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BEGC-109: British Romantic Literature

BEGC-109: British Romantic Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BEGC-109 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject British Romantic Literature, you have come to the right place. BEGC-109 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAEGH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BEGC-109/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BEGC-109

Assignment Name: British Romantic Literature

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer any five questions. All questions carry equal marks. (20 x 5 = 100)


1. Briefly explain the impact of French Revolution on Literature.

Ans) At first, both liberals and radicals in England were very enthusiastic about the French Revolution. There were also big changes in the economy. The class that made things became more powerful than the class that grew food. When James Watt invented the steam engine in 1765, it took the place of wind and water as a source of energy. This made a huge difference in how and how fast things were made. Most people in England were either becoming owners and traders or wage earners who didn't have any property.


So, the people were really split into two groups: the rich and the poor. When more machines were added to factories, more people lost their jobs. When the soldiers came home from the French wars, they made the job market worse. In 1815, the economy was in bad shape because the demand for goods made by people fell because of the war. The working class was upset and rioting because of these political, economic, and social issues. The people in power responded by making things even worse. At the end of the unrest, the Reform Bill was passed, which met the political goals of at least some parts of the population.


Taking advantage of new markets in India and other places gave business a boost. In turn, this led to the growth of business and technology. Ideas were shared at the same rate that the communications network got better. The pamphlet turned into a powerful way to talk about controversial topics. For instance, pamphlets were used to talk about the French Revolution. In the end, the periodical took the place of the pamphlet so that people could talk about political reforms more. The rise of the middle class in France gave rise to the idea of Parliamentary Reform. The Reform Bill was passed because the people of England wanted big cities to have more power.


The political, economic, social, and literary worlds all changed so much during the time of the Romantics. From the start, the Romantic Movement was based on the idea of change. Many of the most important writers of the time knew that the world was going through big changes and that these changes would have to show up in their work. The French Revolution seemed to be the turning point in human history and the start of a new era.


Hierarchies that had been in place for a long time were swept away by the French Revolution. The new slogans of freedom, equality, and brotherhood promised a society where everyone had the same rights. The monarchy was done away with, and the feudal system was torn down. The idea that hierarchies should be broken down was also applied to literature. This meant that the epic and tragedy, which were at the top of the literary pyramid, had to make way for the lyric, the ode, and the ballad. In terms of language, the speech of the common people was meant to take the place of the speech of the elite. For the themes to be chosen, big events had to give way to more common ones. In poetry, the characters don't have to be kings or queens. A leech-gatherer, a highland lass, or even a "dumb boy" was all good enough to use as characters. In this way, the French Revolution made literature more open to everyone in terms of genre, language, themes, and characters. The mood of the time called for these changes, and the creative writer jumped at the chance to make them.


3. What romantic tendencies are present in Burn’s poetry?

Ans) The romantic tendencies present in Burn’s poetry are as follows:


The Use of Folk Songs: In the 1800s, Scottish patriotism meant that people wanted their country to be free and united. It grabbed onto any sign that made it stand out. Burns looked for the Scottish ballad tradition as a way to reject and fight against the English culture. He is probably the best example of how folk poetry changed mainstream English poetry in the 18th century.


Burns's life is marked by two things:

  • In the 18th century, polite poetry was a well-kept tradition.

  • He wrote peasant poetry about the people he lived with.


Burns didn't think there were any rules for writing. Folk poetry had a big impact on his writing. His poetry has folk elements like:


Themes: Death, birth, youth, old age, love, and grief are common themes. Use is also made of seasonal things like harvesting and May dances, as well as seasonal changes like snowfall. Styles are often added to settings and dramatic situations. In folk poetry, there are also tableaux that show the same scenes over and over.


Folk poetry is written in the form of a debate, a series of riddles, or a test. People give birds and flowers human traits. There is a reason why there are three of everything: three riddles, three actions, etc.


The words are easy to understand. There are a lot of stock phrases. Folk poetry was first told from person to person, so stock phrases and patterns helped the poet remember what to say. Folk poetry's language is limited by formal devices like the refrain, which show that it comes from dance.


Rhyme: Folk poetry doesn't use rhyme as rigidly as Neo-classical poetry does. This poetry has a lot of assonance, alliteration, and internal rhyme.


Notice how Burns uses these types of poetry in the next line:

There Wild Woods grow and rivers row.


rhyme schemes are not all the same. In folk poetry, the metre can change.


Love Poems: Burns's best poems are the ones he wrote about love. Folk poetry is also a big part of their work. "My Love is like a Red, Red Rose" is an example of a poem that uses repetition to make a spell-like effect. Neoclassical poets like Pope tried to avoid repetition to save words and keep ideas moving forward. "Ye Flowery Banks," another poem by Burns, is a lament that shows how a native person sees nature. In this girl's song, the traditional image of a rose with thorns is used to show that she has lost her purity. There is a contrast between the speaker's happy nature and his or her sadness, and there is a return to a happy place. In this poem and the others, Burns doesn't say things straight out. Instead, he makes hints. All of these are signs of Romanticism.


Burns's love songs cover a wide range of topics. He could write about love both from his own point of view and from the point of view of a woman. He could also write beautifully about love in old age. Male protectiveness keeps showing up. Even though Burns' poetry is about local people and events, he is not a "regional" poet in the strictest sense. He focuses on what all people have in common, what is basic, and what stays the same. He used the real language of people as he found it in the folk literature of his country and showed the way to Words worth. Wordsworth and other Romantic poets learned from the way he wrote about simple things and used simple language.

5. Explain Coleridge’s ideas on ‘Fancy’ and ‘Imagination’.

Ans) Coleridge did a lot of different things in his life. He was a poet, a philosopher, a journalist, a preacher, a lecturer, a playwright, a literary critic, and a literary theorist. He started a movement against the mechanical approach to psychology that was common in the 18th century. He understood more than any other Romantic that imagination is the most powerful way to make art. Biographia Literaria is one of his most important works. It is about his ideas about poetry and is a critique of Romantic ideas. In this book, he talks about how he wrote poetry about the supernatural. He tried to give "a semblance of truth" that would make people willing to suspend their disbelief for a short time, which is what poetic faith is.


In the same book, Coleridge tries to explain the difference between the two key words, "fancy" and "imagination." He said that imagination was the power to "shape and change" and that fancy was the power to "gather and associate." The first idea "struggles to idealise and bring together," while the second is just "a way of remembering that is freed from the order of time and space." Coleridge said that Milton had a very imaginative mind and Cowley had a fanciful mind to show his point. There are two kinds of imagination: first and second. Coleridge thought that the primary imagination was the organ of common sense, and the secondary imagination was poetic vision. The poet should be good at the second one but not the first. The idea of wit in poetry from the eighteenth century seems to fit with the idea of fancy.


It is the poet's skill that lets him or her use metaphors and similes. Coleridge criticises the mechanical parts of poetry, like fancy, which is a good example of how the imagination goes beyond mechanical parts. Using the secondary imagination is a very magical thing to do. The secondary imagination is a bridge between people and nature, and it shows that the universe is one big living thing. Coleridge talks about both the good and bad things about Wordsworth. His criticism of Shakespeare and other playwrights from the Elizabethan era is very helpful. He tried to find "the essences of Shakespeare's ideas" in order to figure out the rules that a great work of art makes for itself. He talked about what poetry is and tried to answer the question, "What is poetry?" His thoughts on criticism are especially important because he was also a good poet.


Three of Coleridge's poems, "The Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan," and "Christabel," are remembered today. All three are original, and they all come from the world of dreams, which is the subconscious. The Ancient Mariner is a ballad with images and phrases that stick in your mind. Kubla Khan is a poem about a vision seen while on opium. "Christabel" is a piece of poetry that hints at the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Coleridge made original contributions as both a literary theorist and a poet, and his influence on these two fields will last for a long time.


6. What is the usefulness of poetry as stated by Shelley in his “Defence”?

Ans) Shelley was an idealist with a lot of very different ideas. He thought that people could be made perfect, that tyranny could be stopped, and that freedom could grow in all parts of life. As a lyric singer, he doesn't have much to worry about. The main idea of much of his work is that 'the Soul of the Universe' and 'the Spirit of Love' will be shown when tyranny and suffering are gone from the world and reason and love are valued. This is the main idea of Prometheus Unbound, his most ambitious book. Like Blake, Shelley was a prophetic and visionary poet. "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" is the last line of "Ode to the West Wind."


Adonais is a pastoral elegy about Keats's death written in Spenserian stanzas. Genius like Keats' is often misunderstood, which is sad. Keats was killed by how much his critics hated him. People think that "Adonais" is one of the two or three best elegies written in English. Like Wordsworth, Shelley spent a lot of time thinking about what was going on in nature. He thought that the beauty of nature was a reflection of the beauty of God. He called the inner reality of "Sustaining Love" the "Light" and "Beauty," and he tried to be like this.


Shelley was very interested in things like clouds, wind, waterfalls, and other things that happen in nature. They became signs that meant a lot to him. The cloud is a symbol of how water changes over time and how the human spirit can both change and stay the same. He was drawn to light and sound. He heard music all over. He heard a "vast universal symphony" instead. His goals and his love of poetry are like a skylark that flies above and looks down at the ground.


And the song of the skylark would make people:


Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow

The World should listen then.


"A Defence of Poetry" by Shelley was written in response to "The Four Ages of Poetry" by Thomas Love Peacock. It also adds to Wordsworth's "Preface" to "Lyrical Ballads." Shelley's ideas about friendship are shown in "Defence." He says that the poet shows people the wonderful world. Shelley used the word "poet" to mean any artist or even a philosopher. The artist is a more powerful person. Art makes you more creative, so it is useful. In "Defence," Shelley says that poets are "the unacknowledged legislators of the World."


7. How does Crabbe describe the lives and sufferings of the village inmates?

Ans) Crabbe goes out of his way to describe how bad the lives of individual villagers are. He does this to show that poets and painters have been wrong about rural life being idyllic. He talks about and tells the storey of a once-young, happy village boy who lives and grows old in this village. He used to work hard in the field when he was young, but now that he is old, the people who took advantage of his work all along call him "lazy poor." His masters have changed. One of the people he knew as a child is now his master.


"To me, the children of my youth are lords. They look cool, but they speak quickly." Even though old age and illness have made him weaker, he still has to fight every day to stay alive. He is sad about the deaths of his friends and can barely stand being used and treated badly until he finally dies of illness or old age. In this case, the parish is a living symbol of disagreement and carelessness, which goes against what Christians believe about family and kinship. When there isn't enough food, people don't have enough to eat, and there's a lot of drinking and partying, family ties are broken.


There children dwell who know no parents’ care;

Parents who know no children’s love, dwell there!

Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed,

Forsaken wives, and others never wed;


Under these circumstances, there is no way to be happy or joyful. There is nothing but misery, sickness, old age, and disability. Death is the only way to break out of this cycle of bitterness and boredom. The rude doctors, quacks, and con artists take advantage of the sick, use up what little money they have, and then push them down a dark alley to a painful death. Here, Crabbe's tone changes to one of sadness as he talks about the life and death of the nameless villager, who lived his whole life without being noticed or appreciated and died quietly without leaving a mark on anyone. But death is the best way to get out of serfdom because death is the greatest leveller. After death, the harsh words of the masters don't matter because they don't make the dead person hurry to work like they used to.


There lie the happy dead, from trouble free...

No more, oh Death! Thy victim starts to hear

Churchwarden stern, or kingly overseer;

No more the farmer claims his humble bow,

Thou art his lord, the best of tyrants thou!


After his death, there is a strange silence that makes you think about your own death and how things will change. The villagers gather at the graveyard for the service and remember the elderly member of their community as they carefully decorate the body with things he had used in life. While the crowd of people in mourning waits patiently for hours for the dead to be laid to rest, the church bell rings with the wild screech of an owl to signal the coming of dusk. Book I end on a sad note, with all the parishioners going back to their village and leaving the dead behind. The parson had more important things to do, so he didn't show up for such a small thing. The poor villager's troubles aren't over yet because his dead body has to wait for another time when the priest thinks it's right. So, people stay stuck in a cycle of violence and oppression in a place that has nothing to do with social justice.

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