IGNOU BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment 2021-22- Help first

BEGC 104

British Poetry and Drama – 14th to 17th Century

BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment 2021 July & 2022 Jan

BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment

Q. 1. Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each. (a) Courtly love sonnet

Ans. Edmund Spenser made the Spenserian stanza familiar. The Spenserian stanza is

lyrical, measured and greatly controlled. Spenser became a model of versification

for the English Romantic poets. In the 19th century, poets including Keats and

Byron, made use of the Spenserian verse. Spenser is also known as the poet of

allegory which he used in The Faerie Queene and The Shepherdes Calendar.


The Elizabethan love poets liked the courtly love sonnet or lyric. Wyatt introduced

the love sonnet to the English court audience. In the conventional courtly love

sonnet, which was taken from Italian poetry, the subject was the pining lover and

the beautiful but pitiless beloved. The sonnet provided the image of a man pleading

with a girl to respond to his love. The sonnets displayed the lover’s love-sick

self, dwelled on the charms of the girl and pleaded her to take pity on him. The

English poets had the expression of love and combined it with other literary

traditions and attitudes. They picked up the Chaucerian style and weaved it with

the Italian. Wyatt’s sonnet “They Flee from Me” is an example.

BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment
BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment

(b) The Elizabethan World

Ans. In a letter written to Walter Ralegh, Spenser had written his idea of what a

poet should be and the role he was to play in contemporary society. He wrote to

Ralegh that “The general end therefore of all the booke is to fashion a gentleman

or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline”. Spenser believed good

literature fashions a gentleman and makes him virtuous. Spenser wanted to be

recognized as a modern poet who belonged to the changing time capable of expressing

new developments in his society. That experimentation led to The Spenserian Sonnet

which later augmented a new canon of English poetry. The sonnet was new to English

writing and it required careful handling. Lyricism and folk culture gained

freshness of spirit and appeal in Spenser’s hands. It moved nearer to the English

idiom and widened the scope of poetic expression. It dwelt neither on narrative nor

moralizing, but focused on the mental state of an emotional person taken up with

the urge to live and express. He was the first English poet after Chaucer to have

become a representative voice of Elizabethan England. He is the forerunner of

Shakespeare and Milton. He is also known as the national poet of England writing

poems that presented the grandeur of the English kingdom and the rule of the queen.

According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Spenser’s writings have the brightest and

purest form of nationality which was common in elder poets. There is nothing

unamiable and nothing contemptuous of others. To glorify their country, to elevate

England into a queen, an empress of the heart, this was their passion and object.

The nation needed at the time and Spenser filled that gap in English poetry. In

Spenser, the spirit of chivalry is entirely predominant, although with a much

greater infusion of the poet’s own individual self into it than is found in any

other writer. He has the wit of the southern with the deeper inwardness of the

northern genius.

Italian and Latin comedies were source for Elizabethan comedies. These comedies

used to be often romances in praise of patron or monarch. Love and suffering were

the main theme of Elizabethan comedies. During this period,history plays and

chronicles were common. As far as tragedy was concerned, they used Seneca as a

model. Being melodramatic, these tragedies used to be full of emotional speeches

and scenes. A great deal of stage views were used by playwriters skillfully.

Tragedies were concerned with the darker side of human characters such as

immorality, greed and cruelty. Most of the time they also touched the melancholic

aspects of human life. Almost all the playwrights of this age took interest in

contemporary politics and history….

Christopher Marlowe’s privileged and strange two-part tragedy Tamburlaine (1587-

1589) Thomas Kyd’s popular revenge tragedy The Spanish Tragedy (1589), William

Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet (1595), and Thomas Heywood’s

domestic tragedy A Woman Killed With Kindness (1603) are the most influential

tragedies. These models for tragic drama were developed by writers like George

Chapman, John Webster, John Ford, Philip Massinger, and James Shirley. A related

line of historical drama can be traced from John Bale’s moral history King John

(1539) through Marlowe’s Edward II (1592), Shakespeare’s first (Henry VI, Part One;

Henry VI, Part Two; Henry VI, Part Three; and Richard III) and second 15 (Richard

II; Henry IV, Part One: Henry IV, Part Two; and Henry V). Other historicals trace

Shakespeare and John Fletcher’s Henry VIII (1613), and Ford’s Perkin Warbeck

(1634). In Elizabethan England, travelling companies staged performances in barns

and yards and they were at the mercy of guilds. By the end of the 16th century, two

public playhouses had come up outside of London where the people enjoyed drama.

These playhouses were the Theatre (1576) and the Curtain (1577). They were followed

by Rose (1587), Swan (1595), Globe (1599), Red Bull (1605) and Hope (1614). All

were built outside of the city limits to avoid problems with the city government.

Some theatres were built inside the city limits but were the private playhouses,

allowing for a smaller and wealthier audience. Dramas presented through these

playhouses manifest the contemporary society to the audience. The patronage of the

court of the kingdom made the dramatic companies

The courts and counselors used to visit the theatres to enjoy drama and share

audience entertainment. Tragedy does not get success without audience’s interest in

serious matters of tragedy. At the theatres like the Red Bull especially during the

holidays the common men used to stand under the stage to evaluate the incidents of

the play. But at the Globe, there were courtiers, university men, gentlemen and

their wives and merchants for evaluation.

BEGC 104 Free Solved Assignment


Q. 1. Answer the following reference to the context in about 300 words each: (a) I

was aboute to wedde a wyf; allas,
What shold I bye it on my flesh so deere?
Yet hadde I leverewedde no wyf to-yeere!

Ans. Context: These lines are taken from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Explanation: In the days of King Arthur, the Wife of Bath begins, the isle of

Britain was full of fairies and elves. Now, those creatures are gone because their

spots have been taken by the friars and other mendicants that seem to fill every

nook and cranny of the isle. And though the friars rape women, just as the incubi

did in the days of the fairies, the friars only cause women dishonour-the incubi

always got them pregnant. In Arthur’s court, however, a young, lusty knight comes

across a beautiful young maiden one day. Overcome by lust and his sense of his own

power, he rapes her. The court is scandalized by the crime and decrees that the

knight should be put to death by decapitation. In these lines writer wants to

convey that “Oh my God,” interrupted the Pardoner just then. “By God and Saint

John, you sure do have a lot to say about marriage and sex! I thought about getting

married soon, but I’m not so sure I want my wife to have control over my life and

my body like that. Maybe I shouldn’t get married at all!”

(b) With thousand arrowes, which your eies have shot:
Yet shoot ye sharpely still, and spare me not,
But glory thinke to make these cruel stoures.

Ans. Context: These lines are taken from Sonnet LVII. Sweet warrior! when shall I

have peace with you by Edmund Spenser.

Explanation: In the sonnet LVII- (Sweet Warrior), Spenser the poet describes

himself as a mere slave pleading her in order to make her accept his proposal. The

sonnet continues the ongoing struggle the speaker suffers in dealing with an

unresponsive beloved. The lover addresses his beloved as a “Sweet warrior” and asks

a question “when shall I have peace with you?” The question is self evident of the

frustration and desperation in his tone. Like that of many Shakespearean sonnets,

this sonnet continues with the torment the speaker is going through while dealing

with an indifferent beloved. The lover asks her to end the war she has waged

against him as he cannot tolerate anymore. His powers have weakened and his wounds

have deteriorated. He says that the arrows shot from her eyes pierced through his

heart and make him unable to survive without her. In the final two lines he

requests her to “Make peace” “and graunt” him timely grace”, “so That” all his

“wounds will heale in little space.” Her attacks are the constant refusals that

make him suffer.

(C)For I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
And eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.

Ans. Context: These lines are taken from Sonnet 75 by Edmund Spenser.

Explanation: The poem begins by setting the scene: the speaker (the “I”) of the

poem is at the strand with his gal pal. The strand, in case you are not up on

Spenser’s lingo, is another name for the shore-you know, the sandy part of the

beach.So the speaker and his beloved are chilling at the beach, and he decides to

get all romantic and write her name in the sand. Aw, cuteness.

But then the waves wash away her name-sadness. Before we move on, let’s just take

note of the poem’s form. We know from the title that it’s a sonnet (what’s up, 14-

line poem) but we’re not so sure about the rhyme scheme yet. There’s no rhyming

going on in these lines. You might also want to note that the poem has ten-syllable

lines, which should put you on iambic pentameter alert.


Q. 1. Discuss the character of Dr. Faustus.

Ans. From the very beginning it’s foreshadowed that Faustus is doomed for a tragic

end: illustrated vividly in the allusion to the story of Icarus the Chorus

discusses in the opening of the play. After Faustus becomes skilled in the dark

arts, he summons the devil Mephist, and shortly afterwards, renounces his trust and

allegiance to God completely. Faustus’s foray into the dark arts is the beginning

of the fall for his character, but it’s ultimately his flaws that lead to this

eventual tragedy. Throughout the story Faustus struggles profoundly with his faith

and what he should believe in. He’s drawn to the dark arts and the powers and

prestige it gives him, but at the same time he realizes that he’s ultimately living

a life completely devoid of God. This struggle is further symbolized through the

good angel and evil angel that give him advice many times throughout the story. As

the good angel tells him, he can repent at any time and God will forgive him of his

sins, saving him from the state and dammed fate he currently is in. However,

through what appears to be lack of inner strength, he always denies this choice,

thinking he has given himself up to a life of
damnation and there’s no going back. There’s a great struggle throughout the play

on Faustus s part, as he finds he can never give up this power that he gains from

magic completely. Faustus displays this inner struggle the few times he’s on the

verge of repenting, in an effort begin life again in God’s presence. However, each

time something tempts him and leads him astray: whether it be threats by Mephist or

the enticement of the deadly sins from Lucifer himself. Therefore, this inner

struggle of faith and lack of strength is one the key flaws in leading to his fall

as a character.

Dr. Faustus is described as being an incredibly wise man of stature that has risen

to great heights in life. The Chorus reveals at the opening of the play that

Faustus came from a family that was at the bottom of society, yet he has risen up

to a high, and respected, position: “Now is he born of parents base of stock”.

Faustus is further described as being a brilliant scholar who is well renowned

among others of his kind, and is a true Renaissance man. At the beginning of the

play, it’s clear that Faustus could be a master of many professions if he so

desired to in life. However, what Faustus wants is something greater: true power

and abilities that are beyond the limits of what a normal man can achieve. Faustus

in a long soliloquy discusses these high ambitions and dreams he has- of obtaining
riches, becoming infinitely knowledgeable and wise, and to even reshape the entire

continent of Europe. His ambitions appear initially overly prideful, but, they are

also shown as very grand and ambitious in scope. Therefore, these ambitions

illustrate Faustus as someone who is heroic and admirable in character. The fact

that Faustus decides to take part in the dark arts, is also, something to respect,

as the prospect of pushing the limits of what humans can achieve is a quite brave

and audacious concept. Faustus could have become an expert among many highly

respected professions, but instead, he decides to become involved in ‘magic’,

taking a road less travelled that proves to be both a dangerous and a risky venture

for his character, the man, who does not know what is good and what is bad. When

the Good Angle and the Evil Angel appear and speak of both the negative positive

aspects, the man Faustus prefers the Evil Angel and he cannot come out of the trap.

The scholar Faustus, however, tell him there is a positive aspect also. The Angels

can also be interpreted as one Dr. Faustus the scholar and Faustus the man.
When we first meet Faustus, he is a man who is dissatisfied with his studies in

dialectics, law, medicine, and divinity. Even though he is the most brilliant

scholar in the world, his studies have not brought him satisfaction, and he is

depressed about the limitations of human knowledge. In order to satisfy his thirst

for greater knowledge, he decides to experiment in necromancy. He wants to

transcend the bonds of normal human life and discover the heights beyond. One might

say that he wants to have Godlike qualities.

Faustus is willing to sell his soul to the devil under the terms of a contract by

which he will receive twenty-four years of service from Mephistophilis and, at the

end of this time, will relinquish his soul to Lucifer. At first he is potentially a

great man who desires to perform beneficial acts for humanity, but as a result of

his willingness to exchange his soul for a few years of pleasure, he begins to sink

toward destruction. He allows his powers to be reduced to performing nonsensical

tricks and to satisfying his physical appetites.

At various times throughout the drama, Faustus does stop and consider his dilemma

and comes to the verge of repentance. He often thinks about repentance, but he

consciously remains aligned with Mephistophilis and Lucifer, and never takes the

first steps to obtain forgiveness. By the end of the drama, when he is waiting for

his damnation, he rationalizes his refusal to mainto God.Online Study and E-


Throughout the drama, internal and external forces suggest that Faustus could have

turned to God and could have been forgiven. Ja the final scene, the scholars want

Faustus to make an attempt to seek the forgiveness of God, but Faustus rationalizes

that he has lived against the dictates of God, and he makes no effort to invoke

God’s forgiveness until the appearance of the devils. By then, he can only scream

out in agony and horror at his final fate.

Q. 2. Write a critical appreciation on ‘Death Be Not Proud’.

Ans. The poet addresses death in the sonnet “Death, Be Not Proud”. Here, the poet

does not speak of the power of death or its inevitability. He reprimands death for

being too proud and remarks that for him death doesn’t hold sway over the world nor

can it overpower him individually. He argues that death is “for those whom thou

think’st, thou doest overthrow/die not”. The poet also calls Death “poore” – it is

not human beings who are the subject of pity but death itself deserves that

denigration. Note the assurance in the poet-subject’s words “nor yet canst thou

kill me”. He says death makes a picture of sleep and rest, while life keeps on

moving. When the best of men are taken by death, they shed only the bodily form.

Donne also suggests that death lives in the company of disease, squalor and war.

Simultaneously, he says that Death is a “slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate


Both fate and chance can cause deaths, kings can order executions, and desperate

men unthinkingly may kill people. The poet strips death of its power as an

independent agency. He suggests that to reach eternity we don’t need death since

“poppie and charms can make us sleepe as well/ and better than thy stroake”. Death

stands rebuked for swelling in conceit. Donne projects an unenviable picture of

death. Donne has personified death throughout the poem, stating it should not be

proud. Being proud is a human quality. Hence, death is given a human quality of

having feelings and emotions. Donne has also used metaphors in this poem. The first

is used in the opening line “Death, be not Proud.” Here, death is compared to a

proud man. The second is used in the ninth line, “Thou art slave to fate.” In the

last line in an extended metaphor where death is compared to the non-existent or

unrealistic object.

The major theme in “Death, be not Proud” is the powerlessness of death. It

comprises the poet’s emotions, mocking the position of death and arguing that death

is unworthy of fear or awe. Death gives birth to our souls. Thus, it should not

consider itself mighty, or superior as ‘death’ is not invincible. The poet also

considers death an immense pleasure similar to sleep and rest. For him, the drugs

can also provide the same experience. The poem foreshadows the realistic

presentation of death and firmly believes in eternal life after death. The poet has

presented death as a powerless figure. He denies the authority of death with

logical reasoning, saying the death does not kill people. It liberates their souls

and directs them to eternal life. He does not consider it man’s invincible

conqueror. Instead, he calls it a poor fellow without having free will. The arrival

of death is also compared with a short rest and sleep that recuperates a person for

the upcoming journey. The poet’s denial to the conventional approach of death gives

the reader a new interpretation. Donne has personified death throughout the poem,

stating it should not be proud. Being proud is a human quality. Hence, death is

given a human quality of having feelings and emotions.

John Donne revolted against the Elizabethans in manner and in matter. He rejected

the sweet, idealized Petrarchan, Platonic and Arcadian style and brought into

English poetry intellectualism, complexity, analysis farfetched imagery, wit,

medieval scholasticism and naturalness. He is not a metaphysical poet in the strict

philosophical sense. He is a metaphysical poet because of his style, wit, imagery

and intellectualism, and also because he is thoughtful and imaginative besides

being aware or the clash between the older physics on the one hand, and the new

science of Copernicus and Galileo and Bacon on the other. He is not a

representative poet of his age. But he was well aware of the iron age’ which he

satirizes. His poetry creates nety thoughts and expresses them in a new manner. He

yoked together heterogeneous ideas forcibly. His mind was nearer to Medievalism

than to the Renaissance. He adopted medieval mysticism and scholasticism enveloping

them within intellectualism. So his poetry contains experiences which appeal to the

modern mind. His lyrics are the cries of the Nightingale of the Jacobean Choir! His

rhythms are unconventional. His satires are rich in thought and wit. But they are

‘harsh, witty, lucid, full of a young man’s scorn offools’ and low callings, and a

young thinker’s consciousness of the problems of religion in an age of divided

faiths and oljustice in a corrupt world. As a poet of love he is superb. In range

and poignancy he is the greatest of love poets. His love is based on his

experiences. There are three strains in his love poetry – the cynical showing

contempt for women and their inconstancy; the Platonic expressing the union of

souls and making it a spiritual realization and the conjugal emphasizing the

physical and sensual pleasure. His conception of love differs from that ofhis


His style is remarkable for its elaboration of a figure with ingenuity with its

rapid association of thoughts, with its telescoping of images and multiple

associations with its heterogeneity of material. The simplicity of language and

complexity of expression make his vocabulary plain and pure. His rhythmic movement

depends on his subtle, doubling and shiftings of the stress. The opening of his

poem is generally dramatic. He offers dramatic debates in verse. John Donne is a

great wit. His wit is new and natural, intellectual and ready-made, original and

sincere. Wit is his very genius, and it fashions his feelings and thoughts. Even

passion, sentiment and sensuality are controlled by wit. He is one of the great

image-makers. He gives sonorous and startling imagery. There is a great variety of

experience in his conceits which are often far-fetched and fantastic. They are

derived from science, nature, religion everyday-world medieval scholasticism, new

philosophy and learning. They are witty. Although Donne is the first poet in the

world in somethings”, yet he has some faults. “Donne”, added Ben Jonson, “for not

keeping of accent, deserved hanging. His tone is harsh and rugged. His irony is

bitter and humour coarse. His sentence structure is complex, and his meaning is

obscure.” Goose remarks. His writings, like his actions, were faulty, violent a

little morbid and even abnormal.

Q. 3. Discuss the ending of the play Macbeth.

Ans. The Tragic End: In the next scene, set in the country near Dunsinane, soldiers

talk how Malcolm and Macduff backed by the English forces are fast approaching

Scotland. They will meet near Birnam wood. They call Macbeth as the “tyrant”. They

also realise how he will no longer be able to sustain his rule. Macbeth has failed

as ruler because they say “Those he commands move only in command./nothing in


Birnam wood marches to Dunsinane, and that no one born of woman can kill him. After

knowing Lady Macbeth’s condition, he instructs the Doctor to “Pluck from the memory

a rooted sortow.” Meanwhile, the soldiers in Malcolm’s army are ordered to prepare

by cutting down a bough and hold it before them and wait for the opportune moment.

When Macbeth is informed of Lady Macbeth’s death, he philosophizes about life:

Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player;
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more, it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

It implies the transience of life. The messenger informs Macbeth of a moving grove

and his worst fears prove to be true. According to the witches his safety was

incumbent on Birnam wood moving up to Dunsinane. He thought this to be an

impossibility but soon enough realizes the witches’ tone was one of “equivocation”.

Still Macbeth is confident of his invincibility as he believes that there can be

none not born of a woman. Macbeth realises the real meaning of the witches’

prophecy. He calls them “juggling fiends” that “palter with us in a double sense.”

Macbeth is finally slain by Macduff. In the final scene in the castle, as Macduff

enters with Macbeth’s decapitated head. This shows the beginning of another cycle

of violence. The play ends with Malcolm’s coronation at Scene.

Macbeth is infused with blood. Macbeth resorts to violence to fulfil his ambition

to be the king. Macbeth demonstrates the nature of evil and corruption of the human

soul. In Macbeth evil is the opposite of humanity, and the deviation from that

which is natural for humankind, yet the root of evil is in the human heart. At the

beginning of the play Shakespeare takes care to show them Macbeth as a great

popular hero, loved by the king and respected and honored by the whole of Scotland.

Shakespeare builds that in many ways. When Macbeth gets the idea of murdering

Duncan and being elected king we follow him down that road as Shakespeare lets us

into his mind with several soliloquies. Macbeth is hesitant. He is still a good

man, and we are basically on his side as there are no counterarguments. We also see

him as someone who wants to be king but shrinks from the act he has to commit to

get there, but he is bullied and manipulated by Lady Macbeth and forced into it.
The point is that Shakespeare wants us to be there with Macbeth and so at this

point, we are identifying with him and wanting him to win. When he kills Duncan

it’s done off stage, and all we see is the blood on his hands and his sense of the

horror of what he has done. It’s not particularly horrifying for the audience as we

don’t see the killing: if Shakespeare had presented the assassination onstage we

would have responded differently. But now Macbeth, crowned king, begins to be

paranoid. Shakespeare moves us away from the inner life of Macbeth and we have

scenes where other characters talk about his violent suppression of anyone he

regards as a threat. We see the murder of his best friend, Banquo, and we hear of

other atrocities. But then we have a scene with an intelligent and endearing child,

the son of Macduff, chatting with his mother, wondering what’s happened to his

father, who has fled to England. Macbeth’s hired killers enter and begin their

slaughter of Macduff’s family, on the orders of Macbeth, starting with the killing

of the child.

This scene occurs right in the middle of the play-the apex of a structure that

leads up to it, with the audience on Macbeth’s side, and follows it with our horror

at what a villain he is allowing us to rejoice in his defeat – another violent act

in which he is beheaded, and his head displayed onstage. Shakespeare has

manipulated our response and turned us completely. The scene depicting the brutal

killing of a child takes us away from our support for Macbeth, leading us to an

appalled sense of horror at his actions.

The scene is central in every way. The scenes immediately adjacent to it, reflect

each other, and it goes back to the beginning and forwards to the end of the play

in that way, the scenes before that scene and after it reflecting each other at

every step, all pointing to that supreme act of violence.


BEGC 132 Free Solved Assignment 2021 July & 2022 Jan

BEGLA 135 Free Solved Assignment 2021 July & 2022 Jan

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