Summary

The Iliad By Homer

Iliad By Homer | Character Sketch Of Achilles | Iliad Epic Poem

The Iliad By Homer
The Iliad By Homer
Character Map Iliad
Character Map Iliad
  • The epics are all based on some historic events – The Iliad deals with the Trojan War which was a historic event.
  • An epic is a long narrative poem – This feature of an epic is preserved in the Iliad. It was originally written in Greek and has been widely translated into other languages, including English. The original Greek version has about 15700 lines and is divided into twenty – four books (Chapters), each detailing the battles and events of a few weeks in the final year of the Trojan War.
  • A Primary epic begins in the middle of things and usually has flashbacks to show earlier portions of the story – The Iliad, the tale starts after a nearly tenth-year war between the united powers of Greece and the forces to the city of Troy and their allies.
  • An epic starts with an invocation to a divine force or god and Goddess – The Iliad also begins with such an invocation. To effectively narrate this story, the poet seeks the assistance of a muse Goddess. The first line of the Iliad itself goes,  “The Wrath, sing goddess, of Peleus’s son Achilles.”
  • God interfere in the affairs of human beings in their tales in a Primary epic – The Iliad includes a large number of Gods and Goddesses that have an influence on human affairs. God and Goddesses have human children as well, Achilles, for example, is Thetis, the sea nymph’s son.
  • The Setting of epic is vast covering many nations – The Iliad setting is also expansive, encompassing both Greek and Trojan islands.
  • Epic uses the Epic Simple – Epic simile is another important feature of an epic. An epic smile means an open compassion between two different or dissimilar things or objects. Such as – In the Iliad Hector has been compared to a boar and a lion. “He was like a wild – boar or a lion when he turns this way.”
  • Epic must have an epic Hero – In the Iliad, Achilles possesses godlike attributes that surpass human limits. Another hero is Hector, almost similar to Achilles.
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Ode-on-A-Grecian-Urn-By-John-Keats

Ode On A Grecian Urn By John Keats

Ode-on-A-Grecian-Urn-By-John-Keats
Ode-on-A-Grecian-Urn-By-John-Keats

Introduction

About John Keats

  1. Ode to A Nightingale
  2. Ode On A Grecian Urn
  3. Ode On Idolence
  4. Ode On Melancholy
  5. Ode to Psyche
  6. Ode to Autumn

Structure Of The Poem ‘Ode on A Grecian Urn’

Summary And Analysis Of The Poem

Conclusion

Tags: Ode on A Grecian Urn By John Keats, Ode on A Grecian Urn Summary

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Futility By Wilfred Owen

Futility By Wilfred Owen War Poem Analysis

Introduction

About Poet

Themes Wilfred Owen’s Poem

About The Title of The “Futility” Poem

Analysis Of The Poem

Conclusion

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Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels By Jonathan Swift Part 1

Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift

Introduction

            The Book “Gulliver’s Travels” was written by Johnathan Swift, who is known as a great Anglo Irish Satirist, essayist, and poet of English Literature. The full title of ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ is ‘Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World’ and it was first published in 1726. The protagonist of this novel is ‘Lemuel Gulliver’ and the whole story of this novel moves around him. It is Swift’s best full-length work. Swift claimed that he wrote ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ to vex the world rather than divert it.

The novel is written in Four Parts.

  1. A Voyage to Lilliput
  2. A Voyage to Brobdingnag
  3. A Voyage to Laputa
  4. A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnms

About The Author “Jonathan Swift”

            “Jonathan Swift” the author of Gulliver’s Travels was an Anglo-Irish Satirist, political pamphleteer, essayist, and poet. He is remembered for works such as – A Tale of Tub, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, Gulliver’s Travel, and A Modest Proposal. Swift is regarded as the greatest prose satirist in the history of English Literature.

            The Book “Gulliver’s Travels” was an immediate success. The English dramatist ‘John Gay’ remarked ‘It is universally red from the Cabinet council to the nursery.

Themes In Gulliver’s Travels

            The main themes in Gulliver’s Travels are – Hypocrisy, The Dangers of arrogance and excessive pride, the human condition, and Social and Political issues.

Hypocrisy

            One of the most important themes in Gulliver’s Travels is that of Hypocrisy. Throughout the novel, Swift criticizes the various groups of people that Gulliver meets for their hypocrisy. For example, he condemns the politicians of Lilliput for their lies and manipulation, and the scientist of Laputa for their disregard for the well-being of other people.

Dangers of Arrogance and Excessive Pride

            Another important theme in Gulliver’s Travels is that of The dangers of arrogance and excessive pride. Swift satirizes this theme by showing how the Characters in Gulliver’s travels who are the most proud are also the ones who are harmed the most. The Laputans, for example, are highly arrogant people who think they are superior to everyone else. As a result, they are completely blind to the dangers of their own actions, and they end up being destroyed by a storm.

Human Condition, and Social and Political Issues

            Gulliver’s Travels is also an exploration of the different ways that societies can be structured. Swift uses Gulliver’s Travels to satirize the various political and social systems that he encounters. For example, the government of Lilliput is a monarchy, while the government of Blefuscu is a republic. Swift also criticizes, the social hierarchy treated like gods and the common people are treated like slaves.

            Gulliver’s Travels is full of Swift’s clever irony and biting satire. Gulliver functions as a mouthpiece for Swift, allowing the author to voice his opinions on various political and social issues of his period. Swift criticizes the way that society can be hypocritical and unjust. He also satirizes the ways in which people are willing to blindly follow the conventions of their society, even if these conventions are harmful or wrong. In the novel, Swift also gives a glimpse of his view on humanity. In general Swift seems to believe that humans are inherently corrupt and selfish.

            Thus, the themes of “Gulliver’s Travels” are important because they allow us to better understand the Author’s message and the motivation behind the work. In “Gulliver’s Travel” Swift uses satire to criticize various aspects of English society. By exploring the themes in Gulliver’s Travels, we can gain a better understanding of Swift’s views on society, humanity, and the human condition.

Gulliver’s Travels Part – 1 

Gulliver’s Travels Part – 1 has a total of 8 Chapters.

Chapter – 1

            The novel begins with Lemuel Gulliver recounting the story of his life. He was born to a family in Nottinghamshire, the third of five sons. He is sent to London to be a surgeon’s apprentice, during which time he also learns about navigation and Mathematics. Afterward, Gulliver married Mrs. Mary Burton and began his life as a Surgeon. When his business begins to fail, he takes a six-year trip to sea, where he serves as the surgeon to two ships and travels the East and West Indies. He spends much of his time on these voyages observing the people and learning their language.

            Although he has planned to return home at the end of this time, he decides to accept one last job on a ship called Antelope. In the East Indies, the ship encounters a violent storm in which twelve crewmen die. Six of the crewmembers, including Gulliver, board a small row boat to escape. Soon the rowboat capsizes. Gulliver however swims safely to shore.

Gulliver lies down on the grass to rest and soon he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he finds that his arms, legs, and hair have been tied. He feels something move across her legs and over his chest. He looks like a six-inch-tall human carrying a bow and arrow. At least forty little people climb onto his body. He is surprised and shouts loudly frightening the little people.

            Gulliver loosens the ropes and indicates that he is hungry, and the little people bring him baskets of meat. He devours it all and shows that he is thirsty, so they bring two large barrels of wine. Gulliver has made them a promise of goodwill and is grateful for their hospitality. When he falls asleep, the Lilliputians transport Gulliver to the capital. They use a large platform with twenty-two wheels pulled by dozens of four-and-a-half-inch horses. More than one hundred thousand Lilliputians come out to see Gulliver.

Chapter -2

            The emperor of Lilliput comes to visit Gulliver. The two attempt to converse, though they cannot understand each other’s language. After two weeks, a bed is made for Gulliver. It consists of 600 small beds sewn together. News of his arrival spreads throughout the kingdom and curious people come to see him. The emperor arranged to deliver a large amount of food to Gulliver every morning, hire tailors to make his clothing, and offer teachers to instruct him in their language.

            Every morning Gulliver asks the emperor to set him free, but the emperor refuses, saying that Gulliver must be patient. The emperor also orders him to be searched to ensure that he does not have any weapons. Gulliver agrees to this search, all of his weapons are taken away.

Chapter – 3

            The Lilliputians begin to like and trust Gulliver. Gulliver is granted his freedom, but he has to follow certain conditions, including the following – he is forbidden to leave the island without permission, he must be an ally to the Lilliputians in wars, and he must help with construction projects.

Chapter – 4

            Gulliver visits the Lilliputian capital city of Mildendo and the emperor’s palace. Reldresal, an official in the Lilliputian government tells Gulliver about religious and political division. He also tells Gulliver about his enemies – the Kingdom of Blefuscu. Gulliver agrees to help defend Lilliput against their enemies. He honours his promise to defend Lilliput from a Blefuscu attack.

Chapter – 5

            Three weeks later Lilliput makes a peace treaty with Blefuscu and Gulliver asks the emperor for permission to visit Blefuscu in the future. The emperor agrees but remains cold toward Gulliver. A fire breaks out in the empress’s apartment. Gulliver extinguishes the fire by relieving himself in the building. This disgusts the empress, as public urination is illegal in Lilliput. She vows revenge on Gulliver.

Chapter – 6

            Gulliver is invited to have dinner with the emperor. Flimnap, the royal treasurer, also attends the dinner. Flimnap dislikes Gulliver and complains that feeding and housing Gulliver is bankrupting the kingdom.

Chapter – 7

            A government official tells Gulliver that members of the council, including Flimnap, have charged Gulliver with treason. The Charges include public urination, refusing to destroy Blefuscu, and aiding the emperor of Blefuscu. Gulliver learn his sentence will be carried out three days. He leaves Lilliput for Blefuscu, where its people welcome him.

Chapter – 8

            After three days, Gulliver receives orders to return to Lilliput for his punishment, but Gulliver decides to leave for home. He takes with him food, drink, and some tiny animals from Blefuscu. After two days at sea, he was picked up by a British vessel and returned to his family in England.

Conclusion

            Thus, “Gulliver’s Travels” is a story about the human condition, and how human struggles with their own weakness. Swift makes it clear that there is no one right way to do things and no perfect solution to life’s problems. This story is an indictment of man’s vanity and his struggles to find order in a Chaotic World. Swift also uses Gulliver’s Travels as a way to comment on the social and political issues of his time.

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Theatre Of The Absurd

Theatre Of The Absurd “Absurdist”

Theatre Of The Absurd
Theatre Of The Absurd

Introduction

            The term “Theatre of The Absurd” was first derived by Albert Camus in an essay, ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ (1942) in which he derived the philosophy of the absurd. According to Camus, this philosophy says,

“Mom is trying to pursue the
 meaning of life and this
 pursuance has no meaning
 in its own. So the men
 quest for the existence and
 to derive meaning for life is
 meaningless and is of no use.”

            Later in 1961, this term was coined by “Martin Esslin” in his book “Theatre of Absurd”. It is a literary movement that began with a group of dramatists around the 1950s and continued till the 1980s. It was the death of Samuel Beckett in 1989 that marked the end of this movement. This literary movement spread across America and Other European countries during the 1950s to 1960s. It is the movement that simply expresses the thought of human existence that has no meaning or purpose. In it, the playwright also discussed the changed behavior of human beings which they saw in their surroundings, because of the impact of World War II.

Definition Of The Theatre of the Absurd

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term as,

“Theatre that seeks to represent
 the absurdity of human existence
 in a meaningless universe by
 bizarre or fantastic means.”

History Of The Theatre of The Absurd

            This movement influenced by existentialism, began in the form of experimental theatre in Paris and consequently, the spread of the absurd form in other countries. Absurdist plays were written in French. Absurd elements first came into existence after the rise of Greek Drama in the plays of ‘Aristophanes’ in the form of Wild humor and buffoonery of the old comedy.

            Then, morality plays of the Middle Ages can also be called a precursor of ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’. In 19th century. Ibsen and Strindberg also included some elements of absurd theatre in their plays, but the real precursor of the present Theatre of Absurd is ‘Alfred Jerry’s play ‘Ubu Roi’.

            World War II finally brought the Theatre of Absurd to life because the Chaotic atmosphere during that time was compelling them to think about their absurd existence.

Features & Characteristics of the Theatre of the Absurd

  • Absence of a real story or plot.
  • No action since all actions are insignificant.
  • The value of language is reduced, in fact, what happens on the stage transcends and often contradicts, the words spoken by the characters.
  • Extensive use of pauses, silences, miming, and absurd situations reflect a sense of anguish.
  • Incoherent babbling makes up the dialogue.

Characteristics and Features in Detail

            Following are the chief characteristics of the Theatre of Absurd, but all these characteristic cannot necessarily be found in all the absurdist play because it is not necessary that the playwright must have used all the characteristic of Absurd plays:

1. Questions of Existence

                        Absurd plays raise some basic questions of existence like why we are alive, why we have to die, and why there is injustice and suffering.

2. Distrust In Language

                        For the absurdist playwrights, language is only a meaningless communication and stereotyped exchange of Ideas because words fail to express the essence of human existence.

3. Illogical Speeches and Meaningless Plots

                              Through illogical speeches and meaningless plots, they wish to establish a feeling of freedom to make their own words. Dr. Culik Says,

“Rationalist thought, like language,
 Only deals with the superficial
 aspects of things, Nonsense,
 On the other hand, opens up a
 glimpse of the infinite.”

4. Re-establishment of Man’s communion with the Universe

                        They attempt to restore the importance of myth and rituals in the life of man and make them aware of the ultimate realities of their life.

5. Emphasis on Abstract values of Life

                        Absurdists force us to look at our abstract values of life like love and family. Thus, we may hope to accept the absurdity of life and try to find values in a world devoid of them.

6. Vagueness about Time, Place, and Character

                        Absurdists have no time, place, or character in their plays as they feel that there is no past or future, only the repetition of the present.

7. Lack Of communication Amid Characters

                        Each character lives an egoistic life and attempts to get another character to understand him which results in more alienation.

Playwright of Absurd Drama

            Martin Esslin considered four playwrights: – Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Adamov, and Jean Genet as leaders of the movement. After some time, ‘Harold Pinter’ was also introduced to this group, as some of the works of Albert Camus, and Edward Albee.

Samuel Beckett

            Beckett is an Irish dramatist and novelist, who came from an ‘Anglo-Irish’ Protestant family. Beckett uses formless language deliberately to present the absurdity in his work. Some of his highly popularised fiction novels, originally written in French, Scored success are ‘Murphy’. ‘Molloy’ and ‘Watt’ which also follow his story “More Pricks than Kicks”.

            His masterpiece in drama is ‘Waiting For Godot’ which is the English version of the French Play En Attendant Godot’. Beckett also wrote a ‘monologue’. “Krapp’s Last Tape” in which Krapp attempts to recapture the greatness of earlier days by listening to recordings of days when she was young.

Eugene Ionesco

            Ionesco is a Rumanian – French dramatist, write in French. Eugene Ionesco is a central figure in this genre and the foremost figure of the French Avant-Grade Theatre. His plays basically focus on criticizing the meaningless existence of human beings while offering a subtle solution to change this situation. In Rhinoceros, Ionesco tries to build hope at the end of the play by making Berenger, the protagonist, stick to his human self and not follow the mass movement.

            His famous works are ‘The Bald Prima’, ‘The Lesson’, ‘The Chair’ an absurdist tragic force, ‘The Killer’, ‘Rhinoceros’, ‘The Victim of Duty’, ‘How to Ged Rid of It’, and ‘Macbeth’ written during the cold war. The Chairs and The Lesson are the most notable works of Ionesco.

Arthur Adamov

            He was a Russian-born dramatist who lived in France and wrote in French Adamov wrote an autobiographical volume L’Avew, where he for the first expressed the deep sense of alienation, one of the significant features of ‘Theatre of the Absurd’.

            Some of his famous plays are ‘La Paradise’, ‘Professor Taranne’, ‘Le Ping-Pong’, and ‘Printemps 71’.

Jean Genet

            A famous French novelist, dramatist, and poet. Genet’s contribution can be classified both as an Absurd dramatist and as a follower of Art and in his ritualistic ‘Theatre Of Cruelty’.

            His very famous plays are “Deathwatch”, “The Maids”, “The Balcony”, and “The Screens.”

Harold Pinter

            Pinter was a great English Playwright screenwriter, Director, Actor, and a Novel Prize winner for literature in 2005. Harold Pinter became the most influential modern British dramatist. His writing career continued for more than 50 years. His early works were described by critics as “Comedy of Menace”.

            His first full-length play was ‘The Birthday Party (1958)’, which ran for three nights in London. It later made a strong impression on Television and was successfully re-staged in 1964.

            Printer’s other most famous works are “The Room”, “The Homecoming”, and “Betray.”

Some of his one-act plays are ‘The Dumb Waiter’, ‘A Slight Ache’, ‘The Collection, and The Lover’ which have been produced in the theatre.

Albert Camus

            Camus was an Algerian and French philosopher. He was the youngest writer who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 in Literature. His philosophical work came out as absurdism. His essay ‘The Rebel’ which treats both the metaphysical and the historical development of rebellion and revolution in societies, especially in Western Europe.

            ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ (1942) an essay by Camus, where he described meaningless things happening around him through the concept of ‘absurdism’ and this absurdist concept was first time seen in his work.

Edward Albee

            Edward Albee is an American playwright related to the theatre of the Absurd. He is known for his works written as one-act plays such as ‘As Zoo Story’, ‘The Sandbox’, and ‘The American Dream’. His first full-length play, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

            He won the Pulitzer Prize for three works – ‘A Delicate Balance’, ‘Three Tall Women’, and ‘Seascape’, written in the form of Drama.

            Besides these, other playwrights like ‘Tom Stoppard’, ‘Arthur Kopit’, ‘Friedrich Durrenmatt’, ‘Fernando Arrabal’, ‘N. E. Simpson’, and also many dramatists associated with this theatre.

Conclusion

            Thus, the Absurdist play or The Theatre of Absurd only demonstrates the absurdity and illogicality of the world in which we live but does not provide any solution to the problem. Through these plays, man is again and again reminded that his existence in the world is in fact absurd and meaningless.

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