Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Return to Nature Viva

Q. 1. What is the significance of the French Revolution in the history of English literature?
Ans. Long before it burst, the storm of the Revolution was, in the words of Burke, blackening the horizon. During the century new ideas were germinating; new forces were gathering strength; and the Revolution, when it did come in 1789, was only the climax to a long and deeply diffused unrest. Revolutionary ideas stirred literature to the very depths.
Q. 2. What was the treatment of nature in the Romantic literature?

Ans. In the work of Cowper, Crabbe, and Gray the treatment is principally the simple chronicle and sympathetic observation of natural features. In the new race of poets the observation becomes more matured and intimate. Notably in the case of Wordsworth, the feeling for nature rises to a passionate veneration that is love and religion too. To Wordsworth nature is not only a procession of seasons and seasonal fruition: it is the eye of all things, natural and supernatural, into which the observant soul can peer and behold the spirit that inhabits all things.
Q. 3. Comment upon Romantic enthusiasm.
Ans. In the early days when old institutions seemed crumbling with the Bastille, Coleridge and Southey formed their youthful scheme of an ideal commonwealth in which the principles of Moore’s Utopla should be put in practice. The essence of romanticism was that literature must reflect all that is spontaneous and unaffected in nature and in man, and be free to follow its own fancy in its own way. Even Wordsworth, fired with political enthusiasm, remarked:
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven.
In Coleridge we see this independence expressed in Kubla Khan and The Ancient Mariner, two dream pictures, one of the populous Orient, the other of the lonely sea. In Wordsworth this literary independence led him inward to the heart of common things.
Q. 4. How will you characterise that the Age of Romanticism is an age of Poetry?
Ans. The important characteristic of this age is that it is emphatically an age of Poetry. The preceding age, with its practical outlook on life, was largely one of prose. Like the Elizabethan Age, the young enthusiasts turned as naturally to poetry as a happy man to singing. The glory of the age is in the poetry of Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Moore and Shelley.
Q.5. Do Romanticism literature?
Ans. In the age of Romanticism we find that even the lavishness of the Elizabethans cannot excel that of this age. The development of new ideas brings fresh inspiration for poetry, and the poetical sky is bright with luminaries of the first magnitude. In prose we: may note especially the fruitful yield of the novel, the rejuvenation of the essay, the unprecedented activity of critical and miscellaneous writers.
Q. 6. What is the fundamental of Romanticism?
Ans. One of the fundamentals of Romanticism is the belief in the natural goodness of man, the idea that man in a state of nature would behave well but the corrupted by civilization. From this belief springs not only the Romantic admiration for the primitive and for the child, but the Romantic faith in the emotions. If man is inherently sinful, reason must restrain his passions: but if he is naturally good, then this emotions can be trusted. They may, indeed, lead him correctly where reason fails. Romantic individualism is reinforced by his belief, for a man may properly express his unique emotional self if its essence is good. From this individualism stems the self-analysis the intricate examination and full exposure of the soul.
Q. 7. What are the salient characteristics of Romanticism?
Ans. The chief quality of romantic poetry is emotion and, imagination. Neo-classical poetry appealed chiefly to reason; romantic poetry has a predominantly emotional period.
Secondly, the eighteenth-century poets were little interested in nature. The romantic poets, on the contrary, had a deep and sincere love the nature. Thirdly, the romantic poets had an equally sincere love for man. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley had a superabundant enthusiasm for humanity. Fourthly, the romantic poets were deeply interested in their own personality revealing their own nature, feeling and thought. Finally, the style of the romantic poets deserves special mention. In the eighteenth century conventional and artificial diction, was employed for writing poetry. The romantic poets introduced several new metres. Their poems are marked by delightful melody and cadence.
Q. 8. Give a critical appraisal of Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’.
Ans. Wordsworth has himself admitted that no poem of his was composed under circumstances more pleasant for him to remember than Tintern Abbey. In the midst of attractive surroundings he has not only a sense of present pleasure but a pleasing thought that the present moment has life and food for future years. Although he has changed in some respects since his former visits when he was merely a boy and could appreciate the delights of the place some what sensuously, yet his intellectual interests or associations with nature have remained untouched and, and fact, nature has obviously become all in all for him. This is’ what we clearly gather in Wordsworth’s poem Tintern Abbey.
Q. 9. Bring out the basic poetical qualities of ‘The Prelude’.
Ans. The Prelude was completed in 1805, but it was not published till 1850. The poem is the record of his development as a poet. He describes his experiences with a fullness, closeness, and laborious anxiety that are unique in our literature. The poem, which runs to fourteen books, is often dull and prosy but a times, particularly when he is describing the formative influence of nature; and his emotions when confronted by seemingly unreal natural objects, the blank verse is impressioned, and inspired by his exaltation, wonder, and awe.
Q. 10. Discuss Wordsworth as a Sonneteer.
Ans. Wordsworth was extremely fond of the sonnet. It suited his genius. Wordsworth’s chief aim in life was to compose a long poem, especially a philosophical poem, but he had not the capacity for that order of poetic architecture. His power is in bursts: his inspiration is short. He cannot move gradually through a train of thoughts or a consecutive narrative. Wordsworth reinstalled the Italian sonnet in English poetry after a long period of disuse. Except in one case, all his sonnets are in the traditional Italian measures, or else in varieties of them of his own*invention. In general he feels free to extend the practice of Milton, which in one essential had departed from that of the Florentine matters.
Q. 11. Give the gist of Book 1 of ‘The Prelude’.
Ans. The Book I of The Prelude, Wordsworth is speaking of the unique experiences of his boyhood and it is the Presences of Nature that are addressed here. As a man he looks and reflects upon his relation to his physical surroundings and sees in it a moulding force. He turns to his infancy and childhood, and beholds what Nature has done for him in those early surroundings.
Q. 12. Bring out the chief points in Book II of ‘The Prelude’.
Ans. In Book II Wordsworth speaks of Nature and her overflowing soul and reviews the development of his mind during the Hawkshead days Wordsworth’s intercourse with nature becomes more active now. The poet walks with nature in the spirit of religious love. His creative faculty has been awakened; a plastic power is with him; a spiritual hand moulds and fashions; an auxiliar light coming from his mind bestows new splendour on the setting sun. He observed affinities in things which had no reality for more passive minds.
Q. 13. Discuss Wordsworth’s ‘The Prelude’ as an epic.
Ans. The Prelude has not merely a unity of design; it has something of epic structure. It has episodes and vicissitudes and a climax. Elton remarks. It is skilfully ordered for its purpose, it begins at the end; the poet, at the age of twenty-nine is now safe in heaven, and relates his long past voyage of the soul and imagination. And he ends with the dreams and consolations which had dawned upon his childhood, which had been deadened or clouded, but which have at last come back to him, ratified by experience, for good and all.
Q. 14. Discuss Wordsworth as a Teacher.
Ans. Wordsworth’s conception of a poet was a lofty one and he expressed his sense of the loftiness of the mission in The Recluse. Wordsworth took his vocation in earnest. He felt like Milton that he was a dedicated spirit. He considered himself as a prophet and a poet as well as a teacher. He thought his vocation is not only to please but also to teach. According to him, every great poet is a teacher. He found new joys in the commonplace things in Nature and in the’ Human Mind and this was the mission to find and to communicate.
Q. 15. Enumerate Wordsworth’s theory of poetry.
Ans. In the preface to the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth sets out his theory of poetry. It reveals a lofty conception of the dignity of that art which is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge, and which is the product of the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings taking its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility. The qualifications of the poet are on a level with the dignity of his art. To Wordsworth, he is a man possessed of more than usual Organic sensibility, and one who has also brought long deeply.
Q. 16. What are the views of Wordsworth regarding the subject of poetry?
Ans. Regarding subject Wordsworth declares his preference for incidents and situations from common life and to obtain such situations, humble and rustic life was generally chosen, because in that condition the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity. Over these incidents Wordsworth proposes to throw a certain colouring of the imagination whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual aspect.
Q. 17. How far was Wordsworth successful to write in simple poetical style?
Ans. Generally, though, when Wordsworth writes under a strong emotional stimulus, his style is free from banality and prosaicism. It is touchingly simple in some of his Lucy poems, gay and joyous in other lyrics, and vigorous, with something of a Miltonic sweep and resonance, in his greatest sonnets and blank verse. In truth, though in his best blank verse, it is fired by the passion of his imaginative insight to a grandeur above ordinary’ speech; it does not stray very far from the selection of the real language of men which he advocated. At other times, however, when the emotional stimulus is small or entirely lacking, he writes with his theories in the forefront of his mind, and the result is the prosaic banality of some sections of Simon Lee.
Q. 18. What was the conception of Rousseau’s ‘Return to Nature’?
Ans. Firstly, Rousseau found outward Nature to be most human in its meaning, just where it had been hitherto regarded as most inhuman. Rousseau taught men to find rest and refreshment for the weary spirit in the wild freedom of Nature and in the presence of the most awful manifestation. Secondly, by the cry for a Return to Nature. Rousseau asserted the importance of the primary bonds of human affections and the dignity of human labour. Thirdly, by a Return to Nature Rousseau meant that there should be an awakening in each man of a consciousness of his own capacities, rights and duties.
Q. 19. What are the chief defects in Wordsworth’s poetry?
Ans. Firstly, Wordsworth’s poetry lacks humour. Secondly, there is excess of egotism in his poetry. Thirdly, he has presented one sided ideal of humanity. Fourthly, there is absence of love poetry. Fifthly, he has avoided Nature’s gorgeous aspects. Finally, Wordsworth celebrates the beauty, harmony and sublimity of Nature, but Nature is not all a May day. He loses sight of Nature “red in tooth and claw with rapine.”
Q. 20. Comment upon S.T. Coleridge’s poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.
Ans. The composition of this poem was commenced during a tour which the poet, Wordsworth and his sister made along the Quantock Hills. The original intention was to write a poem conjointly to defray the expenses of the tour. Some parts, of it thus owe their suggestion to Wordsworth. But as the poem grew in length and beauty Wordsworth withdrew his hand, leaving its composition to Coleridge, to whose tastes the supernatural element in it was more suited. The main idea of the voyage, founded on a dream of his own, was Coleridge’s Wordsworth suggested details. The poem presents us marvellous series of dissolving pictures, so curiously distinct and yet so strangely fused into one; the voyage through the polar ice; the death of the albatross; the amazing scenes during the calm and the storm; and the return home. In style, in swift stealthiness of narrative speed, and in its weird and compelling strength of imagination the poem is without a parallel. The moral of the poem—”He prayeth well who loveth well, Both man and bird and beast”-grew out of Coleridge’s great love of lower animals.
Q. 21. Elaborate Coleridge’s skill in making the unreal real, in ‘The Ancient Mariner’.
Ans. The great charm and power of the poem lies in the skill with which the unreal is made to look like the real. Description of natural phenomena are given with such minuteness and detail, and dovetailed onto the imaginative and supernatural parts with such nicety, as to make the whole story look quite probable. The dreadful silence of the far seas; the hot stagnant waters with the intolerable blasting sun overhead, and the vast unknown furnish a background of reality on which the emotions of a sensitive human soul may be portrayed with absolute freedom and yet carry conviction with them. “I never met”, writes Stopford Brooke, “a sailor whose ship had been among the lonely places of the sea, who did not know of their hauntings, who would be surprised to see the phantom ship, who did not hear in the air that sighed in the rigging the voices of the creatures that are half of the water and half of the air above them”?
Q. 22. Give a critical appraisal of Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’.
Ans. Kubla Khan, written in 1798, was like Christabel, unfirinshed, and it also remained unpublished until 1816. It is the echo of a dream—the shadow of a shadow. Coleridge avers that he dreams the lines, awoke in a fever of inspiration, threw words on paper, but before the fit was over was distracted from the composition, so that the glory of the dream never returned and Kubla Khan, remained unfinished. The poem beginning with a description of the stately pleasure-dome built by Kubla Khan in Xanadu, soon becomes a dreamlike series of dissolving views, each expressed in the most perfect imagery and most magical of verbal music, but it collapses in mid-career.
Q. 23. State the main points in Byron’s poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’.
Ans. The first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage were written in 1812. The hero of the poem is a romantic youth, and is very clearly Byron himself. He is very grand and terrible, and sinister with the stain of a dark and awful past. He visits some of the popular beauty spots of the Continent, which he describes in Spenserian stanzas of moderate skill and attractiveness. The poem is diffuse, but sometimes it can be terse and energetic. In 1816 Byron was hounded out of England, and his wanderings are chronicled in the third and fourth cantos of Childe’s Harold’s Pilgrimage. In metre and general scheme the poem is unaltered, but in spirit and style the new parts are very different from the first two cantos. The descriptions are firmer and terser, and are often graced; and the tone all through is deeper and more sincere.
Q. 24. Discuss Lord Byron as a satirist.
Ans. Byron’s satirical spirit is gigantic. In the expression of his scorn, a kind of sublime and reckless arrogance, he has the touch of the master. Yet in spite of his genius he has several defects. In the first place, his motive is to a very large extent personal, and so his scorn becomes one-sided. Secondly, he lacks the deep vision of the supreme satirist. In the third place, he is often deliberately outrageous. When he found how easily and deeply he could shock a certain class of people we went out of his way to shock them, and succeeded only too well.
Q. 25. Comment upon Lord Byron’s style.
Ans. Byron’s style is quite distinct from any other romantic poet. Always an admirer of Pope, though he lacked his finish and artistry, he never completely freed himself from the poetic diction and personification of the previous age. His faults as an artist are glaring: he had no ear for melody and his workmanship was careless. When writing to himself, he was often guilty of repetition and over-emphasis. There is also much vehemence and passion in his work in his best satires the tone approaches the conversational in its naturalness and he displays an epigrammatic wit and great vivacity.
Q. 26. Comment upon Shelley’s ‘Adonais’.
Ans. Adonais is a pastoral elegy after the original Greek model. It has important resemblances to the pastorals of Theocritus, to the pastoral elegies of Bion and Moschus and their English imitation, Milton’s Lycidas. The most poetical and impressive portion of the poem is solemn and majestic conclusion, where the poet rises from the region of earthly sorrow into the realm of ideal aspiration and contemplation.
Q. 27. Discuss Shelley’s lyrical quality.
Ans. A poet of such keen feelings, fiery emotion, and consuming impatience is eminently fitted for lyrical expression of the desires and inspirations, joys and sorrows that move his heart; and Shelley remains the greatest lyric poet in English literature, as the subjectivism of the Romantic Revival found its best exponent in him. The whole Adonais may be taken as a long lyric of passionate grief and poetic visions in which he celebrates not only the life of Keats but also the essence of poetic ecstasy in both sorrow and joy.
Q. 28. What was the interpretation of Negative Capability in John Keats?
Ans. It is an expression used by Keats in his letter of December 21, 1817, to his brothers George and Thomas. With term Negative Capability, Keats described a quality which a roan possesses when he is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after tact and reason “Coleridge.” Keats said, “often lacked Negative Capability, for he was incapable of negating the logical, rationalizing part of his mind and would often lose an intuition by attempting to make it part of a system”, that is ,by being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.” When a poet possesses Negative Capability, he has no need to rationalize; “the sense of beauty,” Keats said, “overcomes every other consideration.”
Q. 29. Compare and contrast Wordsworth and Coleridge as poets of Nature.
Ans. Wordsworth is the high-priest of Nature. His attitude towards Nature is very peculiar and nose! The poetry of Nature reaches its high water-mark in him. No other poet has surrendered himself so completely to the spell that Nature casts upon the human mind. Coleridge is also romantic before his deep love of Nature. He, too, thinks Nature to be a living being, sees’ a divine spirit pervading the objects of Nature and believes in the moral and educative influence of Nature upon Man. Later on he modified his attitude towards Nature and believed that we interpret the moods of Nature according to our own moods. In other words if we are happy, Nature looks happy too and if we are dejected, Nature also looks dejected. Nature, therefore, has no moods and feelings of her own. We receive from Nature only that which we give to her.
Q. 30. How will you compare and contrast Shelley and Keats?
Ans. Shelley was a social rebel, while Keats was a social recluse. The former, was intensely interested in social and political reforms of his time, the latter was quite aloof from the burning problems of the day. Again, Shelley was a Utopian and an idealist. He was hoping of Millennium, while Keats was a pure artist who held that his chief business was to create beauty for the delight of men, and not in favour of change in human society.
Q. 31. Compare Wordsworth and Shelley as poets of Nature.
Ans. Shelley had the same idea as Wordsworth that Nature was alive; but while Wordsworth made the active principle which filled and made Nature to be Thought, Shelley made it Love. The natural world was dear then to his soul as well as to his eye, but he loved best indefinite aspects. He lacked the closeness of grasp of Nature which Wordsworth and Keats had, but he had the power in a far greater degree than they of describing the cloud scenery of the sky, the doings of the great sea, and the vast realms of landscape. He is, in this as well as in his eye for subtle colour, the Turner of poetry.
Q. 32. Examine the condition of drama in the early 19th century.
Ans. After the appearance of Sheridan and Goldsmith the drama rapidly decayed. There are several reasons for this. There was a gulf between the men of letters and the theatre which had grown vulgar. The age did not lend itself to dramatic expression. It was fundamentally critical, romantic reflective and philosophic
Q. 33. What type of drama was popular in the early 19th century?
Ans. In this period the Closet drama was popular. The romantic poets were set dramatists of the high order. The poetical plays make the first appearance of ‘closet drama’—that is, of drama which is intended to be read; and is not written for representation on the stage. The prevailing note of the period was lyrical and not dramatistic. Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge write plays but they are not effective either as play or its literature. Keats, Southey and Byron’s Manfred and Cain and Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound are fine poems though not successful The Cenci by Shelley was written for the stage and it is the only stage-play of real merit though not without its defects.
Q. 34. What are your views regarding the Eighteenth-century criticism?
Ans. Eighteenth-century criticism is mainly the criticism of external rules. The critics employed the foot-rule as if they were measuring surfaces. They were quite unacquainted with sympathetic criticism. They could not judge by perception, nor did they possess any aesthetic sense or taste. Johnson judged the work of other writers, from his majestical seat of judgment, criticising its possible and unthought of blemishes, never stooping to discover the merits. He considered poetry almost exclusively from the didactic and logical points of view. He always inquired ‘what is the moral?’ ‘what it proves?’ and paid excessive attention to the ‘logical solidity’ and coherence of its sentiments. He judged Lycidas by exhibiting its “inherent improbability” in the eyes of crude common sense. The method of the 18th century critics was to judge by reference to an external standard of ‘taste’ and to reject everything that did not conform to the standard.
Q. 35. What is your opinion about Wordsworth’s ‘Preface to Lyrical Ballad’?
Ans. Prefaces are, in a way, highly illuminating. His own aims and intentions are fully set out there. He, however, made the mistake of thinking that his theory of poetry and his theory of poetic diction held good for all poets. If we remember that these Prefaces throw light on Wordsworth’s own practice their study can be very rewarding. His critical doctrines did not command immediate acceptance. But many of his ideas’ have become common form.
Q. 36. Comment upon Coleridge’s ‘Biographia Literaria’.
Ans. Biographia Literaria is the most valuable prose work of Coleridge. It pretends to record his literary upbringing, but as a consecutive narrative it is quite worthless. After sixteen chapters of philosophizing, almost entirely irrelevant, he discusses the poetical theory of his friend Wordsworth, and then in the last seven chapters of the book he gives a remarkable demonstration of his ;critical powers. He analyses the Wordsworthian theory in masterly fashion, and, separating the good form the bad, upon the sounder elements bases a critical dogma of great and permanent value. These last chapters of the book, which are the most enduring exposition of the Romantic theory as it exists in English, place Coleridge in the first flight of critics.
Q. 37. What was the contribution of Coleridge to English criticism?
Ans. Coleridge was responsible for bringing about a change in the attitude of literature toward criticism. His service lay in reasserting such fundamental principles as that a critical standard is something quite distinct from a set of external rules, that “all great genius necessarily worked in accordance with certain laws which it was the function of the critic to determine by a study of each particular work of art.
Q. 38. Discuss William Hazlitt as a critic.
Ans. Modern opinion has endorsed the contemporary recognition of Hazlitt’s eminence as a critic. His writing is remarkable for its fearless expression of an honest and individual opinion, and, while he lacks the learned critical apparatus of more modern critics, his is unsurpassed in his ability to communicate his own enjoyment, and his gift for evoking unnoticed beauties. His judgments are based on his emotional reactions rather than on objectively applied principles. Consequently, they are sometimes marred by personal bias, as in some of the portraits in The Spirit of the Age.
Q. 39. Discuss Charles Lamb as a critic.
Ans. Charles Lamb had that rare love of the book, a sound taste which singles him out as a genius in Criticism for posterity to claim and cherish. Although he is a delightful critic, yet he is a little capricious in his judgment. He calls Heywood a ‘prose Shakespeare’. Saintsbury calls Lamb ‘as ariel of criticism’. He is fresh ?in thought and feeling; his style is distinguished by a rare sympathy and pathos and a sudden turn of the phrase and fancy which we miss so badly in Hazlitt.
Q. 40. Discuss Lamb’s ‘Essays of Elia’.
Ans. Lamb contributed his essays, signed ‘Ella’ to The London Magazine between 1820 and 1825. A first collection of these was made in 1820; and The Last Essay of Elia (gathered from various magazines) appeared in 1833.
Q. 41. Examine Charles Lamb as an essayist.
Ans. Lamb’s essays are unequalled in English. In subject they are of the usual miscellaneous kind, ranging from Chimney-sweeps to Old China. They are, however, touched with personal opinions and recollections so oddly obtruded that interest in the subject is nearly swamped by the reader’s delight in the author. No essayist is more egotistical than Lamb; but no egotist can be so artless and yet so artful, so tearful and yet so mirthful, so pedantic and yet so humane. It is this delicate clashing of humours, like the chiming of sweet bells, that affords the chief delight to Lamb’s readers.
Q. 42. Comment upon the style of Charle’s Lamb.
Ans. It is almost impossible to do justice to his style. It is old-fashioned, bearing echoes and odours from older writers like Sir Thomas Browne and Fuller; it is full of long and curious words; and it is dashed with frequent exclamations and parentheses. The humour that runs through it all is not strong, but airy, almost elfish in note, it vibrates faintly, but in application never lacks precision. His pathos is of much the same character; and sometimes, as in Dream Children, it deepens into a quivering sing of regret. He is so sensitive and so strong, so cheerful and yet so unalterably doomed to sorrow.
Q. 43. Discuss William Hazlitt’s style.
Ans. In style Hazlitt contrasts strongly with the elaborate orchestration of the complex sentence and the magic of the delicate word tracery which we have seen in De Quincey. His brief, abrupt sentences have the vigour and directness which his views demand. His lectures have mainly simplicity, and something of the looseness of organization which is typical of good conservation. Essays and lectures alike show a fondness for the apt and skillfully blended quotation, and for the balanced sentence, often embodying contrast. Always his diction is pure and his expression concise.
Q. 44. Discuss Sir Walter Scott as the historical novelist.
Ans. Scott created the historical novel. He combined stories of love and adventure with real scenes, and events of the past. He summoned the great figures of history and legend to live with men and women of his own invention. There had been to such union of history and fiction before, except in Shakespeare’s historical plays, and there has not been since Scott any imaginative recreation of the past comparable with his.
Q. 45. What was Walter Scott’s contribution to the novel?
Ans. His contribution to the novel is very great indeed. To the historical novels he brought a knowledge that was not pedantically exact, but manageable, wide and bountiful. To the sum of this knowledge he added a life-giving force, a vitalizing energy, an insight, and a genial dexterity that made the historical novel an entirely new species.
Q. 46. Discuss Walter Scott as the king of Romancers?
Ans. Scott has been called the king of romancers and on the contrary it has been denied that he was a romanticist at all. In some respects he was quite different from his romantic contemporaries. He did not believe in political or social reform, and he did not make literature chiefly the. expression of personality. One of the most conspicuous of the tendencies .if the time however reaches its culminations in him. The interest in Middle Ages which was reawakened in the eighteenth century had antimated Scott’s, early literary ventures and it grew into a profound attachment to the past. That is the theme of his novels and that is their unique achievement, imaginative reconstruction of the days that are gone.
Q. 47. Comment upon Jane Austen’s novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
Ans. In this novel, as in all her works, we have middle-class people pursuing the common round. The heroine is a girl of spirit, but she has no extraordinary qualities; the pride and prejudice of rank and wealthy are gently but pleasingly titillated, as if they are being subjected to an electric current of carefully selected intensity. The style is smooth and unobtrusive but covers a delicate pricking of irony that is agreeable and masterly in its quiet way. Nothing quite like it had appeared before in the novel. In unobtrusive and dexterous art the book is considered to be her masterpiece.
Q. 48. Justify that Jane Austen is a Master of Realism.
Ans. Within the limited range, there has been never more searching and convincing delineating of character. The quiet but ever attentive humour, the fide discrimination of individual peculiarities, the development of personality under the stress of ordinary experience have made her novels the joy of countless readers. Though her range is limited, it is the range of everyday experience with which every one is familiar, and her interpretation of its persons and happenings is as fresh today as ever.
Q. 49. Discuss the characterisation of Jane Austen.
Ans. Her characters are developed with minuteness and accuracy. They are ordinary people but are convincingly alive. She is fond of introducing clergymen, all of whom strike the reader as being exactly like clergymen though each has his own individual characteristics. She has many characters of the first class, like the servile Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, the garrulous Miss Bates in Emma, and the selfish and vulgar John Thorpe in Northanger Abbey. Her characters are not types, but individuals. Her method of portrayal is based upon acute observation and a quiet but incisive irony. Her male characters have a certain softness of thews and temper, but her female characters are almost unexceptionable in perfection of finish.
Q. 50. Justify that the Romantic Age is the golden age of the lyric.
Ans. The Romantic Age was indeed the golden age of the lyric, which reflected the Romantic spirit of the time in a liberal and. varied measure. It comprised the exalted passion of Shelley, the meditative simplicity of Wordsworth, the sumptuous descriptions of Keats, and the golden notes of Coleridge. It is to be noted that in form the lyric employed the ancient externals of the stereotyped metres and rhymes. There was some attempt at rhymeless poems in the work of Southey and the early poems of Shelley, but this practice was never general.
Q. 51. What was the development in the art of fiction in the Romantic Age?
Ans. Of the different kings of prose composition, the novel showed in this period the most marked development. This was largely due to the work of Scott and domestic types of novel. With regard to the work of Scott, we can here only briefly summarize what has already been said. He raised the historical novel to the rank of one of the major kinds of literature; he brought to it knowledge, and through the divine gift of knowledge made it true to life; he fired historical characters with living energy; he set on foot the device of the unhistorical hero—that is, he made the chief character purely fictitious, and caused the historical persons to rotate about it; he established a style that suited many periods of history; and pervading all these advances was a great and genial personality that transformed what might have been mere lumber into an - artistic product of truth and beauty. Jane Austen’s achievement was of a different kind. She revealed the beauty and interest that underlie ordinary affairs; she displayed the infinite variety of common life, and so she opened an inexhaustible vein that her successors were assiduously to develop.
Q. 52. Appraise the development of Essay in the Romantic Age.
Ans. Finding a fresh outlet in the new type of periodical, the essay acquired additional importance. The purely literary essay, exemplified in the works of Southey, Hazlitt, and Lockhart, increased in length and solidity. The miscellaneous essay, represented in the works of Lamb, acquired in increased dignity. It was growing beyond the limits set by Addison and Johnson. It was more intimate and aspiring and contained many more mannerisms of the author.
Q. 53. Bring out the chief points in the Literary Criticism of the Romantic Age?
Ans. No previous period had seen literary criticism of such bulk or such generally high standard as that produced in this age. In addition to the work of the professional critics, such as Hazlitt and the reviewers, many of the poets and imaginative prose-writers have left us critical works of great and enduring value. Mention may be made of Wordsworth’s preface to the Lyrical Ballads: Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria and lectures on Shakespeare and other poets; Shelley’s The Defence of Poetry, in reply to the provocative The Four Ages of Poetry of Peacock; and Lamb’s Specimens of English Dramatic Poets, who lived about the Time of Shakespeare.

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