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ASSIGNMENT SOLUTIONS GUIDE (2018-2019)
B.E.G.E-106
Understanding Poetry
Disclaimer/Special Note: These are just the sample of the Answers/Solutions to some of the Questions given in the

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Assignments. These Sample Answers/Solutions are prepared by Private Teacher/Tutors/Authors for the help and guidance
of the student to get an idea of how he/she can answer the Questions given the Assignments. We do not claim 100%

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accuracy of these sample answers as these are based on the knowledge and capability of Private Teacher/Tutor. Sample
answers may be seen as the Guide/Help for the reference to prepare the answers of the Questions given in the assignment.

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As these solutions and answers are prepared by the private Teacher/Tutor so the chances of error or mistake cannot be

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denied. Any Omission or Error is highly regretted though every care has been taken while preparing these Sample

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Answers/Solutions. Please consult your own Teacher/Tutor before you prepare a Particular Answer and for up-to-date

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and exact information, data and solution. Student should must read and refer the official study material provided by the
university.

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Attempt all questions. Answer all questions in approximately 450 words.

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Q. 1. Critically analyse Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising”.

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Ans. Discussion: The speaker celebrates the first anniversary of falling in love. He has become quite philosophical.

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He has passed a year in love and had an opportunity to follow the movement of time in the world. The poem reflects this

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dual movement of time.

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He mentions important political milestones–the changes in the fortunes of the princes and the kings. All of them

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have suffered a change. The sun has also become older by a year. And then he talks love in which there is no loss,

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no disfigurement, no change. Love alone is above all change. It seems to be constant and once it occurred it simply

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continues to be.

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Donne’s poems are an exercise inargument and a splendid strategy by which the speaker wins the beloved’s

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heart. The speaker talks about the death as he say – we must leave at last in Death. But this is all momentary. He

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says to convince that the real grave is the body from which the soul, at the moment of death, will find quick and sure

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release.

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Thus, the two are real sovereigns between whom there is no chance of breach of trust and they should continue

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to live in love for the next three scores of years.

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Appreciation
Now we can understand what metaphysical conceit is. It is a use of images from diverse worlds, an extended

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metaphor that combines two entirely different ideas into a single one. As in the Sun Rising the poet uses alchemy,
sphere and eclipse in a context of love. The Anniversary juxtaposes the solar movement and political affairs against

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love’s constancy.
These poems shows Donne’s interest in politics and science. Donne has independent thinking and secular
interests. He uses unconventional situations like the bedroom scene, celebration of anniversary, a planning of the
future, or simply a continuation of a quarrel. Donne is melancholic and yet capable of rising above the fit of sadness
to a brilliancy of wit.
Q. 2. Discuss the themes of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
Ans. An Analysis: In sonnet 29, the poet bemoans some regression in his fortune and in 30, the loss of friends
and many things he sought in life which he could not get. In both poems, the poet cheers up when he remembers his
friend. He overcomes the hurt caused by his outcast state or depression inflicted by his lack of achievements or loss
of friends. However, Sonnet 30 presents the intimate experiences of the poet, its language imbedded in formal court
vocabulary may appear wooden on cogitationis seamless in providing the contrasting aesthetic experience of suffering
and happiness.

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In Sonnet 29, Shakespeare seems to bemoan certain qualities and influence he did not have: “Desiring this man’s
art, and that man’s scope”. In sonnet 30, he laments the lack of many a thing he wanted to have. The reason for the
down cast state in which he finds himself is fall from favour of goddess Fotuna and people around him. Nothing
precipitous accounts for the dip in happiness in sonnet 30 but idle memory: Sessions of sweet silent thought. In sonnet
29, the poet like Job in the Old Testament troubles deaf heaven with his bootless cries, while in sonnet 30 he wastes
‘dear’ time summoning old thoughts to the court of his mind. A setback in hiscareer forces the poet to take recourse
to the reassurance of religion in sonnet 29; in sonnet 30, the relaxed indulgence in past memories makes him so what
distant, aloof and offish. So while in sonnet 30 he is conscious of the wastage, his time, in sonnet 29 the experience
is more intense and the poet like Job curhis fate.
Shakespeare seems to have written the sonnets when he was in his late twenties and early thirties. During that
time, Marlowe, born in the same year as Shakespeare himself and the only contemporary poet Shakespeare alluded

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to in his plays died in 1593 and his only son Hamnet passed away in August 1596 and in Spenser 1599. In Sonnet 30,
the poet asserts that his eyes are ‘unused to flow’. The loss remembered is so personal in nature and affecting his

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person that he cannot help crying:
And weep afresh love’s long since can celled woe,

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And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
The memory of his son Hamnet may have been profound and moving. Did Shakespeare use Hamnet to buttress

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some scene or character in some of his early plays which comes to him with a sense of guilt? The poet bemoans

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‘The expense of’ some of his vanished sight.’
These two sonnets are complementary. In sonnet 29, the poet is full of tear and cries and in sonnet 30, he has

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gained self-control and authority even compensating for the loss in the former.

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In sonnet 29, the second quatrain reveals the poet’s inner most desire. Unlike Henry and Robert i.e. Southampton

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and Essex, Shakespeare was a commoner but was conscious of his gifts. And still, he must have felt that he was

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inferior even as a play wright to Christopher Marlowe of his own age.

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He must have wanted to have the art of Marlowe and Spenser and the scope of earls of Southampton and

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Essexto whose circle he belonged. Marlowe was University educated; Shakespeare had to give up his education

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owing to some catastrophic decline in his father’s fortune. The latter’s status in the late 16th century was that of a

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hanger on and an ordinary actor and at best an in significant playwright. He lacked many things: The skills of

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Marlowe as well his scope as one of Walsingham’s circle and of course the influence of Essex who was very dear

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to Queen Elizabeth. But more than all these Shakespeare sought the company of Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton

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the world’s fresh ornament’ of which he never felt he had his full.

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The third quatrain of Sonnet 30 is a more formal public conscious utterance, so Shakespeare introduces the idea

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of now grieving over his grievances already mentioned in the preceding quatrains. In a way, the melancholic strain is

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strengthened in the third stanza which gives and epiphanic character to the concluding lines of the poem:

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But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

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All losses are restored and sorrows end.
This revival of spirit comes faster in sonnet 29. The third quatrain reverses the melancholic atmosphere of the

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foregoing quatrains. Here, Shakespeare tells his reader that while he is despising himself on several counts he
remembers his friend, i.e. Southampton, his state’ or body begins to sing,
Like to the lark at break of day arising

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From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
Shakespeare has used an epic simile in a lyric and an extremely fresh and rejuvenating one. The poet’s gloom
was like the darkness of night, like the solidness, sullenness and miserableness of the dark earth but the lark symbolizes
joy and light just like the break of day’ and it rises from the sullen earth carrying with it earth’s music in the form of
– hymns’ at heaven’s gate. Shakespeare has offered a scintillating image of light in the lark in sonnet 29 which
reminds us of the main of light in sonnet 60 where nativity the birth of an infant is compared, by suggestion to dust
particles in a shaft of light in an otherwise dark room.
The sonnet 29 is luminescent at the end as the image of the lark at break of day arising:
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

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Both the sonnets have the theme of memory but while the former is rich in passion the latter is restrained in
emotion. The poetic devices have enriched the texture of the poem and enriched the aesthetic experience of the
readers.
Q. 3. Comment on the literary devices used in Lord Byron’s poem “Roll on Thon Deep and Dark
Blue Ocean”.
Ans. The Stanza Form: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage has old stanza form, which was invented by Edmund
Spenser (1552-99) and used in his great work The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596). It is also called the Spenserian
stanza. In his preface to the first and second cantos of the poem Byron wrote that the the Spenserian stanza admits
of every variety. James Beattie believes that he uses this stanza form to express his variety of moods effectively.
Byron was in the same tradition with Ludovico Ariosto, the author of the famous romantic poem Orlando

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Furioso (1532), James Thomson (1700-48), author of The Seasons (1726-30) and James Beanie (1735-1803) who
wrote The Minstrel in Spenserian stanza.

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Byron uses blank verse in five-foot iambic pentameter and Alexandrine in six-foot iambic line.

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For example:

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Roll on/thou deep/ and dark/blue O’/ can, roll,

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/ / / / /

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Ten thou/sand fleets/ sweep o/ ver thee/ in vain
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Man marks/ the earth/ with ru/in; his/ control
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Stops with/ the shore; / upon/ the Wat / cry main

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The wrecks / are all / thy deed; / nor doth/ remain

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A sha/dow of / man’s ra/vaage save his own
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When for / a moment like / a drop / of rain
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He sinks / into /thy depths / with bub / bring groan

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/ / / / / /

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Without / a grave, / unknelled / unco / fined, and / unknown.
An Appreciation
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‘Roll on, Thou Deep and Dark Blue Ocean’ is a ceremonial song. Written in praise of the sea, it is considered

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as an anthem to the Ocean. It is written not in the Apollonian but in the Dionysian tradition. The poem has the
enthusiasm, the exuberance and joy of youth.

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Like other Romantic poets, he presented the God’s variegated creation, its soothing power, destructive aspect
and creative force. What Shelley saw in the Wild West Wind, Byron sees it in the sea. Byron’s ocean chastises the
vain man, melts his Armadas and the spoils of Trafalgars into the yeast of its waves. The monsters of the sea emerge

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from its slime.
The poem mirrors the almighty’s glorious creation. It is the image of eternity itself. It conveys God’s grandeur in
its varied aspects – calm and violent as in a breeze or gale, or storm and frigid as in the polar regions and dark and
tempestuous as in the equatorial.
Taking the sea as a symbol of the Divine due to its variegated beauty, Byron pre-empts Gerard Manley Hopkins
(1844-89). Hopkins in ‘Pied Beauty’ saw God represented in beauty that is in many colours, as in certain birds, or
the skyazure and white—or the fish (trout) with its ‘rose-moles’ (red dots)—or the landscape with its bends, portions
fallow and ploughed, or the freckled skin.
What is presented in the last stanza of ‘Roll on’ is magnified many times by Hopkins in ‘Pied Beauty’, but the
sea of experience in both cases is the same. The ‘Roll on’ is an address to the sea. It is the expression of the rapture
of communion with the ‘Universe’ which Byron thinks he can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal. However,
Byron’s rapture is well presented through the images. The first stanza sets the tone of the poem.

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Byron finds music in the roar of the sea. He was a poet of the mountain peaks and the sea like Wordsworth of
the child and the meanest flower and Keats of the ‘unravished bride’ and the fruit with ripeness to the core.
Byron’s rejection of man’s pride and power is presented in the image of man compared to rain drop falling on the
surface of the sea. Like the rain drop, he dies with no more than a ‘bubbling groan’. The poems says man claims to
rule over the waves and assumes titles like ‘arbiter of war’, but the truth is that it is the sea which has complete
control over the monarch. His ships are objects to play for the sea.
Byron talks about the decay of ancient civilizations of Assyria, Greece, Rome and Carthage. He feels that man’s
acquisitive instinctive has led him to ruin. Byron presents the sea as an image of eternity.
The pattern of rhyme with the words – roll, vain, control, plain, remain – bring the elation to the heart as the sight
of the gigantic waves in the sea themselves bring. Byron believed that the Spenserian stanza was capable of
expressing a variety of moods.

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Q. 4. Mac Flecknoe has all the features of a mock-heroic fantasy. Elaborate.
Ans. Mac Flecknoe (1682): Mac Flecknoe, or A Satyr Upon the True–Blue Protestant Poet, T.S. (1682) is

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a satire on Thomas Shadwell, a friend, whohad satirized Dryden’s The Medal (1682) in a poem. The title of the poem
was given after the name of Richard Flecknoe, an Irish priest and a poetaster who wrote a little good verse and a

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great deal of bad, who was astock subject for satire.
Mac Flecknoe is written in a mock-heroical epical framework. Constructed in Homeric style, it has all the

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solemnity and grandeur. Its scheme is highly ingenious. Dryden displays all the classical power of form in this writing.

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It was a clear and well thought out plan and the framework of his construction acquires almost an architectural
quality.

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It has all the features of a mock-heroic fantasy. From the very beginning in which the aged monarch of Dullness,

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Flecknoe, is represented in the epic manner down to the closing speech in which he advises his heir Shadwell, the

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supreme dullard, to trust nature and not labour to be dull. The poem opens with:

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“All human things are subject to decay,

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And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey.

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This Flecknow found, who, like Augustus, young
Was called to empire and had governed long.

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In prose and verse was owned without dispute through all the realms of

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Nonsense absolute.”

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When Flecknoe emerges as afatuous Augustus having “governed long in prose and verse” but “through all the

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realms of Nonsense absolute”, the elevated tone of the opening couplet crashes. A prince among fake poetasters,

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Flecknoe realizes that he has ruled too long and decay is only the order of the day and the call of Fate cannot be

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ignored.

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The aged prince does at length debate to settle the succession of his state (of “Nonsense absolute”) and ponders

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which of all his sons was fit to reign and wage immortal war with wit.

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He decides:
“Shadwell alone my perfect image bears

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Mature in dullness from his tender years;
Shadwell alone of all my sons is he
Who stands confirmed in full stupidity”.

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Thus, Shadwell becomes the right choice for the succession as he is described as “Mature in dullness from his
tender years” and hands confirmed in full stupidity. Dryden’s personal satire against Shadwell is direct.
The poem describes the site of the coronation which has been selected to be in the disreputable quarters of
London:
“Amidst this monument of vanished minds;
Pure cliches the suburban muse affords.....
Here Flecknoe as a place to fame well-known
Ambitiously designed his Shadwell’s throne.”
The place selected for the coronation is also presented sarcastically. The monument chosen has been described
asone of “vanished minds”, and the place chosen is praised ironically as one well known to fame, and Flecknoe is
presented as ambitiously designing his Shadwell’s throne.

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The mock-heroic tone is running through the descriptions. This monument chosen in the disreputable quarters of
London is actually only a wretched Nursery– a training centre for actors, where only stupid dramas are the usual
favourites.Then the actual coronation of Shadwell has been described:
“The hoary prince in majesty appeared
High on a throne of his turnabouts reared,
At his right hand our young Ascanius sat
Rome’s other hope and pillar of the state
His brows thick fogs instead of glories grace,
And Lambent dullness played around his face”.
Flecknoe has been described as the “hoary Prince” and the throne is made up of his own books. Thereference

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to Ascanius takes us back to the relationship between Ascanius and Aeneas. Shadwell is to Flecknoe what Ascanius
was to Aeneas.

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After that come Flecknoe’s unusual prophecy and unique benediction. The father invokes God’s blessings on the

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son and visualizes a bright future for him in a prophetic mood:

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“Then thus continued he: My son advance
Still in new impudence, new ignorance.

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Success let others teach, learn thou from me

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Pangs without birth and fruitless industry”
Shadwell is given an unconventional benediction in which he is blessed to advance still in “new impudence” and

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“new ignorance”.

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The poem ends with Flecknoe suddenly and dramatically disappearing, thusputting an abrupt end to the entire

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procedure. The last few lines givean anti-climactic thud:

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“He said, but his last words were scarcely heard,

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For Bruce and Longville had a trap prepared.

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And down they sent the declaiming bard,
Sinking, he left his drugget robe behind
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Borne upwards by a subterranean wind.

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The mantle fell to the young prophet’s part
With double portions of his father’s art”
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Bruce and Longville are characters in Shadwell’s Virtuoso and the druggist robe is made of coarse woollen

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cloth. So as the “declaiming bard” (Flecknoe) says his last words to the young prophet (Shadwell), the father’s

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mantle falls on Shadwell with a double bang.

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Thus, Mac Flecknoe is a highly entertaining though abusive attack on Shadwell. However, this burlesque

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lampooning is surrealistically comic. Mac Flecknoe is a striking example of the mock-heroic in English Literature.

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Q. 5. What made Yeats a modernist poet? Discuss by giving examples from his poems in the block.
Ans. Yeats poetry entered modernist phaseby 1912. During that time he also met Ezra Pound. His poems

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became suggestive and complex. He used esoteric symbols and concrete imageries. He uses simple diction with
precise, clear and sparse meaning. His poetry became indirect and elusive.
W. B. Yeats is one of the greatest poets of the English language. In the early phase of his poetic career he relied

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entirely on inspiration giving himself up to “The chief temptation of the artistic creation without toil”. In the later
phase he became a conscious artist who took great pains and re-polish his verse. He was very painstaking artist and
tried to say what he has to say in the best possible words. His early poetry has a dreamy luxuriant style full of sleepy
languorous rhythms. The tone is mostly wistful and nostalgic in these poems. There is an abundance of ornate word
pictures as in Spenser. Later on he tried to bring his versification nearer to the day to day speech. Along with this he
tried to give a new directness and precision to his poetic language. He did away with archaism and poeticism. His
imagery also became more definite and accurate and acquired a new pithy quality. Verbiage and superfluity start
giving way to vigour and intensity. His diction now became terse and his poetry grew in density.
“To A Shade” mixes colloquial tone with formalism and rhetoric is used to help politicize comments in the poem.
The imagery is highly remarkable as well as evocative in the poem, the poignancy in which the sorrows and ill-
treatment of Parnell and Hugh Lane is vividly expressed is also noticeable. The poet has used simile, alliteration and
personification.

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Analysis
“No Second Troy” plays out through some rhetorical questions. First, the speaker wonders “why” he should
blame “her” for his unhappiness and for her reckless manipulation of the emotions of Irish commoners to rouse
political violence. Then he asks whether it would even have been possible for “her” to be a “peaceful” person. He
thinks her character and beauty. Last, because there was no “second Troy” for her to destroy, she had to destroy
other things – like the speaker’s happiness, and the lives of Irish commoners.
Yeats has used juxtaposition of the images “little street” and “the great” which confirm his faith in the aristocratic
lineage, and his enthusiasm for the traditional Irish society under the protection of the aristocratic lords. Thus, for
Yeats the agents of nationalism should have been noble and valiant men of the upper class rather than the “ignorant
men”, who have no physical or moral courage equal to desire.
Two similes in the poem imply the nobility of Gonne’s mind and her extraordinary beauty:

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What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as fire,

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With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,

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Her mind as pure “as fire” and her physical “beauty like a tightened bow” give her superiority over the crowd,
and makes her presence out of place “in an age like this.” The smile “beauty like a tightened bow,” is also a symbol

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of sternness and grace, a mix of austerity and passionate action, restraint and violence.

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The poem is like a sonnet, but it does not have the couplet. It has 12 lines. The rhyme scheme makes the poem
into three quatrains abab cdcd efef.

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Analysis

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The poem has 22 lines, divided into two stanzas. The first stanza has 8 lines and the second has 14 lines. The

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structure is unconventional, yet compliments the development of its theme. The first stanza is an intense reflection on

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the violence and disorder and give way to the fuller projection of the nightmarish vision presented in the second part.

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The first stanza has interconnected images of a fragmented world amid confusion, anarchy and violence. The

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image of falcon flying free out of the control of the falconer, who may be taken as a symbol of a unifying being, the

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God, presents an impression of a murderous, world let loose which has no control. The gyre’s spiral movement upon

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reaching its end at its widest expanse is occasioned by mindless violence. It acts as a symbol for the end of world’s

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phase of human history characterized by an arch blind bloodshed. The innocence is overtaken by violence. The

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people with quality and ability are apathetic while the worst are driven by frenzy, escalating social disorder and

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violence.

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In the second stanza, the poet predicts the return of the Christ. The speaker has an extremely disturbing vision

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of grotesque figure, “The rough beast, emerging out of spiritual Mundi.” This repulsive figure, the anti-Christ, with a

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lion body and a human head is spotted in a desert scene. Its eyes are remorseless and blank unlike the benevolent

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eyes of the Christ. As this figure moves its beastly things, the desert birds of prey hover about it.

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The poet surmises that this dreadful figure, the signaler of the new history, had been lying dormant as if in “a
stony sleep” for the last “twenty centuries” when the Christian civilization lasted. As this civilization ends with

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enormous violence and chaotic scenes all around, its time for this creature to come out of its “rocking cradle,” and
walk towards Bethlehem, where Christ was born, to be born and inaugurate the new civilization.
The images and symbols are based on the geometrical figures that lie in the background. The first line refers to

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the expanding gyro: Turning and turning the widening gyre. Yeats imagines a pair of antithetical gyres, locked into
each other, as constituting opposite progress of human history. One of the gyres or cones is widening, while the other
is tapering. He links the widening gyre with the elevating flight of the falcon:
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
The poem has the flight of the bird as an image of the widening gyre of history in his earlier poems as well, such
as “The Wild Swans at Coole”:
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

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The widening gyre implies the historical progress of 2000 years that had started with the birth of the Christ. The
tone in the stanza is somber as well as cynical. “The blood-dimmed tide” is an intense image symbolizing horrific
violence. In Yeats’s philosophy, these figures do not simply represent movements of History, but also symbolize the
subjective and objective forces within the individual.
There is escalation in tone in the second stanza. This figure symbolizes paganism, destruction, irrationality,
passion and evil that would destroy modernity, or the modem civilization ruined by excessive use of reason and
rationality. The poem has been composed in blank verse. The metre is not regular, but it is written in iambic pentameter.
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