Tuesday, 18 June 2019


SOLILOQUY: Soliloquy means “”talking to one’s own self or “”loud thinking””. A character expresses his secret thoughts and feelings so loudly that the audience can hear him, but other characters on the stage are supposed not to hear him.

CHORUS: The term Chorus is taken from Greek drama. In English drama it is applied to a character who speaks the prologue and epilogue communicates to the audience the exposition, setting and off stage events in the play.

Fin de Siecle: It is a French term which means “”end of a century.”” In English literature, it applies to the end of the 19th century, when the Victorian Age was in its decline, and with its decline, literature also declined considerably. It was a decade of decadent literature.

COMIC RELIEF:  Comic Relief was dramatic devise used in the Elizabethan tragedy. It was the use of humorous characters, speeches or scenes inserted in a tragic work. Its function was to provide some emotional relief to the audience from the sustained tragic tension in the tragedy.

LOCAL COLOUR: Local colour means a detailed representation in fiction of the setting, dialect, customs, dress and ways of thinking and feeling which are characteristics of a particular region, such as Hardy’s WESSEX or D.H. Lawrence’s MINING COUNTRYSIDE OF A ENGLAND.

APHORISM: Aphorism is a short, pithy and memorable statement full of deep meaning. The neo-classical poets such as Dryden, Pope, Dr. Johnson are largely remembered for their Aphorisms, ‘’the proper study of mankind kind is man “”is a memorable aphorism in Pope’s Essay on Man.

ECLOGUE: An Eclogue is apart or a section of a long poem. There may be several Eclogues in a long poem. Spenser’s SHEPHERD’S CALENDAR, for Example, has twelve Eclogues, one for each month of the year.

OPERA: Opera is a musical drama in which dialogues are spoken in musical verse accompanied with orchestra. Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST is an opera, though the dialogues in it are not accompanied with orchestra.

PARABLE: A parable is an allegorical story, containing a moral lesson. A parable is different from a fable in the point that the characters in it are human beings, not animals as in the fable. Among the best known parables are those in the New Testament, for example, the parable of the prodigal son.

LAKE POETS: Words worth, Coleridge and Southey are called Lake Poets. They are so called because at one time or another each of them lived in the beautiful lake districts in the north- western part of England. These Districts made them lovers and worshippers of Nature.

Monday, 17 June 2019


Shakespeare was born at Stratford on the banks of the river Avon and so he is called THE BARD OF AVON

Ben Johnson’s comedies are called “”comedies of Humour. “” because each of them deals with a particular “Humour”” in human nature.

NAHUN TATE a restoration play writer gave a happy ending to KING LEAR.

‘’Gather ye rose –buds while ye may.”” This is the opening line of a popular lyric   “”COUNSEL TO GIRLS”” Written by Robert Herrick.

MATTHEW ARNOLD called the 18th century “”Our admirable and indispensable Eighteen century””

Fielding’s JOSEPH ANDREWS is a burlesque based on Richardson’s Pamela.

The year 1798 taken to be the year of the beginning of the Romantic Movement because it was the year in which WORDSWORTH’S LYRICAL BALLADS was published.

The year 1837 taken as the closing year of the Romantic Period and beginning of the Victorian Age because Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne in this year

The basic theme of Arnold’s LITERATURE AND DOGMA is theology

‘’Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping Knowledge.””
In these lines of Matthew Arnold, “”THOU”” refers to Shakespeare.

James Joyce’s novel FINNEGANS WAKE resembles a Vast Musical Composition.

E.M. FORSTER’S A passage to India deals with the relationship between the BRITISHERS and INDIANS.

Sunday, 16 June 2019


Drama is a long literary composition in prose or verse, developed through dialogues and action to be presented on the stage, while every other form of literature is complete in itself, drama remains incomplete without a stage.

The following are the major forms of Drama:


Morality plays are allegorical plays. They present on the stage personified virtues and vices. Every man is presented as the Hero, Satan personified as Vice, God or Christ as Virtue, and death as the Reward of Sin.

 A Miracle play is basically a religious play. They deal with the lives of Saints and the miracles performed by them. The life and martyrdom of a saint formed the central theme of a miracle play.

The Mystery plays basically deal with the themes taken from the Bible. They present in chronological order major events from the creation and fall of man through Nativity, crucifixion, Resurrection of Christ to the last Judgement.

The Interludes were generally short entertainments inserted within a longer play or amidst some other festivities or festivals. Their primary function was to entertain the audience by humour or even by farce.

THE TRAGEDY: The Tragedy is the tragic story of a good and great man who, on account of a sight flaw in his character, passes through a harrowing emotional and spiritual crisis, and finally meets his doom and death.

THE MELO-DRAMA:  Melodrama or Horror play is a crude type of tragedy. In this type of tragedy sensational scenes of violence, cruelty, murders, bloodshed, and physical atrocities predominate.

THE FARCE:  Farce is a crude form of comedy. It seeks to cause boisterous horse-laughter. A Farce is rarely a full play. It is an episode inserted within a play to please the lower class of spectators, or to relieve tragic tension.

THE MASQUE: Masque was a royal theatrical entertainment. It combined poetic drama, music, dance, splendid costume and a colourful stage spectacle. The characters wore masques and presented themselves as deities or pastoral fairies.

THE POETIC PLAY: A poetic play is also called a Lyrical Play or a closet Play. It is not meant to be acted on the stage. In fact, it is a long poem cast into dramatic form and can be read as a poem.

THE DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE: ‘’Monologue’’ literally means “”Dialogue with the self.”” In the Dramatic Monologue there is only one character who expresses out his own innermost feelings and thoughts through a long poetic speech. It offers a psychological analysis of the solo-speaker.

THE PROBLEM-PLAY: The Problem-play is a newly developed dramatic genre. It is so called because its central theme is a social, economic, legal, political or humanitarian problem. This problem is dramatically presented.

THE ONE-ACT PLAY: A One –act play is a short dramatic composition in one Act only. It can have several scenes in the same Act. It is now a complete dramatic genre in itself. It generally deals with a contemporary problem.

THE TRAGI-COMEDY, THE ROMANTIC –COMEDY, THE COMEDY OF HUMOURS, THE COMEDY OF MANNERS are also the major forms of Drama. (Details of these are already given in the blog post titled LET’S KNOW MORE ABOUT COMEDY)


Saturday, 15 June 2019


 A novel is a long prose fiction having a plot, number of characters, and the plot developing and coming to a logical conclusion through the characters’ interaction with one another.

 The following are the major forms of the Novel:

THE PROSE ROMANCES:  Prose Romances, like Verse Romances, are simply fantasies in which the authors make the fullest use of their imagination and fancy and create an ideal world which bears little or no resemblance with real life.

THE TRAVELOGUES: The travelogues are travel stories relating the adventures of the travellers and voyagers in unknown and un chartered seas. They often land on uninhabited islands or some islands inhabited by strange creatures. Thus they are typical adventure stories.

THE GOTHIC NOVELS: The Gothic Novels were written in the latter half of the 18th century. The Gothic Novels are also called horror or terror novels. They have Gothic atmosphere marked with super natural horror, mystery and suspense.

THE PICARESQUE NOVELS: The Picaresque Novels have a wandering rogue for the hero. He is  a bad character who wanders from place to place and encounters many adversaries who are equally roguish. The novelist narrates these episodes one by one. The whole plot becomes episodic or disjointed.

THE EPISTOLARY NOVEL: The Epistolary Novel is a novel of which the plot develops through the medium of letters. The characters exchange their thoughts and views through letters. There is very little dialogue face to face.

THE DOMESTIC NOVEL:  The Domestic Novel presents the day to day domestic life of the middle –class families and their friends and relations. The festivals and festivities, functions and celebrations, birthdays and marriages are graphically described in them.

THE HISTORICAL NOVEL: The Historical Novel draws its theme from some important historical event. But around this historical event the novelist weaves some imaginative and artistic environment to make it an interesting and arresting theme for a novel.

THE REGIONAL NOVEL: The Regional Novel is a Novel which describes the social and family life, customs and manners, language and dress, occupations and professions of the people of a particular region. The entire novel is woven around these factors of the region.

THE PROPHETIC NOVEL: The Prophetic Novels try to forecast what the future would be like. They do not claim to be absolutely correct. They only give a tentative picture of the future on the basis of the tendencies prevailing in the present.

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL: The psychological Novels are also known as the “”Stream of consciousness Novels.”” These novels probe into working of human psychology at the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious levels. The plot is developed on these psychological levels.

THE SHORT STORY: A Short story is a novel in a miniature form. All the components parts which we find in a novel are found in the short story also, but they are found on a small scale in a compact form.

Friday, 14 June 2019


Charles Dickens was born in PORTSMOUTH and belongs to the VICTORIAN AGE

He was the first editor of the newspaper THE DAILY NEWS

PICKWICK PAPERS was the first novel of Charles Dickens.

DAVID COPPERFIELD is the most autobiographical novel of Charles dickens.

Dickens’s novel HARD TIMES deals with the life of a circus child named Sissy Jupe and also the memorable character named Grad grind Figures

Charles Dickens’s novel A TALE OF TWO CITIES can be considered as a Historical Novel.

LONDON AND PARIS are the two cities dealt in the Dickens’s novel A TALE OF TWO CITIES.

EDWIN DROOD was the novel that Charles Dickens left unfinished.

Dickens’s characters are generally FLAT.

EDGAR JOHNSON"S (CHARLES DICKENS: HIS TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH) is the best biography on Charles Dickens.

“”His novels belong entirely to the humanitarian movement of the Victorian era.””- W.H. HUDSON holds this view.

T.S.ELIOT compared Dickens with Shakespeare in making “”a character as real as flesh and blood.””

Thursday, 13 June 2019


The comedy is a type of Drama characterised by romantic love, humour, pleasantry, light satire and cross love finally leading to a happy denouement. Though fortune may be unkind to some stage, all ends happily at last

The romantic comedy is basically a love comedy. There is usually a story of triangular love with two heroes and one heroine, or two heroines and one hero, but finally the play ends in happy marriage.

  A tragi-comedy is an artistic combination of both tragedy and comedy. It develops as a tragedy to the point of climax, and then takes a happy turn and finally ends into a happy denouement.

The conclusion of a comedy is called denouement. Here all the obstacles and tangles that came in the path of true love are resolved and the lovers get happily married.

The sentimental comedy developed as a reaction against the immoral comedies of the Restoration Age. These comedies replaced intrigues and foppish manners with pathetic heroines, distressing situations, sincere lovers and honest servants.

The comedy of Humours is a classical satirical comedy developed on the concept of four ‘’Humours”’ found in human physiology. The hero develops into a caricature or an eccentric figure due to the excess of any one of these Humours.

The comedy of Manners exhibited the artificial manners of the high class society of the Restoration Age. They largely displayed the intrigues, witty remarks, sparkling dialogues and verbal fencing between gentlemen and ladies.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019


 1.   An American poet hailed as the representative poet of American democracy is                      WALT WHITMAN.

 2.  Mark Twain was only a Pseudonym. The author’s real name is SAMUEL CLEMENS

 3.    The author of Rip Van Winkle is WASHINGTON IRVING.

 4.    Melville’s Moby Dick gives us glimpses in to the world of WHALES.

 5.   The common amongst Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Life on the Mississippi is the background of all three novels is social life in and around the valley of Mississippi River.

 6.    WALDEN is the work of Henry David Thoreau.

 7.    The early 19th century writers of New York City are known as KNICKERBOCKERS.

8.   Eugene o’ Neill was awarded four times the PULITZER PRIZE.

 9.  EUGENE O’ NEILL was the first American Playwright to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

10.   ‘’A Word to the wise is enough,
                    God helps them that help themselves,
                     Time-enough always proves little enough.””

              These are the lines of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

11.   ”Lives of great men all remind us
                    We can make our lives sublime,
                     And, departing, leave behind us
                     Foot-prints on the sands of time”
            These lines are from the poem of H. W. LONGFELLOW’S   A PSLAM OF LIFE.

12.   ‘’Success is counted sweetest
                     By those who never succeed,
                         To comprehend nectar
                         Requires sorest need””
                           These are the lines of EMILY DICKINSON.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019


The following are the major form of prose:

 Long Prose-works

Examples of The Great prose works and their Authors-


·         The Essay = Essay  is a short composition in prose . Saints bury calls it “”a work of prose art.”” Dr. Johnson defines it “”as a loose sally of the mind, an irregular, indigested piece, not a regular and orderly performance.”” The Essays are of three types namely- Personal Essays Aphoristic Essay and Periodical Essays.

Examples of Essays and their Authors-


·         The Periodical journals

·         The Biography = A  Biography is the life-history of a person from his birth to death, judiciously highlighting his failings and achievements, artistically written in prose by one of his admirers,  It is now a distinct literary genre.

Examples of Important Biographies and their authors-


·         The Autobiography = An autobiography is the life –history of an individual written by himself. A good autobiography should be a judicious and dispassionate self-assessment, which is indeed a difficult task.

Examples of Autobiographies-


·         The Memoirs = In the Memoir the writer does not write out  his own life, but he recollects his personal contacts with various people he meets in his personal or professional life.

Monday, 10 June 2019


 SIMILE – Simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two objects of different kinds which have, however, at least one point in common. The comparison is expressed by using words like “as” or “like” or “so”.

METAPHOR- A Metaphor is a condensed form of simile in which comparison between two different objects is shown without the use of such words as “like”, “as” or “so”.

PERSONIFICATION – In Personification inanimate objects and abstract notions are spoken of as having life or intelligence.

HYPERBOLE – In Hyperbole a statement is made emphatic by over statement.

ONOMATOPOEIA – Onomatopoeia is that artifice of language by which the sound of words is made to suggest or echo the sense.

APOSTROPHE- An Apostrophe is a direct address to the dead, to the absent, or to a personified object or idea.

OXYMORON- Oxymoron is a special form of antithesis where by two contradictory qualities are predicted at once of the same thing.

ALLITERATION- Alliteration consists in the repetition of the same sound or syllable at the beginning of two or more words.

IRONY – Irony is a mode of speech in which the real meaning is exactly the opposite of that which is literally conveyed.

PUN- This consists in a play on the various meanings of a word, and is seldom used except as a joke.

METONYMY- In Metonymy an object is designated by the name of something which is generally associated with it.

SYNECDOCHE- In Synecdoche a part is used to designate the whole, or the whole to designate a part.

ANTITHESIS- In Antithesis a striking opposition or contrast of words or sentiments is made in the same sentence. It is employed to secure emphasis.

TRANSFERRED EPITHET- In this figure an epithet is transferred from its proper word to another that is closely associated with it in the sentence.

Sunday, 9 June 2019


1.      George Bernard shaw was primarily a Dramatist. He wrote FIVE novels.

2.       His plays are known as PLAYS OF IDEAS.

3.       He was awarded Nobel prize for literature in 1925.

4.       IMMATURITY is the first novel written by Shaw.

5.       HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND was the first play of shaw to be filmed.

6.       Shaw refinished CYMBELINE one of the plays of Shakespeare.

7.       LOVE OF MUSIC is the central theme of the play THE APPLE CART by shaw

8.       MY FAIR LADY is the film version of shaw’s PYGMALION.

9.       PHONETICS AND PRONUNCIATION is the basic theme of  shaw’s play PYGMALION

10.   AN UN SOCIAL SOCIALIST is the last novel written by G.B. Shaw.

11.   Shaw’s THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS is a one- act play.

12.   George Bernad Shaw opposed the theory of ART FOR ART’S SAKE – “”For art’s sake alone I would not face the toil of writing a single sentence.””

Saturday, 8 June 2019


·         PROSODY is a science of verse forms, poetic metres and rhythms.

·         RHETORIC is an art of using language effectively or impressively.

·         Heroic couplet is a two line stanza having two rhyming lines in Iambic pentameter.

·         Enjambed couplets are the couplets in which the sense runs on from one couplet to another.

·         Alexandrine is a line of six iambic feet occasionally used in a heroic couplet.

·         Terza Rima is a run on three line stanza with a fixed rhyme scheme.

·         Rhyme Royal Stanza is a seven line stanza in Iambic pentameter.

·         Ottawa Rima is an eight line stanza in Iambic pentameter with a fixed rhyme scheme.

·         Spenserian stanza is a nine line stanza consisting of two quatrains in Iambic pentameter rounded off with an Alexandrine.

·         Blank verse has a metre but no rhyme.

Friday, 7 June 2019


·        The first Indian poet to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913 is RABINDRANATH TAGORE

·         The first recipient of the Bhartiya Jnanpith  Award is G. SHANKARA KURUP

·         The founder of the Bhartiya Jnanpith is SAHU SHANTI PRASAD JAIN

·         The first recipient of the sahitya  Akademi Award for best writings in English is R.K. NARAYAN

·         R.K. Narayan’s novel GUIDE was made into a very popular film.

·         R.K. Narayan’s novel MALGUDI DAYS was made into a very popular T.V. serial.

·         W.B.YEATS is a very eminent English poet who edited Dr. Rabindranath Tagore’s GITANJALI

·         Dr. Rabindranath Tagore translated some poems of KABIR from Hindi to English

·         Dr. Rabindranath Tagore wrote GITANJALI originally in Bengali and he himself translated it into English.

·         MY SON’S FATHER is the autobiography of DOM MORAES- an Indo-Anglian poet.

·         Girish Karnad  is the author of the  famous stage play TUGHLAQ

·         Sri  Aurobindo Ghosh is the author of LIFE DIVINE

·         BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTERJI is the author of India’s National Anthem.

Thursday, 6 June 2019


The Age of Chaucer is dated from 1340 to 1400 because in 1340 Chaucer was born and in 1400 Chaucer died.

Chaucer, the first national poet of England to live through the reigns of three English monarchs

He was born in the reign of Edward III, lived through the reign of Richard II, and died in the reign of Henry IV.

Religious pilgrimages in large groups of pilgrims were quite in vogue in this age.

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are woven through the texture of a  similar pilgrimage.

Major authors before Chaucer were Caedmon, Cynewulf, King Alfred, Layamon, Geoffrey Monmouth, Orm and Robert Mannyng.

Major Authors of the age of Chaucer were (Poets) John Gower, William Langland, John Barbour, (Prose writers) Wyclif, Sir John Maundville.

Major Post- Chaucerian Authors were (Poets) Thomas Occleve, John Lydgate, King James I of Scotland, William Dunbar, Robert Henryson, Gawain Douglas, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Earl of Surrey.(Prose writers) Reginald Pecock, Sir John Fortescue, Sir Thomas Malory, William Caxton.