be imitated. The
:,..riter calderon"oe la Barca (1600-1681) showed them how to organise

rmplex plot that often involved multiple subplots. The Italian
,Jell,Arte provided
of the Comedy of Manners was William Congreve
- re most outstandingwriter
> pp. D33-3 7).In his masterpiece The way of the world he eliminated the
limits to new heights of
: I arser elements of the genre and pushed its literary

Meanwhile, Elsewhere,

p. D98

-,phistication and refinement.

a popular form of theatre' In the
-::e Comedy of Manners has continued to be
playwrights eliminated the indecency but maintained the
=-<hteenth century,
Victoria it declined'
-t and gaiety. In the early nineteenth century under Queen
turn of the century'
::, be revlved, however,
British and
!rrce then it has become popular again through the works of both


William Congreve

-"merican writers.

:;ll in the spidergram and use it as a basis to give a brief talk about the Comedy of Manners'

The ComedY
of Manners

Visual Link D5


--. :ireat political and social turmoil of the first half of the seventeenth
in the prose writing of the time. The burning issues
: ;hgion, education, politics and philosophy were the subjects of pamphlets,
::!l\-s and treatises. The language used in these prose works was heavily
,-:-uerlced by Latin, which was still the principat language of international
-,--:ure. Sentences were long and complex in structure, vocabulary was Latinate

-:r-i',1r\- rr as reflected


-:t-J concepts were frequently repeated.

:-rert Burton and Sir Thomas Browne are perhaps the two most representative
- :--,se rr-riters of the period.

Robert Burton wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy (162L), a huge treatise of over
-"-l a million words. It is an analysis of the causes, symptoms and cures for
:-=lancholy, which was considered an illness at the time.
Sir Thomas Browne wrote Religio Medici (7642), a spiritual autobiography in
-tich he shows that religion and science can coexist.
-..i-tough he preferred poetry (he described writing prose as writing with his left

John Milton also produced some excellent pamphlets including

-':,tpagitica (1644), a defence of free speech and writing, and Of Education (1664)
.- irhich he expresses his opinions on how young people should be educated.
-.-r ihree of these writers were extremely familiar with Latin, and its influence is
:-:ar in their works: the sentences are long and complex with numerous
, -.Lrordinate clauses which often lead to confusion.
rle rvriter who most successfully captured the Puritan spirit is undoubtedlyJohn
Bunt'an. A firm believer in Parliament, he joined Cromwell's army at the age of

Robert Burton

Sir Thomas Browne

lohn Milton

lohn Bunyan

sixteen to fight against

Charles I. When the army
disbanded in 1649 Bunyan
returned home to Bedford
near London and started

preaching. He was self-taught

and based most of his

learning on the Authorised
Version of the Bible, which
had been published in 1611.
During the Restoration he
was imprisoned for twelve
years for preaching without a

licence, He subsequently
spent several spells in prison

but finally obtained a licence

and continued preaching

until his death in 1688.

He started writing his great
masterpiece The Pilgrim's
Progress, which was published
in 1678, during one of tris
periods in prison. It is a pow-

The first picture in lohn Bunyan's

The Pilgrim's Progress, which he
began to write in 1675.

The Pilgrim's Progress


i: ;.







ffiflsy&xeAyH#N e}dffi ,&trfrqi$aAro A#ffi1* *

T'Ese eqFEEreH.r

erful allegory of man's quest for salvation that is widely considered to be one o:
the greatest works of religious literature of all time and a forerunner to the eighteenth-century novel.
It tells the story of the main character, Christian, who travels from the City oDestruction to the City of God, has many adventures and faces many perils or:
his way. The language is simple and concise and accurately represents the speech
of rural people at the time when Bunyan wrote. The book's engaging plot
humorous episodes and often ironic tone made it hugely successful in Britair
and abroad.

sc ie

ntifi c revol ution

Visual Link D6

The Royal Society

A new prose style

The scientific revolution, which took place after the Restoration, also played al
important part in creating a new and clear, concise prose style. Charles II was

fascinated by science and carried out his own experiments in anatomy.

Empiricism - the idea that scientific assertions had to be tested by experiment was becoming increasingly important. From 1697 weekly lectures were held in
London on astrono*y, geometry, medicine, law, divinity and music. These
lectures - which strangely for the time were given in English and not Latin attracted some of the great thinkers of the time and prompted the foundation of
the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Interest in
experimental science led to the discoveries of such great scientists as Isaac
Newton, who demonstrated the laws of gravitation, and Edmund Halley, who
published the first star catalogue based on the telescope, and calculated the orbit
of many comets, including the comet of 1682 called'Halley's comet'.
The new studies in experimental science needed clear, concise language. Englislr

gradually abandoned the long and complex sentence structures which led to

Thomls Hobbes
[ohn Locke

ambiguities and obscurities and replaced them with a simpler, more accurate styie.
The new prose style can be seen in the works of the two great philosophers of the
period, Thomas Hobbes andJohn Locke.
Thomas Hobbes, in his work Leviathan (1651), expressed his support for absolute



the only form of government that can protect society from the

destructive greed of the individual.

John Locke supported the opposite viewpoint in his Two Treatises of Governmetti
(1690), which greatly influenced the leaders of the American Revolution, and in
which he suggested that a parliament elected by the people is the best form o:
government. Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) made an

important contribution to the development of English empiricism. Both

The diarv

Samuel Pepys


Pieces of the Past,

p. D702

lohn Evelyn


and Locke wrote with clarity and economy.

The second half of the seventeenth century saw the emergence of a new literar,.'
form: the diary. As science started to explore the workings of the human minc
people became more interested in themselves, and started to keep records of thei:
private thoughts and actions in diaries.
The most famous diarist of the period was Samuel Pepys. He was an extraordinar-.
man: he founded the Royal Nny, was an outstanding Civil Servant and becam.
President of the Royal Society. It is not, however, the public side of the man tha.
his diary reveals but the intimate details of his private life. He wrote the diarr- .:eleven volumes between 1660 and 7669. He wrote for himself, in a secret code -- shorthand, contractions and foreign words, and the texts were only deciphered -:1825. He spoke of the great events of the day such as the Great Plague (1665), ti:.
Great Fire (1666), the Dutch Wars (1664) and political intrigues. But it is his frar,
accounts of everyday life in a wealthy family, written in a simple stvle and rich -:detail and humour, that make his work unique.
Pepys's friendJohn Evelyn, a country gentleman and one of the four-rders oi::-.
Roval Societg also kept a diarv. He started n.ritin.g it rvhen he rr-as lnlr- t',r-entr -.-:--:



*&"1 1@

.#ffi*3--W siffi,.sn

-=r*;& @


m7,aL *r-JT



a t'iO


tl |!t


years old and continued for most of his tife. He was interested in gardens, travel
and life at court. He wrote mostly about places and events and his diary is fuli of
information and scientific observation. Unlike Pepys, he did not include intimate
details about his personal life. Indeed, the more detached, impersonal tone suggests

that he may have written the diary not purely for personal pleasure but for

possible future audience. Like Pepys', his diary is a valuable historical document.

Seventeenth-century Engtish literature will be remembered for the contribution

of the cavalier and Metaphysical poets and, in particular, for the work of John
Donne, Andrew Marvell and John Milton. The great theatrical innovation was
The Comedy of Manners, which has since become a standard of the English
stage. The century's greatest achievement was, however, in prose writing, where
the development of a straightforward, concise and accurate prose style provided
the foundation on which the great novel writing of the eighteenth century could

Summing up

be built.

Choose the correct oPtion.
a. Most prose works in the seventeenth century were



religious pamphlets, philosophical essays and

scientific texts.
collections of short stories and didactic novels'

Prose writers


@ a simplified form of Latin.

@ a Latinate form of

John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim's Progress,

a humorous novel about the travels of an

legorical character.
a deeply religious pamphlet written in highly
complex Latinised English.



Samuel Pepys's diarY deals with

great events and everYdaY life.

E tf'" history of The RoYal NavY.



of tumultuous change' witnessing

The seventeenth century was a period
war, major parliamentary reform and
as it did a revolution, a civil
class' The extravagance
energence of a powerful new middle
and although the commonwealth
$ as replaced by Puritan


philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes'
The scientific revolution and ratio.ritir,
(> p. nfbO) spread the idea that reason rather
Ren6 Descartes and John Locke
of man and the world that
than religion was the key to the understanding
therefore, that the eighteenth century
surrounds him. 1t is not surprising,
clarity and stability' writers of the
brought with it a general desire for"order,
poets Virgii, Horace and Ovid who'
period drew inspira-tion from the iatin
BC-AD 14), created
the patronage of Emperor August ts 1il
tried to emulate the
ciassical literature. English writers
became known as 'the Augustan Age''
tl-re early and mid-eighteenth
crearly seen

'The Augustan Age'

influence of the crasJicar writers is
of the centurY.

literature' They tried to adhere to
and technical perfeCtion of classical
in Horace's Ars poetica, which was
guidelines for good taste set out
poet estaulished the basic principles
at the time. In it the Roman


Horace's Ars Poetica

can be seen in their,quest for
the Augustan poets, self-control
the epic' past oral'
classiial fit.rary genres such as

form. They imitatei

and metre: iambic

pindaric ode*. They paid gr.ui ittention to rhyme the standard poetic
couplets*) became
pentameters*rh;;;a * niiti (ieroic
of poetry should
poets believed that the language
The early eighteenth-century
speech.-They wrote for i cultured
be far removed from everyday
diction and Latinate sentence structures'
reading public i" rri*kr po.ii.
called' did not write poetry to

tu*t to be
The neo-classical poets, as they
the poet had a social role: to explore
their own feelings. They UetieueJtftat
t*fose society's evils' Not surprisingly'
universal human experienc. urrO
work Cu*t in the form of satire'
their greatest

Alexander PoPe

in poetic metre'
i,t *ftich he displayed great skill
sixteen he wrote 5ts Pastorrlr,
mock-heioic poem The Rape of
ln 1714 he published his masterpiece'hetheshows
his unrivailed skill
Lock.In this satire of Augustu,t 'otitty
the work that folrowed was moral
the heroic coupret. Most of
values of eighteenthattack on the debased moral
Dunciad (1725)is a satirical
verse essays
Man and Moral Essays are philosophical
century societf; ,h. rrrry on


depending il:
*nror.a as lacking poetic value and


T'S' Eliot'
twentieth-century poet and critic
heavily on imitation. The great
of Pop., stating that he preferred
poetry of
however, re-appraised the wtrk
to poetii form of the neo-clissicars
craftsmanship and attention
the Romantic period the late
personal emotions, which characterised
century () Module E)'
eighteenth and.u'iy'tti"tteenth

Visual Link D5

?"FgE, E3ffiffiE?Afd, ffiHST"ffi&A&X"X#m


&Ng} &qJfiJf$T"&N.&ffiS *

?.&ee ffu*mftex&

Although the neo-classical poetry of the Augustan Age is still widely

admired, the eighteenth century is best remembered for the development
of prose-writing. The early part of the century witnessed a dramatic rise in prose
output in the form of journalism, essay writing, political satire and pamphleteering.
This proliferation of prose-writing can be attributed to a number of factors:
o the advancement of printing technology, which made publishing more
efficient and cheaper;

. the expansion of the school system and the subsequent growth in the number
of people who could read and write;

. the opening of circulating libraries, which gave people access to newspapers,

journals and books;

. the growth in the number of middle-class readers. In previous centuries reading

had largely been confined to the aristocracy and the upper classes. By the
beginning of the eighteenth century the middle classes were better educated
and wished to understand the world in which they had become a potent
economic and political force;
. the increase in the number of women readers. The Puritans considered their
wives to be equal partners in marriage, business and spiritual affairs, and
encouraged them to read. Time-consuming household tasks such as making
bread, candles and clothes were no longer necessary since most of these
commodities could now be bought in shops, and consequently women had
more time to dedicate to reading.

The new middle-class readership was largely Puritan and

showed a distinct preference

for factual writing


fiction (which they regarded

to some extent as lying). In
response to this taste there
was a remarkable proliferation of journalistic writing.
Two great figures stand out
in this field in the early part
of the century: Richard
The Tatler

Steele and Joseph Addison.

When Richard Steele started



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ui -V


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10.'ri:.o-l r,

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publishing his newspaper

The Tatler in 1709, there

agiiat, ut {pciiali de$iic nziriai* pr{ntdt.

were already several newspapers in circulation containing information about home

and foreign affairs. Steele

()ne vrith r fiaih begins, and endsin finoke

'L'hc other out of firroke brings
1;lorious light,
Anci, in'irhout raifing expe&aJion h;rht
liurpr.ifcs r:. s v'! th dazziing rniraclcs. froi co u u o u,

understood that the new

middle-class reader needed
to be entertained as well as
informed, and so he included in his newspaper articles

on fashion, taste, gossip,

duelling and gambling as

as serious pieces

on the

political issues of the day.

Later Steele joined forces

obf,ervcd,-tlrrr aReader fcldom perufes

3" I{fV,tr
$ a book with pleafure, uaril hc lcn*rvr triherhtr
"e -the writer of it be * black trr a $*ir mhr:, af a
rniil cr rho_lrric difpofition, rnmlicC o. , b*rt

.rvi.h othcr- particulars of the like narure, rhar
currduce very rnuch to the right underftanriinn nf
ar: u.ulhr:r. To eratify this iuriofitv, ,olri.h i! fi,
rultulal to a reader, I dcfign this papcr and rny nexi

d rl cou ri es t<l
ngi, and
.my-fol low ng
f f,l.f T,oTtcrnc
accounr in tb.ern of thc ftvcirl per_
"' 'y;*;:



(1 71 0)


published a new
-:h his old school friend Joseph Addison and together they

:=riodical called The Spectator (1711-1714)'

aimed at a middle-class reading public'
-,r itS predecess or, lh, Spectator was
::rrrever, it Contained more eSSayS on literary and moral issues and was

The Spectator

llcerned with political news. It was written in clear, simple, almost

, --,nr-ersational prot. which could be understood by any reasonably
:.rson. Its appeal
:raracters representing all walks of life in eighteenth-century England including
It appeared
, t,mmerce, the army, ifr. country gentry, the Church and the town'
debate in
::ilv and was immensely
::re t-ashionable coffee


social life.
SamuelJohnson also started his literary career as a journalist, making contributions
:: r'arious publications and eventually publishing his own periodical, The Rambler.
\ great classicist, Johnson wrote poetry, drama, essays on political and moral
.ritt.rr, biographies and literary criticism of the highest order. However, he is
:erhaps best remembered for his Dictionary of the English Language (1755), the
::rst attempt to standardise the pronunciation, definitions and meaning of over


Samuel lohnson


+0,000 English words.

The eighteenth-century novel was, to a large degree, an evolution of the

non-fictional prose-writing of the period. Prose fictional works of the
prer,,ious centuiies, based onold legends, ancient battles and chivalrous medieval
to read
:.dr.entures, had little appeal for the new middle-class readers who wished
about themselves and-the world

Tnr Novu

Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Jonathan Swift and

Laurence Sterne - moulded fictional prose into a literary form that appealed to
the eighteenth-century reader. In doing so they created the dominant literary
genre of the next three centuries: the modern novel'

surprisingly, many of the early novelists started their literary careers in

and started his own
lournalism. Daniel Defoe wrote for several periodicals
age of sixty'
newspape r, The Review, before turning


Dqniel Defoe

His fiisln ovel, Robinson Crusoe (7719), was loosely based on the real-life
story in
of a shipwrecked sailor, Alexander Selkirk,
diary foim told by the hero himself. The

Robinson Crusoe


it more acceptable to middle-class readers, who regarded fiction with

for the new

suspicion. The hero of the story, Robinson, also had a strong appeal
man: an
readership as he was a perfect example of
ordinary man who, thiough hard work
English language'
Robinson Crusoe is generally regarded as the first novel in the

Defoe went on to write five more novels, Captain Singleton, Moll Flanders,
lack, Roxana, Memoirs of a Cavalier and a

during the great plague entitled A lournal of the Plague Year.

While Daniel Defoe showed little interest in the feelings and thoughts of his
of the novel
characters, Samuel Richardson's contribution to the development
lies in the attention he paid to his characters'
story of a
His most successful novel, Pamela, or virtue Rewarded (7740), tells the
young servant girl who, having resisted the amorous
wins his heart ind eventually marries him. The
mostly written by Pamel a, andher personal diary of
It is'
*u, ,1r.udy popular in France but Richardson raised
however, in the creation of characters with psychologicat

Samuel Richardson

Pamela, or Virtue


' ,,



T"t{E trq"}ffi"HT"&N, reffiSTffiffi&gX#H &H3 &qJ&U$T&ru .&&ES ^



shows his greatest skill. His characters are not simply men of action involved in

perilous adventures: they have inner worlds of feeling and emotions which
Richardson explores with insight and sensitivity. Pamelq also shows Richardson's
mastery of dialogue, which is presented in the form of long transcriptions of
conversations in the letters.
Pqmela was greatly appreciated by the middle-class readership for its morality
and realism, and by eighteenth-century standards it was a runaway best-seller.

Richardson published two more novels, both in the epistolary form: Clarissa
(17 47 -17

Henry Fielding


Visual Link D5

Tom Jones

lonathan Swift

48) and Sir Charles Grqndison (77 53-17 54).

Henry Fielding, the son of an aristocratic family, found the moralising in Pameln
so offensive that he wrote An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews (I7 4l),
an irreverent parody of Richardson's work. Fielding was the first writer to
consciously explore and define the new literary genre. Unlike his predecessors,
he made no attempt to disguise his work as fact in the form of memoirs or letters.
He considered the novel to be a'comic epic in prose', dealing not with the heroic
actions of the classic epic poems but with the unimportant and preferabh'
humorous events of daily life.
In 7749, he published what many consider to be his masterpiece, The History of
Tom lones, A Foundling. The novel tells the story of an orphan, Tom Jones, who
after many adventures discovers his true identity and marries the lady he loves.
Fielding was the first English novelist to create a well-structured complex plot
involving many characters drawn from different social classes. His work is
innovative and original and he is generally considered to be the father of the
English comic novel.
While Henry Fielding employed humour to criticise the failings of eighteenthcentury society, Jonathan Swift used hard-hitting and at times bitter satire. Swift,
like De,foe, started his career as a iournalist. He quickly gained a reputation as a
satirist targeting, among other subjects, political corruption and English misrule

in Ireland.

A scene from Culliver's

Travels (1996).


["e]d, m,H$Yffiffi.&flHq]ru .el$w &.t]fi&]$TAffi .efrE$ * Y&** ecFrktest

Gulliver's Travels

Visual Link D5

Laurence Sterne

Tristram Shandy

Licensing Act: 1737

His great satirical novel, Gulliver's Travels, was published in7726 and was an
immediate success. It has been interpreted at many different levels: as a travel
book for children, a biting potitical satire and an indictment of a society that
accepts war and corruption and rejects altruism and reason as a way of life.
Perhaps the most innovative work in the new field of novel-writing was done br
Laurence Sterne, an Anglican priest who seemed to adhere to none of the rule>
that had been established for the new genre.
His Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), ostensibly an
autobiography, includes so many digressions that by conventional standards the
plot is preposterous. Add to this unfinished sentences, blank pages, pages
containing just one word, and idiosyncratic syntax and it is clear that this novel is
the work of a very original mind. Sterne seems to suggest that the orderlichronological narration of events which could be found in other novels of the
period did not reflect the perception of time and space which exists in the humac.
mind. In his attempt to capture human consciousness, Sterne foreshadows the
work of twentieth-century novelists such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf anc
William Faulkner () Module G).
The eighteenth century was not a particularly interesting period for drama

The Licensing Act of 7737 allowed the Lord Chamberlain to censo:

theatrical performances, and many talented writers including Henry FieldinE
turned their attention from drama to the new literary genre of novel-writing. While
theatre-goers in the seventeenth century were largely aristocratic, the eighteenthcentury theatre audience was predominantly middle class and dictated new trends:
. the seventeenth-century Comedy of Manners () pp. D96-97) was rejected fc:
its licentiousness and amorality;

Shakespeare continued to be performed, but his plays were often cut c:

transformed to suit the public's taste;
. melodramas - unimaginative sentimental pieces with strong didactic elements
- became very popular but were of little literary value;
o pantomime, a mixture of singing, dancing and knockabout comedy, which rra:
clearly inspired by the Italian Commedia dell'Arte, was also very fashionable.
Perhaps the most notable theatrical work of the early part of the century is John
Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1727). The play is a combination of prose and sixty-nin.
songs set to traditional or fashionable melodies of the day. In it Gay makes fun o:
the fashion for Italian opera and satirises contemporary politics. The Beggar's Oper';
is generally considered to be the forerunner of the modern musical.
Towards the end of the century a more refined version of the Comedy of Manne:.
again became popular. Playwrights such as Oliver Goldsmith in She Stoops :
Conquer () Text D9) and Richard Brinsley Sheridan in The School for Scattd,;"
maintained the witty dialogue of Restoration comedies and excluded the indecen:

lohn Gay

Oliver Goldsmith


and amoral elements.

A prRroo

oF TRANslnoN

In the second half of the eighteenth century, the admiration for th;
classical ideals which had characterised the Augustan Age began to wane:
rationalism and elevated sentiments of the early part of th.
century gave way to a simpleq more genuine form of expression;

there was a renewed interest in nature and the simple rural life;
France the influential philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau questioned th=
importance of reason and exalted man's emotional capacities and imaginatit.

. in


In English literature the earliest evidence of this cultural shift can be seen in th.
poetry of Thomas Gray and the Graveyard Poets, and in Horace \\ alpole's Goth:c
nor-ei, Tlrc Csstle of Otranto.





* $3exe&rY

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

by Samuel TaYlor Coleridge

wordsworth suggested to his

whllewalking in the hills in the Lake District, william
an adventure at sea. coleridge took up the suggestion
close friend, coleridge, that he write a story about
and in the Rime he transports the
of the Romantic poets, coleridge was one of the most imaginative,
()> visual Link E4)'
reader into fantastical, unforgettable settings



a rabbit's foot is thought to

certain things with good luck and bad luck. For example,
:+:^^- play
: J-rin
part in
big narf
^l-., a
trouble in store. such
bring good luckwhile walking underi ludd., means
the poem You are about to read'

i *"
vve 5()tIleLll


Tnn sronv

to a man who is on his way to a wed'

The Rime, or story, is told by the Ancient Mariner
that was blocked in by ice near the
ding. The Mariner was working as a sailor on a ship
of the fog and is welcomed as a sign of
South Pole. Suddenly an albatross appears out
the bird flies alongside the ship as
good luck by the crew. Not long after, the ice splits and
reasTn, the Mariner shoots and
it continues its voyage. Then, one day, for no apparent
into a horuible sea where there
kills the albatross. The ship is blown north to the Equator

luck' and

bringing about their bad

is no wind. The soilors say it is the Mariner's fault for
thing lrc
forget what a terrible
hang the arbatross qrormd his neck so thrt he wilt
Text Eg). AU the sqilors clie and he sees no way out of
has done
that are swimmht;;
until, one night, he is so strttck by the beatfty of the watersnakes


his neck (>' Text E'10

around the ship, that he blesses them. The albatross falls from
qs a penance he has to travel around tlrc world
and the ship sails home. He is saved, but
to love all God's creatures'
and tell his story, which seryes as a warning to everyone

Note: The notes

The killing of
the albatross
illustrated bY


in a smaller font

are a summary of what happens

in the poem.

Water, Water, EverY Where

Custave Dord

The AncientMariner has


iustkilled the albatross'



for killing the bird of good luck')

(The shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner


hellish: evil

work'em woe: bring

them bad luck
averred: claimed
rvretch: t'r'i1 Person
slar': ii-i

And I had done a hellish1 thing'

And it would work'em woe2:
For all averred3 I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow'
Ah wretchll said they, the bird to
T1-rat t-nac1e t1-re bteeze to blorvl


!*nrutl iai i*r f *iericige

: *: rrhen the fog cleared ofi, tirev justity the

::: i:tnfg.t

same, and thus make themselves accomplices to

li--,r dim6 nor red, like God,s own head,

-:e glorious Sun upristT:

B. mist: Iight fog

foam: white spray on
the top of waves
10. furrow: track that a
boat leaves behind it
in the sea
11.burst: moved

all averred I had killed the bird

-:at brought the fog and mist8.


*. fair breeze



continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even

-.=:hes the Line.)

-::e fair breeze blew, the white foame

-:e furrowlo followed


\\-ere the



first that ever burstll

:: ship hath been suddenly


lr-rrr-n droppedl2 the breeze, the sails dropped down,

-:r'as sad as sad could be;
--:d lve did speak only to break

16.breath: wind
17.motion: movement
18.idle: not moving
19.boards: the wood
from which the ship
was made

shrink: become

21.drop: very small

amount of liquid
22.deep: the bottom of
the sea

.-,qht up above the mast14 dld stand,

23.rot: start

)''t bigger than the Moon.

-':r- after day, day after

copper: reddishbrown metal

14.mast: tall pole on
which the sails of the
ship are hung
15.We stuck: we did not


-,i ln a hot and copperl3 sky,

-:e bloody Sun, at noon,


l2.dropped: fell


---:o that silent sea.

- re silence of the

6. dim: dark
7. uprist: rose up


-',r-as right, said they, such birds to

,::at bring the fog and mist.


24.slimy things:


slippery, unpleasant
creatures like snakes

stuckls, nor breathl6 nor motionlT;

-.s idle18 as a painted ship
l-L.o., a painted ocean.

25.crawl: move very

slowly reel and rout:

-.nd the Albatross begins to be avenged.)

water, every where,

.nd ail the boardsle did shrink2o;
ater, water, every where,
\or any dropzl to drink.
he very deepzz did rot23: O Christ!
ever this should be!
:es, slimy thingsza did crawlZs with legs
- pon the slimy sea.


\bout, about, in reel and rout26

death -firesz7 danced at night;

29.plagued: caused
continual suffering
30.fathom: one fathom
is 1.8 metres



{nd some in dreams assurdd were28

Of the Spirit that plagued2e us so;
fathom30 deep he had followed us
irom the land of mist and snow.


an electrical storm.
They were known as
St Elmo's fires and
were believed by
sailors to mean that
death was on the way
28. assurdd were: were

- he water, like a witch's oils,

3urnt green and blue and white.


they were dancing

27 . death-fires: optical
illusions created by




'We stuck, nor breath nor

motion; as idle as a painted
ship upon o painted ocean.'




r,;", lfji

ffi=,r'Hifu rm&

ffi#rus,&rusxc &6H,

31.utter: total
32. drought: period when
there is no rain

33.withered at the root:

their tongues were
dying like a plant that
does not get any water
34.choked: suffocated
35.soot: black powder
produced when
something is burnt

36.well a-day:
expressing displeasure
at what happened on
that day


(A Spirit had followed them; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed
souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic
Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is
no climate or element without one or more.)

And every tongue, through utter3l drought32

Was withered at the root33;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked3a




(The shipmates, in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner:

in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.)
Ah! well a-day36! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.



I What'hellish thing' had the mariner done? How

did the other crew members react to the mariner's
deed? What made them change their reaction?
? ln what way did the other sailors become
'accomplices to the crime'? See the second note.

S What path did the ship take? What did the sailors
run out of?

4 What type of animals did the mariner see? What

spectacle did he witness at night?

5 What was causing the sailors' misfortune? (Stanza 10)

6 Why could they no longer speak?
7 What did the other sailors do to punish the mariner
for his crime?

1 Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Marinerin
the form of a bolloff. Here are some of the features of
a medieval ballad.
a. Tick the features that you identify in Coleridge's
work and find examples. A ballad:
narrates a story.
recounts the adventures of the ancient moriner
f.d,E is composed in simple two or four line stanzas.
i4$i consists of alternate four and three stress line.
riff rhymes on the second
and fourth line.
L6iB contains few descriptive details.
il,' leaves the motives behind the characters' actions

&q makes extensive use of repetition*
$r31 uses stock descriptive phrases such as 'milk-white
steed' for a white horse, etc.
#'#i includes a refrain.
b. Medieval ballads are generally divided into five
categories, according to the subject matter of their
stories. Which of the following categories do you
think The Rime of the Ancient Moriner could be
classified under?
Love stories
ffi Crime and punishment
rBE Historical ballads
Flfr Outlaws and bad men
*r51 Ballads of the supernatural

c. Why do you think Coleridge


chose the ballad form

his work?

2 Underline sentences in the text where the sun or

the sea are mentioned. Are they described in a
realistic or symbolic way?

3 Find religious references in the second, eighth and

twelfth stanzas, and a reference to the supernatural in
the tenth stanza. Do you think the sea-animals
described in the eighth stanza are real or supernatural,
or could they be either?

How would you define the atmosphere created in

the poem?
What elements contribute to the creation of the

Consider lhe simile* in lines 27-28. What does it


A sense of paralysis
The idea of colour
ffi, Other:




A sense of beauty
The idea of an unreal world

Explain the porodox* contained in the image in the

seventh stanza.

7 Find examples of end-of-line rhymes*, regular

rhythm patterns and olliterotion*.





BFae .&pae$*rpfl &#ecs.$mec'

* SeamaexeB



,IntefnOl' ''1,' ,, Internal



, ',r

rhymes are rhymes that occur within a line. Like the more frequently used
rhymes (the rhyming of final words) they are used to add a musical quality to the
examples of internal rhyme in the text you have just read. Example:

. -1,.t t',', .l ]!"T
Forall averredT
: ,, t,,1 . : :,". Find otherexamples in lines 5 and 15.

Experiment with internal rhyme. Think of two or three words that rhyme and try to include
them in the same sentence. Example:

Alone On A Wide Wide Sea! *.:z:3i{,8:i,.fi A

The Ancient

Mariner obseryes the awful situation he finds

limself in.

Part IV
Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide wide sea!

And never a saint took pity on

My soul in agony.
(He despiseth the creatures of the calm.)

The many men, so beautiful!

And they all dead did lie:


thousand thousand slimyl things

Lived on, and so did I.

(And envieth that they should live, and so many be dead.)

'The many men, so

I looked upon the rotting2 sea,

And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck3,
And there the dead men lay.

GLOSSARY &,," """"

1. slimy: slippery and
unpleasant like

2. rotting:

3. deck: top level ol a

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;

But or ever4 a prayer had gushts,
A wicked6 whisperT came, and made

My heart


as dry as dust.

I closed my lids8 and kept them closee,

And the ballslo like pulsesll beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like aloadrz on my wearyl3 eye,
And the dead were at my feet.


4. or ever: before
5. gusht: (gushed)

come out

wicked: evil


whisper: very quiet


8. lids:



close: closed
1O.balls: eyeballs
11.pulses: pulsations

12.load: heary weight

13.weary: tired



KB{E ffi#&S,&ruYKil .&&E

* E}er*try

(But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead lnen.)

The cold sweatl4 meltedls from their limbs16,

Nor rot nor reek17 did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.


An orphan's cursel8 would dragle to hell

A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.


(ln his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth towards the

journeying Moon, and the stars that still soiourn, yet still move
onward; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is
their appointed rest, and their native country and their own
natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are
certainly expected and yet there is a silent ioy at their arrival.)

The moving Moon went up the

And no where did abide2o:
Softly she was going up,

And a star or two beside



Her beamszl bemocked the sultry mainzz

Like April hoar-frost23 spread;
But where the ship's huge2a shadow lay,
The charmdd2s water burnt alway26

A still and awful red.

'Oh happy living things!
no tongue their beauty,
might declare


(By the

L*:::*:_:_ :_::*_._**_:

light of the Moon he beholdeth God's creatures of the great calm.)

Beyond the shadow of the shiP,

I watched the water-snakes.
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reare
Fell off

14.sweat: liquid that

comes through your

skin when you are

hot or frightened

5.melted: disappeared
16.limbs: bodies

17.reek: have an
unpleasant smell

19.drag: pull down
2O.abide: stop
21.beams: shining lines


in hoary


, tine elfish2s light


Within3o the shadow of the ship

I watched their rich attire3l:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled32 and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

22.bemocked the sultry

main: made fun of the hot
and windless


23.hoar-frost: white powdery


2-l.huge: r'err-biq

25.charmEd: under a magic


26.alway: always

.reared: came up out of the


28.elfish: nra{

29.hoary flakes:
like pieces

sma11 ice-

30.Within: inside
31.attire: clothes
32.coiled: t\r1ste11 ;Ild
_ ,-ri



t;:i: .ja ille .{ncrer:i Ui:rjner - 5amue} Tqlior Co}eridge

(Their beauty and their happiness.)

(He blesseth them in his heart.) tongue ...

declare: nobody
would be able to put
into words how
beautiful they were
34.gushed: came out
quickly and in large
quantities (like water
from a pipe)
35.unaware: without
realising what I was
36.sank: went down
below the surface of

O happy living things! no tongue

Their beauty might declare33:
A spring of love gushed3a from my heart,

And I blessed them unaware35:

Sure my kind saint took Pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
(The spell begins to break.)

The self-same moment I couldpray;

And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank36


into the

the water


1l :l::::' :

:::?: ::l::

happened when
he tried to pray? Did he get relief from closing his eyes?

4 What colour did the sea become in the light of the



T Why was the mariner alone? What

Had the bodies of the dead crew members begun

moon? What colour was the sea in the shadow of the

to decompose?

.$ What did the mariner

3 Which

he unconsciously do?

was worse, according to the mariner: the

orphan or the curse of a dead man's eye?
curse of

see in the water?

What did

When did the albatross fall from the mariner's neck?


T This section of the poem may be divided into two

parts. ln the first part the mariner looks inwards, at his
own condition and laments his misfortune. ln the
second part he looks outwards at his surroundings
and finds a sense of harmony with nature. ldentify the
turning point in the text.

The themes of religion and the supernatural are

strongly present in this section of the poem. Find
references to religion in the first, fourth, seventh and
twelfth stanzas. ldentify the supernatural elements in
the text.

Explain the use of personificotion* in the eighth

stanza. Which words/expressions (also consider the
note) suggest that the moon is a benign natural


Focus on the description of the watersnakes in the

tenth and eleventh stanzas. Underline the colours and
the verbs of movement the mariner uses. Do you
think that the watersnakes are real or magical animals,
or could they be considered to be both?



5 The sun and the moon are two of the central

symbols* in the poem. Underline the lines in which
they are mentioned in the two texts you have read.
Which is associated with pain and suffering and which
with gentleness and forgiveness?

The albatross is also an important symbol in the

poem. The killing of the albatross has been
interpreted in several different ways:
- man's indifference towards nature;
- man's lack of Christian values;
- the crucifixion of Jesus Christ;
- the betrayal of basic human values and instincts;
- the suppression of the creative drive and
imagination in man.
Do you agree with any of these interpretations or
do you have your own personal view? Justify your


As you read Text E10 again, listen to the

recording and identify musical features such as
olliterotion*, repetition*, rhyme* and rhythm*.

Think o{ a common superstition. Do some research into its origin and explain your findings to the rest of the class.




ffi#h{AruY$e &&H * ffaxerY

Early years Samuel TaYlor

Coleridge was born in \772,
his father died he was sent
the youngest of ten children.
away to a London charity school for children of the clergy.
was an avid reader and a bright student. In 1791 he went to
cambridge, but he suddenly interrupted his education to enlist
in a regiment of light dragoons. Later he was re-admitted into
cambridge, where he met the radical poet Robert Southey,
whose sympathetic views on the French Revolution he shared'
Together they planned the foundation of an egalitarian utopian
community in New England. The proiect was abandoned but the
two friends collaborated on a velse dtama, The Fall of Robespierre

Coleridge left Cambridge without a degree and,

which produced four children,
almost on impulse, martied Southey's fianc6e's sister. The marriage,
was a failure: the couple lived apatt for most of their lives.


(> pp. Et6-23), a poet

Encounter with Wordsworth In 1795 Coleridge met William Wordsworth

with similar political and literary views. The encounter produced one of the most creative
Ballads (1798)'
partnerships in English literature. The result of their collaboration was tlne Lyrical
which opened with one of the four poems that Coleridge had contributed: The Rime of the

() Texts E9 and E10). He also began, but never completed, three other ballads, the finest of

he travelled to
which is Christabel, and composed his celebrated opium-vision Kubla Khan.ln l79B
the political
Germany with Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. He had become disillusioned
radicalism inspired by the French Revolution and turned his attention to German philosopht
philosophy at
especially the ideas of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. He learned German, studied
Schiller into
Gottingen University and translated some works by the romantic poet Friedrich
he returned to England and went with the Wordworths to live in the Lake
for the
District. By this time he had become addicted to opium, which was the only available relief
pain he suffered due to various health problems. In 1804 he left for Malta, hoping to overcome
addiction and improve his health in a warmer climate.


addiction In 1g00

Malta for two years and then returned to England'

Lake District In 1g0g he moved back to the Lake District, cl0se to the wordsworths ancl
Wordsworth's sisterSouthey. Together they became known as the 'Lake Poets'. He fell in love with


a love that was to be a source of great suffering all

through his life.

1810 his friendship with Wordsworth came to a bitter end' His

unable to lt-or'i
addiction to opium got worse, producing terrible mood swings and making him
oi :'
productively. In the attempt to free himself of the habit he went to
The end of a

friendship In

physician in London.
London and fame In the following years he slowly regained his health, lt'otked as a ior-irualist
ga'e lectures that established his reputation as a distinguished literarr-critic.

1x?':E*i-'. i-=iaii*rv

- Semu*l fqvlor Coleridge



In 1g16 the publication of the poem s Christabel and Kubla Khan consolidated his fame'
a series of
foliowing year he wrote his major prose work, Biographia Literqria () p.E119),
dissertations on subiects ranging fiom literary criticism and philosophy to
He died in 1834. His epitaph, which he wrote to sum up a
Benelth this sod
A Poet lies; or that which once was he.
O lifr one thought in PraYer for S.T.C.
That he, who many a year with toil of breath,
Found Death in Life, may here find Life in Death'

Lyrical Ballads Coleridge's reputation as a poet is based on a

small but magnificent corpus of work. The best expression of his
(> p' E118)'
poetic vision can be found in his collaboration with Wordsworth in the Lyrical Ballads
The contribution to the collection by the two poets was very different. While Wordsworth
poetry inspired by the simple things of everyday life, Coleridge turned
asked the
wonder and took the readers into the fantastic world of the imagination. wordsworth
them to 'suspend
readers to enjoy his natural descriptions, Coleridge on the other hand asked
disbelief, and let him lead them into mysterious and supernatural worlds.
The Rime of the Ancient

Mariner This can be clearly seen in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

with supernatural events, and

an eerie, otherworldly
the use of powerful symbols (the sun, the moon) and striking images create
atmosphere which stimulates the reader's imagination.


Texts E9 and E10), where the juxtaposition of ordinary experience

Kubla Khan, started in 1798 and published unfinished in 1816, was apparently
image of the poem,
inspired by a dream in an opium-induced sleep. coleridge woke up with a clear
poem's theme is the
but 1ost the vision, except for a few lines, when a visitor disturbed him. The
suggestive imagery and
fabulous ancient orient and its magic rites. Its most striking features are its



musical rhythm.

another unfinished poem, christqbel, which he

supernatural, which
had written over a period of time. The poem is a medieval romance of the
refused to
includes many Gothic elements. coleridge was very disappointed
include it in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads.

christabel In the same year coleridge published

Though he is best known today for his poetry, coleridge wrote articles and
lectures made him the
dissertations on philosophy, political analysis and theology. His treatises and
most influential English literary critic of the nineteenth century. In his Biographia
(> p. El19), considered his greatest critical work, Coleridge
be the introduction to a great philosophical work, which he never



-:e the following headings to take notes on Coleridge's life and works and then

- larly life and education

- :'iendship with Wordsworth

Contribution to lhe Lyrical

- Health problems

Ballods - Cermany
- Rehabilitation

short report.
and final years


THH K0M,&NTXC .&68 * P*retry

John Keats
The world of virtual reality is an artificial world which sometimes seems more real and satisfying than our
everyday world. When fohn Keats looks at the paintings on an ancient Crecian urn, he seems to lose himself in a
perfect, unchanging reality of trees that never lose their leaves and love that never ends. What lesson does he
Iearn from his trip into this virtually perfect world?

Ode On A Grecian Urn

Thoul still unravishedz bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child3 of silence and slow time,
Sylvana historian, who canst thus express



1. Thou: you


unravished: virgin,

3. foster-child:




Sylvan: rural
canst ... rhyme:
in this way (thus)
your paintings can
(canst) tell a story
better than a poem
leaf-fringed: with
leaves around the

5. who




haunts: moves like


8. What leaf-fringed


both: what story

(legend) about gods
or men is told in your



Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye 1s soft pipes, play on16;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone17:
Fair youth18, beneathle the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be barezo;
Bold21 Lover, never, never canst




Though winning near the goalzz yet, do not grieve23;

She cannot fadeza, though thou hastzs not thy bliss26,

Tempe: valley in

ancient Greece
10.Arcady: region in
ancient Greece that

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhymes:

What leaf-fringed6 legend hauntsT about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both8,
In Tempee or the dales of Arcadylo?
What men or gods are these? What maidensll lothlz?
What mad pursuitl3? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrelsl4? What wild ecstasy?

Forever wtltz7 thou love, and she be fairz8!


synonymous with

beautiful countryside

ll,.maidens: young

loth: reluctant, not
wanting to do



running after
someone oI
14.pipes and timbrels:
musical instruments

spirit, which we like even

more (more endeared)

IT you on: continue playing

17.Not to the ... no tone: do
not play real music for our
ears (sensual ear: the real
ear that can hear musical
notes) but silent music
(ditties of no tone) for our


Fair youth: goodJooking

young man

even though you are very

near the girl

23.grieve: be


19.beneath: under

24.fade: disappear
25.hast: have

2O.bare: without leaves

26.thy bliss: your happiness

21.Bold: confident, not shy

2Z.Though winning ... goal:

28.fair; beautitul


.wilt: will

l,-,hn h.eatr


Ah, happy,happy boughs2e that cannot shed3o
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu3l;
And, happy melodist32, unwearidd33,
Forever piping3a songs forever new;

More happy love! more happy, happy love!

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting3s, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowfu136 and cloyed37,
A burning forehead, and a parching3s tongue3e.



Who are these coming to the sacrifice?


To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

Leadest thoua0 that heiferal lowingaz at the skies,

And all her silken flanksa3 with garlands dressed?

What little town by river or sea shore,


Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Is emptied of this fotk, this piousaa morn?
And, little town, thynt streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou arta6 desolate, can e'et47 return. are

47. e'er: ever

O Attica8 shape! Fair attitude4e! with bredeso

Of marble men and maidens overwroughts',

With forest branches and the troddensz weeds3;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thoughtsa
As dothss eternity: Cold Pastorals6!
When old age shall this generation wastesT,
Thou shaltss remain, in midst ofse other woe60
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st61,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'


29.boughs: branches
30. shed: let fall the Spring adieu:
goodbye to the spring
32.melodist: musician
33. unwearidd: not tired
34.piping: playing

35.panting: desiring
36. high-sorrowful: very



48.Attic: from Athens

49. attitude: disposition
of figures in a
50.brede: intricate

elaborately decorated

52.trodden: stepped on
53.weed: wild plants
54. dost tease ...
thought: takes us
away (tease out:
separate) from our

serious thoughts
55.As doth: as does
56. Pastoral: work of art
or literature about


37. cloyed: we are tired of

because we no longer
pleasure from it

40.Leadest thou: are you

38.parching: thirsty

41.heifer: young cow

39.More happy ... a

parching tongue: the
eternal love on the urn
happier than our more

42.lowing: the deep sound

passionate love that

and leaves us sad






rural life

57.When ... waste:

when this generation
shall die

58.shalt: shall

that cattle make, mooing midst of: in the

silken flanks: shiny sides

middle of
60.woe: sorrow and

44'pious: holy
45.thy: your


61.thou say'st: you say



E*SH ffiffitu$,&ruT"Eil "&&ff,

* ffi*e*ry


Who does 'Thou' refer to in line 1i

2 ln the opening three lines the poet addresses the
urn in three different ways. ldentify them.
3 Through a series of questions the poet describes a
Bacchanalian scene that is depicted on the urn. What
is it?

ln line 13 the poet says we cannot use the 'sensual

ear' to hear'unheard melodies'. What should we use to
hear them, according to line 14?

ln the third stanza why are the songs'forever new'

(line 24) and the love 'Forever warm' (line 26)? Which
lines describe the effect of human love?

7 ln the fourth stanza the poet describes

a second

scene that is depicted on the urn. What is it?

ln the final stanza the poet addresses the urn in four

different ways. ldentifY them.
I Underline the sentences that contain the message
conveyed by the urn.


.S ln the second stanza the poet describes the scene on

the urn in more detail. What is the 'Fair youth' beneath
the trees doing? What can the 'Bold Lover' never do?


Which words suggest the silence of the urn in the

opening two lines? The silence of the urn is underlined
by the use of the sibilant 's' sound . Underline all the
words in the opening two lines that contain an 's'
sound. Explain lhe porodox* in the silent urn expressing
a tale'more sweetly than our rhYme'.

X Find an example

of metonymy* in line 4.
S As he looks at the scene depicted on the urn, the
poet feels uncertainty and excitement. How is his
heightened emotional state conveyed in lines 7-10?

The second stanza introduces the paradox of

'unheard' melodies. Which expression in line 14 repeats

this idea? The poet says that unheard melodies are

sweeter because they'Pipe to the spirit'. How do you
interpret this concept?

.S ln the second stanza the poet suggests that the

immobility of art has both positive and negative
consequences. Say whether the following are positive
(P) or negative (N) aspects.
thou canst not leave/Thy song
nor ever can those trees be bare
- P
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss
thou hast not thy bliss
She cannot fade
she be fair
Forever wilt thou -love

27.The contrast between the world of art and reality is

continued in this stanza. Which adjectives describe love
as it is depicted in the scene on the urn? From which
semantic field are the images describing human love
drawn (line 30)?

Extensive use is made of repetition* in the third

stanza. Which words are repeated? What does the

repetition of these words highlight?

t xThe joy and permanence of the scene on the urn.
;ii,;l The poet's dissatisfaction with the transience of real
life and love.
& A sense of mystery surrounds the pastoral scene
described in the fourth stanza. How does the sentence
structure help to create this enigmatic atmosphere?

Find an example of synecdoche* in line 39.

T & The poet uses four different expressions to address

the urn in the fifth stanza. Which expression:
- indicates where the urn is from?

- underlines its beauty?

- highlights its silence?
- suggests that it is lacking in human


11 The poet's attitude toward the urn is ambivalent

throughout the poem. He is fascinated by the timeless,
youthful world represented on the urn which,
however, he sees as lacking in human passion and the
possibility of change. Which expressions describing the
urn in lines 45 and 48 reiterate these conflicting views?
?3 The final two lines of the poem have been the
subject of much debate. Which of the interpretations
below do you feel is closest to your own?
i;!.i The world of art is superior to the real world of mankind.
E:.i' An artist, by revealing beauty through his work,
reaches man's highest achievement, i.e. truth.
li,at Art can console man through its beauty. lt cannot
offer solutions to man's worldly problems.
xrBi yun should live his life truthfully and in the constant
search for beauty.

i Gtr seems to fall in love with the perfect, never-changing world he sees on the urn. Think of a scene in a work of

art or a photograph which makes you feel like Keats does. Consider the setting, the characters and the actions.

ichn heatr



when someone is in a state of ecstasy he or she

sometimes falls into a trance, a state in which
a person seems to
be hypnotised' A trance can be brought on,


by an intense ,piritrrt experience or by narcotic

tha*re rerr into a trance.
Lr dr rLe. As you reao
read tn
poem' notice how he gradually loses consciousness
lghLof the worldenchanted
around him only to suddenly wake up at the



Hil.'::XIT:'#1':,i: 3i:?:"1::::":f


Ode To A Nightingalel
My heart aches, and a drowsy2 numbness3 pains
My sensea, as though of hemlocks I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate6 to the drainsT
One minute past8, and Lethe_wards had sunke:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happinesslO, _

15. Singest: sings


That thou, light_wingdd Dryadll of the trees,

In some melodious plot12

Of beechen green13, and shadows numberlessla,
Singestls of summer in full-throatedl6 ease.



2l.ProvenEal: from
Provence, in southern
France, home in the

Dance, and provengal,l song, and sunburnt

O for a beaker23 full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful2a Hippocrene2s,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brimz',
And purple-staindd2T mouth;

troubadours, who
composed and sang
love lyrics

bird that sings beautifully,

especially at night



drowsy: sleepy
numbness: sensation of
being unable to think, feel
or react in a normal way
sense: all my senses, my

5. hemlock:

a poisonous plant
that causes death through




Lethe-wards had sunk: In

Greek mythology, Lethe was
a river that caused
forgetfulness. The poet is
saying that the opiate has
made him forget everything
10.'Tis not ... happiness:
I have not become sleepy
and forgetful because I am

mirth: happiness and

23. beaker: drinking cup

24.blushful: red
25. Hippocrene:

6. dull

opiate: narcotic drug

containing opium which
makes you want to sleep
drains: drink to the very
last drop
past: ago

Middle Ages to the


That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee28 fade away2e into the forest dim30:

small brownish


has been kept cold

19.deep-delved earth:
deep down under the
20. Flora: Roman goddess
of flowers

O, for a draught of vintagelT! that hath been

Cooledls a long age in the deep-delved earthle,
Thsting of Flora20 and the country green,

1. Nightingale:

draught of vintage:
drink of wine
18.hath been Cooled:



full-throated: at full

jealous of you, but because

you have made me very


light-wingid Dryad: wood

nymph who flies easily
through the air. A nymph is
a spirit of nature who, in
Greek and Roman legend,
appeared as a young girl

12.plot: piece of land

l3.beechen green: green like
beech trees

14.numberless: there are so

many you cannot count

fountain on Mount
Helicon that was
sacred to the Muses
and a source of poetic
26.With beaded...
brim: the wine makes
bubbles like beads
(beaded) around the
top of the cup (brim),
which seem to be
winking (to close and
open one eye quickly,
to send a message to
27. staindd: coloured

28.thee: you
29 . fade aw ay : disappear

30.dim: dark





far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast31 never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret32
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan33;

Where palsy3a shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin3s, and dies;
Where but to think is to be fulI of sorrow

And leaden-eyed36 despairs,

Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous3T eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow38.

31.hast: has
32.weariness ... fret:
tiredness, illness, and

33.groan: long, deep
sound that you make
when you are in pain
34.palsy: an illness that
makes your arms and
legs shake because

you cannot control

your muscles
35. spectre-thin: as thin
as a ghost

36.leaden-eyed: with
eyes that show a

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards3e,
But on the viewlessa0 wings of poesyal,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retardsa2:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haplya3 the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around44 by all her starry Faysas;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous gloomsa6 and winding mossy ways47

person is sad

3T.lustrous: shining
38.Or new Love ... tomorrow: Love cannot
desire (pine) the eyes
of Beauty for more
than one day

39.Bacchus and his
pards: wine (Bacchus
is the Greek and
Roman god of wine
and the pards are
leopards who pulled
Bacchus' chariot)
40. viewless: invisible
41.Poesy: poetry
42.Though ... retards:
even though I am

I cannot

what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughsas,

But, in embalmddae darkness, guess each sweetsO

Wherewith the seasonable month endowssl
The grass, the thicketsz, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorns3, and the pastoral eglantinesa;
Fast fadingss violets covered up in leaves;

And mid-May's eldest child,

The coming musk-roses6, full of dewysT wine,
The murmurouss8 hauntse of flies on summer eves60.

depressed and

43.haply: by chance
44.Clustered around:
45. Fays: fairies

46.verdurous glooms:
green darkness

4T.winding mossy
ways: twisting roads
that are covered in
moss (a flat, green

52.thicket: group of bushes

48.boughs: branches of trees

49.embalmid: perfumed
50. guess .. . sweet: I try to
make out what fragrances
come from the various
51. Wherewith ... endows:
which May (seasonable

month) gives

and small trees

53.hawthorn: small white tree

that has small white leaves
and red berries

pastoral eglantine: fragrant

pink rose which is often
referred to in pastoral
55.Fast fading: dying quicklv


a fragrant



57.dewy: dew is the drops of

water that form during the
night on plants and other

58.murmurous: noislz
59. haunt: place people like to
go to
60.eves: evenings

larkling6l I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
-:iled him soft names in many a musdd rhyme6z,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
)ion'more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease63 upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul6a abroad6s
In such an ecstasy!
still wouldst thou66 sing, and I have ears in vain67
To thy high requiem become a sod68.

',t. J



, , ')!/


Thou wast6e not born for death, immortal Birdl
\o hungry generations tread thee down70;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that foun d, a pathTt

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,

She stood in tears amid the alien cornTz
The same that oft_times hath73
CharmedTa magic casementsTs, opening on the foam76
Of perilousTT seas, in faeryT8 lands forlornTe.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To tol180 me back from thee to my sole self!
.\dieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well8l
As she is famed to do, deceiving8z.1183.
\dieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades8a
Past the near meadowsss, over the


toll: call



Up the hill-side; and now,tis buried deep

81.the fancy ... well:

In the next valley-glades87:


it a vision, or a waking

Fleds8 is

that music:

my imagination
(fancy) cannot trick


(cheat) me anymore
and I must return to
the real world

- Do I wake or sleep?

82. deceiving: to deceive


continue to sing while

I would be dead (sod:
piece of earth)

6l.Darkling: in the darkness

52.musEd rhyme:poem
o3.cease: die

o-l.pouring ... soul: singing

her native home, Israel



beautifully at the top of

your voice
65.abroad: over a wide area

ti6.wouldst thou: you would

67.I have ears in vain: I would
not be able to hear any more
68.To thy ... sod: you would

is to make someone
believe something
that is not true

69.wast: were
70.tread thee down: oppress

T2.Perhaps.... corn: in the
Bible, Ruth heard the song
of the nightingale while she
was crying nostalgically for

83. elf: imaginary

creature like a small

(alien corn: foreign land)

73.oft-times hath: often has
T4.Charmed: entranced

person with pointed


T5.casements: windows

76.foam: white spray

perilous: dangerous
78.faery: fairy faery ... forlorn: the
nightingale's song is often
feature of romantic fairy

84.plaintive anthem
fades: your high, sad
song dies away


tales (forlorn: sad)

85. meadows: fields

86.still stream: calm,


small river
87. valley-glades: valleys

88.Fled: disappeared

Y&#E KSM.&ruggC .&Sffi

* $}*e*ry


1 How does the poet feel, according to the opening

four lines of the poem? Are these feelings caused b1i
happiness or pain? Refer to line 6 in your answer.

5 In the fifth stanza the poet describes the luxuriant

undergrowth in the wood. Circle the names of the
plants and flowers that are at his feet. Can he see
them? How does he know they are there?

2 What does the poet long for in the second stanza?

What would drinking 'a draught of vintage, help him
to do, according to lines 19-20?

3 ln the third stanza the poet describes the world

from which he wishes to escape. Find images for the
following and quote the line references:

human life? Why does this particular moment seem

suitable for dying? What thought stops the poet from
choosing the option of death?

suffering ageing sorrow and despair

illness ephemeral love and beauty

7 Who else has heard the nightingale,s song?

What has the nightingale,s song inspired?

Consider the sixth stanza. What has the poet often

considered as a possible escape from the suffering of

4 What, according

to the poet in the fourth stanza,

will carry him to the nightingale?

ffi What
line 73?


imagination unable to do, according to


The languid feelings of the poet are mirrored by

the slow, flowing movement of the opening four rines.
Find examples in these lines of coesuro*, run-on lines*
and broad vowel sounds.
Which of these features:
- creates a flowing movement?
- slows the rhythm down?

creates pauses?

The poet attributes his dulled and drowsy mood to

happiness. ls there any suggestion, however; in this
first stanza, that the poet is experiencing sorrow and
suffering? Consider his apparent need to forget (,and
Lethe-wards had sunk,, line 4).

3 The description of the poet,s state of mind is in

stark contrast to the description of the bird. Which
words and expressions in lines 6_10 suggest the
carefree happiness of the nightingale?

In the second stanza the poet creates an

atmosphere of warmth and merriment. By suggesting
that the wine he wishes to drink should be ,coJled,, "
he conveys the idea of a warm climate.
a. Find other words and expressions that you would
associate with the concepts of warmth and

b. The joyful playfulness of lines I l _l g

is enhanced
by the use of olliterotion*, ossononce*,
onomotopoeio* and images which appeal to the
senses. Find examples of each of the above.
c. The mood in the final two lines of the stanza has
changed. Which words create a darker, more
sinister atmosphere?

.5 ln the third

stanza the poet presents a graphic

portrayal of human misery. He uses metonymy* (,hear
each other groan',line 24) and personificotion*
('Where palsy shakes', line 25) to create striking
images. Find another example of metonymy (for
ageing) in line 25 and personification in line29.

Examine the poet's choice of words in lines 23_2g.

Are they mostly monosyllabic or polysyllabic?
Consider the rhythm* created by these words. How
would you define it? Does the rhythm mirror the
content of the slanza?

ln the fourth stanza the poet says that he will

escape from human suffering through poetry.

a. Which images in this stanza suggest joyfulness?

b. Which line introduces a note of sorrow7
c. what word in the finar rine of the stanza reiterates
the sense of sadness?

& The beauty of the world of nature as described in

the fifth stanza contrasts sharpry with the suffering of
the human world in the third stanza. The poet pil-es
image upon image appealing to all five senses. Say to
which sense(s) the following images refer to.
- flowers are at my feet
- embalmdd darkness
- white hawthorn
- fading violets

musk-rose full of dewy wine

- the murmurous haunt of flies

Note lhe onomotopoeio* of line 50. Which sounds

are repeated to suggest the buzzing of the flies?

I*hn heatr

1O ln the sixth stanza the poet considers death as a

possible escape from human suffering.
a. What euphemism" for death is used in line 54?
b. The climox* of the stanza comes in lines 55-56,
when the poet seems ready to embrace death.
How would you describe the language he uses at
this moment of heightened emotion?
c. The poet refuses to choose death because he
wishes to continue listening to the nightingale's
song, which he calls 'high requiem' in the final line
of the stanza. Which word contrasts sonically with
'high requiem' and suggests the inappropriateness
of death?


T 2 What is the tone of the final stanza and how is it

created? Has the nightingale's song provided a
solution to human suffering or has it only provided

temporary relief?
ln the light of your answer to question 1 1, how do
you interpret the final stanza of the poem?
? 3 Focus on the structure of the poem.
a. Note down the number of lines in each stanza. The
lines are written in iombic pentometer*, with the
exception of one line in each stanza. Which one?
b. Work out the rhyming scheme of the first two

stanzas. ls it regular?

? T ln the seventh stanza the nightingale's song

becomes a symbol*. What does it symbolise?







The immortality of art



Could it represent all of these concepts?

ASSOry* Or_r:"i":: is the use of similar vowel sounds repeated in successive or proximate
.'' words containing different consonants. It creates vowel rhyme as in the words 'name',
. . r,. ,
, ,,,..,

''',,' ,.






'hate' ,'favour'.

Like alliteration, assonance gives poetry a musical quality. It also determines rhythm:

.,,,,.. :,.',

I."' , ,,' 1'






i ']

' ' :r:"

slender'i'and'e'(this, let) sounds create

Examine lines



'l-3 and lines 45-48 of Ode to a Nightingole.



b. What kind of rhythm do they create?

Find examples of assonance. What vowel sounds dominate?



a quickerpace.

Long and broad


Short and slender

to the contents.

i ,. ,: r ,
:-rl: Use slender vowel assonance to write a quick-paced sentence. Example:
.,I, ..,, Allthetallflowerssurroundedthehouse. Shewillmisshiminspring.
;r1','; ::,'


tmagineyou are standing near Keats when he says, 'l have been half in love with easeful Death'. He seems to be
toying with the idea of suicide. What would you say to convince him not to do it.



',rt.: .l ii


E"ffiH. m$tu$&ruT"gil

&sE * P**trY


days in
nur"you ever felt that there are iust not enough hours in a day, or

a week'


to do

^, +L^ +L-i^^.

ill health'
to worry about how short life is because he knew tha! because of
written in 1818, iust three years before he died at the age of
? he would die young. This poem was



When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be1
Before my pen has gleaned2 my teeming3 brain,
Before high-pileda books, in character/s,
Hold like rich garners6 the full ripenedT grain;
When I beholds, upon the night's starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romancee,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chancelO;
And when I feel, fair11 creature of an hour,
That I shalt never look upon thee12 more,
Never have relishl3 in the faeryta power
Of unreflecting love; - then on the shorels
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink16'





gleaned: collected or

to be: die




teeming: full, Prolific

high-piled: a large amount,
one on toP of the other
charactery: @rchaic)



(Their shadows), insPired

by my imagination (the
magic hand of chance)

garners: buildings where

grain is stored

7. full

ripened: fullY grown

and ready to be gathered,


8. behold: see
9. high romance:

Sreat Poem

10.And think ... chance:

I think I maY never be able
to write (trace) about them


fair: beautiful

12.thee: you
13. relish: great enioYment
74. faery : f.airy (archaic


ellir t g'

15.shore: coast
16.sink: go down

into three quatrains and a couplet' Link each
The poem is written in the form of a sonnet*, which can be divided
division of the poem to its subject matter'
first quatrain
second quatrain

third quatrain

The poet expresses his fear that death will deprive him of his love.
The thought of death isolates the poet and paralyses his ability to think'
Writing poetry
The poet expresses his fear that death will cut short his work as a poet.


compared to harvesting.


poet' Writing poetrl'

The poet fears that death will not allow him to complete his work as a
is compared to drawing night skies.

fohn Keots



of the poem is the condition introduced by the

opening phrase completed? What punctuation marks
signal the turning point?
What effect does this postponing syntax have on the

The poet is fearful that death will deprive him of

artistic fulfilment. Which words in the opening
quatrain suggest abundance, and therefore make the
sense of deprivation stronger?
The poet chooses the night sky as a symbol" of
artistic inspiration. Link the words taken from the
second quatrain with the aspect of artistic inspiration
they convey.
high (line 6)
magic (line 8)
huge (line 6)

Underline the expression in the third quatrain

which suggests the transience of beauty.

The poet attributes magical powers to'unreflecting

love'. What kind of love is'unreflecting', in your

Which words/exPressions in the final couplet


- the relative insignificance


of the individual in the

general scheme of the universe?

the alienation of the Poet?

The poem is constructed on a series of subordinate

clauses, based on the words'When I ...'. ln which line


ffi lt creates tension and expectation.

ffi lt underlines the poet's desPair.
ffi lt adds mystery to the Poem.

Consider the syntax of lines 12-13. What device

makes the expression 'l stand alone'stand out?
Work out the rhyming scheme* of the poem. ls it
regular throughout? Find examples of olliterqtion*
and ossononce* in the first two lines.

Find the expressions in the poem that capture the

following typically Romantic concepts:

- the spontaneous, almost magical process of artistic

- the isolation

of the Poet:


How do you interpret the final two lines of the poem?


a lot
Keats accomplished a great deal in his very short life. Think of another famous person who accomplished
even though he died young.



* EFe***ry


years John Keats


born in London, where his

father was the manager of a large livery stable. His early life was
marked by a series of personal tragedies: his father was killed in
an accident when he was eight years old, his mother died when
he was fourteen and one of his younger brothers died in infancy.
He received relatively little formal education and at age sixteen
he became an apprentice to an apothecary-surgeon. His first
attempts at writing poetry date from the years of his
apprenticeship and include Imitation of Spenser, a homage to the
Elizabethan poet he greatly admired.

First poems In 1816 Keats obtained a licence to practise

apothecary, but abandoned the profession for poetry. He became
friends with Shelley (> pp. E40-51) and in March lBlT his first
book of poems was published. Although it sold poorly, this first volume of work introduced him into

important literary circles. He met several of the great literary figures of the day includin,e
Wordsworth, who exercised an important influence on his approach to writing poetry. In 1817 Keats
left London and travelled around the Lake District, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where he r'r as
impressed by the beautiful rugged landscape. When he returned from his travels he nursed hls
brother Tom through the final stages of tuberculosis. After his brother's death he met and fell in lor-t
with Fanny Brawne, but his own health was beginning to fail.
The great year Despite frequent and persistent periods of illness, Keats dedicated himself :
writing, and in what is often referred to as the Great Year (1819) he produced some of his fin.,
works, including his five great odes.

Death in ltaly Keats's health was now in a critical state and Shelley asked him to join him in P-s:
He did not accept Shelley's invitation but did decide to move to Italy, where he hoped the warn--:
climate would improve his condition. Before leaving, he managed to publish a third volume poems, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems.ln 1820 he settled in Rome, where -- =
died in February 7821 at the age of twenty-five.

In his short literary career John Keats wrote some of the

outstanding and best-loved poems in the English language.


His early poems included the sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer (1816), which desci-:-=
the poet's delight at first reading Chapman's seventeenth-century translation of the Greek epic 1-r- =1'
Endymion (1817) tells the story of a young shepherd whom the moon-goddess Selene puts ter s-::.
eternally so that she can en]oy his beauty. Although the poem is structurally weak and - , .: obscure, it shows flashes of immature genius.
The Eve of St. Agnes is a romantic love story which blends elements of Shakespeare's Rorrrco tui.'.
Chaucer and Boccaccio. The rich sensuousness of the imagery in the poem is an indicatior -, -

greatness to come.

TheOdes Inthefiveodesof lS19,OdetoPsyche,OdeonoGrecinrtLirrt\) TertEl. ,-\iglttirtgnle t) Tert E18t, OrTe ort \[elttrtcltolt'and Io Arrtrutut, Keats reached tl-ie pin::c-- ,.


-:: jti\-e powers. They are lyrical meditations

.-. art and real lif e, experience and

-::rratlons, life and dreams. These odes,

---ch are so rich in exquisite and sensuous
-:13i1, represent for the many the crowning
, :lrer-ement of English Romanticism.

-a Belle Dame Sans Merci Written at about

"--; ssrre time as the Odes, the ballad La Belle
-.i.nte Sans Merci, which was published
':-rsthumously, in line with
the Romantic taste

-.rr Medieval setting and describes the

-r.estructive side of an idyllic love.

Letters Apart from

poetry, Keats also wrote a

series of letters, published posthumousiy, in

rrhich he recorded his thoughts on poetry,

1ove, philosophy and people and events of his

day. Many of the letters include valuable

commentaries on his work and give a profound

insight into his artistic development. The

twentieth-century iiterary critic T.S. Eliot


Module G) described the letters as ,the most

important ever written by an English poet,.

T.W. Waterhouse, La Belle Dame Sans Merci



Reputation After a particularly savage attack on one of his early works, Keats wrote
to his brother
'l think I shall be among the English Poets after my death'. His prophecy has indeed

come true.

Keats's reputation continued to grow during the nineteenth

century, and since then he has, together

with wordsworth, been the most widely read of the English Romantic poets.
His ode on a Grecian
Urn, ode to a Nightingale and To Autumn are as well-known and loved
as anything by Shakespeare.

Explain how the events of John Keats's life help us to understand the
major themes of his poetry:

- the passing of time;

- the immortality of art;
- death as an escape from human suffering;
- beauty and art as a means of overcoming despair.

{: t","




TE{H ffi#MeN?,$e "&ffitr

* Ftc*aaxe

Family background Jane

Austen was born on 16th

December,l775,in the village of Steventon, near Basingstoke,

Hampshire. The seventh of eight children of the Reverend
George Austen and his wife, Cassandra, she was educated
at home and never lived apart from her family'

local balls, walking in the Hampshire countryside and visiting

f,mr Ausrml


friends. She was an avid reader. She read both the serious and
popular literature of the day
and her family wele 'great
so')' She was very
novel teadets, and not ashamed

familiar with eighteenth-century novels, including the works of

and Fielding (> pp' D70-76)'

to marry her, but she remained single
Through her active social life, she met many men who wanted
from the brother of one of her
all her life. on one occasion, she did accept a proposal of marriage
closest friends, but she changed her mind the following
included parodies of the
writing career She started writing in her early teens. Her earliest works
of her family' Most of the pieces
literature of the day and were originally written for the amusement
period between 1811 and 1877 she wrote her
are dedicated to her relatives or family friends. In the
declined to even look at the
six major novels. Success was not immediate. Indeed publishers

() pp. D65-69)

were eventually published ther'

manuscript of pride and prejudice (1813). However, when her novels
were generallY well-received.
of medical attention'
In 1g16 her health began to fail and in 1817 she went to winchester in search
but she died there after two months. Her body was buried

Background In the period when Jane Austen wrote, great

changes were occurring in Europe. The French Revolution and
r6gime' in France were followed by the Napoleonic
collapse of the
and painting were also undergoing change
was a period of political and social unrest. Music, literature
is hardly any mention of these
in the form of the great Romantic Revolution (> pp. E115-116). There

between families anc

events in Jane Austen,s novels. Her novels deal with the relationships
in a country village is the thin!
individuals in a rural setting. She herself said 'Three or four families
first-hand experience'
to work on,. She confined her writing to the world she knew from
Pdr ^
and Sensibility (1s11), Pride and Preiudlce (1813) , Mansfield
(1814), Emm0 (1816), Persuasion (1818) andNorthanger Abbey
with th.
exemplifies the limited canvas on which Austen chose to work'

Novels Her maior novels are


Emma perfectly
confined to the middte and upper clas:
exception of the picnic excursion to Box Hill, all the action is
are also drawn from the social milie.'homes of the village of Highbury. The characters in her novels
and middle classes. Her greater understandin:
she knew best. They belong to the aristocracy, gentry


of the female mind is also reflected in her work () visual Link
rvorld mar-be for-iil*
Themes Further evidence of Jane Austen's preoccupation with her immediate
such as prop-rg1-'
in the themes of her noYels. The traditional r-alues of the middle and


,-:aorllm/ money and marriage

.,. her rnajor concerns. In both

-',nna and Pride and prejudice

::arriage provides the basis
: the plot. It is not surprising
.:tat marriage was a major
--reoccupation. At that time,
''.',lflert of the middle and

were, of necessity, totaily

:ependent on their husbands or

athers. Jane Austen herself

.rperienced the risk of being teft

insupported. When her father

died, he left his widow and two

Jaughters a very small annual

income. Life would have been
difficult for the three women

had not the surviving


contributed to their income.

Characters Jane Austen is probably best remembered for her analysis of character and conduct.
Her characters have strengths and weaknesses, they go through times of trials
and they learn lessons.

They are not driven by wild passions. The strong impulses and intensely
emotional states they
:rperience are regulated, controlled and brought to order by privatereflection.
]ne Austen's commitment to reason and common sense rather than great
passions iinks her work to
':-r eighteenth-century tradition of classicism. There is little evidence in her work
of the passionate
: .:lt?otic themes of the turn of the century.

ilr /e

Jane Austen's novels give the impression of ease, but they are in fact the result of careful
' --nking by the author who was constantly revising
them. Irony, wit and clear, balanced, apparently
-llp1e language are all essential elements of her style. The vividness of the characters
and the iively

-']logue have made the novels excellent material for theatre and cinema adaptation. In fact, in
:'-ert yearsJane Austen has enioyed renewed popularity, thanks to hugely successful
films and
:-evision series based on her novels.


1 What kind
- ai,e?


of social background did Jane Austen

What kind of literature influenced her as a


3 Did she lead a secluded life?

4 When did she start writing?

Were her novels accepted for publication



As a writer, was she influenced by

contemporary social, political and cultural events?

What is the setting of her novels?

ffi What

are the major themes of her novels?

# What are the characteristics of her style?

G * Does her work belong more to the eighteenthcentury neo-classical tradition or to the turn-ofthe-century romantic tradition?


Types of Poetry
Ballads are short folk songs that tell stories. The oldest
recorded ballad in the English language, called ludas,was

written down in a late thirteenth-century manuscript.

The Celts and Anglo-Saxon undoubtedly composed
ballads but there is no record of these early works.

Ballads were very popular throughout the Middle Ages.

Many first appeared in written form with the introduction of the printing press (1476;). They were printed on
sheets of paper about the size of a banknote. pedlars
sold the ballads in the streets singing the songs so that
anyone who did not know the melody could learn it.
Ballads are usually grouped into five main categories
on the basis of their subject matter:
. the supernatural; stories of ghosts and demons and
people who return from the dead to haunt the living;
o romantic tragedies; the separation of lovers through

misunderstanding or the opposition of family is

perhaps the most common battad story;
. crime and its punishment; one particular variety of
crime ballads is called the 'last goodnight,. These
ballads tell the stories of convicted criminals who are
about to be executed and repent for their sins on the
execution scaffold;
o outlaws and badmen; These include over forty ballads
about the great English folk hero Robin Hood and his
band of outlaws. Robin Hood was probably a real
historical character who lived in the Engtish north
midlands in the twelfth century. In the ballads he is
praised for his adventurous spirit, his sense of humour,
his disregard for the law and his concern for the poor

(> pp.Be-72);

historical events which included battles between

the English and the Scots (The Border Ballads) and
natural disasters such as shipwrecks and plagues.

Beowulf and Milton's Paradise Lost are examples in English

literature. Epics generaliy have the following features:
o the hero is a figure of great importance;


the setting of the poem is ample in scale;

the action involves superhuman deeds in battle or a
long and arduous journey;
the gods or supernatural beings take an interest or
active part in the action;

o there are catalogues of some of the principal

characters, introduced in formal detail;
. the narrator begins bv stating his theme and


An epigram (from the Greek for ,inscription') is a r-err
short poem which is condensed in content and poiishec
in style. Epigrams often have surprising or n'ith- endings.
On a volunteer singer
Swans sing before they die

T'were no bad thing

Should certain people
Die before they singl
(S.T. Coleridge)

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetr-. .:
consists of a seventeen-syllable verse made up o:

Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray.

The epic is one of the earliest literary forms. It consists of
a long narrative in elevated style that deals with a great

and serious subiect. The works of Homer and Virgil

provide the prototypes in classical literature, while

nature that convey some insight or capture the essc::=

of the moment. Haiku became popular in Englan; ,:;
America at the beginning of the twentieth centur\ -la;
influenced poets of the Imagist movement.
The Fallins Flower
What I thought to be
Flowers soaring to their boughs
Were bright butterflies.
(Mouritake, 1452-1540

Until the seventeenth century the term ,elegy,

person or the loss of something he valued. An

eighteenth-century example is Elegy Written in a


unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five sr-1la:-=i

Traditional haikus contain very brief descrip;:,:,li -

pp. A19-20.

used to refer to any poem whose theme was solemn
meditation. Since then, it has been applied to poems in
which the speaker laments the death of a particular

a muse;

the narrative starts intnedias res, that is ,in the middle

of things', when the action is at a critical point.

A limerick is a short humorous often nonsenslcal poem
usually of five lines. The metre is predominanlr- anapestlc
and lines one, two and five are three feet while lines three
and four are two feet. The rhyme scheme is A\BB-\.
There once was an old man of Esser,
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser,

It at last grew so small

He knew nothing at all,
And now he's a college professor.
(Noam Kuzal



Mock ePic

poem imitates the

A mock heroic (or mock epic)
(invocations of the
elevated style and conventions

battles' extended similes

Gods, descriptions of armour'

with a frivolous or
etc.) of the epic genre in dealing
been widely used
minor subiect. ttre moct< heroic has


satirise social vices such as

frypo.riry, superficiality, etc' The

the trivial and
the grandiose epic style highlights
target' as in Pope's The
senseless nature of the writer's
Rape of the Lock.

in the form of an
An ode is a rhymed lyric, often
exhalted in style and
address, serious in subfect, usually
odes were written
varied or irregular in metre' The first
century BC' A
by the Greek poet Pindar in the

the Pindaric ode

version of the ode which imitated
stanza pattern
style and matter but simplified
became very popular in seventeenth-century
poets at the end
The Romantic

century wrote
and the beginnning of the nineteenth

form of odes'
some of their rinelt verses in the
The popularity of
example John Keats and
the basis of
the ode continued while

of the Victorian
English education' By the middle

old-fashioned and
period, howevet, it was considered
had fallen out of use'


form which deals

Pastoral poetry is an ancient literary
aspects of
with the lives of shepherds, and the idyllic

draws a contrast
rural life in general, and typically
and thd corruplife
of a simple

between the innocence

Pastorals were first
tion of city and especially court life'
the third century
written bythe Creet poetTheot]iry
introShepherdes Calender (1579)

BC. Edmund Spensei's

and throughout
4"..4 the pastoral into fngnsh hterature
poetic style' In later
the Renaissance
the artificiality of
centuries there was a reaction igainst
now use the
out of favour'

the genre and it feIl

in which the main
term 'pastoral' to refer to any work
to a place close to
character withdraws from ordinary
on life'
he can gain a
nature where


developed in twelfthA form of narrative poetry which

to the French
a.rtrry France. The word'romance' refers the Roman
iu"g"ug. which evolved
Latin. The plot of these poems usually


tournaments' slays
around a single t<night who fights at
in order to
;;;""t and"underg"ott u series of adventures
win the heart of hi"s heroine' Romances

which the lover

idea of courtly love according to
who is usually
idealises and idolises his
the medieval
another man's wife
nobility was usually
The lover suffers
t9 u
to her and shows his love by adherilg

battles and in his
,igororm code of behaviour both in
courtlY conduct.




&exares lX

lipes of Drama
-r comedy the characters amuse and entertain us. This
- -rrm of theatre has its roots in ancient Greece where
:rany of the rituals in honour of the gods involved
:;coming drunk, singing obscene songs and making
-:de comments. The Greek word for these proceedings
,','as'komos' from which the word'comedy' derives.

Humour is the main ingredient of a comedy. It can be

:li-ided into three broad categories:
. verbal humour, when what the characters say is


behavioural humour, when what the characters do

is funny;

situational humour, when the situation the

characters find themselves in is funny.

In the case of most comedy the humour is a mixture of
all three categories.
The comic plot is usually based on a series of mistaken

identities, misunderstandings and improbable situations.

The plot develops and tension grows

until it comes to a
head and the underlying comic complications are
revealed. At this point the characters are reconciled
and order is restored.

Comedy of Mqnners
The Comedy of Manners deals with the relations and
intrigues of society gentlemen and ladies. The comic
effect is achieved primarily through the wit and sparkle
of the dialogue which is often in the form of repartee, a
kind of verbal fencing match of witty comments and
replies. The plot usually revolves around the gallant
and the fop. The gallant is usually the hero of the play.
He is a witty, elegant, sophisticated yet cynical lover.
The fop is a figure of fun, ridiculed for his stupidity and

pompous pretentiousness. The leading female

characters generally have no feelings or morals. Their
only interests are fashion and breaking their marital

vows. Early examples of the Comedy of Manners are

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Love's
Labour's losf. The Restoration period 1660-1702 saw
some of the finest examples of this dramatic form in
Congreve's The Way of the World. The period from the

end of the nineteenth to the beginning of the

twentieth century saw a revival of this type of play in
the works of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.

There have been elements of farce in English theatre

since the Middle Ages but the term 'farce' was not used
until after the Restoration. Eighteenth and nineteenthcentury audiences were particularly fond of this type of
drama, however, it was somewhat frowned upon by the
critics until the end of the nineteenth century, when
Oscar Wilde introduced artfulness and polish to the
form. Elements of farce can be found in the works of
more recent playwrights such as Tom Stoppard and
Samuel Beckett.

An elaborate mixture of songs, poetr|, dance and
drama that developed in Renaissance Italy and was
taken to England during Elizabethan times. Masques
were performed for private entertainment at court. The
speaking characters, who were often ladies and gentlemen of the court, wore masks. Ben Jonson (7572-1637 )
wrote some of the best masques of the period.

Mystery, Mirqcle ond Morolity ploys

During the Middle Ages, in an attempt to involve its
followers in the celebration of the sacraments, the
church added elements of drama to its religious
services. These primitive dramatisations of parts of the

Latin liturgical service gradually evolved into Mystery

plays and Miracle plays.
Mystery plays were based on stories from the Bible.
Each Mystery play was a single episode from the Bible,

such as the FaIl of Lucifer, Noah's Flood or the

Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Together they
formed 'The Mystery Cycle'which told the story of
Christianity from creation to the last judgement.
Miracle plays were dramatisations of the lives of the
saints and were performed to celebrate the great
Christian events of the Nativity and the Resurrection
during the festivals of Christmas and Easter.
As liturgical drama became more popular, the churches

grew more crowded and eventually religious

performances had to move outside. Latin was replaced
by English and lay people performed instead of priests.
A new non-religious form of drama, the Morality pla1,,

developed. Morality plays were allegorical tales in

which the characters were personifications of abstract
concepts such as greed, Iaziness and kindness. Their
principle purpose was to teach moral lessons.

Farce is a type of comedy designed simply to make the
audience laugh. Its humour is based on highly exagger-

ated or caricatured characters, ludicrous situations,

broad verbal humour and slapstick physical horseplay.

Theotre of the obsurd

The name is used to refer to a number of works of
drama which have in common the sense that the
human condition is essentially absurd. The Absurd


movement, which also includes fiction, emerged after

the Second World War as a reaction to traditional
beliefs and values. Writers of the Absurd ref ected the
notion that man lives in an intelligible universe, that
he lives in an orderly social structure, and that he is
capable of heroic actions and dignity' The universe
depicted in their work is alien and meaningless and
man's existence is both anguished and irrational. The
greatest playwright in English in this genre is widely
recognised to be the Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett.

The origins of tragedy date back to ancient Greece,

when people held festivals involving ritualistic

practices including human sacrifice in honour of the
god Dionysius. Dionysius was usually represented in
the form of a goat and the word'tragedy' means 'goat
song'. Through time the term 'tragedy' has come to be
used to refer to any serious dramatic representation in
which the main character, or tragic hero, undergoes a

series of misfortunes that eventually lead to his

downfall. The hero is usually a nobleman or king or

great leader that we look up to. His downfall arouses

because we see an
weakened and tragic
state. We feel pity because we recognise that the hero
has a tragic flaw, something negative in his character
which eventually causes his fall. We understand his
weakness and feel that his misfortunes are greater than

pity and fear. We feel fear

he deserves.

When analysing tragedy we can, broadly speaking,

refer to five stages:
L. exposition: the playwright provides the audience
with the information necessary to follow what is
happening when the play opens. Who are the characters? What situation do they find themselves in?

2. development: when the tragic hero usually

commits the act that will lead to his downfall;
3. climax: the point at which the protagonist realises
his terrible mistake;
loss of order and the moral destruction
of the protagonist;
5. d6nouement or resolution: the death of the hero
and the re-establishment of order.

4. decline: the

Adynation A type of hyperbole in which


exaggeration is magnified so greatly that it refers to

an impossibility. For example I,d walk a million

miles for one of your smiles.

Alexandrine A line of poetry consisting of six iambic

feet. Example:
A needless alexandrine ends the song
I tliat like I I wound I dd sn6ke I drlgs its I sldw length
(from Essay on Criticism by Alexander pope)


the start of several words or syllables in sequence or


close proximity to each other. For example:

And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind
(from 'Lucy Gray'by William Wordsworth)

Allusion An indirect

reference to a well-known

person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.

Allusive name


Symbolic name.


Anapest A metrical foot consisting of three syllables.

The first two are unstressed and the last is stressed.
For example: uriddrmine, 5ve"rcome

Anti-climax A sudden transition from an elevated

thought to a trivial one in order to achieve a
humorous or satirical effect. For example:

nearby words. For

Thou still unravished bride of quietness.


Caesura A break or pause that occurs in the mrdd,. _ a line of poetry. The term comes from a Latin ,,\,-:*
meaning'cut or slice'. Caesura is usually markei :,"
a double slash. For example:

ll - and all his men

Look'd at each other llwith a wild surmise _
Silent ll upon a peak in Darien.
He stared at the Pacific

(from'On First Looking into Chapman,s Homer,br-,Ic:.:


Casting The choice of actors in a play.

Character The representation of a human bein: -:narrative fiction, poetry or drama, Rou:-:
characters have a distinct identity and usua-change their thoughts, feelings and behaviou: -:the course of a story, while flat characters har-e r1:--:
psychological depth and do not evolve.
Character portrayal In drama, a character car _:
portrayed through tone, movement, gestures, ia:-,

aspects, i.e. physical traits or behaviour, and c,r ir-;

character's internal world, i.e. thoughts and feer :t.:

In direct characterisation the writer simplr si;::)

the character's traits, while in indirect characte:-s=tion he allows the reader to draw conclusions.
Climax The point in a literary or theatrical tert ,,.,:_._the conflict and resulting tension reach the hrs:-=,.
point of interest or suspense.
Comedy ) Genres, p. IX.
Conceit A figure of speech which draws a comL.ran: _:t
between two strikingly different things. lvletaphr s-:.

poets made wide use of conceits in n hich ::

comparison was drawn with subjects from tields s;::
as astronomy, mathemathics and geograph) In ::.

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time.

(from'Ode on a Grecian Urn'byJohn Keats)

Ballad ) pp. A79-20, Genres, p. VII.

fable A brief story that teaches a lesson

character. Characterisation may focus on e\:e.t- j_

Not that I loved Caesar, but that I loved Rome more

(From lulius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
Anti-utopian novel ) Genres (Utopian and dystopian
novel), p. XIII.
Assonance The repetition of vowel sounds in stressed


Une I qual laws I into I I sa I vlge r6ce,

Tliat hoard, | 5nd sleep, I ind feed, I ind knorv no:
(from'Ulysses' by Atfred Tennyson)

Chacterisation The act of creating and der-elopjl.. ,

Anti-novel ) Genres, p. XI.

Antithesis The expression of opposing or contrasting
ideas laid out in a parallel structure. For example:

in a sequence of


expressions and costume.

Here thou, great Anna! Whom three realms obey

Dost sometimes counsel take - and sometimes tea
(from 'The Rape of the Lock' by Alexander pope)


iambic pentameter, i.e. ten-syllable lines in

unstressed syllables are followed bv stres>;_

syllables. It is the most common metrical patten- ,rEnglish because it recreates most successfulir ::--,
rhythm of ordinary speech. For example:
I it lritt I lE pro I ffts that I In i I dlE king,
Ey this | ;till hearth, I Smong | lhese bar rEn
Match'd witrr 1 In 6 i gEd wife, 1 i mete I ind dote

Allegorical narrative A story, poem or ptay in which

the characters and events not only have meaning
in themselves but also convey a second meaning
that lies outside the work.

Allegory ) Genres, p.XI.

Alliteration The repetition of the same consonants

Blank verse Verse that consists of lines of unrhr-l-=:

or moral

in which animals talk and act like humans.


fables are found in many cultures. Among the most

famous are the fables attributed to Aesop, the Greek
slave of the sixth century BC and the fables of La
Fontaine, a seventeenth-century French poet.

following exampleJohn Donne compares his lor r:

America and India ('the India's of spice and mine
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me
Whether both the 'lndia's of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here rvith me.

(from'The Sun Rising' byJohn Donne)

&*.esscxrY ePf Li*reerY Ternms


denotative meaning)' Words may carry emotional'

psychological, or social connotations' The
'home' is similar to the word 'house'

but has the added

connotations of


upsetting effect. For examPle:


virtuous men pass mildly away (= dis;

(From'Valediction, Forbidding Mourning' by John


intimacY, and safetY.

crescendo Fictional

devices used to bring a narrative


Extended metaphor or

elements of a
recreate both the visual and emotive
scene, situation or character'

advance action.
may be
The writer's choice of words' Diction
described as abstract, concrete, technical'
or figurative' Diction may also be analysed

from the point of view of register (colloquial'

formal, or neutral) and origin of the words
example, Latinate or Anglo-Saxon)'

Didactic literature Poetry, plays' novels and
whose primary purpose
comes from German

It refers to a ghostly double of a living person'
evil and menacing twin'

to an

internal listener (a silent character in the poem)'

The temperament and character of the speaker

unintentionally revealed in the course of the





the rhyming words come

at the ends


rhyme It occurs when

Tygerl TYger! Burning bright

In the forests of the night

(From'Songs of Experience'by William Blake)

Alio run-on line' In a poem' a


pause or punctuation, allowing the uninterrupted

of meaning. It is used to create a sense of


forward motion. For examPle:

Teach me half the gladness

That thY brain must know

rFrot-t-L 'To a Skr'lark'bv P'B' Shelley)

Beast fable.


order to achieve a special meaning or effect'

refers to
First-person narrator A first-person narrator
himself as 'I' and is a character


f)ramatic tension


Figure of speech It is any use of language
deviates from the obvious or common


single person (not the poet himself) speaks

a passage

dissimilar things'

and to
characters. It is used

Dialogue A dialogue is a conversation

ironY ) IronY'
Dramatic monologue A type of poem in which

A metaphor or simile

Unreliable narrator'
Farce ) Genres, P. IX'
meant to
Figurative language Writing or speech not
to cteate
be intetPreted
vivid imPressions





tries to
Descriptive passage A descriptive passage



which is sustained over several lines in

throughout an entire Passage'


Delivery The way in which an actor says his

Denotation The literal meaning of a word, as found
in a dictionary, which does not include the feelings
or suggestions that are part of the word's

Doppelgiinger A term which

Genres, P. VII'
A term applied to literature by James Joy:e
to indicate a suaAen revelation of an essential
A polite word


suggests or implies or calls

to mind, apart from what it explicitly describes

Connotation What a word

distinguish between the following types of

person nartators: the narrator who witnesses
.u.nt, he relates

who is a minor

Joseph Conrad); the narrator

partiiipant in the story (Nick tnThe GreatGatsbyby
is the central
F. Scott Fitzgerald); the narrator who
character in the story (Robinson in
by Daniel Defoe).

Flashback (or Analepsis) A section of a literary

that interrupts the sequence of events to relate
event that took place at
Compound nouns or short phrases that are


synonyms for often repeated words'

in which
Free indirect speech A narrative technique

the point of view shifts between an obiective

account and a subiective interpretation'

in a regular
Free verse Poetry which is not written
verse has
rhythmicat paitern, or metre' Most
It usually
irregular line lengths and does not

depends o, ,.p.tition, balance and variation

phiases for its rhythmic effect' For example:


When I heard the learned astonomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in
before me

(from'When I Heard the Learned Astronomer'by
Gothic ) Genres, P.XI'



A styie characterised by the choice of

words of Latin origin, allusions to the classical

world and long sentence structure' It was tvpical
John Milton (1608-1671)'

Clossarv of Literorv

Heroic couplet A pair of rhyming lines written in

s Jo,vce

iambic pentameter. For example:

lnternal rhyme Rhyme that



I truth.

A dog starved at his Master's Gate


Predicts the ruin of the State

In mist or cloud on mast or shroud
(from 'The Rime of the Ancient \{ariner' br-

ing or

(From'Auguries of Innocence' by William Blake)


Hexameter A line of poetry consisting of six metrical



)Sage OI

feet. For example:

I i would I thft we were I riy beloved, I wliite birds
| 5n the foam I

oi the



It can

The main ingredient in comedy.


humour. Black humour is often used in literature of

the absurd, in which characters cope with events
and situations that are simultaneously comical and


Hyperbole The deliberate exaggeration of the truth to

Ten thousand saw I at a glance

(from'I Wandered Lonely

as a

Cloud'by William


ory. We

A foot composed of an unstressed syllable

folowed by a stressed syllable. For example:

; of first
rsses the

lambic dimeter Line of poetry consisting of two



iambic feet. For example:

a minor
e central



Th6 w6y I d crow

Sh6ok drjwn I oil m6

Th6 dust I oi sn5w

(From'Dust of Snow'by Robert Frost)

Iambic pentameter Line of poetry consisting of five

'ary work
relate an

iambic feet. For example:







Seamus Heaney)

Iambic tetrameter Line of poetry consisting of four

in which


iambic feet. For example:

I H;d w6 | bilt wdrld I Enorigh I ind Tiine

It usuallY

riation of


'by Walt



Line of poetry consisting of three

iambic feet. For example:

I nrit i I hil"g <in I like deith

not easy.
(from 'My Papa's Waltz'by Theodore Roethke)
Imagery The descriptive language used in literature
to evoke mental pictures or sensory experiences.
The images in a poem or prose passage provide
Such waltzing was

details of sight, sound, taste, smell, or movement

and help the reader to sense the experience being

In-line pause

meant. In 'dramatic irony' there is a discre:;::,

between what a character thinks and rvha: .:audience or reader knows to be true. In 'situa:--:.
irony' an event occurs which is the oppos--. -,
what is expected.

Kenning Compound word or metaphorical phrase *:=:

instead of a noun especially in Old English prt !.r-,
For example'sea-wood' for'ship'.

The primary function of lightins .s :

illuminate the actors and the stage, but 1t mar- :-:-

play an important part in creating mood

conveying the meaning of the



Limited omniscient narrator The limlted ol :-::

omniscient narrator tells the storv iron- .r:
perspective of one single character, or at mcs: -: :
very limited number of characters in the stor,.'" :--=
has access to and reports the thoughts and :ee--:-:.
of only that character or those characters.
Literal meaning The surface meaning of a tert.

realism A term used in both art and Lte:.--,

criticism to refer to works that mix rea--s:-:

portrayals of everyday events and characters ',,, -::elements of fantasy and wonder. In u,.orks of n:":-:
realism the fantastic is treated without anr- sens. ,:


amazement. The mingling



mundane and the fantastic creates a rich, dreai---."=


Metaphor A figure of speech in which one thil.


spoken of as though it were something else. L l--."a simile, which compares two things using 'like ::
'as', a metaphor states the comparison direct-r. : - example:
Life's but a walking shadow
(From Macbeth by William Shakespeare)
Metonymy A figure of speech in which the
one object is replaced by another n'hich
associated with it. For example, the Prime

is sometimes referred to as 'Don'ning


choice of
e classical
s typical of


Irony It refers to a contrast or discrepanc\- Det-.,.-.=:appearance and reality. In 'verbal ironr-'. t:lrl. ,: :
contrast between what is literally said anc i\-::. -l


(from'To His Coy Mistress'by Andrew Marvell)

a regular
rretse has

i- :::


tlie oth I eis were I iway | ft

(From 'When all the others were away at Mass'by


Intrusive narrator The intrusive or obtmsir-e narratrlr


refers to




achieve intensity, or for dramatic or comic effect.

: which

itrt. f -:

readers, expressing his views on the charac:r:s

divided into verbal, behavioural and situational

reant to
r create

interrupts the narrative to speak drrectlr

(from 'The White Birds'by W.B. Yeats)


Terms lll


Innocent narrator

Naive narrator.

Interior monologue ) Stream of consciousness.

Internal pause ) Caesura.


) Genres, p. VIII.
Monologue A long speech made by one characte: -:-

Mock heroic

poem, play or a novel. A monologue

ffiii r:

GlossarY of LitsrsrrY Terms

is intended to
Pathos A quality in a work of art that

or to the reader or
addressed to another character
audience, or it maY be a soliloquY'
by a literary
Mood The feeling created in the readerconveyed by
work ot purrug"t' The mood
in the wotk'
the writer's chJice of words' by events
or bY the PhYsical
narrator tells
Naive narrator The naive or innocent

create feelings of tenderness' sympathetic
or PitY'
-t e:--^ e ^^+
of poetry consisting of five feet'

Pentameter A tine

For examPle:
the paint I ed veil I with llo:' I who
I Lift not I
(from'sonnet' by Percy
in which
Personification A typt of figurative language
a non-human sublect

its fu1l-meaning'

a story without understanding

often children'
Naive or innocent narrators are

an example of
'My car has decided to quit on me'is
peisonification from everyday speech'
Pindaric ode ) Genres, P' VIII'
of events in a story' Plots often follow
- -- The sequence
the pattein of 'exposition" 'rising action"
'falling action', and'resolution'
which a story ts
Point of view The perspective from
told, bY a first or third Person'
particular type,of
Propagandist literature It is a
to convince the

Narrative Another word fot 'storY''

is told; how the
Narrative technique The way a story
that make up
settin$, charac^ters, actions
u *ork of fiction
of view a story
Narrator The person from whose point
participant in
is narrated. A narrator may be:

the story); (b) an observer who is not broad
involved in itre action'
categories of narrators: first-person

action' on
reader to take a position, or direct


focuses on t he
Novel of character A novel which
motives and
psychology of the characters' their
ifreir euotution in the course of the
work of fiction in
Novel of incident A story-driven

contemporary moral or political issue'

Pun A play on words based on different meanings
words that sound alike' For example:

and the
which the plot is carefully developed

Eve was

reader's attention is held by the unfolding
Obtrusive narrator


(M.A' Neville)

he is
everything about the fictional world and
describing He reports on all the characters

imiortant u.rd tht authot's intrusions are

characters do but
events and knows not only what
also their thoughts,

lines in a
Refrain Repetition of a line or group of

iht "" oiwords or sounds which

which they describe:
appear to resemble the sounds


poem or song.

hiss, buzz, bang.

at first
Oxymoron R cJmUination of words' which
sight seems to be contradictory
*ho,. closeness emphasises
truth or creates a dramatic effect' For example:

'deafening silence','wise follY''

illustrates a
Parable A short narrative that conveys or
moral lesson.
A statement that seems self-contradictoty


For example;
absurd, but that expresses a truth'
One short sleep past, we
thou shalt
And Death shall be no more; Death'
in close
The repetition in the same line or

proximity of similar syntacticul-tt':-t^t5:
often used for emphasis or irony'


EarlY to bed, earlY to rise

wise' (provetb)
Makes a man neattfry, wealthy and

Parody A work done in imitation of another' create
in order to

reality' without

Realism An accurate representation of

effects' In
idealisation or seniational' dramatic
realism the diction
heightened or

The omniscient narrator knows


nigh Adam

Adam was naive'

Genres, P. VIII'

Omniscient narrator

The repeated use of any element of
a sound, u *oid, a phrase, a


for effect' to
Rhetorical question A question asked
which no response is exPected'


Rhyme The repetition of identical or similar words

at the ends of poetic lines' Rhyming the
contribute to unilying a poem and enhance

vowel and
musicality. In'perfect rhyme' the final
identical' and
any following consonant sounds are
different' for
the preceding consonant sounds are


example enoirgh/stuff''Imperfect'
are the same but
occurs when the final consonants

the preceding vowels are lot' for t'1T,?t'

rhyme occurs with
'love/have'. u]'e (or 'sight')

do not rhyme,
words that are ipelled similarly, but
for examPle: 'height/weight''
is a regu lar
Rhyming scheme A rhyme scheme

words in a Poem'
Pattem of rhYming
of beats' or stresses' in units of
Rhythm The
L poetry and prose' The pattern of some poems is

Glossary of

very specific, while prose and free verse use the

natural rhythms of everyday speech.
Run-on Iine ) Enjambement.
Satire ) Genres, p. XII.
Setting The time and place in which the action of a
poem, play or story takes place.
Showing The way the narrator shows the characters.
Simile It draws a comparison between two dissimilar
elements using the word ,like, or ,as,, for example
'He fought like a tiger,. () Metaphor)

Soliloquy A speech in a play in which

a character,

usually alone on a stage, reveals his or her thoughts

and feelings to the audience.

'cultural', i.e. widely accepted (for e.\,;:_t

Spontaneous prose It is used to capture the

immediacy of momentary impressions and the


blurred and disorderly way in which events occur.

Sprung rhythm A type of meter based exclusively
the number of stressed syllables. In the following
two lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins,s poem
'God's Grandeur, there are four stressed syllables
each line. The number of unstressed syllables,

which varies, is of no importance in sprung


w6rld is chdrged with the grdndeur of God

It will fldme out, like shining from sh6ok foil.
stage directions Notes included in a drama to describe
how the work is to be performed or staged. They are
printed in italics and are used to describe iets,
lighting, sound effects as well as the appearance,
personaiiti es, and movements of characters.
Stock image An image that occurs so frequently in
literature that it is at once familiar, for^exampre:

lily-white skin.

Stream of consciousness The description of the flow

of inner


experience through the mind


Style The characteristic way awriter uses the resources

of language, including his diction, syntax,
sentence patterns and punctuation. It also refers to
the way a writer uses sound, rhythm, imagery and
figurative language in his work.
Suspense A feeling of uncertainty about how events
in a story are going to turn out. It is created by
encouraging readers to ask questions in their minds
or by placing characters in potentiaily dangerous


Sr-mbol Something that

stands for or represents

something else. Symbols may be ,shired, or

_: -

association of white with innocence) or .l::. _.'personal', i.e. created by the author in the _ .. . _ .
of his work.

Symbolic meaning It is the level of meaning \rri..-

lies below the surface and is open to interpretatrcrn

Symbolic name Allusive or symbolic names ...orrrg.
the reader to identify a character with another rJal

or fictional figure. The reader may gain greater

understanding of the character by comparing him
to the person he has been named after.
Symbolic setting A setting that comes to symbolise

the central ideas of a work, for example, the

in Emily Bront's wtttherinv

Sonnet ) p. A21.
Sound features Resources used by poets to convey
and reinforce the meaning or experience of poetry
through the skirful use of sound. Ailiterition,
assonance, onomatopoeia, caesura, eniambement,
rhythm and metre are common sound devices.

Literorr f.:=

Yorkshire moors

Synecdoche The rhetorical figure in which a part is

substituted for a whole, for example, ,a suit (i.e.
businessman) entered the room,, or, less usually,
which a whole is substituted for a part (as when a

policeman is called ,the law, or a manager is called

'the management,). ) (Metonymy).
Syntax The way in which linguistic elements (words

or phrases) are arranged to form grammatical



The way a writer tells the reader about the

characters when he describes their personality,

appearance, feeling

and motives for their

rima Linked tercets rhyming ABA BCB CDC,

They were used by Dante in The Divine Comedy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley in ,Ode to the West Wind,.
Tetrameter A line of poetry consisting of tour feet. For

I O west j ern

(traditional ballad)

Theme The central message, concern, or insight into

life contained in a work of literature. A them e may
be stated directly (explicit) or may be implied


Timing It refers to the pace at which an actor derivers

his lines.
Tone The author's attitude toward the subject of his

work or his audience. Tone is conveyed by the

choice of words, their denotative and connotative

meanings and the images they conjure up.
Tiagedy ) Genres, p. X.

flaw weaknesses within the tragic hero himself,

which eventually lead him to defeat.
Tragic hero(ine) The main character of a tragedy,
whose actions lead him to an unhappy endingl



' I l'':




Third-person narrator Someone outside the story

who refers to all the characters by their proper
names or using the third person pronouns ,he,,


wind f when wilt I thou blowj










Glossary $f Liter{rrY Terrms


One stressed sYllable followed by one

unstressed sYllable. For examPle:

dfear], w6ileilponaEredl
I once up 1 dn I1 miani[rrt I
weak arid I weary
(from'The Raven'bY Edgar Allen Poe)

unreliable narrator An unreliable or fallible narrator

is a storyteller who is biased or prejudiced and
whose interpretation and evaluation of events do
not coincide with the beliefs held by the author'

A fixed structure of five three-line stanzas

followed by a quatrain rhyming ABA ABA ABA ABA



In the sixteenth and seventeenth century this

term indicated ingenuity in literary invention and
was frequently used to describe the brilliant and
surprising imagery of the Metaphysical poets' In
more recent times it has been used to refer to a
clever type of verbal humour.



lipes of Fiction










made many mistakes and with the help of some good

friends he finally reaches maturity and understands the
direction he must take in his life. In English literature

An allegory is a story that can be interpreted at two

levels: the primary, literal level and the secondary,
symbolic level. An allegory has a complete system of
equivalents: characters, action and often the setting
not only make sense in themselves but also represent a
second order of persons, things, concepts, or events.

the form has always been popular and it has been

exploited by noted writers such as Charles Dickens
(David Copperfield and Great Expectations), D.H.
Lawrence (Sons and Lovers) and James Joyce in portrait

Allegorical literature is distinctly different from

symbolic literature. Symbols are open-ended: they
evoke a wealth of associations in the reader which
enrich his reading of the text. Allegory is not open_

of an Artist as a Young Man.

Epistolory novel
The story in an epistolary novel is told entirely by the
exchange of letters. The first example in English of the
epistolary novel was a translation of a French work,
Letters of a Portuguese Nun, in 7678.It was, however,

ended: the symbolic meaning of the elements is well_

defined. Once the correlation between elements has
been established the secondary meaning of the text
becomes immediately apparent. Most allegorical works
have religious, political or social themes. One of the
best-known allegories in English literature is George
Orwell's Animal Farm which draws parallels between

events on a pig farm

Samuel Richardson who truly established the form

with his highly successful novel s pamela, or Virtue
Rewarded (17 4I) and Clarissa (1 7 48). The epistolary
novel flourished in English literature from 17 40 to

in Britain and events in

1800. Later writers, such as Jane Austen, incorporated

letters into their narrative but pure epistolary novels
rarely appeared after the seventeenth century.

revolutionary and post-revolutionary Russia.


Gothic novel
The Gothic novel became popular in the late
eighteenth and early nineteenth century. They

An anti-novel is a work which opposes, parodies or in

some way undermines the form and content of the
traditional novel. Anti-novels appear to be ordinary
novels but through the distortion or omission of
traditional elements they challenge the expectations

included elements which were wild, barbaric or horrific

(the term Gothic had come to mean ,wild,), and
generally represent a reaction against the calm
rationalism of the neoclassicism of the early and mid-

created in the reader by conventional novels. Laurence

Sterne is generally regarded as the father of the English

anti-novel. The plot of his masterpiece Tristram Shandy

(17 60) contains such unconventional elements as

eighteenth century. The action

unfinished sentences, blank pages, pages containing

just one word, and idiosyncratic syntax. Sterne seems
to suggest that the orderly chronological narration of
events which could be found in traditional novels did
not reflect the perception of time and space which
exists in the human mind. Tristram Shandy is the first
of many anti-novels which have as their subject the
novel itself, and which explore the limitations of this

one of apprehension and claustrophobia. The first

important experiment in this genre was Horace
Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (t7 64) which tells the
tale of a family curse. The influence of the Gothic
novel can be seen in the Romantic poetry of Coleridge
and Keats, the Romantic fiction of Mary Shelley and
the Bront sisters, the short stories of Edgar Allan poe
and the work of more recent writers such as Iris

literary form in conveying human experience.

Bildungsromon or initiqtion novel

Bildungsroman is a German term which means ,novel
of formation or education'. The common subject of
these novels is the development of the protagoinst,s
mind as he grows from childhood to adulthood and
maturity. The first example of this type of fiction is the

Murdoch, John Fowles, Angela Carter and Toni


Historicol novel
The historicai novel draws on history for its setting and
some of its characters and events. It became popular in

German writer Goethe's Wilhem Meister,s Apprenticeship

(7795-1796).lt tells the story of an innocent wellmeaning but often foolish young man who sets out in
life unsure of what he wants from his future. Having

in Gothic novels

usually took place in the past, particularly the Middle

Ages and in the Catholic countries of southern Europe.
The plot was built on suspense and mystery and often
involved supernatural elements. The atmosphere was

the late eighteenth centurv and earlv nineteenth

century when it was associated with the rise of
nationalism, as much historical fiction of the period

iii illl':



created or glorified the national myths and legends'

Walter Scott is widely considered to be the greatest
historical novelist in English literature. Between 1814
and 1832 he wrote twenty-five novels which were
hugely successful in Britain, on the Continent and in

America. His attention to detail in developing the

historical milieu was an inspiration to all writers of this
genre. For most of the victorian period the historical
iovel was considered the most respected of literary
forms and distinguished writers such as charles
Dickens and R.L. Stevenson explored its possibilities. In
the twentieth century the genre has often been

expioited to tell adventure stories for men and

paisionate love stories for a predominantly female
ieadership. Barbara Cartland in 600 highly successful
novels sef torrid love stories in historical contexts. This

popular form of the historical novel is often of little

iit.rury value and has done little to enhance the status
of this literarY form.

episodic nature of the story also recalls the picalesque

tradition. Later writers such as Fielding and Dickens
also wrote picaresque novels while Mark Twain's The
Adventures of Hucklebetry Finn is perhaps one of the
greatest examples of this literary form' In recent times
Ih. t.r- 'picaresque' has been used in a broader sense
to describe any character who is at odds with society'

Regionol novel
The regional novel is set in a specific geographicai
region. The setting is not used simply as a backdrop to
the action, but the writer tries to indicate how the
particular locality affects the personalities of the

characters and their way of thinking and acting'

Thomas Hardy novels


of the D'[]rbetvilles and lude


Hardy calls 'Wessex', are perhaps the most acclaimed

examples of this literarY form.


Modernist novel

Satire is the art of ridiculing a subiect through laughter

Modernist novel is often non-chronological with

ideology, a nation or even the entire human race'

Satirisis try to diminish their subject by evoking
amusement, contempt or indignation towards it'

Modernism is a literary movement which began in the

latter part of the nineteenth century and continued
until the beginning of the Second World War' The

experimentation in the representation of time. Instead

of plot there is an emphasis on characters' consciousness,
subconsciousness, memory and perception. The ideas
the philosopher Henri Bergson
Sigmund Freud became points of reference' The

teihniques of free indirect style and stream of

consciousness were widely used' Instead of offering

solutions these noveis often pose questions' Henry
in English
James was a forerunner of this movement
literature, while James Joyce and Virginia Woolf are
two of its greatest exPonents.

Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel evolved from the sixteenth-

century Spanish tradition of picaresque nallatives.

'Picaro'is the Spanish for 'rogue' or 'vagabond' and the
narratives told of the adventures of the 'picaro' who
travelled extensively and lived by his wits' The picaro
was generally portrayed as a minor delinquent, antisocial but likeable. He was generally a static character

There was little in the way of plot, the story was made
up of a series of episodes which were held together
the picaresque tradition is clear in the earliest examples
of English novels. Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
shows many picaresque elements' Although the main
character is a law-abiding man, he is forced to live by
his lvits and is the protagonist of many adventures' The

or scorn. Satire may be directed at an individual, or a

type of person, a sociai class, an institution, a political

Laughter is often a weapon used by satirists but not ail

satire is comic: George Orwell's Animal Farm lrlas

Nineteen Eighty-Four, evokes

little laughter in the reader.

Although satire is often directed at individuals, satirists

claim that they target the failing and not the human
being. By attacking a particular vice they hope to
contribute to its elimination. Satire may be the
governing principle of a work, and elements of satire
may be found in various other literary forms: it exists
in both prose and Poetic form.
Satire has been written in every period since the

considered to be the century and a half after the

Restoration (1660) when Swift, Pope, Addison, Fielding

and Goldsmith produced some of the finest satirical
work in the English language.

Science fiction
Science fiction refers to stories that are set in the
future or in which a contemporary setting has been
altered, for example by a new invention, or by the

invasion of alien beings. French writer Jules Verne is

the recognised 'fathet' of science fiction, with his
novel A lourney to the Centre of the Earth (1864)' In
England, one of the first representatives of the genre
*ui U.C. Wells who wrot e The lnt'isible \''[att ( i 89 7

and, The War of the Worlds (1898



Short story
Edgar Allan Poe, who is generally recognised as the
father of the short story, defined it as a 'prose tale'
which can be read in less than two hours and which is
limited to 'a single effect'. Poe's definition emphasises

the fact that the short story writer is restricted by the

length of his work and therefore must focus his
attention and make rigorous choices.
Short stories generally follow a standard arrangement
of phases. The following terms are used to refer to the
various stages of development:
. exposition: background information is provided;
. conflict or complication: the characters have to face
a problem. The problem may be conflict with another character or characters, or it may be created by a
non-human force such as illness, unemployment or

. climax: the point of highest tension in the conflict;

. resolution: the conflict is resolved.
Short story writers often begin their work close to or
even at the point of climax, limiting the background
details and explanation of the conflict to a minimum.
Other writers end their stories at the climax dedicating
















{g 7)


just a few lines to the resolution. Others sti11 do not

follow exposition-conflict-climax-resolution paradigm,
preferring to explore other possibilities offered by this
short fiction form.

Utopion ond dystopion novel

The term 'utopia' derives from the Greek words
'outopia' (no place) and 'eutopia' (good place) and is
used to refer to literature which describes a better world
or way of living. Sir Thomas More's great Renaissance

work called Utopia (1516), which depicts an ideal but

non-existent society and political system, is one of the
earliest example of this literary form in the history of
English literature. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels
(L726), in which mankind and society are satirised, can
also be said to have a utopian theme. In more recent
times the term dystopia (bad piace) has been used to
describe fiction which depicts an imaginary world
where the negative aspects of our world have been
carried to unpleasant extremes. Examples of this type
of fiction can be found in Aldous Huxley's Brave New
World (1932) and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four