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IGNOU MEG 01 FREE Solved Assignment 2021-22 PDF  : MEG 01 Solved Assignment 2022 , MEG 01 Solved Assignment 2021-22, MEG 01 Assignment 2021-22, MEG 01 Assignment, IGNOU Assignments 2021-22- Gandhi National Open University had recently uploaded the assignments of the present session for MEG Programme for the year 2021-22. Students are recommended to download their Assignments from this webpage itself.

1. Explain any two of the excerpts of poems given below with reference to their context: 

 (i) But hail thou Goddes, sage and holy,

Hail divinest Melancholy,

Whose Saintly visage is too bright

To hit the Sense of human sight;

And therefore to our weaker view,

Ore laid with black staid wisdoms hue.

Ans. – John Milton’s “Il Penseroso” is a lyric poem centering on melancholy as a stimulus for sober contemplation and inspired writing. The title is an Italian word meaning “the pensive man.” The poem was published in London in 1645 as part of a collection, The Poems of John Milton, Both English and Latin. It is a companion piece to “L’Allegro,” a lyric poem that courts joy rather than melancholy. The poems use similar metric and rhyme schemes.

(ii) My love is now awake out of her dreams (s),

and her fayre eyes like stars that dimmed were

With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams

More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere.

 Ans. The Following Lines taken from Epithalamion. Epithalamion is an ode written by Edmund Spenser to his bride, Elizabeth Boyle, on their wedding day in 1594. It was first published in 1595 in London by William Ponsonby as part of a volume entitled Amoretti and Epithalamion. Written not long since by Edmund Spenser. The volume included the sequence of 89 sonnets (Amoretti), along with a series of short poems called Anacreontics and the Epithalamion, a public poetic celebration of marriage.

Epithalamion is an ode written by Edmund Spenser as a gift to his bride, Elizabeth Boyle, on their wedding day. The poem moves through the couples’ wedding day, from the groom’s impatient hours before dawn to the late hours of night after the husband and wife have consummated their marriage. Spenser is very methodical in his depiction of time as it passes, both in the accurate chronological sense and in the subjective sense of time as felt by those waiting in anticipation or fear.

As with most classically-inspired works, this ode begins with an invocation to the Muses to help the groom; however, in this case they are to help him awaken his bride, not create his poetic work. Then follows a growing procession of figures who attempt to bestir the bride from her bed. Once the sun has risen, the bride finally awakens and begins her procession to the bridal bower. She comes to the “temple” (the sanctuary of the church wherein she is to be formally married to the groom) and is wed, then a celebration ensues. Almost immediately, the groom wants everyone to leave and the day to shorten so that he may enjoy the bliss of his wedding night.

2. Draw a comparison between the Epithalamion and the Prothalamion as wedding songs. Answer with suitable examples. 

Ans. The main difference between epithalamion and prothalamion is that epithalamion is a poem celebrating marriage full of traditional imagery and is comparatively longer and more elaborate than prothalamion, which usually celebrates engagement.

Epithalamion and prothalamion are both poems celebrating the union of two people. However, an epithalamion is less personal than a prothalamion and includes fewer references to the poet’s own country and situation.

Epithalamion

Epithalamion is a poem or a song recited for the bride and bridegroom at their wedding. Epithalamion is also called Epithalamium or Epithalamy.  Ancient Greeks used to sing such songs hoping that they would bring good fortune on the marriage.

Epithalamion is usually sung at the marriage chamber. However, today we use the same term to refer to a song sung during the wedding processions that contains repeated invocations to Hymen, the Greek god of marriage. However, in epithalamions, we cannot usually observe a specific meter.

During Renaissance, epithalamions came from the classical models and Pierre de Ronsard in France and Torquato Tasso in Italy were famous poets at the time. John Donne, Sir Philip Sidney, Ben Jonson, and Richard Crashaw are some popular English poets who adapted this form of lyrical composition during the period of the Renaissance.  Furthermore, among the English epithalamions composed throughout history, Edmund Spenser’s Epithalamion, which was written for his second marriage in 1595, is considered the best version of English epithalamion ever published.

Prothalamion   

The English poet Edmund Spenser wrote a “Prothalamion” in 1596 to celebrate the engagements of Elizabeth Somerset and Katherine Somerset, the daughters of the Earl of Somerset. Based on the time period during which it was written, the poem was strange and innovative. Edmund Spenser coined the word “Prothalamion”, taking into consideration the word “epithalamion,” or “wedding song.” While an epithalamion celebrates a wedding, a prothalamion celebrates an engagement or a betrothal.

Generally, the betrothals in prothalamion revealed most of the politically important events in England during that particular period of time. A prothalamion, therefore, sings of the mutual bond existing between marriage, politics, and nature. It praises the beauty of the brides and how perfect the union of marriage is, along with the portrayal of the natural and practical world outside marriage. Similarly, a prothalamion also points out the mutable nature even present within the beauty and perfection of bonds and marriage.

Difference Between Epithalamion and Prothalamion

Epithalamion is a poem that celebrates marriage, whereas Prothalamion is a song or poem that celebrates a forthcoming wedding and is less elaborate than an Epithalamion. Epithalamion includes more mythical allusions than a prothalamion. A prothalamion usually depicts the mutual bond existing between marriage, politics, and nature; it praises the beauty of the brides and union of marriage and also describes the and the natural and practical world outside. An Epithalamion is relatively longer than a Prothalamion

Out of the two versions, prothalamion has a more personal approach and includes fewer references to the poet’s own country and situation

The main difference between epithalamion and prothalamion is that epithalamion is a marriage celebrating poem, whereas prothalamion is an engagement celebrating poem. The term “Epithalamion” connotes the meaning that a song celebrating a marriage, while the term “Prothalamion” is a Spenserian coinage. Although both the poems celebrate a union between two people, “Prothalamion” takes a more personal approach.

Poems are sung in the marriage ceremony to make the ceremony more beautiful. Edmund Spenser wrote two poems called Epithalamion and Prothalamion, and they both denote the occasion of marriage. Epithalamion is a poem sung for celebrating marriage. Whereas, Prothalamion is a poem sung for celebrating the engagement ceremony. Both these poems differ in terms of lines and stanza.

The main difference between Epithalamion and Prothalamion is that Epithalamion is a poem that elaborates on marriage celebration. On the other hand, Prothalamion is a poem or a song used for celebrating a forthcoming wedding. Epithalamion focuses less on the personal approach area. Whereas, Prothalamion focuses more on the personal approach side.

Epithalamion is a poem written for the honor of the bride and bridegroom. It is classic in tradition and takes its settings and images from Ireland. It is a type of lyric poem called Spenserian Sonnet. It has only a few references to the poet’s own country and situation. It is also called Epithalamy or Epithalamium. It is sung at the marriage chamber.

Prothalamion has a theme called celebration around the river Thames. It is a key symbol and setting. Ideas of beauty, along with the images, surround the theme. It has nymphs gathering flower crowns for the two sisters. It is called a nuptial song because it is Edmund Spenser’s second wedding song. It is an example of renaissance writing. He published this poem in the year 1596 in celebration of his double marriage.

3. Who were the Pre- Raphaelites and what were the characteristics of the movement?
Critically appreciate any one poem of this age/movement. 

Ans. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:

A Movement in Art and Literature:

The brotherhood produced highly convincing and significant works. One of the first departures the Pre-Raphaelites made from contemporary pictorial conventions was through their representation of the human anatomy. In their early works brotherhood members Rossetti, Hunt and Millais all produced religious paintings marked for the realism of their bodies and the oddness of their postures. The best example of this is Christ in The House of His Parents by Millais. The mimetic accuracy by which the characters are portrayed reflects the Pre-Raphaelites penchant for expressive empiricism that is painting real human models as accurately as possible. The main criticism leveled against their work, from an entirely unprepared audience, was that it married the ‘lofty sentiment’ of a religious subject with the ‘physical baseness’ of realistic characters. These were critics unsympathetic to the Pre-Raphaelites ideals of fidelity to nature and true, honest depiction, by token of which they studied each human figure from a model–going ‘to nature in all singleness of heart’ as Ruskin had exhorted young painters in Modern Painters. The critics were used to the chiaroscuro of the Old Masters and they wanted to see dignified human forms with beautiful bodies and faces.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti:

Introduction to The Poet Mr. Rossetti was an Italian patriot exiled from Naples for his political activity and a Dante scholar who became professor of Italian at King’s College, London, in 1831. Dante attended King’s College School from 1837 to 1842, when he left to prepare for the Royal Academy at F.S. Cary’s Academy of Art. In 1846 he was accepted into the Royal Academy but was there only a year before he became dissatisfied and left to study under Ford Madox Brown. In 1848 he, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais began to call themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This group attracted other young painters, poets, and critics; William Michael Rossetti acted as secretary and later historian for the group. Between the years 1843 and 1846 he attended Cary’s Art Academy, and entered in 1848 the Royal Academy, where he spent an unfruitful period. However, he also started to write ‘The House of Life’, a sequence of 102 sonnets, which is considered his masterpiece. In it he wrote: “A Sonnet is a moment’s monument, – Memorial from the Soul’s eternity / To one dead deathless hour.” Rossetti founded in 1848 with John Everett Millais, Holman Hunt, and others the short-lived but influential Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which received rough treatment from the critics. Rossetti and his friends rejected Victorian materialism, admired the works of early Italian artists, and wanted to bring back into art a pre-Renaissance purity of style and spirit.

Early Works

The early oil paintings made by Rossetti were simple in respect of the style but were very rich in symbolism. Sometimes he had to face problem that his paintings were not bought. He idealized his subjects, and used literary themes of medieval romances. His early poems, such as ‘The Blessed Damozel’, a highly symbolic work, and ‘My Sister’s Sleep’, in which death visits a family on a Christmas Eve, were published in the Pre-Raphaelite magazine The Germ in 1850. “I said, “Full knowledge does not grieve: / This which upon my spirit dwells / Perhaps would have been sorrow else: / But I am glad ’tis Christmas Eve.” (from ‘My Sister’s Sleep’) The publication survived for only four issues. Rossetti enjoyed a modest success as a writer when his translations in The Early Italian Poets appeared in 1861. Also the art critic Ruskin started to buy his paintings and spread Rossetti’s reputation.

Personal Experience

It is very much true that the source and the root of the much of the work of Rossetti was his own personal experience. He based his poetry and paintings on the lived and experienced events. All the characters of his depicted in his work of art are also somehow connected with his personal life. And that is one reason that some knowledge about his life and the people he came in contact with essentially important for the understanding of his works. In most of Rossetti’s early pictures his ideal ladies were portraits of his wife, the beautiful Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal. He had met her in 1850, and they married in 1860 when she was already in poor health. Rossetti encouraged Elizabeth’s own painting and writing aspirations. She modeled for him and for many of his circle – perhaps the most impressive portrait is the drowned Ophelia in Millais’s painting. Another famous painting is La Ghirlandata, is which a young woman plays a harp, not Siddal, but Alexa Wilding. After his wife died of an overdose of laudanum in 1862, Rossetti buried with her the only complete manuscript of his poems. The manuscript was recovered seven years later and published in 1870. It included most of his best verse and established his reputation as a poet. Although Rossetti had not been faithful to Elizabeth, her loss left an increasing sadness in his work.

In 1868, Rossetti showed renewed interest in poetry. Sixteen sonnets, including the ‘Willowwood’ sequence, were published in The Fortnightly Review in 1869. He had a close relationship with Jane Morris, wife of the painter William Morris, and wrote the ballad ‘Rose Mary’. In 1871 there appeared R. Buchanan’s pamphlet ‘The Fleshy School of Poetry’ in the Contemporary Review, in which Rossetti and his associates were accused of obscenity. Rossetti’s reply, ‘The Stealthy School of Criticism’, appeared in The Athenaeum in 1872.

Portrayal of Women

Rossetti along with his friend like Algernon Charles Swinburne and James McNeil Whistler, who was an American painter, tried to follow the aesthetic and sensual approach to art. One of the best means that he found to do this was to explore the female beauty, for example he painted his mistress, Fanny Cornforth. An important quality of these paintings is that the rhythmic design used in these painting enhances the effect of their languid their female subject, which reflect the Pre-Raphaelite spirit.

Literary Endeavours

Rossetti had enjoyed a modest success in 1861 with his published translations, The Early Italian Poets; and toward the end of the 1860s his thoughts turned to poetry again. He began composing new poems and planned the recovery of the manuscript poems buried with his wife in High gate Cemetery. Carried out in 1869 through the agency of his unconventional man of business, Charles Augustus Howell, the exhumation visibly distressed the superstitious Rossetti. The publication of these poems followed in 1870. The Poems were well enough received until a misdirected, savage onslaught by “Thomas Maitland” (pseudonym of the journalist-critic Robert Buchanan) on “The Fleshly School of Poetry” singled out Rossetti for attack. Rossetti responded temperately in “The Stealthy School of Criticism,” published in the Athenaeum; but the attack, combined with remorse and the amount of chloral and alcohol he now took for insomnia, brought about his collapse in 1872. He recovered sufficiently to paint and write, but his life in Chelsea was subsequently that of a semi-invalid and recluse. Until 1874 he spent much time at Kelmscott Manor (near Oxford), of which he took joint tenancy with William Morris in 1871. His lovingly idealized portraits of Jane Morris at this time were a return to his more poetic and mystical style.

4. What attitude to Nature does Coleridge express in the Ode to Dejection? In what ways does
this attitude differ from that of Wordsworth and from his own earlier attitude? 

Ans. The poem, ‘Dejection: An Ode’, written on April 4, 1802, is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s swan song lamenting the decline of creative imagination. It is a deeply personal and autobiographical poem and depicts his mental state at the time. In this sublime and heart-rending poem, Coleridge gives expression to an experience of double consciousness. His sense perceptions are vivid and in part agreeable; his inner state is faint, blurred, and unhappy. He sees but cannot feel. The power of feeling has been paralyzed by chemically-induced excitement in his brain. The seeing power, less dependent upon bodily health, stands aloof, individual, critical, and very mournful. By ‘seeing’ he means perceiving and judging; by ‘feeling’ he means that which impels action. He suffers, but the pain is dull, and he wishes it were keen, for so he should awake from lethargy and recover unity at least. But nothing from outside can restore him, as the sources of the soul’s life are within.

The poet’s heart is numbed by pain in his state as it seems to paralyze his heart. The poet sees the old moon in the lap of the new moon. This phenomenon, according to an ancient superstition, is the harbinger of a furious storm that is likely to blow. The poet would welcome that storm because it might startle the dull pain in his heart. However, the poet’s dull and drowsy grief finds no outlet. He has been gazing at the beauty of the sky and stars all evening, without being able to feel that beauty. The poet cannot hope to obtain these from external sources as the inner sources of animation and excitement in life have dried up. Nature has no life of her own. We transfer our own moods and our own feelings of nature.

External sights are illuminated by the light which can flow from the joy in our hearts, and external sounds can acquire a melody only from the joy that must flow from our hearts. The poet recalls the time when he also used to experience this joy, but now he has been crushed by the misfortunes of life. His joy is gone and the power of his creative imagination has greatly declined. It has been twisted and infected by philosophy and metaphysics. Dismissing the depressing thoughts, he turns his attention to the various shrieking, groaning, fearful sounds that the raging storm is producing. In the concluding lines, the poet expresses his good wishes for his wife Sara whom he has addressed several times in the course of the poem. He would like her to enjoy sound sleep and perfect happiness.

Thus, Coleridge felt that his inborn gift of imagination was decaying and that his interest was shifting to philosophy. His talent for poetry was drying up and he was becoming more and more of a philosopher. This thing greatly distressed him and he was dejected at the thought ‘that his interest in abstruse research was crushing his poetic talent’. The poet expresses grief at his loss. He says:

A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,

A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,

Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,

In word, or sigh, or tear—

Seldom has grief found such tragic expression as in this poem which has been called ‘the poet’s dirge of infinite pathos over the grave of creative imagination’. The poet proceeds with an ever-deepening sadness, each stanza charged with heavy gloom. Sadder lines than these were never perhaps written by any poet in the description of his own feelings. It is much sadder and more tragic than Shelley’s Stanzas Written in the mood of ‘Dejection: An Ode’.

5. What was the Reformation? What relations can you identify and trace between the
Renaissance and the Reformation. 

Ans. Renaissance was a cultural movement that began in Italy and spread across Europe while reformation was the Northern European Christian movement.  Renaissance paved the way for the advancement in art and architecture, whereas Reformation paved the way for religious fragmentation.

The scholars of western political thought have confidently asserted that both Renaissance and Reformation are inextricably connected. If there were no Renais­sance, Reformation could not get the opportunity to find its proper progress.

Renaissance considerably broadened the mind and outlook of man. Being enlight­ened by reason and rationality, man came out of the darkness of the Middle Ages. The development of reason and rationality put man on a different stage.

He came to believe that the practices and behaviour of the church and the Pope were absolutely responsible for the decaying condition of the religious world.

As a result of Renaissance people came to believe that religion was a personal affair and they have the right to lead their religious life in accordance with their own reason and belief and the church or the Pope have no power to dictate them. By asserting this, people started to go according to their own reason.

This condition helped the leaders of Reformation to rise against the enormous power and influence of the church. Martin Luther and Calvin properly utilised the situation to challenge the authority of the church.

It is true that Renaissance prepared the field, and the leaders of the Reformation, especially Martin Luther and Calvin sowed the seeds of reforming the church. Under such situation we have actually very little scope to separate Renaissance from Reformation. Again we hold the view that Reformation would never be possible without Renaissance.

The whole issue is a continuous process. The issue is to enlighten the mind of the people, to free their mind from all sorts of superstition and unreasonable ideas and concepts.

In the field of religious thought and experience, the Renaissance opened the gates to a new religious world through the Protestant Reformation.

Renaissance helped Reformation in other ways also. The international relations and trade increased as a result of Renaissance. People of different-parts of the globe came in close contact which broadened their mind and outlook. Renaissance prepared the field for the rise and development of nationality and reasonability in their mind. They refused to be guided by orthodox religion and dictates of church.

Simultaneously, the Reformation Movement removed the unreligious stigma (at least partially) from the body of Christianity. The liberal aspects of Christianity received wide support from the people of other countries.

Renaissance encouraged people to sail to other countries for trading purposes and these people carried with them the reformed Christianity. The world civilisation, liberation, economic progress and development in trade all advanced forward simultaneously. Man was released from darkness un-reasonability by the Renaissance. He was again freed from religious orthodoxy Reformation. The two—pronged attack launched by Renaissance and Reformation created a new world—a world of liberalism, a world of free thought and free trade.

In his Rise of European Liberalism Harold Laski says:

“The contrast between the eager merchant and the avaricious landlord of the Tudor Age, on the one hand, and the priest and the monk on the other, left no doubt of the result of the struggle for the wealth of the church. When, at the Council of Trent, the papacy awakened to the need for reform, it was already too late. For by that time, it had lost the half of its empire. The new men were in the saddle. The new terms of exploitation had been laid down. It was no longer for the new spirit to make its term with the church. It was now the business of the church to make its terms with the new spirit.”

6. Philip Larkin has been called an ‘uncommon poet of common man’. Would you agree? Explain with suitable examples.

Ans. The twentieth century English postmodernist poet Philip Arthur Larkin (1922-1985) is regarded as one of the pioneers of the literary movement of the nineteen-fifties against modernism: The Movement. He is generally known as ‘England’s other Poet Laureate’ for his popularity in postwar England. Larkin’s poems prove his mettle in being “ordinary, colloquial, clear, a quite, reflective, ironic and direct with commonplace experiences”. The predominant themes of his poems include death, disappointment, isolation, pessimism, religion and sex. He uses the technique of dramatic monologue like Robert Browning and Carol Ann Duffy to clearly bring out his own emotions and thoughts to speak out his selfhood. Larkin also seems to be fairly employing conventional poetic forms such as rhyme, stanza and meter. Having breaking away from the rules and conventions of modernist poetry thus Larkin embraces the precepts of newly found Movement poetry.

Larkin belonging to the generation of The Movement English writers such as John Wain, Donald Davie, Kingsley Amis and Thorn Gunn used neither the biting irony of the Modernist poet T.S. Eliot nor the larger philosophical theme of Imagist poet Ezra Pound. The key objective of the anti modernists of The Movement was to rebel against the obscurity and mystification of modernist writers. Andrew Gibson in Larkin and Ordinariness observes: Larkin saw the major ‘modernists’ – Joyce, Eliot, Pound – as having produced a wilfully obscure and esoteric art. Their work was inaccessible to anyone with normal vision”. The poetic styles of modernist poets did not much influence Larkin. T.S. Eliot’s historical and classical allusions, Dylan Thomas’s newly found sonnet form and W.H. Auden’s dramatic language have not made profound impact in Larkin’s writings. Modernism, according to Larkin, ‘helps us neither to enjoy nor endure’. He defines modernism as intellectualized art. “Against intellectualism he proposes not anti-intellectualism- which would be just another coldly willed programme- but trust in the validity of emotion. He is also generally acknowledged to be of view that literature is anti-intellectual and should be made understood to the common man.

The Collection of Philip Larkin’s Poems such as The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows exemplify the same. Robert Conquest puts forth the characteristics of The Movement Poetry:

“In one sense, indeed, the standpoint is not new, but merely the restoration of a sound and fruitful attitude to poetry, of principle, that poetry is written by and the whole, man, intellect, emotion, senses and all … It is free from both mystical and logical compulsions, and like modern philosophy is empirical in its attitude to all that comes.

Conquest further appreciates the literary scholarship of Larkin who strictly adheres to all the characteristics of The Movement Poetry.

A wide array of themes is a major characteristic of modernist poems. It ranges from affluence of natural world to illusions of mystical world. Unlike modernists, The Movement poet Larkin drawing inspiration from Thomas Hardy attempted to bring out the living essence of twentieth century England. He coupled the romantic ideals of subjectivity and aestheticism with modernist or neo-romantic notions of morbidity. Larkin’s poems are therefore known for their treatment of love, religion, death, choice, pessimism and unhappiness in human lives. He was very much able to portray the contemporary circumstances and lives of common people in England. In Church Going, Larkin –an atheist- demonstrates the faithful Christian society of England. He satirizes the common ordinary man who visits the church for only the sake of going.

 

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