IGNOU BEGC 104 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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BEGC 104 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Note: Remember the submission of assignment is a precondition for appearing in the examination. If you do not submit the assignment on time, you will not be allowed to appear in the examination.


Q.I Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each.

a) Cultural Materialism

Cultural Materialists believe that all societies operate according to a model in which production and reproduction dominate and determine the other sectors of culture (See Key Concepts ‘Priority of Infrastructure’), effectively serving as the driving forces behind all cultural development. They propose that all non-infrastructure aspects of society are created with the purpose of benefitting societal productive and reproductive capabilities. Therefore, systems such as government, religion, law, and kinship are considered to be constructs that only exist for the sole purpose of promoting production and reproduction. Calling for empirical research and strict scientific methods in order to make accurate comparisons between separate cultures, proponents of cultural materialism believe that its perspective effectively explains both intercultural variation and similarities. As such, demographic, environmental, and technological changes are invoked to explain cultural variation.

Cultural materialism emerged as a theoretical movement in the early 1980s along with new historicism, an American approach to early modern literature, with which it shares common ground. The term was coined by Williams, who used it to describe a theoretical blending of leftist culturalism and Marxist analysis. Cultural materialists deal with specific historical documents and attempt to analyze and recreate the zeitgeist of a particular moment in history. Williams viewed culture as a “productive process”, part of the means of production, and cultural materialism often identifies what he called “residual”, “emergent” and “oppositional” cultural elements. Following in the tradition of Herbert Marcuse, Antonio Gramsci and others, cultural materialists extend the class-based analysis of traditional Marxism (Neo-Marxism) by means of an additional focus on the marginalized. Cultural materialists analyze the processes by which hegemonic forces in society appropriate canonical and historically important texts, such as Shakespeare and Austen, and utilize them in an attempt to validate or inscribe certain values on the cultural imaginary. Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, authors of Political Shakespeare, have had considerable influence in the development of this movement and their book is considered to be a seminal text. They have identified four defining characteristics of cultural materialism as a theoretical device: Historical context Close textual analysis Political commitment Theoretical method Cultural materialists seek to draw attention to the processes being employed by contemporary power structures, such as the church, the state or the academy, to disseminate ideology. To do this they explore a text’s historical context and its political implications, and then through close textual analysis note the dominant hegemonic position. They identify possibilities for the rejection and/or subversion of that position. British critic Graham Holderness defines cultural materialism as a “politicized form of historiography”. Through its insistence on the importance of an engagement with issues of gender, sexuality, race and class, cultural materialism has had a significant impact on the field of literary studies, especially in Britain. Cultural materialists have found the area of Renaissance studies particularly receptive to this type of analysis. Traditional humanist readings often eschewed consideration of the oppressed and marginalized in textual readings, whereas cultural materialists routinely consider such groups in their engagement with literary texts, thus opening new avenues of approach to issues of representation in the field of literary criticism.

b) Renaissance

The Renaissance  is a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an effort to revive and surpass ideas and achievements of classical antiquity. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages and was associated with great social change. In addition to the standard periodization, proponents of a “long Renaissance” may put its beginning in the 14th century and its end in the 17th century. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages.However, the beginnings of the period – the early Renaissance of the 15th century and the Italian Proto-Renaissance from around 1250 or 1300 – overlap considerably with the Late Middle Ages, conventionally dated to c. 1250–1500, and the Middle Ages themselves were a long period filled with gradual changes, like the modern age; and as a transitional period between both, the Renaissance has close similarities to both, especially the late and early sub-periods of either.

The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that “man is the measure of all things”. This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the revived knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.

As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch; the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting; and gradual but widespread educational reform. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, and in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual and social scientific pursuits, as well as the introduction of modern banking and the field of accounting, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term “Renaissance man”.

The Renaissance began in the Republic of Florence, one of the many states of Italy.Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, and the migration of Greek scholars and their texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. Other major centers were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Milan, Bologna, and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. From Italy, the Renaissance spread throughout Europe in Flanders, France, the British isles, Spain, Portugal, Germany and elsewhere. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the “Renaissance” and individual cultural heroes as “Renaissance men”, questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural “advance” from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians, especially of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, “by a thousand ties”.The term rinascita (‘rebirth’) first appeared in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (c. 1550), anglicized as the Renaissance in the 1830s. The word has also been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance (8th and 9th centuries), Ottonian Renaissance (10th and 11th century), and the Renaissance of the 12th century. IGNOU BEGC 104 Solved Assignment 2022-23


Answer the following reference to the context in about 300 words each:

a) That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgement that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lover’s eyes.

b) Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no reason knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the
rags of time.

c) Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor

Section C
Answer the following questions in about 800 words each:

1. How do you interpret the role of the witches in Macbeth?

Answer –

Macbeth is a tragedy that tells the story of a soldier whose overriding ambition and thirst for power cause him to abandon his morals and bring about the near destruction of the kingdom he seeks to rule. At first, the conflict is between Macbeth and himself, as he debates whether or not he will violently seize power, and between Macbeth and his wife, as Lady Macbeth urges her husband toward a course of action he is hesitant to take.

Once Macbeth stops struggling against his ambition, the conflict shifts. It then primarily exists between Macbeth and the other characters, in particular Banquo and Macduff, who challenge his authority. Macbeth is the protagonist in the sense that he is the main focus of the narrative and that audiences frequently have access to his point of view. However, as he often acts against his own best interests, as well as the best interests of the other characters and his country, he is also the antagonist. The characters who oppose Macbeth and eventually defeat him do so in order to restore order and justice.

Throughout the play, the witches—referred to as the “weird sisters” by many of the characters—lurk like dark thoughts and unconscious temptations to evil. In part, the mischief they cause stems from their supernatural powers, but mainly it is the result of their understanding of the weaknesses of their specific interlocutors—they play upon Macbeth’s ambition like puppeteers. The witches’ beards, bizarre potions, and rhymed speech make them seem slightly ridiculous, like caricatures of the supernatural. Shakespeare has them speak in rhyming couplets throughout (their most famous line is probably “Double, double, toil and trouble, / Fire burn and cauldron bubble” in , which separates them from the other characters, who mostly speak in blank verse. The witches’ words seem almost comical, like malevolent nursery rhymes. Despite the absurdity of their “eye of newt and toe of frog” recipes, however, they are clearly the most dangerous characters in the play, being both tremendously powerful and utterly wicked. 

The audience is left to ask whether the witches are independent agents toying with human lives, or agents of fate, whose prophecies are only reports of the inevitable. The witches bear a striking and obviously intentional resemblance to the Fates, female characters in both Norse and Greek mythology who weave the fabric of human lives and then cut the threads to end them. Some of their prophecies seem self-fulfilling. For example, it is doubtful that Macbeth would have murdered his king without the push given by the witches’ predictions. In other cases, though, their prophecies are just remarkably accurate readings of the future—it is hard to see Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane as being self-fulfilling in any way. The play offers no easy answers. Instead, Shakespeare keeps the witches well outside the limits of human comprehension. They embody an unreasoning, instinctive evil. 

2. Discuss the ending of the play Dr. Faustus.

3. Critically appreciate “Sonnet 65”.


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Important Note – You may be aware that you need to submit your assignments before you can appear for the Term End Exams. Please remember to keep a copy of your completed assignment, just in case the one you submitted is lost in transit.

Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2023 (if enrolled in the July 2022 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2023 (if enrolled in the January 2023 session).

IGNOU Instructions for the BEGC 104 British Poetry and Drama – 14th to 17th Century  

BEGC 104 British Poetry and Drama – 14th to 17th Century Solved Assignment 2022-23 Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
  2. Write your enrolment number, name, full address and date on the top right corner of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  3. Write the course title, assignment number and the name of the study centre you are attached to in the centre of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  4. Use only foolscap size paperfor your response and tag all the pages carefully
  5. Write the relevant question number with each answer.
  6. You should write in your own handwriting.

GUIDELINES FOR IGNOU Assignments 2022-23

BEGC 104 Solved Assignment 2022-23 You will find it useful to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Planning: Read the questions carefully. Go through the units on which they are based. Make some points regarding each question and then rearrange these in a logical order. And please write the answers in your own words. Do not reproduce passages from the units.
  2. Organisation: Be a little more selective and analytic before drawing up a rough outline of your answer. In an essay-type question, give adequate attention to your introduction and conclusion. The introduction must offer your brief interpretation of the question and how you propose to develop it. The conclusion must summarise your response to the question. In the course of your answer, you may like to make references to other texts or critics as this will add some depth to your analysis.
  3. Presentation: Once you are satisfied with your answers, you can write down the final version for submission, writing each answer neatly and underlining the points you wish to emphasize.

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BEGC 104 Handwritten Assignment 2022-23

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