BEGC 102 Solved Assignment 2022 23

Answer all questions. 

Section A 

Write short notes in about 200 words each: 

1. (i) Epic

Answe :- Epic, long narrative poem recounting heroic deeds, although the term has also been loosely used to describe novels, such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and motion pictures, such as Sergey Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible. In literary usage, the term encompasses both oral and written compositions. The prime examples of the oral epic are Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.

Outstanding examples of the written epic include Virgil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Pharsalia in Latin, Chanson de Roland in medieval French, Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata in Italian, Cantar de mio Cid in Spanish, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene in English. There are also seriocomic epics, such as the Morgante of a 15th-century Italian poet, Luigi Pulci, and the pseudo-Homeric Battle of the Frogs and Mice.

Another distinct group is made up of the so-called beast epics—narrative poems written in Latin in the Middle Ages and dealing with the struggle between a cunning fox and a cruel and stupid wolf. Underlying all of the written forms is some trace of an oral character, partly because of the monumental persuasiveness of Homer’s example but more largely because the epic was, in fact, born of an oral tradition. It is on the oral tradition of the epic form that this article will focus. 

   (ii) Unity of Action

Answer :- Unity of Action in drama, the three principles derived by French classicists from Aristotle’s Poetics; they require a play to have a single action represented as occurring in a single place and within the course of a day. These principles were called, respectively, unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time. These three unities were redefined in 1570 by the Italian humanist Lodovico Castelvetro in his interpretation of Aristotle, and they are usually referred to as “Aristotelian rules” for dramatic structure. Actually, Aristotle’s observations on tragedy are descriptive rather than prescriptive, and he emphasizes only one unity, that of plot, or action.

In the French classical tragedy, the unities were adhered to literally and became the source of endless critical polemics. Disputes arose over such problems as whether a single day meant 12 or 24 hours and whether a single place meant one room or one city. Some believed that the action represented in the play should occupy no more time than that required for the play’s performance—about two hours. In spite of such severe restrictions, the great 17th-century French dramatists Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine, confining the crises of their characters’ lives to a single setting and a brief span of hours, produced a unique form of tragedy that derives its austere power from its singleness of concentration. The prestige of the unities continued to dominate French drama until the Romantic era, when it was destroyed, in an evening of catcalls and violence, with the opening of Victor Hugo’s Romantic tragedy Hernani (1830).

Classical Greek and Latin dramas were strict in form. The concept of the three unities, in relation to classical drama, derives from Aristotle’s Poetics but is not directly formulated by the Greek philosopher. He merely states that a tragedy should have unity of action. The Poetics was unknown in Western Europe during the Middle Ages.

During the Renaissance a Latin translation is published in Italy, after which there is much discussion of classical literary principles. However it is not until 1570, in a book by Lodovico Castelvetro, that the concept of three unities evolves:

Unity of Action: It is the unity of action which makes the plot intelligible, coherent, and individual. The events and incidents are connected with each other logically and inevitably on the principle of probability; they move towards a common goal, the Catastrophe, aimed at by the dramatist. The plot must have “a beginning, a middle and an end” Dr. Jonson in his Preface to Shakespeare rejected the “three unities”. However in England, the unities of time and place are optional device for the playwrights. An example of modern plays composed strictly according to the unities is TennesseWilliams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

2. Reference to the Context in about 200 words each: 

(i) “… This proclamation I address to all:-
Thebans, if any knows the man by whom
Laius, son of Labadacus, was slain,
I summon him to make clean shrift to me.”

Answer :- The Following Lines taken from Oedipus Rex Play. Oedipus Rex is Greek Oidipous Tyrannos, play by Sophocles, performed sometime between 430 and 426 BCE, that marks the summit of classical Greek drama’s formal achievement, known for its tight construction, mounting tension, and perfect use of the dramatic devices of recognition and discovery. It examines the story of Oedipus, who, in attempting to flee from his fate, rushes headlong to meet it.

The scene opens with Creon’s denial of plotting against Oedipus. When Oedipus angrily repeats his charges, Creon again denies it, arguing rationally that he has no motivation to usurp the throne. The wrangling stops when Jocasta — the queen and Creon’s sister — divides the men, sending Creon home.

Oedipus continues to complain of Creon’s charge (through Tiresias) that he himself killed Laius. When Jocasta hears that the charge comes from a prophet, she dismisses it immediately. No one can see the future, she insists. As proof, she offers the story of a prophecy that her son would kill her husband, a fate avoided when Laius abandoned the child on a mountain.

After Oedipus learns the details of Laius’ death, he begins to worry that he is indeed the murderer. Jocasta, however, reminds him that Laius died at the hands of many men, not one. Nevertheless, Oedipus asks that the only living witness to the murderer — a shepherd — be brought to him for questioning.

(ii) “…What happened after that I cannot tell,
Nor how the end befell, for with a shriek
Burst on us Oedipus; all eyes were fixed
On Oedipus, as up and down he strode,
Nor could we mark her agony to the end”.

Answer :- The Following lines is taken from the play Oedipus Rex . There are A boy leads in the blind prophet Tiresias. Oedipus begs him to reveal who Laius’s murderer is, but Tiresias answers only that he knows the truth but wishes he did not. Puzzled at first, then angry, Oedipus insists that Tiresias tell Thebes what he knows. Provoked by the anger and insults of Oedipus, Tiresias begins to hint at his knowledge. Finally, when Oedipus furiously accuses Tiresias of the murder, Tiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus himself is the curse. Oedipus dares Tiresias to say it again, and so Tiresias calls Oedipus the murderer. The king criticizes Tiresias’s powers wildly and insults his blindness, but Tiresias only responds that the insults will eventually be turned on Oedipus by all of Thebes. Driven into a fury by the accusation, Oedipus proceeds to concoct a story that Creon and Tiresias are conspiring to overthrow him.

The leader of the Chorus asks Oedipus to calm down, but Tiresias only taunts Oedipus further, saying that the king does not even know who his parents are. This statement both infuriates and intrigues Oedipus, who asks for the truth of his parentage. Tiresias answers only in riddles, saying that the murderer of Laius will turn out to be both brother and father to his children, both son and husband to his mother. The characters exit and the Chorus takes the stage, confused and unsure whom to believe. They resolve that they will not believe any of these accusations against Oedipus unless they are shown proof. Creon enters, soon followed by Oedipus. Oedipus accuses Creon of trying to overthrow him, since it was he who recommended that Tiresias come. Creon asks Oedipus to be rational, but Oedipus says that he wants Creon murdered. Both Creon and the leader of the Chorus try to get Oedipus to understand that he’s concocting fantasies, but Oedipus is resolute in his conclusions and his fury.

Section B 

Answer the following in about 300 words each: 

1. Write a note on the different facets of war that is highlighted in the Iliad.

Answer :- The Iliad is the first great book, and the first great book about the suffering and loss of war. We love to tell stories about war. Tony Blair wove his own when giving evidence at the Chilcot inquiry yesterday: the latest, unpoetic attempt to make sense of an east-west clash of powers. He might note that “spin ” goes back to The Iliad: the first-century writer Dio Chrysostom argued that Homer, for reasons of his own, suppressed the truth about the Trojan war – in reality, the Greeks lost. “Men learn with difficulty . . . but they are deceived only too readily,” he wrote.

Civilisation – with its settlements, its boundary lines, its hierarchies – breeds conflict and narrative alike. In The Iliad, two characters have the narrative urge, and something approaching a synoptic view of the scenes surging around them. Achilles sings stories of heroes’ deeds in battle, and Helen embroiders scenes of fighting on an elaborate textile. Advertisement Many wishing to make sense of wars in their own time have reached for The Iliad. Alexander the Great, perhaps the most flamboyantly successful soldier in history, slept beside a copy annotated by his tutor, Aristotle. “He esteemed it a perfect portable treasure of all military virtue and knowledge,” according to Plutarch’s biography.

Simone Weil’s essay, “L’Iliade ou le poème de la force”, published in 1940, holds that “the true hero, the true ­subject at the centre of The Iliad is force”, which she defines as “that X that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing”. Her contemporary Rachel Bespaloff, a Geneva-raised philosopher who wound up in the United States, also turned to Homer’s poem as a “method of facing” the second world war. For her, it tells a profound, human story – “Suffering and loss have stripped Hector bare,” her essay “On The Iliad” begins. We are still turning to The Iliad, amid our own wars: the Australian writer David Malouf’s recent novel, Ransom , is about the encounter between Priam and Achilles in The Iliad’s final book, while Caroline Alexander’s new study of the poem, The War that Killed Achilles (Faber), sees it as a meditation on the catastrophic effects of conflict. While she does not indulge in crass equivalences, it is hard not to be alerted by her reading to the devastation caused by the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

2. Does Oedipus Rex resonate with us even today? Discuss.

Answer :- Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles around 430 BC, is one of, if not the most, important and influential tragedy ever written. It became the base for most of the tragedies written since. In spite of the fact that some of the story line may seem a little out of place now, parallels can be very easily drawn with the present time. Even though it was written over 2000 years ago, Oedipus the King is still fitting and applicable in today’s society. In ancient Greece, the people believed that the gods already decided upon their fates and destinies. They believed that nothing that they could do could change them, no matter what they do.

Oedipus tried to change what he knew to be his destiny, to kill his father and marry his mother, by moving away from the city and family that he knew to be his own. He found out later in the play that by moving he had actually fulfilled his destiny. His parents tried to change their destinies, but that too backfired on them. In modern times, most religions that have beliefs similar to this are in the eastern part of the world. Most people in the west believe that they are in charge of their own fates and destinies and that they can be altered by things that they do or don’t do. Walton notices this too. He states that “Oedipus is not a turannos at all. He is the legitimate son of the previous king ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

3. Does Euclio get integrated into society at the end of the Pot of Gold? Comment.

4. Examine the satire as a genre.

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