is thesis , relativism is antithesis while perspectivism is synthesis. An object is known from different points of view.
is that which depends on sound for meaning and sacrifices sense to aural effects. Example: Edith Sitwell’s ‘Facade’;Hopkins uses melopoeic and onomatopoeic devices;
‘O of seven hues in white elision,
the radii of your silver gyre
are the seven swords of vision
that spoked the prophets’ flaming tyre;
their sistered stridencies ignite
the spectrum of the poet’s lyre
whose unison becomes a white
revolving disc of stainless fire,
and sights the eye of that sole star
that, in the heavy clods we are,
the kindred seeds of fire can spy,
or, in the cold shell of the rock,
the red yolk of the phoenix-cock
whose feathers in the meteors fly.
deals with moral and philosophical points through an absurd plot. A giant corpse keeps growning.
Absurdity has been defined as futility of existence,preposterousness of man in an immense universe.Absurdist playwrights believe that man is inhabiting a universe which is out of key, that man is obscurely stationed in this world, that he is bewildered and confused due to his uncertain position. This idea sprang from
1. horrors of WW11which
– exposed many flaws of human nature
– uprooted man
– highlighted man’s bloodthirsty nature
– shook the validity of institutions
– made human existence dubious
– highlighted arbitrariness and meaninglessness of
everything man strives for.
2. Threat and fear of nuclear annihilation which stressed vulnerability of human
3. disappearance of religion .
4. Biblical concepts regarding fragility of life.
The theatre of the absurd makes us realise the ultimate reality, awakens us from slumber, shows our limitations to confront mystical experiences, urges us to get out of our comfortable position, to look beyond the daily cycle of bread and butter and look beyond hideous conventions and customs, and look beyond our blurred/myopic vision.
It produces distrust of language, deplores that language had become a tool of stereotyped exhanges, words had failed to convey complexities of life/ experience.
It condemns conventional language as barrier between us and reality.it subverts logic, shatters unrealistic ideas. It is a lyrical statement, like music, communicating atmosphere and archetypal situations. It presents poetical images, light and movement, visual experience, abstract scenic effects. It draws upon mime, ballet, acrobatics, conjuring, early talkies.
is stress on syllable within a word while emphasis is stress on word in a sentence.
favours well-defined imagery; rejects symbolism.
AESTHETICS and aestheticism.
Aesthetics is study of principles of value-judgements.
Croce believes that far from being a product of reflection, logic or skill, art is spontaneous imaginative form, that the effect of art is intuition.
Aestheticism is reverence for beauty , a theory of aesthetic autonomy, the idea that art is terminal value and that aesthetic considerations are independent of morality, that moral ugliness can be transformed into art, as Falstaff is compounded of intemperance, Macbeth of infidelity, Shylock of illiberality and Othello of injustice.
This doctrine revolts against Philistine practical environment and didacticism; it favours sensory and emotive pleasure, harmony and inner sense, disinterestedness, aesthetic remoteness. Protesting against rationalist stress on balance, proportion, adherence to rules of composition, it stresses that art plays a significant role in life and contributes to understanding of the world , that unlike reason which uses abstract concepts, art produces concrete insight into reality and makes it available to direct apprehension .It is against prudery and hypocrisy of bourgeois morality, utilitarianism and slavery of sentimentality and subject-matter. It claims that artists are unique; and it complains that artists suffer psychically and economically.
The matrix of this doctrine is located in Kant’s triadic division of human capacities and functions-cognitive faculty of understanding, moral faculty of conscience, and aesthetic faculty of taste and sensibility.
It originated in France in late 19th century as a protest against complexity, fragmentation, specialization, divisiveness and divergence, disintegration of cohesive organismic holistic structures of life in the wake of scientific and industrial revolutions. According to Iredell Jenkins, it is both a battle cry and a creed. According to James Whistler, it is based on the view: “Nature contains the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music”.
T.S.Eliot states that the literariness of literature is judged by aesthetic criteria but greatness is judged by extra-aesthetic criteria.
Separation between reader and work of art; awareness of formal unreality of art.
Use of second or ulterior meaning , extended metaphor, series of related symbols, making the abstract concrete to expound a concept , using actions , characters, places as vehicles of abstract or moral significance.
Allegory is a contrapuntal technique , a structure of images and not disguised ideas. Blake defines poetry as allegory addressed to intellectual powers. Allegory is a symbolic mode encoding oblique multiple meaning; it uses personification and iconographic devices , draws upon inner consciousness , practical wisdom and system of values , correlates literal meaning with an external frame of reference, creates a realm of mystic knowledge beyond the semantic barrier.
Allegory takes us beyond the literalness of words towards unity , embracing political dreams of universal brotherhood and intellectual dreams of organised knowledge; it converts physical universe into a symbol, expresses interplay of microcosm and macrocosm, images permanence in flux. Great art is allegorical for it has a larger meaning than surface meaning.
Allegory clothes conceptual skeletals, personifies concepts, turns propositions into events, turns states of mind into places, and turns moral problems into a quest. Allegorical characters, events and parts correspond to a system of ideas.
Allegory is a narrative in which characters stand for abstract ideas; it describes inner conflicts, the clash between the rash and restrained parts of personality.
In allegory , literal events contain sustained reference to a simultaneous structure of other events/ideas. Allegory is not mere substitution of one action/subject for another but a correspondence between literal and metaphorical levels.
Religions have a large allegorical content. Allegory is a development from exegesis (explication of Biblical passages to develop spiritual and theological significance in the literal events of Biblical history).
Allegory elucidates, make divine or universal mysteries accessible to human understanding. In literary allegory , the relation of literal to other levels is complex and shifting; the writer explores difficult concepts, and searches for proper mode of expression. The definitive feature of an allegory is its consistent reference to a secondary scheme, the two levels following the same structure of progression.
The basic technique of moral allegory is personification of abstract ideas. Blake’s allegory is based on an individual mythological system requiring personal information. Mention may be made of Dante’s Divine Comedy of 13th c., Piers Plowman, 14th c. ,Moby Dick, T.F.Powys-Mr. Weston’s Good Wine, Dryden-Absalom and Achitophel, Orwell-Animal Farm, Swift- Gulliver’s Travels,
A Tale of a Tub,
The Devil and Tom Walker (Temptation of a greedy man) Bunyan- The Pilgrim’s Progress, Plato’s allegory of –the world as a dark cave of shadows
-ideal forms as the world of daylight
Shelley- Prometheus Unbound.
In The Castle and in The Trial, Kafka presents man as caught up in a closed world. E. M. Forster’s The Celestial Omnibus is an allegorical tale in which literary writers drive a bus to the mountain of materialism and snobbishness. St. Augustine’s allegory of the city of God and the city of man. Medieval allegory assimilates mythical and pagan attributes to moral and mystical framework. The biblical Song of Songs allegorises hierogamy between divine and human partners.
Alliteration, assonance, consonance are sound devices.
is memorable and pleasing repetition of sound in two or more words, usually of initial consonants. Old English verse is alliterative. With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause and renew. (Owen’s Exposure)
Life’s fitful fever.
Austrian army awfully arrayed.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Fluttering floating flakes
Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces. (Flakes are sinister for bringing deathly cold to exposed soldiers)
Bred by bishop’s bread. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew
Seasick spindrift drifts or skips.
Alliteration creates mood , imparts musical quality , reinforces meaning , stresses words, unifies lines.
Repetition of initial sounds is initial / head rhyme while that of internal sounds is hidden alliteration called
1) Assonance- repetition of a vowel sound in stressed syllables with dissimilar consonant sounds-The western wave was all aflame.
Repetition of i-sound in:
The light was white and shining.
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time.
When thou sighest, thou sighest not wind,
But sighest my soul away
When thou weepest unkindly kind,
My life’s blood doth decay.
Repetition of o-sound in—
A host of golden daffodils.
11) consonance- repetition of similar final consonantal sounds in stressed syllables with dissimilar vowel sounds, -reverse of assonance
A frightful fiend doth close behind
is reference of literary , biblical , historical, mythological kind
The lash (tyranny)
A Vulcan guarding the flames (father tending winter fire)
AMBIQUITY or plurisignation or device of multiple choice.
It is richness of meaning , delicacy and compression of thought, intricacy sustained by multiple meanings, multivalence, complex structure , veiled utterance , an ontological category between the natural and the supernatural.
Pejoratively, it is violation of correspondence between reasoning process and reality, failure at truth , failure in communication, ineptitude, excessive brevity, deliberate obscurity.
Since knowledge has no limit , ambiguity is an integral part of human experience. Artists favour multivalenced resonance, cross-references, paradoxes for joining together different worlds. In the Einsteinian world, matter has dissolved into energy, time is a geometric projection and the motion of charged particles is unpredictable. This has given rise to ambiguity as aesthetic principle , use of conjuctive principles of correspondence and contrariety, conjoining of different categories of analysis , language, mind and reality; reappraisal of the meaning of history and human culture, cultural relativity and epistemological quandary, bewildering diversity of categories of thought , multiplicity of meaning. The complexity of experience demands saying more than one thing at a time, exploration of perception and attention-span, realignment.
Pindar records theophanies at religious games. The political success of Augustan Rome did not prevent the poet from longing for the other world; the withdrawal of Virgil as Dante’s guide means that reason is not the governing principle. Hamlet’s madness is multivalent:he is under house arrest, he wishes to spy and prowl, rejects revenge as negative and wild justice, wishes to purge revenge of passion and anger , seeks proof of Claudius’s guilt ;his double role of victim and scourge requires premeditation ; he confronts the problems of God’s will, limits of reason , purpose of knowledge. Along with the stage drama, we have drama in Hamlet’s mind; internalizing soliloquies suspend action and produce infinite regress.
Frost’s line “And miles to go before I sleep” means
1) I have a long way to ride.
2) I have many more things to do before the end of my life.
is point by point comparison between two dissimilar things to clarify the less familiar one. A detailed similarity between things otherwise different: human life and journey by sea.
In Life on the Mississipi , we have Mark Twain’s analogy between a book and the river. Those unschooled in the lore of the river are exposed to great challenges and complexities.
is rhetorical repetition of words or sentences in successive lines to intensify an effect or heighten the impact. The following extract uses anaphora to convey disillusionment with government promises-
“Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country, now overrun by whites. Good words will not give me back my children. Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying. Good words will not get my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves.”
is arrangement of opposing elements to heighten contrast.
is a brief statement that expresses a truth about life. It is often humorous and pointed.
Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
Says Emerson: trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string.
APPRECIATION AAND SCHOLARSHIP.
Appreciation is understanding through personal intuition and subjective approach while scholarship is collection of facts, generalization of laws and the use of scientific and historical method.
is an associative cluster , a communicable unit ,a complex variable and not a sign, a symbol connecting one poem with another.
Archetypes are symbols seen in terms of dreams, myths and rituals; archetype is an original pattern from which copies are made; the Platonic idea of a horizontal surface propped by vertical supports is the archetype of all tables; we have archetypes of revenge play and of Oedipal situation; the formula for plot structure—
1) conflict/ complication
2) crisis / peripety
3) resolution/ denouement
coincides with the archetypal pattern-
2) initiation / quest / exile/ descent/ death
3) return / ascent / rebirth.
Unlike personal unconscious comprising personal side of psychic life, collective unconscious consists of universal images or archetypes. Archetypes are psychic contents not submitting to conscious elaboration except in esoteric teaching. To primitives who mythologise seasons and phases of the moon as allegories of experience or expressions of psychic drama, the course of the sun represents the fate of a hero or god dwelling in human soul. Klaus assimilated archetypal image of Christ in bearskin to formulate the idea of trinity. Virgin Birth, decorating Christmas tree and hiding Easter eggs are archetypal images. Like all numinous contents, archetypes cannot be rationally integrated.
According to Frye, the human cycle of waking-dreaming corresponds to the natural cycle of light-darkness. While the ritual combines the human with the natural, art combines desire and circumstance. While popular literature appeals to inertia of the untrained mind , literary works reflect values. Criticism treats the divine as a character or human artifact and explains epiphanies as mental dreamlike phenomena, interprets and systematizes the vision of the artist.
Literature has converging patterns of significance .The search for archetypes is literary anthropology. Archetypes are unifying categories of criticism. Mythical characters envision a community beyond indifferent nature. In comedy, the hero represents the reader’s wish-fulfilment while the tragic hero is an isolated man with archetypes of a heath, a wilderness or a sinister forest. Shakespeare recreates archetypal form in the grave-digger’s scene in HAMLET: an intricate verbal texture ranging from puns of first clown to Yorick soliloquy, images of corruption and decay, nature myths.
Wheelwright laments the impairment of response to poetry in the modern era and the reduction of myth to an archaism. He states that transcendental forces peer through the cracks of the universe and the mythical consciousness cuts across the empirical dimension. He asserts that myth is a part of the cognitive activity of every culture for expressing primordial way of knowing, that mytho-religious perspective involves a rediscovery of unchangeable conditions of human insight and blessedness, that Descartes denuded nature of human significance and tried to build history out of an unhistorical present. The primitive community mind comprises living persons as well as ancestral ghosts and souls of things. According to chthonic concept, violation of moral code , murder, incest offend ancestral ghosts. The rhythmic succession of guilt and expiation expresses Greek sense of a pulsating nature. Aeschylean drama inspires religious awe to make the audience aware of transcendental forces. Shakespeare stresses the harmony between love and universal passion throbbing through nature, uses plague, tempest and portents as symbols of murder of Duncan/ Caesar. The loss of sense of transcendental significance in human affairs has resulted in the death of tragedy.
is thoughts going on in the speaker’s mind; statement not audible to other characters but directed at audience.
Words are loaded with shades of meaning/ feelings. Associations make words attractive , induce cannotations, and prompt reactions.
Blood- red sun suggests something dangerous / sinister . Richard Eberhart uses the word ‘daisies’ which is associated with children to describe a dead lamb and so creates an effect of unpleasantness:
I saw on the slant hill a putrid lamb
Propped with daisies.
Emotional quality engendered by the setting.
is the age of Queen Anne.
is a poem telling a story in simple language. The ballad metre is quatrains of alternating 4-stress and 3-stress lines, usually iambic, first and third lines are longer than second and fourth..Written ballad deals with topical events while oral ballad was transmitted from minstrel to minstrel over centuries, and remade in the process during performance, dealing unusually with subject –matter, using action and dialogue.
Ballads deal with adventure love, travel, war
-are direct and fast moving
-contain brief and telling details.
In Keats’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci, terrible bleakness is conveyed by the refrain-
And no birds sing.
Baroque is a term derived from Portuguese barroco for the irregular odd-shaped pearl brought from Goa in 16th century, French term baroco for bizarre, scholastic syllogism-
Every fool is stubborn. Some people are not stubborn. Hence some people are not fools. French professors were ridiculed as sophists in baroco.
Baroque art is marked by ornamental extravagance, artistic perversion, whimsicality and lack of harmony, Gothic sentimentalism, florid architecture of Counter –Reformation in Italy, Germany and Spain.
Ancient Roman baroque had more mood than visual imagination.
Baroque is associated with bombast, involved style, ingenious conceits, morbid sensual mysticism, strong emotions and gestures. Nietzsche regards baroque as a recurrent phenomenon in history occurring when art declines into rhetoric and theatricality. After First World War, Germans admired even grotesque and tortured forms of baroque.
Baroque philosophers include Spinoza, Leibnitz, Berkeley. Baroque is now used for all manifestations of 17th c. civilization. This term was transferred to literature in 19th c. The difference between Renaissance and baroque is illustrated by the difference between Ariosto and Tasso. Shakespeare shows baroque tendencies in VENUS AND ADONIS and RAPE OF LUCRECE: atectonic asymmetrical style, abundance of minor characters, unsymmetrical grouping, varying emphasis on different acts. His MACBETH has been called baroque with an ellipse formed by
2) realm of darkness
and weird sisters at focal points. Tasso and Marino are baroque. An anthology of German baroque poetry appeared in 1921. Spanish literature from Guevara (early 16th c) to Calderon (late 17thc) is baroque. French classicism is a variant of baroque: pathos, morbidity, tension between religion and sensuality. Rabelais is early baroque. Pope’s RAPE OF THE LOCK is rococo ; English pulpit oratory from Latimer to Jeremy Taylor and the works of Ben Jonson and Phineas Fletcher are baroque. So is 17th c. English poetry with its tension between spiritualism and sensualism. Dryden’s heroic tragedies are baroque like his translation of Chaucer in FABLES. Milton has been called the most hispanized baroque poet of 17th c. Sylvester’s translation of DU BARTAS and Thomas Burnetts THEORY OF THE EARTH are baroque. Donne represents literary baroque. Austin Warren’s book on Crashaw is sub-titled: a study in baroque sensibility. Bunyan is also baroque.
Tucker Brooke labels the prose of Donne, Thomas Browne, James Howell ‘baroque glory’. Tillyard describes Milton’s epistolary prose as baroque. Jacobean literature is baroque.
Baroque is an aesthetic term for post Renaissance and pre-classical works expressing convulsed soul struggling with language, lyricism struggling with antithesis and catachreses, the distance between word and thing, content and form, the difficulty of translation from intention to experience , precious cultist style, the insufficiency of linguistic expression.
References: Allen Benham’s THE MYTH OF DONNE THE RAKE 1941; Martin Briggs’s BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE 1913; J.Isaacs’s BAROQUE AND ROCOCO, A HISTORY OF TWO CONCEPTS 1937; Hans Kettler’s BAROQUE TRADITION IN THE LITERATURE OF GERMAN ENLIGHNTENMENT 1943; James Mark’s THE USES OF THE TERM BAROQUE 1938; Louis Martz’s THE POETRY OF MEDITATION; M.M.Mahood’s MILTON THE BAROQUE ARTIST 1950; Joseph Mazzeo’s A CRITIQUE OF SOME MODERN THEORIES OF METAPHYSICAL POETRY 1953; Lowry Nelson’s BAROQUE LYRIC POETRY 1961; Marcel Raymond’s BAROQUE AND RENAISSANCE POETIQUE 1955; Corrado Ricci’s BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE IN ITALY 1912; Geoffrey Scott’s THE ARCHITECTURE OF HUMANISM; Scheverell’s SPANISH BAROQUE ART 1931 and GERMAN BAROQUE SCULPTURE 1938;
BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME.
Beautiful means easy beauty achieved out of tractable material, as comedy masters the ugly ; sublime means difficult beauty having intricacy, tension and width, transporting instead of convincing, as tragedy gives expressive form to the painful.
Unrhymed five-foot iambic line having flexibility; close to speech rhythm but stylized enough in regularity;
It was the favourite metre of Elizabethans and Shakespeare. But the witches (Macbeth) and fairies (A Mid summer Night’s Dream) speak in trochees rather than iambs. It was introduced by Earl of Surrey, used by Sackville and Norton in Gorboduc, by Spenser in Faerie Queene, by Milton in Paradise Lost, by Wordsworth in Tintern Abbey and in the Prelude , by Tennyson in The Princess, by Browning in The Ring and the Book, by Frost in Birches and in The death of the Hired Man, and by Edwin Robinson in Amarnath.
now survives as revue. Examples: Villiers ‘ THE REHEARSAL, Henry Carey’s attack on operas in THE DRAGON OF WANTLEY and attack on contemporary dramatic technique in CHRONONHOTONTHOLOGOS, W.S. Gilbert’s ROBERT THE DEVIL, Fielding’s THE HISTORICAL REGISTER FOR THE YEAR 1736.
is exemplified by hero of first two cantos of Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, hero of ‘Turkish Tales’, hero of last two cantos , rebel of ‘Cain’. Derived from Biblical Cain, Gothic Villain, Milton’s Satan, Marlowe’s Faustus, mythological Prometheus, noble outlaw, child of nature, Mrs.Radcliffe’s Schedoni.
means:seize the day i.e. enjoy yourself before youth passes away; but there is an undertone of melancholy also.
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero:
Seize the day for there is little trust to be put in the future-
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying.
Present mirth hath present laughter ;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
is misapplication of a word .
Says Milton: blind mouths.
is a line omitting last syllable. Brachycatalectic is a line with two syllables missing while hypercatalectic is a line with one or two syllables in excess.
Catharsis is release of emotion by the fate of tragic hero.
– group of 17th c. lyric poets
– carew, Herrick, Lovelace, Suckling, Waller
Celtic revival and twilight .
Celtic revival is interest in Celtic culture and literature after 18th c. antiquarianism.
Thomas Gray- The Bard 1757
Evans- Some Specimens of the Poetry of Ancient Welsh Bards 1764
Charlotte Guest- The Mabinogion 1838
Eugene O’Curry’s lecture on Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History
James Macpherson’s Ossian poems
Thomas Peacock’s The Misfortunes of Elphin 1829
Hopkin’s St. Winifred’s Well 1885
Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.
Shadowy vision of Celtic myth and legend to supply Ireland with romantic past; suggestion of remote heroic times through dream, shadow and legendary figure; *19th century writers’ creation of an unreal world more beautiful than the real; Yeats’s The Wanderings of Oisin 1889.
CLASSICISM AND NEO-CLASSICISM .
According to Cazamian, English national mind rhythmically oscillates between setiment and intellect, romanticism and classicism; whereas romanticism is Hebraism/Dionysianism/celebration of instinct/primitive nature, classicism is Hellenism /Apollonianism/celebration of reason /culture. We have Greek classicism , French classicism which derived inspiration from Rome and was exemplified by Corneile, La Fontaine, Moliere, Pascal, Racine, Rochefoucauld and reached climax in 17th c when Boileu codified it in Art Poetique 1674;French classicism is set against the unclassical background of baroque culture and reflects aristocratic society ; German classicism derived inspiration from Rome and was exemplified by Herder , Goethe, Lessing, Kant, Schiller and Voss; it was ushered in by Winklemann; it lays stress on organic unity /universal culture; contains strain of romanticism because of awareness of contrast between its ideals and its age. English classicism, exemplified by Addison, Dryden, Johnson, Steele, Shaftsbury, Swift and Pope, was nourished by Locke’s rationalism and was an expression of middle class mentality; stressed reason/ correctness rather than grandeur / dignified restraint.
The word CLASSICUS (excellent) was used in 2nd c. by Gellius of Rome; in England CLASSICISM was used for the first time in 1831 by Carlyle in ESSAY ON SCHILLER; classical means Greek and Roman, academic and conventional; model of excellence, perfection and authority; pejoratively , it means observing rules and imitating ancients. Homer, Dante and Shakespeare are classical although they do not strictly follow rules; so the concept of classicism has been broadened.
French classicism is represented by the 17th c. age of Corneille, Racine, Moliere and Pascal. English classicism is represented by the age of Queen.Anne; it is derived from Ben Jonson and Italian formulation of Aristotelian and Horatian theory in late 15th and early 16th c.
Classicism is rooted in the idea that tradition and organization are valuable, man is intrinsically limited; classicism favours purity, permanence, just proportion , preponderance of reason, restraint and universality; focus on form and worldliness; severe and serene control of emotions, tendency toward point of stillness; it has been called counterpart of political tyranny.
Classicism is seeking standards in great works of the past. It is marked by
-clarity and urbanity,
– economy of means
-elegance and simplicity.
In music it is embodied in the works of Haydn and Mozart. Architectural classcism is modelled on Parthenon, the harmony of proportions and unbroken horizontal.
Neoclassicism is a perversion of classical spirit for its stress on blind imitation of classical rules and techniques, staleness, mannerism and unreality; 20th c. neoclassicism is escapist and academic reaction against pop art ; it is exemplified by electronic music, concrete poetry.
Neoclassicism belongs to last half of 17th c and first half of 18th c. , the period of quiescence and consolidation after a spate of innovation and disorder; Blaise Pascal calls man a thinking reed, T.S.Eliot exalts Dryden in HOMAGE TO DRYDEN 1924 and exalts Pope in WHAT IS A CLASSIC 1945. Neo-classicism is marked by decorum, narrow virtuosity , absence of spontaneity.
Cliche is an expression that has lost forse through overuse- Mad as a March hare.
Climax is turning point in drama or narration, moment of peak intensity/interest
1. This our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
2. Add to your faith , virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance ; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness , brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.
3. Actions approved by the conscience are commended to practice;when practised they become easy and then pleasurable, and are in consequence frequently repeated. But frequent repetition engenders habit; and thus what at first was difficult becomes in time almost a second nature.
Climax is high point of a series of happenings, the point of reader’s highest emotional reaction .Anti-climax occours when the effect decreases at the conclusion; it is introduction of items of inferior importance to spoil the effect of grandeur; descent from sublime to ridiculous.
Spring is the season of hope , of re-awakening, of returning sunshine , of song birds and of cleaning.
I die, I faint, I fail.
He hates death , sickness, pain, poverty.
Terrible as hell, fierce as a lion and dark as night.
He preaches like a saint, speaks like a man but acts like the devil.
He reached the summit and peeled a banana.
Cognition and conation . Cognition is from cognitum (know); process of knowing; mental operation by which we become aware of objects of perception and thought.
Conation is from conatio; one of three divisions of mind , the other two being feeling and cognition; includes desire and volition; every state of mental rest; striving with/ without a conscious goal.
Coherence . Artistic coherence is emotion; philosophical coherence is thinking.
Heresy of Communication and fallacy of communication. Heresy of communication is Cleanth Brooks’s idea that poetry should be instead of communicating, that we should apprehend not merely ideas but total aesthetic experience of the poem. Fallacy of Communication is the term used by Allen Tate for non-poetic ideas, propaganda poetry.
Concept, conception, perception. Concept is mental image; an idea as distinguished from a percept. Conception is from concipere (conceive); intellectual interpretation; abstract/intellectual/universal part of knowing ; function of understanding.
Perception is function of perceiving by the senses; immediate apprehension; apprehension of concrete particulars; includes seeing truth of an axiom.
Concrete Universal. Term used by Wimsatt; a work of art is concrete is so far as it is the sum of its details and universal in so far as its details coalesce into a totality or central abstraction ; a work of art unifies the particular and the universal, though romantics stress particularity, concreteness and texture. Dr.Johnson states that the poet should not count the streaks of the tulip; Aristotle states that poetry is more philosophical / universal than history.
Conflict is struggle between opposing forces; character vs. nature (survival in a snow storm), one person vs. another person (son-father clash), character vs society (attempt to escape punishment ), character vs a supernatural force (mythology) are examples of external conflict. Internal conflict is opposing tendencies in an individual’s make-up (loyalty to family vs reverence for music).
Connotation is emotional response evoked by a word. Home has connotative meaning while house has denotative meaning.
Convention and Revolt. Convention is artistic practice as a substitude for natural or realistic expression. Transition from one period to another is governed by law of rhythmic change. Each stage is marked by craving for novelty and contrast as well as preservation of accumulated capital of previous experiences. In Anglo-Saxon, root vowels and terminations were inflected to show change of tense, number and person; unlike modern English, Anglo-Saxon was synthetic and possessed great freedom in the arrangement of words; words were arranged in accordance with emphasis/ alliteration. Anglo-Saxon poetry was full of staccato phrases, disconnected words in apposition, superimposed interjections, interrupted sequence and abruptness; the normal line was made up of undertermined number of syllables; there was lack of lucidity/ terseness. Norman poets revolted against this prosody and introduced accentual rhythm, aligned themselves with French poets to produce swing/lyricism. From mid-eleventh to mid-14th century, English poetry wavered between alliterative rhythm and rhymed line; this revolt was precipitated by translation of French works; new words gained currency, only essential accentuated syllables survived and inflections were dropped, there was increase in monosyllables.English became analytical and its grammatical complications were simplified. But since the versification derived from France lacked assured prosody, there was return to Anglo-Saxon epic verse, alliterative epithets/synonyms and Teutonic words.There was revolt against court poetry in favour of the soil. And naturalism was a revolt against the looseness/sentimentality of romanticism.
CRITICISM. Formalist criticism was advocated by Cleanth Brooks but even he has budged away from it because critical methods other than the formalistic also contribute to literary understanding, and a literary work is a combination of many elements. Formalists stress that form is meaning (aims at some effect), that literature is ultimately symbolic and metaphorical, that the general and universal is apprehended through the concrete and the particular, that literature is not a surrogate for religion, that literature deals with moral values without pointing out a moral , that critical principles define the area relevant to literary criticism but do not constitute a critical method.
Formalists are against treating characters as characters or as a reflection of the author’s attitude toward life or as examples of prevailing cultural conditions. A character is a function of his appointed role. Literary criticism is concerned not only with description or evaluation but also with the problem of unity, internal consistency , the relation of parts to one another to form a whole. Kenneth Burke stresses that there is a critical qualitative difference between a material object and its name, the nameable and the named, the symbolised and the symbol, the thing tree and the word tree.
Formal criticism begins with an examination of the imagery of a poem-recurring or repeated images forming tonality while isolated, episodic, modulating images relate themselves to this tonality in a hierarchic structure. According to Archibald MacLeish, a poem should not mean but be, should be dumb as old medallions to the thumb, should make its impact on imagination rather than intellect.
Historical Criticism. It is based on the idea that literature is a re-creation of the past, that a literary work should be elucidated in the light of the past, that we should re-create the conditions under which an author worked, that we should make the past present. Taine states that literature springs from three interfusing factors: moment , race, milieu. Hegel states that national literatures are expressions of their societies. Dr.Johnson attributes Shakespearean characteristics to the barbarity of his age. Eliot states that by penetrating the life of another age, we penetrate the life of our own, that each poet’s relation to tradition changes the tradition itself. Trilling states that history involves abstraction and that historical sense is the critical sense. Vico states that Homer composed ILIAD when Greece was young and so delineated pride, anger , vengeance. Since ODYSSEY was composed in old age, Achilles was replaced by Odysseus, Force by Wisdom.
Historical criticism is concerned with sources, biography, intellectual milieu; it interprets literature in its social, economic and political aspects and tends to neglect the work.
Literary Criticism is the study of concerete works of art , including literary theory; its aim is intellectual cognition; it is a systematic knowledge about literature . Rejecting extrinsic methods, Rene Wellek stresses the importance of a system of principles and theory of values (Theory of Literature 1949).
Literary theory is a branch of literary study ; it is study of literary principles, criteria and categories; it is inconceivable without literary criticism and literary history ; it is better than terms like poetics, science of literature, literary scholarship because those terms exclude criticism, evaluation and speculation while the term poetics smacks of prescription and excludes the essay and the novel.
In his ANATOMY OF CRITICISM, Frye defines criticism as a structure of thought and knowledge, rejects literary chit-chat and criticism reflecting the prejudices of the reading public, condemns evaluative judgement as arbitrary, irrational and meaningless history of taste and literary stock exchange.
Dadaism was founded by Tristan Tzara in 1914 in Zurich. This movement was marked by
– stress on nihilism
– protest against logic and social convention
– sound poems
– nonsensical poems
Marcel Duchamps sent toilet bowl for exhibition.
Diction is words used by poets. Archaisms are words resurrected while neologisms are words invented by poets. One of the first things to note about a poem is the effect of diction, including unusual words. Diction
– determines the mood
– gives a poem its character
– is colloquial, down-to-earth, light-hearted
– elevated, lofty, serious
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold.
Didactic Heresy. Term used by Poe; belief that poetry is an instrument of edification; Horace’s Renaissance doctrine that poetry is sweet and useful_dulce et utile.
Dissociation of sensibility. Used by T S Eliot ; absence of integerated sensibility; absence of thought and emotion; Tennyson and Browning suffer from dissociation unlike metaphysicals.
Dramatic monomogue is a poem written as a speech made at some decisive / revealing moment, addressed by the speaker to some other character who remains silent.
End-Stopped and run-on lines. In end-stopped line, the grammatical unit is co-terminous with the line; the line and the sense end together .
In run-on/enjambed line, the grammar and sense are unfinished at the end of line. The reader looks further and has a delightful feeling of expectation.
Epigraph is motto or quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, play, poem; it reveals theme and source for title.
The epigraph of Eliot’s The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock is a quotation from Dante’s Inferno.
Epitaph is inscription on a tombstone/ monument
Epithet is an apt/memorable phrase identifying a person or thing: the innocent.
Existentialism. Philosophy of anguish, liberty and action, individual’s concrete experience, human condition; World War II weakened the hold of rationalism and engendered intellectual climate conductive to awareness of abscure forces. Gabriel Marcel believes that engagement leads to God while Andre Malraux and Albert Camus are on the outer edge of existentialism. Other existentialists are Sartre, Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir; Sartre’s early characters are convinced of agonizing nothingness and live in a lamentable condition of groping after a self somewhere in the future but later characters are rescued by action-Orestes (THE FLIES) and Mathieu (IRON IN THE SOUL).
– is detailed explanation or groundwork for narration
– may be interspread through flashback
– provides background information.
EXPRESSIONISM AND IMPRESSIONISM. The first movement arose in Germany before World War I and ended in 1942; early expressionists found intellectual stagnation in material prosperity of the first decade of 20thc. and felt that naturalists, neo-romanticists and impressionists falsified reality.
Expressionism is based on Bergson’s élan vital and Freud’s theory of subconscious forces; it goes beyond reason and appearance to explore the deeper meaning of reality ; it is based on the view that art is rooted in artist’s feelings and experiences and that artistic creation is an expressive act revealing the artist’s intuition, emotions and attitudes; expressionist style is not descriptive but in the form of a telegram or inarticulate stammer, using parallel or antithetic phrases, presenting man as a machine and mixing reality and super-reality and producing grotesqueness; Kafka is expressionist novelist while Strindberg is expressionist dramatist presenting tableaux and symbolic scenes. Expressionism rejects reality established by appearance and reason and explores meaning through erratic imagination.
Impressionism originated in Germany in revolt against representational conventions; it favours spontaneity and inner vision; it now applies to visionary styles for reflecting the shock of war and industrialization; it is based on the view that art captures ephemeral surface aspects of things, deals with meaning for the mind and not physical structure and reveals the felt quality or total effect of an object , scene or event.
Impressionism was perfected by Rilke, Maeterlinck and Thomas Mann; in their impressionist compositions, Chopin, Debussy, Delius and Schumann deal with the expression of a mood or the suggestion of a scene while Degas, Manet, Monet and Renoir paint things as they appear at any given moment;impressionism favours correspondence between words and characteristics of an object, surrender of personality, total assimilation of an object, exploration of the subtleties of human relationships; it invests naturalistic technique with a new feeling for reality.
Fable is a brief tale illustrating a moral, part of oral literature, has animal characters with human attributes, moral qualities and philosophical positions. Fables of Aesop who was a Greek slave 600 B.C.
Orwell’s allegorical fable Animal Farm
Rachel Carson A Fable for Tomorrow
Fallacy of Expressive Form. The idea that intense feeling/inspiration produces adequate expression, rejection of external criteria.This fallacy has been criticised by Yvor Winters and R P Blackmur.
Affective Fallacy. Confusing what the poem is with what it does; laying stress on psychological effects and neglecting the text; this fallacy leads to relativism/impressionism.
Intentional Fallacy. It is the failure to distinguish between fiction and fact, hypothesis and assertion, imaginative and discursive writing; the notion that the critic should capture the poet’s intention by bringing target and missile into alignment.
Intentional fallacy was propounded by Pope in Essay on Criticism; laying stress on intention of the poet rather than on the poem; judging a work by the writer’s success/failure to achieve his intention; concern with artist’s psyche than with art; this fallacy springs from romantic subjectivism.
Pathetic Fallacy. Termed by Ruskin in Modern Painters; animating the incarnate; investing lifeless objects with human characteristics or feelings without using personification- cruel crawling foam.
The effect is close to personification. This fallacy springs from weak thought and strong feeling.
Kis qadr ehsaas hai qudret ko meray dard ka
Jaagtay rehtay hain taarey raat bbher meray liye.
The spendthrift crocus, bursting through the mould
Naked and shivering, with his cup of gold.
O say, what angry power Elpenor led
To glide in shades, and wander with the dead?
How could thy soul, by realms and seas disjoined,
Outfly the nimble sail and leave the lagging wind?
Fancy and Imagination. Fancy is use of memory and association; correlation of images into metaphor; capricious, remote, blind and arbitrary play of associations. Coleridge calls it associative/aggregative power; interest in collecting than in things collected; Cowley is fanciful.
Imagination is creative /unifying faculty; Milton is imaginative; mental synthesis of new ideas from elements experienced separately; the faculty whereby the soul beholds likenesses of absent things; psychologists call it reproductive power; the faculty of mental creation; productive/constructive power; Glanville states that imagination is apprehension of absent corporeal object while sense apprehends present objects; Shakespeare states_
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Whereas fancy deals with superficial resemblances, imagination deals with deeper truths; Wordsworth states that when imagination frames a comparison, resemblance depends less upon outline of form/feature than upon expression/effect , less upon casual/outstanding than upon inherent/internal qualities; analyzing creative activity, Coleridge issues anti-associationist manifesto; he regards imagination as an active/unifying power independent of fixed associations of memory/experience; imagination dissolves, diffuses, dissipates for re-creating, idealizing and unifying; modifies materials, adapts them to each other and to total poetic effect and harmonises different dramatic characters; imagination not only creates aesthetic harmony but also performs revelatory function; secondary imagination co-exists with conscious will but differs from primary imagination which is merely agent of perception; Coleridge anticipates the hypothesis of collective unconscious by stating that the poet has direct access to a deep store of phyletic experience and the universal which is potentially in each particular not as an abstraction of observation from a variety of men but as a substance capable of endless modifications; the poet superinduces upon forms moral reflections to which they approximate, makes the external internal, the internal external, makes nature thought and thought nature; imagination enables the poet to imitate that which is within a thing, that which is active through form and figure. But it is not always easy to identify imaginative and fanciful structure; Coleridge’s theory of imagination is based on his demand for complexity; Dylan Thomas’s kissproof world is based on incongruous associations with lipstick advertisement; the pun in Lady Macbeth’s desire to gild the grooms’ faces so that it may seem their gilt fancy; Coleridge’s belief in a qualitative difference fails to discriminate that imagination can fail and fancy succeed on some occasions; fancy and imagination cannot be synonymized but they do merge.
Farce is comedy based on concealment devices, mistaken identity, rapid entries and exits.
Feeling, emotion, passion. Feeling is being conscious of a subjective state i.e. state of mind; being conscious instinctively/intuitively/intellectually rather than through actual sensation/experience; sensitive response; emotional rather than intellectual conviction; sensation or complex of sensations; in psychology, feeling is consciousness in general and hence includes sensation, emotion and thought. Emotion is from emovere (e-out, movere-move); strong feeling, agitation of feelings/sensibilities ; any of the states designated as fear, anger, disgust, grief, joy, surprise, yearning; emotive expression is one charged with excitement.
Passion is from passus-suffer; powerful/controlling emotion; depth and vehemence of feeling; intense, high-wrought, violent emotion. According to Aristotle and Spinoza, passion is a state of desire/feeling/emotion representing the influence of what is eternal; opposed to thought and reason, passion is true activity of the human mind.
-advances plot dramatically
– is a conversation, incident, scene at an earlier point or before the
-a character’s recollection.
Foot is a unit of metre, a stressed syllable and one or two unstressed syllables preceding/following it
The four basic feet are –
– iamb (unstressed & stressed)
– trochee (stressed & unstressed )
– anapaest (two unstressed & stressed)
– dactyl (stressed & two unstressed)
Form and Content. Form means linguistic elements; language as aesthetically active factor; that which makes a work literary; shape of thought/feeling/action; selection of elements of content; words/aesthetic structure; making.
Content means experiences, materials, thought, world, meaning derived from experience and observation; aesthetically inactive factor; saying.
Form cannot be separated from content. Aesthetic form consists of complex meanings and a particular unity, is greater than external scheme, is total structural integration, is shaped from within and not imposed from without. The artist assimilates materials into structure, content into form, the world into language, ideas and experiences into polyphonic relations through dynamics of aesthetic purpose. Form ranges from a 2-line poem to a novel in many volumes.
Rene Wellek states that the old distinction between form and content is untenable, that form and content are inseparable because the form or prosodic structure of a poem is nothing without content while content without form is an unreal abstraction, that a work of art must be perceived as a whole. Gestalt suggests synthesis of life and art, biography and criticism. Polish phenomenologist Ingarden states that a work of art is a totality composed of heterogeneous strata. The reduction of a poem to its prose content is called heresy of paraphrase. In spite of a mechanistic concept of form as sum of techniques, procedures, relations between elements, Russian formalists stress that unity of form and content, define form as that which makes a linguistic utterance a work of art, regard content as an aspect of form.
Renaissance and neoclassical theorists define form as elements of verbal composition: diction, imagery, rhythm, metre, structure, doctrine. Marxist criticism separates form and content. Ransom also stresses the dualism of form and content, decoration and message, distinguishes between texture/detail/concrete local life and structure/logical statement about reality. Kenneth Burke combines Marxism/psychoanalysis/anthropology with semantics and has a psychologistic concept of form. Herbert Read distinguishes between organic form (embodiment of words in a form) and abstract form (image, metaphor, word, music, structure, conception). Leavis stresses the unity of verbal values and ethos/emotion. Eliot equates form with content.
Offering an austere ideal of pure poetry, Valery states that although the value of a poem lies in indissolubility of sound and sense, form is a pattern/formalization. He defines a work of art as a closed system in which nothing can be modified, subordinates content to form, defines content as impure form, declares that the material follows, and not precedes, form.
Rejecting both formalism and the idea of an abstractable content, Croce defines form as expression-intuition; being a monistic idealist, he states that form is filled, content is formed, that what is external is not a work of art; he is concerned neither with verbal structure nor with raw material outside art; he equates form with substance or Hegel’s gehalt, stresses the unity of a work of art, distinguishes between poetic rather than empirical personality.
THEORY OF ORGANIC FORM
The concept of organic form, unity in variety, reconciliation of opposites derives from German romantics and Coleridge who-while refuting neoclassical critics’ view of the absence of form in Shakespeare-asserted that a work grows from inspiration (as a plant grows from a seed) and is not fitted into a preconceived mould. Organistic concept of form has biological analogies, turning literary scholarship into a branch of biology and comparing the time scheme of a novel to the skeleton of an animal.
Free verse is a free from conventional restraints of metre regular stress pattern, line-length.
It is printed in broken lines, not continuously like prose but like verse. It is rhythmical with patches of metrical regularity but on the whole it does not consist of regular lines of repeated feet of traditional versification.
Free verse is non-metrical verse, poetry written in irregular lines without regular metre; it reflects untidiness of life; confronting a disorganized world, modern poets disturst regular pattern; it is verse based not on recurrence of stress accent in a measurable pattern but on irregular rhythmic cadence; being an art form, verse cannot be free in the sense of having no limitations or guiding principles.
Free verse has been defended as more natural than regular metre, innately democratic and revolutionary; conventional metres are based on analogies to Greek and Latin quantitative forms and so deform natural speech pattern; free verse springs from refusal to conform to standard prosody; in it measure is loosened to give more play to vocabulary, syntax, excursion of mind.
Free verse expands the bracket of fixed foot into variable foot, bringing freedom and discipline together; it is based on the idea that measure varies with the idiom by which it is employed and the tonality of the individual poem; it favours criteria of effectiveness and expressiveness rather than mechanical syllable counts. ;in 20th c. it has become characteristic form and has been used among others by T.S.Eliot , Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman; it can be traced back to –
I .Greek and Latin art prose.
II. Medieval tropes and sequences.
I II. King James’s translation of PSALMS and SONG OF SONGS.
IV. Milton’s tendency to make verse paragraph rather than the line his
V. Baroque Pindaric ode.
VI. Rhythmical prose of Macpherson’s OSSIAN POEMS.
VII. French symbolism.
VIII. Imagism of pond and T.E.Hulme.
Graveyard School. Mid 18th century; its pioneers were Thomas Gray and Edward Young; concern with death; gloomy scenery. School of Night. In poetry , pure sound is either a fiction or an elementary series of relationships; inherent and rational elements of sound; inherent elements are musicality/euphony/peculiar individuality of sounds independent of quantity; rational elements are basis of rhythm and metre and permit quantitative distinctions like pitch(higher/lower), duration (shorter/longer), stress(stronger/weaker)and frequency (greater/smaller).
Heroic Couplet is the rhyming two iambic pentameters. It is assertive and self-affirming; it is appropriate for argument and narration.
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
Imagery and imagism Imagery means- concrete and figurative details to stimulate senses
– use of language to convey sense impressions,
– creating an experience imaginatively
Images make ideas concrete
– create atmosphere
– establish a pattern in a poem.
Imagism is presentation of small sharp pictures denoting mass, line and colour; this movement flourished 1909-17; first imagist anthology was edited by Ezra Pound; imagism is revolt against loose sentimental poetry of 19th century; its tenets are common speech , new rhythms, freedom of subject-matter, precise/concrete images; important practitioners are Hilda Doolittle, Richard Aldington, Amy Lowell, F S Flint, John Gould Fletcher.
Charles Feidelson states that in literature the image and the meaning merge, that the interaction of the two terms produces meaning; theme as metaphoric statement recognizes the centrality of image in the poem.
Image is not a material copy but a thought focusing attention on sensory qualities , a picture made up of words, the sensuous element in poetry; imagery is non-literal language creating pictures and presenting situations; imagery is not a decorative ornament and is not confined to visual pictures; it is a vehicle of ideas, a logic enabling a poet to avoid bald statements; it is saying something in terms of other things to produce complexity-
There midnight’s all a glimmer and noon a purple glow.
With how sad steps, O moon , thou climb’st the skies!
In MACBETH, images of blood and sleeplessness have thematic importance and are in keeping with a tragedy of murder and remorse-
MAKING THE GREEN ONE RED
Here , the colours are of different thematic intensities, red is closer to the key of the play and is more like the repetition of a tonic chord in music; in this play , the structure of imagery is a pattern derived from the text, a rhythm of repetition.
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple and stole thence
The life of the building.
Duncan’s death is confusion which like a craftsman has made his masterpiece. Murder is a thief breaking into a religious building.
Vision and sound are blended in the description of a redbreast whistling from a garden croft and gathering swallows twittering in the skies. Various senses and sensations are stimulated in the description that they pinched her feet, singed her hair and screwed it up with pins. We have a visual image in the lines-
You stood in the door and the sun was a shadow
Of leaves on your shoulders
And a leaf on your hair.
An image is a sense-experience expressed in words, a concrete representation of a sense impression, feeling or idea triggering imaginative re-enactment od sensory experience.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine, and curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Images are visual pictures of sensory experience, metaphorical expression of abstract ideas, vehicles of aesthetic experience and imaginative thought.
In THE HAUNTED PALACE , Poe uses visual and non-visual images: a winged odour went along pallid ramparts.
In RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER, Coleridge uses auditory image to describe flute’s sound/angel’s song ; in a sonnet Shakespeare visualizes abstract ideas of time and death when he says that our lives hasten to their end as waves dash toward the shore; Keats refers to autumn as sitting carelessly on a granary floor with their soft-lifted by winnowing wind; Dante presents Paradise as image of salvation; Emily Dickinson compares fading light to the fading of life in a dying face; a departing ray of light is like the distance on the look of death.
Images are vestigial representations of sensations, transforming observations/events/abstract ideas into concrete experience, revealing poet’s psyche:
Across the moon at Gantchester.
Imagery is tactual/tactile (something felt). Tactile imagery deals with touch.
Ted Hughes describes what the touch of thistles would be against the cows’ rubber –like tongues-
Against the rubber-tongues of cows & the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air.
Imagery is thermal, auditory/aural/something heard. In aural imagery, we are invited to hear /image sound.
– describes waves flinging themselves up the beach
– creates the sound of pebbles:
Listen. You hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back and fling,
At their return , up the high strand.
Imagery is static and synaesthetic. Synaesthetic imagery describes felings in terms of colour and describes sadness as feeling blue.
Imagery is gustatory/ something tasted—
1) And is there honey still for tea?
2) O for a draught of vintage that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green.
Imagery is visual /something seen. Wordsworth makes us see a rock towering over him and pursuing him-
The huge cliff
Rose up between me, the stars, and still,
With measured motion, like a living thing,
Strode after me.
In psychology, image is mental reproduction of a past experience; according to Pound, it presents intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time and so is not merely pictorial representation ; Dr.Richards regards the image as a mental event.
Exuberant image (Marlowe , Burns) Juxtaposes 2 surfaces in face to face contact to cover loose comparisons/relationships based on evaluative categories ; intensive image (Dante, Spenser) is diagrammatic; sunken image occurring in contemplative writing and classical poetry has literariness, internality and interpenetration of terms; lacking overtones it suggests the sensuous concrete without projecting it; in lines-
Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither;
Ripeness is all
RIPENESS is a sunken image with suggestion of analogy between inevitability of cycles of life and vegetation; in radical image, the terms meet at root or invisible logical ground, the minor term being homely, unpoetic, technical; we have pseudo-medical radical image in the following lines-
But as some serpent’s poison hurteth not
Except it be from the live serpent shot,
So doth her virtue need her here to fit
That unto us , she working more than it.
In expansive image (Bacon, Browne, Burke, Shakespeare ), each term opens a wide vista to modify the other; in “Macbeth”, we have –
Light thickens and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood: good things of day begin to droop and drowse.
Here, Shakespeare presents a metaphorical setting for crime with sensuous concreteness, parallels night and demonic evil, light and goodness, making the subject and predicate work both backward and forward.
Yeats’s BYZANTIUM is a structure of closely interrespondent non-natural images; SAILING TO BYZANTIUM contrasts biological life/mackerel crowded seas with the rigid world of gold enamelling/moasaic.
Imagery is not only descriptive but also associative, one-dimensional, kinaesthetic-
Ah God! To see the branches stir.
Imagery can be olfactory / something smelled –
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten,
Spenser describes the vile stink of the vomit of a mythical beast to turn our stomach in disgust—
Therewith she spew’d out of her filthy maw
A flood of poison horrible and black.
Here are images of colour and shape—
1) Is dawn a secret shy and cold anadyomene, silver-gold?
2) Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand, still guardians of that holy land?
Sometimes the poets mix up the senses, speak about sights in terms of sound, or touch in terms of taste. Elizabeth Barret Browning uses colour to describe the voice she heard—
Guess now who hold thee ?—‘Death’, I said. But then
The silver answer rang__ Not death, but love.
Images are often used in compact groups to produce wealth of thought and excitement of discovery; sometimes almost merge, illuminating one another and producing an accumulating weight of feeling and thought.
Milton calls shallow clergymen blind mouths that scarce know how to hold a sheep-hook; they are MOUTHS because they are preachers, are shallow like mouths of rivers and are rapaciously hungry; they are BLIND because they ignore the true function of their calling; they claim to be shepherds but cannot even manage the staff. This is an example of closely compounded images expressing abstract thought and emotion in terms of concrete experience.
Imagism, coined by Pound in 1914, means use of clear images in short poems, conveying concentrated juxtaposed impressions as untainted response; this movement was reaction against the excesses of romantic fantasy; it is based on a sense of a fragmented world; no attempt is made to organise experience; it has been defined as self-conscious innovation and search for a technique to describe the world; imagist poems consist of precise description of scene and metaphorical comparison. Here is Pouns’s 2- line poem entitled IN A STATION OF THE METRO_
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet black bough.
Inspiration and Art. Inspiration is creative impulse; Walpole calls Oliver Goldsmith an inspired idiot.
Art is from ars; expression of beauty in form, colour, sound, speech or movement; artistic temperament is disposition marked by easily excited emotions.
Intellect and Intelligence. Intellect is from intellectum-understanding; faculty of knowing unlike feeling/imagining/volition/conation; judging, comprehending relationships, reasoning, analyzing, creating ideas; Aristotle defines it as form-giving power of the mind; passive intellect is form-receiving faculty of penetrating appearances and getting at the substance through elimination of the unimportant; in modern psychology, intellect stands for the whole cognitive function of the mind. Intelligence is from intelligens which is present participle of intelligere-perceive; mental acuteness, ability to apprehend interrelationships; psychologists still debate the question whether intelligence is a unitary characteristic of the individual or a sum of his abilities; intelligence tests like Alpha test, Beta test, Binet test consist of standardized questions to determine mental age i.e. relative mental capacity.
Internal and External World. External world is the physical /social world.
Internal world is moral/imaginative world; human values, intuitions, fantasie.
Intuition understanding and reason. Instuition is from intueri-look on ; seeing with mind’s eye ; knowing without recourse to inference/deduction; innate/instinctive knowledge; direct/immediate knowing whether mystical, perceptual, moral or intellectual; contrasted with speculative/mediate knowing.
Understanding is faculty of relationships/comparisons/concepts/clear comprehension/ judgement in practical affairs. German philosophers call it verstand , schoolmen call it ratio and Plato calls it dianoia.
Reason is from ratio-think/reckon; Schoolmen call it intellectus, German philosophers call it vernunft; power of inferring; cognitive faculty co-ordinate with perception and understanding ; sum of intellectual powers; human as distinguished from brute intelligence; universal rationality of nature or collective minds; rational soul of universe; faculty of framing general conceptions or apprehending universals; rationalized understanding which comprehends while sense perceives and understanding conceives; faculty of subsuming the particular under the general or apprehending general relations of particulars; reasoning from the individual to the universal, from particulars or parts to general or whole is induction/ampliative inference while reasoning from general to particular is syllogism/ratiocination; argumentation is presentation of arguments logically. It is the power to render experience intelligible by bringing perceived particulars under appropriate concepts; pasing from data/premises to a conclusion; discovering rational relationships of ideas; practical reason is based on empirical element, pure reason is free from empirical elements, theoretical reason leads to cognition and is the capacity to grasp the universal in the particular, speculative reason is concerned with the supersensible, intuitive reason is apprehension of a priori principles, discursive/logical reason is the faculty of drawing inferences.
Jargon– words used by specialists.
Gothic literature is fiction with gloomy/strange setting, mysterious, supernatural and violent events. It creates suspense and terror, stresses not character but plot and setting. Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum is about a dungeon teeming with rats, a razor-edged pendulum.
LITERARY HISTORY stresses that ignorance of history distorts literary study, that unhistorical approach puts literature under the microscope and leads to pedantry and aberration. Rosemond Tuve rejects Empson’s reading of Herbert’s SACRIFICE
as arbitrary and states that Christ’s ascending the cross is not a symbol of incest; she rejects Empson’s view that background study,sources and conventions,liturgy, medieval poems and devotional treatises cannot solve the problem of poetic value. Cleanth Brooks admits that criticism needs history but insists that literature should be read as literature and that historical evidence cannot finally determine meaning . isaiah Berlin also states that if everything is subjective and relative, nothing can be judged, that literary study deals with monuments rather than documents, that literary study should not be reduced to the study of chronicles.
New Criticism rejects the view that a literary work is illuminated by biography, social conditions, historical background/knowledge. But literary history is important. Marvell’s HORATIAN ODE requires knowledge of the historical situation. Words have a history of their own, genres have a tradition and works should not be divorced from contemporary realities, literary review raises socio-historical issues. Although criticism is not a form of history, historical perspectivism is useful.
The advocates of literary history favour the adoption of past criteria, the application of period values and the exploration of liturgical and iconographic traditions. But historicism is negated by logic, ethics and aesthetics. HAMLET should not be interpreted in terms of the views of Shakespeare and hit audience because later insights have aggregated. Universal art is not relativist. But we should not dismiss historicism which opposes abstract and unhistorical categories and stresses that general human quality common to literature of different periods can be grasped as a dialectical force in history. Historicism does not necessarily lead to arbitrary eclecticism; it is opposed mainly because of disgust with 19th century philology and antiquarian pedantry, overvaluation of biographical detail and indifference to literary values.
LITERATURE AND MORALITY. Literature should not preach directly and dogmatically; it should be free from injunctions, doctrines, systematic logic and system of metaphysics; literature elevates us above reality, not only represents life but also idealises it, presents the permanent and the universal, springs from deeper sources and spiritual aspirations, externalises the inner world, imitates hidden reality; has intrinsic value and is a means to culture. Morality in literature is different from didacticism. Pope’s ESSAY ON MAN is moralistic, Arnold favours high seriousness and reorientation but Shakespeare’s HAMLET provides moral insight into reality, mystery of life, divine providence. Literature should not be moralistic but great literature is moral.
LITERATURE AND PERSONALITY. Literature reflects personality; influences on the writer’s mind unify hid works; Buffon remarks that style is the man, artist works from within outwards; Wordsworth declares that emotion is recollected in tranqullity; there should be balance between thought and expression; T.S.Eliot favours organic blend of personality and impersonality, individual talent and tradition, extinction of personality or depersonalization; we cannot deny the force of time spirit, audience, age, environment, group mind; Taine’s view of race and heredity. Victorian literature sprang from Victorianism.
LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY. According to Rene Wellek, we should distinguish between history of ideas and history of philosophy; the former combines semantic and philosophic history while the latter deals with thinkers and systems. Literary history parallels and reflects intellectual history; writers are aware of certain philosophical assumptions; Dante’s theology has been variously interpreted.
Literature deals with fate, freedom, necessity, nature and spirit, sin and salvation, myth and magic, love and death, problems of family, society, state.
In Dostoevsky’s novels, ideas are acted out in terms of character and event. Marlowe reflects Italianate atheism/skepticism. Dryden is aware of deism and fideism. George Eliot discusses moral, philosophical and social problems. James Joyce reflects Aquinas, Bruno, Freud, Jung and Vico.
We should not confuse art with philosophy. Literature is not knowledge translated into imagery and verse; the second part of FAUST suffers from over-intellectualisation; similarly the second part of Thomas Mann’s MAGIC MOUNTAIN is devoted to philosophical discussion.
Although a literary work should not be reduced to doctrinal statement, ideological content conduces to complexity and coherence, theoretical insight increases artistic depth; in pre-Socratic age, Empedocles blended philosophy with literature through integration and intensity; we are influenced by sensibility and aesthetic considerations as well as by thought and cosmological speculations.
In “FICTION_A LENS ON LIFE”, Wallace Stegner states that an artist is not primarily interested in theories and abstractions, that art springs from experiential rather than conceptual knowledge, that ideas may haunt a piece of fiction as a ghost flits past an attic window after dark; ideas are in the foreground in problem plays and novels of ideas; in Ibsen, Huxley and Arthur Koestler. Wordsworth’s pantheism, Dante’s Thomism, Lucretius’s Epicureanism are centripetal verbal structures. Similarly, Pope’s ESSAY ON MAN does not expound a system of metaphysical optimism founded on concept of chain of being; it rather uses such a system to construct hypothetical but richly suggestive statements.
LITERATURE AND PSYCHOLOGY. Psychological approach involves study of author’s conflicts, frustrations, traumatic experiences and neuroses; study of creative process; and study of effect of literature on readers; stream of consciousness technique traces the thoughts and feelings of characters, the drama going on in their mind and soul, their attitudes, inhibitions and complexes; literature has been influenced by Freud; conscious can be explained with respect to the subconscious, although Shakespeare has profound insight into human nature; behaviourist view that man is a plaything of circumstances; determinism. D.H.Lawrence favours primitive instinctive happiness.
Literature and Science. Bacon propounded the method of inductive reasoning and bridged the gulf between science and humanism, rejected the authority of Aristotle and scholastics; Dryden’s style harmonized with new requirements; in SACRED THEORY OF THE EARTH, 1690, Thomas Burnet uses scientific method to justify theology and gives quasi-scientific explanations of the processes by which nature is in chaos.
In ESSAY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 1690,John Locke applies scientific method to the study of mind; in SPECTATOR, Addison disseminated the ideas of Newton and Locke to inquisitive public; John Ray and William Derham stilled doubt engendered by science. In his play THE VIRTUOSO 1676, Shadwell ridicules the self-regarding seriousness of scientists in conducting experiments on flies, maggots and eels; in THE ELEPHANT IN THE MOON, Samuel Butler adopts the same attitude; so does William King in THE TRANSACTIONER 1700 and USEFUL TRANSACTIONS IN PHILOSOPHY 1709.
In GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, Swift ridicules the Academy of Lagado/project of the virtuosi; in DUNCIAD, Pope condemns the growing pedantry of the age and crowns the lesser breed of scientists with fantastic weeds and shells and exposes the pretensions of scientific optimism and rebukes man’s new sense of self-importance; In THE SEASONS, James Thomson freely draws upon scientific findings; in RASSELAS 1759, Dr.Johnson attacks scientific optimism but draws upon science for his similes; the romantic revival was not a rejection of scientific knowledge but a recovery of sense of mystery and spirituality.(C.J.Horne)
LITERATURE AND SOCIETY. History is useful but literature is universal; literature is an instrument of culture (sweetness and light); Spenser is the child of Renaissance/Reformation, “Faerie Queene” reflects Protestantism, Error and Pride stand for Roman Catholicism and scholasticism; T.S.Eliot is the child of post war disillusionment, THE WASTE LAND reflects spiritual atrophy; George Orwell’s “1984” is about the modern trend toward totalitarianism; science fiction reflects advances in science and technology ; the popularity of short story and one act play reflects modern fast life.
Malapropism & Spoonerism .Malapropism is confusing words having similar sound, using similar sounding words as synonyms laughable misuse of words. A word mistakenly used for another that resembles it, producing unintended comic effect.
This term is derived from Mrs.Malaprop in Richard Sheridan’s play The Rivals:
Derangement for arrangement
Epitaph for epithet
Prodigy for progeny.
The audience cheered loudly to express their depreciation (Appreciation)
The dog-trainer got a new leash on life (leash)
Every detail of the incident was made implicit by the eye-witness (explicit)
Earning people who collect the dole are parasols (parasites)
I found his behaviour quite objective (objectionable)
I felt an instant detraction towards her (attraction)
The growth on his neck was a malingering one (malignant)
Hope springs maternal in the human heart (eternal)
Looking around you could see that the audience was deeply moved and everyone was infected by sadness.(affected)
All members must attend the propitiation ceremony
Surgeons had to deform the operation quickly (perform)
The prisoner’s privileges were provoked by the judge (revoked)
The sky was overcast and the rain was eminent (imminent)
The statement was quite ambivalent (ambiguous)
We welcomed important guests and extinguished visitors (distinguished)
The writing was almost ineligible (illegible)
He accused me of evading his questions.
Spoonerism . This term is derived from absent-minded Rev. Spooner of New College, Oxford. It is accidental reversal of sounds, slips of tongue transposition of initial letters of words.
Control of line (line of control)
It’s time to deed the fog (feed, dog)
It’s a well-boiled icicle (oiled bicycle)
You have hissed all mystery lectures (missed, history)
The horse began to pleat the ant (eat, plant)
There were signs of fain on his pace (pain,face)
He began to cling pieces of foal at the passers-by (fling, coal)
He arranged a mad batch for the girl (bad, match
Peeling satisfied at the file of work done, he relaxed (feeling, pile)
I poured with rain (roared, pain)
Anyone who banks half his pay each week is a sick quaver.(saves, quick, saver)
Meaning. Meaning is interpretation of experience while experience is interpretation of event; story about a life is interpretation of life. Midnight sky can be interpreted as spooky; this is poor interpretation for the mind gravitates to the commonplace. Or it can be interpreted as lot of stars; this interpretation expresses awe at cosmic immensity. Or it can be interpreted as seeing eternity the other night; this interpretation expresses profound religious experience.
Emotive meaning induces feelings of fear/anger etc.; evokes emotional response; is based on associations, sound patterns, word-suggestions, experience/feeling/attitude/presentation/connotation. Cognitive/referential meaning includes extension and ‘intension’; denotation,dictionary meaning minus associations. Extension of chair is particular chair and all chairs; ‘intension’ is lifelessness, four legs, one back, one seat.
Dante identifies the following four levels of meaning literal or historical; moral; allegorical or symbolical; mystical or anagogical. Richards identifies the following levels_sense i.e. what has been said; feeling i.e. emotional attitudes.
Melodrama deals with sensational crime and highly emotional theme.
Metre and scansion . Metre is repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in a line of poetry, regular occurrence of stress in a poem, number and placement of measured stresses. Scansion is designation of stressed and unstressed syllables.
Mind and Soul. Mind is that from which thought originates ; that which feels/perceives/wills/thinks; perceptive/thinking part of consciousness excluding emotion; total of the conscious states of an individual; conscious element in the universe as contrasted with matter; the agent in knowing/feeling/performing an action.
Soul is deeper than spirit_
When my lips just touched your cheek
Touch which let my soul come through.
There is some soul of goodness in things evil. Soul is man’s moral and emotional nature as distinguished from his intellect. According to spiritual view, soul is sum of the functions of the brain; animating principle; psychical and spiritual principle; immaterial nature devoid of quantity and spatial extension; consisting of lower part which is appetitive/sensuous and higher part which is volitional/cognitive. According to materialistic view, soul is rational thinking; not the mind but that which thinks and wills; this is the view of Descartes. According to idealistic view, soul is totality of conscious experience.
Monosyllabic and polysyllabic words. Monosyllabic words have one syllable. In Hymn to God the Father, Donne says-
Wilt thou forgive my sin where I began
Which was my sin though it were done before.
These monosyllabic words enact a dark and serious force.
Polysyllabic words produce a flowing, lyrical and majestic effect. In The Windhover, Hopkins writes_
I caught this morning morning’s minion kingdom
Of daylight’s dauphin dapple-dawn drawn falcon.
– atmosphere or feeling
– created by connotative words, figurative language, sensory images, rhythm and sound of language
Mood is of 8 kinds_
3) dynamic. Rapid shift from comic banter to tragic suffering, as in
The following extract illustrates a mood of luxurious and relaxed contentment—
“October is the richest of the seasons. The fields are cut , the granaries are full, the bins are loaded to the brim. The bee bores to the belly of the yellowed grape. The sun goes down in blood and pollen across the bronzed and mown fields”.
Motif and motivation. Motif is a theme running through different works; a recurring element within a single work; theme/character/verbal pattern. Motivation is combination of circumstance and temperanment.
Myth. Myth is opposite of logos; story enacted by ritual; anonymously composed story about origins/destinies; the myths of modern man are progress/equality/universal education. Myth is translation of ritual/festival mime into narrative shorthand; an instrument for making experience intelligible to ourselves; a large controlling image that gives philosophical meaning to the facts of ordinary life; without such images, experience is chaotic/fragmentary/phenomenal; all convictions involve a mythology; myths unify experience; the term myth does not mean a falsehood; acceptance of myth is not a form of anti-intellectualism/obscurantism; modern myths are political; we live in a period of multiple/conflicting myths.
Literature ceases to be perceptual and tends to degenerate into mere description without adequate myth; T S Eliot makes excursions into anthropology and various religions; Joyce explores psychology of human organisms and Yeats probes the aesthetic realm; the hunt for essential image goes on everywhere today.
In an article The Meaning of Myth in Modern Criticism 1953, Wallace Douglas states that myth is the most inclusive word in current critical literature; the dictionary meaning of legend is a starting point for a series of extensions—from illusion through belief to truth; critics who approach literature from the point of view of myth treat a work as a storehouse of racial memories/unconsciously held values; they treat character and action as representative of types/classes/ideals. A myth represents values sanctioned by general belief; it is a sanctified/dogmatized expression of basic social/class conventions/values; a myth embodies insights as opposed to facts/ordered knowledge; it involves semi-poetic devices like structural paradoxes/ironies/tensions/non-rational and linguistically indescribable elements of experience.
In Quest for Myth, Richard Chase states that the mythopoeic mind is superior to rational/speculative reason; man lives in the world of practical reason as well as the magico-religious world; myth is a defensive projection of man’s unconscious; it suffuses the natural with the preternatural; it fortifies the ego with the impression that there is a magically potent brilliance/dramatic force in the world.The study of myth has become one of the most pervasive occupations of literary critics; major works from Shakespeare to Defoe through Melville to Faulkner use myth to deepen our perceptions.
Negative Capability. Term used by Keats; negation of logical rationalizing part of mind, rejection of fact; involvement in doubts, mysteries, uncertainties. Negative capability is essential for poetry in which the sense of beauty is more important than logic and reason. Coleridge lacks negative capability on account of his tendency to integrate intuitions into a system of thought.
Noble Savage. Concept propounded by Rousseau and Chateaubrand; primitive man is inherently good and civilization has a corrupting influence.
Objective correlative is the term used by T S Eliot when he says that ‘Hamlet’ is an artistic failure because the hero’s emotions exceed the events experienced by him; this means an object or situation or events expressing emotion.
Obscurity is an integral part of poetry; before reflecting with a clear mind man formed imaginary ideas, singing preceded articulation, imagination preceded knowledge to fill an unexplained vacuum; poetry originated in the necessity of creating a metaphysic; poetic logic gives rise to metaphor- a shorthand fable; the poet violates words expressive of things to seek symbolic form; he does not merely arrange/select on the intellectual plane but also projects himself into an emotional complex defying intelligence, beyond the region of normal thought-processes to a point where the mind encounters pressing need for creation.
Unlike false complexity which conceals a vaccum and is a smoke-screen, true complexity springs from wealth of ideas; obscure poetry seems to be a vision without meaning but when the veil is penetrated it breaks on our awareness with the suddenness of revelation. The resistance of modern poetry springs from abstract thought; modern poets believe that those poems which incite us to become are more important than those which make us understand; that intelligibility is inferior to a certain inflection of the poetic voice , that instead of resolving into clear ideas, words should articulate the most critical moments of life.
Empson rejects this defence of obscurity as magical apology; but poetry dates back to a time anterior to writing and criticism; the poet makes up a language of his own in accordance with tones, intensities, subtle shades of thought and profound objectives. The poetic worth of Coleridge’s poems is in inverse ratio to their logical sense. Obscurity lies in the reader and not the poet; seeking precision of language and thought the poet exceeds the limits of customary expression, introducing new words, new uses of words and new devices for re-animating words.
Obscurity affirms the sovereignty of thought-process, sound-value, magic of words; it springs from honest objectivity of the poet working outwards from an emotional unity clothed in an inner language form; it springs from the fact that there is no necessary correspondence between the inner language and rational language. It is a mistake to ask a poet to explain his poems; the emotional unity which is the raison d’etre of every poem cannot be measured by rational instruments otherwise it could be cast in prose. Obscurity springs from the poet’s effort to create in words an objective equivalence of his emotional experience.
Onomatopoeia is name-making, the process of imitating sounds, the use of echoic words to create atmosphere, the use of words whose sound echoes their meaning_ hiss of a snake, the bang of a gun, the murmuring of bees, buzz, crash.
In Ode to a Nightingale, Keats produces an atmosphere of languid ease_
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eaves
There is alliteration on m and s; combination of murmurous with long vowels.
Ontological Status. A poem has ontological status because it is neither real like a statue nor mental like the experience of pain nor ideal like a triangle.
Oxford Movement. Led by Newman; Oxford University reaction to religious laxity.
Palindrome. A word/sentence reading the same backwards/forwards_
Madam, I’m Adam.
Able was I ere I saw Elba.
Parody is imitation of a serious work for criticism, humorous effect, tribute, mimicry of subject or style.
Parody results from a poet’s rewriting the verses of a precursor, it is a humorous and mocking imitation of a work through distortion and exaggeration of certain aspects like tone, stylistic mannerisms or purpose. A good parody catches the flavour and manner of the original. A parodist may extend the original beyond its limits.
Kenneth Koch parodies the following poem by William Carlos Williams__
This Is Just to Say
I have eaten
that were in the icebox
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
And then sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing .
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy, and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!
Parody is mocking the manner/ style of an original by relating to grotesquely inappropriate subjects. Lewis Carroll’s How Doth the Little Crocodile is a parody of Isaac Watt’s How Doth the Little Busy Bee.
A.C. Hilton’s Octopus is a parody of Swinburne’s Dolores.
Henry Reed’s Chard Whitlow parodies Eliot’s style.
Hopkins parodies Wordsworth’s ‘My Heart Leaps Up’ by interpreting a line literally___
‘The child is father to the man’.
How can he be ? The words are wild.
Suck any sense from that who can;
‘The child is father to the man’.
No; what the poet did write ran,
The man is father to the child.
‘The child is father to the man’.
How can he be? The words are wild.
Pound parodies Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade in his The Charge of the Bread Brigade_
Half a loaf, half a loaf,
Half a loaf? Um-hum?
Down through the vale of gloom
Slouched the ten million,
Onward th’ ‘ungry blokes,
Crackin’ their smutty jokes.
We’ll send ’em mouchin’ ‘ome,
Damn the ten million.
There goes the night brigade,
They got no steady trade,
Several old so’jers know
Monty has blunder’d.
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to buy the pie,
Slouching and mouching,
Lousy ten million.
Plenty to right of ’em,
Plenty to left of ’em,
Yes, wot is left of ’em,
Damn the ten million
Stormed at by press and all,
How shall we dress ’em all?
Glooming and mouching.
See ’em go slouching there,
With cowed and crouching air
How the whole nation shook
While Milord Beaverbrook
Fed ’em with hogwash.
According to Edmund Reiss, Chaucer’s Miller’s tale is a parody
of courtly love; parody is not the same as satire or burlesque or irony; the satiric process involves going from a particular inadequacy to the general one. In parody, the given or original exists as someting inadequate but we go from it and call up
an ideal that exists behind it.
Chaucer’s parodic portrait of Huberd is more than a satire on friars; in stressing his inadequacies he calls up the original concept and work of St.Dominic and St.Francis. The portrait of Alisoun, Wife of Bath, is a parody of Virgin Mary whose seamless weaving symbolised the immaculate birth of Christ; Alisoun is childless on account of her concern with cloth-making and wordly vestments; she is a wife unlike Virgin Mary; her self-centred earthly passion is a parody of Virgin Mary’s celestial love.
Christ’s birth was parodied by a medieval nativity play Second Shepherd’s Play showing a sheep in a cradle.
To return to Chaucer: Parody is his predominant way of looking at the world; his Man of Law is said to be a parody of Christ, the archetypal lawgiver; man of law’s inadequancies highlight ideal, uncompromised, unflawed justice.
Chaucer’s Harry Bailly is a parody of the Christian concept of host. The journey from the Tabard Inn, encompassed by Miller, Reeve and Bailly, is without spiritual progress and hence a parody of the ideal pilgrimage. Chaucer’s pilgrims fail to attain spiritual ascent during their 3-day journey and , by and large, stay wholly on earthly roads, eating food, and thinking in material terms. They
start from Iabard Inn, apparently a notorious brothel fast by the Belle, and stay in the figurative Babylons of the world.
Personality in literature means_
i) autobiographical strain; Milton‘s sonnet on blindness, Wordsworth’s Prelude.
ii)style reflects personal, national and racial characteristics.
The writer expresses as well as controls expression of personality; he has ego as well as id.
Ego is coherent organisation of mental processes; conscious flow of thoughts/impressions/sensations; perception ; contains reason/sanity/reality-principle; produces literary element of form. Id is impersonal aspect of personality; contains repressed instincts/passions/pleasure-principle; produces literary energy/content; the artist deliberately allows the ego to give in to the flow of energy from id; produces surrealism.
Personality is flow of consciousness. Character is derived from Greek word for engraved sign; power to keep a selected motive dominant throughout life; controls flow of consciousness; regulates instinctual impulses; an impersonal ideal which is armour against experience.
Inspiration flowers if personality does not harden into character. The poet should
escape from personality, develop historical sense or sense of the livingness of past, acquire a realisation of the simultaneous existence of past poets.
Plot is main line of action, force driving the novel, play or story along a character’s physical and spiritual struggle.
Portmanteau word is a word formed by combining sound/sense of two or more words:
bisexcycle, slithy (lithe, slimy)
1848 movement preceding aestheticism, fleshly school of poetry based on admiration for early Italian painters rejection of Renaissance and post-Renaissance idealisation of man/nature, rejection of the
crassness of contemporary industrial world, treatment of the theme of death and decay, focus on archaic diction, beauty, medievalism, pictorial detail, sensuousness, symbolism.
is belief in the supermacy of primitive universal emotions.
Realism and susrealism
– developed as literary movement after French Revolution
-was aided by scientific conquest of nature as a means of
self-experession; the invention of photography in 1839; the rise of
journalism; Courbet’s doctrine of the ordinary hero; Flaubert’s
-was a reaction against allegorical fantasy, Gothic romance,
-focused on the drab, seamy aspects, the underprivileged;
-involved sociological involvement and search for objectivity.
Realism has been encouraged by the concept of imitation; it is fidelity to nature reflected in 18th century bourgeois drama, medieval fabliaux, Hellenistic sculpture.
As a literary creed realism means a dispassionate analysis and truthful representation of the world. The relation of art to reality is a fundamental epistemological problem.Whereas nominalism considers ideas to be names or abstractions, realism is belief in the reality of ideas. Higher reality is that of essence, symbol and dream. While Dickens is novelist of ideal or romantic school, Thackeray is a realist committed to truthful observation and delineation of commonplace settings, events and characters. Henry James, Pushkin and Gogol are also realists portraying the contradictions of social development, providing insight into social structure and the future direction of social evolution.
Realism rejects myth and dream, the stylized and decorative, the fantastic, abstract, allegorical and symbolic, the contigent, fortuitous and improbabale, the
didactic and moralistic. Subjective realism rejects objective order of things and is akin to impressionism or exact notation of mental states. While naturalism implies scientific approach and materialistic determinism and the use of positivistic science as an antitode for display and phrasemaking, realism is concerned not with social criticism but with faith in man and pessimistic determinism of science. While naturalism is concern with the average and the surface, realism is representative and prophetic.
Realism rejects the ideality of classicism and dignified subject-matter but can degenerate into non-art, scientific description, treatise writing, reportage, documentation , journalism, propaganda, sociology, information and exhortation. Croce rejects realism as a pseudo concept and a category of obsolete rhetoric. Belinsky states that the artist should create types of universal significance. Realist fiction has impersonality and absence of author. While the ancients were impersonal and objective, the moderns are personal and subjective. Stream of consciousness dramatises the mind but dissolves outer reality.
Naturalism was founded by Emile Zola who demonstrates the influence of heredity on character, observes rather than interprets, treats virtue/vice as a chemical reagent, creates an idiom consonant with the age of the locomotive. This movement was foreshadowed by Balzac, Stendhall and Ibsen. German and Russian naturalism flourished in Hauptmann and Gorky, British naturalism flourished in Gissing, Galsworthy and Hardy.
Naturalists see evolution mainly in terms of conflict of social forces and sympathise with oppressed workers, insert characters into crucial situations, turn literature into a social document, suppress poetic elements, adopt a flat objective style, present sordid aspects of life like slums, sweat, filth, disease, bestiality,treating human beings as biological pawns rather than as agents of free will. Naturalism is an intensified form of realism.
Surrealism was founded by Apollinaire in 1924. its forerunners were Coleridge, Lewis Carroll, Rimbaud and Kafka. Its leaders were Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault, Georges Hugnet, Salvador Dali, Hugh Sykes, Dylan Thomas, David Gascoyne, and Jean Cocteau.
Surrealism juxtaposes verbal images, presents automatic writing, removes the barrier between the inner & the outer world, establishes the reality beyond the confines of reason.
Surrealism was founded on psychic automatism, the real functioning of thought, a search for something other than the conscious; in 1925, it was launched as an amalgam of poetics and pseudo-scientific exoeriments in altered states of consciousness; it was based on the dictum_
“The liberation of the spirit requires as a prior condition the liberation of man himself; the right to pursue in literature and art new means of expression”.
It has been attacked by Ehrenburg:
“I don’t know if they are really sick or if they are only faking their craziness; these young phosphorescents play-act at being the zealots of revolutionary intransigence and proletarian honesty”.
Rene Wellek states that while perfection is clear, closed, seeking the image, romanticism is open, dark, seeking the symbol. Romanticism favours the misty/hazy, disorder, continuity, soft focus, inner bias, another world, decadentism, aestheticism, nihilistic daring, invention of myth to overcome solitude and achieve reintegration into the whole, awareness of the elemental anguish of the creature enclosed in temporality. Romanticism raises the preconscious to consciousness, presents personal apprehension of human timelessness, brings eternity into time.
Romanticism is a consciousness of the fundamentally subjective nature of mind, withdrawal from reality to the centre of self, return to nature, transition from self-consciousness to imagination, renascence of wonder, vagueness, folklore and liberalism, medievalism, reconciliation of subject and object, man and nature , consciousness and unconsciousness, nostalgia for the object, language striving to become nature, vision becoming a presence or a landscape. Earthly objects have intrinsic ontological primacy and language fails to reach the ontological status of the object but romanticism questions the ontological primacy of sensible objects.
Rejecting generalizations like emotionalism, spontaneity and primitivism, Albert Gerard stresses in ON THE LOGIC OF ROMANTICISM 1957 that poetic experience is a form of knowledge and an intuition of cosmic unity. David Ferry states in THE LIMITS OF MORTALITY , AN ESSAY ON WORDSWORTHS’S MAJOR POEMS 1959 that Wordsworth regards nature as a metaphor for eternity and absence of death; Paul de Man states in SYMBOLIC LANDSCAPE IN WORDSWORTH AND YEATS 1962 that Wordsworth has a transcendental vision and that landscapes are the gateway to a world beyond visible nature; Geoffrey Hartman states in WORDSWORTH AND THE VIA NATURALITER NEGATIVE 1962 that nature leads Wordsworth beyond nature; W.K.Wimsatt states in THE STRUCTURE OF ROMANTIC NATURE IMAGERY 1949 that romanticism blurs distinction between the literal and the figurative and affirms continuity/interchange between outer motions and inner life; and Meyer Abrams stresses in THE MIRROR AND THE LAMP 1953 the shift from imitation theory to expression theory, from neo-classical mechanistic analogies to biological imagery of romanticism.
Rhyme creates harmony completes/resolves an idea, focuses meaning. It is similarity of sound between two words, accented vowels and succeeding sounds.
When the rhyming words are monosyllabic, the rhyme is masculine_
bold and old.
When the rhyming words are polysyllabic, the rhyme is feminine_
bending and ending.
In feminine rhyme, the last syllable is unstressed.
End rhyme is at the end of a line_
An ant on the table cloth
Ran into a dormant moth.
Internal rhyme is rhyme occurring within a poetic line with heavy thump, a lifeless lump.
Imperfect or near or off or slant rhymes are end rhymes which are approximate and not exact.
Half rhyme occours when consonants (but not vowels) of 2 rhyming words have same sounds. We expect but do not get a rhyme. Here rhyme function is performed by consonance. In Owen’s Futility_
Think how it wakes the seeds_
Woke, once, the clays of cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides
Full-nerved still warm- too hard to stir.
Rhyme-scheme is pattern – of end rhymes in a poem.
-in which rhyme sounds occour.
Rhythm is cadence, regularity of stress on syllables, regular patterned recurrence of strong and weak elements.
It creates mood, reinforces content, heightens ideas and the power of language. The human voice is an instrument of great range and sensitivity, grows loud or soft, rises and falls, resembles the rhythmic movements in nature like the beating of the heart, crests and hollows of waves, gathering and subsiding of force.
Sarcasm is type of verbal irony bitter and cutting speech ridicule intended to wound feelings contemptuous and critical remark so that the literal meaning is the opposite of actual meaning.
Well, I wouldn’t expect you to understand
-my point of view.
Satire is a literary technique to ridicule foolish customs and ideas, militant irony to produce reform, a focus on the discrepancy between propriety and reality.
It developed from private abuse; is based on exaggeration and idealism; is wildly abusive, bitterly critical or gently witty.
Horation satire is gentle ridicule of foibles. Juvenalian satire is moral condemnation of vice.
Chaucer & Ben Jonson satirise alchemists; Nashe and Swift satirise astrologers. “Erewhon” is a satire on Darwinian and Malthusian theories . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is
-a satire on literary sentimentality
– a parody of sentimental excesses in poetess Grangerford’s work
“The Elephant in the Moon” is a satire on astronomers. “1984” is a satire on technological efficiency “Brave New World” is a satire on conditioned reflexes.
Science fiction uses imagination plus scientific data and theories, presents fictional possibilities of the past and the future. A science fiction story is usually set in the future somewhere in the universe.
-comments on contemporary society
– creates a future possibility, a world different from ours but helps the reader to visualize the scene, creates excitement and suspense
– has at least one high point and a satisfying conclusion
– addresses current human problems in an unfamiliar setting
– explores a possible future to understand the present better
– flows from one idea to the next
– invents new names for objects and places
– makes use of correct scientific knowledge
– incorporates dialogue to invest characters with depth
– invests story with life
– makes characters realistic through their interaction
– presents equipment and technology not available in our present-day
In Harrison Burgeron, we have a frightening society which penalizes talent and
carries equality to an extreme .
Sentiment and Sentimentality. Sentiment connotes a larger intellectual element than feeling/sensation; refined feeling, sometimes romantic, ossasionally affected; mental attitude; keen/delicate sensibility; used in good sense. Sentimentality is exaggerated/affected sentiment; outpouring of emotion unimpeded by thought; suspension of intelligence and intellectual/ethical judgement.
Setting is -flavour of a locality place/time of action
-social and moral environment; social customs and moral values. Setting may be a incidental or a source of conflict.
Sincerity. Sincere expression of the emotional state out of which the poem came, the state in which the poem was written, the linguistic construct shaping the poet’s mind as he writes.
Stanza is a group of lines in a poem forming its basic structural unit. It accords with the meaning/mood. Some stanza forms are
-terza rima (3 lines)
-rime royal (7, ababbcc)
-octava rima (8, ababbcbcc)
–Spenserian stanza ending with an alexandrine.
a standardized mental picture
a sweeping generalization
a stock character lacking the complexity of real people
an oversimplified opinion of a group/race
something that conforms to a fixed/general pattern, without individual
Structure, materials, texture.
Structure is an important aspect of content, a means of adding layers of psychological complexity, the way in which a literary work is put together, arrangement of words and lines to produce a desired effect, aesthetically active elements of form and content; explicit argument/statement in a poem. Stanza is a structural unit in poetry; para in prose; chapter in a novel; act in a play.
Materials are aesthetically indifferent elements of form and content.
Texture is term used by John Crowe Ransom; metrical/phonetic pattern; sequence of images; verbal connotation.
Both structure and texture invest a poem with ontological status.
Choice of words; flavour/aptness/expressiveness; sound/wit/metaphor rhythm of sentences; restraint/ebullience; product of all a man is, has thought, how he views himself/world; habitual way of seeing.
Subjectivity. Expression of personal feeling/experience; concern with inner life; basis of romanticism/impressionism; in criticism, subjectivity means personal response/taste.
A thought is subjective when it deals with personal reaction; it is objective when it concentrates on the object.
Suspense is excitement/tension felt by the reader, eagerness to know the outcome of conflict.
Symbol is a person, place, object representing something beyond itself. It communicates abstract and complex ideas. It is a word/phrase/image used with special reference, any unit of literary structure that can be isolated for critical attention, a word used as emblem for a fuller meaning.
Spellings are a part of a writer’s symbolism. Unlike allegory which depends on conceptual meaning, symbolism depends on evocative meaning. In Frost’s MENDING WALL, the wall symbolizes barriers impeding understanding; in Hemingway’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, scarred hands symbolize stigmata referring to Christian idea of cross.
In Blake’s “The Tiger”, tiger symbolizes creative energy; Shelley’s wind symbolizes inspiration; Ted Hughes’s hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature. Here are more examples_
The gay fishes on the wave when the moon sucks up the dew.
The white moon is setting behind the white wave,
And time is setting with me, O.
Here the setting of the moon is mysteriously related to setting of Time.Unlike metaphors, symbols are profoundly moving. Colours, forms and sounds are used by symbolists to evoke disembodied powers and indefinable emotions. Our waking life perishes from us and it is only after a struggle that we come to remember it again; meditation becomes a trance.
In the making and in the understanding of a work of art, we are lured to the threshold of sleep, the steps of horn or of ivory. Intellectual symbols evoke ideas or ideas mingled with emotions_ a cross, a crown of thorns.
According to Ezra Pound, the symbolic function of symbols should not obtrude. According to Arthur Symons, if we look at the moon, we move among things that have shaken off mortality ,the ivory tower, the queen of waters; we can’t give a body to something that moves beyond the senses unless our words are as subtle and complex, and as full of mysterious life as the body of a flower/woman; the form of poetry may sometimes be obscure or ungrammatical but its perfection escapes analysis; its subtleties have a new meaning every day.
While reading, our attention moves in two directions_
i) outward/centrifugal/going from individual words to things they mean.
ii) inward/centripetal, developing from the words a sense of larger verbal pattern. In both cases, we deal with symbols; verbal symbol CAT is group of black marks on a page representing a sequence of noises representing an image or memory representing a sense experience representing an animal uttering meow; when we read the word CAT, we get a representational flash of the animal; in all literary verbal structures the final direction of meaning is inward.
Crown symbolises ultimate achievement
heart symbolises love
rose symbolises love
pits symbolise worst moments.
The poetic symbol directs/organises some conception of reality;
the creations of French symbolists, the speculations of Freud and Jung and the treatises of Whitehead, Cassirer and Langer stress the notion of language as a symbolizing force;the symbolistic outlook attempts to resolve the dichotomy between the real and the ideal.
Symbolism is based on the idea that the world is a forest of symbols and that symbol is expression of a spiritual state, that the actual is an expression of something underlying.
Symbolism gave rise to imagist and surrealist movements.
According to Charles Feidelson, the allegorist avails himself of formal
correspondence between ideas and things but the symbolist opens an imaginative reality. A symbol’s meaning is continuous in time.
Hawthorne‘s The Scarlet Letter is an exposition of symbolic perception, exploring the meaning of adultery and the meaning of meaning itself. The letter A worn by Hester means the discovery and absorption of its meaning: she feels the pressure of the surrounding Puritan vision. However, with the passage of time, she extends the lawlessness of adultery into all her habits of thought. Hence she reshapes conventional values_
“The world’s law was no law for her mind. She assumed freedom of speculation”
In this way, letter A shapes the perceiving mind as well as the objective scene.
In Melville’s Moby Dick, Ishmael identifies voyage with vision, making life a quest for knowledge, fusing the voyaging mind with the worldly flux of wave-like forms, losing identity of self in a pantheistic sea, making water gazing a search for unity with the object of thought. The phantom of life is ungraspable and the ocean is annihilative__
“The great flood gates of the wonder world swung open and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and midmost of them all, one grand hooded phantom like a snowhill in the air”
Ishmael is the voyaging mind, the capacity for vision, the potentiality of symbolic
perception, uncomfortably aware of the irrationality of the fluid sea; the ultimate horror of whiteness is its in indefiniteness. The inaccessible world swallows up the visionary.
Symbolism contributes to complexity and intensity. A symbol is a word or character or object or action that stand for something beyond itself. Yeats’s swans symbolise everlasting unchanging life which is denied to the ageing speaker.
Synaesthesia is description of sounds in terms of colour, description of colours in terms of feeling, intermingling of sensations. Popular in 18th and 19th centuries
Taste is the faculty of perceiving/enjoying the excellent in literature/art/life; a means of making aesthetic judgements and stating subject-object relationship.
Tone may be aggressive, angry, bitter, detached, fierce, hectoring, humorous, innocent, intimate, ironic, playful, serious,sly; it is the writer’s emotional and intellectual attitude toward
i ) a person_belligerent, condescending, friendly, respectful
ii ) himself_cocksure, humble
iii ) subject/theme_earnest, sarcastic
It is manner and poise of a literary text, a substitute for writer’s face/voice.; it is different from mood which is a reader’s response__eerie/tense.
Lamb has a regretful tone in the following lines__
I have had playmates, I have had companions
In my childhood days, in my joyful school days
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
– casual detachment or indifference
– fererish commitment or feelings of intensity
– awe, bitterness, depression, effusiveness, frivolity, humour,
optimism, pessimism, restraint.
Value. Aesthetic value means style/composition. Perceptual value means intellectual content.
Vorticism. Originated 1914; stress on precise classic style; rejection of diffuse romanticism; T S Eliot’s Apeneck Sweeney poems, Ezra Pound’s Mauberley poems.
University wits. Oxford and Cambridge scholars who came to London in 16th century and developed Elizabethan literature; these included Marlowe, Lodge, Robert Greene, Lyly, George Peele and Thomas Kyd who never studied at University.