IGNOU MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment
MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Explain any two of the excerpts of poems given below with reference to their context:
(ii) Tyger! Tyger ! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Ans. Ref.: These lines have been extracted from Blake’s ‘The Tyger’.
Context: This is the penultimate stanza of the poem which has total six stanzas. After presenting Tyger as a strikingly sensuous image, the poet projects it as a symbolic character.
Comment: Here, the poet reminds the readers that a tiger and a lamb have been created by the same god and raises questions about the implications of this.
The poet also uses the images of “stars” and “heaven” to give a picture of farfetchedness. He also puts questions to God asking him whether he is happy to see his work in this earth.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
Ans. These lines are taken from Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath.
Context: The focus here is on death-if life is art, these lines suggests, then death must be art, too. And our speaker says she’s an artistic genius at dying she does it very well.
Comment: Here, Lady Lazarus tells us what is perhaps the greatest truth of this poem: dying is an art. IGNOU MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
It may not be an art for everyone, or even for anyone other than Lady L, but she certainly turns her death into art (i.e., she turns it into this poem).
These line breaks, which use enjambment, are genius. When we read “dying” on the first line of this stanza, we’d expect something depressing to follow.
Instead, when we jump down to the next line, we hear that dying is an art and apparently that everything else is an art, too.
This means that brushing your teeth, driving to school or work, even going to the bathroom-that’s art. Imagine an entire reality T.V. show, dedicated to the art of brushing one’s teeth.
But the focus here is on death-if life is art, these lines suggests, then death must be art, too.
And our speaker says she’s an artistic genius at dying she does it very well. Or… wait a second. If she’s come close, but not quite made it to death three times, she’s actually quite awful at the art of dying.
So, dying isn’t necessarily the art she does well-it’s coming back from being almost dead she’s a rock star at. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Things start getting really rhythmic here. The poem doesn’t have a strict meter, but in this moment, patterns emerge. We have the rhymes of “well” and “hell” and all of the slant rhymes of “real,” “call,” and “cell.”
Q. 2. Discuss Chaucer’s handling of the fable in ‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’.
Ans. A fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized and that illustrates or leads to an interpretation of a moral lesson which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim.
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is one of Chaucer’s most brilliant tales, and it functions on several levels.
The tale is an outstanding example of the literary style known as a bestiary (or a beast fable) in which animals behave like human beings.
Consequently, this type of fable is often an insult to man or a commentary on man’s foibles. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
To suggest that animals behave like humans is to suggest that humans often behave like animals. A very poor widow lives in a small cottage with her two daughters.
Her main possession is a noble cock called Chaunticleer. This rooster is beautiful, and nowhere in the land is there a cock who can match him in crowing. He is the master, so he thinks, of seven lovely hens.
The loveliest of these is the beautiful and gracious Lady Pertelote. She holds the heart of Chaunticleer and shares in all his glories and all his problems.
One spring morning, Chaunticleer awakens from a terrible dream of a beast roaming in the yard trying to seize him. This beast’s colour and markings were much the same as a fox.
Lady Pertelote cries out, “For shame…. Fie on you/ heartless coward” (“Avoi (coward)… fy on you, herteless”) and tells him that being afraid of dreams is cowardly and that, by showing such fear, he has lost her love.
She tells him he dreamed because he ate too much and that it is well known that dreams have no meaning; he simply needs a laxative.
Chaunticleer graciously thanks Lady Pertelote, but he quotes authorities who maintain that dreams have a very definite meaning and insists that he does not need a laxative.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Later, Chaunticleer catches sight of a fox named Don Russel, who is hiding near the farmyard. Chaunticleer begins to run, but the fox gently calls out that he only came to hear Chaunticleer’s beautiful voice.
Hearing this, the vain cock shuts his eyes and bursts into song. At that moment, the fox races to the cock, grasps him about the neck, and makes off with him.
The hens in the barnyard make such a terrible commotion that they arouse the entire household. Soon the widow, her two daughters, the dogs, hens, geese, ducks, and even the bees, are chasing the fox.
Chaunticleer suggests to the fox to turn around and shout insults at his pursuers. The fox, thinking Chaunticleer’s idea a good one, opens his mouth, and Chaunticleer nimbly escapes to a treetop.
The fox tries once again to lure Chaunticleer down by compliments and flattery, but the rooster has learned his lesson. At the conclusion of the tale, the Host praises the Nun’s Priest. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Observing the Priest’s magnificent physique, he comments that, if the Priest were secular, his manhood would require not just seven hens, but seventeen. He thanks “Sir Priest” for the fine tale a for the next tale.
Q. 3. Consider ‘The Garden’ by Andrew Marvell as a didactic poem.
Ans. Didactic poetry teaches some moral lesson. Andrew Marvell’s poem “The Garden” talks about the nature. It suggests that nature is altogether preferable to and more beautiful than women.
The garden here is not “a libertine garden” because “there is no woman in it”. The speaker begins the poem with a couplet calling men who seek “[t]o win the palm, the oak, or bays”–who pursue “honours awarded for war, statesmanship. [and] poetry” “[vain]”. On first gloss, this may seem to be merely a condemnation of ambitious men.
But during the English Renaissance, pursuing honors such as these was akin to subscribing to an Elizabethan ideal of devotion to the state as to a woman-knights, statesmen, and poets all ultimately act for the favour of a lady.
The speaker, in deriding men who pursue such honours, can thus be read as tacitly indicting this Elizabethan system as a whole.
He further indicts it by labeling the giver of honours a “single herb or tree” who provides but “short and narrow-vergèd shade”; and offering, as an alternative, his garden (4-5; 7-12). MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Given Marvell’s alignment of plant life with the feminine, this can be read as an allegory for the Elizabethan system: the “single herb or tree” is the female monarch, whose favour should be denied in favour of a more bountiful-and perhaps symbolically promiscuous-garden.
The imagery in ‘The Garden’ is necessarily pastoral. Unlike other metaphysical poets, Marvell derives some of it from classical references, though most comes from where he actually is, whether that be Nun Appleton House or some similar idyllic retreat.
The classical images are of crowning the victor in stanza one, and the myths of Apollo and Pan, in stanza four.
The image of the bird with the silver wings is quite Platonic, too. The neo-platonic Irish poet, W.B. Yeats, uses similar images.
Another feature used in this poem by Marvell is the colour symbolism. Critics commenting on the colour symbolism Marvell uses have discussed endlessly the meaning of ‘Green Thought’ and ‘Green Shade’, and the force of annihilating’, which literally means ‘to reduce to nothing”.
Here as throughout the poem, green is the literal colour of the garden, but Marvell also plays with the other meanings of the word: mild, jealous, immature, tender, flourishing, gullible, unseasonal, perceptibly fresh and new.
The mind as an ocean may be a more difficult image. It derives from the belief that what is underwater corresponds to what is on land.
Thus, the mind also constructs a world which corresponds to (and is better than) the material world.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
‘The Bodies Vest’ is a Platonic image: the body is just a garment, which the soul can slip out of ‘like a Bird’ since, birds have freedom of movement, as the imagination does, and can soar up to heaven, as the soul.
Once again, the language is pastoral and natural. It is particularly rich and luxurious: this is a garden where the fruit is perpetually ripe and the flowers in full bloom. Stanza five has a list of the most succulent fruit.
‘Ripe Apples’ has associations with the Fall of Humankind, since traditionally the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden was an apple, though it is not actually named in the Bible (Genesis 3:2; Genesis 3:6). Here, any references to the ‘Fall’ are playfully negated,
Grass’ – there is no harm done.
Once he only falls on
The tone is meditative, but in the sensuous and quite passionate way we find in Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale. For a poet talking of withdrawing from the world, the attractiveness of the world of the garden is fully described.
This is what the first Garden of Eden must have been like: a perfect creation, where bad weather and decay are kept out.
Q. 4. Attempt a critical appreciation of ‘The Triumph of Life’ by P.B. Shelley.
Ans. Shelly started writing The Triumph of Life before left for Leghorn from San Torenzo and was drowned in his voyage on July the 8th, 1822.
In the light of the fact, no need to say that the poem was never completed. T.S Elliot declared it as Shelley’s finest work. In this poem the kind of detachment which has been achieved by Shelly is rare in his other works of same or greater length.
The poem uses terza rima, the same verse which was used by Dante in Divina Commedia or by Petrarch in his Trionfi.
Terza rima is a special case of triplet with a rhyme scheme of aba-bcb-cdc-ded-efe… and was used by Shelley for the first time in The Woodman and the Nightingale, the Ode to the West Wind and some of the translation of Dante.
Just like Petrarch’s Trionfi, Shelley’s Triumph also stands for the triumphal procession. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Trionfi however is a sequence of seven poems which celebrates the victory of love over man, chastity over love, death over chastity, fame over death, time over fame, and god over time.
There are possibilities that Shelley while at his stay in Italy might have got influenced by the Roman relief sculptures of ceremonial processions.
These processions also had prisoners of war too. Shelley’s poem talks about the victory of procession of life.
And in this procession we see figures like Plato, Aristotle and Alexander, Dante and Petrarch on one hand and Napoleon Bonaparte, King Frederick II of Prussia, Czarina Emperor on other hand.
People like Wordsworth, Voltaire, Kant and Milton are also a part of it, but not the sacred few of Jerusalem and Athens i.e. Christ and Socrates who did do any compromise from life and refused to be its slave.
The main character or the leader of this procession is Rousseau, of course. It is Rousseau who makes sense of the chaotic procession for the narrator.
We see Rousseau commenting upon some of the interesting figures in the Procession for the narrator just like Virgil did for Dante in Inferno and Purgatorio. However, there lies a difference.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Here Rousseau and Shelley look on as the procession moves while Virgil and Dante had to go through the nine circles of Hell and seven cornices of Mount Purgatory.
Discussions on The Triumph
Lines 1 to 40 of The Triumph of Life:
1 Orison – A prayer
8 A martin is a service in the Church of England
9 A censer is a vessel in which incense is burned
25 Athwart Sloping position
Lines 41 to 175 of The Triumph of Life:
Line 51 – A bier is a movable frame to take the dead body to the grave side.
Line 78 – Mary Shelley had filled the gap left in the text of the poem by husband with ‘blinding’. Line 85 – The crescent moon appears to be a chariot in which the shadow of the moon is seated. Line 91 – Mourner wear a black material or crape on their clothes.
Line 94 – In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January, which begins the New Year. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite direction.
111-116-According to Old Testament the year of jubilee was the year when slaves were released. Shelley’s use of the word contains a subtle irony.
The irony is in the fact that he uses the word to describe a Roman Triumphal procession in which victorious army displayed the people they have conquered.
And conquered people were made to carry a yoke on their neck in order to display their subservience.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Shelley is trying to recall in these lines that these ‘triumphs’ began about the end of republic when the Romans were enslaved by their emperors.
Line 121 Age refers to historical period or an era.
Line 128-136 The Sacred few of Athens and Jerusalem’ are Jesus and Socrates.
Lines 176 to 295 of The Triumph of Life:
Line 180- the ‘voice’ in this line refers to Rousseau just as in the line 190 the grim feature refers to him. Milton in Paradise Lost (Book X, Line 279) describes death as grim.
Line 210 A miter is a tall pointed hat worn by priests of high rank such as bishops and archbishops on ceremonial occasions.
A helm is an old use of helmet.
Line 170-Francis Bacon discussed the myth of Proteus as an allegory of physical matter and its transformation in his The Wisdom of the Ancients.
Line 174 in the place of bards of Old Shelley had written in a cancelled draft of the poem, ‘Homer & his brethren’. Line288 – while John was the most commonly adopted by the popes, Gregory VII is singled out by Shelley because he established the temporal powers of the Papacy, apart from its spiritual.
Lines 296 to 438 of The Triumph of Life:
Line 331- to be oblivious of something is to be unmindful or forgetful of it. In poetry, however, the word is used is the sense of ‘of or including oblivion’. Rousseau’s account of his life in this poem is modeled partly on his Confessions and partly on Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality.
Line 345-46- the sun, here, is a symbol of the deity. It is reflected from the water which is symbol of immortality. Shelley shows up the play of life and death, mortality and immortality.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Line 352- Many critics agree that ‘A shape all light’ in this line represents human creativity. It is like sun in glory because we see thing as much in the light of our imagination as in the light of common day.
Line 357-Nepenthe, mentioned in Homer’s The Odyssey, is an Egyptian drug which has the power to banish pain, anger and sorrow. However, Shelley’s immediate source could be Milton’s Comus, in which the character of that name who is son of Circe, the daughter of the Sun, offers ‘orient liquor in a crystal glasse’ which is greater than ‘Nepenthes’, in order to seduce them. Line 361 Shelley’s use of the word palm, here, as in Adonais and Prometheus Unbound, for the ‘sole’ of the foot is quite without precedent.
Line 414- Lucifer is the light bringer. In Shelley’s poetry it always refer to the Venus, the evening star. Chrysolite is the name given to precious olivine, a pale yellowish-green silicate of manganese and iron.
Line 419 the star refer to Venus, the morning and evening star.
Line 420 The Jonquil is a type of sweet smelling flower of the narcissus family.
Lines 439 to 548 of The Triumph of Life:
Lines 439-41 – A pavilion is a large, light ornamental building used for exhibitions or public amusement. Shelley describes a ‘wind-winged pavilion’ built by Iris. This pavilion, formed like an arch of victory is particoloured in vermilion, green and azure. Besides, the pavilion is progressing ahead of the procession.
This arch is the arch of life. Iris represents life, its richness, its colorfulness, its joyous variety.
Line 446 – Atomies are the motes or grains or particles of grain.
Line 463-Lethe in Greek mythology is the underworld river in Hades. When one drinks its water forgets the past.MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Line 472 – Dante was led through Paradise by his beloved Beatrice. In line 472-74 the subject of love which led, Dante-of him from the ‘lowest depths of Hell / Through every paradise and through all glory’ and who returned from there to tell us ‘How all things are transfigured, except love’.
Line 481-83 – Many of the critics agree that the ‘phantoms’ described in this passage are like simulacra or masks described by Lucretius in De Rerum Natura (Book IV).
Line 495 – Ermine is the name given to stoat in winter when fur turns white. Formally important people like Kings and Judges wore the white fur of this animal.
Line 496 – The Pope wears the tiara (or tiar) or triple crown which symbolizes his high dignity and sovereignty.
Line 500 – Skeletons are also called anatomies.
Line 505 – the bones of dead people are kept in a charnel house.
Line 530 – The shadow of person gave off were each in some aspect like the person from whom they derived and like one another in some respects.
Q. 6. Bring out the theme of ‘Church Going’ by Philip Larkin.
Ans. Before considering the persona’s thoughts and impressions, it is important first to treat the setting of the poem, a traditional, somewhat old church; probably a small church, with traditional rooms and fixtures.
It is mostly likely a Catholic, Church building because of the design and features, such as the rood loft, however, it is not clearly stated.
The remarks are therefore not on any one particular denomination, but rather Church going as a whole. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Perhaps the most important detail of the setting is the fact that the persona chooses to make his visit to the Church on a day other than Sunday.
It is presumably in the middle of the week, due to the details about the flowers included in lines four and five. “And little books; sprawling of flowers, cut/For Sunday, brownish now…” (Larkin, 1058).
In fact, there is very little said of the actual Sunday happenings inside of the building. Rather, the inanimate building, void of people or other signs of life (as illustrated with the mention of the dead flowers), stands as a symbol for the act of church going, one performed by people.
It is this sense of lifelessness that comes through most clearly in the first stanza of the poem.
At first, Church going considered as the act of going to a particular building, and it is shown that, if one is clever enough, one will realize that it is just a building lacking psychological and spiritual worth. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
The persona reads aloud some of the Bible on the lectern and then says, “Here endeth’,” the traditional phrase used to signify that the official has finished reading from the sacred text, “much more loudly than I’d meant.
The echoes snigger briefly…” (Larkin, 1058)
This reading is playing on the Persona’s part. He is attempting to show himself, and his readers, that there is no mystical power in the “magic words” used by the church officials.
Anyone is able to read the Scriptures, anyone can say “Here endeth,” anyone has the power to see through the rituals of the Church.
The snigger of the echoes gives one the impression that the building’s walls are participating in the joke. There is nothing sacred about the building itself.
Indeed, the persona plays with some of the church-goers’ jargon in reference to the church building itself. He notes that, “From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-/Cleaned or restored?” (Larkin 1058).
This “cleaned or restored” or perhaps, “cleansed or restored” is similar to the terminology used inside of the church for people who have been “born again.” His observations are sarcastic in nature.
There is nothing mystical about the building itself. The persona points this out as the conclusion of the second stanza when he stops to “Reflect the place was not worth stopping for” (Larkin, 1058) MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
The persona then considers the relics of the Church, the Bibles, Communion dishes, and the building itself, as well as the traditions of the church-goers as superstitious.
However, he includes in this analysis indications of a second opinion. The Persona also considers the Church goers stupid. They go to this place he does not consider worthy of the time and they believe in things he presumes Powerless.
The persona speaks of women teaching their children to touch a certain stone as if it is cure for cancer, “To make their children touch a particular stone; /Pick simples for a cancer…” (Larkin, 1059).
The word “simples” is a significant one, one which holds two meanings in the poem. A simple is a medicinal herb, according to the text, but it is also possible to hear the more common meaning of “simple-minded,” or stupid, implied here in reference to these traditions (Ellmann and O’Clair, 1059).
He then shifts his consideration to the purpose of church going and in what ways the practice will finally cease. There is no question for him, at first, “But superstition, like belief, must die,” he reasons (Larkin, 1059).
The Persona then contemplates the way in which the practice will die. He wonders if it will be a person who seeks it for its intended purpose, but this is dismissed without further consideration. MEG 01 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24
Indeed, he does not mention such a person in the list of possible “last goers,” rather, he mentions historians, treasure-hunters, and folks who attend only Christmas services, and those for the sake of the beautiful organ music and various traditions, and then finally wonders if the last goer will be like himself.
He is a person who is drawn to the church for different reasons. Although “bored, uniformed,” he is not stupid like the people who come to the church each Sunday. Nor is he a treasure-hunter or a historian.
He interested in the church for a deeper and better reason. The Church is a solemn place for him, one in which” all our compulsions meet, / Are recognized, and robed as destinies. /
And that much never can be obsolete,” (Larkin, 1059). He is drawn to the Church because there is something there which helps him to understand his life.
There is something worth his stopping because it provides a metaphor for him to use, a way for him to see, understand, and articulate the deeper meaning.