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FREE MEG-01 Solved Question Paper of Exam Held in March 2022 (December 2021)

MEG-1 Solved Question Paper of December 2021 Term End Exam held in March 2022

Term-End Examination
December 2021
MEG-01: British Poetry

Q1. Answer any two of the following with reference to the context : 10×2=20
(a) Wilt thou forgive that sinne where I begunne,

Which is my sin, though it were done before ?
Wilt thou forgive those sinnes through Which I runne

(b) Hence vain deluding joyes,
The brood of folly without father bred,
How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toyes;

(c) When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
could scarcely cry “weep!” “weep!” “weep!” “weep!”
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

(d) There is a panther stalks me down :
One day I’ll have my death of him;
His greed has set the moods aflame,
He prowls more lordly than the sun.


(a) Wilt thou forgive that sinne where I begunne,
Which is my sin, though it were done before ?
Wilt thou forgive those sinnes through Which I runne

Context: These lines are taken from the poem Hymn to God the Father by John Donne.

Explanation: In these lines we can very clearly feel the warm impulses tugging at the soul of the poet. It is the rhetorical elaboration of antithesis that makes the impulse clear. The antithesis in “When thou hast done, thou hast not done” let us peep into the state of sinner in regards to God. God grants him forgiveness for his one sin as he says, “Thou has done”, but when he goes again to ask for the same favor from the God he feels that God has not granted him forgiveness for his sin thus we have pot saying, “thou hast not done”. The various pushes and pulls of poet’s internal conflict are depicted perfectly through the antithesis of these lines.

(b) Hence vain deluding joyes,
The brood of folly without father bred,
How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toyes;

Context: These lines are taken from poem Il Penseroso by John Milton.

Explanation: The speaker orders “vain deluding joys” to leave him. He then welcomes Melancholy as a Goddess so bright that humans cannot see her. Instead, they perceive her as appareled in black, the hue of wisdom. She is the daughter of Saturn, a solitary god, and of Vesta, the Goddess of the hearth. The speaker invites Melancholy to come forth and and bring with her as companions Peace, Quiet, Fast (fasting from food), Leisure, and Contemplation, a cherub. A nightingale’s song to interrupt the silence would be welcome, for it would help in “smoothing the rugged brow of night” (line 58). The sight of the moon crossing the sky “Like one that had been led astray/Through the heav’ns wide pathless way” (69- 70) would also be welcome.

Q2. Attempt an analysis of the portraits of the prioress, the monk, the Friar, and the wife of Bath. 20


It is the General Prologue that serves to establish firmly the framework for the entire story-collection: the pilgrimage that risks being turned into a tale-telling competition. The title “General Prologue” is a modern invention, although a few manuscripts call it prologus. There are very few major textual differences between the various manuscripts. The structure of the General Prologue is a simple one. After an elaborate introduction in lines 1-34, the narrator begins the series of portraits (lines 35-719). These are followed by a report of the Host’s suggestion of a tale-telling contest and its acceptance (lines 720-821). On the following morning the pilgrims assemble and it is decided that the Knight shall tell the first tale (lines 822-858).

Chaucer, the narrator begins the description of the characters with the Knight.

The Knight is the picture of a professional soldier, come straight from foreign wars with clothes all stained from his armour. His travels are remarkably vast; he has fought in Prussia, Lithuania, Russia, Spain, North Africa, and Turkey against Pagans, Moors, and Saracens, killing many. The variety of lords for whom

he has fought suggests that he is some kind of mercenary,
but it seems that Chaucer may have known people at
the English court with similar records. The narrator
insists: “He was a verray, parfit, gentil knight,” but some
modern readers, ill at ease with idealized warriors, and
doubtful about the value of the narrator’s enthusiasms,
have questioned this evaluation.

His son, the Squire, is by contrast an elegant young man about court, with fashionable clothes and romantic skills of singing and dancing.

Their Yeoman is a skilled servant in charge of the knight’s land; his dress is described in detail, but not his character.

The Prioress is one of the most fully described pilgrims, and it is with her that we first notice the narrator’s refusal to judge the value of what he sees. Her portrait is more concerned with how she eats than how she prays. She is rather too kind to animals, while there is no mention of her kindness to people. Finally, she has a costly set of beads around her arm, which should be used for prayer, but end in a brooch inscribed ambiguously Amor vincit omnia (Virgil’s “Love conquers all”). She has a Nun with her and “three” priests. This is a problem in counting the total number of pilgrims as twenty-nine: the word ‘three’ must have been added later on account of the rhyme, while only one Nun’s Priest is in fact given a Tale and he is not the subject of a portrait here.

The Monk continues the series of incongruous church- people; in this description the narratorial voice often seems to be echoing the monk’s comments in indirect quotation. He has many horses at home; he does not respect his monastic rule, but goes hunting instead of praying. The narrator expresses surprisingly strong support for the Monk’s chosen style of living.

The Friar follows, and by now it seems clear that

Chaucer has a special interest in church-people who so confidently live in contradiction with what is expected of them; the narrator, though, gives no sign of feeling any problem, as when he reports that the “worthy” Friar avoided the company of lepers and beggars. By this point the alert reader is alert to the narrator’s too-ready use of ‘worthy’ but critics are still unsure of what Chaucer’s intended strategy was here.

The Merchant is briefly described, and is followed by the Clerk of Oxenford (Oxford) who is as sincere a student as could be wished: poor, skinny like his horse, and book-loving.

The Sergeant at Law is an expert lawyer, and with him is the Franklin, a gentleman from the country whose main interest is food: “It snowed in his house of meat and drink.” Then Chaucer adds a brief list of five tradesmen belonging to the same fraternity, dressed in its uniform: a Haberdasher, a Carpenter, a Weaver, a

Dyer and a Tapestry-maker. None of these is described here or given a Tale to tell later. They have brought their Cook with them, he is an expert, his skills are listed, as well as some unexpected personal details. The Shipman who is described next is expert at sailing and at stealing the wine his passengers bring with them; he is also a dangerous character, perhaps a pirate.

The Doctor of Physics is praised by the narrator, “He was a verray parfit praktisour,” and there follows a list of the fifteen main masters of medieval medicine; the fact that he, like most doctors in satire, “loved gold in special” is added at the end.

The Wife of Bath is the only woman, beside the

Prioress and her companion Nun, on this pilgrimage. Again the narrator is positive: “She was a worthy woman al hir live” and he glides quickly over the five husbands that later figure in such detail in her Prologue, where also we may read how she became deaf. She is a business woman of strong self-importance, and her elaborate dress is a sign of her character as well as her wealth.

From her, we pass to the most clearly idealized portrait in the Prologue, the Parson. While the previous churchmen were all interested in things of this world more than in true christianity, the Parson represents the opposite pole.

He is accompanied by his equally idealized brother, the Plowman, “a true swinker” (hard-working man) “Living in peace and perfect charity.” If the Parson is the model churchman, the Plowman is the model Christian, as in Piers Plowman, one who is always ready to help the poor. It is sometimes suggested that the choice of a Plowman shows that Chaucer had read a version of Piers Plowman.

The series then ends with a mixed group of people of whom most are quite terrible: the Miller is a kind of ugly thug without charm. The Manciple is praised as a skillful steward in a household of lawyers; they are clever men but he is cleverest, since he cheats them all, the narrator cheerfully tells us. The Reeve is the manager of a farm, and he too is lining his own pocket.

Last we learn of the Summoner and the Pardoner, two grotesque figures on the edge of the church, living by it without being priests; one administers the church courts, the other sells pardons (indulgences). Children are afraid of the Summoner’s face, he is suffering from some kind of skin disease; he is corrupt, as the narrator tells us after naively saying “A better fellow should men not find.” But it is the Pardoner who is really odd, and modern critics have enjoyed discussing just what Chaucer meant by saying: “I trowe he were a gelding or a mare”. With his collection of pigs’ bones in a glass, that he uses as relics of saints to delude simple poor people, he is a monster in every way, and he concludes the list of pilgrims.

The narrator of this Prologue is Chaucer, but this pilgrim Chaucer is not to be too simply identified with the author Chaucer. He explains that in what follows, he is only acting as the faithful reporter of what others have said, without adding or omitting anything; he must not then be blamed for what he reports. Neither must he be blamed if he does not put people in the order of their social rank, “My wit is short, ye may well understand.” This persona continues to profess the utter naivety that we have already noted in his uncritical descriptions of the pilgrims.

Q3. Can “Mac Flecknoe” be called a comic fantasy? Comment. 20


A satire is funny, but not in all the cases. Sometimes satire can be bitter and evoke our terror. But in Mac Flecknoe the fun and humour we witness, is excellent. Dryden takes us into a journey which is not only funny but also hilarious. The attack of Dryden on the bad literature involves not only beauty but also the use of wit in such a way that it turns out in to reality of life experiences. Indeed, Mac Flecknoe is full of fun and wit and there is no denial of this fact.

Written in about 1678, “Mac Flecknoe” is the outcome of a series of disagreements between Thomas Shadwell and Dryden. Their quarrel blossomed from the following disagreements: “(i) their different estimates of the genius of Ben Jonson, (ii) the preference of Dryden for comedy of wit and repartee and of Shadwell, the chief disciple of Jonson, for humours comedy, (iii) a sharp disagreement over the true purpose of comedy, (iv) contention over the value of rhymed plays, and (v) plagiarism.

Flecknoe comprehends that it is time for his departure as he has for long reigned over the realms of dullness beginning his tenure like Augustus at an early age. The first two lines are an ostentatious platitude on the transience of Life; how Fate eventually wins over the former. The only common aspect between Flecknoe and Augustus was that both of them began to rule young; the insignificance of Flecknoe is contrasted against the

stature of Augustus, in keeping with the mock-heroic tradition. Flecknoe was indubitably the undisputed King of Dullness in the realms of prose and verse. He has produced a large number of dunces and now seriously contemplates over a successor. Flecknoe pitches on Shadwell owing to a persistent dullness right from his literary infancy. There is a Biblical allusion as to how God created man in his own image. Again following the mock-heroic tradition the grandeur of God is contrasted against the conformed stupidity of Shadwell.

The other dunces have occasionally showed flashes of genius while Shadwell has consistently exemplified his expertise in the field of dullness. While others may create something intelligible once in a while, Shadwell never deviates from his record-his graph is steady and consistent for dullness.

Subsequently, the poet goes on to gibe at the corpulence of Thomas Shadwell with not too sarcastic. Dryden mocks at Shadwell’s idiocy. The man blocks the whole of vision with his huge structure. The imposing structure comes across as a huge oak that is monotonous and insensate. Just as the oak blocks the rays of the sun, Shadwell permits no enlightment of minds.

As per Dryden, Shirley and Heywood were insignificant and loquacious. They utilized words extensively without communicating any real sense. Nevertheless, Shadwell overshadowed them in their talent for verbosity. He thereby has earned himself the much coveted title of “the Prophet of Tautology”. Flecknoe is ecstatic at the fact though he is greater in absurdity than Shirley and Heywood, Shadwell has outdone them all. Verging on blasphemy, Mac Flecknoe likens himself to St. John the Baptist who arrived before Jesus to pave the way for the Savior. Likewise, the advent of Flecknoe is merely a prelude to the heralding of the ultimate epitome of Dullness, Shadwell.

Q4. Discuss “The Prelude” as an autobiographical poem. 20


Yeats in his A Vision has produced one of the most remarkable books of the last hundred years. It is in this book Yeats uses the system to present a coherent formulation of natural and supernatural. The system can be conveniently broken into three parts: a picture of history, an account of human psychology and an account of life of the soul after death. The Theory of History is the easiest aspect of the system. It bears a close resemblance to the Spengler’s cycle theory. Civilization runs through the cycles through two-thousand odd years, periods of growth, of maturity and of decline. Yeats uses symbolism drawn from the twenty-eight phases of moon. A civilization reaches its zenith at the full moon (phase

15) and then gradually declines, passing through phases 16 to 28 (the dark of the moon). Yeats further complicates his scheme by dividing his cycle into two sub-cycles of twenty-eight phases and of one one-thousand odd years each. The phases 15 of these two

sub-cycles which make up two thousand years of Christian civilization are for example, Byzantine civilization under Justinian and the Renaissance. Our own period is at phase 23 of the second sub-cycle: the moon is rounding toward the dark when the new civilization to dominate the next two thousand years will announce itself – “The Second Coming.”

In Yeats’s system man possesses: Will; Mask; Creative mind; and Body of fate. All four faculties are divided into two sets, and each member of the pair is opposite to the other. A man is classified under the phase to which his Will belongs. The Mask is always opposite to this phases. The basic form of the whole system in A Vision is the gyre, the one end of which widens concomitantly while the other narrows. Will and mask are fixed in such a relation in one gyre, while Creative mind and Body of fate in the other. “All things are from antithesis”, Yeats observes, “all things dying each other’s life, living each other’s death.”

The three symbols–Moon, mask and gyre are central to Yeats’s poem. The Moon represents fickle fortune and is associative cluster of female fertility, virginity, and sensuality. The mask fundamentally is a theatrical metaphor and the gyre symbolizes the Yeats’s concept of history and civilization.

Yeats’s poetic career can be easily divided into two phases. Both the phases are in fact opposed to each other but still are present the same view of the Yeats’ yearning for the escape from the world of mechanistic and positivistic ideas. Yeats presents the assured mastery of an evocative style which in fact is an amalgamation of Spenser, Shelley, William Morris and Pre-Raphaelites, in poems like In the Wandering of Oisin (1889), Crossway (1889), The Rose (1893), The wind Among the Reeds (1899), and In the Seven Woods (1904). If one says that these poems lack the strength and precision than only if these are compared with his later poems.

Together with Lady Gregory he founded the Irish Theatre, which was to become the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief playwright until the movement was joined by John Synge. His plays usually treat Irish legends; they also reflect his fascination with mysticism and spiritualism. The Countess Cathleen (1892), The Land of Heart’s Desire (1894), Cathleen ni Houlihan (1902), The King’s Threshold (1904), and Deirdre (1907) are among the best known.

After 1910, Yeats’s dramatic art took a sharp turn toward a highly poetical, static, and esoteric style. His later plays were written for small audiences; they experiment with masks, dance, and music, and were profoundly influenced by the Japanese Noh plays. Although a convinced patriot, Yeats deplored the hatred and the bigotry of the Nationalist movement, and his poetry is full of moving protests against it. He was appointed to the Irish Senate in 1922. Yeats is one of the few writers whose greatest works were written after the award of the Nobel Prize. Whereas he received the Prize chiefly for his dramatic works, his significance today rests on his lyric achievement. His poetry, especially the volumes The Wild Swans at Coole (1919), Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921), The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933), and Last Poems and Plays (1940), made him one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets writing in English. His recurrent themes are the contrast of art and life, masks, cyclical theories of life (the symbol of the winding stairs), and the ideal of beauty and ceremony contrasting with the hubbub of modern life.

Q6. Attempt an analysis of Eliot’s poetic vision in the “The Waste Land”. 20


The modernist text that becomes most conspicuously identified with the contradictory effects of this project is, of course, Eliot’s The Waste Land. Canonized as the premier address to “the unprecedented death toll of the First World War,” its historical reference encloses the illogical nexus of marital and feminist discourses of population control in order to sublate them wholly to the mythology of sacral fertility. Upon the editorial pruning by Pound, the poem’s opening introduces a montage of displaced historical codes for the outbreak and aftermath of World War-I: the postwar haunting of watering places by the dislocated German aristocrats from eastern Europe, the ethnic chauvinisms and tensions of the Hapsburg Empire displaced from the Balkans to the Baltic, and the figure of the arch-duke careening downhill on a sled nearly out of control: “Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch. / And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s / My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled, / And I was frightened.” The challenge of the poem may be sited in the insomniac reading of the baroness: “I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.” What does one read after the catastrophe of a war that murders sleep, and what a writing replaces the peace foreclosed by historical nightmare? “Falling towers / Jerusalem Athens Alexandria / Vienna London.” The fall and dispersal of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Vienna) opens the text, and the deferred twilight of the British Empire (London), ingesting the religion of its colonies along with India’s tea and spices, closes it in a cacophony of indigested and untranslated quotations that textually foreclose geopolitical peace. The poem’s tacit attempt to reconstitute a third empire of polyglot and polymath a culture–what Eagleton describes as “an alternative text which is nothing less than the closed, coherent, authoritative discourse of the mythologies a which frame it”–becomes no more than another haunting, another invasion of the poem by the dead. “Eliot celebrates the voices of the dead,” Maud Ellmann writes, “but he comes to dread their verbal ambush in The Waste Land.”

Ellmann’s elegant rhetorical summation of the poem’s compulsive attempt to remember and resurrect the dead through a doomed prosopopoeia–“The Waste Land strives to give a face to death”–endows the impossibility of representing the mass death and

destruction of World War-I with a compelling figure of poetic performativity. But one might argue that there are two kinds of dead trying to appear in the poem, and that they are not equal: the poetic dead voices of the literary tradition, whose eloquence is the louder for the fragmentariness of their utterance, and the voiceless war dead. Indeed, even the figure of the spared, the demobbed of returning soldier who gives the poem its most direct and specific historical reference, is not detachable from the repulsiveness of the mob. His wife, in fact, is given a face, or gives herself a face (“pulling a long face”), and it is the face of an anti-Helen; the face that launched a thousand ships becomes the young version of Pound’s “old bitch gone in the teeth.” Lil is a young bitch gone in the teeth, whose toothless face creates universal aversion: “He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you. / And no more can’t I, I said.” In attaching Lil’s supreme ugliness to the unwholesomeness of her class, Eliot tracks highly specific causalities – the toothlessness of calcium deficiency from the multi-parity of six pregnancies before the age of thirty-one [“You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. / (And her only thirty-one)”]– back to the pullulating breeding of the masses.

The poem reverses the flow of the war dead to return them, by way of London Bridge, to the teeming slums from which they came. Eliot, like Lewis, tropes the war as a bridge between home and front, between living and dead–“The bridge, you see, is the war” (BB, 2)–and this bridge crosses, too, the discourses of population control that have cast their contradictory shadows upon other modernistic war writing. Reversing Gaudier’s “good mouth,” Lil’s toothless head is carved into the barren landscape like a giant dead skull: “Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit” [I. 339] to be traversed by “the hooded hordes swarming / Over endless plain, stumbling in the cracked earth.” But in spite of the industrial and urban pollution (“The river sweats oil and tar”) they produce along with the “White bodies naked on the low damp ground / And bones cast in a little low dry garret,” the poem blasts Birth-Control for the masses as surely as did Blast. “You are a proper fool,” says Lil’s interlocutor of her botched abortion, and Lil replies, “The chemist said it would be all right, but I’ve never been the same.” As a form of population control, the war too was a botched abortion–of the sort that reduced her progeny, but left Lil ill, disfigured, and prematurely aged. World War-I may have reduced some of Europe’s unwanted masses, but at the price of leaving her countries weak, disfigured, and spiritually desiccated.

Q7. Bring out the Imagist elements in Eliot and Pound. 20


In The Waste Land, Eliot presents many symbolic representation of waste land which is related to different faculties in modern sense, such as:

(a) The waste land of religion

(b) The waste land of spirit

(c) The waste land of the reproductive instinct. The poem is about Eliot’s own sense of anarchy

and futility which he witnesses everywhere. He doesn’t seem to have any intention for speaking of the disillusionment of the entire generation but still his poem is one of the most influential social criticisms of the world in which Eliot lived.

The poem can be seen as a reflection of Eliot’s disillusionment with the moral decay of post – World War-I Europe. In the work, this sense of disillusionment manifests itself symbolically through a type of Holy Grail legend. Eliot cited two books from which he drew to create the poem’s symbolism: Jessie L. Weston’s From Ritual to Romance (1920) and Sir James G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (1890).

All the difficulties with the late-nineteenth-century idea of style seem to be summed up in The Waste Land. It is, to begin with, a poem that includes an interpretation—and one “probably not in accordance with the facts of its origin”—as part of the poem, and it is therefore a poem that makes a problem of its meaning precisely by virtue of its apparent (and apparently inadequate) effort to explain itself. We cannot understand the poem without knowing what it meant to its author, but we must also assume that what the poem meant to its author will not be its meaning. The notes to The Waste Land are, by the logic of Eliot’s philosophical critique of interpretation, simply another riddle—and not a separate one to be solved. They are, we might say, the poem’s way of treating itself as a reflex, a “something not intended as a sign,” a gesture whose full significance

it is impossible, by virtue of the nature of gestures, for the gesturer to explain.”

Eliot’s waste land suffers from a dearth of love and faith. It is impossible to demarcate precisely at every point between the physical and the spiritual symbolism of the poem; as in “Gerontion” the speaker associates the failure of love with his spiritual dejection. It is clear enough, however, that the contemporary waste land is not, like that of the romances, a realm of sexless sterility. The argument emerges that in a world that makes too much of the physical and too little of the spiritual relations between the sexes, Tiresias, for whom love and sex must form a unity, has been ruined by his inability to unify them. The action of the poem, as Tiresias recounts it, turns thus on two crucial incidents: the garden scene in Part-I and the approach to the Chapel Perilous in Part-V. The one is the traditional initiation in the presence of the Grail; the other is the mystical initiation, as described by Jessie L.Weston, into spiritual knowledge. The first, if successful, would constitute rebirth through love and sex; the second, rebirth without either. Since both fail, the quest fails, and the poem ends with a formula for purgatorial suffering, through which Tiresias may achieve the second alternative after patience and self-denial—perhaps after physical death. The counsel to give, sympathize, and control befits one whom direct ways to beatitude cannot release from suffering.

Q8. Q. 8. Attempt a critical appreciation of any one poem: 20
(a) “I Remember, I Remember”
(b) “Poem in October”
(c) “An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot”
(d) “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”


(a) “I Remember, I Remember”

In an early poem titled “I Remember, I Remember”,

Philip Larkin imagines a train journey which returns him unexpectedly to his birth place in the English Midlands: “‘Why, Coventry!’ I exclaimed. ‘I was born here.’” Comically echoing Thomas Hood’s Victorian poem of the same title, Larkin subtly deflates the familiar romantic childhood idylls associated with other writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Dylan Thomas. The poem ends glumly with an acceptance of the unremarkable and the undistinguished: “‘Nothing, like something, happens anywhere’”. Looking out on a changing English landscape from the vantage point of a train window was to become a hallmark of Larkin’s work, memorably repeated in poems such as “Here” and “The Whitsun Weddings”.

The title of this poem, “I Remember, I Remember”, is a reference to another poem of the same name by Thomas Hood, a poem which shows the reader an adult’s wistful remembrance of his childhood.

Similarly, Larkin’s poem is written from the point of view of an adult reflecting on his childhood. The fact that the speaker “leant for out, and squinnied for a sign/ That this was still the town that had been ‘mine’”, shows that he was looking back on his past from a distance, sort of like an observer. The role of the speaker as an observer is further emphasized by the speaker merely being a passenger on a train passing by the town, seeing the scene flash before him. Similarly, he contemplates each memory from his childhood fleetingly.

The language used in the poem is conversational yet poetic, exaggerating slightly, as memory is wont to do, the significant events in the speaker’s childhood.

The events which seem to have been so important to him in his childhood he now denies, which show reluctance in the speaker to revisit and share his past with his friend. The dissatisfaction and disdain felt by the speaker for his childhood is obvious, especially in the tone of the last line – ‘Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.’ This line is a powerful ending to the poem. It writes off the events described throughout the entire poem as “nothing”, and indicates that everything in the poem could have happened “anywhere”, showing typical adult cynicism and dissatisfaction with life and youth, rather than fond remembrance, bringing to mind the bittersweet irony of the title of the poem “I Remember, I Remember”.



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