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05-09-2010, 08:10 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




This topic meant to be a big collection for poems and analysis
I'll try to collect as many poems as i can
which are well explained also i will add the previews members requests
latter on I'll link the content with their poems in this topic

content :

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Ode to the West Wind by Shelley

Robinson Crusoe

London, 1802 by william wordsworth

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Kubla Khan by Coleridge

Ozymandias by Shelley

To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet

A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There was a Boy by William Wordsworth

Three years she grew by william wordsworth

The world is too much with us by william wordsworth

The Solitary Reaper by william wordsworth

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge

It is a beauteous evening by William Wordsworth

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty by Shelley

England in 1819 by Shelley

To a Skylark by Shelley

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

We Are Seven by William wordsworth

Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth

Animal Farm

Heart of Darkness

To the Lighthouse

Wuthering Heights

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jane Eyre

Middlemarch by George Eliot

pride and prejudice


whoso list to hunt

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

Death Be Not Proud by JOHN GUNTHER

We Real Cool bye Gwendollyn brooks 1917

She Walks in Beauty

When We Two Parted

The importance of being Earnest

The Road Not Taken by Robert frost

Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens

For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell

John ne's Hymn to God the Father

I wandered lonely as a cloud by William Wordsworth

edmund spenser sonnet 30 +sonnet 75

sonnet shakespeare 116

sonnet shakespeare 30

sonnet shakespeare 18

from holy sonnets_sonnet 10

On His Blindness by John Milton

The lamb by william blake

the death of salesman bye arthur miller

Apassage to india

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05-09-2010, 08:11 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller

Yonkers, New York (present) and New England (back flashes)
Background Information
Willy Loman is a traveling salesman who has worked for the Wagner Company for thirty-four years. He is now sixty-one years old and has been taken off salary and put back on straight commission, and he is unable to earn enough money to pay the bills. Charley, the Lomans' neighbor, has been giving money to Willy every month to meet his payments, even though Willy is too proud to accept a payroll job from him. Charley's son Bernard, who was in school with Willy's sons, has become a successful lawyer.
Willy's two sons, Biff and Happy, come back home and are temporarily sharing their old room. Biff is the oldest son who was a football star in high school with several scholarships, but for the last fourteen years he has been unable to find himself. He returned from somewhere in the West due to his mother's request for him to see his father. Happy works in a department store and has his own apartment in another part of New York.
Willy has been plagued by daydreams and illusions, and the play begins with his driving home prematurely from one of his New England business trips due to the fact that he cannot concentrate on the road.
Major Characters
  • Willy Loman- the salesman who is past his prime, and who was never an exceptional businessman in his prime
  • Linda Loman- Willy's wife who loves him despite all of his difficulties
  • Biff Loman- Willy's eldest son for whom he had dreams of greatness
  • Happy Loman- Willy's younger son
  • Charley- Willy's neighbor
  • Bernard- Charley's son
  • Ben- Willy's brother who left home very early and became tremendously wealthy; appears only in Willy's daydreams
  • Howard Wagner - son of former owner of the Wagner Company; he now runs the firm and is responsible for putting Willy on straight commission
  • The Woman - Willy's mistress from Boston
  • Miss Forsythe and Letta - Two girls that Happy picks up at the restaurant

Plot Summary
Willy Loman has been traveling salesman for the Wagner Company for thirty-four years. He likes to think of himself as vital to the New England area. A long time ago, Willy met a salesman named Dave Singleman who could go into a town and pick up a phone and would be able to place many orders without ever leaving his hotel room. When this man died, people from all over the country came to his funeral, and this man became Willy's inspiration.
As the play opens, Willy has just come back home after having left for New England that morning. He tells his wife, Linda, that he just can't seem to keep his mind on driving anymore. He asks about his son, Biff, and he drifts off to when Biff was a high school senior fourteen years ago. Biff was playing in an important football game and people from all over the country were coming to offer him scholarships. Then something happened later that year, because Biff did not go to college and has yet to find himself. It is later revealed that Biff has failed math and had gone up to Boston to ask his father to appeal to the teacher. When he reached Willy's hotel room in Boston, Biff found his father having an affair with a strange woman. After that episode, Biff despised his father and could never bring himself to provide Willy with the happiness of having a successful son.
After fourteen years of being away, Biff returns home. He and his brother Happy think of a job that would enable Biff to settle down in New York. They remember Biff's former boss, Bill Oliver, and plan to ask him for a loan of ten thousand dollars to begin a business of their own. They tell their father about their plans, and Willy believes that the two boys could conquer the world in business together. Willy explains that the important thing in life is to be well-liked and to have personal attractiveness. He tells Biff that Mr. Oliver always thought highly of him (despite the fact that Biff was suspected of stealing from a shipment of basketballs), and he reminds Biff of how good looking he is.
The following day, Willy is supposed to meet the two boys for dinner. He is so excited to have his boys on the brink of success that he decides to ask for a job in New York City. Howard Wagner, the present owner of the Wagner Company founded by his father, tells Willy that there is no room for him in New York, and then explains to Willy that he cannot represent the firm in New England either because he has become detrimental to business. Willy is now forced to go to Charley to borrow enough money to pay his insurance premium. It has been revealed that Willy has been borrowing fifty dollars each week for a long time and pretending it is his salary. Even though Charley offers Willy a good job in New York, Willy refuses to accept it because he says he can't work for Charley. Willy takes the money and leaves to meet his sons at the restaurant.
Biff and Happy met in the restaurant and Biff explained that he has been living an illusion. He tells Happy that he has stolen himself out of every job, including this meeting where he stole a pen from Bill Oliver's desk. When Willy arrives he tells the boys that he has been fired and refuses to listen to Biff's story. Willy sits there and pretends that he has another appointment the following day. Willy becomes furious and is about to make a scene, so he goes off to the bathroom. Biff, out of frustration, leaves, and Happy who has picked up two girls, follows him, leaving Willy alone.
Later that night, Biff comes home and finds Willy out in the backyard planting seeds and talking to the illusion of his brother Ben. Willy has not seen Ben for a number of years, and in fact Ben has been dead for some time. Biff explains to Willy that it would be best if they break with each other and never see each other again. He tries once again to explain that he is no longer a leader of men and that he is just a common person who has no outstanding qualities.
Willy refuses to believe him and tells Biff once again how great he can be. Biff becomes frustrated again because Willy refuses to see the truth. He finally breaks down and sobs to Willy to forget him. Then, Willy is taken aback by his son's emotion toward him. Willy resolves on suicide, because with twenty thousand dollars in insurance money, Biff could be magnificent. So that is what he did, Willy crashed his car and caused his own death. It becomes apparent to the reader that Willy died a forgotten man, because no one came to his funeral except his family.
Possible Themes
Inadequacy:- Exemplified by Happy's randomly claiming to have lost weight and declaring that he's going to get married someday in an attempt to get his parents' attention away from Biff
Ignorance:- Willy's philosophy that success is based on appearance and popularity without mentioning hard work.
Pride:-Willy was too proud to accept a job working for Charley, but he would accept his money on the premise that it was a loan, even though it was impossible for Willy to repay.
Self-Awareness:- Biff knew that he loved working with his hands and outdoors, whereas his father was in denial of the fact that that was his love in life as well; Willy suppressed that joy because it did not fit into his predetermined mold for a beloved businessman
Lacking an Awareness of Reality:- Willy refuses to acknowledge the fact that he is a fine carpenter, and continues to live a life of lies, memories, and dreams as a smothered businessman.
Key Issues
Willy is at the bottom of the totem pole in a capitalistic world. He owns nothing, and he makes nothing, so he has no sense of accomplishment. Robbed of this, he develops the theory that if a person is well liked and has a great deal of personal attractiveness, then all doors will automatically be opened for him. Willy built his life around these dreams. However, for Willy to live by his ideals necessitates building or telling many lies, and these illusions replace reality in Willy's mind. He tells lies about how well liked he is in all of his towns, and how vital he is to New England. At times Willy even believes his own lies and becomes enthusiastic when he tells his family that he made more money than he actually did.
Willy then fills his sons so full of this concept of being well-liked that when Biff flunks math he goes to Boston to search for his father. He thought that since Willy is so well-liked, that he will be able to convince the math teacher to change the grade. It was during this time that Biff encountered his father in the hotel room with a woman. Willy's strong desire to be well-liked is what drove him to have an affair in Boston. The fact that she would go to bed with him promoted his ego after a hard day of being turned away by buyers. Therefore the affair is more of an ego booster than a strong desire for Willy to be involved in an illicit love affair.
Biff couldn't accept that his father had committed adultery, and from that point on, he saw his father as a fake. Willy's life began to close in on him and he had nothing more to live for except his illusions and fond memories of the past. More and more, Willy's life involves his dreams and all of the dreams go back to the year before Biff made his break with Willy.
Therefore Willy's entire life has been lived according to his ideas about personal attractiveness and being well-liked. He never questioned these values and never realized that he lived in a world of illusions and dreams. He tried to bring up his children in that same world but he could not keep up the false front, and Biff would not live that way after the incident in Boston.
Willy is the salesman throughout the play, and he is the character that ultimately dies, but the title can be seen as figurative, rather than literal. The true death in the play is that of Willy's dream for Biff to follow in his footsteps and become a salesman. At the climactic scene when Biff is pleading with his father to forget him and let him and his own dreams go, it is apparent that Biff will never become a salesman as his father had, and that is another death that the title is referring to.
This is best exemplified in the life Willy chose for himself. In reality, Willy loved to work with his hands. He had completed large improvements on the house, and prior to his suicide, he planted a garden so that he could leave something tangible behind. However, Willy denied himself of the pleasure of using his hands to make a living because of his dreams to be like Dave Singleman and be so loved that his buyers all came to his funeral. Willy believed the untruth that it was more prestigious to be a less than adequate businessman than a content handyman.
Biff proves to be the true son of his father because he wants to go somewhere in the great outdoors so that they can all work with their hands. A few scenes later, Willy seems to be exceptionally proud of a ceiling that he had installed in the living room. It was a task that the successful Charley could not perform. Both father and son need to express themselves through some type of physical labor. However, when Biff suggests that the Lomans should be "mixing cement on some open plain, or ... be a carpenter," Willy argued that, "your grandfather was better than a carpenter." As a result, Willy's disillusionment got in the way of his happiness.
Follow your heart:- Willy was well aware of the joy physical labor brought him, but he suppressed those desires to fulfill the meaningless position of a salesman
Know your strengths and weaknesses:- Willy should have chosen a career based on his skills and his interests, not on false perceptions and the opinions of others. He should have encouraged his sons to do the same.
Hard work is what pays off:- Willy did himself and his family a disservice by putting too much emphasis on appearance and popularity, and not enough on the value of hard work. He wound up living in a daydream whenever things went wrong, and his sons were unethical (ex: Biff's stealing and jail time out West) and unsuccessful.

05-09-2010, 08:12 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

Joseph Andrews, or The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams, was the first published full-length novel of the English author and magistrate Henry Fielding, and indeed among the first novels in the English language. Published in 1742 and defined by Fielding as a comic romance, it is the story of a good-natured footman's adventures on the road home from London with his friend and mentor, the absent-minded parson Abraham Adams. The novel represents the coming together of the two competing aesthetics of eighteenth-century literature: the mock-heroic and neoclassical (and, by extension, aristocratic) approach of Augustans such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift; and the popular, domestic prose fiction of novelists such as Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson.
The novel draws on a variety of inspirations. Written "in imitation of the manner of Cervantes, the author of Quixote" (see title page on right), the work owes much of its humour to the techniques developed by Cervantes, and its subject-matter to the seemingly loose arrangement of events, digressions and lower-class characters to the genre of writing known as picaresque. In deference to the literary tastes and recurring tropes of the period, it relies on bawdy humour, an impending marriage and a mystery surrounding unknown parentage, but conversely is rich in philosophical digressions, classical erudition and social purpose.


Fieldings first venture into prose fiction came a year previously with the publication in pamphlet form of Shamela, a travesty of, and direct response to, the stylistic failings and moral hypocrisy that Fielding saw in Richardsons Pamela. Richardsons epistolary tale of a resolute servant girl, armed only with her virtue, battling against her masters attempts at seduction had become an overnight literary sensation in 1741. The implicit moral message that a girls chastity has eventual value as a commodity as well as the awkwardness of the epistolary form in dealing with ongoing events, and the triviality of the detail which the form necessitates, were some of the main targets of Fieldings parody.
Richardson would continue to be a target of Fieldings first novel, but the Pamela phenomenon was just one example of what he saw as a culture of literary abuses in the mid-eighteenth century. Colley Cibber, poet laureate and mock-hero of Popes Dunciad, is identified in the first chapter of the novel as another offender against propriety, morality and literary value.
The impetus for the novel, as Fielding claims in the preface, is the establishment of a genre of writing "which I do not remember to have been hitherto attempted in our language", defined as the "comic epic-poem in prose": a work of prose fiction, epic in length and variety of incident and character, in the hypothetical spirit of Homers lost (and possibly apocryphal) comic poem Margites. He dissociates his fiction from the scandal-memoir and the contemporary novel. Book III describes the work as biography.
As becomes apparent from the first few chapters of the novel in which Richardson and Cibber are parodied mercilessly, the real germ of Joseph Andrews is Fieldings objection to the moral and technical limitations of the popular literature of his day. But while Shamela started and finished as a sustained subversion of a rival work, in Joseph Andrews Fielding merely uses the perceived depravation of popular literature as a springboard to conceive more fully his own philosophy of prose fiction.

Plot summary

Book I

The novel begins with the affable, intrusive narrator outlining the nature of our hero. Joseph Andrews is the brother of Richardsons Pamela and is of the same rustic parentage and patchy ancestry. At the age of ten years he found himself tending to animals as an apprentice to Sir Thomas Booby. It was in proving his worth as a horseman that he first caught the eye of Sir Thomass wife, Lady Booby, who employed him (now seventeen) as her footman.

After the death of Sir Thomas, Joseph finds that his Ladys affections have redoubled as she offers herself to him in her chamber while on a trip to London. In a scene analogous to many of Pamelas refusals of Mr B in Richardsons novel, however, Lady Booby finds that Josephs Christian commitment to chastity before marriage is unwavering. After suffering the Ladys fury, Joseph dispatches a letter to his sister very much typical of Pamelas anguished missives in her own novel. The Lady calls him once again to her chamber and makes one last withering attempt at seduction before dismissing him from both his job and his lodgings.
With Joseph setting out from London by moonlight, the narrator introduces the reader to the heroine of the novel, Fanny Goodwill. A poor illiterate girl of extraordinary beauty (I, xi) now living with a farmer close to Lady Boobys parish, she and Joseph had grown ever closer since their childhood, before their local parson and mentor, Abraham Adams, recommended that they postpone marriage until they have the means to live comfortably.
On his way to see Fanny, Joseph is mugged and laid up in a nearby inn where, by dint of circumstance, he is reconciled with Adams, who is on his way to London to sell three volumes of his sermons. The thief, too, is found and brought to the inn (only to escape later that night), and Joseph is reunited with his possessions. Adams and Joseph catch up with each other, and the parson, in spite of his own poverty, offers his last 9s 3d to Josephs disposal.
Joseph and Adams stay in the inn is capped by one of the many burlesque, slapstick digressions in the novel. Betty, the inns 21-year-old chambermaid, had taken a liking to Joseph since he arrived; a liking doomed to inevitable disappointment by Josephs constancy to Fanny. The landlord, Mr Tow-wouse, had always admired Betty and saw this disappointment as an opportunity to take advantage. Locked in an embrace, they are discovered by the choleric Mrs Tow-wouse, who chases the maid through the house before Adams is forced to restrain her. With the landlord promising not to transgress again, his lady allows him to make his peace at the cost of quietly and contentedly bearing to be reminded of his transgressions, as a kind of penance, once or twice a day, during the residue of his life (I, xviii).
Book II

During his stay in the inn, Adams hopes for his sermons were mocked in a discussion with a travelling bookseller and another parson. Nevertheless, Adams remains resolved to continue his journey to London until it is revealed that his wife, deciding that he would be more in need of shirts than sermons on his journey, has neglected to pack them. The pair thus decide to return to the parsons parish: Joseph in search of Fanny, and Adams in search of his sermons.
With Joseph following on horseback, Adams finds himself sharing a stagecoach with an anonymous lady and Madam Slipslop, an admirer of Josephs and a servant of Lady Booby. When they pass the house of a teenage girl named Leonora, the anonymous lady is reminded of a story and begins one of the novels three interpolated tales, The History of Leonora, or the Unfortunate Jilt. The story of Leonora continues for a number of chapters, punctuated by the questions and interruptions of the other passengers.
After stopping at an inn, Adams relinquishes his seat to Joseph and, forgetting his horse, embarks ahead on foot. Finding himself some time ahead of his friend, Adams rests by the side of the road where he becomes so engaged in conversation with a fellow traveller that he misses the stagecoach as it passes. As the night falls and Adams and the stranger discourse on courage and duty, a shriek is heard. The stranger, having seconds earlier lauded the virtues of bravery and chivalry, makes his excuses and flees the scene without turning back. Adams, however, rushes to the girls aid and after a mock-epic struggle knocks her attacker unconscious. In spite of Adams good intentions, he and the girl, who reveals herself to be none other than Fanny Goodwill (in search of Joseph after hearing of his mugging), find themselves accused of assault and robbery.

After some comic litigious wrangling before the local magistrate, the pair are eventually released and depart shortly after midnight in search of Joseph. They do not have to walk far before a stormloan from the local parson and his wealthy parishioners failing, it falls on a local peddler to rescue the trio by loaning them his last 6s 6d. forces them into the same inn that Joseph and Slipslop have chosen for the night. Slipslop, her jealousy ignited by seeing the two lovers reunited, departs angrily. When Adams, Joseph and Fanny come to leave the following morning, they find their departure delayed by an inability to settle the bill, and, with Adams solicitations of a
The solicitations of charity that Adams is forced to make, and the complications which surround their stay in the parish, bring him into contact with many local squires, gentlemen and parsons, and much of the latter portion of Book II is occupied with the discussions of literature, religion, philosophy and trade which result

Book III

The three depart the inn by night, and it is not long before Fanny needs to rest. With the party silent, they overhear approaching voices agree on the murder of any one they meet (III, ii) and flee to a local house. Inviting them in, the owner, Mr Wilson, informs them that the gang of supposed murderers were in fact sheep-stealers, intent more on the killing of livestock than of Adams and his friends. The party being settled, Wilson begins the novels most lengthy interpolated tale by recounting his life story; a story which bears a notable resemblance to Fieldings own young adulthood.

At the age of 16, Wilsons father died and left him a modest fortune. Finding himself the master of his own destiny, he left school and travelled to London where he soon acquainted himself with the dress, manners and reputation for womanising necessary to consider himself a beau. Wilsons life in the town is a faade: he writes love-letters to himself, obtains his fine clothes on credit and is concerned more with being seen at the theatre than with watching the play. After two bad experiences with women, he is financially crippled and, much like Fielding himself, falls into the company of a group of Deists, freethinkers and gamblers. Finding himself in debt, he turns to the writing of plays and hack journalism to alleviate his financial burden (again, much like the author himself). He spends his last few pence on a lottery ticket but, with no reliable income, is soon forced to exchange it for food. While in jail for his debts, news reaches him that the ticket he gave away has won a 3,000 prize. His disappointment is short-lived, however, as the daughter of the winner hears of his plight, pays off his debts, and, after a brief courtship, agrees to become his wife.
Wilson had found himself at the mercy of many of the social ills that Fielding had written about in his journalism: the over-saturated and abused literary market, the exploitative state lottery, and regressive laws which sanctioned imprisonment for small debts. Having seen the corrupting influence of wealth and the town, he retires with his new wife to the rural solitude in which Adams, Fanny and Joseph now find them. The only break in his contentment, and one which will turn out to be significant to the plot, was the kidnapping of his eldest son, whom he has not seen since.
Wilson promises to visit Adams when he passes through his parish, and after another mock-epic battle on the road, this time with a party of hunting dogs, the trio proceed to the house of a local squire, where Fielding illustrates another contemporary social ill by having Adams subjected to a humiliating roasting. Enraged, the three depart to the nearest inn to find that, while at the squires house, they had been robbed of their last half-guinea. To compound their misery, the squire has Adams and Joseph accused of kidnapping Fanny, in order to have them detained while he orders the abduction of the girl himself. She is rescued in transit, however, by Lady Boobys steward, Peter Pounce, and all four of them complete the remainder of the journey to Booby Hall together.

Book IV

On seeing Joseph arrive back in the parish, a jealous Lady Booby meanders through emotions as diverse as rage, pity, hatred, pride and love. The next morning Joseph and Fannys banns are published and the Lady turns her anger onto Parson Adams, who is accommodating Fanny at his house. Finding herself powerless either to stop the marriage or to expel them from the parish, she enlists the help of Lawyer Scout, who brings a spurious charge of larceny against Joseph and Fanny in order to prevent, or at least postpone, the wedding.
Three days later, the Ladys plans are foiled by the visit of her nephew, Mr Booby, and a surprise guest: Booby has married Pamela, granting Joseph a powerful new ally and brother-in-law. What is more, Booby is an acquaintance of the justice presiding over Joseph and Fannys trial, and instead of Bridewell, has them committed to his own custody. Knowing of his sisters antipathy to the two lovers, Booby offers to reunite Joseph with his sister and take him and Fanny into his own parish and his own family.
In a discourse with Joseph on stoicism and fatalism, Adams instructs his friend to submit to the will of God and control his passions, even in the face of overwhelming tragedy. In the kind of cruel juxtaposition usually reserved for Fieldings less savoury characters, Adams is informed that his youngest son, Jacky, has drowned. After indulging his grief in a manner contrary to his lecture a few minutes previously, Adams is informed that the report was premature, and that his son had in fact been rescued by the same pedlar that loaned him his last few shillings in Book II.
Lady Booby, in a last-ditch attempt to sabotage the marriage, brings a young beau named Didapper to Adams house to seduce Fanny. Didapper is a little too bold in his approach and provokes Joseph into a fight. The Lady and the beau depart in disgust, but the pedlar, having seen the Lady, is compelled to relate a tale. The pedlar had met his wife while in the army, and she died young. While on her death bed, she confessed that she once stole an exquisitely beautiful baby girl from a family named Andrews, and sold her on to Sir Thomas Booby, thus raising the possibility that Fanny may in fact be Josephs sister. The company is shocked, but there is general relief that the crime of incest may have been narrowly averted.

Joseph and Fanny are finally wed.

The following morning, Joseph and Pamelas parents arrive, and, together with the pedlar and Adams, they piece together the question of Fannys parentage. The Andrews identify her as their lost daughter, but have a twist to add to the tale: when Fanny was an infant, she was indeed stolen from her parents, but the thieves left behind a sickly infant Joseph in return, who was raised as their own. It is immediately apparent that Joseph is the abovementioned kidnapped son of Wilson, and when Wilson arrives on his promised visit, he identifies Joseph by a birthmark on his chest. Joseph is now the son of a respected gentleman, Fanny an in-law of the Booby family, and the couple no longer suspected of being siblings. Two days later they are married by Adams in a humble ceremony, and the narrator, after bringing the story to a close, and in a disparaging allusion to Richardson, assures the reader that there will be no sequel.

Character analysis: Joseph Andrews, by Henry Fielding

By modern standards, Henry Fielding's novel, Joseph Andrews, reads almost like a parody. Rather than maintaining realistic characters, they are described in a mock epic style. They are too extreme in their virtue and vice, too obviously charactetured to be a strictly realistic style or believable. We do not identify with them as we may have done with more well rounded individuals.

Joseph, the hero, is described in a style that sounds more like the introduction to a play than a novel. His entire history (as far as the author claims to credibly know it) is provided, beginning with lineage. This heralds back to the classic works that Fielding sought to emulate. He is described as arising from a dunghill' (very ironic considering the high regard in which he is held), just as the Athenians sprang from the earth.
Indeed, he seems almost to be one of their demigods: the lyrical description depicts a beautiful, tender, virtuous youth. He is both humble and hard working, and appears as almost an encapsulation of the author's ideal Christian.
Mrs. Slipslop sharply contrasts this beautiful image. The diction in her section is courser and more prosaic. She is old, ugly, scheming, the antithesis of all that Joseph represents. She is also a somewhat humorous character: she is ridiculous and amusing. She thinks that because she has been a maiden (which is her qualification for considering herself virtuous) for so long that she can commit any sin she pleases now. Contrastingly, Joseph's dearest possession is his virtue, and he upholds it throughout many temptations.
By giving his character Biblical names, Fielding has instantly created associations between his characters and their Biblical counterparts. These names can reveal characteristics and background without being explicitly explained in the text. It connects the work to something familiar and traditional that is part of our collective consciousness. Without even realizing it, we link the characters to their namesakes.
Joseph's character is aligned with the Old Testament Joseph most famous for his coat of many colours. Yet the differences between the two are as important as the similarities in this case. Both Josephs are separated from their homes and families and work as servants, where both distinguish themselves through their outstanding character. Yet the Biblical Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, whereas the novel's Joseph has only a sister. She is famous for her virtue, and he repeatedly thanks

her for her excellent example. Yet his name foreshadows an unfortunate event in Andrew's life: the wife of his master (in the novel's version she is recently widowed) takes a fancy to him and tries to seduce him. When he refuses her, she strips him of his livery (although Fielding later contradicts himself on this point by repeatedly mentioning his livery) and turns him out (in the Bible, he is imprisoned on fake charges of trying to rape her). Both are reduced to the humblest circumstances (Andrews is robbed and beaten), yet their virtue and righteousness provide them with the strength to continue to a better situation than previously enjoyed.

Parson Abraham Adams is an extremely good, albeit nave, man. He is described as without vice, always seeking out the best in people and treating them well. Yet his extreme goodness is also his flawhe cannot account for the failings and dishonesties that mankind is prone too, and so sets himself up to be deceived and disappointed. The Abraham of the Bible presents one of the most powerful and memorable prophets of that sacred book. He received extensive revelations and is regarded as the father of the covenant people. He is remembered for his humility and faith.
In his elderly years, he and his wife still had not had a child, and they greatly desired one. After much pleading with the Lord, they were blessed with Isaac. Yet Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his beloved son on an alter. With incredible faith and submissiveness, Abraham prepared to comply with God's command. This compared directly with God the Father's loss of his beloved son, Jesus Christ. What a powerful namesake to give someone. Yet both could be seen as foolish in their extremity. Both have an excess of blind faith and humble trust.
Fielding is more prone to use general types than particular characters. He uses the traditional stereotypes to tell his tale: the seductive mistress, the rude housemaid who thinks herself higher than her position, the virtuous siblings, the bumbling parson, and so forth. His story feels almost allegorical or parable-like, and these pre-packaged characters lend themselves well to this style. Everyone knows characters similar to these. These generic figures make it easier for him to apply a lesson to all of the readers

05-09-2010, 08:15 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

TRUE! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture - a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees - very gradually - I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded - with what caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it - oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly - very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously - cautiously (for the hinges creaked) - I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights - every night just at midnight - but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers - of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back - but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.
I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out - "Who's there?"
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; - just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief - oh, no! - it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself - "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney - it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel - although he neither saw nor heard - to feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little - a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it - you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily - until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open - wide, wide open - and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness - all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? - now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! - do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me - the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once - once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye - not even his - could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out - no stain of any kind - no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all - ha! ha!
When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock - still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, - for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, - for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search - search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: - It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness - until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
No doubt I now grew very pale; - but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased - and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound - much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath - and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly - more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men - but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed - I raved - I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder - louder - louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! - no, no! They heard! - they suspected! - they knew! - they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now - again! - hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous heart

Plot Summary
The Tell-Tale Heart begins with the famous line True! nervous very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The narrator insists that his disease has sharpened, not dulled, his senses. He tells the tale of how an old man who lives in his house has never wronged him. For an unknown reason, the old mans cloudy, pale blue eye has incited madness in the narrator. Whenever the old man looks at him, his blood turns cold. Thus, he is determined to kill him to get rid of this curse.
Again, the narrator argues that he is not mad. He claims the fact that he has proceeded cautiously indicates that he is sane. For a whole week, he has snuck into the mans room every night, but the victim has been sound asleep with his eyes closed each time. The narrator cannot bring himself to kill the man without seeing his Evil Eye. On the eighth night, however, the man springs up and cries Whos there? In the dark room, the narrator waits silently for an hour. The man does not go back to sleep; instead, he gives out a slight groan, realizing that Death is approaching. Eventually, the narrator shines his lamp on the old mans eye. The narrator immediately becomes furious at the damned spot, but he soon hears the beating of a heart so loud that he fears the neighbors will hear it. With a yell, he leaps into the room and kills the old man. Despite the murder, he continues to hear the mans relentless heartbeat.
He dismembers the corpse and hides the body parts beneath the floorboards. There is a knock on the front door; the police have come to investigate a shriek the neighbors have reported. The narrator invites them to search the premises. He blames his scream on a bad dream and explains that the old man is not home. The officers are satisfied but refuse to leave. Soon the sound of the heartbeat resumes, growing more and more distinct. The narrator grows pale and raises his voice to muffle the sound. At last, unable to stand it any longer, the narrator screams: I admit the deed! tear up the planks! here, here! it is the beating of his hideous heart!

The narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart recounts his murder of an old man. Since he tells the story in first-person, the reader cannot determine how much of what he says is true; thus, he is an unreliable narrator. Though he repeatedly states that he is sane, the reader suspects otherwise from his bizarre reasoning, behavior, and speech. He speaks with trepidation from the famous first line of the story: True nervous very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The reader soon realizes through Poes jolting description of the narrators state of mind that the protagonist has in fact descended into madness. The narrator claims that he loves the old man and has no motive for the murder other than growing dislike of a cloudy film over one of the old mans eyes. Poe effectively conveys panic in the narrators voice, and the reader senses uneasiness and growing tension in the narrative. Through the first-person narrative of a madman, Poe effectively creates a gothic tale full of horror and psychological torment, a style he termed arabesque.
Old Man
The old man is known to readers only through the narration of the insane protagonist. According to the narrator, the old man had never done anything to warrant his murder. However, the old mans cloudy, pale blue eye bothers the narrator tremendously. The narrator believes that only by killing the old man can he get rid of the eyes overpowering malignant force. The old man is apparently quite rich, for he possesses treasures and gold and he locks the window shutters in his room for fear of robbers. However, the narrator states that he has no desire for his gold. In fact, he claims that he loves the old man. Through the narrator, the reader understands the horror that the old man experiences as he realizes that his companion is about to kill him. The narrator claims that he too knows this horror very well. Some critics argue that the old man must have known about the narrators violent tendencies, for he cries out in horror well before the narrator kills him. Other critics suggest that the old man may have been the narrators guardian or even father. Still other critics believe that the old man is a doppelganger for the narrator, that is, he is his double, and the narrators loathing for the man represents his own self-loathing.

Guilt and Innocence
The guilt of the narrator is a major theme in The Tell-Tale Heart. The story is about a mad person who, after killing a companion for no apparent reason, hears an interminable heartbeat and releases his overwhelming sense of guilt by shouting his confession to the police. Indeed, some early critics saw the story as a straightforward parable about self-betrayal by the criminals conscience.
The narrator never pretends to be innocent, fully admitting that he has killed the old man because of the victims pale blue, film-covered eye which the narrator believes to be a malignant force. The narrator suggests that there are uncontrollable forces which can drive people to commit violent acts. In the end, however, Poes skillful writing allows the reader to sympathize with the narrators miserable state despite fully recognizing that he is guilty by reason of insanity.
Sanity and Insanity
Closely related to the theme of guilt and innocence is the issue of sanity. From the first line of the story True! nervous very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will you say that I am mad? the reader recognizes that something strange has occurred. His obsession with conveying to his audience that he is sane only amplifies his lack of sanity. The first tangible sign that the narrator is indeed mad appears in the second paragraph, when he compares the old mans eye to a vultures eye. He explains his decision to take the life of the old man in order to free himself from the curse of the eye. The narrators argument that he is sane, calculating, and methodical is unconvincing, however, and his erratic and confused language suggests that he is disordered. Thus, what the narrator considers to be evidence of a sane person the meticulous and thoughtful plans required to carry out a ghastly and unpleasant deed are interpreted instead by the reader to be manifestations of insanity.
A secondary theme in The Tell-Tale Heart is the role of time as a pervasive force throughout the story. Some critics note that the narrator is obsessed with time. While the entire narrative is told as one long flashback, the narrator is painfully aware of the agonizing effect on him of time. Although the action in this narrative occurs mainly during one long night, the numerous references the narrator makes to time show that the horror he experiences has been building over time. From the beginning, he explains that his obsession with ridding the curse of the eye has haunted [him] day and night. For seven long nights the narrator waits for the right moment to murder his victim. When on the eighth night the old man realizes that someone is in his room, the narrator remains still for an entire hour. The old mans terror is also felt by the narrator, who had endured night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall. (Death watches are a type of small beetle that live in wood and make a ticking sound.)
For the narrator, death and time are closely linked. He explains that the old mans hour had come, all the while painfully aware of the hours it takes to kill a victim and clean up the scene of the crime. What drives the narrator over the edge is hearing the overwhelming sound of a heartbeat, which he compares to a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. Yet after killing the old man, the narrator says that for many minutes, the heart beat on. He repeats his comparison of the heartbeat to a ticking watch as the unrelenting sound drives him to confess to the police. The narrators hour has also arrived.

Point of View
A notable aspect of The Tell-Tale Heart is that the story is told from the first-person point of view. The story is a monologue of a nervous narrator telling the reader how he murdered someone. He is eventually driven to confess to the police. The entire straightforward narrative is told from his point of view in a nervous tone. Through Poes masterful and inventive writing, the narrators twisted logic increasingly reveals that he is insane. By using a first-person narrative, Poe heightens the tension and fear running through the mind of the narrator. There is a clear connection between the language used by the narrator and his psychological state. The narrator switches between calm, logical statements and quick, irrational outbursts. His use of frequent exclamations reveals his extreme nervousness. The first-person point of view draws the reader into the mind of the insane narrator, enabling one to ironically sympathize with his wretched state of mind. Some critics suggest that the entire narrative represents a kind of confession, as at a trial or police station. Others consider the first-person point of view as a logical way to present a parable of self-betrayal by the criminals conscience a remarkable record of the voice of a guilty mind.
The denouement, or the resolution, of the narrative occurs in The Tell-Tale Heart when the narrator, prompted by the incessant sound of a beating heart, can no longer contain his ever-increasing sense of guilt. Poe is regarded by literary critics as having helped define the architecture of the modern short story, in which its brevity requires an economical use of sentences and paragraphs and the climactic ending often occurs in the last paragraph. The abrupt ending in this story is calculated to concentrate an effect on the reader. In The Tell-Tale Heart the crisis of conscience is resolved when the murderer shrieks the last lines of the story: I admit the deed! tear up the planks! here, here! it is the beating of his hideous heart! This abrupt outburst is a shock to the reader, a sudden bursting of the tension that has filled the story, and it provides the dramatic, emotional conclusion to the story.
Aestheticism and Arabesque
Poe was a writer concerned more with style and mood than his American contemporaries were, like James Fenimore Cooper, whose fiction was often morally didactic. Poe believed that a story should create a mood in a reader, or evoke emotions in order to be successful, and that it should not try to teach the reader a lesson. He called his style arabesque, and it was notable for its ornate, intricate prose that sought to create a feeling of unsettlement in the reader. This arabesque prose became a primary component of the art for arts sake movement, known as Aestheticism, that began in France in the nineteenth century. Poes works were highly esteemed by French writers, like the poet Charles Baudelaire, and their emulation of his style eventually influenced the Symbolists and helped bring an end to the Victorian age in literature. In The Tell-Tale Heart, an example of arabesque prose is when the narrator describes sneaking into the old mans room in the middle of the night: I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief oh no! it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. Instead of simply stating that he had heard a groan, the narrator describes the sound in detail, creating in the reader a sense of suspense and foreboding.
In literature, a doppelganger is a character that functions as the main characters double in order to highlight the main characters personality or act as a foil to it. Some critics have maintained that in The Tell-Tale Heart, the old man functions as a doppelganger to the narrator. Thus, the narrator is truly mad, and he kills the old man because he cannot stand himself, perhaps fearing becoming old or disfigured like him. The narrator recounts evidence to support this idea: he does not hate the man, in fact, he professes to love him; on the eighth night when the narrator sneaks into his room, the old man awakens, sits bolt upright in bed and listens in silence for an hour in the darkness, as does the narrator. Most notably, when the old man begins to moan, the narrator admits that the same sound had welled up from my own bosom many nights. When he hears the mans heart quicken with terror, he admits that he is nervous, too. Other critics have maintained that the old man does not exist. After all, the narrator tells police that it was he who screamed, and it is not stated that the police actually found a body. According to this viewpoint, the old mans cloudy eye is nothing more than a twisted fixation of the narrators own mind, and the relentless heartbeat is not the old mans, but the narrators

05-09-2010, 08:16 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

PLOT (Synopsis)

Faustus, a learned scholar of Wittenberg, has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. When the play opens, Faustus is seen in his study examining the various branches of knowledge he has studied in the past: logic, philosophy, medicine, law and theology. Dissatisfied with all these, he turns to the dangerous practice of necromancy, or black magic. With the help of his servant, Wagner, he summons Valdes and Cornelius and requests them to initiate him into the rudiments of magic. Faustus begins his experiments by conjuring up spirits. Mephistophilis appears before him, but Faustus is so shocked by his horrible appearance that he asks him to go away and come back again in the guise of a friar. Faustus then learns that it was not his invocation that produced Mephistophilis, but the curses he heaped on the holy trinity. Faustus asks Mephistophilis to return to the mighty Lucifer and meet him again in his study at midnight to enact the pact.
Faustus is then subject to a spiritual conflict. The two angels arrive. The Good Angel admonishes him to leave the black arts and concentrate on heaven and heavenly things. The Bad Angel advises him to think of honor and of wealth. Faustus dreams of the power and wealth that will soon be his. Mephistophilis arrives to inform Faustus that Lucifer needs a declaration from him to be signed in blood. Faustus signs a contract by which he agrees to give his soul to Mephistophilis in return for twenty-four years of faithful service. He is, however, upset by several bad omens. To divert Faustus, the three devils (Mephistophilis, Beelzebub and Lucifer) arrange for some entertainment: a parade of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Then Mephistophilis takes Faustus to Rome. In the Popes private chamber, both of them play practical jokes on the Pope. At the court of Emperor Charles V, Faustus punishes a skeptical courtier by putting horns on his head. He then produces the apparitions of Alexander the Great and his paramour and that of Darius, King of Persia. At the court of the Duke of Vanholt, Faustus, with the help of Mephistophilis, produces grapes in January. The twenty-four years allotted to Faustus are now almost over, and Faustus expects the devil to come at midnight to claim him. To entertain his scholar friends, Faustus summons the spirit of Helen of Troy from the underworld. But nothing can Faustus now. The old man witnesses Faustus exclusion from the grace of heaven. The Bad Angel warns Faustus to be ready to taste hells pains perpetually. The Good Angel tells him that the jaws of hell are open to receive him. Faustus has only an hour to live. He dreads the moment of damnation. Faustus begs for relief from the eternal torment in store for him and wishes that he were a beast without a soul. The clock strikes twelve. In the midst of thunder and lightning, devils come and carry Faustus away to hell


Faustus is the protagonist of the play. He makes the fatal choice of cursed necromancy (black magic) in order to gain absolute power for twenty-four years.
Lucifer, who is assisted by Mephistophilis and the bad angel, receives Faustus soul in exchange0for granting him twenty-four years of absolute power.
It is reached in the scene in which Faustus agrees to sell his soul to Mephistophilis in exchange for twenty-four years of faithful service.

The outcome of the play is tragic. Faustus has to pay heavily for his rebellion against the fixed laws of heaven and for practicing more than heavenly power permits. He is dragged off to hell, and the real tragedy lies in the fact that Faustus does not believe that repentance can him.

Doctor Faustus is set in fifteenth-century Germany, mostly in Faustus house at Wittenberg. In Act III, the setting shifts to Rome. Having traveled through France, Germany and Italy, Faustus and Mephistophilis arrive at the Popes palace at the Vatican, Rome. Thereafter he goes to the Court of the Emperor Charles V at Innsbruck, Germany. In Act IV, Scene 5, the setting shifts to the Court of the Duke and Duchess of Vanholt, Germany, where Faustus exhibits his magical powers. The final act of the play is set in Faustus house at Wittenberg


Faustus - The protagonist, a scholar in Wittenberg, who sells his soul to Lucifer in exchange for unlimited power for twenty-four years.
Mephistophilis - Lucifers assistant, who comes from hell to serve Faustus for twenty-four years.
Lucifer - The prince of hell; his business is to persuade men to turn away from God.
The Good And Bad Angels - The two figures who visit Faustus periodically in order to influence his behavior.
The Old Man - A spiritually strong man, who tries to prevent Faustus from being forever enslaved by worldly desires.
Wagner - Faustus servant.
Valdes and Cornelius - Fellow-magicians and friends of Faustus; they encourage Faustus to attain powers through the practice of magic.
The Clown - He becomes Wagners servant.
Horse-Courser - A fellow who is cheated into buying Faustus horse, which disappears when it is taken to a pond.
Robin - He steals some of Faustus books on magic and attempts to conjure spirits.
Ralph - A friend of Robins; he witnesses Robins act of conjuring.
The Pope - The head of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican; Faustus and Mephistophilis play practical jokes on him.
Charles V - The Emperor of Germany, at whose court Faustus demonstrates his magical powers.
Knight - A haughty fellow who offends Faustus and incurs his wrath.
Duke and Duchess of Vanholt - A couple whom Faustus visits and for whom he performs magic.
The Seven Deadly Sins, Alexander, Alexanders paramour, Darius (the King of Persia) and Helen of Troy - All of these are spirits which appear before Faustus in the course of the play.
Chorus - Personages who comment on Faustus intellectual achievements and his fatal choice of cursed necromancy



The major theme of Doctor Faustus is the pride which goes before a fall. Faustus sin is not his practice of necromancy, but his denial of Gods power and majesty. His pride is the source of his damnation. All the other sins committed by him are various aspects of the sin of pride. Even his despair in the last scene of the play is another aspect of his pride because it prevents him from asking for Gods forgiveness. Faustus despair denies Gods mercy.


One of the plays minor Themes is Faustus quest for knowledge. He examines all the orthodox branches of knowledge and finds them wanting. He chooses magic, for it promises a world of profit and delight, /Of power, of honor, of omnipotence. For twenty- four years, he seeks experience of all kinds. However, finally, his knowledge brings him despair instead of freedom.
Another minor theme of the play is the quest for power. Faustus power exists more in his imagination than in fact. When he performs magic, the audience gets the impression that he is a practical joker or a court entertainer. It is true that he plays pranks on the Pope, produces the spirits of Alexander, his paramour, Darius and Helen of Troy. It is also true that he produces grapes out of season for a pregnant duchess. All these performances are far removed from his first confident assertion that a sound magician is a demi-god. Faustus power is illusory, since at each stage he depends upon Mephistophilis.


The predominant mood of the whole play is somber tragedy, in which the protagonist chooses to be on the side of the devil and to embrace the evil generated by the devil. Faustus practice of black magic is more than heavenly power permits and brings about his hellish fall. Throughout the play there are comic interludes that provide a temporary mood of levity.






05-09-2010, 08:17 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Ode to the West Wind by Shelley

Ode to the West Wind by Shelley


O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave,until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like Earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: O hear!

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O Uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind

Poem Summary
Lines 1-14
In this first of the five sections of the poem, the speaker begins to define the domains and the powers of the West Wind. While stanza II addresses the winds influence on the sky, and stanza III discusses its effects on the sea, stanza I describes the winds effects on the land. The autumn breezes scatter dead leaves and seeds on the forest soil, where they eventually fertilize the earth and take root as new growth. Both Destroyer and Preserver (line 14), the wind ensures the cyclical regularity of the seasons. These themes of regeneration and the interconnectedness of death and life, endings and beginnings, runs throughout Ode to the West Wind.
The wind is, of course, more than simply a current of air. In Greek and Latin languages with which Shelley was familiar the words for wind, inspiration, soul, and spirit are all related. Shelleys West Wind thus seems to symbolize an inspiring spiritual power that moves everywhere, and affects everything.
Lines 2-3
These lines ostensibly suggest that, like a sorcerer might frighten away spirits, the wind scatters leaves. But one might also interpret leaves dead as forgotten books, and ghosts as writers of the past; in this sense, the winds of inspiration make way for new talent and ideas by driving away the memories of the old.
Lines 4-5
The colors named here might simply indicate the different shades of the leaves, but it is also possible to interpret the leaves as symbols of humanitys dying masses. In this analysis, the colors represent different cultures: Asian, African, Caucasian, and Native American. This idea is supported by the phrase Each like a corpse within its grave in line 8 that could indicate that each person takes part in the natural cycle of life and death.
Lines 6-7
Here, the wind is described as a chariot that carries leaves and seeds to the cold earth. This comparison gives the impression that the wind has some of the aspects of those who are associated with chariots gods and powerful rulers.
Line 8
The leaves are personified as people within their graves, an image that harkens back to lines 4 and 5, where the leaves are considered as diseased multitudes of people.
Lines 9-12
In Greek and Roman mythology, the spring west wind was masculine, as was the autumnal wind. Here, the speaker refers to the spring wind as feminine, perhaps to stress its role as nurturer and life-giver. She is pictured as awakening Nature with her energetic clarion, which is a type of medieval trumpet.
Lines 13-14
At the conclusion of the first stanza, the speaker identifies the wind as the powerful spirit of nature that incorporates both destruction and continuing life. In fact, these two processes are said to be related; without destruction, life cannot continue. At the end of line 14 is the phrase Oh hear! that will be repeated at the end of stanzas 2 and 3. This refrain emphasizes sound, which seems appropriate given that wind, an invisible force, is the poems central subject.
Lines 15-28
In stanza II, the wind helps the clouds shed rain, as it had helped the trees shed leaves in stanza I. Just as the dead foliage nourishes new life in the forest soil, so does the rain contribute to Natures regenerative cycle.
Lines 16-18
This passage has been heavily attacked by critics like F. R. Leavis for its lack of concreteness and apparently disconnected imagery; others have cited Shelleys knowledge of science, and the possibility that these poetic phrasings might indeed be based on natural fact. The loose clouds, for example, are probably cirrus clouds, harbingers (or angels as it is put in line 18) of rain. As the leaves of stanza I have been shed from boughs, these clouds have been shaken from the heavier cloud masses, or boughs of Heaven and Ocean (line 17). In Latin, cirrus means curl or lock of hair; it is thus appropriate that these clouds resemble a Maenad s bright hair (line 20) and are referred to as the locks of the approaching storm (line 23

Ode to the West Wind by Shelley
Lines 20-23
When Shelley was in Florence, he saw a relief sculpture of four maenads. These worshipers of the Roman god of wine and vegetation, Bacchus (in Greek mythology, Dionysus) were wild, dancing women with streaming hair. Here, the speaker compares the appearance of the cirrus clouds streaked across the horizon with the maenads blown tresses. This image seems especially appropriate in that Bacchus/Dionysus is associated with the natural world and the wind and clouds are primary elements of nature.
Lines 23-28
The wail of the wind is compared to a song of grief, as if it were mourning the dying year. As the year draws to a close, Nature prepares for the funeral. The coming night is described as a sepulcher, a burial tomb that will be marked by lightning and hail from a storm. This last day will end in darkness, under storm clouds.
Lines 29-42
In stanza III, the West Wind wields its power over the sea; but unlike the first two stanzas, this one is introduced by an image of calm, peace, and sensuality. The Mediterranean Sea is pictured as smooth and tranquil, sleeping alongside the old Italian town of Baiae. Once a playground of Roman emperors, Baiae sunk as a result of volcanic activity and is now the bed of a lush underwater garden. But the wind can also waken (line 29) the sea and disturb the summer tranquility of the waters by ushering in an autumn storm.
Lines 32-33
In 1818, Shelley himself had sailed past the Bay of Baiae; in a December letter to Thomas Love Peacock, he enthusiastically describes the ruins of its antique grandeur standing like rocks in the transparent sea under our boat.
Lines 36-38
Beginning at the end of line 36, the speaker disrupts the peace of the seascape and reminds the West Wind of its power to churn up wild, white-capped surf.
Lines 39-42
The lush sea foliage, which is sapless because the plants are underwater, is aware of the winds ability to destroy; remembering the havoc of cold weather storms, the vegetation is drained of color, as a person turns pale with fear, or as plant life on Earth fades in the fall. In a note to these lines, Shelley wrote: The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathizes with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it. The natural cycles of death and regeneration thus continue even underwater, with the aid of the West Wind.
Lines 43-56
After three stanzas of describing the West Winds power, which are all echoed in the first three lines of Stanza IV, the speaker asks to be moved by this spirit. For the first time in Ode to the West Wind, the wind confronts humanity in the form of speaker of the poem. No longer an idealistic young man, this speaker has experienced sorrow, pain, and limitations. He stumbles, even as he asks to be spiritually uplifted. At the same time, he can recall his younger years when he was tameless, and swift, and proud like the wind. These recollections help him to call on the wind for inspiration and new life. In this manner, the poem suggests that humans, too, are part of the never-ending natural cycle of death and rebirth.
Lines 47-52
In line 47, the speaker begins to explain that, as an idealistic youth, he used to race the wind and win, in his own mind. But now, as an older man, he could never imagine challenging the winds power.
Lines 53-54
In these well-known lines often mocked by Shelleys detractors, the patterns of sea, earth, and sky are recalled as the speaker asks to be raised from his sorrows by the inspirational West Wind. He seems almost Christ-like in his suffering, the thorns of life recalling the crown of thorns worn by Christ during the crucifixion.
Lines 55-56
The Christ-like image of the speaker continues here; his life experiences have been heavy crosses for him to bear and have weighed him down. And yet there still seem to be sparks of life and hope within him. He can still recall when he possessed many of the winds powers and qualities.
Lines 57-70
If Stanza IV is the explanation of why the West Wind is being invoked, Stanza V is the prayer itself. The requests of the speaker seem to gather speed much as the wind does; while he begins by asking to be moved by the wind, he soon asks to become one with this power. As a breeze might ignite a glowing coal, the speaker asks for the wind to breathe new life into him and his poetic art. With his last question, the speaker reminds his audience that change is on the horizon, be it personal or natural, artistic or political.
The lyre referred to in line 57 might be the Eolian lyre or harp, its name derived from Eolus, god of the winds. This lyre is a box with strings stretched across an opening. When the wind moves through it, the eolian harp emits musical sounds. Many Romantic writers, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his poem The Eolian Harp, used the instrument as a symbol for the human imagination that is played upon by a greater power. Here, the speaker asks to be the West Winds lyre, its means of music and communication.
Lines 58-62
Here, the speaker seems to accept his sorrows and sufferings; he realizes that the winds power may allow him to add harmony to autumns music. He is still sad, but he recognizes a sweetness in his pain: he is part of a natural cycle, and will have a chance to begin again as both man and poet. The speakers growing strength is hinted at by the powerful exclamations in lines 61 and 62.
Lines 63-64
The wind blew leaves over the forest floor, fertilizing the soil; now, the speaker asks the wind to scatter his timeworn ideas and writings across the earth in hopes of inspiring new thoughts and works. Note the word play on leaves, which can be found either on trees or in books.
Lines 65-67
In A Defence of Poetry, Shelley wrote that the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness. In asking the wind to fan and hopefully arouse the dying embers of his words, the speaker seems to be echoing this idea.
Lines 68-69
These lines recall the angels clarion of line 10, awakening the earth from wintry slumber. The speaker here asks to become the poet-prophet of the new season of renewal.
Lines 69-70
Shelley originally framed the last two lines as a statement; phrased as a question, the poem ends on a note of expectancy rather than affirmation. The speaker has made his case and plea to assist the wind in the declaration of a new age but he has not yet received an answer. Along with his audience, he breathlessly awaits a yes, delivered on the wings of the wind

Cycle of Life
This is a poem about renewal, about the wind blowing life back into dead things, implying not just an arc of life (which would end at death) but a cycle, which only starts again when something dies. The dead leaves are stirred to new life, dormant seeds fly, the vapid clouds regroup into an approaching storm, the quiet ocean is shaken awake, dead thoughts quicken new birth, and the poems speaker, who had lost his enthusiasm and inspiration, is revived and given a new interest in life. The central metaphor of this poem is the seasons of the year: Autumn in the first stanza and Winter and Spring in the last, with a glancing reference to summer in the middle. Shelleys choice to begin a poem about renewal in the Autumn, when the whole world is not yet dead but moving toward its death-state, is unusual, but effective: having the speaker bear in mind the rebirth that does not come in the next season but in the season after that is a way of emphasizing how much faith he has in the process of nature. That faith is even more impressive when we realize that the speaker has a shadow of doubt that the cycle will repeat itself indefinitely, as indicated by the fact that the last line says if Winter comes, not when. Winter never fails to come, of course, but if we take this statement as an indication of how he thinks the seasons reflect his mental state, we can see that he is not certain of what is going to happen next and only hopes that it will follow the cycle of life.
Return to Nature
Throughout Ode To The West Wind, the speakers relationship with the wind changes at different times one then the other is inspired or submissive, used like a tool or the user. The poem starts as an invocation, as the speaker calls upon the wind, mentioning its wonderful accomplishments, begging the powerful wind for its attention. The first three stanzas sing the glory of the wind and its ability to create life where there was none, from the top of the sky to the bottom of the sea. In the fourth stanza the speaker finally comes out with what all of these praises have been leading up to: a partnership, so that he can be the winds companion in flying all over the world, the way he did when he was young. At this point the speaker is entirely submissive and his ode is a prayer my sore need. In the final stanza, though, the relationship is redefined several times: first the speaker asks to be a lyre, an instrument to be used at the winds will; then he asks to become one with the wind, inviting it to be his spirit; and finally it is he who is using the wind as an instrument, The trumpet of a prophecy. Critics have pointed out that the inconsistency here goes beyond the normal stretch of imagination that we can accept as poetic license. It is perfectly understandable for the speaker to ask several different things of the wind after he has heaped praise upon it for three stanzas, but the difference in physics between being the wind and being the winds instrument cannot be excused.
The speaker of this poem implies that he has come to suffer some serious oppression lately: A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed / One too like thee; tameless, swift and proud. Critics love to look for details within Shelleys life that would give him a reason to feel this way, but for the sake of understanding the poem it is sufficient to say that he feels confined by the responsibilities of growing up, and that is why, when he looks back on his boyhood, he idealized himself as flying across the sky. If this feeling of increasing limitations is the basis of the poem, then it is no wonder that it is addressed to the west wind with all its might. Appropriately for the daydreams of an adult who feels he deserves better, who is in sore need because he never gets to have fun anymore, the winds freedom is imagined not only in its ability to go anywhere but also in the freedom to create and destroy. The wind that is recognized for its ability to stir leaves and clouds also has a dark side: it brings autumn, and black rain, and fire, and hail, and it has a voice that is so powerful that it can make the plants at the bottom of the ocean grow grey with fear / And tremble and despoil themselves. To a speaker who felt less oppressed, the winds freedom might be appreciated as a magnificent, magical force, but here the very uses that the wind makes of its freedom are described in terms that equate freedom with power and destruction.

The poet laureate William Wordsworth called Shelley one of the best artists of us all; I mean in workmanship of style. But even Shelleys most loyal admirers acknowledge that Shelleys poetry presents special stylistic difficulties. The form of Ode to the West Wind, for example, is Shelleys own invention, combing elements of the sonnet with the Italian three-line rhyme scheme known as terza rima. Like the sonnet, most lines of the ode contain ten syllables and the meter is generally iambic one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable though Shelley tends to vary the meter and line length on occasion. Each of the five numbered sections in the poem contains fourteen lines the length of a sonnet so the ode is, in a sense, five sonnets combined together. The terza rima rhyme pattern employed in the poem utilizes end-rhymes that create an interlocking scheme that can be diagrammed as aba bcb cdc ded ee.
Despite this highly controlled structure, the poem also reflects the uncontrolled spirit of the wind. The feeling of the whirling breeze is depicted in the many run-on lines phrases that begin on one line and extend to the next. See, for example, lines 2-3, 6-7, 8-9, 9-10, and 10-11. To keep the difficult rhyme scheme of terza rima moving, Shelley includes several slant or near rhymes, such as everywhere and here (lines 13 and 14) and sepulchre and atmosphere (lines 25 and 27). A blustery quality is added with the use of consecutive accented syllables, as in the four accents of O wild West Wind (line 1) or the two in leaves dead (line 2). The sweep and power of the wind is also evoked by Shelleys use of alliteration and assonance, even through the run-on lines. Dark wintry bed / The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low (lines 6-7), for example, utilizes alliteration in the repeated w sounds; assonance moves the reader quickly from wintry to winged, cold to low


The speaker invokes the wild West Wind of autumn, which scatters the dead leaves and spreads seeds so that they may be nurtured by the spring, and asks that the wind, a destroyer and preserver, hear him. The speaker calls the wind the dirge / Of the dying year, and describes how it stirs up violent storms, and again implores it to hear him. The speaker says that the wind stirs the Mediterranean from his summer dreams, and cleaves the Atlantic into choppy chasms, making the sapless foliage of the ocean tremble, and asks for a third time that it hear him.

The speaker says that if he were a dead leaf that the wind could bear, or a cloud it could carry, or a wave it could push, or even if he were, as a boy, the comrade of the winds wandering over heaven, then he would never have needed to pray to the wind and invoke its powers. He pleads with the wind to lift him as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!for though he is like the wind at heart, untamable and proudhe is now chained and bowed with the weight of his hours upon the earth.
The speaker asks the wind to make me thy lyre, to be his own Spirit, and to drive his thoughts across the universe, like withered leaves, to quicken a new birth. He asks the wind, by the incantation of this verse, to scatter his words among mankind, to be the trumpet of a prophecy. Speaking both in regard to the season and in regard to the effect upon mankind that he hopes his words to have, the speaker asks: If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Each of the seven parts of Ode to the West Wind contains five stanzasfour three-line stanzas and a two-line couplet, all metered in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme in each part follows a pattern known as terza rima, the three-line rhyme scheme employed by Dante in his Divine Comedy. In the three-line terza rima stanza, the first and third lines rhyme, and the middle line does not; then the end sound of that middle line is employed as the rhyme for the first and third lines in the next stanza. The final couplet rhymes with the middle line of the last three-line stanza. Thus each of the seven parts of Ode to the West Wind follows this scheme: ABA BCB CDC DED EE.

The wispy, fluid terza rima of Ode to the West Wind finds Shelley taking a long thematic leap beyond the scope of Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, and incorporating his own art into his meditation on beauty and the natural world. Shelley invokes the wind magically, describing its power and its role as both destroyer and preserver, and asks the wind to sweep him out of his torpor as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! In the fifth section, the poet then takes a remarkable turn, transforming the wind into a metaphor for his own art, the expressive capacity that drives dead thoughts like withered leaves over the universe, to quicken a new birththat is, to quicken the coming of the spring. Here the spring season is a metaphor for a spring of human consciousness, imagination, liberty, or moralityall the things Shelley hoped his art could help to bring about in the human mind. Shelley asks the wind to be his spirit, and in the same movement he makes it his metaphorical spirit, his poetic faculty, which will play him like a musical instrument, the way the wind strums the leaves of the trees. The thematic implication is significant: whereas the older generation of Romantic poets viewed nature as a source of truth and authentic experience, the younger generation largely viewed nature as a source of beauty and aesthetic experience. In this poem, Shelley explicitly links nature with art by finding powerful natural metaphors with which to express his ideas about the power, import, quality, and ultimate effect of aesthetic expression

transcendence, for he shows that his thoughts, like the "winged seeds" (7) are

trapped. The West Wind acts as a driving force for change and rejuvenation in

the human and natural world. Shelley views winter not just as last phase of

vegetation but as the last phase of life in the individual, the imagination,

civilization and religion. Being set in Autumn, Shelley observes the changing

of the weather and its effects on the internal and external environment. By

examining this poem, the reader will see that Shelley can only reach his

sublime by having the wind carry his "dead thoughts" (63) which through an

apocalyptic destruction, will lead to a rejuvenation of the imagination, the

individual and the natural world.

Shelley begins his poem by addressing the "Wild West Wind" (1). He

quickly introduces the theme of death and compares the dead leaves to "ghosts"

(3). The imagery of "Pestilence-stricken multitudes" makes the reader aware

that Shelley is addressing more than a pile of leaves. His claustrophobic mood

becomes evident when he talks of the "wintry bed" (6) and "The winged seeds,

where they lie cold and low/ Each like a corpse within its grave, until/ Thine

azure sister of the Spring shall blow" (7-9). In the first line, Shelley use

the phrase "winged seeds" which presents images of flying and freedom. The

only problem is that they lay "cold and low" or unnourished or not elevated.

He likens this with a feeling of being trapped. The important word is "seeds"

for it shows that even in death, new life will grow out of the "grave." The

phrase "winged seeds" also brings images of religions, angels, and/or souls

that continue to create new life. Heavenly images are confirmed by his use of

the word "azure" which besides meaning sky blue, also is defined, in Webster's

Dictionary, as an "unclouded vault of heaven." The word "azure," coupled with

the word "Spring," helps show Shelley's view of rejuvenation. The word

"Spring" besides being a literary metaphor for rebirth also means to rise up. In

line 9, Shelley uses soft sounding phrases to communicate the blowing of the

wind. This tercet acts as an introduction and a foreshadow of what is to come


Shelley goes on to talk of the wind as a "Destroyer and Preserver" which

brings to mind religious overtones of different cultures such as Hinduism and

Native Indian beliefs. The poem now sees a shift of the clouds which warns of

an upcoming storm. This helps Shelley begin to work towards a final climax.

He then writes of the mourning song "Of the dying year, to which this closing

night/ Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre/ Vaulted with all they congregated

might" (23-25). Again, the reader feels somewhat claustrophobic. The "closing

night" feels as if it is surrounding the author as he writes and the reader as

he or she reads. The "closing night" is used also to mean the final night.

Shelley shows how he cannot have a transcendence even in an open sky for even

the sky is a "dome." The "sepulchre" is a tomb made out of rock and his

imagination and the natural world will be locked and "Vaulted" tight. But in

following lines Shelley writes how this "sepulchre" will "burst" (28). In that

sense, "Vaulted" takes on the meaning of a great leap and even a spring.

Shelley uses the phrase "congregated might" not just to mean a collaborative

effort, but to represent all types of religion. Shelley seems to use obtuse

phrasing to frighten the reader and to show the long breath of the wind.

Shelley wants the reader to visualize the "dome" as having a presence like a

volcano. And when the "dome" does "burst," it will act as a "Destroyer and

Preserver" and creator. The use of the words "Black rain and fire and hail..."

(28) also helps the reader prepare for the apocalyptic climax which Shelley


As the rising action continues, Shelley talks of the "Mediterranean"

(31) and its "summer dreams" (30). In the dream, the reader finds the sea

laying "Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay/ And saw in sleep old palaces and

towers/ Quivering within the wave's intenser day" (32-34). Shelley implants

the idea of a volcano with the word "pumice." The "old palaces and towers" stir

vivid images of ancient Rome and Greece in the readers mind. Shelley also uses

these images in the sea's dream to show that the natural world and the human

social and political world are parallel. Again, he uses soft sounding words,

but this time it is used to lull the reader into the same dream-like state of

the Mediterranean. The "pumice" shows destruction and creation for when the

volcano erupts it destroys. But it also creates more new land. The "pumice" is

probably Shelley's best example of rebirth and rejuvenation. The word

"Quivering" is not just used to describe the reflection of images in the water.

It is also used to show a sense of fear which seems to be the most common mood

and emotion in this poem. Is Shelley perhaps making a comment that at the root

of people's faith is fear of vengeful god? Maybe, but the main focus of this

poem is not just religion, but what religion stands for which is death and

rebirth. Could line 34, also be a comment on Shelley himself?

In the final stanzas, Shelley has the wind transforming from the natural

world toward human suffering. Shelley pleads with the wind: "Oh! lift me as a

wave, a leaf, a cloud!" (54). He seeks transcendence from the wind and says:

"I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed" (55). Shelley shows Christ not as a

religion, but as a hero of sacrifice and suffering, like the poet himself. He

again pleads for the wind: "Drive my dead thought over the universe...to

quicken a new birth!" (63-64). He asks the wind to "Scatter, as from an

unextinguished hearth/ Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!/ Be through

my lips to unawakened Earth" (66-68). The words "unextinguished hearth"

represent the poets undying passion. The "hearth" is also at the centre of the

earth which helps make the connection between humanity and nature. Both are

constantly trying to reinvent themselves. When one scatters "ashes" it's at

one's death and that person becomes one with the earth. When one scatters

"sparks" it is these sparks that create new fires of creation and destruction.

These new "sparks" arise when the "dome" explodes and abandons old ways. Can

one ever escape the roots of creation? Shelley has many Blakean overtones of

creation and destruction in the final tercet of this poem. Shelley's says that

his lips are the "trumpet of prophecy" (69). And many say that Wordsworth is

egotistical? Again, he uses biblical sounding words to add drama and importance

to his prophetic vision. And it definitely helps achieve Shelley's intended

climax when he asks with hope: "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

(70).This sentence could be rewritten substituting the word death, for the word

"Winter," and the word rebirth, could take the place of "spring."

Shelley, like all of the Romantic poets, constantly tries to achieve a

transcendence to sublime. In "Ode to the West Wind," Shelley uses the wind as

a power of change that flow through history, civilization, religions and human

life itself. Does the wind help Shelley achieve his transcendence? It seems

it has in some sense, but Shelley never achieves his full sublime. In poems

such as "Stanzas written in Dejection Near Naples" Shelley uses images of

"lightning" (15) and "flashing" (16) which help demonstrate that he can only

attain a partial sublime unlike a poet like William Wordsworth. Perhaps that's

why he tries to give rebirth to his individual imagination. One can never

restart totally new. Even the trees that will grow from "the winged seeds" are

not totally new, but that is the point Shelley is trying to make. He feels

himself to be part of a continuing cycle. Since Shelley is an atheist the only

way his soul can live on is through the "incantation" of his words. So, if his

transcendence is to live on in eternity and create inspiration and change in

others like the West Wind, then he has achieved something greater than he could

have imagined. But whether he grasped a complete transcendence for himself

while he was alive remains to be answered. It seems that it is only in his

death that the "Wild Spirit" (13) could be lifted "as a wave, a leaf, a cloud"

to blow free in the "Wild West Wind" (1).

In "Ode to the West Wind," Percy Bysshe Shelley tries to gain


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  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Robinson Crusoe Plot Summary

Born in York

A retired German merchant named Kreutznaer settles in the York country where, due to the "usual corruption of words in England," the German name becomes Crusoe. In York, Mr. Crusoe marries a woman whose surname is Robinson.

Robinson Crusoe, born in 1632, is their third child. Early on, Crusoe's father determines that his son will become a lawyer. Unfortunately, Crusoe "would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea." His mother and father do not allow it.

To London and Trade

A year later Crusoe sneaks away and accepts passage to London. He leaves on September 1, 1651. During a terrible storm, he promises to return home to his parents. Yet after the ship sinks, he forgets his promise. Instead, he goes to London and befriends the captain of a vessel bound for Guinea. He joins the voyage.

After a successful voyage, Crusoe resolves to make another journey with his friend. Yet after his friend suddenly dies, he gives most of his money to the captain's widow, invests some money, buys trade goods with the remainder, and takes the same ship for another voyage. On the way to Guinea, Moorish pirates seize the ship and he is forced to become a slave.

Two years later, Crusoe escapes in a fishing boat with the slave boy Xury. They sail down the "Barbarian Coast" of West Africa. Finally, just off the Cape Verde Islands, a Portuguese ship bound for Brazil rescues them. With Xury's consent, he sells him along with the boat's inventory to the ship's master.

Deciding to make his fortune in the area, Crusoe purchases a slave and a Brazilian sugar plantation. He enjoys moderate success with the new venture. A bit restless, he becomes interested in leading a slave expedition to Africa. So, at the "evil hour, the 1st of September, 1659," he embarks for Guinea; tragically, a hurricane wrecks the vessel on a sand bar and only Crusoe survives.

"the Island of Despair"

Crusoe is shocked to find himself on the deserted island. His shock gives way to jubilation and thanksgiving for his survival. However, when he realizes the serious nature of his dilemma, he runs around in shock, paranoia, and fear. He finally falls asleep in a tree gripping a stick.

Crusoe spends several days cannibalizing the shipwreck for materials and provisions. With these salvaged goods, he begins to establish a fort which he calls his "castle" where he rules over a dog, some cats, and a parrot. He keeps a record of time, but after his ink runs out, he cannot maintain his journal.

Reviewing his life, he realizes that he has been selfish and cruel. He repents and resolves to lead a virtuous life. His days are filled with exploring the island, improving his castle, domesticating goats, experimenting with pottery, and developing other skills necessary for self-sufficiency.

Having secured shelter and food, Crusoe makes a boat. He constructs a small one, but he is nearly swept out to sea by dangerous currents. He uses the boat only for transportation to other parts of the island.

After twelve years, Crusoe nearly dies of fright over "the print of a man's naked foot on the shore." In a flurry of self-preservation, he expands his fortifications. He also discovers human bones and signs of cannibalism. Eleven years later, he witnesses a cannibal feast. A Spanish ship wrecks off the coast and Crusoe is able to salvage some provisions from the wreck.

The End of Solitude

One night, in his twenty-fourth year on the island, he dreams of saving one of the cannibals and civilizing him. Eighteen months later, on a Friday, his dream comes true. The savage falls at Crusoe's feet out of gratitude. Crusoe calls him Friday, and teaches him important English words like "Master," "Yes," and "No."

Gradually, Friday becomes civilized, converts to Christianity, and adopts English habits. Friday tells Crusoe about the Spanish castaways living with his tribe on the mainland. Crusoe begins work on a bigger boat to bring the Spaniards to his island.

In the twenty-seventh year, cannibals hostile to Friday's tribe (along with a few of their captives) visit the island. One of the captives is a European, so Crusoe and Friday attack the cannibals to free the captive: Crusoe shoots several of them and the rest of the cannibals flee. One of the captives turns out to be Friday's father. With people to help and good advice, Crusoe expands his agricultural production.

On the condition that they accept Crusoe's leadership, the Spaniard and Friday's father leave to fetch the rest of the Spaniards. Meanwhile, a group of English mutineers lands on the island to dispose of their captain and his loyal officers. Crusoe and Friday rescue them, capture the mutineers, and take back the ship.

The mutineers choose to stay on the island as Crusoe's subjects rather than return for punishment in England. Crusoe takes Friday to England as honored guests of the rescued English captain.

Back to Civilization

After an absence of twenty-eight years, Crusoe returns London in June, 1687. After the English captain gives him a reward, Crusoe learns that his parents are dead.

Crusoe discovers that he is rich because of some previous investments. After rewarding those who served him faithfully and selling his plantation, he returns to London.

Back in London, he marries and fathers three children. After his wife dies, he embarks on a final journey. On the way back, he visits his colony, which is thriving

Character List

Robinson Crusoe - The novel's protagonist and narrator. Crusoe begins the novel as a young middle-class man in York in search of a career. He father recommends the law, but Crusoe yearns for a life at sea, and his subsequent rebellion and decision to become a merchant is the starting point for the whole adventure that follows. His vague but recurring feelings of guilt over his disobedience color the first part of the first half of the story and show us how deep Crusoe's religious fear is. Crusoe is steady and plodding in everything he does, and his perseverance ensures his survival through storms, enslavement, and a twenty-eight-year isolation on a desert island.

Friday - A twenty-six-year-old Caribbean native and cannibal who converts to Protestantism under Crusoe's tutelage. Friday becomes Crusoe's servant after Crusoe s his life when Friday is about to be eaten by other cannibals. Friday never appears to resist or resent his new servitude, and he may sincerely view it as appropriate compensation for having his life d. But whatever Friday's response may be, his servitude has become a symbol of imperialist oppression throughout the modern world. Friday's overall charisma works against the emotional deadness that many readers find in Crusoe.

The Portuguese captain - The sea captain who picks up Crusoe and the slave boy Xury from their boat after they escape from their Moorish captors and float down the African coast. The Portuguese captain takes Crusoe to Brazil and thus inaugurates Crusoe's new life as plantation owner. The Portuguese captain is never namedunlike Xury, for exampleand his anonymity suggests a certain uninteresting blandness in his role in the novel. He is polite, personable, and extremely generous to Crusoe, buying the animal skins and the slave boy from Crusoe at well over market value. He is loyal as well, taking care of Crusoe's Brazilian investments even after a twenty-eight-year absence. His role in Crusoe's life is crucial, since he both arranges for Crusoe's new career as a plantation owner and helps Crusoe cash in on the profits later.

The Spaniard - One of the men from the Spanish ship that is wrecked off Crusoe's island, and whose crew is rescued by the cannibals and taken to a neighboring island. The Spaniard is doomed to be eaten as a ritual victim of the cannibals when Crusoe s him. In exchange, he becomes a new subject in Crusoe's kingdom, at least according to Crusoe. The Spaniard is never fleshed out much as a character in Crusoe's narrative, an example of the odd impersonal attitude often notable in Crusoe.

Xury - A nonwhite (Arab or black) slave boy only briefly introduced during the period of Crusoe's enslavement in Sallee. When Crusoe escapes with two other slaves in a boat, he forces one to swim to shore but keeps Xury on board, showing a certain trust toward the boy. Xury never betrays that trust. Nevertheless, when the Portuguese captain eventually picks them up, Crusoe sells Xury to the captain. Xury's sale shows us the racist double standards sometimes apparent in Crusoe's behavior.

The widow - Appearing briefly, but on two separate occasions in the novel, the widow keeps Crusoe's 200 pounds safe in England throughout all his thirty-five years of journeying. She returns it loyally to Crusoe upon his return to England and, like the Portuguese captain and Friday, reminds us of the goodwill and trustworthiness of which humans can be capable, whether European or not

Analysis of Major Characters

Robinson Crusoe

While he is no flashy hero or grand epic adventurer, Robinson Crusoe displays character traits that have won him the approval of generations of readers. His perseverance in spending months making a canoe, and in practicing pottery making until he gets it right, is praiseworthy. Additionally, his resourcefulness in building a home, dairy, grape arbor, country house, and goat stable from practically nothing is clearly remarkable. The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau applauded Crusoe's do-it-yourself independence, and in his book on education, Emile, he recommends that children be taught to imitate Crusoe's hands-on approach to life. Crusoe's business instincts are just as considerable as his survival instincts: he manages to make a fortune in Brazil despite a twenty-eight-year absence and even leaves his island with a nice collection of gold. Moreover, Crusoe is never interested in portraying himself as a hero in his own narration. He does not boast of his courage in quelling the mutiny, and he is always ready to admit unheroic feelings of fear or panic, as when he finds the footprint on the beach. Crusoe prefers to depict himself as an ordinary sensible man, never as an exceptional hero.

But Crusoe's admirable qualities must be weighed against the flaws in his character. Crusoe seems incapable of deep feelings, as shown by his cold account of leaving his familyhe worries about the religious consequences of disobeying his father, but never displays any emotion about leaving. Though he is generous toward people, as when he gives gifts to his sisters and the captain, Crusoe reveals very little tender or sincere affection in his dealings with them. When Crusoe tells us that he has gotten married and that his wife has died all within the same sentence, his indifference to her seems almost cruel. Moreover, as an individual personality, Crusoe is rather dull. His precise and deadpan style of narration works well for recounting the process of canoe building, but it tends to drain the excitement from events that should be thrilling. Action-packed scenes like the conquest of the cannibals become quite humdrum when Crusoe narrates them, giving us a detailed inventory of the cannibals in list form, for example. His insistence on dating events makes sense to a point, but it ultimately ends up seeming obsessive and irrelevant when he tells us the date on which he grinds his tools but neglects to tell us the date of a very important event like meeting Friday. Perhaps his impulse to record facts carefully is not a survival skill, but an irritating sign of his neurosis.

Finally, while not boasting of heroism, Crusoe is nonetheless very interested in possessions, power, and prestige. When he first calls himself king of the island it seems jocund, but when he describes the Spaniard as his subject we must take his royal delusion seriously, since it seems he really does consider himself king. His teaching Friday to call him Master, even before teaching him the words for yes or no, seems obnoxious even under the racist standards of the day, as if Crusoe needs to hear the ego-boosting word spoken as soon as possible. Overall, Crusoe's virtues tend to be private: his industry, resourcefulness, and solitary courage make him an exemplary individual. But his vices are social, and his urge to subjugate others is highly objectionable. In bringing both sides together into one complex character, Defoe gives us a fascinating glimpse into the successes, failures, and contradictions of modern man


Probably the first nonwhite character to be given a realistic, individualized, and humane portrayal in the English novel, Friday has a huge literary and cultural importance. If Crusoe represents the first colonial mind in fiction, then Friday represents not just a Caribbean tribesman, but all the natives of America, Asia, and Africa who would later be oppressed in the age of European imperialism. At the moment when Crusoe teaches Friday to call him Master Friday becomes an enduring political symbol of racial injustice in a modern world critical of imperialist expansion. Recent rewritings of the Crusoe story, like J. M. Coetzee's Foe and Michel Tournier's Friday, emphasize the sad consequences of Crusoe's failure to understand Friday and suggest how the tale might be told very differently from the native's perspective.

Aside from his importance to our culture, Friday is a key figure within the context of the novel. In many ways he is the most vibrant character in Robinson Crusoe, much more charismatic and colorful than his master. Indeed, Defoe at times underscores the contrast between Crusoe's and Friday's personalities, as when Friday, in his joyful reunion with his father, exhibits far more emotion toward his family than Crusoe. Whereas Crusoe never mentions missing his family or dreams about the happiness of seeing them again, Friday jumps and sings for joy when he meets his father, and this emotional display makes us see what is missing from Crusoe's stodgy heart. Friday's expression of loyalty in asking Crusoe to kill him rather than leave him is more heartfelt than anything Crusoe ever says or does. Friday's sincere questions to Crusoe about the devil, which Crusoe answers only indirectly and hesitantly, leave us wondering whether Crusoe's knowledge of Christianity is superficial and sketchy in contrast to Friday's full understanding of his own god Benamuckee. In short, Friday's exuberance and emotional directness often point out the wooden conventionality of Crusoe's personality.

Despite Friday's subjugation, however, Crusoe appreciates Friday much more than he would a mere servant. Crusoe does not seem to value intimacy with humans much, but he does say that he loves Friday, which is a remarkable disclosure. It is the only time Crusoe makes such an admission in the novel, since he never expresses love for his parents, brothers, sisters, or even his wife. The mere fact that an Englishman confesses more love for an illiterate Caribbean ex-cannibal than for his own family suggests the appeal of Friday's personality. Crusoe may bring Friday Christianity and clothing, but Friday brings Crusoe emotional warmth and a vitality of spirit that Crusoe's own European heart lacks.

The Portuguese Captain

The Portuguese captain is presented more fully than any other European in the novel besides Crusoe, more vividly portrayed than Crusoe's widow friend or his family members. He appears in the narrative at two very important junctures in Crusoe's life. First, it is the Portuguese captain who picks up Crusoe after the escape from the Moors and takes him to Brazil, where Crusoe establishes himself as a plantation owner. Twenty-eight years later, it is again the Portuguese captain who informs Crusoe that his Brazilian investments are secure, and who arranges the sale of the plantation and the forwarding of the proceeds to Crusoe. In both cases, the Portuguese captain is the agent of Crusoe's extreme good fortune. In this sense, he represents the benefits of social connections. If the captain had not been located in Lisbon, Crusoe never would have cashed in on his Brazilian holdings. This assistance from social contacts contradicts the theme of solitary enterprise that the novel seems to endorse. Despite Crusoe's hard individual labor on the island, it is actually another human beingand not his own resourcefulnessthat makes Crusoe wealthy in the end. Yet it is doubtful whether this insight occurs to Crusoe, despite his obvious gratitude toward the captain.

Moreover, the Portuguese captain is associated with a wide array of virtues. He is honest, informing Crusoe of the money he has borrowed against Crusoe's investments, and repaying a part of it immediately even though it is financially difficult for him to do so. He is loyal, honoring his duties toward Crusoe even after twenty-eight years. Finally, he is extremely generous, paying Crusoe more than market value for the animal skins and slave boy after picking Crusoe up at sea, and giving Crusoe handsome gifts when leaving Brazil. All these virtues make the captain a paragon of human excellence, and they make us wonder why Defoe includes such a character in the novel. In some ways, the captain's goodness makes him the moral counterpart of Friday, since the European seaman and the Caribbean cannibal mirror each other in benevolence and devotion to Crusoe. The captain's goodness thus makes it impossible for us to make oversimplified oppositions between a morally bankrupt Europe on the one hand, and innocent noble savages on the other



Robinson Crusoe must overcome his fear in order to survive his long ordeal on the deserted island. The trial by fear begins when he runs about like a madman, scared of every shadow, and sleeps in a tree with a weapon: "fear banished all my religious hope, all that former confidence in God." He quickly realizes that he must recover his wits and reason if he is to survive.

At several points in the narrative, Crusoe is almost overwhelmed by his fear of the unknown. It propels him to colonize the island, securing his shelter and becoming self-sufficient. His ability to funnel his fear into productivity and creativity allows him to survive under extreme conditions.

Crusoe masters his fear when he faces the ultimate challenge the devil. Investigating a cave, he is met by a pair of eyes. At first scared, he realizes that he can confront this enemy just like he has met every other challenge on the island. "He that was afraid to see the devil, was not fit to live twenty years in an island all alone."

With that, he rushes in to confront the devil and discovers a dying goat. He has passed his trial. Had he not faced his fears, he would have run away in full belief that the devil lived in that cave. Instead, he investigates and confronts his fear.

Human Condition

Robinson Crusoe is a meditation on the human condition, and an argument for challenging traditional notions about that condition. Finding himself alone in a deserted island, Crusoe struggles to maintain reason, order, and civilization. His "original sin" is his rejection of a conventional life. When he leaves England for a life on the high seas, he refuses to be "satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature hath placed" him.

Crusoe struggles with and eventually triumphs over nature. The book suggests that this struggle is at the heart of human nature: man is on earth to triumph and gain profit from nature. Any profit makes sense in this view of the world, whether that means getting just one plank out of a huge tree or building a boat too heavy to bring to the water. Once Crusoe is able to overcome his fear and subdue nature is rewarded handsomely.


Consistent with Defoe's writings on economics, money is an important theme in Robinson Crusoe. At the beginning of the narrative, Crusoe details how much money he has, what he does with it, and what he gains by his actions.

On the island, money loses all value. Crusoe has to find another way to measure his worth. While rummaging through a ship for salvage he laments aloud at the sight of some money, "O Drug! what are thou good for." At that point he realizes that just one knife is worth more than money. Usefulness is the key to evaluation of worth.

Crusoe's hope of returning to England is symbolized by these tokens of civilization on the island, the money is only a reminder of his old life and he treasures it as a memento. In all of his other endeavors he freely admits his success or failure. But as a merchant, he knows that though separated from the world now, he can only reconnect with it if he has money. Once he returns to London, his old reliance on money returns.


Industrialization is defined here as a process whereby humans channel the forces of nature into the production and manufacture of goods for their economic consumption. This industrialization is Crusoe's occupation, according to his cultural background and his religion. He immediately sets out to be productive and self-sufficient on the island.

By the time of Robinson Crusoe, most villages were experiencing labor specialization. People began to buy bread instead of baking it. Thus Crusoe has to relearn many of these arts to survive. With practice, Crusoe is able to increase the level of industrialization on his island.

Crusoe has a few implements with which he is able to reconstruct a semblance of civilization as well as create more advanced technology. While building his house, he notes that every task is exhausting. In brief, he praises the idea of "division of labor" as he describes cutting timber out of trees, bringing the wood from the trees to the construction site, and then constructing his shelter. He soon devises labor-saving devices, thus increasing his efficiency and productivity.

The necessity of a sharp ax leads Crusoe to invent his own foot-powered sharpener. He has "no notion of a kiln," but he manages to fire pottery. He needs a mill for grinding his grain, but not finding a proper stone, he settles for a block of hard wood. The entire process of baking his own bread spurs a realization of how wonderful the state of human technology is.

People take the labor behind the necessities of life for granted when such items can be easily purchased in the market. Crusoe is not suggesting that people return to a world of self-sufficient households. Instead, as he goes about his Herculean tasks, like creating a simple shelf in his house, he comments that a carpenter could have finished the two-day job in an hour. Thus he appreciates the process of specialization that helps make industrialization so successful

The Ambivalence of Mastery

Crusoe's success in mastering his situation, overcoming his obstacles, and controlling his environment shows the condition of mastery in a positive light, at least at the beginning of the novel. Crusoe lands in an inhospitable environment and makes it his home. His taming and domestication of wild goats and parrots with Crusoe as their master illustrates his newfound control. Moreover, Crusoe's mastery over nature makes him a master of his fate and of himself. Early in the novel, he frequently blames himself for disobeying his father's advice or blames the destiny that drove him to sea. But in the later part of the novel, Crusoe stops viewing himself as a passive victim and strikes a new note of self-determination. In building a home for himself on the island, he finds that he is master of his lifehe suffers a hard fate and still finds prosperity.

But this theme of mastery becomes more complex and less positive after Friday's arrival, when the idea of mastery comes to apply more to unfair relationships between humans. In Chapter XXIII, Crusoe teaches Friday the word [m]aster even before teaching him yes and no, and indeed he lets him know that was to be [Crusoe's] name. Crusoe never entertains the idea of considering Friday a friend or equalfor some reason, superiority comes instinctively to him. We further question Crusoe's right to be called [m]aster when he later refers to himself as king over the natives and Europeans, who are his subjects. In short, while Crusoe seems praiseworthy in mastering his fate, the praiseworthiness of his mastery over his fellow humans is more doubtful. Defoe explores the link between the two in his depiction of the colonial mind.

The Necessity of Repentance

Crusoe's experiences constitute not simply an adventure story in which thrilling things happen, but also a moral tale illustrating the right and wrong ways to live one's life. This moral and religious dimension of the tale is indicated in the Preface, which states that Crusoe's story is being published to instruct others in God's wisdom, and one vital part of this wisdom is the importance of repenting one's sins. While it is important to be grateful for God's miracles, as Crusoe is when his grain sprouts, it is not enough simply to express gratitude or even to pray to God, as Crusoe does several times with few results. Crusoe needs repentance most, as he learns from the fiery angelic figure that comes to him during a feverish hallucination and says, Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die. Crusoe believes that his major sin is his rebellious behavior toward his father, which he refers to as his original sin, akin to Adam and Eve's first disobedience of God. This biblical reference also suggests that Crusoe's exile from civilization represents Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden.

For Crusoe, repentance consists of acknowledging his wretchedness and his absolute dependence on the Lord. This admission marks a turning point in Crusoe's spiritual consciousness, and is almost a born-again experience for him. After repentance, he complains much less about his sad fate and views the island more positively. Later, when Crusoe is rescued and his fortune restored, he compares himself to Job, who also regained divine favor. Ironically, this view of the necessity of repentance ends up justifying sin: Crusoe may never have learned to repent if he had never sinfully disobeyed his father in the first place. Thus, as powerful as the theme of repentance is in the novel, it is nevertheless complex and ambiguous.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

Crusoe's arrival on the island does not make him revert to a brute existence controlled by animal instincts, and, unlike animals, he remains conscious of himself at all times. Indeed, his island existence actually deepens his self-awareness as he withdraws from the external social world and turns inward. The idea that the individual must keep a careful reckoning of the state of his own soul is a key point in the Presbyterian doctrine that Defoe took seriously all his life. We see that in his normal day-to-day activities, Crusoe keeps accounts of himself enthusiastically and in various ways. For example, it is significant that Crusoe's makeshift calendar does not simply mark the passing of days, but instead more egocentrically marks the days he has spent on the island: it is about him, a sort of self-conscious or autobiographical calendar with him at its center. Similarly, Crusoe obsessively keeps a journal to record his daily activities, even when they amount to nothing more than finding a few pieces of wood on the beach or waiting inside while it rains. Crusoe feels the importance of staying aware of his situation at all times. We can also sense Crusoe's impulse toward self-awareness in the fact that he teaches his parrot to say the words, Poor Robin Crusoe. . . . Where have you been? This sort of self-examining thought is natural for anyone alone on a desert island, but it is given a strange intensity when we recall that Crusoe has spent months teaching the bird to say it back to him. Crusoe teaches nature itself to voice his own self-awareness


Counting and Measuring

Crusoe is a careful note-taker whenever numbers and quantities are involved. He does not simply tell us that his hedge encloses a large space, but informs us with a surveyor's precision that the space is 150 yards in length, and 100 yards in breadth. He tells us not simply that he spends a long time making his canoe in Chapter XVI, but that it takes precisely twenty days to fell the tree and fourteen to remove the branches. It is not just an immense tree, but is five foot ten inches in diameter at the lower part . . . and four foot eleven inches diameter at the end of twenty-two foot. Furthermore, time is measured with similar exactitude, as Crusoe's journal shows. We may often wonder why Crusoe feels it useful to record that it did not rain on December 26, but for him the necessity of counting out each day is never questioned. All these examples of counting and measuring underscore Crusoe's practical, businesslike character and his hands-on approach to life. But Defoe sometimes hints at the futility of Crusoe's measuringas when the carefully measured canoe cannot reach water or when his obsessively kept calendar is thrown off by a day of oversleeping. Defoe may be subtly poking fun at the urge to quantify, showing us that, in the end, everything Crusoe counts never really adds up to much and does not him from isolation.


One of Crusoe's first concerns after his shipwreck is his food supply. Even while he is still wet from the sea in Chapter V, he frets about not having anything to eat or drink to comfort me. He soon provides himself with food, and indeed each new edible item marks a new stage in his mastery of the island, so that his food supply becomes a symbol of his survival. His securing of goat meat staves off immediate starvation, and his discovery of grain is viewed as a miracle, like manna from heaven. His cultivation of raisins, almost a luxury food for Crusoe, marks a new comfortable period in his island existence. In a way, these images of eating convey Crusoe's ability to integrate the island into his life, just as food is integrated into the body to let the organism grow and prosper. But no sooner does Crusoe master the art of eating than he begins to fear being eaten himself. The cannibals transform Crusoe from the consumer into a potential object to be consumed. Life for Crusoe always illustrates this eat or be eaten philosophy, since even back in Europe he is threatened by man-eating wolves. Eating is an image of existence itself, just as being eaten signifies death for Crusoe.

Ordeals at Sea

Crusoe's encounters with water in the novel are often associated not simply with hardship, but with a kind of symbolic ordeal, or test of character. First, the storm off the coast of Yarmouth frightens Crusoe's friend away from a life at sea, but does not deter Crusoe. Then, in his first trading voyage, he proves himself a capable merchant, and in his second one, he shows he is able to survive enslavement. His escape from his Moorish master and his successful encounter with the Africans both occur at sea. Most significantly, Crusoe survives his shipwreck after a lengthy immersion in water. But the sea remains a source of danger and fear even later, when the cannibals arrive in canoes. The Spanish shipwreck reminds Crusoe of the destructive power of water and of his own good fortune in surviving it. All the life-testing water imagery in the novel has subtle associations with the rite of baptism, by which Christians prove their faith and enter a new life d by Christ


The Footprint

Crusoe's shocking discovery of a single footprint on the sand in Chapter XVIII is one of the most famous moments in the novel, and it symbolizes our hero's conflicted feelings about human companionship. Crusoe has earlier confessed how much he misses companionship, yet the evidence of a man on his island sends him into a panic. Immediately he interprets the footprint negatively, as the print of the devil or of an aggressor. He never for a moment entertains hope that it could belong to an angel or another European who could rescue or befriend him. This instinctively negative and fearful attitude toward others makes us consider the possibility that Crusoe may not want to return to human society after all, and that the isolation he is experiencing may actually be his ideal state.

The Cross

Concerned that he will lose [his] reckoning of time in Chapter VII, Crusoe marks the passing of days with [his] knife upon a large post, in capital letters, and making it into a great cross . . . set[s] it up on the shore where [he] first landed. . . . The large size and capital letters show us how important this cross is to Crusoe as a timekeeping device and thus also as a way of relating himself to the larger social world where dates and calendars still matter. But the cross is also a symbol of his own new existence on the island, just as the Christian cross is a symbol of the Christian's new life in Christ after baptism, an immersion in water like Crusoe's shipwreck experience. Yet Crusoe's large cross seems somewhat blasphemous in making no reference to Christ. Instead, it is a memorial to Crusoe himself, underscoring how completely he has become the center of his own life.

Crusoe's Bower

On a scouting tour around the island, Crusoe discovers a delightful valley in which he decides to build a country retreat or bower in Chapter XII. This bower contrasts sharply with Crusoe's first residence, since it is built not for the practical purpose of shelter or storage, but simply for pleasure: because I was so enamoured of the place. Crusoe is no longer focused solely on survival, which by this point in the novel is more or less secure. Now, for the first time since his arrival, he thinks in terms of pleasantness. Thus, the bower symbolizes a radical improvement in Crusoe's attitude toward his time on the island. Island life is no longer necessarily a disaster to suffer through, but may be an opportunity for enjoymentjust as, for the Presbyterian, life may be enjoyed only after hard work has been finished and repentance achieved

05-09-2010, 08:25 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
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  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

London, 1802 by william wordsworth London, 1802 by william wordsworth


Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour;
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay

Summary and Analysis of "London, 1802"

In the beginning of "London, 1802" William Wordsworth cries out to the dead poet, John Milton, telling him that he should be alive, because England needs him now. He goes on to describe England as a swampy marshland of "stagnant waters" where everything that was once a natural gift (such as religion, chivalry, and art, symbolized respectively by the altar, the sword, and the pen) has been lost to the scourge of modernity:
Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour;England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness.
The speaker continues by telling Milton that the English are selfish and asking him to raise them up. He asks Milton to bring the English ("us") "manners, virtue, freedom, power":
We are selfish men;Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
The speaker then tells Milton that his "soul was like a Star," because he was different even from his contemporaries in terms of the virtues listed above. The speaker tells Milton that his voice was like the sea and the sky, a part of nature and therefore natural: "majestic, free." The speaker also compliments Milton's ability to embody "cheerful godliness" even while doing the "lowliest duties":
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

"London, 1802" is a sonnet with a rhyme scheme of abbaabbacddece. The poem is written in the second person and addresses the late poet John Milton, who lived from 1608-1674 and is most famous for having written Paradise Lost.
The poem has two main purposes, one of which is to pay homage to Milton by saying that he can the entirety of England with his noblity and virtue. The other purpose of the poem is to draw attention to what Wordsworth feels are the problems with English society.
According to Wordsworth, England was once a great place of happiness, religion, chivalry, art, and literature, but at the present moment those virtues have been lost. Wordsworth can only describe modern England as a swampland, where people are selfish and must be taught about things like "manners, virtue, freedom, power."
Notice that Wordsworth compliments Milton by comparing him to things found in nature, such as the stars, the sea, and "the heavens." For Wordsworth, being likened to nature is the highest compliment possible


The speaker addresses the soul of the dead poet John Milton, saying that he should be alive at this moment in history, for England needs him. England, the speaker says, is stagnant and selfish, and Milton could raise her up again. The speaker says that Milton could give England manners, virtue, freedom, power, for his soul was like a star, his voice had a sound as pure as the sea, and he moved through the world with cheerful godliness, laying upon himself the lowest duties.

This poem is one of the many excellent sonnets Wordsworth wrote in the early 1800s. Sonnets are fourteen-line poetic inventions written in iambic pentameter. There are several varieties of sonnets; The world is too much with us takes the form of a Petrarchan sonnet, modeled after the work of Petrarch, an Italian poet of the early Renaissance. A Petrarchan sonnet is divided into two parts, an octave (the first eight lines of the poem) and a sestet (the final six lines). The Petrarchan sonnet can take a number of variable rhyme schemes; in this case, the octave (which typically proposes a question or an idea), follows a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA, and the sestet (which typically answers the question or comments upon the idea) follows a rhyme scheme of BCCDBD.

The speaker of this poem, which takes the form of a dramatic outburst, literally cries out to the soul of John Milton in anger and frustration. (The poem begins with the cry: Milton!) In the octave, the speaker articulates his wish that Milton would return to earth, and lists the vices ruining the current era. Every venerable institutionthe altar (representing religion), the sword (representing the military), the pen (representing literature), and the fireside (representing the home)has lost touch with inward happiness, which the speaker identifies as a specifically English birthright, just as Milton is a specifically English poet. (This is one of Wordsworths few explicitly nationalistic versesshades, perhaps, of the conservatism that took hold in his old age.)

In the sestet, the speaker describes Miltons character, explaining why he thinks Milton would be well suited to correct Englands current waywardness. His soul was as bright as a star, and stood apart from the crowd: he did not need the approval or company of others in order to live his life as he pleased. His voice was as powerful and influential as the sea itself, and though he possessed a kind of moral perfection, he never ceased to act humbly. These virtues are precisely what Wordsworth saw as lacking in the English men and women of his day.

It is important to remember that for all its emphasis on feeling and passion, Wordsworths poetry is equally concerned with goodness and morality. Unlike later Romantic rebels and sensualists, Wordsworth was concerned that his ideas communicate natural morality to his readers, and he did not oppose his philosophy to society. Wordsworths ideal vision of life was such that he believed anyone could participate in it, and that everyone would be happier for doing so. The angry moral sonnets of 1802 come from this ethical impulse, and indicate how frustrating it was for Wordsworth to see his poems exerting more aesthetic influence than social or psychological influence

05-09-2010, 08:27 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Short Summary

The Dashwood family is introduced; Mr. and Mrs. Dashwood and their three daughters live at Norland Park, an estate in Sussex. Unfortunately, Mr. Dashwood's wife and daughters are left with very little when he dies and the estate goes to his son, John Dashwood. John and his wife Fanny (nee Ferrars) have a great deal of money, yet refuse to help his half-sisters and their mother.
Elinor, one of the Dashwood girls, is entirely sensible and prudent; her sister, Marianne, is very emotional and never moderate. Margaret, the youngest sister, is young and good-natured. Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters stay at Norland for a few months, mostly because of the promising friendship developing between Elinor and Edward Ferrars, Fanny's shy, but very kind, brother. Elinor likes Edward, but is not convinced her feelings are mutual; Fanny is especially displeased by their apparent regard, as Edward's mother wants him to marry very well.
A relative of Mrs. Dashwood's, Sir John Middleton, offers them a cottage at Barton Park in Devonshire; the family must accept, and are sad at leaving their home and having to separate Edward and Elinor. They find Barton Cottage and the countryside around it charming, and Sir John Middleton a very kind and obliging host. His wife, Lady Middleton, is cold and passionless; still, they accept frequent invitations to dinners and parties at Barton Park.
The Dashwoods meet Mrs. Jennings, Sir John's mother-in-law, a merry, somewhat vulgar older woman, and Colonel Brandon, a gentleman and a bachelor. The Colonel is soon taken with Marianne, but Marianne objects to Mrs. Jennings attempts to get them together, and to the "advanced" age (35) and serious demeanor of the Colonel.
Marianne falls and twists her ankle while walking; she is lucky enough to be found and carried home by a dashing man named Willoughby. Marianne and Willoughby have a similar romantic temperament, and Marianne is much pleased to find that Willoughby has a passion for art, poetry, and music. Willoughby and Marianne's attachment develops steadily, though Elinor believes that they should be more restrained in showing their regard publicly.
One pleasant day, the Middletons, the Dashwoods, and Willoughby are supposed to go on a picnic with the Colonel, but their plans are ditched when Colonel Brandon is forced to leave because of distressing news. Willoughby becomes an even more attentive guest at the cottage, spending a great deal more time there than Allenham with his aunt. Willoughby openly confesses his affections for Marianne and for all of them, and hopes they will always think of him as fondly as he does of them; this leaves Mrs. Dashwood and Elinor convinced that if Marianne and Willoughby are not engaged, they soon will be.
One morning, Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, and Margaret leave the couple, hoping for a proposal; when they return, they find Marianne crying, and Willoughby saying that he must immediately go to London. Mrs. Dashwood and Elinor are completely unsettled by this hasty departure, and Elinor fears that they might have had a falling-out. Marianne is torn up by Willoughby's departure, and Elinor begins to question whether Willoughby's intentions were honorable. But, whether Willoughby and Marianne are engaged remains a mystery, as Marianne will not speak of it.
Edward comes to visit them at Barton, and is welcomed very warmly as their guest. It is soon apparent that Edward is unhappy, and doesn't show as much affection for Elinor; when they spot a ring he is wearing, with a lock of hair suspiciously similar to Elinor's, even Elinor is baffled. Edward finally forces himself to leave, still seeming distressed.
Sir John and Mrs. Jennings soon introduce Mrs. Jennings' other daughter, Mrs. Palmer, and her husband to the family. Mrs. Palmer says that people in town believe that Willoughby and Marianne will soon be married, which puzzles Elinor, as she knows of no such arrangements herself. Elinor and Marianne meet the Middletons' new guests, theMiss Steeles, apparently cousins; they find Miss Steele to be nothing remarkable, while Lucy is very pretty but not much better company. However, the Miss Steeles instantly gain Lady Middleton's admiration by paying endless attention to her obnoxious children.
Elinor, unfortunately, becomes the preferred companion of Lucy. Lucy inquires of Mrs. Ferrars, which prompts Elinor to ask about her acquaintance with the Ferrars family; Lucy then reveals that she is secretly engaged to Edward. It turns out that Edward and Lucy knew each other while Edward studied with Lucy's uncle, Mr. Pratt, and have been engaged for some years. Although Elinor is first angry about Edward's secrecy, she soon sees that marrying Lucy will be punishment enough, as she is unpolished, manipulative, and jealous of Edward's high regard for Elinor.
The Miss Steeles end up staying at Barton Park for two months. Mrs. Jennings invites Marianne and Elinor to spend the winter with her in London. Marianne is determined to go to see Willoughby, and Elinor decides she must go too, because Marianne needs Elinor's polite guidance. They accept the invitation, and leave in January. Once in town, they find Mrs. Jennings' house comfortable, and their company less than ideal; still, they try their best to enjoy it all.
Marianne anxiously awaits Willoughby's arrival, while Elinor finds her greatest enjoyment in Colonel Brandon's daily visits. Elinor is much disturbed when Colonel Brandon tells her that the engagement between Marianne and Willoughby is widely known throughout town. At a party, Elinor and Marianne see Willoughby; Marianne approaches him, although he avoids Marianne, and his behavior is insulting.
Marianne angrily writes Willoughby, and receives a reply in which he denies having loved Marianne, and says he hopes he didn't lead her on. Marianne is deeply grieved at being deceived and dumped so coldly; Elinor feels only anger at Willoughby's unpardonable behavior. Marianne then reveals that she and Willoughby were never engaged, and Elinor observes that Marianne should have been more prudent in her affections. Apparently, Willoughby is to marry the wealthy Lady Grey due to his constant need for money.
Colonel Brandon calls after hearing the news, and offers up his knowledge of Willoughby's character to Elinor. Colonel Brandon was once in love with a ward to his family, Eliza, who became a fallen woman and had an illegitimate daughter. Colonel Brandon placed the daughter, Miss Williams, in care after her mother's death. The Colonel learned on the day of the Delaford picnic that she had become pregnant, and was abandoned by Willoughby. Elinor is shocked, though the Colonel sincerely hopes that this will help Marianne feel better about losing Willoughby, since he was not of solid character.
The story convinces Marianne of Willoughby's guilt, though it does not ease her mind. Out of sympathy, Marianne also stops avoiding the Colonel's company and becomes more civil to him. Willoughby is soon married, which Marianne is grieved to hear; then, again unfortunately, the Miss Steeles come to stay with the Middletons.
John and Fanny Dashwood arrive, and are introduced to Mrs. Jennings, and to Sir John and Lady Middleton, deeming them worthy company. John reveals to Elinor that Edward is soon to be married to Miss Morton, an orphan with a great deal of money left to her, as per the plans of his mother. At a dinner party given by John and Fanny for their new acquaintance, Mrs. Ferrars is present, along with the entire Barton party. Mrs. Ferrars turns out to be sallow, unpleasant, and uncivil; she slights Elinor, which hurts Marianne deeply, as she is Edward's mother.
The Miss Steeles are invited to stay with John and Fanny. But, Mrs. Jennings soon informs them that Miss Steele told Fanny of Lucy and Edward's engagement, and that the Ferrars family threw the Steele girls out in a rage. Marianne is much grieved to hear of the engagement, and cannot believe that Elinor has also kept her knowledge of it a secret for so long. Edward is to be disinherited if he chooses to marry Lucy; unfortunately, Edward is too honorable to reject Lucy, even if he no longer loves her. Financial obstacles to their marriage remain; he must find a position in the church that pays enough to allow them to marry. Much to Elinor's chagrin, the Colonel, although he barely knows Edward, generously offers the small parish at Delaford to him. Elinor is to convey the offer to Edward, though she regrets that it might help the marriage.
Edward is surprised at the generous offer, since he hardly knows the Colonel. Edward decides to accept the position; they say goodbye, as Elinor is to leave town soon. Much to Elinor's surprise, Robert Ferrars, Edward's selfish, vain, and rather dim brother, is now to marry Miss Morton; he has also received Edward's inheritance and money, and doesn't care about Edward's grim situation.
It is April, and the Dashwood girls, the Palmers, and Mrs. Jennings, and Colonel Brandon set out for Cleveland, the Palmer's estate. Marianne is still feeling grief over Willoughby; she soon becomes ill after her walks in the rain, and gets a serious fever. The Palmers leave with her child; Mrs. Jennings, though, helps Elinor nurse Marianne, and insists that Colonel Brandon stay, since he is anxious about Marianne's health. Colonel Brandon soon sets off to get Mrs. Dashwood from Barton when Marianne's illness worsens. At last, Marianne's state improves, right in time for her mother and the Colonel's arrival; but Willoughby makes an unexpected visit.
Elinor is horrified at seeing him; he has come to inquire after Marianne's health and to explain his past actions. Willoughby says he led Marianne on at first out of vanity; he finally began to love her as well, and would have proposed to her, if not for the money.
By saying that he also has no regard for his wife, and still loves Marianne, he attempts to gain Elinor's compassion; Elinor's opinion of him is somewhat improved in being assured of his regard for Marianne. Elinor cannot think him a total blackguard since he has been punished for his mistakes, and tells him so; Willoughby leaves with this assurance, lamenting that Marianne is lost to him forever.
Mrs. Dashwood finally arrives, and Elinor assures her that Marianne is out of danger; both Mrs. Dashwood and the Colonel are relieved. Mrs. Dashwood tells Elinor that the Colonel had confessed his love for Marianne during the journey from Barton; Mrs. Dashwood wishes the Colonel and Marianne to be married. Elinor wishes the Colonel well in securing Marianne's affections, but is more pessimistic regarding Marianne's ability to accept the Colonel after disliking him for so long.
Marianne makes a quick recovery, thanking Colonel Brandon for his help and acting friendly toward him. Marianne finally seems calm and happy as they leave for Barton, which Elinor believes to signal Marianne's recovery from Willoughby. She is also far more mature, keeping herself busy and refusing to let herself languish in her grief.
When Marianne decides to talk about Willoughby, Elinor takes the opportunity to tell her what Willoughby had said at Cleveland, and Marianne takes this very well. Marianne also laments her selfishness toward Elinor, and her lack of civility toward most of their acquaintance. Marianne finally says that she could not have been happy with Willoughby, after hearing of his cruelty toward Miss Williams, and no longer regrets him.
The family is stunned when one of their servants returns with news that Edward is married to Lucy, as he just saw them in the village. Elinor knows now that Edward is lost to her forever. Mrs. Dashwood sees how upset Elinor is, and realizes that Elinor felt more for Edward than she ever revealed. One afternoon, Elinor is convinced that the Colonel has arrived at the cottage, but is surprised to find that it is Edward instead. Their meeting is awkward at best; he soon informs them that it is his brother who has been married to Lucy, and not him. Elinor immediately runs from the room, crying out of joy; Edward then senses Elinor's regard for him, and proposes to her that afternoon. Elinor accepts and he gains Mrs. Dashwood's consent to the match.
Edward admits that any regard he had for Lucy was formed out of idleness and lack of knowledge; he came to regret the engagement soon after it was formed. After leaving London, Edward received a letter from Lucy saying that she had married his brother Robert, and has not seen her since; thus, he was honorably relieved of the engagement. After receiving the letter, he set out for Barton immediately to see Elinor. Edward will still accept the position at Delaford, although he and Elinor again will not have enough money to live on comfortably. The Colonel visits Barton, and he and Edward become good friends.
Edward then becomes reconciled with his family, although he does not regain his inheritance from Robert. His mother even gives her consent for his marriage to Elinor, however much she is displeased by it; she gives them ten thousand pounds, the interest of which will allow them to live comfortably. Edward and Elinor are married at Barton that fall.
Mrs. Dashwood and her two remaining daughters spend most of their time at Delaford, both to be near Elinor, and out of the hope that Marianne might accept the Colonel. In the two years that have passed, Marianne has become more mature and more grounded; and she does finally change her mind about the Colonel, and accepts his offer of marriage. The Colonel becomes far more cheerful, and soon Marianne grows to love him as much as she ever loved Willoughby. Mrs. Dashwood remains at Barton with Margaret, now fifteen, much to the delight of Sir John, who retains their company. And Elinor and Marianne both live together at Delaford, and remain good friends with each other and each other's husbands.

Character List

Henry Dashwood
Husband of Mrs. Dashwood, and father of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret; also has a son, John, from a previous marriage. He dies at the beginning of the novel, leaving his wife and daughters little money and his son his estate.
John Dashwood
Mr. Dashwood's only son, he is selfish and miserly and mostly unpleasant to his half-sisters. Married to Fanny Dashwood, who is even more selfish and mean-spirited than he.
Mrs. Dashwood

Mother of Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, she has a romantic temperament and is very close to her daughters. She hopes to see them all married off well, yet is not the voice of reason that perhaps she should be.
Elinor Dashwood

At 19, she is the oldest of the Dashwood girls, she has a great deal of common sense and is bet out of her family at dealing with people. She is a dramatic foil to her sister, Marianne, in that she tempers her emotions and judgments with good sense and discretion. Prefers to keep her troubles secret, as she is always trying to make sure that her mother and sisters are untroubled by her private woes.
Marianne Dashwood
Two years younger than Elinor, she is thoroughly youthful, impetuous, and thoroughly immersed in romantic ideals. She lacks the sense and discretion of Elinor, preferring to express exactly what she feels and hold nothing back. Elinor often has to apologize on her sister's behalf, as Marianne makes few attempts to be polite or mask her feelings of contempt for those people she dislikes.
Margaret Dashwood

The youngest Dashwood girl, she is thirteen; she tries to imitate Marianne's romantic sentiments, but is not nearly as extreme. She is included in most social invitations that the Dashwoods are invited to, though she is neither a child nor an adult, which is perhaps an awkward position for her.
Edward Ferrars
Fanny Dashwood's brother, he is shy, kind, and retiring, preferring a quiet life to the distinction that his mother and sister wish for him. He and Elinor become attached early in the novel, since both are sensible and good-hearted. However, he also gives Elinor mixed signals and his thoughts and feelings are very hard to read
.Sir John Middleton
The owner of Barton Park, the Dashwoods landlord and neighbor. He is very kind and loves company, almost to the point of being intrusive; although the Dashwood girls don't care for his good-natured jibes and his insistence that they always come to Barton Cottage, he looks after them and makes sure that they are comfortable at Barton
.Lady Middleton
Sir John's wife; she is very vain and proper, meaning that she is elegant, but also uninteresting and cold. She takes joy in her children, who are badly behaved and obnoxious even; she does not share Sir John's love for company, and finds that most people are not to her liking.
Mrs. Jennings
Lady Middleton's mother and Sir John's mother-in-law; she makes endless jokes about potential suitors for Marianne and Elinor, and her manners, though jolly, are also vulgar and sometimes irritating. She has far more in common with her son-in-law than with her daughter, as they both love company and shows of humor
.Colonel Brandon
One of Sir John's oldest friends, he is 35 and a former military officer who was stationed in India. His countenance is rather stern and grim, hiding his good heart; Elinor finds him good company, though Marianne considers him too dour and not nearly romantic enough to be suitable company.
John Willoughby
A dashing, roguish young man, he embodies all the dashing, romantic qualities that Marianne prizes. He also loves art and literature just as she does, and has a manner that is almost too open and bold for his own good. He proves to be reckless and more deceptive than anyone could have imagined.
Miss Williams
Colonel Brandon's adopted daughter, child of a woman he was once in love with. She does not appear in the novel, but her seduction and abandonment by Willoughby figures heavily in the plot.
Mrs. Smith

Also does not appear; she is Willoughby's aunt, on whom he is financially dependent, and orders him away to London without her support when she finds out about Miss Williams.
Mrs. Palmer
Mrs. Jennings' other daughter, she is foolishly good-spirited and empty-headed as well. She ignores the rudeness and insults that her husband so frequently offers up, deceiving herself that he is good-natured and means well.
Mr. Palmer

Very bitter man, who usually makes cutting, sarcastic remarks at the expense of his wife and of others. He is very unpleasant to be around, and drives away most people, despite his wife's frequent apologies.
Miss Steele

A distant cousin of Mrs. Jennings, she and her sister become guests at Barton Cottage for a number of months. Miss Steele is foolish, flippant, and very ignorant, and gains the approval of Lady Middleton through shameless flattery and pandering to her children
.Lucy Steele
Somewhat smarter than her sister, Lucy is still silly, unpolished, and judged by the Dashwood girls to be unremarkably average company. She also proves to be opportunistic, wrangling her way into the Ferrars family despite being poor and not well connected.
Robert Ferrars
Edward's brother, a vain, conceited man who is much beloved of his mother. He manages to profit from Edward's integrity and his refusal to dump Lucy, and then rewards his brother by deceiving him, and keeping Edward's inheritance. He does Edward a good turn, however, by taking the dreadful Lucy off his hands.
Miss Grey
Willoughby's chosen wife; he does not love her, but she has a great deal of money, which is why he chooses her over Marianne
.Miss Morton
The unfortunate girl who is supposed to marry Edward, then Robert, and ends up with neither; she is also wealthy and of good family, although she must find a husband after the Ferrars shuffle.
Mrs. Ferrars
Edward, Fanny, and Robert's mother, she is a bad tempered, vain woman who embodies all the foibles demonstrated in Fanny and Robert's characters. Determined that her sons should marry well, she ends up disowning Edward, then embracing Robert for marrying or threatening to marry Lucy Steele
.Dr. Harris
Helps during Marianne's illness at Cleveland, prescribing medicines and treatments that eventually make her better

Major Themes

Laws surrounding inheritance are what put the Dashwood women in limbo at the beginning of the novel; and their lack of money, compounded with their inability to work, means that they cannot ease their situation, except through marrying well. Money also dictates the eligibility of Elinor and Marianne, as women with larger dowries are of course seen as better prospects for marriage.
There are very definite gender limitations involved in the society Austen describes; women cannot own property, are expected to stay in the home, marry, and be polite and good company. Men can decide whether or not to pursue a career if they have enough money, and have more latitude within society in regards to their behavior and life choices. Gender dictates acceptable roles and behavior, and even in the world of the novel, there is little room to deviate.
Expectations vs. reality
This is an especially important theme with regard to Marianne and her mother, whose romantic characters lead them to expect greater drama or trauma than actually appears. But reality always tends to subvert expectations, whether in life or in art, as accidents and unexpected twists and turns happen to everyone.
For Marianne and Elinor, marriage is not a choice, but a necessity; and their need to marry expediently and well is a pressing concern in the novel, as they look for suitors. Young men may choose more freely when and whom they marry, and Colonel Brandon is even 35 and still unmarried; but even for women who have money, marriage is necessary to secure their social positions and ensure financial stability for the future
Of the utmost importance in polite society, where it is not to one's advantage to let people know all that you think and feel. Marianne's lack of discretion leads to a great deal of gossip and a very public snubbing by Willoughby; lack of discretion in many others indicates poor manners and a lack of refinement.
Appearance vs. reality
Pertains to character especially, as many characters in the novel present themselves as one thing, and end up being another. Willoughby is the prime example of this, as he seems romantic, open, and genuine, but ends up exposing himself as vain, idle, and cruel. Also pertains to Lucy Steele, who ends up conniving, despite her innocent appearance.
Expectation and disappointment

Throughout the novel, many characters develop expectations based on sparse evidence or faulty perceptions; this, of course, leads to disappointment as reality proves very different. Joyful expectations are often dashed by harsher turns of events, as Marianne is extremely disappointed by her expectation of being married to Willoughby, and is pushed away.
Usually an indication of wrongdoing on someone's part, as is especially evident in Willoughby; his sudden unwillingness to share information with Marianne and the Dashwoods indicates mistakes made on his part. On the other hand, as with Edward, secrecy can be a sign of discretion, though when his secret is revealed it is damaging as Willoughby's is.

In interactions with other people, judgment is always at work; a person must determine who a person really is and what they want, in order to avoid those who could potentially be hurtful. These judgments can be flighty and unjust, as Marianne's appraisals of most of her acquaintance are, or blinded by kindness, as Mrs. Jennings' judgment of Lucy Steele is.

Relates mostly to Lucy Steele, and is the prime determinant of her behavior toward Elinor. Willoughby also becomes jealous of Colonel Brandon marrying Marianne, and other, petty jealousies become evident in characters. Indicates insecurity, or poor character.
Self-sacrifice and selfishness

Elinor especially is a model of self-sacrifice, deciding to go to London for her sister's happiness, and trying her best to be civil to everyone to make up for Marianne's uncivil behavior. Marianne is the opposite, caring only for herself and her feelings; she needs Elinor's help and goodwill to get by, but needs to learn how to be giving toward others in order to become her own, independent person.

A vast number of characters in the novel embody this trait to varying degrees; John and Fanny, Lady Middleton, the Steele girls, Mrs. Ferrars, and Robert, among others, tend toward hypocritical displays of self-serving flattery, vanity, and professing opinions they do not believe in for self-gain or to get ahead with others. Unfortunately, none of these characters is taught any better in the course of the novel, as hypocrisy is an unavoidable part of human nature, and almost a part of polite society as well.
Marianne must learn moderation of her emotions if she is to become independent of Elinor and become an adult; her trials serve to teach her about her excesses, and luckily, she does come to improve herself and become a much better, more caring person toward others

05-09-2010, 08:29 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
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Kubla Khan by Coleridge

Kubla Khan by Coleridge


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree :

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round :

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !

A savage place ! as holy and enchanted

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover !

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

A mighty fountain momently was forced :

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :

And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :

And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far

Ancestral voices prophesying war !

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves ;

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw :

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she played,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight 'twould win me,

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !

His flashing eyes, his floating hair !

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise


The speaker describes the stately pleasure-dome built in Xanadu according to the decree of Kubla Khan, in the place where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea. Walls and towers were raised around twice five miles of fertile ground, filled with beautiful gardens and forests. A deep romantic chasm slanted down a green hill, occasionally spewing forth a violent and powerful burst of water, so great that it flung boulders up with it like rebounding hail. The river ran five miles through the woods, finally sinking in tumult to a lifeless ocean. Amid that tumult, in the place as holy and enchanted / As eer beneath a waning moon was haunted / By woman wailing to her demon-lover, Kubla heard ancestral voices bringing prophesies of war. The pleasure-domes shadow floated on the waves, where the mingled sounds of the fountain and the caves could be heard. It was a miracle of rare device, the speaker says, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

The speaker says that he once saw a damsel with a dulcimer, an Abyssinian maid who played her dulcimer and sang of Mount Abora. He says that if he could revive her symphony and song within him, he would rebuild the pleasure-dome out of music, and all who heard him would cry Beware! of His flashing eyes, his floating hair! The hearers would circle him thrice and close their eyes with holy dread, knowing that he had tasted honeydew, and drunk the milk of Paradise.

The chant-like, musical incantations of Kubla Khan result from Coleridges masterful use of iambic tetrameter and alternating rhyme schemes. The first stanza is written in tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of ABAABCCDEDE, alternating between staggered rhymes and couplets. The second stanza expands into tetrameter and follows roughly the same rhyming pattern, also expanded ABAABCCDDFFGGHIIHJJ. The third stanza tightens into tetrameter and rhymes ABABCC. The fourth stanza continues the tetrameter of the third and rhymes ABCCBDEDEFGFFFGHHG.

Along with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan is one of Coleridges most famous and enduring poems. The story of its composition is also one of the most famous in the history of English poetry. As the poet explains in the short preface to this poem, he had fallen asleep after taking an anodyne prescribed in consequence of a slight disposition (this is a euphemism for opium, to which Coleridge was known to be addicted). Before falling asleep, he had been reading a story in which Kubla Khan commanded the building of a new palace; Coleridge claims that while he slept, he had a fantastic vision and composed simultaneouslywhile sleepingsome two or three hundred lines of poetry, if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or conscious effort.
Waking after about three hours, the poet seized a pen and began writing furiously; however, after copying down the first three stanzas of his dreamt poemthe first three stanzas of the current poem as we know ithe was interrupted by a person on business from Porlock, who detained him for an hour. After this interruption, he was unable to recall the rest of the vision or the poetry he had composed in his opium dream. It is thought that the final stanza of the poem, thematizing the idea of the lost vision through the figure of the damsel with a dulcimer and the milk of Paradise, was written post-interruption. The mysterious person from Porlock is one of the most notorious and enigmatic figures in Coleridges biography; no one knows who he was or why he disturbed the poet or what he wanted or, indeed, whether any of Coleridges story is actually true. But the person from Porlock has become a metaphor for the malicious interruptions the world throws in the way of inspiration and genius, and Kubla Khan, strange and ambiguous as it is, has become what is perhaps the definitive statement on the obstruction and thwarting of the visionary genius.
Regrettably, the story of the poems composition, while thematically rich in and of itself, often overshadows the poem proper, which is one of Coleridges most haunting and beautiful. The first three stanzas are products of pure imagination: The pleasure-dome of Kubla Khan is not a useful metaphor for anything in particular (though in the context of the poems history, it becomes a metaphor for the unbuilt monument of imagination); however, it is a fantastically prodigious descriptive act. The poem becomes especially evocative when, after the second stanza, the meter suddenly tightens; the resulting lines are terse and solid, almost beating out the sound of the war drums (The shadow of the dome of pleasure / Floated midway on the waves...).

The fourth stanza states the theme of the poem as a whole (though Kubla Khan is almost impossible to consider as a unified whole, as its parts are so sharply divided). The speaker says that he once had a vision of the damsel singing of Mount Abora; this vision becomes a metaphor for Coleridges vision of the 300-hundred-line masterpiece he never completed. The speaker insists that if he could only revive within him her symphony and song, he would recreate the pleasure-dome out of music and words, and take on the persona of the magician or visionary. His hearers would recognize the dangerous power of the vision, which would manifest itself in his flashing eyes and floating hair. But, awestruck, they would nonetheless dutifully take part in the ritual, recognizing that he on honey-dew hath fed, / And drunk the milk of Paradise


An image-laden lyric that evokes romanticized Oriental landscapes, Kubla Khan isalong with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) and Christabel (1816)widely acclaimed as one of Coleridge's most significant works. While Coleridge himself referred to Kubla Khan as a fragment, the vivid images contained in the poem have garnered extensive critical attention through the years, and it has long been acknowledged as a verse representation of Coleridge's theories of the imagination and creation. Although it was not published until 1816, scholars agree that the work was composed between 1797 and 1800. At the time of its publication, Coleridge subtitled it A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment and added a prefatory note explaining its unusual origin. The poet remarked that after taking some opium for medication, he grew drowsy while reading a passage from Samuel Purchas's Pilgrimage. concerning the court of Kubla Khan. In his semi-conscious state, Coleridge composed a few hundred lines of poetry, and when he awoke, immediately began writing the verses down. Unfortunately, a visitor interrupted him, and when the poet had a chance to return to his writing, the images had fled, leaving him with only vague recollections and the remaining 54 lines of his unfinished poem. While a number of critics have since challenged Coleridge's version of the poem's composition, critical scholarship on Kubla Khan has frequently focused on the fragmentary nature and dreamlike imagery of the work, which is considered demonstrative of Romantic poetic theory.
Plot and Major Characters

The poem begins with a description of a magnificent palace built by the Mongolian ruler Kubla Khan during the thirteenth century. The enormous pleasure-dome of the poem's first few lines reflects the Khan's sovereign power, and the description of the palace and its surroundings convey the grandiosity and imperiousness of his character. In contrast to the structured dome and its gardens, the landscape surrounding Kubla's domain is wild and untamed, covered by ancient forests and cut by a majestic river. While it initially appears that harmony and cohesion exist between these two worlds, the narrator then describes a deep crack in the earth, hidden under a grove of dense trees. In the second stanza, the tenor of the poem shifts from the balance and tranquility in the first few lines to an uneasy suggestion of the preternatural. A woman calls to her daemonic lover and the Khan hearkens to Ancestral voices prophesying war. Soon, the vast distance between the ordered domain of Kubla's palace and the savagery of naturethe source of the fountain that feeds the river flowing through the rocks, forests, and ultimately, the stately garden of Kubla Khanbecomes apparent. As the river moves from the deep, uncontrolled chasm of the earlier lines back into Kubla's world, the narrative shifts from third to first person. Afterwards, the poet relates his vision of a dulcimer-playing Abyssinian maiden and recounts the sense of power that exudes from successful poetic creation.
Major Themes

Despite the plentiful criticism it has elicited, most assessments of Kubla Khan remain unable to answer with any degree of certainty the question of the poem's ultimate meaning. In part due to its status as a verse fragment and the continued controversy surrounding its origins, Kubla Khan has tended to discourage final interpretation. Nevertheless, most critics acknowledge that the juxtaposed images, motifs, and ideas explored in the poem are strongly representative of Romantic poetry. As such, critics have found numerous indications of a thematic reconciliation of opposites in the poem. Similarly, Kubla Khan is thought to be principally concerned with the nature and dialectical process of poetic creation. The work is dominated by a lyrical representation of landscapea common feature of Romantic poetry, in which landscape is typically viewed as the symbolic source and keeper of the poetic imagination. Guided by Coleridge's complex rhyming and metrical structure, Kubla Khan first describes the ordered world of Kubla's palace and thenwith an abrupt change in meter and rhyme immediately followingdepicts the surrounding natural world that the Khan cannot control, even as it provides the foundation of his power. This pattern of contrast between worlds continues throughout the poem, lending it both a purpose and structure that, critics suggest, represents Coleridge's ideal of a harmonious blend of meaning and form in poetic art.
Critical Reception

When Coleridge first issued Kubla Khan in 1816, it is believed that he did so for financial reasons and as an appendage to the more substantial Christabel. The work had previously been excluded by William Wordsworth from the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads and there is little evidence that Coleridge himself claimed it as one of his more significant compositions. When first published, many contemporary reviewers regarded the apparent poetic fragment as nonsense or below criticism. In the years since, the poem and the story of its creation have been widely analyzed, and much critical scholarship has concentrated on the sources of the work's evocative images. Pivotal among these works of criticism is John Livingston Lowes's pioneering The Road to Xanadu. The 1927 book-length studydevoted solely to Kubla Khandetails the poem's symbolic imagery based upon Coleridge's own readings of travelogues and other works. Although the limitations of this critical method have since been widely acknowledged, The Road to Xanadu continues to be a watershed in criticism of the poem and has done much to elevate the work's reputation as a subject for scholarly inquiry. More recent interpretations of the poem have explored both its fragmentary nature and the harmonious vision of poetic theory it proposes. Other estimations have focused on Kubla Khan as a poem that relates the account of its own creation, thus stressing its tendency to foreground itself as a work of Romantic art. Overall, Kubla Khan is widely acknowledged as a technically complex poem that reflects many of its author's poetic and creative philosophies. Despite its ostensible incompleteness, the work's thematic texture, intricate rhymes, and carefully juxtaposed images are thought to coalesce into a harmonious whole that encapsulates Coleridge's subsequently expressed ideas of poetic composition

05-09-2010, 08:30 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
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Ozymandias by Shelley
Ozymandias by Shelley


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away


The speaker recalls having met a traveler from an antique land, who told him a story about the ruins of a statue in the desert of his native country. Two vast legs of stone stand without a body, and near them a massive, crumbling stone head lies half sunk in the sand. The traveler told the speaker that the frown and sneer of cold command on the statues face indicate that the sculptor understood well the passions of the statues subject, a man who sneered with contempt for those weaker than himself, yet fed his people because of something in his heart (The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed). On the pedestal of the statue appear the words: My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! But around the decaying ruin of the statue, nothing remains, only the lone and level sands, which stretch out around it, far away.

Ozymandias is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem metered in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is somewhat unusual for a sonnet of this era; it does not fit a conventional Petrarchan pattern, but instead interlinks the octave (a term for the first eight lines of a sonnet) with the sestet (a term for the last six lines), by gradually replacing old rhymes with new ones in the form ABABACDCEDEFEF.

This sonnet from 1817 is probably Shelleys most famous and most anthologized poemwhich is somewhat strange, considering that it is in many ways an atypical poem for Shelley, and that it touches little upon the most important themes in his oeuvre at large (beauty, expression, love, imagination). Still, Ozymandias is a masterful sonnet. Essentially it is devoted to a single metaphor: the shattered, ruined statue in the desert wasteland, with its arrogant, passionate face and monomaniacal inscription (Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!). The once-great kings proud boast has been ironically disproved; Ozymandiass works have crumbled and disappeared, his civilization is gone, all has been turned to dust by the impersonal, indiscriminate, destructive power of history. The ruined statue is now merely a monument to one mans hubris, and a powerful statement about the insignificance of human beings to the passage of time. Ozymandias is first and foremost a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of political power, and in that sense the poem is Shelleys most outstanding political sonnet, trading the specific rage of a poem like England in 1819 for the crushing impersonal metaphor of the statue. But Ozymandias symbolizes not only political powerthe statue can be a metaphor for the pride and hubris of all of humanity, in any of its manifestations. It is significant that all that remains of Ozymandias is a work of art and a group of words; as Shakespeare does in the sonnets, Shelley demonstrates that art and language long outlast the other legacies of power.
Of course, it is Shelleys brilliant poetic rendering of the story, and not the subject of the story itself, which makes the poem so memorable. Framing the sonnet as a story told to the speaker by a traveller from an antique land enables Shelley to add another level of obscurity to Ozymandiass position with regard to the readerrather than seeing the statue with our own eyes, so to speak, we hear about it from someone who heard about it from someone who has seen it. Thus the ancient king is rendered even less commanding; the distancing of the narrative serves to undermine his power over us just as completely as has the passage of time. Shelleys description of the statue works to reconstruct, gradually, the figure of the king of kings: first we see merely the shattered visage, then the face itself, with its frown / And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command; then we are introduced to the figure of the sculptor, and are able to imagine the living man sculpting the living king, whose face wore the expression of the passions now inferable; then we are introduced to the kings people in the line, the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. The kingdom is now imaginatively complete, and we are introduced to the extraordinary, prideful boast of the king: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! With that, the poet demolishes our imaginary picture of the king, and interposes centuries of ruin between it and us:  Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! / Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, / The lone and level sands stretch far away

In the poem Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley brings out his talent in poetry writing in the way he uses vocabulary to impress the reader. It�s not the story of the poem that makes the poem memorable, but the way the poet brings it out.
The poem is about the remains of a statue of a once powerful pharaoh in Egypt named Ramsses II or Ozymandias. This king was very powerful and was very arrogant. He was too proud of himself and thought that nothing was more superior than he was. The poet describes one of the many statues of Ozymandias. This statue once stood in the middle of the Sahara Desert but now what remains is only a pair of huge legs standing on the sand with a ruined face half sunk in the sand near them. The poet describes the face of the statue as with a domineering expression like the expression Ozymandias had on his face when he was still alive. The message on the statue said:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Which means you can never be powerful as I am. At last we come to know that even if this pharaoh was once very powerful he still dies like us normal humans do and nothing of him is left except a ruined statue in the middle of nowhere!

The poem consists of an octave and a sestet. In the octave the sense of power is felt while in the sestet we become aware that the works of mankind don�t last and that we all have to die � whether we�re a king of kings or a normal citizen. The poet uses words like �Two vast and trunkless legs of stone" to show us that before the statue got ruined it was quite a big statue. When describing the statue as �half sunk� and �shattered� in the sand we get a clear picture of two huge legs in the middle of a desert with its face near them in the sand. Shelley brings out the emotions on the statue�s face by describing the �frown� and �wrinkled lip� that can be seen although the statue is broken, the �sneer of cold command� makes you imagine someone which thinks that no one can be above him as in fact was Ramsses II. When the poet tells us that the emotions of the statue are still there, this implies that although nothing of the material things remain, you will still be remembered for the man you were � After Ozymandias died he was still remembered as a cold and arrogant person who thought was the best. In the poet�s opinion the sculptor who made this statue couldn�t describe Ramsses II any better � �well those passions read�. He finishes off his poem by saying that:
"Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Which means that only a ruined statue in the middle of nowhere is left of a once very powerful king!
All these are examples of how Percy Shelley manages to make us imagine all that he wants us to. In my opinion, the great talent of this poet cannot be explained

The poems narrator presents the reader with a stunning vision of the tomb of Ozymandias, another name for Rameses II, King of Egypt during the 13th century B.C. Shelley emphasizes that to a modern viewer this tomb tells quite a different tale than that which Ozymandias had hoped it would. The king evidently commissioned a sculptor to create an enormous sphinx to represent his enduring power, but the traveler comes across only a broken heap of stones ravaged by time.
Enough of the original monument exists to allow Shelley a moment of triumph over the thwarted plans of the ruler. The face of Ozymandias is still recognizable, but it is shattered, and, though his sneer of cold command persists, it is obvious that he no longer commands anyone or anything. The vaunting words carved into the stone pedestal can still be read: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! Yet he is to be pitied, if not disdained, rather than held in awe and fear: The broken-down tomb is set in a vast wasteland of sand, perhaps Shelleys way of suggesting that all tyrants ultimately end up in the only kind of kingdom they deserve, a barren desert.
Shelleys sonnet, however, would not be the great poem it surely is if it were only a bit of political satire. The irony of Ozymandias cuts much deeper as the reader realizes that the forces of mortality and mutability, described brilliantly in the concluding lines, will erode and destroy all our lives. There is a special justice in the way tyrants are subject to time, but all humans face death and decay. The poem remains primarily an ironic and compelling critique of Ozymandias and other rulers like him, but it is also a striking meditation on time-bound humanity: the traveler in the ancient land, the sculptor-artist who fashioned the tomb, and the reader of the poem, no less than Ozymandias, inhabit a world that is boundless and bare.

Imagine this scenario: three English men sitting around a table at a drunken party. The men bet each other that each of them could come up with the best poem in the alotted time of fifteen minutes. The poem's topic was Egypt. The poem Ozymandias was the response of Percy Bysshe Shelley to the bet.

The first vital point to note is that the poem is an Italian sonnet in a traditional 14 line, 8-6, set-up with iambic pentameter. It encapsulates a great story about Ramses, the past king of Egypt.

The poem was written around 1800 and the fact that it was written in an "antique land" (1) illustrates that the author was attempting to distance himself from Ramses, indicating the faded view of the past king Ozymandias.

Great opposition, irony and sarcasm appears when it is said, "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains." This negative connotation shows that there once was a vast kingdom, but now that kingdom has disappeared. Neither property nor the king himself is immortal, the sonnet indicates.

When it is said that the "lone and level sands stretch far away" (13-14), the reader realizes that perhaps the sand is more vast now than the empire is.

Finally, when breaking down the word "Ozymandas" in the original greek, we realize that the kingdom no longer exists. Ozy comes from the Greek "ozium," which means to breath, or air. Mandias comes from the Greek "mandate," which means to rule.

Hence, Ozymandias is simply a "ruler of air" or a "ruler of nothing". It is then obvious that the King of Kings spoken of in the poem is actually nature itself. Nature never disappears and nature represents the immortality not represented by the Ramses or any other individual or possession

Cohesion Analysis
a. Ozymandias
In this poem, Shelley employs four exophoric references (I, Ozymandias, the pedestal, ye mighty). My readings are somewhat controversial, but it seems like in the first two cases, these appellations do not refer to anything in the poem, and serve to ground it in external reality. Ozymandias is a documented historical figure, and the use of that name throughout the poem seems to refer to the existing historical record in a specific way. The definite article can be read as endophoric, but it also seems to refer outside the text in a strong way: it seems to refer to our knowledge of the conventions of monumental statuary. We are supposed to know that the pedestal goes with the visage and legs. The archaic second person is very interesting here because it refers out of the pedestal where it is written, but it also refers out of the text to address itself to the powerful.
Shelley also uses fifteen endophoric personal and demonstrative references in this poem([personal: whotraveler, themlegs, whosevisage, its--visage, thempassions, myOzymandias] demonstrative: those--frown thosesurvive, thesevisage/legs, thathand, thatheart, thesequotation, thatquotation, visage, legs ). Most of these are pretty clear. To return to the definite article discussed above, if we want to read it endophorically, we can imagine it referring back to the visage and the legs; perhaps the best explanation is that can refer out in or in for its sense depending on the intelligence reading the text. Shelley includes a very important ellipsis in line eight(the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.[them]) that contributes to the ambiguity which I will discuss in the section on verbs below. There are five conjunctive devices used in this poem; two enhancements (near, round) and three extensions( and, which, yet). Shelley creates chains of semantic near-equivalents in this poem( I will discuss this further in the word choice section), in addition to using repetition(sandsand, andand, repetition of the device of quotation) to create cohesion at the lexical level. His repetition of the device of quotation, where he begins by quoting a traveler, who in turn quotes the pedestal, will be important to the discussion of perspective below.

Perspective Analysisa. Ozymandias
In this poem, Shelley employs a complex perspective. The first word in the poem is I which suggests a first-person perspective; however, the I only exists to set before the reader a quotation from another speaker, who, in his turn sets before the reader a quotation from a pedestal. This puts us at a double distance from Ozymandias. This plays into the general tone of the poem: the subject is a long dead king, and the story comes to us at secondhand about a pile of ruins in a desert. This deepens our sense of loss, desolation and futility. The story is hearsay, the statue is shattered, and we do look on [Ozymandias] works and despair because they have come to stand for mutability not permanence.

Type of Speech Analysis a. Ozymandias
This is a difficult poem to comment on because of a complex textual history. If we look to one edition, we find quotation marks enclosing all of the speech of the traveler; however, if we look at another, we find only the writing that appears on the pedestal set off in inverted commas. Due to the absence of a proper name to whom the quotation should be attributed in the poem, it is safe to say that we are looking at indirect discourse. This ties in with my remarks on perspective: there is a distancing effect that arises from the fact that there is information loss in history. Shelley seems to be intimating that history itself is indirect discourse, that it speaks to us without solid references, subject to information loss, and hearsay.

Verb Analysis a. Ozymandias
Ozymandias uses fifteen verbs all of which are in the active voice. Six of these verbs are transitive (met, said, tell, read, survive, mocked). Five of these verbs are clearly intransitive (stand, lies, look, despair, stretch). There are two clear instances of linking verbs(appear,remains) and one example of the verb to be. There is also one example of a verb which appears as intransitive due to an ellipsis (fed). Usually, to feed is a transitive verb in English requiring a subject and an object; however, in this poemprobably for metrical reasonsShelley elided the third person object pronoun from line eight. Line eight presents ambiguity because of the fact that to survive can be either transitive or intransitive in English. The first time we read the poem, we may be led to believe, as I was, that it is used intransitively in line seven, but on a second reading, it should become clear that it is transitive, taking the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed as object. In addition, Shelley employs the imperative mood in lines eleven and twelve. This serves to intensify the irony to be discussed in the word choice section.

Diction and Word Choice Analysis a. Ozymandias
The most important choice that Shelley made in this area was his translation of Diodorus Siculus rendering of the inscription mentioned in lines eleven and twelve(RPO, notes). This choice of translation makes possible the irony of the imperative statement. The original translation said: "King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works." This is clearly very different from My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:/Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. In order for the irony to work, we need line twelve to appear exactly as it does: first, the mighty can either despair of ever matching Ozymandias, or can feel despair in the face of the ruins that are all that remain of his greatness second, the imperative force of the inscription is ironically juxtaposed with the Kink of kings impotence when faced with the desert sands.
In addition, throughout this poem Shelley creates strings of words that share semantic features. There seem to be three discernible strings: Largeness Words (vast-colossal)Breakage Words (trunkless-shattered-sunk-decay-wreck-bare) and Expression Words (frown-wrinkled lip-sneer). By the end of the poem, these three strings are joined in opposition to the sand, which is described as boundless and level. This seems to be an opposition between grand stateliness, ruination, misery on the one hand, and democratic anonymity on the other.

Metaphor Analysis
a. Ozymandias
There seems to be one major metaphor, the ruined monument, and a secondary metaphor, the sand. As I have already discussed these above, there is not much left to say except to point to the possibility of reading this entire poem as a metaphor of human experience. It may be read as a metaphor for mutability and impermanence, and the futility of seeking after traditional, stately glories and the approval of authority.


05-09-2010, 08:31 AM
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To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet

To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

"To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet is a poem dedicated to her husband Simon, as the title denotes. The idea of the piece is fairly straightforward. The author uses comparisons to physical things to describe her passion, and ends the short poem with a charge to her husband to pray that God will bless him for his amazing love, as she cannot ever repay it. She urges her husband to continue to live in love with her, so that their love can live on, even when they themselves are no more; she wishes to be immortalized through love.

Mechanically, this piece is relatively unremarkable. The rhyme scheme appears to be standard rhyming couplets, the aabbcc scheme. There is a slight assonance of the long "A" vowel sound: "Thy love is such I can no wayay/ The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray," (lines 9-10). However, there is the alliteration of line 11's "While we live," and line 12's "When we live," that ends the piece on an audibly pleasing note. rep

Bradstreet uses many figurative devices in order to convey her message. She uses the repetition of the word "ever" throughout the poem to say that never has there been love to compare to the magnitude of that between herself and her spouse. Interestingly, Anne Bradstreet's three comparisons all have the tangible aspects capitalized: the Mines in line 5, the East in line 6, and the Rivers in line 7. Lines 6-7, "I prize thy love more than Mines of gold/Or all the riches that the East doth hold," is a reference to the Orient and the Far East; during the time when Anne Bradstreet lived, these 'exotic' places were though to be wonderful, filled with riches, and mysterious. The author believes that her relationship with her husband Simon is likewise priceless, and even "All the riches" in the East cannot equal it. "My love is such that Rivers cannot quench," (line 7) in an allusion to Song of Solomon Chapter 8 in the Bible, which tells that "many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." It is also through this Biblical reference that the poem relates to love, and surreptitiously, death. The tie-in with love is readily apparent, but death's correlation is harder to ascertain. With Biblical poetry, such as King Solomon's "Song of Solomon" also known as "Song of Songs," "waters" or "rivers" generally were synonymous with 'death





05-09-2010, 08:32 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
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A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream !
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act, act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Poem Summary

Lines 1-4

In the opening stanza, the speaker directly addresses the psalmist. He begins by dismissing the psalmists sad poetry, and he rejects as dangerous the psalmists notion that human life is a meaningless illusion. If one accepts the logic that life is just a dream, he cautions, ones soul will not merely sleep, but die. On the surface, human life may appear futile, but the speaker contends that it is actually this sense of hopelessness and not human life itself that is the illusion.

Lines 5-8

Longfellow uses the second stanza to build on the ideas of the first. Because the soul lives eternally, the speaker reasons, life must be real. Note that in the first line there is a caesura, or break, after the word real. This caesura forces the reader to pause, thereby emphasizing the idea that life is real. These lines are an allusion to the Bibles book of Genesis, where God says to the fallen Adam, dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. In Longfellows poem, the speaker is asserting that although the mortal body will die, the soul is exempt from death.

Lines 9-12
The third stanza introduces the central theme of the poem: the purpose of life is not to experience pleasure or sorrow, but to act to perform the deeds that will improve the condition of mankind. Note that by this point in the poem, the speaker has ceased to address the psalmist; instead, he is directing his remarks to mankind in general, as is evidenced by his broadly inclusive use of the first person plural our and us.

Lines 13-16
The fourth stanza begins with an allusion to a line from Senecas work De Brevitate vitae, which states vita brevis est, ars longa, or Life is brief, art long. The idea here is that although a lifetime passes relatively quickly, it actually takes a long time to learn how to live well to decipher the art of living. The speaker is suggesting with some urgency, then, that we should live as productive a life as possible, because death (of the human body, not the soul) is always imminent. Note the simile in line 15, which compares the human heartbeat to muffled drums. On a literal level, of course, a heartbeat can sound like a drumbeat, but Longfellow extends this idea to suggest that our own hearts are measuring out the backbeat of a steady and irreversible journey toward death. Each beat of our hearts, Longfellow implies, carries us closer to death. If you read the stanza aloud, you will notice that, at this point, the trochaic rhythm is especially steady and even; it sounds as though a drum is beating in the background.

Lines 17-20
These lines rely heavily on war imagery, as the march to the grave has been transformed to a march to battle. By comparing life to a bivouac, a temporary campsite during a battle, the speaker reminds us again of the transience of human existence. He exhorts the reader who, by implication, is a soldier to become a hero in this battle and not merely march to his or her death like a cow forced to the slaughterhouse.

Lines 21-24
In the sixth stanza, the speaker explains in detail how the reader can become a hero. He advises the reader not to hope for the future nor to worry about the past. Instead, in a return to the poems central theme, he urges the reader to live actively in the present. The speaker emphasizes his imperative instruction that we act by repeating the word twice in line 23. Note how Longfellow draws our attention to the word act by manipulating the meter: not only does he insert a caesura between the two acts, but, metrically, the two consecutive words are stressed, giving them added force.

Lines 25-28
In the seventh stanza, the speaker asks the reader to consider past heroes. These great men, the speaker indicates, should inspire us to live our lives so fully that we, too, will leave behind records of greatness when we die. Longfellow suggests the idea of a record of greatness by using a metaphor: footprints on the sands of time. Even here, however, this metaphor ironically reminds us of the transient nature of life, since these footprints will eventually be washed away by the tide. Nonetheless, they may have a positive effect on the people who live after us.

Lines 29-32
The footprints metaphor of the seventh stanza develops into the central conceit, or governing concept, of the eighth stanza. The speaker envisions a shipwrecked sailor who is lost at sea but observes these footprints in the sand. In this conceit, the sailor represents any discouraged or lonely individual who receives encouragement from the memory of the good deeds of others.

Lines 33-36
The speaker concludes the poem by exhorting us to live active, courageous lives. He is urging the reader to strive continuously to accomplish good, useful deeds: these good deeds, it is suggested, give life meaning and purpose. The last word of the poem, wait, has a few possible meanings; it can mean to serve others in this case, by working or laboring diligently; it can mean to be ready for someone or some event; or it can mean to be watchful to be on the lookout for good opportunities as well as to be on guard against unexpected events or dangers. The poem ends, then, as it began, with a word of caution and of hope

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow begins his poem "A Psalm of Life" with the same exuberance and enthusiasm that continues through most of the poem. He begs in the first stanza to be told "not in mournful numbers" about life.

He states here that life doesn't abruptly end when one dies; rather, it extends into another after life. Longfellow values this dream of the afterlife immensely and seems to say that life can only be lived truly if one believes that the soul will continue to live long after the body dies. The second stanza continues with the same belief in afterlife that is present in the first.

Longfellow states this clearly when he writes, "And the grave is not its goal." Meaning that, life doesn't end for people simply because they die; there is always something more to be hopeful and optimistic for. Longfellow begins discussing how humans must live their lives in constant anticipation for the next day under the belief that it will be better than each day before it: "But to act that each to-morrow / Find us farther than to-day."

In the subsequent stanza, Longfellow asserts that there is never an infinite amount of time to live, but art that is created during one's life can be preserved indefinitely and live on long after its creator dies. In the following stanzas, Longfellow likens living in the world to fighting on a huge field of battle.

He believes that people should lead heroic and courageous lives and not sit idle and remain ineffectual while the world rapidly changes around them: "Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!" His use of the word "strife" is especially interesting, since it clearly acknowledges that life is inherently difficult, is a constant struggle, and will never be easy. Longfellow then encourages everyone to have faith and trust the lord and not to rely on an unknown future to be stable and supportive.

He advises people to seize the moments they have before them and act while thinking about their present situations. Longfellow continues his poem by citing the lives of great and important men who were able to lead

incredible lives and leave their marks. He views these men as role models for people who have yet to live their lives; Longfellow encourages his readers to leave their own "footprints on the sands of time" and become important.

The next stanza, the second to last in the poem, continues with this same point. It describes how successful people in the past have their lives copied, while those who failed serve as examples of ways of life to avoid. The final lines of the poem echo the beginning ones and offer perhaps the most important advice in a poem that is chocked full of it. Longfellow encourages all to work and try their hardest to make their lives great and accomplish as much as they can.

Longfellow conveys his message the same way he did in the rest of the poem: by speaking directly to the reader and providing his reasoning for believing in something more, in something better. Longfellow ensures his followers that the rewards for what they achieve will come eventually-if not in this lifetime, then, certainly, in the next.

05-09-2010, 08:33 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

There was a Boy by William Wordsworth

There was a Boy by William Wordsworth


There was a Boy by William Wordsworth

There was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs

And islands of Winander!--many a time,

At evening, when the earliest stars began

To move along the edges of the hills,

Rising or setting, would he stand alone,

Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;

And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands

Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth

Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,

Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,

That they might answer him.--And they would shout

Across the watery vale, and shout again,

Responsive to his call,--with quivering peals,

And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud

Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild

Of jocund din! And, when there came a pause

Of silence such as baffled his best skill:

Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung

Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise

Has carried far into his heart the voice

Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene

Would enter unawares into his mind

With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,

Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received

Into the bosom of the steady lake.

This boy was taken from his mates, and died

In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.

Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale

Where he was born and bred: the churchyard hangs

Upon a slope above the village-school;

And, through that church-yard when my way has led

On summer-evenings, I believe, that there

A long half-hour together I have stood

Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies

The poem, There was a boy by William Wordsworth, illustrates an insight of the interaction between human and nature through the incident that the boy experiences when having a jocund conversation with the owls and reflecting in the lake. There are few rhyming schemes here and there but it is random and there is no definite rhyming scheme. Throughout the poem readers get a sense that the boy is lonely and wants to interact with the nature as an outlet to escape this solitude. After the communication between the boy and the owls, boy gets to again have a time alone, however this time he realizes that he is not alone. He hears the voice of mountain torrents and sees the relfection on the lake and finds its beauty within it. Moreover, the boy ponders on to the subject of heaven and questions the uncertainty. However, by describing the lake as steady I get an impression that when the lake is steady, the reflections are also steady; which shows that the reflection of the uncertain heaven can be seen. This illustrates that although there is doubt of heaven and religion existing, once you dont force yourself and just let the religion into yourself, much like letting the nature dissolve into the boys heart, you can clearly see whether it is real or not.

There was a Boy is one of the most striking instances of this. The gentle shock of mild surprise felt by the lad who did not catch in due time the answer of the owls to his own hootings, the sudden revelation to him of the fair landscape while he hung listening, his thrill of delight at seeing the uncertain heavens received into the bosom of the steady lakethese were additions to mans knowledge and enjoyment of his common sensations. The absolute truth of the analysis impresses one simultaneously with its beauty. The emotion is, surely, subtle, but, at the same time universal, and we have it here expressed once and for ever. No psychologist can expect to go further than this, no poet to hit on words more apposite and more harmoniously combined so as to make this little mystery of the soul palpable. When Coleridge read the poem in a letter from his friend, he said that, if he had met with these lines in a desert of Africa, he would have cried out Wordsworth at once. Here, we have, without doubt, one of the essentials of Wordsworths poetry. The same character is to be found in Nutting, where we are told of the intruding sky, that struck with remorse the boyish nut-gatherer after he had torn the boughs of a virgin bower; or, again, in Skating-scene, where the poet describes the strange appearance of the surrounding hills, which, to the skater who has just stopped short after gliding at full speed, still seem to wheel by as if the earth had rolled with visible motion her diurnal round. Here we have a mere illusion of the senses, but one of the existence of which, as of its weirdness and beauty, no doubt can be entertained.




05-09-2010, 08:34 AM
: 10 - 11 - 2007
: 14,922
: 23
  is a glorious beacon of light




: (14)

Three years she grew by william wordsworth
Three years she grew by william wordsworth


Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mold the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

"The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

"And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake---The work was done---
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be

Summary and Analysis of "Three years she grew"

The poem begins with the personified Nature noticing Lucy at three years old. Nature thinks she is the most beautiful thing on earth, and promises to take her to make "A Lady of [her] own":
Three years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.
Nature then expounds on what it means to be Nature's lady for several stanzas. Nature promises to make Lucy into a part of nature itself. She will be a part of the rocks, the earth, the heaven, the glades, the mountain springs, the clouds, the trees, and the storms. In addition, Lucy will fully enjoy nature and understand it. It will be as if they are in constant communication:
Myself will to my darling be Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn,
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.
In the last stanza Nature declares that her work is done: she has fulfilled her promise to Lucy, letting her grow into a mature woman (as promised in the sixth stanza). The speaker declares, "How soon my Lucy's race was run!" When she dies, she leaves the speaker a calm scene to enjoy along with the beautiful memory of her:
Thus Nature spake--The work was done-- How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

"Three years she grew" is made up of seven six-line stanzas that each have an aabccb rhyme scheme. This poem is one of a set usually called the "Lucy Poems." The identity of Lucy has never been discovered.
Nature takes on an interesting role in this poem--she is beautiful and giving, and yet ultimately dictates the circumstances of Lucy's death. The poem becomes a beautiful elegy written to a woman who has died and who Wordsworth admired not only for her beauty, but also for her connection to nature, which Wordsworth felt was the highest possible achievement.
Also worthy of note is the fact that the speaker does not speak until the final stanza. For the first six stanzas he simply describes the declarations and promises of Nature. It is only in the end that the reader finally learns what happened to Lucy (she died as soon as she reached maturity) and why the speaker is writing the poem (out of grief

The poem Three Years She Grew is one of the best known Lucy poems written by William Wordsworth. The poet in this poem illustrates his belief that Nature is a great teacher. He believes that one can learn one can learn a great lesson if one approaches nature with a pure and humble heart.
The poet writes that Lucy grew up in the midst of nature for three years. She experienced all kinds of seasons be it summer or rain. Then after that Nature decided to adopt Lucy as her own child so that she could bring up the child in her own way.
Then Nature declares that she herself Lucy to be a good human being and will also check her from committing wring deeds. Lucy will move about on mountains, plains, even on seeing sky, earth or when in a forest or under shady trees. All this while, she will feel the presence of a power that watches her activities, a power which inspires and checks her.
The next lines portray that Lucy will be as playful and active as a fawn (young one of a deer) which wild with joy moves across grassy fields, or climbs the mountains. Lucy will have the fresh air free and open for herself which will comfort and soothe her. Lucy will enjoy the silent and peaceful atmosphere in the company of the objects of Nature like rocks and fields.
The clouds that float across the sky shall impart their beauty to Lucy. She will learn the movements from bending of willow trees. Lucy will learn to be graceful from the movements of a storm.
Lucy will thoroughly enjoy the sight of stars at midnight. She will be able to listen to the music of the stream flowing noisily. The sweet and soft music will have its effect on enhancing the beauty of Lucy.
Nature says that she will bring Lucy up in a happy valley. The joy and happiness around shall help in the growth of her height and her body will be physically developed. Nature will give Lucy noble thoughts when they both live together in that happy valley.
In the last stanza the poet says Nature fulfilled her promise, whatever she had said. But Lucy died very soon. She left the poet lonely in the barren land in a silent atmosphere the poet is left with the memories of the past, of the memories of Lucy, whom he will not be able to see again.
Thus, in this poem Wordsworth has stated that one can learn a great lesson for ones upliftment if one approaches nature with a heart that watches and receives. The poem illustrates. Rousseaus philosophy which states that a child living close to nature becomes a better person than the one brought up in the artificial atmosphere of civilization



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