It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

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Quotes

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Notes

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Friday, 28 September 2012

Thoma Wyatt An Outline View




Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Life Of Thomas Wyatt

The Life Of Thomas Wyatt






Monday, 24 September 2012

On Wyatt's Death









Sunday, 23 September 2012

Milton



Milton: Treatment of woman in "Paradise Lost"

Adam and Eve are the very first human couple and the parents of the whole human race and the masterpiece of God's art of creation, primarily lived in Eden which is an indescribable beautiful garden in Heaven. God had given them the liberty to enjoy everything available there, with only one restriction that they were not to eat the forbidden fruit there, but they could not act upon this curb, therefore, God punished them for their disobedience and expelled them from Paradise.
When we make a careful and critical analysis of "Paradise Lost" Book IX, we discover that in spite of having many common features of character and personality both Adam and Eve have a world of difference between them as well. Both of them are made of clay, have steadfast faith in God and equally love each other yet at the same time they are divided in opinion about their work, passion and the fear of an enemy.
As far as Eve is concerned, she possesses female charm and attraction, a suggestive and justifying mind, a rational and convincing manner of conversation, but at the same time she is highly confident, short sighted, jealous and deluded about her powers.
Adam, on the other hand, is an embodiment of sagacity, moderation, contentment, foresightedness, knowledge, mankind, passionate love and sacrifice.
When Eve rationally suggests that they should work separately because when they are together, they waste most of their time in petty things. Adam foresightedly objects the idea and reminds her of the danger of her being seduced by Satan. At this, she pounces upon him for suspecting her faithfulness. She also under-estimates their enemy. Adam tries his best to convince her that they should not separate from each other but she remains unmoved. At last, he retreats and reluctantly allows her to work after her own heart and, thus, they part from each other for the very first time and this very alienation, in fact, leads to their expulsion from Heaven.
Satan, who possesses a great determination and an unyielding power and ever-scheming mind, is, in fact, afraid to face Adam because of his physical strength, intellectual powers, great courage and impressive manlihood. He, therefore, is always in search of an opportunity to find Eve alone, so that, he may succeed in his evil and revengeful designs against God and His master creature. After assuming the shape of a serpent, which is the most cunning of all animals, he managed to enter Eden where he finds his target, that Eve is all alone, busy with her work. He very cleverly starts praising and flattering her that she is "the sole mistress", "the queen of this universe", "the empress" and "the humane goddess". When she, in the state of utter amazement, asks him how he can speak while he is a serpent he relates a fake story of his tasting the forbidden fruit of knowledge and its miraculous effects.
When she tells him about the warning of God that tasting the fruit of knowledge could result in death, he washes her brain by saying that this fruit will raise her to the stature of God and that she will not die because he is a living example before her eyes. She is fully entrapped by the oily tongue of Satan, tastes the forbidden fruit due to short sightedness and over confidence. After eating the fruit she thinks if she dies, God will create another Eve for Adam and he will live a long life of everlasting enjoyment with the new Eve. This very thought arises in her an intense feeling of jealousy for the first time and she mounts to Adam to tell him about her blunder.
On the other side, Adam restlessly waits for her with garland of beautiful and attractive flowers to welcome her back, but she does not reach at the fixed time. He goes out in search of her and finds her on the way with a bough of apples in her hand. She tells him all about the talking-serpent and her act of tasting the forbidden fruit. Adam leaves a deep sigh of grief and scolds her, but at the same time his passionate love for Eve over powers him and he expresses his uncontrollable sentiments of love in the following famous romantic and emotional words:
The link of nature draw me; flesh of my flash,
Bone of my bone, thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted; bliss or woe.
Thus Adam also eats the forbidden fruit deliberately just for the sake of his love for Eve for Adam feels himself incomplete without Eve. Thus he prefers a woman to obedience of God.
In the end, we can conclude that both Adam and Eve are responsible for their sin of disobedience and their consequent expulsion from Heaven. It is, however, clear that Eve is entrapped by the glib-tongue and the praising words of Satan while Adam falls a prey to his passionate love for Eve.n the Victorian style, but she develops it in a new direction.
The Victorians, on the whole, were instructive and they wrote what they wanted to write. Eliot, on the other hand, was an intellectual and she wrote what she should have written. She is known as the first intellectual novelist. Her novels are the embodiment of her ideas.
The main charm of the Victorians lies in the individual expression, whereas, in Eliot, our interest is kept up in the way she analyses and diagnoses problems. Eliot rejects dogma and wants to analyze the causes of every problem she comes across.
Her scenes are more real than those of the Victorians because her realism is not only documentary but also psychological. To other novelists, realism is an intellectual necessity but in her case, it is a creed and emotion rather ambition which follows avidly. Her picture is more realistic owing to her clear perception of realities. She draws her characters inside out.
The Victorians were satisfied with the apparent realities whereas Eliot penetrated deep into the phenomenon and brought to light the hidden causes.
The Victorians, too, were satirist but they satirize just to create humour so they were ordinary humorist, whereas, Eliot satirized as a serious thinker. Her humour was of a distinct type i.e. intellectual and psychological humour soaked into deep pathos. She fused together comic irony and mild satire to create humour and her end was to moralize. Her humour had a serious message underlying it. This kind of humour is employed by the modern novelists.
Other Victorians did have a moral touch but, in Eliot, we find moral earnestness. Like Fielding, she wrote to inculcate moral in the people. But her concept of morality was quite different from that of Fielding's. She reshapes the consciousness of the individuals in order to remould the whole structure of the society. She believes in the presence of the moral code at the heart of the universe. She made novels the embodiment of her moral ideas. In "The Mil on the Floss", she denounces the dominance of the self recklessness, loose-living etc and emphasizes on the absoluteness of duty, endurance, renunciation etc. her concept of morality is based on human values and the laws of human heart.
Her psychological approach also makes her modern. The clear sighted vision of the essential of character gives her a definite edge over the Victorians like Bronte, Dickens, Austen, etc. The grasp on the psychological essentials makes her draw complex characters better than the Victorians, because she draws them inside out.
The insight into human nature makes Eliot's picture of human nature more homogeneous than that of Dickens, etc. She shows that saints and sinners are made of the same clay; however, the latter lack the necessary strength of mind. She has ardent sincerity which compensates for many of the feelings of her aesthetic judgment.
Eliot is revealer of the self. Characters like Maggie are the self-portraitures of Eliot. She unveils herself through her female characters.
Eliot broke away from the fundamental conventions of form and matter. She rejected the standardized formula. She conceived one idea and its logical development.
She is modern in inspiration, too. Earlier, novel was meant only for the entertainment of the middle class reading public. Eliot's intellectual approach made novel a 'meeting place of problems'. She studied Man in relation to higher aspects of life. Eliot was the first novelist to discover this particular track on which the modern novelists are treading today.
Though Eliot lived in the Victorian era yet she is modern novelist since she wrote in the modern fashion. But she cannot be called 'Victo-modern'. Eliot, in contrast, is exclusively orthodox and Victorian in her ideas and modern in her approach. She can also be differentiated from Hardy in the sense that he is peculiarly Victoria in his style and approach and modern in his ideas. To be curt, Eliot is a modern novelist living amongst the Victorians.


Milton: Character of "Satan"

Satan occupies the most prominent position in the action of Paradise Lost. Though the main theme of the poem is the "Man's first disobedience" yet it is the character of Satan which gives a touch of greatness to this epic. Al the poetic powers of Milton are shown on the delineation of the majestic personality of the enemy of God and Man, i.e. Satan.
As it is shown in Paradise Lost Book-I that the character of Satan is a blend of the noble and the ignoble, the exalted and the mean, the great and the low, therefore, it becomes difficult to declare him either a hero or a wholly villain.
In Paradise Lost Book-I we can hardly doubt his heroic qualities because this book fully exhibits his exemplary will-power, unsurpassable determination, unshakable confidence and unbelievable courage. However, the encyclopedia of religion removes some of the confusion from our minds regarding Satan's character in the following words:
Satan means the arch-enemy of men, the adversary of God and of Christianity, a rebel against God, a lost arch-angle.
Milton also confirms the remarks and tells us that Satan is an archangel. When God declares the Holy Christ his viceroy, Satan refuses to accept God's order because he himself is a confident for it, his false strength and pride leads him to revolt against God for the fulfillment of his lust for power but he and his army suffers a heavy defeat and throw headlong into the pit of hell.
Milton's description of Satan's huge physical dimension, the heavy arms he carries, his tower like personality and his gesture make him every inch a hero. In his first speech, Satan tells Beelzebub that he does not repent of what he did and that defeat has brought no change in him at all. He utters memorable lines:
What though the field be lost?
All is not lost – the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield.
Actually he is not ready to bow before the will of God and is determined to wade and eternal war by force and will never compromise. He proudly calls himself the new possessor of the profoundest hell and foolishly claims to have a mind never to be changed by force or time. As he says:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
Although Satan undergoes perpetual mental and physical torture in hell yet he is fully satisfied because he is at liberty to do whatever he likes, without any restriction. The following line clearly indicates his concept of freedom.
Better to reign in Hell, the Serve in Heaven.
It can be said without any doubt that Satan gives an evidence of great leadership qualities which are certainly worthy of an epic hero and Beelzebub appreciates him for his undaunted virtues as the commander of undaunted virtue as the commander of fallen angels. His speech to the fallen angels is a sole roof of his great leadership because it infuses a new spirit in the defeated angels who come out of the pit of hill with their swords and are ready to face any danger regardless of their crushing and humiliating defeat at the hands of God. We fully laud Satan's views on the themes of honour, revenge and freedom, but we cannot help sympathizing him because he embodies evil. He is the embodiment of disobedience to God.
As the poem proceeds, the character of Satan degenerates and he fails to produce any impression to true heroism because he is morally a degraded figure. When we closely examine his addressed to his followers, we find that it is full of contradictions and absurdities, because he tries to throw dust into the eyes of his comrades. In fact, on the one hand, he says that they will provoke war against God and on the other hand, he wants peace which is only possible through submission. Then, on reaching the earth, he enters into a serpent and is completely degrades. Pride is the cause of his fall from Heaven – Pride that has 'raised' him to contend with the mightiest. But where is that pride when the Archangel enters into the mouth of a sleeping serpent and hides himself in its "Mazy folds". Here from the grand figure that he is in the beginning, he degenerates into a man and cunning fellow, and then he tries to tempt Eve by guile. So, Satan degenerates from the role of a brave hero to that of a cunning villain as C. S. Lewis remarks:
From hero to general, from general to politician, from politician to secret service agent, and thence to a thing that peers in at bed-room or bath-room window and thence toad, and finally to a snake – such is the progress of Satan.
So, it can easily be said in the light of above mentioned facts that Satan is out and pouter hero in Book-I of Paradise Lost, but in Book-IX he appears before us every inch a villain because of his evil design and he himself says that his chief pleasure lies in the destruction of mankind which lowers him in our estimation as a hero.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Rape of the Lock - Significance of Cave of Spleen



Rape of the Lock - Significance of Cave of Spleen

Spleen was the Augustan name what Elizabethan described as melancholy. It is less of a disease than a fashionable affectation. Fashionable ladies, poets, and playwrights pretend to suffer from it so as to give an impression that he victims are serious thinkers of creative writers. Pope exalts Spleen to the level of Goddess and cave of Spleen to the level of underworld and personifies her as the Queen of underworld. This suits his scheme to mock the epic conventions systematically because the serious epics like "Illiad" and "Aenied" show heroes taking a voyage to the underworld. In travesty of this convention, however, Pope packs a lot of social criticism, especially the criticism of fashionable vanities and affectations of the fashionable women.

Sylphs were in attendance to Belinda when she plays Omber. They hover around her when she sips coffee. They withdraw when Ariel sees "an earthly lover lurking at her heart". A gnome, called 'Umbriel' holds the place of Ariel. After the rape of the lock of Belinda, Umbriel wanted to inflict her with Spleen. So he took a journey to the underworld to the cave of spleen.

It is reported that the Queen of Spleen as a capricious and eccentric goddess holds full control over the fashionable ladies ranging from fifteen to fifty. She, the Goddess of Spleen is the aspiration behind the affectation of melancholy as well as the pretension to the poetry by the female sex.

The effect of Spleen on the women varies according to their temperament. While some consults the physician for their treatments. Some begin to write scurrilous plays and those who are proud give them an air and try to delay their visit as to show their importance.

While speaking of the cave of Spleen, Pope gives a vivid picture of the fantastic vision to which the men and women plagued with spleen are exposed to. At the moment we see flaming devils and snakes erected on their coils, lustrous ghosts, opening sepulchers and red fires and the other moment we visualizes the lakes of liquid gold, scenes of paradise, transparent places and angles coming to solve the difficulties in human life. Thus the description of the cave of Spleen is highly symbolic and conveys the accurate picture of the people suffering from Spleen.

Moreover, Pope points out the illusion from which morbidly melancholic people suffer. Such people are often plagued with fantastic ideas or visions and often imagine themselves transformed into various objects.

Then, there are two hand maidens who wait upon the Goddess of Spleen, are Ill-Nature and Affectation. Apparently, it is seemed that Pope has delineated the pictures of two hand-maidens just to emphasize the splendour of Goddess of Spleen. But since Spleen, Ill-Nature and Affectation are the typical feminine vices in Pope's time, therefore, the delineation of their portraits provide the vivid picture of the fashionable women who affected so many things.

Ill-Nature is presented as an ugly, wrinkled and decayed woman who pretends to be virtuous and pious but essentially a vicious creature who takes delight in murdering reputations of the other people. The black and white lines of her dress presents the contrast between her pretension and reality – the while colour suggests purity, innocence and religiosity and the black colour suggest malice, envy and scorn. In fact, Pope has satirized the double role of the woman's nature of his times who pretends to be pious and virtuous just to maintain their good reputation i.e. the woman of his age gives importance to their reputation than their virtues. In other words they are hypocrite.

The, Pope delineates the portrait of the Affectation, the second hand maiden of the Goddess of Spleen. Affectation is personified as an old woman who is beautiful, young and tender though she is fairly old. Delineation of the portrait of the Affectation provides a vivid picture of the fashionable woman. It includes a sharp, ironical commentary on the vanity, frivolity d hypocrisy of fashionable women.
There Affectation, with a sickly mien,
Shows in he cheek the roses of eighteen,
Practiced to lisp, and hang the head aside,
Faints into airs, and languishes with pride,
On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
Wrapt in a gown, for sickness, and for show.
The fair ones feel such maladies as these,
When each new night-dress gives a new disease.
Then, the bag, which the Goddess of Spleen gives to gnome, Umbriel, is the clever mimicry of the bag in which Ulysses entrapped the winds. The bag contains all the violent and noisy emotions while the Phial contains the noisiest sort of sufferings. This bag is indicative of female weaknesses. Thus, Pope seems to imply that the women are capable of all sorts of antics to demonstrate their sufferings.

To sum up, the visit to the cave of Spleen is introduced for the sake of mock-heroic effect, which gives an opportunity to the poet to satirize the evil nature and the affectations of ladies and gentlemen of his society. Furthermore, it also serves the action of the poem.

Gulliver's Travel: Is swift a misanthrope?



Gulliver's Travel: Is swift a misanthrope?

Swift is not a misanthrope rather he is a philanthrope. It is the misconception of those who think Swift as a misanthrope. Swift only wants to reform mankind out of their follies and stupidities. He says that the chief end of all his labour is:
"to vex the world rather than divert it".
Secondly, he declares that:


"I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities and all his love is towards individuals."
Thirdly, though Swift does not believe that:
"Man is a rational animal".
Yet he believes that:
"Man is capable of becoming rational if he makes the necessary efforts."
But we see that Swift is notorious for being misanthrope. He was subjected to this allegation during his lifetime because the critics, identifying Gulliver with Swift, attributed Gulliver's blunders to Swift. That Gulliver, in the last voyage, becomes a misanthrope is undeniable and indisputable. Prima facie, it appears that by developing a negative view of mankind, he starts preferring horses to men, but a solid reason of Swift underlies this act of Gulliver.

We observe that in the fourth voyage, Gulliver reaches a country of animals, ruled by animals. There are two categories of animals living there in: ugly and repulsive brutes – Yahoos:
"Yahoos who are unteachable brutes, cunning, gluttonous and disposed to great mischief".
And comparatively better and nice-looking animals – Houyhnhnms. The moment he enters the country he is confronted with Yahoos and they give him such a nasty and obnoxious treatment that he develops a disliking for them in his heart, which is later converted into hatred owing to their disgusting physical appearance and their filthy and mischievous way of life. But his first meeting with Houyhnhnms, on the other hand, proves a nice experience. And this:
"First impression proves the last impression".
They secure him against Yahoos, behave properly and gracefully escort him to their abode.
"The behaviour of horses shows him to be animals with an extraordinary power of understanding."
Naturally, this kind of treatment creates a sort of fondness in Gulliver's heart for Houyhnhnms and their way of life. Upto this time, nothing is objectionable, but his fault begin when he become so enamored of Houyhnhnms that he starts hating man or equating Yahoos with men, he begins to abhor Man. He develops a general hatred against all men. All the subsequent incidents – his hatred against the Captain, against his family, etc. – reflect his misanthropy.

The blunder which Gulliver committed is that, he over-idealizes them because Gulliver is a man who is fed up with Man's corruption. Therefore, he cannot see corruption in Man. He finds Yahoos in a detestable and abhorrent condition on account of their being a slave of emotions, sensuality and sentimentality. He says:
"Yet I confess I never saw any sensitive being so detestable on all accounts; and the more I came near them, the more hateful they grew, while I stayed in that country."
Houyhnhnms, in a comparatively better condition, lack that type of corruption that Yahoos have, for Houyhnhnms have no emotion.
"Houyhnhnms are free from lust and greed."
Naturally, he attributes whole of Man's corruption to emotions, passions and sentimentality. As a remedy, he starts hating emotions, passion and he falls a victim to pure intellect.
"Here was neither physician to destroy my body, nor lawyer to ruin my fortune, here were no gibers, …, backbiters, …, bawds, …, ravishers, murderers or … poxes."
So, he mis-idealize Houyhnhnms, due to their pure intellect, somehow establishes a subjective ideal before him i.e. to be a man is to have pure intellect. He thinks:
"The only remedy for doing away with Man's corruption and pollution is to get rid of all kinds of emotions".
In the country of Houyhnhnms, when Gulliver has a choice, he adopts for the Houyhnhnms way of life, completely rejecting Yahoos' path. But when he is compelled to leave the country and to break away form his beloved way of life, and to come to another way of life which he dislikes, it is but natural for him to hate it. In fact, his this ideal is perfectly erroneous. Swift says:
"Idealism leads towards destruction."
So, it is wrong to detest Man, equating him with Yahoos and it is again inappropriate to set up the ideal of perfect man on the basis of Houyhnhnms' pure intellect because neither a Houyhnhnms nor a Yahoo is a man, instead, man is a juxtaposition of both intellect and emotions.
"The best code of conduct is Golden Mean which is 'balance'."
So he mis-defines Man. However, the fact of the matter remains whether Swift becomes a misanthrope or not, but can we impute Gulliver's misanthropy to Swift? If we virtually succeed to establish, some identity between Swift and Gulliver, Swift, too, will become a misanthrope.
But according to Swift a man is he who strikes a balance between rationality and sensuality and this balance is not gifted by birth. It has to be acquired. That's why even Gulliver is subjected to Swift's satire, for he loses the said balance.

That is the reason we don't identify Gulliver with Swift and, inspite of Gulliver's misanthropy, we call Swift a great philanthropist. As he, himself, says:
"I write for the noblest end, to inform and instruct mankind."

Renaissance elements in Doctor Faustus Renaissance ideals vs. Medieval morals




Renaissance elements in Doctor Faustus Renaissance ideals vs. Medieval morals

Renaissance elements in Doctor Faustus
Renaissance ideals vs. Medieval morals

Faustus's inner turmoil gives way to the dominant meaning within the play: Medieval morals versus Renaissance ideals. Marlowe's characterization of Faustus leads one to the predominant idea of duality in society of his era in which Medieval values conflict with those of the Renaissance. His refusal to see what is fact and what is fiction is a result of his pompous persona. In his quest to become omnipotent, Faustus fails to see that there is life after death and that his material possessions are of no consequence. Faustus is a combatant in his own internal war of knowledge or salvation.

In the opening of the play Marlowe uses the chorus to announce the time, place, and most importantly, to introduce Faustus. The chorus refers to the Greek myth of Icarus while characterizing Faustus - " Till swoll'n with cunning, of self conceit,/ His waxen wings did mount above his reach/ And melting, heavens conspired his overthrow!"(Prologue. 19-21.). " His waxen wings did mount above his reach" is an ironic comparison between Icarus and Faustus. It is ironic because Icarus directly disobeys his father, which ties into the idea of moral sin. However, in Faustus' case it is disobedient to become too learned. Also, the line " heavens conspired his overthrow" could be a reference to Lucifer's attempt to overpower God. Thus, the Chorus would ultimately be making reference to Faustus attempting to outwit God. This is the contrast between Medieval and Renaissance values; the medieval world shunned all that was not Christian while the Renaissance was a re-birth of learning in which people openly questioned divinity as with much more. The chorus makes it seem that Faustus is a 'bad' man because he seeks knowledge. In essence, it portrays Faustus as a "Renaissance man who pays the medieval price for being one."

Faustus's constant struggle to explore Renaissance principles is heightened by the Good Angel and Bad Angel. The Good Angel pulls Faustus towards Medieval values. He represents Faustus's Medieval instincts: "O Faustus, lay that damned book aside/ And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul/ And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head!/ Read, read the Scriptures - that is blasphemy!" ( 1.1.67-69 ). The Angel is eluding to Medieval ideals by saying that books are 'damned' and will bring 'God's heavy wrath'. 'That is blasphemy' is yet another reference to books not being of God. The Good Angel is Faustus key to salvation. Again, Faustus's inner conflict gives way to the ultimate theme of redemption and sin. While the Good Angel represents the medieval era, the Bad Angel signifies the Renaissance : "Go forward Faustus, in that famous art/ Wherein all nature's treasure is contained./... / Lord and commander of these elements!"( 1.1.71-74 ). The Bad Angel feeds Faustus's thirst for knowledge by telling him that 'all nature's treasure is contained' in his books. Going even further, the Angel tells Faustus to be 'Lord' and 'commander' of these elements ultimately telling Faustus that he could be God if he so chose. Both angels are ultimately signify duality within society. Where half are pulled towards the righteous Medieval morals and the others toward liberated Renaissance ideals.

Faustus embraces his Renaissance persona by acknowledging his life choices. In his never ending quest to obtain knowledge, Faustus conjures Helen of Troy so that he may marvel at her beauty: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/ And burnt the topless towers of Illium? / Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss./ Her kiss suck forth my soul. See where it flies!" ( 5.1.95-99 ). Helen is an apt person for Faustus to gawk at. She was considered to be the most beautiful women in all the world. However, Faustus lives in a time and place of sexual repression. Thus, Helen represents sin and sexual freedom - an end to Medieval morals. The word 'immortal' implies that Helen's kiss allows men to live forever and that Helen herself is 'immortal'. This ironical comparison demonstrates that Faustus is still in denial about death. However, with 'Her kiss suck forth my soul', Faustus suggests that Helen has taken his life. This is ironic on many levels, most noticeably being that many men died to rescue Helen from the Trojans. In addition, Faustus is the only one responsible for his lost soul. The conjuring of Helen of Troy represents Faustus's decision to accept what he has done with his life and follow his Renaissance persona. In calling on Helen, Faustus has yielded himself to immortal sins. First and foremost, Faustus has sinned by using black magic to call on Helen. Lastly, Faustus is openly sexual with Helen of Troy. His kissing of Helen is ultimately a symbol of accepting that which has already been done and preparing to face eternal damnation.

Faustus's epic battle between Medieval morals and Renaissance ideals results in his eternal damnation. Faustus has many chances to repent, yet not once does he decided to put an end to seeking knowledge and practicing magic. His decision is ultimately a signal for the end of Medieval beliefs in 'religion being the key' and the emergence of free thinking. Faustus has been said to be "a Renaissance man who paid the Medieval price for being one" ( R.M. Dawkins). He was an intellectual in a society of ignorance imposed upon by the clergy of the Catholic Church.

Though Faustus is the tragic hero of the play one must really consider if in fact Faustus's demise is tragic. Faustus makes his own decisions and knows where they will take him to in the end. He refuses to see that heaven and hell do exist and despite the many warnings given to him about the heinousness of hell, he still follows the path of damnation Faustus's harrowing demise results in eternal damnation is tragic. Though he is a man with the charisma and courage to follow his passions in life despite the duality within society and the constant pulling of morals and ideals. Faustus is told time after time that he can still repent and save himself from the wrath of God. Several times he does in fact repent, yet because of his inner conflict he 'takes it back'. Not till Faustus utters his last words is one completely sure that Faustus's story is tragic, at best. Ultimately, he dies unhappy and still a combatant in his own internal war.

At the end we can say that in spite of being a man of medieval period, Faustus was a Renaissance man. And by his activities we find the elements of Renaissance where medieval values are buried because of the emergence of Renaissance ideals. 

The Tragic Fate of Marlowe's Tragic Hero



The Tragic Fate of Marlowe's Tragic Hero

In the world of theatre, there are many plays in which the central figure is one who harnesses extreme personality traits above all others. For example, Sophocles' Oedipus is a fatherly king with great ambition and strength; and Shakespeare's Macbeth is evilly ambitious, while Romeo and Juliet are driven solely by their love for one another. These traits give these characters unbelievable success... for a time. In these stories, these attributes bring about each character's downfall and death, qualifying each as a tragic hero, one whose strength leads to weakness. Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus is a definite member of this class of characters, an arrogant yet impressively ambitious scholar who desires grandiose knowledge without the help and guidance from the world's major religion, Christianity. In Dr. Faustus, Marlowe uses tragic irony concerning Faustus' misunderstanding and rejection of God to illustrate the downfall of this tragic hero.



Faustus' character is established with his first soliloquy in the very first scene. Desiring to acquire knowledge, he distrusts logic, medicine, and law, claiming that he "hast attained [the] end[s]" and mastered these areas (253 , lines 1-36). When he considers religion, "divinity," he quotes Romans 6 :23 which says, "The reward of sin is death," and continues with 1 John 1 :8 , saying that everyone sins and therefore there is "no truth in us" (253 , lines 37 , 40 , 44). From this, Faustus concludes that there is no reason in believing in a seemingly hopeless faith where the only outcome is death, and so with a haughty goodbye he says, "What doctrine call you this? ... Divinity, adieu!" (253 , line 49).



Faustus is entirely too quick to form conclusions. If he wants knowledge, the last action he should take is not learning all about a possible flaw. Modern journalist Lee Strobel says in his faith- strengthening book The Case for Faith about difficult questions people pose about the Bible, "[B]ecause [someone isn't] able to answer them [doesn't] mean there [aren't] answers" (196 ). The astounding irony of this scene is Faustus' failure to read the next verse after 1 John 1 :8: "If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1 :9). Faustus' arrogance and conceit will not let him become fully knowledgeable to see hope, and therefore he has personally lost all hopes for his dreams by painting Christianity in a negative light.



Faustus further condemns himself by looking to magic in order to be a "demi-god," but even more so by believing a pact with the highest devil, Lucifer, will give him his dreams (253 , line 63). He gives a message to Mephistophilis, a devil, that says:



He surrenders up to [Lucifer] his soul,

So he will spare him four and twenty years,

Letting him live in all voluptuousness,

...



To give [him] whatever [he] shall ask. (256 , lines 91-93 , 95)



In his pursuit of knowledge, now believing his soul-selling has proven successful, Faustus asks Mephistophilis questions about the planet, and the heavens, which are very readily answered. However, when Faustus asks, "[T]ell me who made the world," Mephistophilis replies, "I will not" (260, lines 71-73). Now that Faustus believes he has been granted all knowledge, the irony exists in his inability to discover the answers to the ultimate questions of how the universe came to be, and more important, who made the universe. If he knew this, his knowing it would lead him directly back to God the Creator, and therefore to all knowledge whatsoever. But Faustus is now detached from God, unable to acquire the knowledge he desires.



By the end of the play, Faustus is so far detached from God that he literally has no chance of salvation. Faustus, of course, doesn't believe this. Although he recognizes his impending end ("What art thou, Faustus, but a man / condemned to die?"), he assumes he can have salvation at the last second, for "Christ did call the thief upon the cross," alluding to Christ's forgiving of a thief the day of Christ's (and the thief's) crucifixion (271 , lines 36 , 40). But as the sky runs with Christ's blood at Faustus' end, and as he cries out,

O, I'll leap up to my God...

See, see, where Christ's blood streams in the firmament!



One drop would save my soul, half a drop! Ah, my Christ! (277 , lines 154-156)



It becomes apparent that Faustus is doomed, unworthy of God's free grace as he is taken to Hell. His tragic end reiterates his misunderstanding of Christianity by taking out of context the passages from Romans and 1 John. If Faustus really were knowledgeable, he would have known Jesus' statement:



I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (Luke 12 : 8-10)



Faustus lived for twenty-four years completely devoted to Lucifer, the chief opposition to God, never choosing right, thus signing his eternal death warrant.



Marlowe details the life of someone who misses completely the idea of God. The Christian faith does not teach a hopeless future that was given to Faustus through his ambition and stubborn delusion of grandeur. Instead, there is hope and was for Faustus. The Good Angel appears to Faustus to tell him to return to God, because "if [Faustus] hadst given an ear to [him], / Innumerable joys [would have] followed [him]" (276 , lines 108-109 ). Also, the Old Man who comes to Faustus near his end urges him to repent, telling him to "call for mercy and avoid despair" (274 , line 65). God's power is implied to be frightfully stronger than that which Lucifer gives, as when Faustus is in Rome with the devil Mephistophilis, who says even he fears the friars' chants from God (266 , lines 95-96). Faustus continually contemplates his decision to sell his soul, whether it was right or if he has condemned himself, however, he ultimately chooses to keep his satanic pact. Marlowe emphasizes through his tragic hero that no matter how condemned and sinful one feels, there is always a chance for salvation if one is willing to see it. 

Satire in The Rape of The Lock




Satire in The Rape of The Lock

The rape of the lock is a brilliant and humorous satire on the aristocratic society of England, with its social scandals, follies, trivialities and vanities in general of fashionable men and women. Dryden said, “The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction,” and that is what Pope set out to do in his “Rape of the Lock.” By using the burlesque, mockery, and irony, Pope ridicules the deviation of his society.

Satire in “The Rape of The Lock" can be called a social satire because it satirizes the society as a whole in ways still relevant to to-days world. Moreover it is not a satire against any individual, but against the follies and vanities of fashionable men and women in general. Through Belinda Pope satirizes the fashionable women of the time and through Baron, he satirizes the aristocratic gentlemen of the age. However, the reason for why Pope’s “The Rape of The Lock” can be called a social satire is given below:

The poem is, in fact, a satire upon feminine frivolity. And Pope introduces the readers with many “Female Errors”. At the very beginning Pope satirizes the idleness late rising of aristocratic woman by Belinda. It was the hour of twelve when Belinda opened her eyes to fall asleep again-

“Now Lap-dogs give themselves the rowzing Shake,
And sleepless Lovers, just at Twelve, awake:”

The poet goes on to make fun of the vanities of woman .The aristocratic ladies of those days were over fond of gilded chariots and of ombre; and the poet makes fun of that over fondness here .These vanities, he says, do not end even with the death of the woman:

“Think not, when Woman's transient Breath is fled,
That all her Vanities at once are dead."

The poet also expresses the weakness of these ladies for entertainment and for marked balls. The satire in the following lines is obvious:

“With varying Vanities, from ev'ry Part,
They shift the moving Toyshop of their Heart"

Woman, in short, are all frivolous beings whose genuine interest is in love making and they felt keenly interested in the love letters that they received. The poet makes fun of Belinda by saying that when at least she woke up from her prolonged sleep, “Thy eyes first opened on a Billet doux" in which the lover had spoken at charms. He satirizes by saying that love making was the greatest pastime of young ladies .They expected attention and gifts from the lovers, but they were rather inconsistent in their love.

The poet also ridicules the women’s excessive attention of self embellishment and self decoration of a famous satirical passage. Belinda is described as commencing her toilet operations with prayer to the cosmetic power, puffs, and powders lie on Belinda's dressing table.

“Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows,
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.”

Another object of satire is present in the arrangement of things on the table: the Bibles are usually placed in the midst of her beauty aids. But Bible is the holy book which should be kept separately. So, Bible is as important as other thing to Belinda. This type of attitude towards religion is satirized by Pope.

Then the poet satirizes how chastity and serious thing might be lost in the world of philanderers. Honour was merely a word with little meaning to them and reputation was more important than honour. A lady's honour is no more serious than her staining new brocade, a lady's missing a ball is as serious is her forgetting her heart. As Elwin points, "The relative importance of things, the little with them is great, and the great little. They attach as much importance to a china jar as to their honour as much to religion as to dances and masquerades, as much to their lap-dogs as to husbands."

"Not louder shirks to pitying Heaven are cast
When husbands or when lap dogs breathe their last"

In this poem, Pope also satirizes Belinda as well as whole fashionable woman's pretended purity. Because of her false purity, she was punished. Ariel discovered that Belinda was not quite keen on preserving her virtue and therefore she withdraws from the scene pope satirizes Belinda by saying that if she tried she could save his hair but she tried outwardly not from her heart. Pope also satirizes the aristocratic men of his time. They are as frivolous as the ladies. Lord peter and his fellows are the representatives of the fashionable society of the time .They are all idle, empty minded folk, and seem to have nothing else undo but making love or flirting with ladies and pope satirizes this.

One can't easily forget the satire in the portraits of sir Plume, another fashionable gentleman, with his snuff emptiness. When he is requested by his beloved Thalestris to persuade Lord Petre to surrender the precious hairs of Belinda, he utters words which are unsurpassed in their emptiness and pore ridicules this emptiness:

“With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face,
He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case,
And thus broke out — "My Lord, why, what the devil?
"Z — ds! damn the lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil!
Plague on't!'t is past a jest — nay prithee, pox!
Give her the hair" — he spoke, and rapp'd his box.” (593-598)

Nothing shows more clearly the faithfulness and unthinking folly of the smart set than this little speech of Lord Plume. Not only that the poet has also satirized the system of justice. At four in the afternoon, judges hurriedly sign the sentence so that they could have their dinner in time. This is their sense of responsibility and showings these judges Pope satirizes the system of justice of his time. He says about them:-

“Mean while, declining from the Noon of day,
The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray;
The hungry Judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine;”

Even Pope has attacked the concept of friendship. Friends are hollow and fickle.
Belinda’s friend Thalestris is as shallow as the age in which she lives. As soon as the reputation of Belinda is gone, she doesn’t like to be called her friend, because it will be a disgrace to be known as her friend henceforth.

Thus the poem is a delicate humorous and witty satire on the upper class society of the eighteenth century. It exposes the follies with a light ridicule. It points the idle life of pleasure seeking young men and women. It introduces us to a world of frivolity and fashion and by showing these; he wants to correct these things.

Rape of the Lock - Social Satire

As Shakespeare is the poet of man, Pope is a poet of society. “The Rape of the Lock” is a social document because it mirrors contemporary society and contains a social satire, too. Pope paints about England in 18th century.

The whole panorama of “The Rape of the Lock” revolves around the false standard of 18th century. Pope satirizes the young girls and boys, aristocratic women and men, their free time activities, nature of husbands and wives, the professional judges and politicians of the day.

Pope clearly depicts the absurdities and the frivolities of the fashionable circle of the 18th century England. The world of Belinda – the world of fashion is a trivial world. The whole life of Belinda is confined to sleeping, make-up, enjoyment and alluring the lords. There are no transcendental elements in her life. This life is marked by ill-nature, affection, mischievousness, coquetry, yielding and submissive nature, fierce and unruly nature, infidelity, cheapness, meanness, trivialities and frivolities etc. Belinda represents all the fashion struck women, busy in such stupidities.

The gallants of the time have not been spared by Pope. Baron not only represents Peter but also typifies the aristocratic gallants of the age.

Pope satirizes man’s nature that is always weak at beauty. Men sacrifice everything at the altar of beauty and even the most intelligent man behaves foolishly when he fall a victim to beauty.

In order to make his satire sharper and all the more effective, Pope introduces the aerialmachinery, which facilitates the satire. Through this weapon, the poet throws in contrast the weaknesses of the fashionablewomen of that age. He satirizes women who are interested in fashionable life and its pursuits and who go on ex ercising their evil influence even after their death. For the sake of worldly grandeur, they can bid farewell even to their chastity and honour. He satirizes women of fiery, coquettish mischievous and yielding nature and gives them different names. It also provides the poet with an opportunity to satirize the class consciousness of women.

All the women and beaus gather at the place where they exchange talks on trivial things e.g. visits, balls, films, motions, looks, eyes, etc. and “at every word, a reputation dies”.

“A beau and witling perished in the throng,
One died in metaphor, and one in song.”

Man’s favourite activity is to take suffered women to play with fan. There is singing, dancing, laughing, ogling, etc. and nothing else. Women are busy alluring the dukes and lords. The poet reflects the hollowness of men in the character of Sir Plume who is coward, foolish and senseless, lacking courage. Women are on the whole irresolute and they have made toyshops of their hearts. They have even illicit relations with the beaus. Women are meant only for the entertainment of men, who play toy with them.

Pope also satirizes of the husbands and wives of the day. Husbands always suspect their wives. They think that their wives have been merry making with their lovers.

Wives are also not virtuous at all. They love their lap-dogs more than their husbands. And the death of husbands is not more shocking than the death of a lap dog or the breakage of a china vessel.

So through the medium of satire, Pope paints a picture of 18th century English society. His satire is didactic and impersonal. It is not inflicted against any person or individual, rather against the society and that, too, owing to some moral faults. He is dissatisfied with the society around which he wants to reform. The society he pictured is the aristocratic group of 18th century fashionable English society. But thee are several allied subjects, too, on which he inflicts his satire. For example, he satirized the judged who make hasty decisions.
“The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine”

He also satirized those friends whose friendship is but lust, those politicians who do not have a deeper insight and cannot see beyond the shows and take steps just for their own interests and ends etc.

To sum up, the poem is a reflection of this artificial and hollow life, painted with a humorous and delicate satire. Pope’s satire is intellectual and full of wit and epigram. Is picture of Addison as Atticus though unjust and prompted by malice, is a brilliant piece of satire.
“As an intellectual observer and describer of personal weakness, Pope stands by himself in English verse.”

Rape of the Lock - Supernatural Machinery

Rape of the Lock - Supernatural Machinery

Pope explains that "machinery" is a term invented by the critics to signify the part which deities, angles, or demons play in a poem. He goes on to say that the machinery in this poem is based on the Rosicrucian doctrine of spirits in which the four elements are inhabited by sylphs, nymphs, gnomes and salamanders. The sylphs, whose habitation is in the air, are the best-conditioned creatures.

Pope tells us that beautiful women return, after their death, to the elements from which they were derived. Termagants or violent tempered women become salamanders or spirit of the fire. Women of gentle and pleasing disposition pass into nymphs or water-spirits. Prudish women become gnomes or earth spirits. Light-hearted coquettes are changed into sylphs or spirits of the air.

The first and the foremost activity of the sylphs is the protection of fair and chaste ladies who reject the male sex. They guard and save the chastity of maidens and save them from falling victims to the "treacherous friends". The gnomes or earth spirits fill the minds of proud maidens with foolish ideas of being married to lords and peers. These gnomes teach young coquette to ogle and pretend blushing at the sight of fashionable young men. However, sylphs safely guide the maidens through all dangers. Whenever a maiden is about to yield to a particular young man, more attractive and tempting man appears on the scene and the fashionable maiden at once transfers to the new comer. This may be called levity or fickleness in women but it is all contrived by the sylphs.

In most of the famous epics, "machinery" consists in supernatural beings like gods and angles who play a vital role in the poems thus showing that the human world is not independent and that supernatural powers have an important bearing in this world. Pope thought that his mock epic would be incomplete withoutmachinery. The machinery of his poem comprises the sylphs led by Ariel. Pope described wittily the occupation and tasks of the sylphs in general.

Ariel and his followers were assigned humble but pleasant duty of serving fashionable young ladies. Their functions are described humorously including saving the powder from being blown off from the cheeks of ladies, preventing scents from evaporating, preparing cosmetics, teaching the ladies to blush and to put on enchanting airs, suggesting new ideas about dress.

The sylphs show a delightful downscaling of the epic machines. They are heroic standards but feel scared when a crisis approaches. They are Belinda's counselors. They explain the various anxieties that make up Belinda's day.

"The Rape of the Lock" may be described as a satirical comedy of manners. The sylphs in this poem are both in mirror and mock customs and conventions of the society of the time. Belinda is told in a dream about the danger of life.

Reassuring Belinda in this way, Ariel is in fact undermining her moral position. He explains how a woman's defence is achieved. A maid would fall to Florio if Demon were not at hand to divert her attention. It is the sylphs who make her do that.

The machines are present at every crucial situation in the play. The sylphs are present during Belinda's journey by boat to Hampton Court. They have been warned by Ariel to remain alert and vigilant. Fifty of them take charge of Belinda's petticoat. They attend on her when she plays Ombre. They hover around her when she sips coffee and they withdraw only when Ariel sees "an earthly lover lurking at her heart". A gnome, called Umbriel, goes to the cave of Spleen and brings a bag full of sighs, sobs, screams and outbursts of anger, and a phial filled with fainting fits, gentle sorrows, soft briefs, etc. all of which are released over Belinda. And then sylphs are present to witness the flight of Belinda's lock of hair to the sky.

The sylphs were added to the poem not simply as shinning trinkets and three-penny bits to a Christmas pudding but to develop and flavour the whole. They improve the literary and human mockery. The machinery of sylphs is the principal symbol of the triviality of Belinda's world. "The light militia of the lower sky" is a parody of both Homeric deities and Miltonic guardian angles. Like these they have an ambiguous status; they exist within and without the characters. The sylphs who protect Belinda are also her acceptance of the rules of social convention which presume that a coquette's life is a pure game.

The machinery of sylphs in this poem is vastly superior to the allegorical personages of respective mock-epics. It allows Pope to show his awareness of the absurdities which nevertheless is charming, delightful and filled with a real poetry. The myth also allows him to suggest that the charm, in past at least, springs from the very absurdity.



Machinery serves various purposes in the poem. It imparts splendour and wonder to the actors and the actions in the story. Like Homer's gods, Pope's sylphs move easily in and out of the lower world. What they really stand for – feminine honour, flirtation courtship, the necessary rivalry of man and woman – is seen in its essence, and is always beautiful.

These "light militia of the lower sky", increase dramatic suspense and story depth. They help to universalize the whole action. They are in binding symbolism of the little drama.

The sylphan machinery is superb. Ariel offers a satanic substitute for Christianity. Addison advised Pope against adding the machinery of the sylphs to the poem but that Pope ignored the advice. Pope succeeded eminently in his design of introducing his element.

According to John Dennis, Pope's machinery contradicts the doctrine of the Christian religion and all sound morality. They provide no instruction and make no impression upon a sensible reader. Instead of making the action wonderful and delightful, they render it absurd, and incredible. Dennis' opinion is, however, not sound or convincing.

Rape of the Lock - A Comic Epic

Rape of the Lock - A Comic Epic

An epic, according to Aristotle, is the tragedy of a conspicuous person, who is involved in adventurous events and meets a tragic fall on account of some error of judgment i.e. hamartia which throws him from prosperity into adversity,however, his death is not essential. So, the subject matter of an epic is grand and that's why it is written in bombastic language and heroic couplet. Its style, too, is grand.

A mock-epic is a satire of an epic. It shows us that even a trivial subject can also be treated on epical scale. The subject of "The Rape of the Lock" is trivial – a love dispute between a lady ad a gentleman. Lord Byron proposes Belinda who rejects his proposal. Baron cuts one of her beautiful looks. This trivial theme has been given epical treatment as if it were some grave event of paramount importance.

The style of the poet is mock-heroic. He employs bombastic and showy diction for thoughts and ideas which are not really grand – pompous expression for low action – for example, the game of Ombre had been described as a war of nerves, the table has been termed as the battlefield, the dispersed cards have been dubbed as routed army etc.

Similarly, the process of Belinda's make –up has been termed s adoration and the sacred rites of priced. Belinda is called 'inferior priestess' and her toilet an 'alter' etc.

The poet has employed the epical method to heighten the effect i.e. the great has been made look small and vice versa. The introduction of the aerial machinery is used for heightening of effect. Belinda is an ordinary fashionable girl, but she has been shown being protected by thousands of spirits. The trivial game of Ombre has been compared with a grave war of nerves. The ordinary flight between the supports of Belinda and those of Peter has been compared with the fatal war between gods and goddesses and their hair pins, fans, etc. with which they fought have been termed as 'deadly weapons', spears, etc. The grief of Belinda at the loss of the lock has been compared with the shock at the death of a husband or a lapdog or at the breakage of a China vessel. Thus the poet raises a lapdog to the level of a husband or reduces a husband to the level of a lapdog.

The poet has also employed epical and heroic images, which is one of the prerequisites of a mock-epic. For example, Belinda has been named as 'the fairest of mortals', the 'bright fair'. The cards have been called 'parti-coloured troops'. The pair of scissors has been termed as a two-edged 'weapon', 'little engine', 'forfex', 'fatal engine', etc.

Belinda's dreams have been called mystic vision. The air-pins have been compared with 'deadly weapons' and 'deadly spears' etc. Belinda's eyes have been dubbed as 'fair suns'.

Humour is one of the prerequisites of a mock-epic and the poem is full of humour and its humour is pleasing as compared to Swift's humour.

Moral is an essential part of a mock-epic. This poem is full of morals from the beginning till the end. However, the speeches of Belinda and Clarissa are especially soaked in moral. Belinda repents that she would have been ten times happier if she had indulged herself in the pursuits of the fashionable circle. So, the more a woman exposes herself and her beauty, the more her chastity is in danger.

The Rape of the Lock.. A sex Symbol

 The Rape of The Lock ..A sex symbol

The eighteenth century is and age of psychological insight. Every writer as well as his work is being analyzed in psychological terms. Modern psychology has proved that it is the sex psychology which determined the superiority of a sex. Sex is the nucleus of human life and its all activities. It is not the product of conventions, rather, it is just a natural instinct, which is reduced to some discipline by accepted social convention, morals, laws, etc. Sex is at the root of all moral and physical health. So it may be disciplined, but if it is curbed and suppressed, it leads to drastic consequences.


In fact, frustrations, depreciation, persecution, disparities coupled with economic problems result in dejection and in order to bring about catharsis, one may get depressed or find any easy escape and become immoral in the eyes of the world.

The lock in "The Rape of the Lock" is a symbol of the female organ and the rape of the lock symbolizes the rape of Belinda by the hands of Lord Peter. In fact, the poem projects a synthesis between sex and religion. The boys and the girls were allured to have relations and were in favour of free sex but religion did not allow it. Besides, they were also afraid of their social disreputation. So they had to suppress their natural instinct sometimes. Resultantly, they established relations with others secretly. Belinda's grief was not the loss of chastity but her social disreputation. That's why she repented would that Baron had cut "hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these". So the sex philosophy in that age was that sex, being a natural instinct, should not be suppressed, but the fear of religion and social disreputation did not allow the boys and the girls have free sexual relations and such relations were dubbed as immoral. That's what happened with Belinda and her shock was social disreputation and not the loss of chastity.

We notice that throughout the poem, there is a competitive spirit between the female and the male sexes. The game of Ombre is the game of sex in which both the sexes try to dominate each other. The victory of Belinda yielding to lords and the lords playing toy with them. Pope has also indicated their secret relations with the beaus. In this way, if we read the poem, we will find sex symbols scattered here and there and a lot of sex implications. He talks about "soft bosoms", "winning lips", "melting maids", "mid-night masquerades", "the charge of petticoat", etc. These are all sex implications and the modern psychology has interpreted them in terms of the sexual behaviour and sexual relations of the women of that age. Even the lock reaching the sky and turning into a comet has a sex implication i.e. Belinda's reputation is lost for ever and the event of her rape is now known to everyone which implies that she was a woman of yielding and submissive nature who easily fell a prey to the charm of beaus but she frequently changed her favours from one to another and kept "Shifting and the moving toyshop of her heart". She was not satisfied with one man and was always in search of the better. Thus the poem appears before us as a sex symbol.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Character Of Belinda In "The Rape Of The Lock"


Character Of Belinda In "The Rape Of The Lock"

Having a Cleopatra-like variety, Belinda is the one who is all pervasive and central character in Alexander Pope's mock heroic, "The Rape of the Lock". Pope's attitude to Belinda is very mixed and complicated: mocking and yet tender, admiring and yet critical. The paradoxical nature of Pope's attitude is intimately related to the paradox of Belinda's situation. She is as a bundle of contradictions as is the society she represents. She is a complex character and is more than a mere type. It is impossible to find a parallel of Belinda in any poem of the 18th century.

Belinda is introduced as a paragon of female charm whose name is Latin for “Lovely to behold “. Pope seems to be enamoured with his own creation. He describes her in superlatives - the brightest fair, the fairest of mortals. She is the center of attention during her pleasure ride over river Thames; her lively looks, her sprightly mind, her flashing eyes charm one and all:

“Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay."

Pope compares Belinda to the sun and suggests that it recognizes in Belinda a rival , and fears her :

“Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray ,

And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day."

Belinda is like the sun, not only because of her bright eyes and not only because she dominates her special world ( ' But every eye was fix'd on her alone ') . She is like the sun in another regard

“Bright as the sun , her eyes the gazers strike ,

And, like the sun , she shines on all alike. "

Belinda's exquisite beauty is enhanced by two curling side-locks of hair that charmingly set off her ivory white neck and which she has kept ' to the destruction of mankind:"

"Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,

And mighty hearts are held in slender chains."

Belinda's charms can work miracles and can make even non-believers kiss the cross. She is an embodiment of grace and sweetness which cover up her flirtation and faults:

“If to her share some female errors fall

Look on her face, and you 'll forget 'em all ."

According to Alice Miller, a person who is great, who is admired everywhere, and needs this admiration to survive, has one of the extreme forms of Narcissism, which is grandiosity. Belinda is the goddess, but she puts on her divinity at her dressing table; and, such is the paradox of beauty-worship, she can be both the divinity and the sincere devotee. Thus Belinda, in worshipping at the shrine of beauty, quite naturally worships herself.

"A heavenly image in the glass appears,

To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears."

Countless treasures of the world have been laid open at the altar of Belinda sent as “offerings “by her adorers. These cosmetics and ornaments, along with the aid of Betty and the Sylphs, add to her charms:

"Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;

The fair each moment rises in her charms. "

Here, Belinda is not only a priestess of “the sacred rites of pride " , she is also compared to a warrior arming for the fray. Later in the poem she is the warrior once more at the card-table in her conquest of the two ' adventurous knights ' , she emerges as a heroic conqueror in the epic encounter of the beaux and belles .

Belinda cares a fig for religion. To place the Bible with her loads of beauty accessories and love letters on the same dressing table indicates the confusion of values. She has transformed all spiritual exercises and emblems into a coquette's self- display and self- adoration.

At the Hampton Court, the young lovers are prepared to lose and surrender to this fair maid. This increases her self-importance and stirs up her vanity:

"Favours to none, to all she smiles extends

Oft she rejects, but never once offends, "

Belinda is what she is not. She deceives others as she deceives herself. Her pretentions and her real intentions are at logger-heads. She loves Baron at heart. But she rebukes and abuses him. This is what Ariel feels;

"Sudden he viewed, in spite of all her art,

An earthly lover lurking at her heart.”

Belinda undoubtedly possesses a superb skill in playing the game of ombre , but the manner in which she gloats over her victory shows not only her vanity and superficiality but also a childish temperament , she becomes too quickly joyous and too quickly depressed . Her tantrums, when a lock of her hair has been clipped by Baron, also show her as a spoiled child. We now see Belinda as a true Fury. She is weighed down by worry and anxiety. Then she begins to burn with an inhuman wrath, a more than mortal indignation:

"Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast,

When husbands, or when lapdogs breathe their last. "

But the very lament is hypocritical or superficial. She is anxious about her ' reputation ' alone, and would not care if she lost her ' honour ' or virginity in some secret love-affair:

“Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize

Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these! "

However Belinda’s fury is quite natural. Quoting Miller, grandiosity can be seen when a person admires himself, his qualities, such as beauty, cleverness, and talents and his success and achievements greatly. If one of these happens to fail, then the catastrophe of a severe depression is near (Miller 34). In Belinda’s case, it is a breach of hero-worship and rules of chivalry and courtship.

Belinda does undergo a "fall” from the narcissistic self-love and arid virginity. It is merely a fall into a more natural human condition and best regarded, perhaps, as a kind of fortunate fall.

Basically, Belinda is a model and more specifically represents the fashionable, aristocratic ladies of Pope’s age . Such social butterflies in eighteenth century were regarded as “petty triflers”, having no serious concern with life, and '' engrossed in dance and gaiety ''. Belinda’s fall indicates the decadence of her class. Through her, Pope describes the flippancy and depravity of the English society of his day.

Traditionally, Belinda is based upon on the historical Arabella Fermor , the lady in Pope's social circle who was offended by Lord Petre . John Denis says that Belinda '' is a chimera, and not a character ‘‘. Viewing the poem as a political satire, Belinda represents GREAT BRITIAN or (which is the same thing) her LATE MAJESTY. This is plainly see in Pope's description of her,

‘On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore '.

The Winter’s Tale Plot Summary


The Winter’s Tale Plot Summary

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 plot summary of The Winter’s Tale:
Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, has been visiting his old friend King Leontes in Sicily for nearly nine months but is ready to return to Bohemia. Leontes begs him to stay longer but Polixenes is anxious to go, and declines. When Leontes’ pregnant wife, Hermione, succeeds in persuading Polixenes to stay, Leontes becomes obsessed with the thought that his wife has been unfaithful with his friend. He asks his servant, Camillo, to poison Polixenes, Camilla warns Polixenes instead and they flee leaving Hermione and her little boy, Mamillius, to face the King’s displeasure.
Leontes imprisons Hermione and she delivers a baby girl there. A lady in waiting, Paulina, takes the baby to Leontes to try and persuade him to accept her. Instead. Leontes instructs Paulina’s husband, Antigonus, to take the baby into exile. Leonte’s puts Hermione on trial and she is vindicated by a message from the Delphic oracle to which Leontes had appealed. Her son Mamillius dies from heartbreak at his mother’s imprisonment and Hermione collapses and appears to die. The news of Mamillius’ death shocks Leontes back to reality and he becomes remorseful.
Antigonus places the baby on a beach in Bohemia but he is killed by a bear and the baby is left there. A shepherd and his son discover the child and take her to their home.
Sixteen years pass, during which time Leontes mourns the loss of his wife and children. In Bohemia, Polixenes’ son, Florizel, has met and fallen in love with a shepherd’s daughter, Perdita, while she’s organising a sheepshearing feast. Polixenes and Camillo, in disguise, attend the feast where they are entertained by dancers and by the rogue Autolycus, who has previously tricked the young Shepherd and stolen his purse to provide himself with knick-knacks to sell at the feast. Polixenes reveals himself, reprimands his son, and threatens the shepherds for promoting Perdita’s friendship with the Prince.
Camillo and Autolycus help Florizel and Perdita to run away to Sicily. They are followed by the shepherds, who in turn are pursued by Polixenes and Camillo. At Leontes’ court Florizel introduces Perdita then, as Polixenes arrives, the revelations of the shepherds show Perdita to be the banished daughter of Leontes. Everyone goes with Paulina to see a newly completed statue of Hermione and the statue moves. Hermione has lived in seclusion in the belief that her daughter will be found. Florizel and Perdita are united. Leontes and Hermione are also united and, as a reward, Paulina is given Camillo as her new husband.

Othello Plot Summary


Othello Plot Summary

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 plot summary of Othello:
In the opening scene, Iago complains to Roderigo that Othello, his Commander, has passed him over to promote the handsome young Cassio to be his Lieutenant. He vows to get revenge. Iago first asks Roderigo to tell Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, that his daughter has left to marry Othello, a marriage Brabantio opposes because Othello is a Moor. Brabantio confronts Othello, and they take their argument to the Duke, who has summmoned Othelloto ask him to sail to Cyprus to stop a Turkish invasion. Convinced by Othello and Desdemona that they love each other deeply despite their differences, the Duke gives Desdemona permission to travel with Othello. By the time they reach Cyprus the foreign threat has gone.
Iago manipulates Cassio to make him drunk and gets Roderigo to draw him into a street fight. Iago has his revenge on Cassio when Othello strips Cassio of his rank for misbehavior. Then Iago decides to make Othello believe his wife is unfaithful. He encourages Cassio to ask Desdemona to plead with Othello to be reinstated. Iago suggests to Othello that Desdemona is Cassio’s lover. Trusting Iago, and mad with jealousy, Othello promotes Iago and asks Iago to help him kill Cassio and Desdemona.
Iago plants Desdemona’s handkerchief in Cassio’s room. Cassio gives it to his mistress, Bianca. Othello believes Bianca’s possession of the handkerchief is proof that Desdemona and Cassio are lovers. He verbally abuses his wife in front of others, who are shocked at the change in the noble and powerful man.
Iago has manipulated Roderigo into trying to kill Cassio. The attempt goes wrong, and Cassio wounds Roderigo; Iago stabs Cassio in the leg. Othello hears Cassio cry out and thinks Iago has killed him. He returns home, ready to kill Desdemona. Meanwhile, Iago “finds” the wounded Cassio and accuses Bianca of causing Cassio’s injury. Iago quietly kills Roderigo and sends Emilia (Iago’s wife) to Desdemona with news of what has happened.
Othello reaches the sleeping Desdemona first. He kisses her, wakes her, and accuses her again. Over her protests that she loves him and is innocent, he smothers her. Emilia enters and Desdemona revives for a moment, declaring herself guiltless but saying, as she dies, that Othello is innocent of her death. Iago and others enter, and Emilia defends Desdemona’s innocence, recognizing that Iago is behind the tragedy.Othello sees the truth and tries to kill Iago. Iago kills Emilia and flees; Othellocondemns himself and commits suicide. Iago is seized and taken away.

political-satire-in-gullivers-travels

political-satire-in-gullivers-travels.html



Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" is a pure piece of satire where he satirizes party politics, religious differences, and western Culture as a whole in ways still relevant to today's world. But what we find mostly after reading "Book-1" is that it is an allegorical representation of English politics. In where Swift depicts the total political corruption beginning from 16th century and ending with 18th century.

One of the forms of political satire is embodied in the first culture that is met by Gulliver. In Gulliver's first adventure, he begins on a ship that runs aground on a submerged rock. He swims to land, and when he awakens, he finds himself tied down to the ground, and surrounded by tiny people, the Lilliputians. "Irony is present from the start in the simultaneous recreation of Gulliver as giant and prisoner" (Reilly 167). Gulliver is surprised "at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who dare venture to mount and walk upon my body" (I.i.16). The Lilliputians are the embodiment of England of the time period. The Lilliputians are small people who control Gulliver through means of threats. "...when in an instant I felt above a hundred arrows discharged into my left hand, which pricked my like so many needles; and besides they shot another flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe" (Swift, 24). England was a small country that had Europe (represented by Gulliver) and many other parts of the world under their control.

Gulliver encounters the ridiculous nature of war. His first encounter of war is in the form of a dispute over the way to eat an egg. A former king took the right of personal preference away from his people by telling them to eat the egg from the small end instead of the large end. Swift relates this trait to the situations where a dominant ruler oppresses nations. It also shows how a simple, ridiculous act can bring forth war. The fight continues through generations, soon the people continued to fight without really understanding why. Some of the people resisted, and they found refuge in Blefuscu, and "for six and thirty moons past" the two sides have been at war (I.iv.48). For Swift, Lilliput is analogous to England, and Blefuscu to France. With this event of the story Swift satirizes the needless bickering and fighting between the two nations.


Also vehicles of Swift's satire were the peculiar customs of the nation of Lilliput. The methods of selecting people for public office in Lilliput are very different from that of any other nation, or rather, would appear to be so at first. In order to be chosen, a man must "rope dance" to the best of his abilities; the best rope dancer receives the higher office. “ this diversion is only practiced by those persons who are candidates for great employments and high favour at court”. While no nation of Europe in Swift's time followed such an absurd practice, they did not choose public officers on skill, but rather on how well the candidate could line the right pockets with money.

Gulliver also tells of their custom of burying "their dead with their heads directly downwards...The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues" (I.vi.60). At this point in the story, Gulliver has not yet realized that by seeing the absurdity of the Lilliputians' traditions, that he might see the absurdity in European ones. With this Swift satirizes the conditions of Europe.

Again in the same passage, we get Flimnap. According to Swift: “Flimnap, the treasure is allowed to cut a caper on the strait rope at least an inch higher than any other lord in the whole Empire" Here Swift's model for Flimnap , the most dexterous of the rope dancers, was Robert Walpole, the leader of the Whig and an extremely witty politician. His official position was like that of treasurers.

"The capering on a tight rope symbolizes Walpole's dexterity in parliamentary tactics and political intrigues” (C.H. Firth, book - Political significance of Gulliver's Travels)

Again in the chapter 3 the kings cushions represents the Duchess of Kendal, One of George i’s mistresses, whom Walpole was believed to have bribed in order to return in power in 1721. Thus, Swift was particularly antipathetic towards the Duchess and enjoyed satirizing Walpole because during his time political corruption reached the highest peak-

"Walpole's regime (i.e. systems of Government) was full of more political corruption."
(Professor M. Shamsuddin, Swift,s moral satire)

Again in chapter 4 , book 1, swift also narrates the folly of the religious war between Lilliput and Blefuscu to immediate European politics-“ there ( in Lilliput) have been two struggling parties in this Empire, under the name of Tramecksan and Slamecksan, from the high and low heels on their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves."

Here two Lilliputians parties stand for English political parties. The high heels represent Tories, the low heels Whigs. These two massacre the English soil both politically and by religion. In Swift's voice- "we computed the Tramecksan , or High heels , to exceed us in number; but the power wholly on our side" refers to the succession of Whigs in 1714 (i.e. the Hanoverian succession) though the Tories were large in number. Here, it should be mentioned that at first Swift was Whig and later joined the Tory. Again the king was sympathetic to the Whigs. He used them to support Hanover against France and appointed them to official positions to strengthen his position against the House of Lords. Thus the Lilliputians empire, who is George i, wears low heels which is censured by Swift.

Therefore, we can say, religion was a political issue during Swift's time. Owing to a minor religious issue there caused a serious conflict and it also results in the division of the nation into two political groups. Many lives were taken and many kings were to lose their power even their life was taken.

In the concluding part, we can say that Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is a satirical work. Here he shows the problems , oddities………………………………..

Renaissance elements in Doctor Faustus


Renaissance elements in Doctor Faustus
Renaissance ideals vs. Medieval morals




Faustus's inner turmoil gives way to the dominant meaning within the play: Medieval morals versus Renaissance ideals. Marlowe's characterization of Faustus leads one to the predominant idea of duality in society of his era in which Medieval values conflict with those of the Renaissance. His refusal to see what is fact and what is fiction is a result of his pompous persona. In his quest to become omnipotent, Faustus fails to see that there is life after death and that his material possessions are of no consequence. Faustus is a combatant in his own internal war of knowledge or salvation.

In the opening of the play Marlowe uses the chorus to announce the time, place, and most importantly, to introduce Faustus. The chorus refers to the Greek myth of Icarus while characterizing Faustus - " Till swoll'n with cunning, of self conceit,/ His waxen wings did mount above his reach/ And melting, heavens conspired his overthrow!"(Prologue. 19-21.). " His waxen wings did mount above his reach" is an ironic comparison between Icarus and Faustus. It is ironic because Icarus directly disobeys his father, which ties into the idea of moral sin. However, in Faustus' case it is disobedient to become too learned. Also, the line " heavens conspired his overthrow" could be a reference to Lucifer's attempt to overpower God. Thus, the Chorus would ultimately be making reference to Faustus attempting to outwit God. This is the contrast between Medieval and Renaissance values; the medieval world shunned all that was not Christian while the Renaissance was a re-birth of learning in which people openly questioned divinity as with much more. The chorus makes it seem that Faustus is a 'bad' man because he seeks knowledge. In essence, it portrays Faustus as a "Renaissance man who pays the medieval price for being one."

Faustus's constant struggle to explore Renaissance principles is heightened by the Good Angel and Bad Angel. The Good Angel pulls Faustus towards Medieval values. He represents Faustus's Medieval instincts: "O Faustus, lay that damned book aside/ And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul/ And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head!/ Read, read the Scriptures - that is blasphemy!" ( 1.1.67-69 ). The Angel is eluding to Medieval ideals by saying that books are 'damned' and will bring 'God's heavy wrath'. 'That is blasphemy' is yet another reference to books not being of God. The Good Angel is Faustus key to salvation. Again, Faustus's inner conflict gives way to the ultimate theme of redemption and sin. While the Good Angel represents the medieval era, the Bad Angel signifies the Renaissance : "Go forward Faustus, in that famous art/ Wherein all nature's treasure is contained./... / Lord and commander of these elements!"( 1.1.71-74 ). The Bad Angel feeds Faustus's thirst for knowledge by telling him that 'all nature's treasure is contained' in his books. Going even further, the Angel tells Faustus to be 'Lord' and 'commander' of these elements ultimately telling Faustus that he could be God if he so chose. Both angels are ultimately signify duality within society. Where half are pulled towards the righteous Medieval morals and the others toward liberated Renaissance ideals.

Faustus embraces his Renaissance persona by acknowledging his life choices. In his never ending quest to obtain knowledge, Faustus conjures Helen of Troy so that he may marvel at her beauty: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/ And burnt the topless towers of Illium? / Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss./ Her kiss suck forth my soul. See where it flies!" ( 5.1.95-99 ). Helen is an apt person for Faustus to gawk at. She was considered to be the most beautiful women in all the world. However, Faustus lives in a time and place of sexual repression. Thus, Helen represents sin and sexual freedom - an end to Medieval morals. The word 'immortal' implies that Helen's kiss allows men to live forever and that Helen herself is 'immortal'. This ironical comparison demonstrates that Faustus is still in denial about death. However, with 'Her kiss suck forth my soul', Faustus suggests that Helen has taken his life. This is ironic on many levels, most noticeably being that many men died to rescue Helen from the Trojans. In addition, Faustus is the only one responsible for his lost soul. The conjuring of Helen of Troy represents Faustus's decision to accept what he has done with his life and follow his Renaissance persona. In calling on Helen, Faustus has yielded himself to immortal sins. First and foremost, Faustus has sinned by using black magic to call on Helen. Lastly, Faustus is openly sexual with Helen of Troy. His kissing of Helen is ultimately a symbol of accepting that which has already been done and preparing to face eternal damnation.

Faustus's epic battle between Medieval morals and Renaissance ideals results in his eternal damnation. Faustus has many chances to repent, yet not once does he decided to put an end to seeking knowledge and practicing magic. His decision is ultimately a signal for the end of Medieval beliefs in 'religion being the key' and the emergence of free thinking. Faustus has been said to be "a Renaissance man who paid the Medieval price for being one" ( R.M. Dawkins). He was an intellectual in a society of ignorance imposed upon by the clergy of the Catholic Church.

Though Faustus is the tragic hero of the play one must really consider if in fact Faustus's demise is tragic. Faustus makes his own decisions and knows where they will take him to in the end. He refuses to see that heaven and hell do exist and despite the many warnings given to him about the heinousness of hell, he still follows the path of damnation Faustus's harrowing demise results in eternal damnation is tragic. Though he is a man with the charisma and courage to follow his passions in life despite the duality within society and the constant pulling of morals and ideals. Faustus is told time after time that he can still repent and save himself from the wrath of God. Several times he does in fact repent, yet because of his inner conflict he 'takes it back'. Not till Faustus utters his last words is one completely sure that Faustus's story is tragic, at best. Ultimately, he dies unhappy and still a combatant in his own internal war.

At the end we can say that in spite of being a man of medieval period, Faustus was a Renaissance man. And by his activities we find the elements of Renaissance where medieval values are buried because of the emergence of Renaissance ideals. 

 
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