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Mar 31, 2011

Arms and the Man: GB Shah

Arms and the Man is one of the finest anti-romantic comedies on the theme of love and war which comes from the pen of Bernard Shaw, who refused, on the one hand, to believes that soldier are exceptionally heroic and inspired by patriot sentiments. On the other hand, he thought of marriage not as a means of satisfying the personal desire of individual men and women. Thus, as we see these two themes are quite distinct from each other but Shaw has developed his plot in such a way that they are interwoven. Here Shaw’s object is to expose the romantic notion of war with love and marriage.

Death of Salesman: Miller

Death of the Salesman is a personal and social tragedy which shows the cultural change. It may be viewed as a tragedy of a middle class neurotic caught up in a large city by his dreams. Miller’s concept of tragedy is quite different from that of Shaw and Galsworthy. His view of tragedy is different even from the classical view. The Greek heroes are destined to suffer but Miller takes man as a tragic product of dark surroundings. Unlike the Greeks, Miller considers the common man the most suitable subject for the tragedy.

Mar 30, 2011


BURLESQUE (Ital. burlesco, from burla, a joke, fun, playful trick), a form of the comic in art, consisting broadly in an imitation of a work of art with the object of exciting laughter, by distortion or exaggeration, by turning, for example, the highly rhetorical into bombast, the pathetic into the mock-sentimental, and especially by a ludicrous contrast between the subject and the style, making gods speak like common men and common men like gods. 

Medivial Drama

For the sake of clearness we have reserved for a separate chapter the discussion of the drama of the whole medieval period, which, though it did not reach a very high literary level, was one of the most characteristic expressions of the age. It should be emphasized that to no other form does what we have said of the similarity of medieval literature throughout Western Europe apply more closely, so that what we find true of the drama in England would for the most part hold good for the other countries as well.

Mar 28, 2011

All About H. Hatter: G.V. Desani

Written in 1948, All About H. Hatter is G.V. Desani’s masterpiece. The H. Hatter in the title stands for Hindustanwallah Hatter which is a pseudonym of a fifty-five years person who the orphaned son of European seaman and non-Christian woman from Malaya. The novel is the comic record of the life of this orphan who is constantly threatened, gulled, robbed and bullied in life. The following utterance made by him gives us a true idea bout his character:
“I haven’t had my mother to love me….
I have no relations, don’t you see! I am afraid,
can’t you see?”

Religio Medici: Browne

Religio Medici is an autobiographical work of Caroline prose writer of Sir Thomas Browne who studied medicine at Padua and Leiden, and got his degree in 1633. The book was written in 1635 during his residence at Halifax. Although the book was published twice without his permission yet the Authorized Version was brought up by Andrew Crooke, a publisher of London. Religio Medici which in English means the religion of physician became instantly popular after its authorized publication and was subsequently translated into various languages including Dutch, German, Latin and French. Religion is very core of this work. 

Mar 26, 2011

Macbeth: Shakespeare

In 1606 William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, wrote a play which would go down in history as the cursed Scottish play after numerous mishaps during production. It was written for his new patron, James I (James VI of Scotland), following the death of Queen Elizabeth. James was interested in witchcraft and Scotland, and hence the themes in the play. Banquo is James's ancestor. The play itself tells the story of a man, urged by his wife and foretold by prophecy, who commits regicide in order to gain power. Unfortunately, due to numerous quirks of language and obscure allusions, the play is difficult to understand without assistance. Using this annotated version along with external links and analysis, to more information, you can now get a better grasp of one the best tragedies ever written, the tale of Macbeth.

Mar 25, 2011


A novel is a long prose fiction having a plot, a number of characters, and the plot developing and coming to a logical conclusion through the characters’ interaction with one another. J.B. Priestley defines a novel “as a narrative in prose treating chiefly of imagery characters and events”. J.B. Priestley further says “we may regard fiction as a narrative pure and simple, or as a picture manners, or as an exhibition of characters, or as a vehicle of certain philosophy”.

Addison: A Social Reformer

Addison was a great critic and a social reformer of the age of Queen Anne. As there was excessive immorality in the society, so the writers of the age start taking interest in the study of man’s behavior. Thus the literature of the age turns reformative; but Addison is the only critic who knows who to ridicule without inflicting a wound. Through his mild satire he tries to correct the society. Thought his contemporaries like Pope, Dryden and Defoe were also satirist, but they were personal in their satire. For example: Pope’s Rape of the Lock and Dunciad; another instance of personal satire is Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel. But like them Addison does not satirizes anything that is a serious defect of mankind.

Shelley: As Romantic

Wordsworth and shelley have point in common. They unlike the contemporaries intellectualized nature; their music, each glorius in its own way is set to transcedental language. They are not merely poets of nature, they are prophets of nature, they are concerned less to depict than to explain less to marvel at her beauty than to exhul at its inner significance. They are ever oving from external fact to the idea. If wordsworth and shelley have a common end in viw their way of achieving that end is sufficiently distinctive.

Classical Mythology: Keats

The odes embody the single final achievement of Keats. The “Ode to Nightingale” personifies the very spirit of Old Romance. It is “The most voluptuous and passionate in emotion.” The idea of intoxication in the first stanza is associated with the idea of poetic inspiration on the second stanza. Classical mythology comes to Keats’ service and he refers to “blushful Hippocrence” ir Mount Helicon sacred to the Muses. The Lovely image of Ruth is brought in, in connection, with the song of Nightingale. The poet says that she too must have heard the song Nightingale:

Mar 24, 2011

Nineteen Eighty Four: Orwell- Horrible Society

As a social writer, Orwell was interest in the society that infected the man. He was not interested in the type of the novel developed by Joyce, Virgina Woolf, Conard and Lawrence. Therefore, it is not proper at all to condemn him on account of his lack of psychology. He has a very great moral, as he himself remarks: “I wrote a book because there is some lie that want to expose.” His novel Nineteen Eighty Four is a nightmarish picture of the future world, as Randal Stevenson Remarks: “The novel is a horrible picture of the future world in which automated individual will live miserably under the totalitarian dictatorship”.

Mar 23, 2011

The Ars Poetica: Horace

“If in a picture, Piso, you should see
A handsome woman with a fish’s tale
Or a man’s head upon a horse’s neck
or limbs of beasts of the most different kinds
covered with feathers of all sorts of birds
would you not laugh, and thinks the painter mad?”

The Ars Poetica is a celebrated work of Horace who lived in the first century B.C. during the Augustan Age which is known as the golden period of the Roman literature. Horace was a younger contemporary of Virgil and stands almost equal to him in the realm of poetry.

Mar 22, 2011

The Duchess of Malfi: A Revenge Play

The earliest writer of the tragedy in English language, Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton, fastened on a story of revenge for their Gorboduc, which first produce in 1561. Since than for next sixty years revenge continued to be one of the popular theme for the dramatic representation and it is pointed out that Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi is a revenge play. We shall analyze this line of argument with the help of Senecan Model--a model for the revenge tragedy.

Twelfth Night: As a Romantic Comedy

Twelfth Night is a typical Shakespearean romantic comedy written about the time as Julies Ceaser, perhaps at the same time. Shakespeare borrowed this romantic comedy form Bandello’s The History of Apolonius and Silla. Music and love, drinking and jollity, practical jokes and a riot of laughter are also a part of the play. It is so romantic that not one, not two characters are in love but the whole atmosphere is full of love. The Duke is love sick and is in love with Olivia. Viola falls in love with the Duke and she inwardly wanted to marry him; both, Malvolio and Sir Andrew are in love with Olivia and wanted to marry her; whereas Olivia is in love with Cesario--- disguise in Viola, thinking him to be a man---- but she mistakes Sebastian for Cesario and gets hurriedly married to him. We are also told that sir Toby is married to Maria.

Mar 21, 2011

Arnold: As a Critics

Introduction: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), the Victorian poet and critic, was 'the first modern critic' [1], and could be called 'the critic's critic', being a champion not only of great poetry, but of literary criticism itself. The purpose of literary criticism, in his view, was 'to know the best that is known and thought in the world, and by in its turn making this known, to create a current of true and fresh ideas', and he has influenced a whole school of critics including new critics such as T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, and Allen Tate. He was the founder of the sociological school of criticism, and through his touchstone method introduced scientific objectivity to critical evaluation by providing comparison and analysis as the two primary tools of criticism. Arnold's evaluations of the Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Keats are landmarks in descriptive criticism, and as a poet-critic he occupies an eminent position in the rich galaxy of poet-critics of English literature.

Mar 17, 2011

Meghdootam: Kalidasa

Meghdootam is a great tribute to the richness of Indian classical poetry in general, and Kalidasa’s genius in particular, who is known as “Shakespeare of India”. Belonging to the tradition of Duta-Kavyam, Meghdootam is a love poem, natural poem, and romantic poem, besides being a social document. The poem also shows Kalidasa’s knowledge of Indian landscape and geography; and ritual prescribed in those days. One is astonished to find, romanticism and classicism, rational and physical, spiritual and emotional are going nicely with each other. An overtly, the subject matter is bound in Mandakranta meter--- a lyrical quality.

Eve of St Agnes: Keats

“The Eve of St. Agnes” was composed between 18 January and 2 February, the following time Keats concentrated on “Hyperion”. He did not think high of the poem but the poem has its own beauty and is one of the glorious creations of Keats. It has its origin same in the sense of exquisite with that Isabella is born. The story of “The Eve of St. Agnes” is based on a tradition ritual mentioned in Burton’s “Anatomy and Melancholy”. Keats refashioned the legend of St. Agnes and blended it with romantic effect. Real excellence of the poem lies in its beautiful images and phrases. There is a sweet elfin music that runs through the texture of the poem. Numbness chill, bitter frost, rising storm, the moon peeping through the window adds mush of the beauty of the wild scenes. The atmosphere of the poem is typically that of Middle Ages.

Mar 15, 2011

Touchstone Method: Arnold

"Poetry is interpretative by having natural magic in it,
and moral profundity".

Touchstone Method is a short quotation from a recognized poetic masterpiece ‘The Study of Poetry’ (1880), employed as a standard of instant comparison for judging the value of other works. Here Arnold recommends certain lines of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton as touchstones for testing ‘the presence or absence of high poetic quality’ in samples chosen from other poets.

Psychology and Form: Burke

The application of Freudian psychoanalytical technique began to be practiced in the works of art in the twentieth century; the psychoanalytical approach is basically reader-oriented. The chief aim of this approach is to reveal the true content of a literary work lay relating its elements to the unconscious determinants. Burke, read, Northrop Fry and Carl Jung are among those critics who applied this approach in their criticism to literature. Burke begins by saying that a psycho-analytical critic believes in the principle that a writer builds his from through the effect on audience. He uses his contents as pieces of information, which he places one upon the other in ascending order. The reader moves from one fact to the other.

Mar 14, 2011

Loneliness: Of Mice and Men- Steinbecks

During the great Depression (1930s-1940s) in america, where nobody had enough to eat, a lot of migrant workers went to california, searching for a job. In this time it seemed that everybody is afraid of everybody. John Steinbecks novel, Of Mice And Men, deals with the issue of loneliness. The three most lonely persons in this novel are Candy, the oldest person on the farm. Crooks, the crippled negro and Cuerly's wife, the only women in the book,who did not even get a name. These three characters are isolated on account of different persons or because of crippled parts of the body. The color of the skin, crippleness or jealous people can be the reason for loneliness.

Future Utopia: Brave New World- Huxley

The term dystopia ("bad place") has recently come to be applied to works of fiction,
including science fiction, that represent a very unpleasant imaginary world in which
ominous tendencies of our present social, political, and technological order are
projected into a disastrous future culmination.
—M.H. Abrams in A glossary of Literary Terms

Mar 12, 2011

Satan in Paradise Lost: Milton

Satan, as portrayed by Milton, was a different kind of character in an epic. Accordingly to the strict rules of dramatist art Satan should be a piece of villain but he is the most important character of the poem. The narrative which Milton selected for Paradise Lost is depended for its action on a wicked character rather than hero; but “Paradise Lost exists for one figure that is Satan”, as Abercrombie remarks. Satan has all the heroic qualities, besides being nobility and dignity; he has valour and determination which goes to make him a great hero.

Mar 10, 2011

On the Nature of Things: Lucretius

Lucretius’s only but incomplete work of six volumes, dedicated to Gaius Memmius—a politician and his pupil—edited by Marcus Cicero, is On the Nature of Things which was originally written in Latin language with title De Rerum Natura in hexameter form where one finds the combination of Democritus and Epicurus’s scientific ideas. This philosophical work says “tat um religio potuit suad ere matorum” means evil deeds are done under the power of religion.

Candide: Voltaire

Voltaire’s Candide or Candide, ou’ optimisme (1759) is a short philosophical novel which is a strong criticism of the theory espoused by the German philosopher, Leibniz, that “ours is the best possible of all the words”. The message of the novel is that if one wants to reform the society around him, one should reform oneself; though this world is full of evil yet we should, as Eliot says, “Give sympathies and control”.

Mar 9, 2011

History of ELT

The English ruled over India for more than two hundred years. During this period, they tried their best to perpetuate their rule over this country, and for this, they adopted several means—among such means was the introduction of English in India. It is said that Lord Macaulay was the chief architect in this context and who thinks “the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.” We all know that Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the chief protagonist among those who wanted that English should be taught in Indian schools and colleges. He believed like many others that the knowledge of English could facilitate the possibility of early freedom for India by giving the Indians the knowledge of several democratic and freedom movements aboard.

Mar 7, 2011

Foregrounding: Halliday

“The foreground is part of a view, picture, etc. that is nearest to you when you
 look at it (whereas) Foregrounding is the action of emphasizing something
by means of linguistic devices.” Oxford Dictionary
Halliday defines foregrounding as a part of the functional theory of language, or what cannot be expresses statically is foregrounding, which was introduced by The Prague School (1926) as the feature of stylistics, that is “The branch of knowledge that deals with literary or linguistic style.” 

Mar 5, 2011

Myth of Oedipus

Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of Thebes. After having been married some time without children, his parents consulted the Oracle of Apollo(God of Sun) at Delphi about their childlessness. The Oracle prophesized that if Jocasta should have a son, the son would kill her husband Laius and marry her. In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pinned together so that he could not crawl, and gave the boy to a servant to abandon ("expose") on the nearby mountain. However, rather than leave the child to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the sympathetic servant passed the baby onto a shepherd from Corinth and then to another shepherd.

Character in Prologue to to the Canterbury Tales

The individuality and the typicality of the Pilgrim’s Inn in The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales has been recognized by all critics. Chaucer’s pilgrims have another quality about the,. They embody universal traits of human nature, which are basic and permanent to human beings, thus, Chaucer’s characters are type, individual and universal, all at the same time.

Fancy as a mode of satire in Swift

Satire seems to have begun as a magical abuse purporting, like a curse, to wreck effective harm on the victim. Such attacking literature using invective as its main weapon would now be styled ‘Lampoon’ rather than satire. On the other hand when, as in the case of Swift, methods of stylistic caricature ad farcical content to predominate that malice and morality tend to melt away in the mockery. Swift started working on the book Gulliver’s travels apparently around the 1720 when the idea was advanced in Scriblerus Club of which he was a member. It was to have been incorporated in “Memoirs of Scriblerus”. It has the advantage of being a book interest to adults because of its satire on man and his institutions and to children because of its fantasy.

Mar 4, 2011


Swap Your Knowledge Here!

People are talking and writing about Literarism in schools, universities, and lots of other places around the world. Are you? - So check out what other people think and share your thoughts with them.

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Mar 3, 2011

Emile :Rousseau

Second to Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Emile is the philosophical book on education which needs to be first examined that is why, as Geraint Parry cries, “In Emile, he produces an account of an education that is designed to allow persons to live an honest life even when surrounded by the pressures of a corrupt society. It shows Rousseau’s target was to present his Philosophy through this titanic creation, which messages: 

“Why we should build our happiness on the opinions of other
when we can find it in our hearts”.

Locale of RK Narayan

Just as Hardy immortalized his Wessex, Narayan has succeeded in giving a permanent place to his malgudi in Indian English Fiction. But the inhabitants of Malgudi have their recognizable locale trappings—are essentially human, nad hence, have their kinship with all humanity. In Swami and Friends, Malgudi is neither village nor city but a town of modest size. The River Sarayu flows by its side. One can get board the train for Madras at the Malgudi Station. Within the town there is the Market Road, which is described as “the life line of Malgudi” in Mr. Sampath. This road intersects the Race Course Road (we often pass through it in The Dark Room). There are various streets and lanes: Kabir Street and Kabir Lane, Anderson Lane, Sarayu Street.

Mar 2, 2011

Mythical Method in The Waste Land: Eliot

The design of the He do the Police in Different Voices, well known as The Waste Land is mythic that it conceives and takes final shape from the perspective of the poet as sheer. Eliot was considers as mythic poet not because he uses a known myth for the skeletal structure of the poem but because his artistic point of view is always formed by mythic perspective. Mythic conscious conceive a real world as unified, individual and self-contained despite apparent contradiction in both the universe and human affairs. The profane world of illusion which an ordinary man thinks to be real is not more than “a broken bundle of mirrors”--- in words of Pound, a fragrant that never cohere.

Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness

It is impossible to define a feminine practice of writing, and this is an
impossibility  that will remain, for this practice will never be theorized,
 enclosed, encoded-which doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
-HELENE CIXOUS, "The Laugh of the Medusa"

Feminist criticism has gradually shifted its center from revisionary readings to a sustained investigation of literature by women. Showalter starts her essay with the poem of LOUISE BOGAN, "Women” which opens with the lines:
“Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
To eat dusty bread.

Mar 1, 2011

Morte D’Arthur: Malory

The one fifteenth century author of the first rank, above referred to, is Sir Thomas Malory (the a is pronounced as in tally). He is probably to be identified with the Sir Thomas Malory who during the wars in France and the civil strife of the Roses that followed was an adherent of the Earls of Warwick and who died in 1471 under sentence of outlawry by the victorious Edward IV. And some passing observations, at least, in his book seem to indicate that if he knew and had shared all the splendor and inspiration of the last years of medieval chivalry, he had experienced also the disappointment and bitterness of defeat and prolonged captivity. Further than this we know of him only that he wrote 'Le Morte D’Arthur' and had finished it by 1467.


Christopher Isherwood’s home is in “the canyon” on the edge of Santa Monica, California—a quiet bohemian district of stucco houses inhabited mostly by people involved in the arts. It preserves much of the character it must have had thirty years ago when it first became a haven for refugees from the vast sprawl of Los Angeles. But Demon Change is just around the corner. In 1973 Santa Monica is being Miamified. Pallid apartment blocks with factitious names (Highland Glen, Sunset Towers) are rising all around, and the coastline is dominated by fat piles of concrete.

Johnson's Comment on Paradise Lost

Johnson’s critical limitations are most clearly seen in his criticism of Paradise Lost. He was prejudiced against Milton on political grounds. He was allergic to the Republicanism. His argument that the poet had no regular hours for prayer though he made Adam and Eve pray clearly indicated his mind not accepting the indisputable scholarship of Milton. He, with hesitations accepts Paradise lost as an epic though Milton was not the first attempt such he has his own reservation about the grand style of the epic. His criticism that the mixing up of the supernatural and the human cannot be justified as the same happens in every epic.


The leaders of early settles of New England were seeking to build a vigorous and virtuous state. They believed that for this purpose it was essential to give sound instruction to political, social and economic issues and also to convey religious tools for such instructions. But writing merely for the sake of pleasure seemed to them a dangerous waste of time. That’s why their writers left us no novels or drama.

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