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The Aeneid

by Virgil
19 B.C.


Virgil (Publius Virgilius Maro) was born in Mantua, a rural town north of Rome near the Alps. Even though Virgil's birth in 70 B.C. came in the middle of a century of political turmoil and civil war in Rome, life in Mantua was relatively peaceful, and Virgil's father, who was a prosperous Roman citizen, could afford to give his son a good education in the basics, especially Greek and Roman literature. When Virgil was about 17, his father decided that he should be a politician, or ossibly a businessman, and sent him to Rome to study rhetoric (the art of public speaking).



But Virgil was shy and hated having to make long, flowery speeches about things that didn't nterest him at all. Instead he wrote poetry on the sly. His first and last attempt to argue a case in ourt was an embarrassing failure, and Virgil decided he didn't have a future in politics. He left Rome and went to live by the beautiful Bay of Naples where he studied philosophy.

This was probably a good idea because Roman politics could be dangerous, even fatal. The Roman Republic's government was collapsing in civil war and mobs often rioted in the streets. Rival enerals brought their troops home from foreign wars and used them against each other, each one rying to rule Rome his own way. Then in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar, the great Roman dictator, was ssassinated and Rome was plunged into its worst political crisis-one that lasted more than a ecade.

Virgil was 26 years old at that time. Ever since his birth in 70 B.C. there had been nothing but this rightening chaos. He, and many other young men of his generation, were totally fed up with Roman politics. Virgil stayed in Naples and spent these years studying philosophy and writing oetry about the joys of country living. These poems, called the Eclogues, became an instant hit in Rome and were read aloud at fashionable dinner parties. By the age of 33, Virgil was rich and amous. Virgil followed up the Eclogues with the Georgics, a book of poems about farming.

Then in 31 B.C., something happened that completely changed Virgil's feelings about Rome and bout what he wanted to write. The Emperor Augustus finally managed to end the civil wars that ad plagued the city for so long and restored order and peace. For the first time in his life, Virgil ad hope for the future of his country, and he felt deep gratitude and admiration for Augustus, the man who had made it all possible. Virgil was inspired to write his great epic poem, the Aeneid, to elebrate Rome and Augustus' achievement. He had come a long way from his early days writing

bout nature and hating politics.

Virgil was clever. He didn't just write a story about Augustus. He wanted to make Romans proud of heir history and their vast empire. He also wanted to show how Augustus was the most recent in a ong line of great Roman leaders-strong, dedicated to their city, and willing to make great sacrifices or it. So the very beginning of Virgil's poem tells how Aeneas and a small band of exiles traveled or years and fought bravely to build the city that would become Rome, the capital of the greatest mpire in the world. As you read, you'll see that there are many parallels between what Aeneas oes and what Augustus did. For example, Aeneas fights a civil war in Italy and finally puts an end o the killing and chaos there, just as Augustus did in Rome. You'll also see Aeneas fall in love with a beautiful African queen who resembles Cleopatra, the great Queen of Egypt, who married Marc Antony (one of Augustus' rivals), and who also tried to seduce Augustus.

But the Aeneid is more than just a political poem about Rome. Like all great worksof literature, it as a universal meaning. In many ways Aeneas is a man in search of himself and a new identity. In he beginning of the poem, he wishes that he could just stay home and keep out of trouble but, by he end, he is willing to do everything possible for the future of his people. You might see a parallel ere comparable to Virgil's own wish, as a young man, to stay out of the political uproar of Rome nd his emergence as Rome's national poet.

As you read the Aeneid you'll also learn a lot about Roman mythology, and about what Virgil elieved was the role of fate and the gods in men's lives. You'll see that Virgil wasn't just out to raise Rome's achievements. He believed that Rome and Augustus were destined to rule the world. However, he also worried about the people who got in the way of that destiny, often through no ault of their own. Some of the characters you might like best are those, like Dido and Turnus, who re hurt by Aeneas' triumphs. Virgil's own experience of the horrors of civil war made him nderstand that there are always good and bad on both sides of any conflict.

You're going to see that Virgil was a great writer and a superb storyteller. You'll read about errifying dangers, great battles, and even a passionate romance. (For a short time, when Virgil was oung, he was a soldier. His vivid descriptions of war prove that he had had firsthand experience.) You'll also see Virgil's early love of nature in his beautiful descriptions of the sea and the ountryside.

Virgil worked on the Aeneid for eleven years. This epic poem reflects his great skill and care in writing, and his tremendous knowledge of Greek literature, which he had studied ever since he was boy. The Emperor Augustus knew about the project and asked to read some of it while it was in rogress. Of course he loved it! When Virgil was 51 years old, in 19 B.C., he took a trip to Greece o visit some of the places Aeneas had visited. He got very sick, and Augustus brought him back to taly where he died. Virgil told his friends to burn the Aeneid because there were still parts he wanted to rewrite. Fortunately, Augustus intervened and the Aeneid was saved. It became Rome's ational epic almost immediately and is now considered one of the greatest works of Western


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<- Previous | First | Next -> Barron's Booknotes-The Aeneid by Virgil-Free Book Summary SIMPLIFIED TROJAN GENEALOGY
Teucer | Dardanus | _________|______________________ | | Ilus Assaracus | | Laomedon Capys | | Priam m. Hecuba Anchises (w/ Venus) _______________|_______________________ | | | | | | | Andromache Paris Deiphobus Polydorus Cassandra | m. m. | Hector Helen | | Creusa m. Aeneas m.Lavinia | | Ascanius Silvius (Iulus) | | | | Silvius Aeneas | | SIMPLIFIED GENEALOGY OF JULIUS CAESAR AND AUGUSTUS * | | Numitor c. Julius Caesar | d. 85 B.C. ars m. Rhea Silvia | _______|______ | | | | Romulus Remus | ___________________________|__________________ | | Julia m. Atius Balbus Gaius JULIUS CAESAR | 102-44 B.C. Atia m. C. Octavius | c. Julius Caesar OCTAVIUS Augustus 63 B.C.-14 A.D. * Julius Caesar claimed descent from Ascanius (Iulus)


The Aeneid is set in the middle of the 12th century B.C. after the fall of Troy. Troy was in Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey. In Book II you see how Troy, which was a wealthy, fortified city filled with temples and palaces, is destroyed by the Greeks. The first six books of the Aeneid describe how Aeneas and a small band of Trojans are forced to flee Troy, They spend more than seven years sailing around the Mediterranean Sea in primitive wooden boats trying to find Italy. Finally, after many detours and disasters, they arrive on the west coast of Italy. (For a map of Aeneas's wanderings, see illustration.) The Trojans land at the mouth of the Tiber, the same river that flows through presentday Rome. When the Trojans arrive, there are several small, simple cities (nothing like Troy) in the surrounding countryside, which is called Latium. At first the king of the biggest city, Laurentium, is willing to share his land with the Trojans, but soon his people rebel and band together with the people of the other cities to drivethe Trojans away. The Trojans, led by Aeneas, battle them and finally succeed in capturing Laurentium, just as the Greeks had once captured Troy. After the war ends, the Trojans and the native people of Italy (including the Latins, Etruscans, and Ruffians) will live together and intermarry, becoming the ancestors of the Romans.

According to tradition, Troy fell in 1184 B.C. and Rome was founded in 753 B.C. Thus, more than 400 years passed between Aeneas' landing at the Tiber and the founding of Rome. Virgil explains part of this time gap in Book I. After the war, Aeneas will build a city called Lavinium and rule there for three years. His son Ascanius will move the city to nearby Alba Longa and rule for thirty years. His descendants will rule for 300 years after that until Romulus builds the walls around Rome. If you do some quick figuring, you'll realize that this leaves about 100 years unaccounted for. The reason for this may be that Virgil thought Troy fell at a later date than we do, or it may be that Virgil was less concerned with exact historical accuracy than he was with creating a poetic and almost mythological story of Rome's beginnings.

The Aeneid has many themes, which you'll see as you go through The Story section of this guide. There are many different ways to consider the poem's meaning because

Virgil's story works on several different levels. For example, the Aeneid tells the history of Rome, but it also tells the personal story of its hero, Aeneas. To help you understand these levels, here is a list of the major themes you should focus on: 1. THE AENEID IS A NATIONAL EPIC ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF ROME Virgil's poem tells how Rome came to be in historical and symbolic terms. The story blends history and myth to show how and why the Trojans reached Italy, and how Rome began. Virgil also explains the forces that made Rome great: fate and great courage, determination, and selflessness on the part of its first leader, Aeneas. Aeneas symbolizes the virtues that allowed the Romans to build a great empire. 2. THE AENEID IS A TRIBUTE TO AUGUSTUS AND A CELEBRATION OF THE END OF THE CIVIL WARS IN ROME Aeneas is the model of a great leader. Virgil meant you to see him as a symbol for the Emperor Augustus. The wars between the Latins and the Trojans, which Virgil describes in the Aeneid, can be compared to the civil wars that raged in Rome before Augustus took control. When Aeneas defeats Turnus and ends the disorder that Turnus created, he is similar to Augustus, who ended the conflict between the warring factions in Rome.

3. THE AENEID IS THE STORY OF AENEAS' PERSONAL SEARCH FOR A NEW IDENTITY Aeneas changes from a lost and lonely exile with no idea of his destination to a determined, self-confident leader. He gives up his past, as represented by Troy, and accepts the future, as represented by Rome. In the process of becoming a great leader he makes many personal sacrifices, including giving up Dido's love. He is completely devoted to his family and country, and never wavers from these duties, but he also understands the terrible price that others, like Turnus, have to pay for Aeneas' success. This ability to understand and to feel sorry for other people is what makes him such a great character. He's not just a simple-minded hero; he has a heart. 4. THE AENEID DESCRIBES THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE FORCES OF ORDER AND DISORDER IN THE WORLD

Virgil's world is a harsh one. The forces of disorder are always present. They are symbolized by Juno's uncontrollable rage at the Trojans and by the irrational passions that Dido and Turnus feel. These forces always lead to death and destruction. Ultimately, though, Virgil seems to be saying that fate is on the side of order. Jupiter, the king of the gods and a force for order, finally tells Juno to stop making trouble. Aeneas, also a force for order because of his tremendous sense of duty and selfsacrifice, brings order to Italy. 5. THE AENEID DESCRIBES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE AND FATE A person's life depends on his fate, something even the gods cannot change. Fate isn't fair-Dido and Turnus have tragic fates, even though they may not have done anything wrong. But someone's fate may also reflect the kind of person involved. Aeneas' responsibility to his country makes him a great leader, and he is fated to succeed. Dido and Turnus have excessively passionate natures that lead to their downfalls. Virgil seems to be saying that your fate is a combination of luck (which you can't control) and your own personality (which perhaps you can).

The Aeneid is an epic poem written in 12 books. An epic poem is a long, narrative poem about the adventures of a great hero. Virgil's Aeneid is modeled in part on the great Greek epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, by Homer. The Iliad describes the exploits of Achilles and other Greek heroes in the Trojan War (the same war that forced Aeneas to leave Troy and that is described in Book II of the Aeneid). The Odyssey describes how Ulysses (or Odysseus in Greek) wandered for many years, trying to return home after the Trojan War. The first six books of the Aeneid parallel the Odyssey because they describe Aeneas' search for a home. Aeneas even stops in many of the same places that Ulysses did. There is an important difference, however. Ulysses was trying to find his old home, while Aeneas is searching for a new home.

The second six books parallel the Iliad. They describe the war in Italy just as the Iliad describes the Trojan War. Again, there are many parallels. For example, the Trojans are besieged inside their fort in Italy just as they were trapped inside Troy. But again there is an important difference. The Iliad describes how the Trojans lost the war and

Troy fell. In the Aeneid the Trojans win the war in Italy and get the chance to build a new city. Virgil imitates many scenes from the Iliad. and the Odyssey in his epic, but he always changes them in significant ways so that they illustrate his own Roman themes. One of the most important differences between Homer's epics and the Aeneid is that the Aeneid is a patriotic poem while the Iliad and the Odyssey are poems about individuals and their adventures. Homer emphasizes heroes, not countries. But one of Virgil's main points is to show how Rome became the city it is, and to show what kind of person makes a good Roman citizen and leader. You can also think about the Aeneid as being divided into three parts. The first four books take place with Dido in Carthage, including a flashback to the fall of Troy. The second four books (V-VIII) describe the Trojans' arrival in Italy and Aeneas' trip to the underworld where he sees the future of Rome. The last four books (IX-XII) describe the war in Italy and Aeneas' triumph over Turnus. You can also consider the books of the Aeneid in pairs. The odd-numbered books tend to be less dramatic (for example, Book III in which the Trojans' wanderings are described or Book V where the funeral games for Anchises are shown). The evennumbered books reach more emotional peaks of tragedy or glory (for example, the death of Dido in Book IV, and Aeneas' vision of the future in Book VI).

Just as the Aeneid's structure is modeled in part on the Iliad and the Odyssey, so is its style. Like Homer, Virgil wrote his poem in dactylic hexameter. This term describes the meter or rhythm of each line of poetry. It means that there are six major beats in each line and that each beat is made up of a dactyl (a word in which the first syllable is strong and the following two are weak) (-^^) and a spondee (a word in which both syllables are long (--). An example of a dactyl and a spondee in English are the words "fabulous pizza!". Of course, since you are reading the Aeneid in an English translation, what you're reading won't have this rhythm. But it's interesting to try to imagine how musical it must have sounded in the original Latin. The reason for this rhythm is that Homer's epics were sung or chanted before they were written down, so it was natural to have a clear beat. Virgil kept this rhythm, even though he wrote his poem for a literate and sophisticated audience. But since he wrote the poem, instead of learning it from an oral tradition, he had the opportunity to use much more complex language than Homer could have. Virgil's poem is full of beautiful images, subtle allusions, and symbolism that give it a rich, dense texture. The result is that Virgil's epic has a very different style from Homer's.

Virgil also follows epic tradition in using many epic similes and epithets. An example of an epic simile is found in Book IV where Virgil compares Aeneas to a giant oak tree that cannot be blown down no matter how hard the winds blow. An epithet is a stock phrase that captures some part of a person's basic character. An example is "pious" Aeneas. The epithets you'll see depend on which translation you're using. Just look for the same word used over and over again to describe a person. Another epic convention that Virgil makes great use of is long speeches by the major characters. Here we see that Virgil finally made use of his training in rhetoric. Although he might not have been a good public speaker himself, his characters surely are.

Except for Books II and III where Aeneas tells his own story, the Aeneid is told from the point of view of an all-knowing narrator. This narrator is of course Virgil, but he pretends to get all his information from a goddess called the Muse. (If you look at the very beginning of the Aeneid, you'll see where Virgil asks the Muse for help in telling the story.) By following this convention of epic poetry, Virgil implies that his poem is accurate and objective. For example, when he says that Jupiter predicts that the Romans will rule forever, we're supposed to believe that he's right because the Muse told him it was true. In reality the Aeneid is a very subjective poem. For one, you already know that one of the things Virgil wanted to do was to praise Augustus and the Roman Empire. That's not objective at all, but reflects Virgil's own beliefs. Even more importantly, Virgil has an unusual ability to get inside his characters' heads. For example, even though Dido seems to be described from the outside, you know exactly how she feels and what she's thinking about. The result is that you feel that you know her, and you feel very sorry for her.

Perhaps most important is Virgil's combination of an objective and subjective point of view that allows you to see Aeneas' character both from the outside and from the inside. For example, in Book IV when Aeneas leaves Dido, you see him almost from Dido's point of view. He hardly says anything to defend himself, and you get very little indication of his own feelings. This may make you dislike Aeneas a bit, but it

also makes you see how much of his own feelings must be sacrificed in order to found Rome. By using this "outside" point of view, Virgil suggests that in some ways Aeneas' feelings don't matter that much. The important thing is that he does his duty. But if that were the only side of Aeneas you see, he wouldn't be very interesting. So Virgil sometimes shows you things from Aeneas' "inside" point of view. For example, in Book I, when he is hit by Juno's storm and cries out that he wishes he had died in Troy, you learn what an unhappy and unwilling traveler he is at this point. Books II and III are told almost entirely from Aeneas' point of view and that's where you learn the most about him. If you think about it, you'll notice that much of the story in the early books of the Aeneid is told from Aeneas' point of view. This becomes less and less true later on. This shift in point of view reflects the change in Aeneas himself from an uncertain exile to a great leader. Virgil seems to be saying that as Aeneas learns to accept his great fate, he has fewer internal conflicts that you as the reader need to see. It may also be that as Aeneas becomes a great leader he can't afford to let whatever conflicts he does have show. As a result, this shift in point of view makes Aeneas into more of a myth-a model of a great leader-and less of an ordinary person.

Imagine this scene: It's around 1150 B.C. Seven years earlier, a band of fierce Greek warriors invaded the city of Troy and set it on fire. Aeneas and a few fellow Trojans manage to escape to the coast where they launch their wooden boats and set sail to the west. There, some fortune-tellers have said, they will find a new home. They've been wandering all over the sea ever since, looking for this place. When we first see him, Aeneas is filled with conflicting emotions. One part of him is still grieving for his lost city and all the friends and family who died there. Another part of him is worn out with troubles and worries about whether or not he will ever find a place where his people can settle. But, for the moment, he is simply relieved that the sun is shining and the sea is calm. He's beginning to have a little hope again. He does not suspect that an angry goddess is watching, and that she is determined to make as much trouble as possible for him and his fellow Trojans, wherever they go. This is the moment Virgil picks to start his story of Aeneas' struggles to establish a new city-the city that would eventually become Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire and the greatest city in the world.

NOTE: The events in the Aeneid are not told in chronological order. You will see that Books II and III will take you back in time to the fall of Troy, while Book VI will show the future of Rome after Aeneas. Keep this blending of past, present, and future in mind as you read. Before the action starts, Virgil tells us what his poem is about. The short prologue gives us many clues about the major themes, so it's worth reading carefully. Arms and the man I sing, the first who came, Compelled by fate, an exile out of Troy, To Italy and the Lavinian coast, Much buffeted on land and on the deep By violence of the gods, through that long rage, That lasting hate, of Juno's.

Have you ever noticed that, if something really frightening happens, no matter how long ago, you can remember every detail as if it happened yesterday? That's the way Aeneas remembers the last day of Troy before the Greeks destroyed it. Aeneas' story in Book II falls into three basic parts. First, he describes how the Greeks tricked the Trojans into letting them into the city. Second, he describes the desperate final battle to save Troy. Finally, he tells how he escapes from the burning city with his family. An important thing to remember about this Book (and Book III) is that the story is told from Aeneas' point of view. You are about to experience that last dreadful day as though you were there-inside Aeneas' head. First here is some background. The Trojan War started because Paris, a Trojan, seduced Helen, who was married to a Greek named Menelaus, and took her back to Troy. The Greeks then attacked the Trojans. When Aeneas begins his story, both sides are exhausted. The Greeks have been camped outside the Trojan walls for ten years, unable to get inside. But the Trojans can't drive the Greeks away, either. The result is a stalemate. Then one morning the Trojans look over their walls and the Greeks are gone! In their place they've left a giant wooden horse. The Trojans throw open the gates and rush out, wild with joy.

In fact, the Greeks aren't gone at all. Some of them are hiding on a nearby island, Tenedos, where they've hidden their ships. The rest are hiding in the hollow belly of the huge horse-waiting. An ironic twist in the story is that one of the Trojans, Laocoon, warns that the Greeks are probably hiding inside the horse, but no one listens to him. Instead, the Trojans believe the story of a Greek named Sinon, who deliberately allowed himself to be "captured." Sinon tells them that if they destroy the horse, the gods will be furious and Troy will be destroyed. If, on the other hand, they bring the horse inside the city walls, Troy will conquer the Greeks. We believed him, we Whom neither Diomede nor great Achilles Had taken, nor ten years, nor that armada, A thousand ships of war. But Sinon did it By perjury and guile A STEP BEYOND TESTS AND ANSWERS

_____ 1. In 31 B.C., Virgil finally felt hope for his country when A. Julius Caesar was assassinated B. he left Rome and went to Naples C. Augustus ended the civil wars _____ 2. Aeneas is meant to represent A. Julius Caesar B. Marc Antony C. Augustus Caesar _____ 3. The Trojans' enemy among the gods is A. Juno B. Venus C. Jupiter _____ 4. Aeneas is motivated most by A. fate B. a sense of duty C. fierce ambition

_____ 5. The Queen of Carthage is A. Dido B. Creusa C. Lavinia _____ 6. A flashback about the fall of Troy occurs when Aeneas A. tells Dido of his past B. meets Anchises in the Underworld C. is welcomed to Italy by Latinus _____ 7. Virgil shows that the Trojans were only defeated by A. their own cowardice B. treachery and deceit C. superior military strategy _____ 8. Aeneas wanders for years, just like Homer's hero A. Hector B. Achilles C. Odysseus _____ 9. Allecto is sent by Juno to A. whip up thoughts of war B. calm the angry Latins C. make Aeneas fall in love with Lavinia _____ 10. Turnus' great flaw is that A. his passion for war is out of control B. he is a weak soldier C. he falls in love with a woman

11. What qualities make Aeneas a great leader? 12. Discuss how Aeneas' travels in the first six books of the Aeneid represent a voyage of self-discovery.

13. Do you like Aeneas or Dido better? Why? 14. Why does Aeneas kill Turnus? Was it the right thing to do? 15. Compare Dido and Turnus. How are they similar? How are they different?

_____ 1. Virgil wanted to tell the story of the founding of the Roman Empire because A. he felt the Empire had gone downhill B. he believed Augustus was destined to rule the world C. the Romans destroyed Carthage _____ 2. Two major subjects of the Aeneid are A. fate and duty B. arms and the man C. war and peace _____ 3. Julius Caesar claimed that he was descended from A. Jupiter B. Latinus C. Aeneas _____ 4. Juno's favorite city is A. Troy B. Carthage C. Rome _____ 5. Dido fell in love with Aeneas because A. Cupid shot her with an arrow B. they were both exiles C. Juno wanted to keep him in Carthage

_____ 6. Aeneas ran away from Troy because A. he was told in a dream to find a second Troy B. his father begged him to go C. he was disillusioned with Troy's leaders _____ 7. Aeneas gets a vision of the future of Rome when A. Dido shows him her tapestry in Carthage B. he visits Anchises in the Underworld C. Evander welcomes him in Italy _____ 8. A pair of close friends are A. Turnus and Pallas B. Aeneas and Ascanius C. Nisus and Euryalus _____ 9. Aeneas is similar to Homer's hero Achilles when A. he mourns his father B. he receives a magnificent shield from the gods C. he goes to the Underworld _____ 10. Rome was built on the site of: I. Troy II. Pallanteum III. Latium A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I, II, and III 11. Discuss the relationship between anger and disorder in the Aeneid. 12. What is the role of fate in the Aeneid? 13. What is the relationship between the gods and men? 14. Discuss how Virgil uses fire as a symbol of destruction. 15. The Aeneid is an epic about Rome. Discuss.


TEST 1 1. C 2. C 3. A 4. B 5. A 6. A 7. B 8. C 9. A 10. A 11. The first quality you would mention is Aeneas' strong sense of duty to his family, fellow Trojans, and the gods. Part of this quality is his complete lack of selfishness. For example, in Book II he carries his father, Anchises, out of Troy on his back. In Book IV he leaves Dido and all the happiness he had with her for the sake of his son and his country's future. Throughout, Aeneas always prays to the gods and obeys them. One result is that they help him. For example, Jupiter puts out the fire on the Trojan ships in Book V. Another quality you would discuss is Aeneas' great strength, skill, and bravery as a warrior. These are shown especially in the last four Books. You would point out that Aeneas always acts with moderation, even in war. He is never unnecessarily brutal, but when he has to kill, he can. (See Books X and XII.) You would also point out Aeneas' skill in reaching compromises and keeping order. For example, in Book V you see him award prizes to all the contestants in the funeral games so that everybody remains happy. In Books XI and XII you see that Aeneas is willing to fight Turnus alone to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. You could conclude by noting that all these qualities enable Aeneas to bring peace and order to Italy. Thus, he is the model for a perfect Roman leader.

12. You could answer this question by showing how in Book I Aeneas wishes that he had died in Troy, instead of being stuck in a storm at sea. His heart is still in the past. In Book II, he wants to fight even though Troy is doomed. He leaves only because the

gods tell him to. Then you could show how his travels in Book III illustrate how, at first, he has no idea of his destination. He keeps making mistakes and relying on his father, who doesn't know any better than he does. He doesn't make his own decisions until Anchises dies. Aeneas' stop in Buthrotum in Book III is the first indication that he is beginning to accept the necessity of change. Buthrotum is just like Troy and Aeneas could stay there but he leaves because he realizes that his fate is to build a completely new city. In Book IV Aeneas makes an important discovery about his emotions. He leaves Dido because he realizes that the future of his country and obedience to the gods are more important to him than love. Finally in Book VI, when Aeneas journeys to the underworld and sees the future of Rome, he becomes inspired by the future and is convinced that all his struggles are worth the effort. He leaves the past and Troy behind. 13. There is neither a right nor a wrong answer to this question. Although it depends on what you feel about the characters, you'll want to be able to explain why you feel the way you do. If you prefer Dido, you'll point out that she seems to be a real person with real feelings. She was generous and kind to Aeneas and his Trojans when they were desperate for help. Her only mistake was to love Aeneas too much. Even that wasn't her fault because Venus and Cupid made her fall in love. You'll also point out how badly Aeneas behaves when he leaves. He starts preparing the fleet before he has even spoken to Dido. When she finds out, he gives her a cold, rational explanation of why he must leave. He never expresses any emotion. It's as if the year they spent together never happened. It's no wonder that she goes crazy with grief and anger. Finally, you'd conclude that her act of killing herself was very courageous. If you like Aeneas better than Dido, you would emphasize how much strength it must have taken for him to leave her. You would point out that he really did love Dido, but that he had to leave because Jupiter ordered him to go. He had no choice. The reason that he didn't tell Dido was that he was trying to think of a gentle way to break the news. However, she attacked him before he could think of anything and he just told her the simple truth. You could show how much Aeneas really cared for Dido by mentioning the sad and tender way that he greets her when in Book VI he meets her shade in the underworld. TEST 2 1. 2. 3. 4. B B C B

5. A 6. A 7. B 8. C 9. B 10. B 11. The source of the anger in the Aeneid is Juno. She hates the Trojans (Book 1). But it isn't her anger alone that creates disorder. Juno's anger creates disorder because it goes against fate. The Trojans are fated to reach Italy and build a new city, but Juno is so angry that she can't stand this idea. Thus, she decides to fight fate, even though there is no way that she can win. All she can do is delay fate by causing trouble. You can see that the way Juno expresses her anger is irrational and that causes disorder. Other examples of uncontrolled anger that lead to disorder are Pyrrhus' attack on Priam (Book II), Dido's fury at Aeneas and decision to kill herself (Book IV), and Turnus' refusal to stop fighting (Book XI). You might want to point out that not all anger leads to disorder. If the anger is rational, it can be a force for order. You see that when Jupiter loses his patience with the gods for interfering in the Trojans' affairs (Book X), he brings order rather than disorder. Similarly, when Aeneas kills Turnus, his anger ends the trouble that Turnus has caused.

12. Fate is the moving force in the Aeneid. From the very beginning of Book I you know that Aeneas must leave Troy and go to Italy because he is compelled by fate. You also know that Aeneas is fated to build a new city and even that the Roman Empire is fated to arise. No one, not even the gods, can change fate. You'll want to discuss what effect fate has on the way men live their lives. Men must still struggle to discover their fates. Although Aeneas is destined to build his new city, it's a difficult task for him. Sometimes fate seems cruel or unfair. For example, Dido seems to be a victim of a very unlucky fate. Finally, you might want to discuss whether fate makes people the way they are or whether their fates result from the kinds of people they already are. For example, you could argue that Aeneas becomes a great leader because fate forces that role on him. (You could point out how in Books I- III he begins as a terribly unhappy and uncertain leader, but becomes a good leader by the end of the Aeneid.) Or you could argue that Aeneas reaches Italy and wins the war because he always had the qualities of a leader: great responsibility, determination, and strength.

13. On a literal level the gods are divine beings who are able to intervene in human affairs. They have personalities very much like human beings but are more powerful. They aren't completely benevolent-they have the same kinds of motivations that people do. For example, Juno becomes angry and vindictive. Venus, who wants her son to succeed, can be tricky and playful. (See Book 1.) The only god who seems more like our idea of a god, and less like a normal human being, is Jupiter, who is the king of the gods and more powerful than the others. He doesn't really take sides. He stands for order. He wants everything to go according to fate. Men must pray to the gods if they want to succeed. For example, in Book V you can see that the boat captain, Cloanthus, wins because he prays to the gods for help. The gods can help or hurt men, but they can't change a man's basic fate. On a symbolic level you can discuss how the gods seem to represent natural forces. For example, Juno always causes trouble by using natural elements: storms and fires. other gods seem to represent emotions that exist inside all of us. For example, Cupid (Book I) represents love, while Allecto (Book VII) represents anger and hatred. 14. Virgil uses fire imagery throughout the Aeneid to symbolize the destructive power of uncontrolled anger and passion. You could point to Book II where Troy is burning because of the angry attack of the Greeks (and the gods). You might mention how Dido's passion in Books I and IV is described as "burning," and you should talk about her funeral pyre, which Aeneas sees as he's sailing away. In Book V, the Trojan women set fire to the fleet after a goddess sent by Juno whips them into a frenzy. In Book VII, Allecto uses a torch to set Turnus on fire with passion for war and in Book IX, Turnus uses fire twice-once to try to burn the Trojan fleet, and once to burn down part of the Trojan fort. 15. First you would discuss how the Aeneid shows the early history of Rome from the fall of Troy in the 12th century B.C. to the first settlement by Aeneas. Then Book VI shows what happened from Aeneas' death to the time of Augustus. You would also discuss how Virgil uses Aeneas as a model of a great Roman leader. You might also consider Book VIII, where Aeneas visits Evander at the future site of Rome, and learns basic Roman virtues such as the merits of a simple life, strength, and sound political judgment. Finally you could show how the Aeneid reflects Roman political crises that happened during Virgil's time. For example, Aeneas ends the war in Italy just as Augustus ended the civil wars in Rome.

Animal Farm George Orwell

THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES George Orwell was a quiet, decent Englishman who passionately hated two things: inequality and political lying. Out of his hatred of inequality came a desire for a society in which class privileges would not exist. This to him was "democratic socialism." His hatred of political lying and his support for socialism led him to denounce the political lie that what was going on in the Soviet Union had anything to do with socialism. As long as people equated the Soviet Union with socialism, he felt, no one could appreciate what democratic socialism might be like. And so, he says, he "thought of exposing the Soviet myth in a story that could be easily understood by almost anyone and which could be easily translated into other languages." That story was Animal Farm, and it has been translated into many other languages. Understanding Orwell's political convictions- and how they developedwill greatly enrich your reading of Animal Farm. He was born Eric Blair- he took the name George Orwell many years later- in 1903, in India. His father was an important British civil servant in that country, which was then part of the British Empire. He retired on a modest pension and moved back to England a few years after Eric was born. Thus the family was part of the "lower upper-middleclasses," as Orwell was to say: people in the English upper classes who weren't rich, but who felt they should live as the upper classes traditionally did. That's why, when Eric was eight, the Blairs sent him away to boarding school to prepare for Eton, an exclusive prep school. Eric had a scholarship, and yet his father still ended up spending almost a quarter of his pension to send his son to that boarding school! From his parents' point of view, the sacrifice paid off: Eric won a scholarship to Eton. From the boy's point of view, it meant that in a ferociously snobbish, class-conscious world, he twice had the humiliating experience of being the poorest boy in the school. "In a world where the prime necessities were money, titled relatives, athleticism, tailormade clothes... I was no good," he wrote years later, in a powerful essay on his school experiences called "Such, Such Were the Joys." In his first school, he was repeatedly beaten with a cane for being "no good" in various ways. And he was made to feel ashamed for "living off the bounty" of the headmaster-owner, that is, for having a scholarship. From the age of eight to eighteen, the boy learned a lot about inequality and oppression in British schools.

He graduated from Eton at eighteen, near the bottom of his class. There was no chance of a scholarship to Oxford, so Eric followed in his father's footsteps and passed the Empire's Civil Service Examination. As a member of the Imperial Police in British-ruled Burma, he was to see inequality and oppression from another point of view- from the top. The fact that he was a part of that top intensified the feelings of distance and anger that he already had toward his own class. After five years in Burma he resigned. When he came back to Europe in 1927, he lived for more than a year in Paris, writing novels and short stories that nobody published. When his money ran out, he had to find work as a teacher, a private tutor, and even as a dishwasher. He was poor- but of his own choice. His family could have sent him the money to get back to England and find a better job than dishwashing in a Paris hotel. Perhaps he was too proud to ask for help. But there was another, deeper reason: he felt guilty for the job he had done in Burma- for having been part of an oppressive government. He saw his years of poverty as punishment- and as a way to understand the problems of the oppressed and helpless by becoming one of them. By 1933 he had come up from the bottom enough to write a book about it: Down and Out in Paris and London. Probably to save his family embarrassment, Eric asked that the book be published under a pen name. He suggested a few to his publisher. One of them was the name of a river he loved: Orwell. The next year, "George Orwell" published Burmese Days, a sad, angry novel about his experiences there. Two more novels followed. In 1936 came another significant experience in Orwell's life. His publisher sent him to the English coal-mining country to write about it. Here he again saw poverty close upnot the "picturesque" poverty of Paris streets and English tramps, but the dreary poverty of tough men killing themselves in the dark mines day after day, or- worse still- hungry and out of work. He wrote a powerful piece of first-hand reporting about what he saw there: The Road to Wigan Pier. Afterwards, Orwell described himself as "pro-Socialist," yet he was often bitterly critical of British socialists. To refuse to "join" his own side, to insist instead on telling the unpleasant truth as he saw it, was to become an Orwell trademark. In 1937, however, Orwell did join a side he believed in, and it almost cost him his life: he volunteered to fight for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. Fascism was rising in Europe: Mussolini had taken power in Italy, Hitler in Germany. In Spain, where a shaky democratic Republic had recently been born, a socialist government was elected, promising land reform, voting reform, and separation of

Church and State. A group of right-wing generals led by Francisco Franco revolted against the Republic with their armies. The government was forced to arm factory workers to defend itself against the armies- and a long, bloody civil war began. Three experiences were crucial for Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. The first was what he saw when he got there. In Barcelona, Orwell found an exhilarating atmosphere of "comradeship and respect," everyone addressing each other as "comrade," treating each other as equals. The same thing was true, he said, of the militia group he joined. Orwell believed he was seeing the success of socialism in action. The second thing that marked Orwell was what happened to his fellow fighters. They were jailed and shot- not by Franco, but by their own "comrades," Communistdominated elements of the same Republican government they were fighting for! The Communists disagreed with some of the views of the militia group Orwell belonged to; they suspected the men of being disloyal to Communist ideas. Luckily for Orwell, he was not rounded up with his fellow soldiers. He had been shot through the throat on the front lines and was shipped back to England for treatment. The third experience that would stay with Orwell for the rest of his life was what happened when he returned to England and reported what he had seen. None of the socialists wanted to hear it; nobody believed it. He was an eyewitness? No matter. It was not the right time to say something that might hurt the Republican side. So Orwell had seen the socialist ideal in action, and he had seen it crushed- not by its natural enemies on the Right, but by Communists on the Left. And he had seen the infuriating incapacity of the Left, even the non-Communist Left, to accept that truth. All of this was very much on his mind when, in the middle of World War II, he resigned his job on the BBC (the Army wouldn't take him because of his bad lungs) and began writing Animal Farm, in November 1943. Once again it looked like the wrong time for a story to "expose the Soviet myth." The Soviet Union was Britain's ally in the war against Nazi Germany. And in fact four publishers would turn down Animal Farm. But what was "the Soviet myth"? Why did enlightened, humane people not want to believe ill of the Soviet Union? To see what Animal Farm is about, we must look at what happened in Russia, and what it meant for people who were in many ways Orwell's political friends. THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION Ideas play a part in any revolution, but the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917- the one that changed "Russia" into the "U.S.S.R."- was noteworthy for being principally

inspired by one idea. It was a revolution consciously made in the name of one class (the working class, the "proletariat") and against another class (the owners, the "bourgeoisie"). The Revolution was made by men who believed with Karl Marx that the whole history of the world was the history of a struggle between classes- between oppressors and oppressed. Marx, like other socialist thinkers of the 19th century, denounced the cruel injustices of industrial capitalist society as he saw it. He had a vision of ending "the exploitation of man by man" and establishing a classless society, in which all people would be equal. The only means to this end, he thought, was a revolution of the exploited (the proletariat) against the exploiters (the bourgeoisie), so that workers would own the means of production, such as the factories and machinery. This revolution would set up a "dictatorship of the proletariat" to do away with the old bourgeois order (the capitalist system) and eventually replace it with a classless society. Lenin took this idea and further focused on the role of the Communist Party as the leader of the working class. When Lenin reached Russia in 1917 a first revolution against the crumbling regime of the Czar had already taken place. The new government was democratic, but "bourgeois." Lenin victoriously headed the radical socialist (Bolshevik) revolution in October of that year. This was immediately followed by four years of bloody civil war: the Revolution's Red Army, organized and led by Leon Trotsky, had to defeat the "Whites" (Russians loyal to the Czar or just hostile to the Communists) and foreign troops, too. At Lenin's death in 1924, there was a struggle between Joseph Stalin and Trotsky for leadership of the Communist Party and thus of the nation. In 1925, Stalin clearly gained the upper hand; in 1927, he was able to expel Trotsky from the Party. Later Trotsky was exiled, then deported, and finally assassinated in Mexico, probably by a Stalinist agent, in 1940. All this time, Stalin never stopped denouncing Trotsky as a traitor. Power in the Soviet Union became increasingly concentrated in Stalin's hands. In the 1930s, massive arrests and a series of public trials not only eliminated all possible opposition, but loyal Bolsheviks and hundreds of thousands of other absolutely innocent Russians. Still, people all over the world who felt the pull of Marx's ideal- an end to exploitation and oppression, as they saw it- thought of the Soviet Union as the country of the Revolution. It was hard for many people on the Left (who think of themselves as on

the side of the exploited, and want major changes in society to attain social justice) to give up this loyalty. That's one reason why Orwell wrote Animal Farm.

Animal Farm George Orwell

THE FABLE THE PLOT One night when Farmer Jones has gone to bed drunk, all the animals of Manor Farm assemble in the barn for a meeting. Old Major, the prize pig, wants to tell them about a strange dream he had. First, he tells them in clear, powerful language "the nature of life" as he has come to understand it. Animals toil, suffer, get barely enough to eat; as soon as they are no longer useful, they are slaughtered. And why? Because animals are enslaved by Man, "the only creature that consumes without producing." There is only one solution: Man must be removed. And animals must be perfectly united for their common goal: Rebellion. After a brief interruption caused by the dogs chasing after some rats and a vote proposed by Major to decide if rats are comrades (they are), Major sums up: All animals are friends, Man is the enemy. Animals must avoid Man's habits: no houses, beds, clothes, alcohol, money, trade. Above all, "we are brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal." He cannot describe his dream to them, "a dream of the earth as it will be when Man has vanished." But he does teach them an old animal song, "Beasts of England," which came back to him in his dream. The repeated singing of this revolutionary song throws the animals into a frenzy. Major dies soon after, but the animals feel they should prepare for the Rebellion he preached. The work of teaching and organizing the others falls on the pigs, thought to be the cleverest animals. Snowball and Napoleon are "pre-eminent among the pigs"; and then there is Squealer, "a brilliant talker."

Mr. Jones drinks and neglects his farm more and more. One evening, when he has forgotten to feed them for over a day, the animals break into the store-shed and begin helping themselves. Jones and his men charge in, lashing with their whips. This is more than the hungry animals can bear. They all fling themselves on their tormentors. The surprised and frightened men are driven from the farm. Unexpectedly, the Rebellion has been accomplished. Jones is expelled; Manor Farm belongs to the animals. The joy of the animals knows no bounds when they realize that they're now the owners of the farm they've worked on all their lives. They're enthusiastic when the pigs, who have taught themselves to read and write, change the sign MANOR FARM to ANIMAL FARM, andpaint the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the barn wall: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal. All animals are equal.

Now the cows must be milked. The pigs manage to do this. "What is going to happen to all that milk?" says someone. "Never mind the milk, comrade," cries Napoleon. "The main thing is to get the harvest in." When they come back from the fields, the milk has disappeared. Despite the newness of running the farm by themselves, the animals succeed in doing all tasks in record time. The pigs' cleverness, everyone's enthusiasm, and hard workespecially the work of Boxer, the huge cart-horse- pull them through. On Sundays there are ceremonies to celebrate the Rebellion, and meetings to plan work. (Here, Snowball and Napoleon never seem to agree.) The animals are taught to read, but the dumber ones can't even learn the Seven Commandments, so Snowball reduces them all to one maxim: FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD. The sheep like to bleat it for hours on end. Snowball also organizes Committees, but Napoleon is not interested; he's concerned with the education of the young, and takes two litters of puppies away as soon as they're weaned, saying he'll educate them. As for the missing milk, it goes to the pigs, as do the new apples. Squealer explains that this is absolutely necessary for all the brainwork the pigs do; otherwise Jones might come back, and nobody wants that to happen.

Jones and his men do try to retake the farm. But Snowball has prepared the animals, and thanks to his cleverness and courage- and Boxer's great strength- they fight off the invaders. There is growing conflict between Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball comes up with the idea of a grand project: building a windmill; Napoleon says it will come to nothing. Snowball says they should stir animals to rebel on other farms; Napoleon says they should get guns for their own. Finally, when Snowball concludes an eloquent speech about labor-saving electricity to be produced by the windmill, Napoleon gives a signal. Then nine huge dogs- the pups he had raised- bound in and charge at Snowball, who barely escapes from the farm with his life. Napoleon, surrounded by his fierce dogs, announces that there will be no more timewasting debates: a special Committee of pigs, chaired by himself, will simply give the animals their work orders each week. Four young pigs begin to protest, but growls from the dogs silence them, and the sheep bleat FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD over and over, preventing discussion. Surprisingly, a few days later Napoleon announces that the windmill will be built after all. The animals slave and sacrifice for the project. Some of their food has to be sold to buy building materials. The pigs, however, have moved into the farmhouse, where they sleep in beds. This is absolutely necessary, says Squealer. But isn't it contrary to the Fourth Commandment? The animals check: "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets," it says. Meanwhile a storm topples the half-built windmill. Napoleon blames the destruction on Snowball. In fact, although Boxer refuses to believe Snowball was a traitor from the start, there seem to be signs of Snowball's sabotage all over when things go wrong. One day, Napoleon orders all animals to assemble in the yard. The dogs rush forward and grab four young pigs by the ear and drag them before Napoleon. (They also rush at Boxer, but he simply pins one to the ground and lets him go.) The terrified pigs confess they were in league with Snowball to destroy the windmill and hand the Farm over to Man. After they confess, the dogs tear their throats out. The same thing happens to three hens, a goose, etc. The confessions pile up and so do the corpses. The depressed, frightened animals creep away when the executions are over. Some of the animals think they remember that these killings violate the Sixth Commandment. But on the barn wall they read: "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." Later, still more animals are executed for conspiring to kill Napoleon. He is now constantly surrounded by dogs, and showered with honors: for example, a poem to his glory is inscribed on the barn wall.

Animal Farm is attacked by its neighbor, Mr. Frederick, and his armed men; the men take possession of the whole pasture, and blow up the windmill. But after a bitter fight, the animals repel the invaders, though some animals are killed and almost all are wounded. The pigs celebrate with a drinking party. Soon after, there's a mysterious crash one night. Squealer is found on the ground next to a ladder at the barn wall, with a pot of paint near him. A few days later, the animals notice there's another commandment they had remembered wrong: it reads "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." Times are hard, rations short for everyone (except for the pigs, who need their food), the windmill must be rebuilt, and a schoolhouse built for the young pigs. Boxer works tirelessly, although he is getting old. He wants to lay up a good store of building stone before he retires. One day as he's pulling a cartload, he collapses. Squealer announces that Comrade Napoleon is making special arrangements to have Boxer treated at a nearby hospital. When the van comes to take him away, however, his friend Benjamin the donkey reads the sign on its side: in fact, he discovers, they're taking Boxer to the horse slaughterer. But it's too late; the van drives away. Three days later, Squealer paints a moving picture of Boxer's death in the hospital. The pigs will hold a banquet in his honor, he says. There is raucous singing in the farmhouse that night; somewhere the pigs have acquired the money to buy another case of whiskey. Years pass. The animals work hard and often go hungry. There are many new buildings and machines on the farm, and also many new dogs and pigs. Maybe this is why the animals have no more to eat than before. But at least it's their farm. One day Squealer takes the sheep to a secluded spot for a whole week. When they return, the animals see something strange and frightening: a pig walking on its hind legs. Yes, first Squealer, then the other pigs, walk upright out of the farmhouse. Finally Napoleon himself appears. He is carrying a whip in his trotter (foot). The animals are perhaps about to protest- when all the sheep burst out into a bleating of FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER!- and the pigs file back into the house. Clover the mare asks Benjamin to read the Commandments to her, and he does. All that's left on the wall is one slogan: ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. From then on, the pigs all carry whips; they buy a radio, dress in Jones' clothes. Soon they receive a visit from neighboring farmers. Loud voices and song are heard coming from the farmhouse that night. Despite their fear, the animals are curious; they creep up to the windows to watch. Men and pigs are sitting around the table, drinking and speech-making. When a farmer toasts the success of Animal Farm- its discipline and

enforced work leave nothing to be desired by any standard- Napoleon replies that he will take some more measures to cement normal business relations with their neighbors: the custom of animals addressing one another as "comrade" will be abolished, for example (singing "Beasts of England" had been forbidden long ago) and the farm will go back to its original name: Manor Farm. But the party soon degenerates into a quarrel. When the animals peek in again, they find that as they look from pig to man, from man to pig, it is impossible to say which is which. [Animal Farm Contents]

THE CHARACTERS In Animal Farm Orwell is more concerned with political psychology than with individual characters. Remember, this is a fable, not a novel. The animals are meant to represent certain types of human beings, not complex individuals. Some of them are even group characters, without any individual name: "the sheep," "the hens." The "main character" of Animal Farm is actually all of the animals taken together as a group. It's what happens to the group as a whole- whether their Rebellion succeeds or fails, and why- that really matters. Still, it is important to notice the distinctions between certain types and individuals.

THE PIGS They lead the Rebellion from the start and progressively take on the same power and characteristics as the human masters they helped overthrow. They represent corrupted human leaders, in particular, the Bolsheviks, who led the overthrow of the capitalist Russian government, only to become new masters in their turn. o OLD MAJOR Old Major is the wise old pig whose stirring speech to the animals helps set the Rebellion in motion- though he dies before it actually begins. His role compares with that of Karl Marx, whose ideas set the Communist Revolution in motion. o NAPOLEON AND SNOWBALL Napoleon and Snowball struggle for leadership of the Farm after Major's death. Snowball is an energetic, brilliant leader. He's the one who successfully organizes the defense of the Farm (like Trotsky with the Red Army). He's an eloquent speaker with original- although not necessarily beneficial- ideas (the windmill). Napoleon is a "large, rather

fierce-looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way." And so he does. Instead of debating with Snowball, he sets his dogs on him and continues to increase his personal power and privileges from that time on. What counts for him is power, not ideas. Note his name: think of the other Napoleon (Bonaparte) who took over the French Revolution and turned it into a personal Empire. Napoleon's character also suggests that of Stalin and other dictators as well. o SQUEALER Squealer is short, fat, twinkle-eyed and nimble, "a brilliant talker." He has a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail that is somehow very persuasive. They say he can turn black into white! That's just what he does, again and again: every time the pigs take more wealth and power, Squealer persuades the animals that this is absolutely necessary for the well-being of all. When things are scarce, he proves that production has increased- with figures. He is also the one who makes all the changes in the Seven Commandments. In human terms he is the propaganda apparatus that spreads the "big lie" and makes people believe in it. THE HORSES o BOXER AND CLOVER Boxer and Clover represent the long-suffering workers and peasants of the world. Orwell presents them as being big, strong, patient, and decent- but not too bright. Boxer believes in the Rebellion and in its Leader. His two favorite sayings are "Napoleon is always right" and "I will work harder." His huge size and strength and his untiring labor save the Farm again and again. He finally collapses from age and overwork, and is sold for glue. Clover the mare is a motherly, protective figure. She survives to experience, dimly and wordlessly, all the sadness of the failed Revolution. o MOLLIE Mollie, the frivolous, luxury-loving mare, contrasts with Clover. She deserts Animal Farm for sugar and ribbons at a human inn. Orwell may have been thinking of certain Russian nobles who left after the Revolution, or of a general human type. OTHER ANIMALS o THE DOGS The dogs represent the means used by a totalitarian state to terrorize its own people. Think of them as Napoleon's secret police.

THE SHEEP The stupid sheep keep bleating away any slogan the pigs teach them. You can guess who they are. o MURIEL Muriel the goat reads better than Clover and often reads things (such as Commandments) out loud to her. o BENJAMIN Gloomy Benjamin, the donkey, may remind you of Eeyore in Winniethe-Pooh, except that unlike Eeyore he never complains about his own personal problems. He is a skeptic and a pessimist- we'd almost say a cynic, if it weren't for his loyal devotion to Boxer. Like his friend, he doesn't talk much and patiently does his work, although- unlike Boxerno more than is required. He's also unlike Boxer in that he does not believe in the Revolution, nor in anything else, except that life is hard. Whatever political question he is asked, he replies only that "Donkeys live a long time" and "None of you has ever seen a dead donkey." He survives. o THE PIGEONS The pigeons spread the word of Rebellion beyond the farm, as many Communists spread the doctrine of the revolution beyond the boundaries of the Soviet Union. o MOSES Moses the Raven, who does no work, but tells comforting tales of the wonderful Sugarcandy Mountain where you go when you die, is a satire of organized religion. (Marx called religion, in a famous phrase, "the opiate of the people.") In terms of Russia, Moses represents the Orthodox Church. Watch what happens to him in the story. THE HUMANS o FARMER JONES In the narrowest sense the drunken, negligent Farmer Jones represents the Czar. He also stands for any government that declines through its own corruption and mismanagement. o PILKINGTON Pilkington, who likes hunting and fishing more than farming, represents Orwell's view of the decadent British gentleman in particular- and of the Allied nations in general, especially Britain and France. o FREDERICK The cruel Frederick represents Germany.

WHYMPER Whymper is a commercial go-between for animals and humans- just as certain capitalists have always transacted business with Communist nations.

[Animal Farm Contents]


SETTING As its title implies, Animal Farm is set on a farm. But Orwell uses the farm to represent a universe in miniature. It sometimes seems idyllic, peaceful, fresh, springlike. Usually moments when it is perceived in this way contrast ironically with the real situation of the animals. The setting suggests an attitude: "this could be utopia, but..." It does not really interest Orwell in itself. Sometimes he sketches a wintry, bleak, cold decor, a perfect backdrop for hard times. Here you could think of the setting as a metaphor- a way of representing hard times. THEMES Animal Farm concerns one of the central political experiences of our time: revolution. On those relatively rare occasions when men and women have decided to change radically the system of government they were born under, there has been revolution. It has been on the rise in the last three hundred years of human history. If we want to understand the world we live in, we must try to understand the phenomenon of revolution- the how, the why, the what-happens-then. One way of doing so is to see how an imaginative writer deals with it. You can think of this as an important benefit of reading Animal Farm. Animal Farm is also about another crucial political phenomenon of our time, one which is perhaps unique to the 20th century: the rise of the totalitarian state. Even though he's less concerned with totalitarianism in Animal Farm than in his novel 1984, Orwell does give us an imaginative analysis of totalitarian dictatorship in Animal Farm. So another thing we can get from this book is a feel for how a modern dictatorship works.

STYLE The story of Animal Farm is told in a simple, straightforward style. The sentences are often short and spare, with a simple subject-verb-object structure: "Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing." "It was a bitter winter." The story follows a single line of action, calmly told, with no digressions. Orwell's style, said one critic, has "relentless simplicity" and "pathetic doggedness" of the animals themselves. There is a kind of tension in Animal Farm between the sad story the author has to tell and the lucid, almost light way he tells it. POINT OF VIEW Orwell uses point of view in Animal Farm to create irony. Irony is a contrast or contradiction, such as between what a statement seems to say and what it really means- or between what characters expect to happen and what really happens. The story is told from the naive point of view of the lower animals, not from that of the clever pigs or an all-seeing narrator. Thus, when there's a crash one night and Squealer is found in the barn sprawled on the ground beside a broken ladder, a brush, and a pot of paint, it is "a strange incident which hardly anyone was able to understand." A few days later the animals find that the Fifth Commandment painted on the barn wall is not exactly as they remembered it; in fact there are, they can now see, two words at the end that "they had forgotten." No comment from the narrator. This simple irony is sometimes charged with great intensity in Animal Farm. For example, when Boxer, who has literally worked himself to death for the Farm, is carted off in a van to the "hospital," and Benjamin reads out "Horse Slaughterer" on the side of the van (too late), we know- and for once at least some of the animals know- what has really happened: the sick horse has been sold for glue. No irony. But when Squealer gives his fake explanation about the vet who didn't have time to paint over the slaughterer's old sign, we are gravely informed that "The animals were enormously relieved to hear this." And two paragraphs later, at the end of the chapter, when there is a banquet- for the pigs- in Boxer's honor, we hear the sound of singing coming from the farmhouse, and the last sentence tells us that the word went round that from somewhere or other the pigs had acquired the money to buy themselves another case of whisky." Most of the animals don't make the connection between Boxer's being taken away and the pigs suddenly having more money- and the narrator doesn't seem to make the connection either. But Orwell makes sure we, the readers, don't miss it. The irony- the contrast between what the animals believe, what the

narrator actually tells us, and what we know to be the truth- fills us with more anger than an open denunciation could have done. FORM AND STRUCTURE Animal Farm successfully combines the characteristics of three literary forms- the fable, the satire, and the allegory. Animal Farm is a fable- a story usually having a moral, in which beasts talk and act like men and women. Orwell's animal characters are both animal and human. The pigs, for example, eat mash- real pig food- but with milk in it that they have grabbed and persuaded the other animals to let them keep (a human action). The dogs growl and bite the way real dogs do- but to support Napoleon's drive for political power. Orwell never forgets this delicate balance between how real animals actually behave and what human qualities his animals are supposed to represent. Part of the fable's humorous charm lies in the simplicity with which the characters are drawn. Each animal character is a type, with one human trait, or two at most- traits usually associated with that particular kind of animal. Using animals as types is also Orwell's way of keeping his hatred and anger against exploiters under control. Instead of crying, "All political bosses are vicious pigs!" he keeps his sense of humor by reporting calmly: "In future, all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs." (No wonder that when a publisher who rejected the book, afraid to give offense, wanted to have some animal other than pigs representing these bosses, Orwell called it an "imbecile suggestion.") The aspect of human life that most interested Orwell was not psychological; it was political: how people act as a group, how societies are formed and function. Clearly, Animal Farm is a story about a revolution for an ideal, and about how that ideal is increasingly betrayed until it disappears altogether from the new society after the revolution. Since Orwell attacks that new society, and since, despite the grim, bitter picture he paints of it, he attacks it with humor (the humor of the beast fable), we can also call Animal Farm a satire. The immediate object of attack in Orwell's political satire is the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The events narrated in Animal Farm obviously and continuously refer to events in another story, the history of the Russian Revolution. In other words, Animal Farm is not only a charming fable ("A Fairy Story," as Orwell playfully subtitles it) and a bitter political satire; it is also an allegory.

You can enjoy Animal Farm without knowing this, of course, just as you can enjoy Swift's Gulliver's Travels without realizing that it, too, is a bitter satire and in places a political allegory. But to understand the book as fully as possible, we'll want to pay attention to the historical allegory as we go along. A STEP BEYOND TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST 1 _____ 1. In Animal Farm George Orwell makes the point that A. to the victor belongs the spoils B. power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely C. Communism is the most evil form of government _____ 2. Animal Farm illustrates A. the deterioration into tyranny of a political system that began full of promise B. the wisdom of not forming alliances C. the basic animalistic nature of humanity _____ 3. The novel is A. devoid of humor B. a mixture of humor and seriousness C. best understood as a comedy in which animals assume human traits _____ 4. The Battle of the Windmill represents A. the Animals' attempt to mechanize the Farm B. the Russian Civil War C. Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II _____ 5. Which are correctly paired? A. Farmer Jones- the Czar of Russia B. Major- Stalin C. Napoleon- Hitler

_____ 6. In the final scene the pigs are A. each other B. the humans C. the other animals _____ 7. Napoleon made the mistake of A. accepting counterfeit notes B. trusting Squealer C. siding with Frederick against Pilkington _____ 8. The animals who confess their crimes are A. pardoned B. jailed C. executed _____ 9. Napoleon says he is abolishing the singing of "Beasts of England" because A. the song had limited appeal to the newer generation B. the hope expressed in the song had already been realized C. it distracted the animals from their work _____ 10. In the end, the sheep are bleating A. "Four legs good, two legs bad" B. "Four legs good, two legs better" C. "Animals are equal to humans" 11. Why does Orwell use animals for characters? 12. Compare Animal Farm and 1984. 13. There is an animated cartoon film of Animal Farm with a happy ending: animals on other farms realize Napoleon has set up a dictatorship; they rise up and overthrow him. Is this ending a good idea? 14. Is Animal Farm an attack on socialism? 15. Discuss the significance of Animal Farm as an allegory. -

TEST 2 _____ 1. Squealer A. acts as the middleman when Napoleon has to deal with humans B. offers explanations for every move taken by the leadership C. is the only individualist on the farm _____ 2. Which is not true of Benjamin the donkey? A. He offers no opinion on the Revolution B. He says life will go on as always- badly C. He has no friends on the farm _____ 3. Before Snowball was expelled, Napoleon gave the highest priority to A. the education of the young B. building a windmill C. following the Seven Commandments of Animalism _____ 4. Boxer's slogan was A. "The fruits of our labors belong to us!" B. "The Revolution will succeed!" C. "I will work harder!" _____ 5. Boxer is ultimately A. retired and rewarded for his faithful service B. blamed for the loss of the windmill C. sold to the knacker _____ 6. Almost caught red-handed in the act of changing the Commandments is A. Muriel the goat B. the cat C. Squealer _____ 7. The scapegoat for the shortcomings of Napoleon's regime is -

A. Snowball B. Boxer C. the neighboring humans _____ 8. The raven, with his promise of Sugarcandy Mountain for the animals after they die, A. is forever banished from Animal Farm B. sides first with Snowball, then with Napoleon C. is banished but is allowed to return and given daily rations though he does no work _____ 9. The Seven Commandments are later reduced to one: A. All animals are equal B. Four legs good, two legs bad C. Contact with humans corrupts _____ 10. Mollie, the white mare, A. saves Boxer in the Battle of the Cowshed B. has a weakness for ribbons and sugar C. learned the alphabet more easily than the other horses 11. Judging from Animal Farm, what does Orwell's own political philosophy seem to be? 12. The "Commandment" All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others has become famous. Why? What significance does this "Commandment" have in the context of the story? 13. Discuss the image of the Leader in Animal Farm. 14. Discuss the satiric techniques used in Animal Farm. 15. Does Animal Farm have a hero? ANSWERS TEST 1

1. B 2. A 3. B 4. C 5. A 6. B 7. A 8. C 9. B 10. B 11. Orwell's main concerns in this book are political (how people act together, how societies function) and satiric (to attack-with-a-smile). For both of these purposes, types rather than complex characters are most useful; individual psychology would just get in Orwell's way. Then, too, he wanted a story with humor and charm that he could tell simply, a story that could be widely translated; the animal fable is perfect for these reasons. You'll want to give some specific examples of Orwell's humorous and satiric use of combinations of human-and-animal traits. 12. The last two books Orwell wrote have much in common. Their main concerns are political and their themes are similar. 1984 can be seen as the sequel to Animal Farm: Animal Farm concerns the rise of a totalitarian dictatorship; in 1984, totalitarianism has utterly triumphed. "Newspeak" in 1984 is a logical development from the corruption of language we've noted in Animal Farm. The rewriting of history has developed tremendously in 1984; that's Winston Smith's job! Cruelty is enormously developed in 1984, as is, obviously, repression. As for inequality, the proles in 1984 bear a curious and disturbing resemblance to the animals in Animal Farm. The basic and obvious difference is that 1984 is a novel with human characters. The humor and charm of the beast fable was the last thing Orwell wanted in 1984. Still, Orwell's final novel can make us more aware of the grim warning implicit in Animal Farm. 13. Definitely not! It misses the political point of Animal Farm: at the end of the book the old slaves are slaves again, despite their Rebellion, and will remain so indefinitely. That was the message Orwell intended to convey; he certainly didn't believe there was an easy answer to the problem. Animal Farm is a work of despair and very little hope. A happy ending to Animal Farm would also make an artistic mess of the whole story: Animal Farm progresses logically, inexorably, toward the last scene (almost like tragedy), so much so that, like Clover, we have a hard time saying how we got there.

To add an extra episode to Orwell's ending is to destroy his beautifully structured whole. 14. This is debatable. It certainly is an attack on Soviet Communism: Napoleon equals Stalin, the pigs equal Communist bureaucrats, etc. Inequality and oppression are brought about through the use of propaganda (Squealer) and terror (the dogs). Then, too, a basic belief of Major (Marx) is ferociously disproved in the book: just get rid of Man (capitalists), he told the animals, and everything will be great. They do and they end up as badly off as they were before revolting. But Orwell himself said that everything he wrote after 1937 was "against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism," so clearly he would want to make a distinction. If it seems to you that Major's speech is presented as a worthwhile ideal, if the animals' happiness in the early days of the Revolution is not presented ironically as an illusion (Chapter II), then you will see evidence of Orwell's positive attitude toward socialism in Animal Farm. Remember, though, that some readers have seen those episodes as satires of socialist ideals. The most convincing argument that the book is not an attack on socialism is what happens to the pigs: they turn into men- in other words, they become the capitalist enemy they originally set out to overthrow. In Orwell's view that appears to have been the worst thing that could have happened to them. And take a good look at Pilkington, who represents the capitalist democracies of Britain and France: does Orwell make him a particularly attractive character? Remember, too, that whatever your views about socialism may be, the question asks you about Orwell's. You might come to the conclusion that the fable satirizes both capitalism and socialism. That would make it a negative work indeed. Or you might want to return to Orwell's distinction between "socialism" and Soviet dictatorship. 15. This is a difficult question that you need to break down into sections. Try distinguishing different types of allegory such as 1. political allegory, in which the dogs represent the Secret Police, and 2. historical allegory, in which the Battle of the Cowshed parallels the Civil War. To be an allegory, of course, an episode does not have to refer to a specific historical event. The death of Boxer, for instance, has political significance, but is not a statement about the death of any particular individual. TEST 2 1. 2. 3. 4. B C A C

5. C 6. C 7. A 8. C 9. B 10. B 11. You may conclude that Orwell's philosophy in this book is purely negative: we know he detests Soviet Communism, and he doesn't seem to have any great affection for capitalism, either. Most of his sympathy is for the common people (the animals), which would put him in the camp of the Left (and of course this view is supported by the rest of his work). On the other hand, seeing the working class as "animals" doesn't exactly lead you to socialism. Perhaps you can explain that Orwell does promote a set of definite political values, even if he doesn't outline a coherent political philosophy. These values include: 1. 2. 3. 4. love of honesty (hatred of lying) respect for common decency (Clover, Boxer) love of freedom (hatred of repression and dictators) desire for equality (hatred of inequality and oppression).

The last point is the most problematic: what if there is a natural hierarchy, what if some people really are more equal than others? This question is implied in Animal Farm in a way that perhaps Orwell himself did not see. But then, he was a man who struggled all his life with his own feelings about the social class system. Finally, we may see in Animal Farm a lament for revolution rather than an attack on it. If only, Orwell seems to be saying, if only revolutionaries could be true to their own ideals! 12. This formula is a paradox, of course: nothing can be "more equal" than anything (or anybody) else. Thus it neatly expresses the hypocrisy of those who preach equality and neither practice it nor really believe in it. Apparently there are many people like that, for the expression has become proverbial. In the context of Animal Farm, the "Commandment" is 1. the final, ironic redefinition of an important word. 2. the final Commandment to be rewritten, and thus the ultimate example of the pigs' control over language, "history," and "truth."

3. a double reverse twist. The expression tells the truth: the pigs are "more equal," that is, superior in status to all the other animals. 13. The only leader who is not treated with ferocious satire is Major, and he is a. an intellectual leader only, and b. quickly dead and out of the way. The arch-leader is Napoleon, and he doesn't lead, he takes all power unto himself. Once in battle he actually "leads" from behind (Chapter VIII), although he is no coward. He drinks, is flattered outrageously, and appears "in triumph" like a king or god. All of this is seen from the outside, as actions or functions in the mechanism of dictatorship: we don't know what Napoleon himself thinks or feels, and Orwell clearly doesn't care. 14. You'll want to break your answer down into categories. Here are some examples: 1. CARICATURES: Mr. Jones (negligence and stupidity), Squealer (hypocrisy) 2. PARODIES: Major's speech (in Chapter I) Napoleon's speeches Minimus' poem and anthem 3. IRONY: The basic ironic technique of Animal Farm is that of feigned ignorance (see, for example, the pigs' drinking party). But this technique has a wide range of effects, from farce (the drinking party) to the deep, basic contradiction between the animals' beliefs- presented with no comment by the narrator- and the realities the reader is able to see or deduce. Finally, the satire in Animal Farm is not always meant to be funny. Pick some satiric episodes that do seem funny to you and some that don't. The ones that aren't funny will probably concern the basic target of satire in Animal Farm: a system that maintains inequality and oppression in the name of freedom and equality. 15. Some readers have seen Boxer as the hero: he saves the Farm again and again, in war and in work; in fact, he gives his life for the Farm- a kind of tragic hero, he has the flaw of blind faith. He is "too good"; his decency (or is it his stupidity?) blinds him to the real motives of those whom he serves with his great strength. On the other hand, you might argue that Boxer simply isn't around that much in the fable. Because we never know Boxer's thoughts- except for his two repeated maximsand because he is not at all the driving force behind any of the action, it's rather hard to see him as the hero of the book. You might want to argue that Animal Farm has a

collective hero: the animals. Or that, after all, why look for a hero at all? Orwell is concerned with politics in this book, not with individuals.

You Like It William Shakespeare

1600 THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES Like most of the major characters in As You Like It, William Shakespeare experienced life in both the country and the city. His birthplace- Stratford, on the Avon River- was a bustling country town. He arrived in London, the social, commercial, and intellectual center of England, during the reign of Elizabeth I, at the height of the English Renaissance. All classes of Englishmen, including artisans, the new middle class, and the nobility, shared a keen desire to be entertained. The influx of wealth from the New World had given many of them money to spend. Since Shakespeare's plays were- and still are- crowd pleasers, he quickly became one of the most successful playwrights of his time. It should be helpful to examine a few ways in which As You Like It reflects the interests of the audience for which it was written. For example, Elizabethan audiences took great pleasure in the type of complex wordplay practiced by Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone. During the Renaissance, the English had begun to take their own language seriously for the first time. It had previously been considered too coarse for the expression of subtle ideas or fine shades of meaning. ("Serious" writing was still done in Latin.) Shakespeare probably shared his audience's enthusiasm for exploring the potential of their native tongue. As You Like It draws upon an Elizabethan genre (type of literature) known as the pastoral romance. As escapist literature, the pastoral romance (a love story with a country setting) was extremely popular. Its conventions were as fixed and artificial as the formula plots of today's romance novels. These love stories were set in idealized country locales, where life was pure and innocent. The rustic settings were populated by shepherds and shepherdesses who thought only of love and spoke of their passion in elaborate (and sometimes awful) verse. Love at first sight was commonplace. The characters suffered the pangs of unrequited love. In the forest settings of these stories, you might encounter a lion, a magician, or a band of thieves. Elizabethans would have recognized the poetic rustics Silvius and Phebe from As You Like It as stock

characters out of such a pastoral romance. They would have enjoyed seeing Rosalind save Orlando from becoming just another lovesick young man like Silvius. Many noble Elizabethan households kept professional fools such as Touchstone for entertainment. His role was actually written for Robert Armin, who had been a professional fool before joining Shakespeare's acting company. Jesters occupied a special place in Elizabethan society. They could mix with both kings and servants. As long as they pleased their masters, they could say almost anything they wished. Often, Shakespeare's fools tell the truth when nobody else will. As you will see, Touchstone exposes pretension and foolishness wherever he finds them. The romance and humor of As You Like It are played out against a backdrop of danger and political intrigue. Rosalind and Orlando both flee the city under threat of death. Much is made of the "envious court," where nobody can be trusted and where flatterers are always seeking to add to their own power. This darker side of life was also a part of Shakespeare's England. When Elizabeth became queen in 1558, she inherited both religious tensions and grave financial difficulties. Fortunately, she was a shrewd politician and skillfully played her noblemen against each other, so that no individual could gain enough power to threaten her. A very real threat to Elizabeth was posed by Mary, Queen of Scots. Until Mary's execution in 1587, Elizabeth lived with the fear that the Roman Catholics might rally around Mary and mount a rebellion. In this play, Duke Frederick fears that Rosalind's graces will remind the people of her father and cause them to revolt. So As You Like It does mirror the concerns of Shakespeare's audience. But what about the author, what of Shakespeare the man? Very little is actually known about him. Neither he nor anybody else of his era ever recorded the story of his life. A few facts are known. He was born in Stratford, a small English country town on the Avon River, and baptized on April 26, 1564. Since infants were generally baptized at three days, his birth date may have been April 23. His father was John Shakespeare, a prosperous Stratford businessman and town council member. William's mother, Mary, was the daughter of a well-to-do landowner. William was the eldest of their six children. Shakespeare almost certainly attended the local grammar school. There, his studies would have included Latin, rhetoric (grammar, composition), and literature. In November 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior. Anne's age, combined with the fact that their first child was born only six months after the wedding, has led some scholars to believe that the marriage was one of necessity. That may not be the case, however, because at that time it was socially acceptable for an engaged couple to sleep together. William and Anne had two girls, Susanna and Judith, and one son, Hamnet, who died young.

Nobody knows what work Shakespeare did while in Stratford. He may have been a schoolteacher or a private tutor in a wealthy household. Like Orlando in As You Like It, he had to leave his birthplace to find his future. Unlike Orlando, who fled to the country, William headed for the big city, London. (Legend has it that he had to leave Stratford after being caught hunting illegally on a large estate, but no records exist to verify that story.) In London he became first an actor and later a playwright. Along with success, he found envy. The first mention of Shakespeare in London is in a pamphlet by a rival playwright, Robert Greene. In "A Groatsworth of Wit" (groat: an old English coin worth four pennies), Greene warned fellow university-educated playwrights of an upstart actor (Shakespeare) who had the gall to write plays. Nevertheless, Shakespeare became the most successful playwright of his day. He was an actor (of small parts), a playwright, and a partner in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a theater company favored by Queen Elizabeth. Her successor, James I, elevated the company to the rank of King's Men in 1603. Although plays were a popular form of entertainment, they weren't highly regarded as literature. To secure his artistic reputation, Shakespeare wrote poems. Between 1592 and 1601, he penned three long narrative poems- Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, and The Phoenix and the Turtle- as well as a famous series of sonnets. As You Like It premiered in 1599 or 1600, about the same time that Shakespeare's company moved into the Globe Theatre, across the Thames River from the city of London. Shakespeare's reputation had been firmly established by nineteen previous plays. Among the eighteen to follow would be his four great tragedies- Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. By 1612, Shakespeare had returned to live in Stratford, where he owned a fine house called New Place. He died there, presumably on his birthday, April 23, 1616. As You Like It was rarely performed in the first century after Shakespeare's death. In 1723 an enterprising London producer combined the play with Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream to create a collage called Love in a Forest. But by the nineteenth century, As You Like It had become one of Shakespeare's most frequently performed works. The Romantic spirit of that time probably helped the play to find new favor with audiences. In addition, many leading ladies wanted to play the showcase role of Rosalind. As You Like It is still popular today. Audiences enjoy its blend of humor and romance, and fall in love with Rosalind just as Orlando does.


Orlando, the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, is fed up. Since his father's death, his oldest brother, Oliver, has refused to give Orlando either the proper education or the money that Sir Rowland intended for him. Oliver hates Orlando. When he learns that Orlando intends to try his skill against a professional wrestler named Charles, Oliver incites Charles to kill Orlando in their match. The country is ruled by Duke Frederick, who seized the throne from his own older brother by force. The wronged brother, Duke Senior, has been exiled to the Forest of Arden with many of his lords. His daughter, Rosalind, however, has remained at court. She and Duke Frederick's daughter, Celia, love each other like sisters. Observing Orlando and Charles preparing for their match, Rosalind and Celia fear that the wrestler will hurt Orlando. Much to everybody's surprise, Orlando defeats Charles. But when Duke Frederick finds out that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland, who was once his enemy, he coldly dismisses the young man and leaves. The ladies offer Orlando a word of congratulation, and as they do so, it is clear that Rosalind and Orlando have already fallen in love. Duke Frederick accuses Rosalind of stealing the people's affection away from his own daughter. As a punishment, she must leave the city or be put to death. Celia, who cares more for Rosalind than for her wicked father, resolves to run away with her cousin to the Forest of Arden. For safety's sake, Celia disguises herself as a peasant girl, named Aliena, while Rosalind dons a boy's outfit and assumes the name Ganymede. They convince Duke Frederick's court fool (clown), Touchstone, to go with them. When Duke Frederick discovers that Celia and Rosalind are missing, he assumes they are with Orlando and angrily commands Oliver to find them and bring his daughter back. Meanwhile, warned by his father's old servant Adam that Oliver intends to murder him, Orlando has fled with Adam to the Forest of Arden. After a long, hard journey, the ladies and Touchstone arrive in the forest. Rosalind arranges with Corin, an old shepherd, to buy a cottage for them and a flock of sheep. Orlando and Adam finally reach Arden. Tired and starving, they find a haven in the camp of Duke Senior (Rosalind's father) and his lords. Orlando now turns his thoughts to love. He writes passionate but amateurish poems to his beloved Rosalind and hangs them on the trees. He doesn't know, of course, that she is in the forest. She discovers the poems and is thrilled that Orlando is near. Disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind finds Orlando in the forest and strikes up a conversation with him. He never suspects her true identity. Adopting a cynical attitude toward women, Rosalind

tells Orlando that his lovesick behavior is foolish. She offers to cure him of love by playing a game with him. She will pretend to be his Rosalind. If he will woo her, she will demonstrate how impossible women are. Although he doesn't want to be cured, Orlando agrees to play along. They plan to meet the next day to begin the "love cure." While waiting for Orlando to keep their appointment, Rosalind observes a young shepherd named Silvius wooing Phebe, a shepherdess. Phebe scorns Silvius, who swears that her rejection will kill him. Rosalind soon has heard enough. She steps in and berates Phebe for her cruelty. Thinking that Rosalind is a man, Phebe immediately falls in love with her! Rosalind, of course, rejects Phebe and quickly leaves. Orlando finally arrives for his first dose of love cure. After Ganymede demonstrates how difficult women can be, Orlando leaves, promising to return shortly. Silvius shows up with a letter from Phebe to Ganymede. He assumes that it's an angry message. But when Rosalind reads it aloud, he's dismayed to learn he's brought a love letter. Rosalind sends the crushed lover back to Phebe. Then Oliver, Orlando's brother enters, bearing a message for the "youth" Rosalind. It seems that Orlando has just saved Oliver's life by fighting and killing a fierce lioness that was ready to attack. As a result, Oliver has seen and renounced the evil of his ways. Celia and Oliver fall in love at first sight. Their joy only increases Orlando's sadness at being separated from Rosalind. Ganymede offers to make Rosalind appear the next day by magic. The following day, all the lovers gather at Duke Senior's camp. Touchstone arrives with Audrey, a country wench he's decided to marry. Rosalind reveals her true identity, paving the way for a joyful conclusion to the story. Rosalind will marry Orlando; Oliver and Celia will wed; Phebe, seeing that Ganymede is a woman, decides she loves Silvius after all; and Touchstone and Audrey will marry. Before the celebrating can begin, a message arrives that Duke Frederick, who set out into the forest with the intention of killing Duke Senior, has met an old religious man along the way and been converted. Duke Senior's lands and position are therefore restored to him. After music and dancing, Rosalind asks the lovers in the audience to bid her farewell with their applause. [As You Like It Contents]



Rosalind's function in the plot of As You Like It is vital. Once circumstances have

driven all the major characters to the Forest of Arden, Rosalind either causes or contributes to all the major conflicts. It is she who resolves them all in the end. She's a complex and deeply human character. In Act I, you are first struck by her wit as she and Celia joke about such subjects as love and luck. At the same time, Shakespeare reminds you that Rosalind is an outsider, even in the court where she has grown up. Her father, the rightful duke, has been exiled. Although Rosalind misses him terribly, she will laugh and joke for her friend Celia's sake. Rosalind has the ability to rise above her own deeply felt emotions. Her love for Orlando makes her feel as giddy as any lovesick adolescent. (Look at her excitement when she learns that Orlando is in the forest.) She could easily surrender to the temptation to run around reciting poetry and swearing to die for love. Instead, she administers a love cure to Orlando that makes both of them stand back and take a good look at how ridiculous many conventional attitudes toward love really are. Thus, she avoids confusing the "idea of love" with love itself. She is also remarkably clever. She makes up the love cure on the spot and quickly invents an uncle and a magician to justify the stories she tells. And she's practical enough to be sure that she and Celia acquire a place to live as soon as they reach Arden. Rosalind is a good judge of character. She appreciates the skill of Touchstone, the court fool, and immediately sees through the pretensions of Jaques, Duke Senior's melancholy attendant. She has only to observe Silvius and Phebe for a few moments in order to size up their situation accurately. Finally, you should take note of her courage. She boldly tells the usurping duke that her father was no traitor. It also takes spunk to go on a dangerous journey disguised as a man because highwaymen would probably attack the man first.


Readers' opinions about Orlando tend to fall into two camps. Some view him as the embodiment of all the virtues a Renaissance gentleman should possess. Others consider him dull and even stupid. Even his brother Oliver, who hates him, admits that Orlando is well thought of in the community. He's considered gentle and naturally noble. Although he's physically strong (as his defeat of Charles the wrestler proves), he will not harm his brother. He should respect his older brother, and he does. Later, even after Oliver has plotted to kill him, Orlando only hesitates a moment before risking his life to save Oliver's. When Orlando and his faithful old servant Adam are starving, Orlando will not eat a bite until he has seen to the old man's needs. Such courtesy must be a product of his nature, because he's been denied a gentleman's education.

So, Orlando is strong, gentle, and noble. Is he witty and intelligent, too? He does outsmart Jaques in a contest of words. But nobody would read his love poems and find much to praise in them. As a lover, he tends to be a bit sappy. Without Rosalind's help, he could be another Silvius. Does that make him a fool? Rosalind must see hope for him. Under her guidance, he does improve. Do you see Orlando's weaknesses as indications that he's noble but not very intelligent? Or do you regard them as the kinds of imperfections that make him more human?


In Act I, Celia has just as much to do and say as Rosalind. She fades into the background, however, as the play goes on. Although she remains undeveloped, many readers find her a charming character. She and Rosalind share a deep, loving friendship, and her importance is a function of that relationship. First, she serves as a confidant, a person with whom Rosalind can talk openly about her feelings. While Rosalind hides her true emotions in her scenes with Orlando, she is absolutely honest with Celia. What raises Celia from dramatic device (someone serving merely to help the play along) to a character who is interesting in her own right is her wit. From their first appearance, Celia matches Rosalind in her ease with words. Since Celia doesn't fall in love until nearly the end of the play, she also retains her cool judgment. Thus, when Rosalind expresses her own romantic feelings, Celia is there to undercut them with pointed jests.


Jaques (pronounced "Jake-ways" or "Jake-weez") has been the focus of much debate. Is he a caricature of the many self-styled social critics Shakespeare saw around him? Or is he a genuine critic of society who voices Shakespeare's own cynical view of life? Many readers see Jaques as a "railer," a professional griper who adopts a melancholy pose. Is he profound or foolish? That you can even ask such questions is a tribute to Shakespeare's genius in portraying his major characters. You can take different views of them, just as you can of real people. Duke Senior and his followers treat Jaques with a certain amount of respect, but they clearly derive more amusement than instruction from his pronouncements. Touchstone patronizes Jaques, although Jaques doesn't realize it. Orlando plainly tells Jaques that he hates his company. Rosalind accuses him of being a traveler who pretends not to like his own country only to get attention. Are these assessments correct? Readers who see Jaques as Shakespeare's spokesman point to his speech about the Seven Ages of Man. If Shakespeare wanted to satirize Jaques's cynical views, would he have Jaques express his sentiments so beautifully? On

the other hand, does the play as a whole support such a viewpoint? Would Shakespeare have picked Jaques as his spokesman? You must make up your mind based on your interpretation of the text. Jaques is what Elizabethans called a "humor" character. To the Elizabethans, humor meant temperament. A humor character is based on an exaggerated personality trait. Elizabethans believed that a person's temperament (mood or personality) was regulated by the balance of four bodily fluids: blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy. According to this theory, if the balance of your bodily fluids changed, your mood would alter. If a person was constantly sad and gloomy, like Jaques, Elizabethans believed he had too much melancholy (also called "black bile") in his system. That's why there are references to "the melancholy Jaques."


Many noble households in Shakespeare's time kept "licensed fools." These fools were essentially entertainers. They wore "motley," a patchwork coat of various colors. Touchstone, the fool of Duke Frederick's household, becomes Rosalind and Celia's traveling companion when they escape to the Forest of Arden. Like Feste in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night or the Fool in King Lear, Touchstone is a "wise" fool. Under the guise of spouting amusing nonsense, he reveals the truth about the people he meets. Touchstone's name describes his function. A touchstone was used to test the purity of precious metals- that is, to determine the genuineness or quality of a thing. This fool unmasks pretension and foolishness wherever he sees it. His primary technique is mimicry. For example, the first time he hears Silvius carrying on about Phebe, Touchstone does a funny imitation of the lovesick shepherd. He accomplishes two things: He makes the audience laugh, and he points out the absurdity of Silvius's behavior. He uses the same approach on the melancholy Jaques, who finds sad morals everywhere. Touchstone mimics him by delivering a gloomy but meaningless sermon about the consequences of time passing, making Jaques believe he's found a kindred spirit. Touchstone reveals that Jaques's pronouncements may not be as profound as Jaques would like people to believe. Touchstone doesn't always mimic the person he's talking to. With Corin and William, he imitates a learned man from the city. His manners and his "learned examples" are all nonsense, but the shepherds are fooled. Shakespeare uses Touchstone to clarify one of the satiric points of As You Like It- that real shepherds are not "poetical," like their counterparts in pastoral romances. Touchstone's courtship of Audrey parodies the pure, spiritual love that Silvius talks about by demonstrating the opposite extreme. Silvius sees love as something poetic and

marriage as the fulfillment of a great spiritual longing. Touchstone regards marriage as a way to fulfill one's sexual urges. He purposely chooses an ugly woman and clearly states his intention to leave her once he tires of her. As you read each of Touchstone's scenes, ask yourself, Whom is the fool mimicking? What point is he making?


Orlando's brother Oliver starts the play as a villain. When you first meet him, he is arrogant and cruel. He has stolen Orlando's inheritance by refusing to give him a gentleman's education or the money that their late father intended for Orlando. When Orlando wins acclaim by defeating Charles the wrestler, the jealous Oliver plots to murder his brother. Several times in Act I, Oliver is called "unnatural." That means he respects neither his dead father's wishes nor the laws of God, according to both of which he should love and care for his brother. His ill treatment of the faithful old servant, Adam, demonstrates his contempt for all the Old World virtues. Some readers believe that Oliver is motivated by envy. He says in a soliloquy (monologue) that people love Orlando and, as a consequence, ignore Oliver. Thus, he's an example of what Duke Senior calls the "envious court." Other readers hold that Oliver's psychological motivations are beside the point. He is not a study of a good man ruined by envy. He's evil because Shakespeare needed him to be. (The same is often said of a much more fully developed villain- Iago in Othello.) When you see Oliver at the end of Act IV, he has undergone a complete and miraculous conversion. His forsaking of evil serves two purposes: It parodies the types of sudden conversions found in pastoral romances, and it allows Celia to fall in love with him, thus providing another couple for the climactic wedding scene.


These two rustics, or country folk, are the typical shepherds and shepherdesses of pastoral romances. Though uneducated, Silvius and Phebe speak in verse. Their sheep must be wandering loose somewhere, because their only concern is love. The roles they play are determined by convention. Phebe proudly scorns Silvius, who constantly pursues her, swearing eternal love. He seems actually to believe that her frowns can kill him, and he's always ready to die for love. When Phebe falls in love with Ganymede, she expresses the same sentiments. Can a modern audience appreciate these characters? Of course. Most people who have ever been in love can identify with Silvius (and later with Phebe). Can you? If you

regard them as people (rather than as literary parodies), they become embodiments of all the ridiculous extremes to which love can drive almost anybody.


These three rustics are very different from Silvius and Phebe. Instead of speaking in elaborate verse, Corin, William, and Audrey express themselves simply and have very limited vocabularies. Corin befriends Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone when they first arrive in the forest. He arranges for Rosalind and Celia to purchase a cottage, some land, and a flock of sheep. Since he knows a lot about tending sheep, Rosalind and Celia hire him to look after their flock. Corin is a good, simple man. Touchstone's nonsense philosophy confuses him, but the fool cannot make Corin doubt his own values. Audrey is as earthy as Phebe is "poetical." Before Touchstone can woo her, he has to promise to look after her goats. She understands very little of what he says and believes that he's a courtier (a member of the royal court). If Touchstone tells the truth, she is extremely unattractive. A great deal of humor is derived from her coarseness and lack of sophistication. At one point, for example, Touchstone has to tell her to "bear [her] body more seeming [properly]" (Act V, scene iv, lines 72-73). After a distinctly unromantic courtship, she marries Touchstone. William is a country bumpkin who may have once been engaged to Audrey. When he comes to discuss the matter with Touchstone, the fool confuses him utterly and sends him on his way. Many readers consider William's one scene a classic example of Shakespeare's skill in comedic writing.


Duke Frederick is a usurper (someone who seizes power illegally). He has taken the throne from his older brother, Duke Senior, and banished him to the forest. Elizabethans believed that rulers were placed on their thrones by God. Therefore, a usurper offended God as well as man. Frederick lives in constant fear of being overthrown himself. (In that way he's similar to another usurper in Shakespeare, Macbeth. Unlike Macbeth, however, Frederick has not committed murder.) As a consequence, he is capable of swift mood changes and acts of terrible cruelty. He banishes Rosalind, because he fears that she is stealing the people's affection away from his own daughter, Celia. He probably also fears that, as the daughter of the rightful ruler, Rosalind might inspire the people to revolt. All he cares about is preserving his own power. Duke Senior, on the other hand, is gentle, generous, and philosophical. He treats the lords who have joined him in exile like equals, although they still show him the respect due his position. He gladly welcomes Orlando and Adam into their group. He tries to find good in everything, even their banishment. Although living in the forest is difficult,

he claims to prefer that life to the lies, flattery, and deception he had to deal with in the city. Some readers question whether he really enjoys the forest as much as he says he does. They point out how willingly he returns to the city at the end of the play. Is he trying to convince himself that he likes the forest? Or is he pretending to be cheerful for his companions' sake?


Orlando's faithful old servant, Adam, represents the virtues of the Old World. He clearly loved his master, Sir Rowland, and is now just as devoted to Sir Rowland's son Orlando. He even goes so far as to give Orlando all the money he has saved. Orlando proves his nobility by treating Adam with love and respect. The wicked Oliver, on the other hand, mistreats Adam, thus proving his villainy.


The Lord of Amiens is one of Duke Senior's men. He engages in conversation with Jaques but, unlike the duke, does not dispute with him. Amiens's main function is to sing songs about the forest life.


Le Beau, a courtier, is one of Duke Frederick's followers. He is a dandy, one who always dresses in the latest fashion, no matter how ridiculous it, or he, may look. Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone band together to make fun of his posing. He is not merely a figure of fun, however. After the wrestling match, he risks his own safety to warn Orlando that the duke may harm him.


Sir Oliver is a priest, who shows up to marry Touchstone and Audrey. His name provides a clue to his character- he will mar (ruin) his text (the wedding ceremony). By hiring this inept priest, Touchstone underscores his attitude toward marriage- that it is like the mating of animals. [As You Like It Contents]


The first act of As You Like It takes place in the city. Here, a man-made order has been

imposed. Oliver owns his house. The duke lives in the palace and rules the land. The wildness of nature has been tamed. Trees grow in an orchard; grass is neatly trimmed into a lawn. The same rigid order is found in the city's social structure. People know exactly whom they have to please in order to get ahead. Flattery and outright deception are commonplace. Almost all the action in Acts II to V occurs in the Forest of Arden. There, no such man-made order exists. Except for the modest cottage purchased by Rosalind and Celia, ownership is never an issue. One scene is distinguished from another simply by its taking place in "another part of the forest." Duke Senior never gives commands. His lords treat him like a respected older gentleman. There are similarities between this forest and the woodland settings of pastoral romances. It's a rather magical place. In no real forest does the animal population include both sheep and lions. An old, religious hermit lives there, and so, it seems, does Hymen, the god of marriage. Yet, there are realistic elements. The shepherd Corin has a hard life, and the duke and his men must contend with cruel winter winds.

Here are some major themes of As You Like It. Some appear to contradict each other (like the first two). As you study the play, you should decide which ones you consider valid.

In Elizabethan pastoral romances (love stories set in the country), rustic life was idealized as simpler, happier, and healthier than city life. Some readers believe this play expresses the same attitude. In the city, Rosalind's and Orlando's virtues arouse so much envy that both must flee to avoid being murdered. In the country, these two noble characters prosper. Virtuous Duke Senior seems to be happier in exile than he was at court. Country folk like Corin and Audrey are simple, hardworking people. Silvius and Phebe may seem silly, but they are harmless and rather charming. Finally, both villains (Oliver and Duke Frederick) renounce evil as soon as they arrive in the forest.

Some readers believe that As You Like It exposes the absurdity of the so-called pastoral ideal. Duke Senior speaks about Arden as if it were the Garden of Eden, but he returns to the city the first chance he gets. Silvius and Phebe aren't even real shepherds. They exist only to demonstrate the absurd way rustics are portrayed in pastoral fiction. Real shepherds, such as Corin and William, are dim-witted clowns. Arden isn't Eden- it's a place where the winter winds will freeze you, if the wild beasts don't kill you first.

As You Like It is a love story. The word "love" has many meanings. Through its various

characters and their relationships, the play comments on several varieties of love.
a. Romantic Love

The essence of romantic love, as portrayed in literature, is that love must remain unfulfilled. The lovers are separated by distance, circumstance, or some unkind act of fate. Therefore, they quietly pine away for each other. This romantic ideal became popular in medieval times. By Shakespeare's time, the conventions of romantic love had been refined into a formula by the writers of romantic prose and poetry. Silvius and Phebe act out those conventions. Rosalind and Orlando flirt with the formula but ultimately rise above it.
b. Sexual Love

In sexual love, fulfillment is the only consideration. As Touchstone explains, people have needs. Marriage is an efficient, socially acceptable means to satisfy those physical needs. The love object need not be beautiful, noble, or inspirational- only available and willing.
c. Balanced Love

Rosalind and Orlando occupy a middle ground between the romantic and the purely sexual. They both feel the joy and excitement of romance, as they do inspire each other. But they want their love to lead to fulfillment. Rosalind has only just met Orlando when she tells Celia that she wants him to be the father of her children. Is their love the most complete love found in this play? What evidence can you offer to support your opinion?
d. Love as Friendship

Rosalind and Celia enjoy an ideal friendship. They feel each other's pain and enjoy each other's good qualities. There is no envy between them. Such friendships were frequently portrayed in Renaissance fiction, but the relationship was generally between two men.

The play can be viewed as a study of the difference between what people deserve and what they get. "Nature," according to the Elizabethans, referred to the qualities a person is born with. "Fortune" was thought of as a force that determined a person's worldly position. By Nature, Orlando is honest, virtuous, and noble. Fortune, however, has deprived him of his birthright. His brother Oliver is petty and jealous, but Fortune has given him wealth and power. All the noble characters suffer in this play. In the end, the imbalance is corrected.


Affectations (pretensions) have always been good targets for satire. In As You Like It, Shakespeare exposes several forms of artificial behavior. The affectations of courtiers are parodied by Touchstone. Corin, William, and Audrey provide realistic examples of country folk in contrast to the artificial characters portrayed by Silvius and Phebe. Rosalind systematically explains how the conventions of romantic love do not agree with the realities of life. While ridiculing pretense, Shakespeare celebrates genuine nobility and real love.

"All the world's a stage," says Jaques, "and all the men and women merely players" (Act II, scene vii, lines 149-150). Every person plays a variety of roles in real life-parent, child, friend, lover, enemy, and so on. Some of the characters in this play engage in playacting as well. Some of the role playing produces positive results. Rosalind's disguise as a man enables her to teach Orlando a valuable lesson. Celia's disguise allows her to escape from the court of her wicked father. Touchstone amuses and instructs by assuming various roles at will. Other roles cause problems. Silvius and Phebe act out the limited conventions of romantic love; without Rosalind's help, their relationship would remain static. Some readers consider Jaques a consummate role player. They hold that his criticisms come not from true feeling but from a desire for attention.

Elizabethans believed that God established the order and rank of people and things. Whoever disturbed that order committed a sin. Duke Frederick upset God's plan when he stole his older brother's throne. Oliver committed a wrong by refusing to respect his late father's wishes. These sins cause suffering. The noble characters must endure hardship, and the villains can't enjoy the power and wealth they've stolen. By the end of the play, the natural order is restored. Both villains are converted, and God's will once again prevails.

You can learn a lot about the characters in As You Like It by examining the way they speak. For example, if you look at Orlando's use of language in Act I, you will notice that his statements are bold and direct but always respectful. That suggests that he's a noble young man, forced to stand up for his rights. Oliver, in contrast, is snide and deceitful. The tyrant Duke Frederick often gives commands. His speeches contain neither wit nor poetry. Rosalind and Celia have a natural optimism and enthusiasm for life that no hardship can subdue. Their speech accordingly bubbles with wit and good humor. In the forest, when Orlando's thoughts turn to love, his mode of expression changes. He becomes fanciful and poetic in talking about Rosalind. Silvius and Phebe speak only in verse;

love is all that matters to them. The severely limited vocabularies of Corin, William, and Audrey tell you that these are genuine rustics- uneducated, and familiar only with matters pertaining to sheep and goats. Some of the dialogue is written in verse (Silvius and Phebe's, for example). For these passages, Shakespeare used unrhymed iambic pentameter- that is, lines of ten syllables each, with every second syllable accented. Other characters, like Corin and Audrey, speak less formally in prose. Most of the others alternate between two styles. Shakespeare's language is loaded with imagery- words and phrases that make you see a picture. The imagery tells you something about the speaker's character or his emotions. A good example is Jaques's famous speech about the Seven Ages of Man (Act II, scene iii). Jaques paints a picture to describe each age, from the "mewling and puking" infant to the old man who has entered "second childishness." Each image reflects Jaques's melancholy and overcritical nature. As you read, ask yourself: How is each character using language? What does his or her language reveal about that character?

All languages change. Differences in pronunciation and word choice are apparent even between parents and their children. If language differences can appear in one generation, it is only to be expected that the English used by Shakespeare four hundred years ago will be markedly different from the English used today. The following information on Shakespeare's language will help a modern reader to a fuller understanding of As You Like It. MOBILITY OF WORD CLASSES Adjectives, nouns, and verbs were less rigidly confined to particular classes in Shakespeare's day. Adjectives were often used as adverbs. In Act II, scene iv, line 54, for example, "wiser" is used for "more wisely":
Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.

They could also appear as verbs. In Act I, scene iii, line 5, "lame" means "make [me] lame":
...come lame me with reasons.

Nouns, including proper nouns, could be used as verbs. "Estate" is used to mean "leave as my estate":
...all the revenue that was old Sir Rowland's will I estate upon you,...

(V, ii, 10-12)

and "Phebe" means "treats [me] as Phebe would": She Phebes me.

(IV, iii, 39) CHANGES IN WORD MEANING The meanings of all words undergo changes, a process that can be illustrated by the fact that "prevent" used to mean "come before," as in the biblical "He prevented [came before] the dawn." Many of the words in Shakespeare still exist today but their meanings have changed. The change may be small, as in the case of "honest," meaning "chaste," in
'Tis true, for those she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those she makes honest, she makes very ill-favoredly.

(I, ii, 36-38) or more fundamental, so that "countenance" (I, i, 17) meant "lifestyle," "underhand" (I, i, 138) meant "unobtrusive," "villains" (II, ii, 2) meant "lower servants," "fond" (II, iii, 7) meant "foolish," and "modern" (IV, i, 6) meant "trite." VOCABULARY LOSS Words not only change their meanings but are frequently discarded from the language. In the past, "kine" was a plural form of "cow" and "lich" meant "corpse." The following words used in As You Like It are no longer current in English, but their meanings can usually be gauged from the context in which they occur.
HINDS (I, i, 19) farm servants INTENDMENT (I, i, 132) intention HUSSIF (I, ii, 30) housewife QUINTAIN (I, ii, 241) stuffed dummy used in jousting MISCONSTERS (I, ii, 255)

misconstrues SWASHING (I, iii, 116) swaggering ROYNISH (II, ii, 8) coarse MEED (II, ii, 8) reward DOG APES (II, iv, 97) baboons COVER (II, v, 28) set the table BOB (II, vii, 55) jest CHARACTER (III, i, 6) inscribe FELLS (III, ii, 51) fleece PERPENT (III, ii, 65) consider BACKFRIENDS (III, ii, 155) false friends BREATHER (III, ii, 275) living human being QUOTIDIAN (III, ii, 356) severe, uninterrupted fever

POINT-DEVICE (III, ii, 372) neat BOW (III, iii, 71) yoke CARLOT (III, v, 108) peasant LEER (IV, i, 64) complexion BASTINADO (V, i, 54) beating, cudgeling THRASONICAL (V, ii, 30) boasting

VERBS Shakespearean verb forms differ from modern usage in three main ways:
1. Questions and negatives could be formed without using "do/did": What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he here?

(III, ii, 216-18) And:

This must I do, or know not what to do;

(II, iii, 34) Shakespeare had the option of using forms a and b whereas contemporary usage permits only the a forms:
a Is Orlando going? b Goes Orlando?

Did Orlando go? You do not look well. You did not look well.

Went Orlando? You look not well. You looked not well.

2. Many past participles and past tense forms are used that would be ungrammatical today. Among these are

"broke" for "broken" in

Or if thou hast not broke from company

(II, iv, 37) "eat" for "eaten" in

Why, I have eat none yet.

(II, vii, 89) "love-shaked" for "love-shaken" in

I am he that is so love-shaked.

(III, ii, 357) "begot" for "begotten" in

...that was begot of thought,...

(IV, i, 202) and "writ" for "wrote" in

To show the letter that I writ to you.

(V, ii, 77)

3. Archaic verb forms sometimes occur with "thou" and "he/she/it": Thou art not for the fashion of these times,

(II, iii, 59)

...knowest thou not the Duke Hath banished me his daughter?

(I, iii, 90-91) PRONOUNS Shakespeare and his contemporaries had one extra pronoun, "thou," which could be used in addressing a person who was one's equal or social inferior. "You" was obligatory if more than one person was addressed:
I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts, wherein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies anything.

(I, ii, 172-74) but it could also be used to indicate respect. Duke Senior often uses "thou" when addressing his subordinates but always receives "you" in return:
Duke: Art thou thus boldened man by thy distress?

Orlando: You touched my vein at first. (II, vii, 92 and 95) Frequently, a person in power used "thou" to a child or a subordinate but was addressed "you" in return. This invariably happens in the speeches between Adam and Orlando:
Orlando: Why whither Adam wouldst thou have me go?

Adam: No matter whither, so you come not here. (II, iii, 29-30) One further pronominal reference warrants a comment. The third person pronouns "he" and "it" were frequently interchanged:
I'll tell thee, Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow...

(I, i, 140)

And whistles in his [its] sound.

(II, vii, 163) PREPOSITIONS Prepositions were less standardized in Elizabethan English than they are today, and so we find several uses in As You Like It that would have to be modified in contemporary speech. Among these are "of" for "about" in
...who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such a goddess...

(I, ii, 51) "of" for "from" in

Rosalind: Where learned you that oath, fool?

Touchstone: Of a certain knight.... (I, ii, 59-60) "up" for "off" in

To fright the animals and kill them up

(II, i, 62) and "of" for "by" in

...I were better to be married of him than of another;

(III, iii, 81-82) MULTIPLE NEGATION Contemporary English requires only one negative per statement and regards such utterances as "I haven't none" as nonstandard. Shakespeare often uses two or more negatives for emphasis, as when Celia advises Rosalind
But love no man in good earnest, nor no further in sport neither, than with safety...

(I, ii, 26-27) or when Orlando tells Jaques

Nor shalt not till necessity be served.

(II, vii, 90) or when Rosalind, in the epilogue, assures the audience
What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play?

(V, iv, 204-206)


As You Like It is divided into five acts, which are subdivided into scenes. Many readers have commented that almost all the major events of the play occur in the first act and a half. The city characters are introduced and the necessary history is explained (exposition). Each of the major characters is given a reason to go to the Forest of Arden. After Act II, scene iii, only one short scene takes place in the city. In the country, nothing happens quickly except the characters' falling in love. The tension of the plot grows out of Rosalind's disguise. When will she reveal her true identity? What will happen when she does? In that sense, Rosalind has the power to end the play whenever she chooses. She takes time to explore the consequences of her disguise while discussing matters of love and philosophy. More confusions and additional pairs of lovers are added until Act V, scene ii, when Rosalind decides that it's time to unmask herself. The four marriages in Act V, scene iv, the repentance of both villains, and the restoration of Duke Senior's dukedom all give the play an entirely happy ending. Music and dancing follow, after which Rosalind turns to the audience and delivers a short epilogue.

Shakespeare didn't create his plots from scratch but derived aspects of them from other sources. The basic story and many details of the plot of As You Like It come from a pastoral romance by Thomas Lodge entitled Rosalynde. (Lodge didn't invent the story, either; he based it on a 14thcentury narrative poem called The Tale of Gamelyn.) Printed in 1590, Lodge's novel supplies the story of the exiled king, the hostility between the two brothers, the young maidens in disguise, the escape from the city to the forest, and the lovesick shepherds. Lodge's Rosalynde also woos her lover while she is disguised as a man. The hero saves his wicked brother's life, after which the brother repents and falls in love with Rosalynde's friend.

Shakespeare's alterations and additions are noteworthy. Lodge's novel is bound by the conventions of the pastoral romance. The play is richer and more meaningful because it takes liberties with those conventions. Shakespeare's Rosalind is more three-dimensional and human than Lodge's, partly because Shakespeare gives her a sense of humor. Shakespeare also peoples his forest with characters, such as Touchstone and Jaques, who refuse to accept the pastoral ideal. The simpleminded rustics, such as Corin, William, and Audrey, are totally unlike the poetic shepherds of pastoral romances.

One of the most famous theaters of all time is the Globe Theatre. It was one of several Shakespeare worked in during his career and many of the greatest plays of English literature were performed there. Built in 1599 for L600 just across the River Thames from London, it burned down in 1613 when a spark from a cannon in a battle scene in Shakespeare's Henry VIII set fire to the thatched roof. The theater was quickly rebuilt and survived until 1644. No one knows exactly what the Globe looked like but some scholarly detective work has given us a pretty good idea. When it was built, the Globe was the latest thing in theater design. It was a three-story octagon (eight- sided building) with covered galleries surrounding an open yard some 50 feet across. Three sides of the octagon were devoted to the stage and backstage areas. The main stage was a raised platform that jutted into the center of the yard, or pit. Behind the stage was the tiring house- the backstage area where the actors dressed and waited for their cues. It was flanked by two doors and contained an inner stage with a curtain used when the script called for a scene to be discovered. (Some scholars think the inner stage was actually a tent or pavilion that could be moved about the stage.) Above the inner stage was the upper stage, a curtained balcony that could serve as the battlements in Hamlet or for the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. Most of the action of the play took place on the main and upper stages. The third story held the musicians' gallery and machinery for sound effects and pyrotechnics. Above all was a turret, from which a flag was flown to announce "Performance today." A roof (the shadow) covered much of the stage and not only protected the players from sudden showers but also contained machinery needed for special effects. More machinery was located under the stage, where several trapdoors permitted the sudden appearance of ghosts in a play and allowed actors to leap into rivers or graves, as the script required. For a penny (a day's wages for an apprentice), you could stand with the "groundlings" in the yard to watch the play; another penny would buy you a seat in the upper galleries; and a third would get you a cushioned seat in the lower gallery- the best seats in the house. The audience would be a mixed crowd- scholars, courtiers, and merchants and their families in the galleries; rowdy apprentices and young men looking for excitement in the yard; and pickpockets and prostitutes taking advantage of the crowds to ply their trades. And crowds there would be- the Globe could probably hold 2,000 to 3,000 people, and even an ordinary performance would attract a crowd of 1,200.

The play you came to see would be performed in broad daylight during the warmer months. In colder weather, Shakespeare's troupe appeared indoors at court or in one of London's private theaters. There was no scenery as we know it, but there are indications that the Elizabethans used simple set pieces such as trees, bowers, or battle tents to indicate location. Any props needed were readied in the tiring house by the book keeper (we'd call him the stage manager) and carried on and off by actors. If time or location were important, the characters usually said something about it. Trumpet flourishes told the audience that an important character was about to enter, rather like a modern spotlight, and a scene ended when all the characters left the stage. (Bodies of dead characters were carried off stage.) Little attention was paid to historical accuracy in plays such as Julius Caesar or Macbeth, and actors wore contemporary clothing. One major difference from the modern theater was that all female parts were played by young boys; Elizabethan custom did not permit women to act. If the scenery was minimal, the performance made up for it in costumes and spectacle. English actors were famous throughout Europe for their skill as dancers, and some performances ended with a dance (or jig). Blood, in the form of animal blood or red paint, was lavished about in the tragedies; ghosts made sudden appearances amid swirling fog; thunder was simulated by rolling a cannonball along the wooden floor of the turret or by rattling a metal sheet. The costumes were gorgeous- and expensive! One "robe of estate" alone cost L19, a year's wages for a skilled workman of the time. But the costumes were a large part of the spectacle that the audience came to see, and they had to look impressive in broad daylight, with the audience right up close. You've learned some of the conventions of the Globe Theatre, a theater much simpler than many of ours but nevertheless offering Shakespeare a wide range of possibilities for staging his plays. Now let's see how specific parts of As You Like It might have been presented at the Globe. If you could slip back in time and see As You Like It at the Globe, you might be surprised at the speed of the play. A modern production of Shakespeare takes at least two and a half hours, and that's with part of the play omitted. But back in Shakespeare's day, plays took only about two hours. This could be done because there was no real break between scenes, and no scenery had to be shifted. Instead, different parts of the stage could be used. Imagine how this could work in As You Like It. The first scene of Act I would take place on the main stage; then the second and third scenes, set in rooms in the palace, could be acted on the inner stage. The first scene of Act II (remember, no break between acts) would be back on the main stage for the forest. The next scene, another room in the palace, could use the balcony stage. Then one side of the main stage could serve for Scene iii, in front of Oliver's house, represented by the door. For Scene iv Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone could enter from the other side of the stage and Rosalind would announce, "This is the Forest of Arden." Each scene would follow on the heels of the one before it, so that the play would move very quickly.



[As You Like It Contents] []

Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. Electronically Enhanced Text Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Further distribution without the written consent of, Inc. is prohibited.

TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST 1 _____ 1. Charles says that the old duke and his men live in the Forest of Arden like A. outcasts B. Robin Hood and his men C. animals _____ 2. Adam says that Oliver wants to kill Orlando because of his A. plain speaking B. cleverness C. nobility _____ 3. Touchstone is an example of a A. natural fool B. malcontent C. court fool _____ 4. Orlando first enters Duke Senior's camp in order to A. get food B. give Duke Senior a message C. find Rosalind _____ 5. Touchstone makes up poems about Rosalind for the purpose of

A. winning her approval for his marriage B. making fun of the poems Orlando has written C. making fun of life in the country _____ 6. Touchstone says he wants to marry Audrey because A. any man would love a woman as beautiful as she B. a man needs money, and she has a large dowry C. a man has desires, and he needs a wife to satisfy them _____ 7. William is an example of A. natural fool B. wise fool C. whining schoolboy _____ 8. When Elizabethans said a man wore horns, they meant A. he was lovesick B. he had lost all his money C. his wife had been unfaithful to him _____ 9. When Silvius tells Ganymede "what 'tis to love," he is talking about A. romantic love B. sexual love C. platonic love _____ 10. By the end of the play, both villains have A. been killed B. been punished C. been converted 11. Compare life in the country with life in the city, as portrayed in As You Like It. 12. What varieties of love are depicted in the play? Give examples. 13. How is Orlando's nobility made clear in Act I?

TEST 2 _____ 1. Oliver says that most people consider Orlando A. an envious emulator of every man's good parts B. a noble, gentle young man C. the rightful duke _____ 2. Elizabethans would have regarded Duke Frederick's usurping of his brother's throne as A. a violation of God's will B. proof of Frederick's superiority C. foreshadowing _____ 3. Le Beau is an example of A. a court fool B. a foppish courtier C. an Elizabethan satirist _____ 4. Jaques's speech over the wounded deer demonstrates his A. concern for animals B. great eloquence C. tendency to moralize _____ 5. When Touchstone talks about his love for milkmaid Jane Smile, he is A. recalling his only true love B. telling Rosalind that he sympathizes with her C. making fun of Silvius _____ 6. The common theme of all Amiens's songs is the A. sweetness of life in the forest B. sadness of banishment C. joy of love

_____ 7. While disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind says Orlando can't be in love because A. he's too young to give his heart to a woman B. he doesn't bear any of the conventional marks of a lover C. Orlando is smart, and lovers are all fools _____ 8. When Silvius begs Phebe not to scorn him, he implies that A. rejection hurts his feelings B. her disdain could kill him C. he thinks she's being peevish _____ 9. Touchstone's speech about quarreling satirizes A. rustics B. rulers C. courtiers _____ 10. In the epilogue, Rosalind asks I. The audience to like as much of the play as pleases them II. for applause III. the audience to join in the dancing A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I and III only 11. How does Touchstone help you to understand the other characters? 12. Trace the themes of Fortune and Nature through the play. 13. Who are the two villains in the play, and what do they have in common? ANSWERS TEST 1 1. B 2. C

3. C 4. . A 5. . B 6. . C 7. . A 8. C 9. A 10. C 11. You can take either a literal or a thematic approach to this question. There are plenty of literal differences between the two settings. Many are discussed in the "Setting" section of this guide. Physically, the city is ordered into palaces or homes, orchards, and lawns. In the forest, treesgrow wild, and locations are distinguished simply by being called "another part of the forest." Many city dwellers seem concerned withfashion. In the country there is no standard of fashion. Likewise, there is no ruler to please. To approach this question thematically, discuss whether you think the play seems to be saying that country life is preferable to city life. To argue that As You Like It accepts the pastoral ideal, cite what Duke Senior says about the forest and the court in Act II, Scene i. Show how the noble characters fare much better in the country than in the city. To argue the opposite view, point out how Shakespeare questions the pastoral viewpoint. Touchstone has a lot to say on the subject, as does Jaques. Show how Corin, William, and Audrey serve to contradict the idea that rustics are naturally wise and eloquent. Finally, point out that Duke Senior and his lords return to the city the first chance they get. 12. The "Themes" section of this guide will help you here. Romantic love in its purest form is represented by Silvius and Phebe. Explain how their scenes employ all the conventions of that type of love. Use Touchstone's wooing of Audrey to show how the play deals with sexual love. Having established the two extremes, you can discuss how Rosalind and Orlando fit right in the middle by having elements of both. Rosalind and Celia's friendship represents another kind of love. Discuss how it is different from the other types. 13. A playwright reveals character in three ways: the character's actions, his speech (including both what he says about himself and how he speaks), and what others say about him. Use Orlando's first action in the play as an example. Orlando demands that his brother give him his due. If you examine how he makes that demand (his language), you will see that he is careful only to ask for what is rightfully his. Despite the way Oliver abuses him, Orlando extends the proper respect to his older brother.

When Oliver describes how people think of Orlando, you get further evidence of Orlando's nobility. Other examples include the statements that Rosalind and Celia make about Orlando when they meet him. TEST 2 1. B 2. A 3. B 4. C 5. C 6. A 7. B 8. B 9. C 10. A 11. Touchstone is an expert mimic. By imitating a quality he recognizes in another character, he helps you to understand that character. There are many examples to choose from. Silvius seems almost proud of all the ridiculous things he has done in the name of love. To prove that the shepherd is behaving foolishly, Touchstone imitates him. When Touchstone meets Jaques in the forest, he takes Jaques's penchant for gloomy moralizing one step further. In his scenes with Corin, William, and Audrey, Touchstone passes off nonsense as wisdom. Give examples of how he does that and discuss what that may reveal about the simplemindedness of real country people. 12. Start by defining the difference between Fortune and Nature. The discussions of these terms under "Themes" and in Act I, Scene ii, of this guide will help you. List the characters who are noble by Nature but who have been made to suffer by Fortune. Orlando is a good example. Though his spirit is noble, his lot in life is a hard one. By contrast, Oliver is petty and jealous, but his worldly position is much better than Orlando's. Duke Senior and Duke Frederick provide another example. By the end of the play, Fortune has corrected the inequity. Discuss the play's happy ending in terms of how characters who are noble in Nature are finally rewarded by Fortune. 13. Duke Frederick and Oliver are the two villains in As You Like It. They both have betrayed their brothers. Duke Frederick has usurped his older brother's dukedom. Oliver has withheld his younger brother's inheritance and deprived him of the education he deserves. Neither villain can stand for anybody else to be loved. Oliver wants to kill Orlando because other people think well of him. The duke banishes Rosalind because the people love her. Both of them show disrespect for the natural

order of things. Oliver refuses to obey his late father's wishes. By deposing his older brother, Duke Frederick violates the natural order both in his family and in the dukedom. Finally, both characters undergo complete conversions by the end of the play.

Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoevsky
1866 THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES When Fyodor Dostoevsky was twenty-eight, he was arrested by the Czar's secret police and sentenced to death, along with other members of a group that supported revolutionary political and social ideas. (His particular crime was publishing illegal articles advocating changes in Russian society.) When the prisoners were bound and waiting to be shot, and as the Czar's firing squad readied for the execution, a royal messenger dramatically announced a reprieve. The men's lives were spared. The spectacular salvation had been prearranged. The Czar had merely wanted to frighten the men and demonstrate his power. Dostoevsky got the message. More important, his escape from death-followed by four years of imprisonment in Siberiahad an enormous impact on his life and work. When you read Dostoevsky's novels, it's easy to see how his experiences influenced his choice of theme and character. This is especially true of Crime and Punishment, published in 1867, which tells the story of a brilliant but emotionally tortured young man whose theories about human behavior make him think he is above the law. At the end of Part Two of the novel, for example, Raskolnikov, the main character, suddenly feels "a boundlessly full and powerful life welling up in him." He compares the emotion to the reaction of "a man condemned to death and unexpectedly reprieved." The source and significance of that image are overwhelmingly clear. Dostoevsky's prison experience provoked his interest in the causes of crime. It also made him wonder about the usefulness of punishment. In a letter describing his plan to write Crime and Punishment, he said, "Punishment meted out by the law to the criminal deters the criminal far less than the lawgivers think...." He believed that in order for punishment to work, it had to make the criminal accept his own guilt. His

ideas about rehabilitating criminals were far ahead of the accepted attitudes of his time.

Another of Dostoevsky's innovative attitudes about crime and punishment was his emphasis on the emotional or psychological reasons why people commit crimes. In his time social scientists had only begun to use emotional factors as an explanation for changes in people's behavior. The field of criminology, which studies the various causes of crime, was not clearly formulated until about 1910. There are other experiences in Dostoevsky's life that are important to understanding Crime and Punishment. At seventeen he left home to study engineering in a military school in St. Petersburg (now called Leningrad). He was miserable there, partly because he was really more interested in literature than in science. Also, incredible poverty plagued his student life. Often he went hungry, and he knew all about pawnbrokers as a poor man's only source of money. He frequented taverns and was acquainted with the seedy part of life in the city. The stifling, poverty-stricken slums and the teeming, drunken crowds in the Haymarket Square section of St. Petersburg are so vividly described in Crime and Punishment because he knew them from personal experience. From the beginning Dostoevsky's fiction depicted desperately poor men and women. Dostoevsky's fascination with doubling-the psychological term to describe dual personalities-is one of the reasons he's often described as one of the first modern novelists. Characters with double personalities exist in many old legends and tales, but his analysis of such characters as emotionally, and often mentally, disturbed was provocative and influential. In fact, Crime and Punishment is still used in psychology lectures to illustrate the phenomenon of split personalities. You can understand even more about the ideas that obsessed Dostoevsky if you know what happened to his father. At about the time Dostoevsky moved to St. Petersburg, his father, with whom he'd never been close, was murdered by the outraged serfs on his country estate. Many readers, searching for ways to explain some of the emotional instability in the author's own life, point to this murder as a key influence. Fathers aren't ever depicted very positively in his work; in Crime and Punishment the only father we see is a bad one. Scholars who've written about Dostoevsky often suggest a connection between the epileptic seizures that began to plague him in the 1840s and his father's death. In Crime and Punishment the novelist himself suggests a connection between emotional

problems and physical illness; it would be fascinating to know if he saw his own illness as psychologically based. The period of Russian history in which Dostoevsky lived and wrote was tumultuous. New ideas for change were in the air, as his own early political ideas illustrate. Russian serfs were freed in 1861. Many Russian thinkers believed that their nation should forge closer ties with Western Europe and become "modern," an idea Dostoevsky rejected. THE NOVEL THE PLOT Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is a desperate man. He thinks he's exceptional, extraordinary. He believes that gives him the right to break the law if he chooses. But he's also a physical and emotional wreck, afraid to do the things he wants to do to test his own courage. Driven by his poverty and the shame of his mother's and sister's sacrifices for him, he plans a bold act: to kill a repulsive old pawnbroker. Her murder will accomplish two things: give him the money he needs and prove he's a superman. The plan misfires. He kills not only his intended victim but also her mild, gentle sister, who returns home too early and surprises the murderer. Made physically ill by the trauma of his deed, Raskolnikov is cared for by his old friend Razumikhin. But his behavior becomes so bizarre that everyone who meets him wonders if he's insane. Unfortunately for him, several police officials, including Porfiry Petrovich, the investigator in charge of the pawnbroker's murder, hear about his self-incriminating actions. He faints in the police station when the crime is discussed; he returns to the scene of the crime and makes a spectacle of himself; and he is obsessed with the details of the murder. Even without any physical evidence against him, suspicion focuses on him. The other side of Raskolnikov's personality, the side that feels sympathy for other people's troubles, finds an outlet in the midst of his own struggle to escape detection. He meets the family of Marmeladov, a drunk who is killed in a street accident, he's so appalled by the family's poverty that he gives them all his money to see them through the funeral. He's most intrigued by Marmeladov's daughter, Sonia, who has become a prostitute to bring in enough money to provide food and shelter.

To complicate Raskolnikov's problems, his mother and his sister, Dunya, arrive in St. Petersburg the same day Marmeladov dies. They have come to prepare for Dunya's wedding to the affluent but repulsive Luzhin. Dunya's former employer, Svidrigailov, a man who has tried to seduce her and is still eager to see her, also shows up at Raskolnikov's apartment. Raskolnikov feels increasingly tormented, but he still wants to go on living; he resists the temptation to kill himself and end his troubles. Because Sonia Marmeladov is so forgiving and, at the same time, guilty herself of immoral acts, he decides that she is the only one in whom he can confide. He can't ignore Porfiry Petrovich either, though, because he knows that the investigator suspects him. Raskolnikov alternates visits with his confessor and his pursuer, both of whom force him to reexamine his behavior. Both Sonia and Porfiry talk to him about spiritual rebirth and want him to turn himself in to the police. They both believe he can be saved. He resists both of them. Then he finds out that Svidrigailov has overheard his confessions to Sonia. Raskolnikov knows that such information, in court testimony, would confirm his guilt. What worries him even more is that the unscrupulous Svidrigailov will use his knowledge to blackmail Dunya into a physical relationship to protect her brother. Raskolnikov never hears about it, but Svidrigailov does exactly what he'd feared. Dunya resists his threats, however, and even tries to shoot him to protect her honor. Forced to face his own decadence and the fact that Dunya will never love him, Svidrigailov commits suicide. Raskolnikov has been thinking about suicide again himself, but he's not ready to die. He decides that even the humiliation of a trial and the misery of prison are better than dying. But he also realizes that he can't go on living with the tension of trying to escape detection. He goes to Sonia for her blessing and then goes to the police. His sentence is eight years in Siberia. At first he is as arrogant and self- involved as ever, but a miracle happens at Easter of his second year in prison. He recognizes that, if widely followed, the theories that led him to commit murder would doom the world to anarchy. In shedding his egotism, he is also able to recognize that he loves Sonia. Though their life together will have many hardships, they can believe in the promise of the future. THE CHARACTERS Before you read Crime and Punishment, you should understand something about Russian names. Every character has a middle name called a patronymic, formed from his or her father's first name. For a man, the patronymic ends in ovich; for a woman,

its ending is ovna. The patronymic is considered an important part of a name and is commonly used, unlike our own middle names. The characters are also often identified by their nicknames, so it might take you a little while to realize that Rodya, Roddy, Rodka, and Rodenka all refer to Raskolnikov. It's a good idea to make a list, either inside the book or on an index card, of all the characters' names and their variations. Translators also use different spellings. Most of the variants are given in parentheses. The spellings used here are from David Margarshack's translation.

RODION ROMANOVICH RASKOLNIKOV (RODYA, RODDY,RODENKA, RODKA) Is Raskolnikov a criminal who should be severely punished for his crime- or a tortured young man who makes a terrible mistake in trying to understand himself? Because his crime is so brutal, many readers think he's a repulsive, self-centered character who escapes the punishment he deserves. In contrast, because he's tormented by his conscience and fun of pity for the needy, other readers feel that the murders were a dreadful mistake that should not ruin his life. Dostoevsky shows the reader both sides of Raskolnikov, but the structure of the novel supports the author's belief that Raskolnikov can be rehabilitated. The reader has to decide if Dostoevsky proves his point. In choosing Raskolnikov's name, he has given one important clue to his character. The word raskol, in Russian, means "schism" or "split." Dualism is the key to Raskolnikov's character. He is torn between the desire to do evil and the desire to do good. He wants to do evil, to commit murder, in order to test his theory that there is such a thing as a crime of principle. He believes he is brilliant and more gifted than other people and has the right to commit crime to accomplish his goals. All he needs is daring. The problem is, he's not exactly sure what his goals are.

He also wants to do good. He wants to save his sister from an unhappy marriage and his mother from sacrificing for him. He wants to help the miserable Marmeladov family. But he seems unable to motivate himself to work or to find a way to break out of the poverty that traps him.

He struggles constantly with self-doubt, questioning what he does and blaming himself for every decision he makes. He is tortured by dreams in which he must confront his own evil acts and guilty conscience. He constantly suggests new motives for his crime, and then rejects them. Dostoevsky attributes Raskolnikov's turmoil in part to his self-imposed isolation, which has warped his ability to cope with people. His friends think he is insane-or at least mentally unbalanced. But, according to how Dostoevsky finally wants us to see Raskolnikov, it is not insanity, but alienation from humanity and from Christian ethical standards that allows him to kill the pawnbroker. After the murders, Raskolnikov's most important relationships are with Sonia Marmeladov and Porfiry Petrovich. At first he seeks out Sonia, the reluctant prostitute and devout Christian, because he can feel superior to her. To her he can confess his crime, and with her he can share his misery. Eventually she becomes his hope for salvation through her love for him. As Sonia is his spiritual confessor, Porfiry Petrovich, the brilliant detective, is his intellectual equal. His heart seeks Sonia, but his mind seeks the challenge of sparring with Porfiry. Dostoevsky makes this pattern clear by contrasting each visit with Sonia with an interview with Porfiry. By having both of these characters more concerned with saving his soul than punishing his crime, the novelist also emphasizes the moral and religious dimensions of crime and punishment. According to Dostoevsky, the killer must recognize he has committed a sin against God and man before his punishment can work. Raskolnikov finally does confess and is sent to prison. He has as many confused motives for confessing as he did for committing the crime in the first place. The most positive reason is that he recognizes he has done wrong and must be punished. But Dostoevsky suggests that physical and emotional exhaustion are equally a factor in his decision. The tension of constantly being on his guard finally drives him to give up. A third reason- that Svidrigailov's suicide shocks Raskolnikov into recognizing that unconfessed crime leads to despair and death-is also possible. He knows he doesn't want to die. Finally, many readers believe that Raskolnikov seeks punishment all along. That, they say, explains all the self-incriminating things he says and does after the murder, including all the times he starts to confess and is prevented from doing so. NOTE: As you read the novel, other reasons for both Raskolnikov's crime and his confession will strike you too. Be sure to note passages in the novel that support your view of Raskolnikov's character. Several different reasons can be true at the same time, and Dostoevsky makes that very clear. Complicated people can never be explained in simple ways.


The setting of Crime and Punishment creates an atmosphere in which the dreadful crimes Dostoevsky describes are all too believable. The novel is set in Haymarket Square, a slum section of St. Petersburg notorious for its intolerable living conditions. Because he knew the city so well, and had lived in the kinds of tenement rooms he describes, Dostoevsky is very specific about the sights and smells his characters experience. By choosing to set the novel in the summer, when the drunken crowds filled the streets and the air reeked, Dostoevsky was able to create the feelings of physical repulsion brought on by an oppressive environment. By mentioning particular street names and tracing the routes of the characters, he was emphasizing the novel's realism. Raskolnikov knows, for instance, that it is exactly 730 steps from his house to the pawnbroker's. Even today, you can walk the route he followed and count the steps. When the physical details are concrete, you tend to accept the rest of the information in the novel too; even the most bizarre things seem believable.

Crime was a very real problem in Russia at the time the novel was written. An especially gruesome ax murder of two old women in Moscow in the summer of 1865 had gotten enormous play in the press, and Dostoevsky clearly had it in mind as he formulated his novel. Drunkenness and prostitution were commonplace, and the gap between the middle class and the poor was enormous. By documenting these facts of life, Dostoevsky provides social history-and even social protest-as part of his study of Raskolnikov's character. When the scene shifts to Siberia, in the Epilogue, the physical change signals an enormous change in subject matter as well. The transformation of Raskolnikov's character, from arrogant to penitent, happens in the stark, repressive atmosphere of a prison camp. When he is physically confined and publicly humiliated, he is finally able to find meaning in life that he could not discover when he was free to act as he chose. Because the Epilogue is short, and the emphasis is on Raskolnikov's "resurrection," there isn't much detail about life in prison. Dostoevsky's own prison experience was still vivid in his mind a dozen years after his release, but his purpose in this section is not realism, but resolution of his theme of salvation. That is why Raskolnikov's

reconciliation-with Sonia and with his own humanity-takes place at Easter, the Christian season of hope.

Here are summaries of the major themes of the novel. Familiarity with Dostoevsky's ideas makes it easier for you to understand what various events mean. It will also help you decide what to concentrate on as you study the novel. 1. THE CRIMINAL AS HERO How would you feel about somebody who killed two women with an ax? Could you think of him sympathetically? Dostoevsky asks you to do just that in Crime and Punishment. But he creates a character who is part cold- blooded killer and part compassionate human being. The struggle between those two parts of Raskolnikov's character-his dual personality-is the central theme of the novel. Dostoevsky explores his character's duality in several ways. He shows his protagonist's wildly contrasting actions and he compares Raskolnikov to vastly different people. Raskolnikov is like the self-sacrificing Dunya in his concern for people who need help, and like the decadent Svidrigailov in his extreme selfishness. He seeks the challenge of Porfiry, to test his intellectual powers, and the love of Sonia, to learn about the possibility of forgiveness. While readers may differ in their feelings about Raskolnikov, they all agree that his experiences are the central focus of the novel. 2. HUMAN LOVE AND DIVINE LOVE Strangely enough, Crime and Punishment is a love story, or rather several love stories. When Raskolnikov is at last able to admit his love for Sonia and respect her enough to accept her beliefs, he begins his journey to salvation. In contrast, when his sister Dunya repels the advances of Svidrigailov, he commits suicide. Dostoevsky suggests that human love is an expression of divine love, with the power to save or damn.

While Raskolnikov's relationship with Sonia is not very romantic, Dostoevsky makes the attraction between Dunya and Razumikhin a more typical love story. Their marriage confirms that love provides hope and joy even when the situation is otherwise bleak. By extension, Dostoevsky suggests that Raskolnikov and Sonia will find a similar happiness.

What do you think Raskolnikov would have been like if he hadn't found Sonia? Would he have been as sympathetic a character? 3. THE POWER OF DREAMS Dostoevsky is concerned with probing the world of dreams. Before and after the murder, Raskolnikov has dreams of such startling realism and power that he-and we, too-are not sure if they're dreams or real. Critics interpret the dreams in different ways sometimes; in the dream about the death of the horse (Part I, Chapter 5) various readers think that Raskolnikov resembles the little boy, or the murdering peasant, or the horse, or sometimes all three. But they all agree that Dostoevsky was innovative in using dreams to reveal deep psychological truths about human behavior and to examine the subconscious fears and desires that express themselves in dreams. Notice, too, that both Svidrigailov and Raskolnikov have frightening dreams at the end of the novel. Both see themselves and their behavior as it really is. The dreams are so persuasive that each man makes a critical decision based on them. 4. CRIME AND ITS CONSEQUENCES Dostoevsky analyzes the effect of criminal behavior, both on the perpetrator and on the people around him. The worst criminals-like Luzhin-think only of personal gain or of revenge. They are doomed to isolation and failure. Others, like Raskolnikov himself, commit more dreadful crimes. But because they can reestablish themselves with their fellow man and with God, they can be salvaged. Dostoevsky does show the effects of environment on the criminal, but he is primarily interested in the internal, not the external, causes of criminal behavior. He believes alienation is the key to both the causes and the consequences of crime. Raskolnikov believes at first that there are crimes of principle, crimes committed to prove an intellectual point. Because some people are more brilliant or gifted than others, he thinks they have the right to commit crimes to accomplish their goals. What's more, he believes he is one of these extraordinary people. Dostoevsky rejects the notion that crime can be justified, and he constructs the novel to persuade the reader to reject it, too. He also believes that a character is ultimately responsible for his own behavior and for the consequences of that behavior.

Unless you're fluent in Russian and are reading the novel in its original language, your impression of Dostoevsky's style will be influenced by the translation you read as well

as by the novelist's choice of words and sentence structure. The translator's own style makes a big difference. For instance, the last sentences of Part One read like this in one translation: He did not sleep, but lay there in a stupor. If anybody had entered the room he would have sprung up at once with a cry. Disjointed scraps and fragments of ideas floated through his mind, but he could not seize one of them, or dwell upon any, in spite of all his efforts.... In another, the same sentences read like this: He did not fall asleep, but lay there in a sort of stupor. If anyone had come into the room, he would at once have leapt screaming to his feet. Scraps and fragments of thoughts swarmed in his head; but he could not fix his mind on a single one of them, he could not concentrate on a single one of them even for a short time, much as he tried to.... A third version says: He did not sleep, but sank into blank forgetfulness. If anyone had come into his room then, he would have jumped up and screamed. Scraps and shreds of thoughts were simply swarming in his brain, but he could not catch at one, he could not rest on one, in spite of all his efforts....

Perhaps the chief difference between reading Dostoevsky in the original and reading him in translation is that the subtlety of the language is sometimes unavoidably lost. When Dostoevsky calls his protagonist Raskolnikov, he uses the name because the Russian word raskol means split or schism; the name helps define the character. Naming characters in this way is a frequent literary device, but it works only when the reader recognizes the connection. Similarly, the Russian word for crime, prestuplenie, is literally translated as a stepping across or a transgression. The physical image of crime as a crossing over of a barrier or a boundary is lost in translation. So is the religious implication of transgression, which we use in English to refer to a sin rather than a crime. Dostoevsky wants you to think of Raskolnikov's action as both.

There are other things, though, that translation doesn't affect. Dostoevsky uses different speech mannerisms and sentences of differing lengths for different characters. Those who use artificial language when they speak- Luzhin, for example, sounds like a pompous businessman, while Lebeziatnikov's speech resembles that of a half-baked politician-are identified as unattractive people. Mrs. Marmeladov's disintegrating mind is reflected in her language too. You can learn a lot about individual characters not only by what they say but how they say it.

Raskolnikov's story is told by an omniscient narrator, a nameless voice that reports to the reader everything that the characters do and say and also what they think. Most of the time the narrator keeps his opinions to himself, simply revealing the thoughts and actions of Raskolnikov and the others. There's a lot of dialogue (when two or more characters talk together) and interior monologue (when a character's thoughts are expressed as if they were spoken). The narrator makes no comment about these ideas either. But he does describe the physical environment, the looks on people's faces, and the levels of tension between them. Most of the time what you learn is what Raskolnikov sees or feels; that's a clue that he is the central focus of the novel. Since Raskolnikov is the major character, almost everything the narrator tells the reader is about him too. The other characters and events are described primarily for what they reveal about Raskolnikov. There are, for instance, only a few scenes in which he doesn't appear; and at those times he remains the focus of attention, even when he's not physically present. For instance, we see the conniving Luzhin and the decadent Svidrigailov away from Raskolnikov but only when they're doing things that make Raskolnikov seem like a basically decent person in comparison.

Similarly, the narrator shows you the warm affection Raskolnikov's family and friends feel for him in a few scenes where he isn't present. These scenes help you realize that Raskolnikov has many good qualities that can't be ignored when you decide what he's really like. So while it's true that the narrator doesn't say "Hate this character," or "Love this one," the details you're given lead you to the conclusions that Dostoevsky intends. An omniscient (or all-knowing) narrator is a favorite device of authors writing complicated novels, because it is an effective method for giving the reader a

comprehensive view of several characters. Dostoevsky worked with several other approaches before he finished planning Crime and Punishment. He considered a firstperson narration, with Raskolnikov telling his own story, and a combination of firstperson and third-person narrators. His final choice was a narrator who could see the events from many perspectives and let you do the same. Just as the protagonist of the novel isn't an exact autobiographical image of the author, neither is the narrator. His point of view isn't exactly the same as the author's. The narrator is as much a creation as any of the characters is; you have to decide if he's someone you can believe, just as you have to decide when Raskolnikov is being honest. Most readers, however, find this narrator a clear and honest filter through whom they can grasp Dostoevsky's ideas.

Crime and Punishment has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Its structure helps to reinforce the title and some of the major themes of the novel. Part One describes the crime. Parts Two through Six explore the physical and emotional consequences of that crime on the killer (his punishment). The seventh part of the novel, the Epilogue, presents the resolution of his case. A gruesome ax murder is the climax of Part One. Because Dostoevsky isn't concerned primarily with the causes of crime, the events that lead to the murder move quickly and take up only three days. This section also introduces, by name, all but one of the major characters. By the time the pawnbroker dies, everything is in place to bring her killer to justice. The five central sections of the novel recount the events that force Raskolnikov to confess. When he planned his crime, he was alone-isolated; afterwards he is forced into the company of others. Because he must react to them, he is forced to behave differently and to think differently too.

The last part, the Epilogue is set apart from the rest both in time and place. Raskolnikov is in prison in Siberia. Eighteen months have passed since the crime. At the conclusion of the section he is renewed, reborn, and looks forward to the end of his sentence with hope of a new life. The number 7 is often considered a "magic" number, with special religious meaning. According to the Bible, for example, God created the world in six days and rested on

the seventh. Many readers believe that Dostoevsky deliberately structured his novel in seven parts to make his message about Raskolnikov's new beliefs stronger. Even readers who find the change in Raskolnikov hard to believe have to admit that the structure seems to prove Dostoevsky planned his conclusion carefully and didn't just tack it on at the end. A STEP BEYOND TESTS AND ANSWERS

_____ 1. The most obvious thing about Raskolnikov is that he A. fears neither God nor man B. is a dual personality C. is worthy of redemption _____ 2. The two contrasting aspects of Raskolnikov's nature are presented by A. Dunya and Porfiry B. Avdotya and Luzhin C. Sonia and Svidrigailov _____ 3. Raskolnikov is described as exceptionally handsome in order to A. evoke the reader's sympathy B. establish a contrast with the ugliness of his crime C. validate Dostoevsky's theory _____ 4. When Raskolnikov sees the desperate situation of the Marmeladov family, he A. quietly leaves them some money B. counsels them on the need to change their ways C. vows to help them get back on their feet _____ 5. Raskolnikov sees both Dunya an Sonia as A. prostitutes of a sort B. models of contemporary Russian womanhood C. victims of governmental indifference

_____ 6. "Do you understand what it means when you have absolutely no where to turn?" asks A. Sonia B. Razumikhin C. Marmeladov _____ 7. In Raskolnikov's dream about the drunken peasant, he A. kisses the dead horse B. slashes the brute across the face C. throws the man under the horse's hooves _____ 8. The actual murder of the pawnbroker is facilitated by the I. moving letter from Raskolnikov's mother. II. crushing poverty which surrounds Raskolnikov III. fortuitous absence of the old woman's sister A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I, II, and III

_____ 9. The rationalization for the killing of old Alyona Ivanovna is that I. she was an evil person II. she had treated Raskolnikov's mother poorly III. her money could be used to help needy people A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only _____ 10. Raskolnikov's belief in the criminal's fallibility is seen when he A. allows painters to view his face B. leaves Alyona Ivanovna's door wide open C. forgets to remove his fingerprints from the glass 11. Crime and Punishment is often described as a novel that uses suspense effectively. What techniques does Dostoevsky use to create suspense? Does his use of suspense make the story more exciting? Give examples from the novel to support your answers.

12. Explain how Dostoevsky develops Raskolnikov as a character with a dual, or split, personality. How does Raskolnikov change in this respect over the course of the novel? Use examples from the novel.

_____ 1. Symbols of the guilt which weighs heavily upon Raskolnikov are the A. wooden and copper crosses which the pawnbroker wore B. bloody socks he is forced to wear C. keys which he stole from the old woman's pocket _____ 2. Raskolnikov's fainting spell at the police station was brought on by the A. persistent need to confess B. fear of the intellect of the police chief C. smell of fresh paint _____ 3. Raskolnikov continually associates crime with A. punishment B. disease C. passion _____ 4. Raskolnikov's empathy with the downtrodden and rejected is underscored by his A. prior engagement to a sick and ugly girl B. efforts to raise funds for Marmeladov's funeral C. letter to the newspaper editor _____ 5. Raskolnikov's crime is ironic in that I. it has chained him rather than freed him II. he makes no use of the money he stole III. it was inevitable that he would be caught A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only

_____ 6. According to Raskolnikov's theory, the extraordinary man is allowed to commit a crime because he A. is free from conscience B. has no fear of the law C. is extraordinary _____ 7. At least ten times in the novel, Raskolnikov is prepared to A. commit violence B. confess C. intellectualize the validity of his theory _____ 8. Raskolnikov asked Sonia to read to him the Bible story of A. Jesus and the fallen woman B. the raising of Lazarus C. Judas' betrayal of Jesus _____ 9. Raskolnikov identifies with Sonia because A. they have both transgressed against life B. her crime is as serious as his C. salvation is denied to both of them _____ 10. Svidrigailov commits suicide after A. his showdown with Raskolnikov B. his dream about a little girl C. he learns of Raskolnikov's confession 11. The problem of crime and punishment has troubled people throughout history. Although Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment takes place in 19th- century Russia, do his ideas have universal significance? Give examples that support your opinion. 12. Crime and Punishment is a novel of nightmares. Some are real and some are dreamed. Show how the dreams reveal the truth to their dreamers. Use examples from the novel.


1. B 2. C 3. B 4. A 5. A 6. C 7. A 8. C 9. B 10. B 11. To answer a question like this, think about the whole novel. First, find examples of suspenseful scenes in the novel. Two of the most famous occur when Raskolnikov is in the pawnbroker's room at the time of the killing (Part I, Chapter VII), and when Dunya confronts Svidrigailov with the gun (Part VI, Chapter VI). Others occur throughout the novel, some in each part except the epilogue. You don't have to include all of them, but you should choose examples from different parts of the novel. The examples should be varied in subject too. For instance, the times when Raskolnikov thinks he's about to get caught are all alike in subject. So use only one of those. When you've identified three different types of suspenseful scenes, describe each one. Mention when they occur, what they contribute to the story, what the language is like, and how the narrator's style or the dialogue reflects the tension. For example, when Luzhin tries to trap Sonia, Lebezyatnikov drops his long, complicated sentences and accuses him directly. In your conclusion, explain how you, as a reader, reacted to the scenes, saying whether you think they added to your pleasure and understanding.

12. There are two different ways to answer this question. The first, and perhaps easier, way is to explain, by using details from the novel, that Raskolnikov behaves in two distinctly different ways at different times. Sometimes he is hateful and cruel, as he is when he kills the women (Part I, Chapter VII), or when he tells Sonia her faith in God is useless (Part IV, Chapter IV). Other times he is generous and full of compassion, as he is when he gives the Marmeladovs money

(Part I, Chapter II; Part II, Chapter VII), and when he tells his mother that he loves her (Part VI, Chapter VII). To write a strong essay, you should decide which part of his personality seems more in control at different times-and why. Support your conclusions by describing what Raskolnikov says and does at different points in the novel. Remember to include episodes from the entire novel, including the Epilogue, in which Dostoevsky allows Raskolnikov's good side to triumph. Your conclusion might comment on whether you find that change believable. The other way to answer the question is to compare Raskolnikov to some of his "doubles" or "foils." You can show how, on the evil side, he is like Svidrigailov, while, in his good moments, he can be like Dunya and Razumikhin. Note scenes in which Raskolnikov's similarity to an evil character is pointed out-and scenes in which an evil character is used as a contrast to Raskolnikov. Your conclusion should explain why it's significant that Raskolnikov lives (like the good characters), rather than dies (like the evil or weak ones). ANSWERS TEST 2 1. B 2. C 3. B 4. A 5. A 6. C 7. B 8. B 9. A 10. B 11. In arguing that the novel's theme is universal, you could point out that Dostoevsky touches on three critical issues: the nature of crime, the psychology of the criminal, and the way criminals can be punished. a. Dostoevsky asserts the need for an objective moral standard, in which values are fixed. Explain what he says happens when an individual believes he can define his own moral standard. You might discuss how the struggle between individual ethics and society's values have frequently been a problem in many countries. Does Dostoevsky's concept of moral standards have any relevance today?

b. The novel concentrates on the psychology of the criminal. Dostoevsky describes various motives and reasons for Raskolnikov's crime, but none of them are ever really enough to explain why a certain individual chooses to commit crime and others don't. You could show, using contemporary examples, that the psychology of the criminal is still a mystery, and that the issue of how much influence society has on creating criminals is still alive.

c. Dostoevsky analyzes punishment that works. You can argue that criminals who can't be rehabilitated are a major problem in any country. But you must decide whether the solution Dostoevsky proposes is workable or not, by speculating on how well Porfiry's methods of getting Raskolnikov to confess and ask for help would work on the typical killer. Remember to point out that Raskolnikov is the only criminal in the novel who is rehabilitated. You can argue that Svidrigailov's suicide and Luzhin's arrogance prove that Raskolnikov is not a typical criminal. 12. Since both Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov are plagued by dreams, your answer ought to discuss both of them. For both men, Dostoevsky uses dreams to reveal the state of their minds and souls. And since Svidrigailov commits suicide while Raskolnikov is reformed, you should show what is different as well as what is similar in their dreams. Because Raskolnikov is the protagonist and because his dreams are usually described in more detail, it's appropriate to start with him. He has three strikingly different dreams: the first is the one about the horse (Part I, Chapter V); the second is a mocking replay of the murder (Part III, Chapter VI); and the third is about a plague (Part VII, Chapter II). You can explain how each of them is related to the behavior that follows it, and describe what you think the dream means to the dreamer. Think about whether Raskolnikov sees himself clearly in each dream. You might argue that the dreams force him to act, or that rather they predict how he will act. Svidrigailov's nightmare, just before he commits suicide (part VI, Chapter VI), should be related to Raskolnikov's dreams. Explain how it is like them, and how it is different. Consider whether it reveals the truth about his behavior to his conscious mind so that he's forced to see himself as he really is. In your conclusion, speculate on why you think Dostoevsky chose to use this device of dreams as a way to make the characters more complex. If you like, it would be appropriate to discuss modern ideas about the significance of dreams.

A Farewell to Arms

Ernest Hemingway
KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING The novel is primarily set in Gorizia, a small town near the Italian-Austrian border, with World War I as its backdrop. Italy, part of the Allied Powers, is opposed by Austria, part of the Central Powers. In the final stages of the war, the U.S.A. supported the Allied Powers. The war was fought between 1914 and 1918. The protagonist, Frederic Henry, an ambulance driver and officer in the Italian army when the novel opens, is stationed in Gorizia. In Book II, the Protagonist is wounded and is sent to a Milan hospital. Therefore, the action now moves to Milan. Here, the parallel theme of love between the Protagonist and the heroine, Catherine Barkley, develops. In Book III, upon the cancellation of his convalescent leave, Henry is sent back to the front, in Gorizia. The novel is now set against not Gorizia, but the awesome Caporetto and the (in)famous retreat. Historically, the Battle of Caporetto was fought in October 1917, between the Italian and German- Austrian forces and as far as Italy was concerned, the battle was an disaster. Caporetto is a small town on the banks of the river Isonzo in Italy. Though at some places the Italian army resisted the GermanAustrian army, it was fighting a losing battle. The battle and Caporetto were lost and the Italian forces were compelled to withdraw. This is called the Retreat, whose details are realistically presented in Book III. The setting then is Caporetto, the historically famous small town. In Book IV, the action moves back again to Milan, Italy. From there, till the end of the novel, the setting is in neutral Switzerland, where Henry and Catherine flee and stay till her death. Throughout the novel, the setting offers a striking contrast between the mountains, which are majestic, lofty and dignified and the plains, which are associated with death, decay, and degeneration. LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major Characters Lieutenant Frederic Henry The narrator and the protagonist. A former student of architecture who has volunteered to join the Italian army as an ambulance officer, because he could speak Italian. An indifferent soldier, he finds fulfillment in love, following his injury and subsequent desertion of his army post.

Catherine Barkley An English nurse with whom Henry falls in love. Her bodily structure prevents her having a natural delivery of a child; she dies following a Caesarian operation. Minor Characters Rinaldi An excellent surgeon in the Italian army. He is witty, garrulous, highly sexual, has a habit of excessive drinking, and is disillusioned by the war. A great friend of H enrys. The priest A real man of God whose faith in Christianity and morals remain unshaken even in the face of the absolute debauchery of the army. He is a friend, philosopher, and guide to Henry. True love for him implies service and sacrifice. He is a butt of vulgar jokes in the officers mess. He is the Code Hero in this novel, an embodiment of love, courage, honor and all that is positive in the world, from whom the Hero (Henry) has to acquire learning. Miss Helen Ferguson A Scottish Catholic nurse and friend of Catherines. She is a moralist and appears ill tempered but cares genuinely and deeply for Catherine. She believes firmly in morals and is to Catherine what Rinaldi is to Henry (a friend, concerned and caring). Miss Gage A nurse in the hospital in Milan, a friend of Henrys. Dislikes Catherine but helps Henry a lot. Miss Walter

Another nurse who admits Henry into the hospital at Milan when he arrives there wounded. Miss Van Campen The hospital superintendent. She dislikes Henry and sees to it that his convalescent leave is cancelled because she believes that his jaundice was self-inflicted due to excessive alcoholism. Dr. Valentini A competent surgeon of the rank of a major, performs excellent surgery on Henrys knee and restores its use to him. Mr. and Mrs. Meyers Eccentric friends of Henrys in Milan. They do not trust each other: he with a shady past and she, big- busted and calling every one dear boy. Both provide comic relief to an otherwise gloomy story. Ettore Moretti A braggadocio, the braggart soldier. A San Franciscan of Italian descent; twentythree, a true war hero who looks unconvincing because of his habit of boasting too much about his exploits; disliked by Catherine for boring her. Edgar Saunders A tenor and student of music; has adopted the name Eduardo Giovanni to impress the Italian audience. Ralph Simmons Another music student who sang under the name Enrico del Credo; later helps Henry go to Stresa by lending his civilian clothes and bag. Court Greffi The ninety-four year young billiards player; is worried that he is not devout even at that age; has excellent taste in literature and advises Henry that love is religion and life, valuable. The Barman

With a wicked sense of humor, works at the Grand Hotel in Stresa. Fishing is his hobby; lends his boat to Henry to escape to Switzerland and also brings him the important information that he is about to be arrested by the Italian police. Mr. and Mrs. Guttingen The owners of the mountain Villa in Montreux where Henry and Catherine live during the winter months. They take excellent care of Catherine in the advanced stages of her pregnancy. Bonello, Aymo and Piani All are ambulance drivers. Aymo is killed; Bonello decides to be taken prisoner after the Retreat; and Piani accompanies Henry till the point of the latters desertion from the army. Almost all these characters, with a possible exception of Miss Van Campen, are uniformly good, cheerful, and render valuable help to the lead pair at crucial points in the story. CONFLICT Protagonist Lieutenant Frederic Henry, who does not suffer from any grand illusions about honor, glory, patriotism, or courage, deserts the army by leaving his post. He is wounded in the knee, is in love with Catherine Barkley, lives with her, gets her pregnant, but in the end, loses both his son and Catherine. Antagonist The war, with its devastating effect on the individuals life, the tragic disillusionment it fosters, and the despair that is its consequence, is the antagonist in the novel. On a secondary level, biology, that claims Catherines life, is the second antagonist.

Climax The climax occurs in Caporetto where a retreat is forced on the Italian army. Henry tries to put up a brave and dogged fight but in the ensuing chaos, he is forced to desert his post. From now on, he becomes the hunted rather the hunter and has to live incognito. The action too undergoes a marked change after the climax. Before the retreat, it seems slow-paced but after it becomes faster and the events unfold so

quickly that they leave the reader breathless. Here the setting shifts from Italy to Switzerland. Outcome The conflict ends in a tragedy that is double-edged or twin-peaked. Henry cannot pursue a military career because he has abandoned his post. There are no more choices for him as far as professions go because he had given up architecture to join the army and now he has given up the army too. He intends to lead a life of married bliss with Catherine and his son but both die, leaving him a victim of unalterable circumstances. As Henry says, though he lives on after Catherines death, his tragic story has come to an end. This novel is tragic because it shows Catherine biologically double- crossed, Europe war-crossed and life, death-crossed. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) The novel opens with World War I raging all over Europe. A young American student, studying architecture in Italy, offers his services to the Italian army. In Gorizia, he is wounded in the knee and is sent to recuperate in a hospital in Milan. He falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine Barkley, lives with her, and she becomes pregnant. He returns to the front in Gorizia and is caught in the Italian retreat. In order to save his life, he deserts his post and goes away to a hospital in Milan to take Catherine and go some place where they can start life anew. They go to Switzerland but cannot live happily, for a fresh tragedy awaits them. Their eagerly awaited son is stillborn and Catherine who can never have a normal delivery, dies after a Caesarian operation. THEMES Main Theme The main theme of the novel is that war creates or makes a tragedy of everything. Therein, a person has to bid farewell to everything she cherishes in life. It revolves round the yawning, aching loneliness that exists in the midst of war, which ensures that one cannot even find solace in love. She has to pay a very high price for wanting love, let alone achieving it, and most often death forms the most natural and suitable price one could pay. Though one has struggled hard, at the end of the reckoning, she is left with nothing.

Minor Theme The minor theme of the novel is the passage of Henry from a cheap life to a noble one. When he enters the army, he has not many feelings: he is disinterested and disillusioned with the war, eats and drinks heavily, and regularly visits sordid brothels. He progresses from there to a sense of participation in the war and to an elevated, dignified love life. His initiation into the vicissitudes of war, molds him into a well-adjusted individual, who is competent enough to make a separate peace with himself. His initiation into the pleasures of dignified love convert him from a drinking, debauched soldier to a loving, caring husband. However, as the novel ends, the initiation, on both levels, becomes inconclusive and inconsequential. For, Henry cannot make use of it in his future. MOOD The mood of the novel is pessimistic. Tragedy lurks behind every action and, as such, robs it of meaning. Men and women, caught in the war, despair and move to bitterness and cynicism. Throughout the novel, a mood of continuous boredom, disappointment, and apathy, generated from a sense of inevitability of fate, dominates. The somber mood in the novel, describing the horrors of war, turns tragic, as it details the problems of undergoing a Caesarian section. The mood throughout the novel is one of disappointment, dullness, and pain

Arms and the Man

George Bernard Shaw

KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING Prince Alexander I, the Regent of Bulgaria, led the Bulgarian army against the Serbs who had declared war in November 1885. The Bulgarian army was helped by the Russians whereas the Serbs were led by Austrians. The Swiss supplied a large number of mercenaries and Captain Bluntschli is one such soldier fighting on the Serbian side. Such mercenaries had no feelings. At a crucial point Russia called back her officers and Bulgaria was left to fend for herself. In spite of such mishaps the Bulgarians were victorious in the Battle of Slivnitza in November 1885.

The title of the play "Arms and the Man" comes from the opening lines of "The Aeneid", Virgil's epic-poem describing the adventures of Aeneas, the Trojan Prince. Shaw calls it an "Anti- Romantic Comedy". The term romantic, according to Shaw, meant untruth. Romancerefers to a kind of fiction, which did not concern itself with real life; it gave greater importance to idealization. The same trend was followed by drama. Scribe and Sardon in Paris wrote well -made plays which had wellconstructed plots with several well-known devices. Audiences were used to such drama, therefore, when Ibsen's plays "The Doll's House" and "Ghosts" were performed, people were shocked. Shaw was inspired by Ibsen who tackled real issues and made people think. Like Ibsen, he tackled real issues that Englishmen were made to think about. Characters Raina Petkoff Raina, the heroine of the play, is the only child of Major Petkoff and Catherine Petkoff. She is a "romantic" and had romantic notions of love and war. Catherine Petkoff Catherine Petkoff, Raina's mother, is a middle-aged affected woman, who wishes to pass off as a Viennese lady. She is "imperiously energetic" and good-looking. Louka Louka, a servant girl in the Petkoff household, is proud and looks down on servility. She is ambitious and wishes to rise in life. Nicola wishes to marry her but she has other plans. Major Petkoff Major Petkoff has acquired his position in the army more because of his wealth than his ability. In military strategy he takes help from Bluntschli but believes that he himself has made all the plans. He is, however a good father and husband. Sergius

Sergius is handsome, as a romantic hero ought to be, has a good position in the army and supposed to be brave. He is supposed to be in love with Raina but flirts with Louka.

Bluntschli Bluntschli is a Swiss professional soldier. He believes that it is better to be armed with chocolates than with ammunition on the battlefield. In contrast to Sergius "he is of middling stature and undistinguished appearance". He is energetic and carries himself like a soldier. Nicola Nicola is an old servant of the family. He displays a lot of discretion in dealing with the members of the family as well as their guests. He is fond of Louka who disapproves of his servility. CONFLICT The conflict in "Arms and the Man" is between opposing beliefs and ideas. Protagonist Raina is the protagonist. She has romantic notions about war and love. Antagonist In a way, Bluntschli could be considered the antagonist since he presents a realistic picture of war. Louka is the other antagonist who makes Raina and Sergius aware of the practical side of love. Climax Bluntschli's arrival with the coat is the climax. At that point the play gets most complicated. Outcome The outcome is a happy one. Raina marries Bluntschli and Louka secures Sergius. Overall, the main characters come down to the practical realities of life.

Themes The play has two major Themes : war and marriage. Romantic illusion about war lead to disasters, in the same way romantic notions of love and marriage lead to unhappy marriages. A minor theme is the relationship between the upper and lower classes as represented by the Petkoffs and their servants Nicola and Louka. Shaw upheld social equality. MOOD Pleasant. The play was published together with the others in "Plays Pleasant". PLOT In a war between Bulgaria and Serbia, the Serbian soldiers are fleeing. A Serbian soldier surprises Raina, the heroine, by entering her bedroom for shelter. The Serbian officer is a Swiss mercenary soldier fighting on the Serbian side, his name is Captain Bluntschli. Raina Petkoff had been dreaming of her fianc Sergius; about how valiantly he had led the Bulgarians to victory. Bluntschli is a soldier who prefers a supply of chocolates to bullets when he goes to the front. He gives an account to Raina about the Bulgarian victory, which according to him, was a fluke as someone had forgotten to supply the Serbian army with ammunition. Her romantic notion about soldiers receives a shock when he tells her he is afraid and unwilling to die. However, when the pursuers enter the house, she hides Bluntschli successfully. Only Louka, the maidservant notices the pistol and knows that the fugitive is hiding in the room.

Four months later, after the war is over, Major Petkoff and Sergius get a warm welcome from Mrs. Petkoff and Raina. The two men talk about a young Swiss officer who had impressed them with his practical approach to the exchange of soldiers. Louka and Nicola discuss Raina's encounter with the Swiss soldier and Nicola advises her not to talk about it. Sergius is attracted to Louka and when alone, flirts with her. The men have also heard stories about the Swiss soldier's escape and how a young girl had given him shelter. They do not know that the incident had taken place in Major Petkoff's own house. While the two men retire to the library, Captain Bluntschli arrives to return the coat Major Petkoff and Raina had lent him. The two women want him to go away and pretend not to know him when Major Petkoff and Sergius greet him warmly. The men persuade him to stay back for lunch.

After lunch, Bluntschli helps Major Petkoff and Sergius to make arrangements for the transport of troops. Major Petkoff asks for his coat and Raina is apprehensive that he may discover the photograph, which she had put in the pocket for her "Chocolate Cream Soldier." Sergius learns the true identity of the "Chocolate Cream Soldier" and challenges Bluntschli to a duel which Raina interrupts and expresses her real feelings for Bluntschli. Louka succeeds in securing Sergius for herself and Major Petkoff and his wife give their consent to Bluntschli to marry Raina.


William Shakespeare
KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING Coriolanus is largely set in Rome and parts of the Volscian cities of Corioli and Antium. In no other Shakespearean play does the setting figure so prominently. Rome dominates throughout, and the plot revolves around it. Rome demands of its citizens their wholehearted service, regardless of class, but it also requires that this service should adapt itself to time. Coriolanus inability to mould himself according to the changing circumstances is one of the chief components of this tragedy. The Rome of Coriolanus is a primitive one. Marcius was born in a Rome where valor was its chiefest virtue, but this ideal Rome changed with the passage of time. Coriolanus, who was the ideal warrior, became the chief enemy to the people. His inflexibility in responding to the changing demands of time propels him to destroy this false image of Rome that molded his being into existence. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Caius Marcius (Coriolanus) - the protagonist of the play. Marcius is an unbending, stiff-necked Roman soldier and an arrogant aristocrat who despises the common people and their tribunes --Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus. After a famous victory at Corioli against the Volscians and their leader Aufidius, he is given the honorific title of Coriolanus in memory of his triumph. He is also promised the consulship of Rome. His inflexibility and contempt of the commoners, however, results in his being banished from Rome. He allies himself with Aufidius, his archenemy, and leads the Volscian army against his own people. Coriolanus refuses to relent to the entreaties of the Romans and to agree to a peace treaty. His mother, Volumnia, finally succeeds in persuading him to enter into a treaty with the Romans. When he returns to Antium, Aufidius accuses him of treachery and incites the Volscians to assassinate him.

Cominius - a Roman general who leads the army against the Volscians at Corioli. Cominius later awards Marcius the honorific title Coriolanus in memory of his remarkable victory and recommends him for consulship. He is genuinely concerned about the welfare of Rome and tries to persuade the citizens of Rome not to banish Coriolanus. He offers to accompany Coriolanus in his exile. When Coriolanus joins the Volscians and is about to attack Rome, Cominius undertakes to persuade him to spare Rome. However, his requests are respectfully but firmly rejected by Coriolanus.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Menenius Agrippa - the witty smooth-tongued patrician who is a friend of Coriolanus. During the entire play, Menenius works as a conciliatory force between the commoners, the Senators, and Coriolanus. Although he despises the commoners as much as Coriolanus, he tries at all times to placate them and deflect their ire. He is the only person apart from Virgilia who really loves Coriolanus. But Coriolanus shockingly rejects the pleas of this true friend when he requests him not to attack Rome. Sicinius Velutus - the hotheaded of the two bald tribunes. Sicinius incites the Romans against Coriolanus. An elderly demagogue, he is characterised by Coriolanus as an old goat and a tongue o the common mouth. He has neither the interests of the patricians nor the commoners in mind; instead, he is self- serving and greedy for power. Junius Brutus - one of the two tribunes. Along with Sicinius Velutus, Brutus arouses the Roman mob against Coriolanus. Always the second to speak, he is also distinguished from the firebrand Sicinius by his soft-spoken and sly nature. When Coriolanus returns with the Volscian army to attack Rome, he begs Menenius Agrippa to stop Coriolanus advance. Immediately afterwards he vanishes from the play. Tullus Aufidius - the Volscian leader and Coriolanus chief rival and enemy. Aufidius is defeated by Marcius at Corioli and vows to destroy him at any cost, even if it means resorting to trickery. This characteristic separates him from Coriolanus, who is a great warrior but honest in his dealings. Aufidius contributes to the demise of Coriolanus by offering him an opportunity to lead the Volscian army against the Romans. In the final scene of the play, he incites the Volscians to assassinate Coriolanus after he has entered into a peace treaty with Rome. Volumnia - a powerful woman who exercises tremendous control over her son Coriolanus. Her distinguishing characteristic, like that of her son, is anger and single-mindedness. She says of herself that Angers my meat; I sup upon myself. She also shares her sons dislike of the commoners. She is responsible in many ways for Coriolanus behavior; from a very early age, she geared him towards being a warrior and refused him any other course. Her arguments persuade Coriolanus to abandon his plan of attacking Rome. As a result, she secures a happy victory to Rome, but loses her son, who is killed by the Volscians. CONFLICT

Protagonist: Coriolanus is the protagonist and clearly dominates the play as his flamboyant personality conflicts with much of the behavior of leaders in the Roman republic. He is obstreperous, arrogant, excessive, and unyielding. Unable to conform to the proper behavior adopted by most leaders, he soon facilitates his own downfall with the help of some disreputable politicking by the tribunes. The action of the play charts his degeneration from a war hero to a soldier in exile. Antagonist: Coriolanus antagonist, or tragic flaw, is his own pride, characterized by uncontrollable anger, inflexibility, and contempt for the commoners. These traits cause his downfall and lead to his assassination. On another level, the tribunes serve as the villains of the play. They realize the inflammability of Coriolanus temper and utilize his rage against him. They teach their followers how to provoke his bursts of anger. By following their leaders instructions, the mob is able to easily incite his anger, thereby proving he is an ineffective leader. The simple plan works. Sicinius accuses Coriolanus of being a traitor, a charge which enrages him. He hurls curses against the tribunes and the commoners. When he calls them a common cry of curs, he is banished from Rome. Although the tribunes incite him, it is really Coriolanus inability to control his pride and temper that defeats him.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Climax: The action rises by a series of climaxes to a central climactic moment in Act V, Scene 3. The clemency of Coriolanus to Rome draws all the bustle of the play together to its zenith. From this point onwards, it is obvious that Coriolanus has defeated himself by his inability to control his anger and curb his inordinate pride. His murder seems inevitable. Outcome: The play ends in tragedy and total darkness with the assassination of Coriolanus in Act V, Scene 6. Aufidius arouses his anger and manipulates it to his undoing. The tragic end of Coriolanus does not involve any other character apart from himself. He dies alone in the enemy city of Corioli, where he had originally seen victory. PLOT (Synopsis) Coriolanus is one of Shakespeares greatest political tragedies. In Act I, the citizens of Rome are on the verge of revolt because of an acute shortage of grain. The Roman citizens are especially bitter towards the patrician (aristocratic) Caius Marcius, and think he is the chief enemy to the people. Although he has rendered great services to the state, the citizens think that the main motivation of his actions is his excessive pride and a desire to please his mother. Menenius Agrippa, a friend of Marcius and one that hath always loved the people, tries to persuade the

hungry plebeians that the patricians are genuinely interested in their welfare. He narrates a fable in which the members of the body revolt against the belly, but eventually realize that the belly sustains them all. Marcius, however, openly denounces the plebeians for their inconstancy and presumption and is disgusted that the Senators have appointed five tribunes to protect the interests of the commoners in response to their petition. The rebellion in progress is interrupted by a revolt inspired by the Volscians under the leadership of Tullus Aufidius. Marcius wife, Virgilia, is unhappy at the news of Marcius departure and refuses to leave her house until he returns. In contrast, Marcius mother, Volumnia, is extremely pleased; she rejoices in her sons military exploits and reminisces about the day when he won his first victory in the battle against the Tarquins. Near Corioli, the Volscian capital, the Roman soldiers lose heart, but Marcius inspires them to capture the city by his own bravery. Although Marcius refuses his share of the war loot and scorns the praise of his fellow comrades, Cominius declares that from henceforth Marcius will be known as Coriolanus, in honor and memory of his great victory. Unfortunately, the victory has also resulted in an enmity with Tullus Aufidius, who resolves to destroy Coriolanus at any cost.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. In Act II, Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus, the two tribunes, try to convince Menenius Agrippa that Marcius suffers from excessive pride. Menenius, however, derides the ambition and servility of the tribunes and defends Marcius. When Coriolanus returns to Rome, the plebeians give him a heros welcome. He soon becomes a candidate for the consulship and quickly wins the approval of the Senate. With great reluctance Coriolanus bows to the custom that requires office seekers to don a gown of humility and to solicit the citizens votes by displaying their wounds. Initially, the plebeians readily give him their votes, but later some of them assert that there was mockery in his appeal. With the encouragement of the tribunes, many commoners withdraw their approval of Coriolanus. Act III opens with Coriolanus discussion of the news that Tullus Aufidius, who has shifted his headquarters to Antium, is preparing to take up arms again. In the midst of this, Sicinius Velutus and Brutus announce that the plebeians no longer approve of Coriolanus election. They accuse Coriolanus of having opposed the free distribution of wheat among the commoners. Coriolanus replies that since they were not willing to fight for their country, the commoners do not deserve the grain. The tribunes summon the commoners, who are wild with rage and try to seize Coriolanus. The Senators, with Coriolanus help, manage to repel the crowd. When the tribunes demand the death of Coriolanus, Menenius subdues them by promising to bring him to the Forum to answer the charges levied against him. Coriolanus, however, refuses to yield to Menenius request and only relents to the entreaties of his mother, who argues that policy, combined with honor, is as essential in peace as in war. THEMES Major

The major theme of Coriolanus is that pride and arrogance lead to a mans defeat, as seen in the downfall of Coriolanus. Minor Coriolanus is a political tragedy that explores the tensions of a class struggle and the tenuous political alliances that are made within a republic. The threat of civil disobedience on the part of the commoners is always present in the play and provides a major part of the confrontation between the plebeians (who are poor and weak) and the patricians (who are rich and the powerful). This conflict is set against the larger conflict and turmoil that always threatens the Roman republic, for Rome has many outside enemies. Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. MOOD

A dark, violent, and cynical mood pervades Coriolanus right from the beginning of the play. Coriolanus, raised by his mother to be a military man and warmonger, is motivated by his thirst for blood. He is the personification of Rome at its most violent and arrogant worst. The play opens with a rebellious mob scene that sets the tone of social unrest and political upheaval throughout the play and ends with another mob scene in a different city in which the protagonist is murdered. In between, the characters are merged in underhanded dealings, psychological manipulation, contempt for the commoners, and disgusting arrogance. There are traces of irony and humor in the play, especially in Menenius tale of the belly, Coriolanus encounter with the servants in Aufidius house, Menenius encounter with the guards at Coriolanus camp, and the climactic intercession scene. In the end, however, the play closes with a totally cynical attitude about the power and arrogance of politics.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

The novel takes place almost entirely in France, initially at Marseilles on the southern coast of France. When Edmond Dants is sent to the Chateau dIf, a political prison, he is imprisoned on a small island just off the southern coast of France. After escaping the prison some years later, Dants spends some time on the Island of Monte Cristo, a small island between Italy and Corsica. Dants will meet two characters (Albert de Morcerf and Franz dEpinay) in Rome, Italy, and the rest of the novel is primarily set in Paris, although the last few chapters return full circle to be set again in Marseilles. The characters are almost all French or Corsican, and the novel begins on February 24, 1815, around the time of Napoleons defeat at Waterloo. The French King has just been restored to the throne and is anxious to hang onto his power, which has been in jeopardy since the French Revolution of 1789. The novel spans a time period of about 20-25 years, ending sometime in the 1840s. During this time, Napoleon will return briefly to power for a period known as the 100 Days, after which the monarchy will again gain power. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Edmond The/The Count of Monte Cristo/The Abb Busoni/Lord Wilmore Born Edmond Dants, the latter three names are aliases and/or disguises that Edmond will use in his pursuit of revenge on his enemies. He is nineteen years old and naive at the beginning of the novel, and will be betrayed by his enemies, namely, Danglars, Fernand, Villefort and Caderousse, and will be forced to spend 14 years of his life in prison. When he finally escapes, Edmond is a new man, set on vengeance, who will systematically punish each one of the people he considers evil. The aliases all provide specific advantages in various cases, e.g. the title of Count of Monte Cristo, which Edmond will purchase, will permit him to ensure entry to Paris high society, where his enemies are all currently installed. The Abb disguise is one that permits him to gain the trust of others, and the "Lord Wilmore" disguise is used mainly to conduct business. A "good" character.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. M. Gerard de Villefort Villefort is a staunch royalist, and a public prosecutor with heavy ambitions at the outset of the novel when he is about 27 years of age. He will betray Edmond and have him thrown in jail in order to secure his own ambition: to be a favoured prosecutor and judge of the King. Although a public prosecutor, Villefort commits a number of crimes himself, and will ultimately be punished by Edmond and go mad. Although his father Noirtier is a Bonapartiste, he will use the name "Villefort" to distance himself from his father as he is himself a royalist. He will marry twice and has two children. A "bad" character.

Madame Hloise de Villefort She is Villeforts second wife and is about 25 years old. She will methodically poison her husbands in-laws from his first marriage, her father-in-laws servant, and will attempt to murder her stepdaughter Valentine and her father-in-law Noirtier in an attempt to make her son Edward the only surviving Villefort heir. Upon being discovered in her plans by her husband, she will kill herself and her son. M. Gaspard Caderousse Originally Dants neighbor and a tailor of about 25-26 years of age, Caderousse is a greedy and inadvertent accomplice to Fernand and Danglars in their anonymous denouncement to Villefort of Dants as a Bonapartiste and traitor to the Crown. Caderousse will spend time in jail for his greed, and although "Lord Wilmore" will help him escape jail, his greed is insatiable and he will die while trying to rob the Count of Monte Cristo. A "bad" character. Mercedes Herrera/The Countess de Morcerf Originally a 17-year-old Catalane and Dants fiance at the beginning of the novel, she will be an unwilling dupe in Dants betrayal and will eventually marry Fernand, one of Dants main betrayers whose actions are prompted by his desire to win her love. Her son is Albert. A "good" character. Fernand Mondego/The Count de Morcerf Originally a 20-22 year old Catalan in love with Mercedes, Dants fiance, he will cooperate with Danglars to denounce Dants as a traitor to the Crown in order to gain Mercedes love for himself. He will betray his benefactor in Greece, Ali Tepelini (the Pasha), and will sell the Pashas wife and daughter (Haidee) into slavery. He will eventually marry Mercedes and become a rich and respected Count in Paris and a peer of France. He will be punished by the Count and abandoned by his wife and son when they learn of his two betrayals and he will commit suicide. A "bad" character. M. Danglars/Baron Danglars Originally the supercargo on the same ship as Dants and aged about 25-26 years, his jealousy of Dants good fortune and position will prompt him to entice Fernand to join him in denouncing Dants as a traitor to the Crown. Later, Danglars will serve in the governments opposition (Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and member of the Chamber of Deputies) and will be a wellknown, respected, and extremely wealthy banker and baron. His greed and ambition will result in his severe punishment by Dants. He is married twice and has one daughter. A "bad" character. Madame Hermine Danglars Daughter of the Kings chamberlain (her maiden name is de Servieux), she is Danglars second wife. She herself has been married once before to the Colonel the Marquis of Nargonne (who

committed suicide), whom she cheated on by having an affair with Villefort. The two had a child together (Benedetto/Andrea) that Villefort buries alive and the affair remains a secret. She is having an affair with Lucien Debray. Her daughter is Eugenie. A "bad" character. M. Morrel Dants employer and the owner of the Pharaon. He has a thriving shipping business called "Morrel & Son" at the beginning of the novel, but over the course of the years he will become ruined through his own bad luck. One of the "good" characters in the novel, he will be rewarded for his friendship and goodness by Dants. M. Maximilian Morrel Initially in Marseilles, Maximilian is 22 years old, a strong- minded, upright and a hard studier with a reputation as "the stoic". Years later in Paris, Morrel is 30 years old and an army Captain of Spahis. He is one of Dants only friends and is in love with Valentine de Villefort. A "good" character. Haidee Tepelini She is about 20 years old and is the daughter of Ali Tepelini, the Greek pasha betrayed to the Turks by Fernand and then sold into slavery by him. She will be purchased by Dants for his plans to ruin Fernand, and she will ultimately reveal Fernands betrayal to the house of Peers where he will be found guilty and ruined. At the end of the novel, she and Dants fall in love and begin a happy new life together. A "good" character. M. de Noirtier Villeforts father, a Senator and a staunch Bonapartist. He will kill General Quesnel, Franz dEpinays father, in a duel, and will also suffer a stroke which paralyses him. He is a protective grandfather to Valentine. A "good" character. Albert de Morcerf The son of Mercedes and Fernand, he is initially an arrogant young man, engaged to marry Eugenie Danglars. Through his friendship with the Count of Monte Cristo and his discovery of the betrayals of his father, he and his mother will set out to make a new name for themselves free from the taint of his fathers past. A "good" character. Benedetto/Andrea Cavalcanti The illegitimate child of Villefort and Madame Danglars that is buried alive by Villefort and rescued by Bertuccio. Growing up, he will be a thief and murderer and makes friends with Caderousse while the two are in jail together. The Count of Monte Cristo will track him down in jail and use him in his revenge upon Villefort. Upon arriving in Paris and according to the Count

of Monte Cristos instructions, he will assume the name "Andrea Cavalcanti" and will ultimately be punished for his evil nature. A "bad" character. Valentine de Villefort Villeforts daughter by his first wife. Despite her fathers corruption, she is a good person and, although engaged to marry Franz dEpinay, she is secretly in love with Maximilian Morrel. Her stepmother will attempt to kill her. A "good" character. Minor Characters Abb Faria The Abb who becomes Dants friend while they are in prison. He will teach Dants about God, providence, patience, education and learning, hope and strength. He will serve as Dants major inspiration and will influence the man that Dants will become. Although he dies in prison, he tells Dants where to find a magnificent treasure, hidden on the Island of Monte Cristo. Julie Morrel Maximilians sister. Emmanuel Herbault Julies husband. Edward de Villefort Villeforts young son by his second wife. He is spoiled by his mother. Eugenie Danglars The daughter of Baron and Madame Danglars. She is initially engaged to marry Albert, but then becomes engaged to Benedetto/Andrea Cavalcanti as her father thinks Andrea has more money. She is a fiercely independent woman who would prefer not to marry at all. Franz dEpinay The son of General Quesnel, who was originally killed in a duel by Noirtier. He is engaged to be married to Valentine but will cancel the marriage when he learns that his father was killed by Valentines grandfather. Alberts close friend and travelling companion in Italy. Bertuccio

The Count of Monte Cristos Corsican steward, and the adoptive father of Benedetto/Andrea. Bertuccio was also betrayed by Villefort and will figure into the Counts revenge plans for Villefort and Benedetto. Lucien Debray He is a private secretary to the French Minister of the Interior and he is also Madame Danglars lover. The two of them are using Debrays political intelligence to play the stock market with Danglars money and are amassing a huge fortune. Beauchamp - a journalist/editor for one of the major Parisian newspapers, he primarily writes articles which are critical of the government. The Count de Chteau-Renaud About 30 years of age, he is a noble in Paris by birth, and is saved by Morrel while in Africa. Old Dants Dants father, he will die of starvation soon after Dants is imprisoned. Luigi Vampa An Italian bandit, he is a friend of the Count of Monte Cristo. Renee de Saint-Mran Villeforts first wife and Valentines mother. M. and Madame de Saint-Mran Renees parents and Valentines grandparents. They will be killed by Villeforts second wife. CONFLICT The Count of Monte Cristo is primarily focused on a "man against man" conflict, albeit with the "divine guidance" of God. Protagonist Edmond Dants is the protagonist of the novel, and may be classified as a "Byronic hero". A Byronic hero (from the writings of the 18 th century British poet Byron) is essentially a lonely, rebellious and brooding hero that does not possess "heroic virtue" in the usual sense. Instead, Byronic heroes have dark qualities which are usually supplemented by intelligence and selfrespect. He will often be isolated from society in some way. The Byronic hero is moody or

passionate about specific issues, is often arrogant, confident and may be a figure of repulsion as well as fascination. In this sense, Dants is the epitome of the Byronic hero, condemned to suffer alone in prison, emerging wiser and intent on revenge. To ensure his plans for revenge are carried out, he spends years learning everything about everything, and is finally fully confident in his abilities to punish his enemies. In the novel, Dants is convinced that his quest for revenge is being guided by God and he will succeed in his plans, albeit not without feelings of guilt, which serve to render him still a sympathetic and likeable character.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Antagonists There are three antagonists in this novel: Danglars, Fernand, and M. de Villefort. These three men will be responsible for betraying Dants so that he is arrested and forgotten in jail, all in order to achieve their own ambitions and/or to appease their jealousy. When Dants learns that these three men are responsible for his suffering in jail and his lost years, he will set out on a mission of revenge to punish these three men. Along the way, he will seek to punish evil wherever he finds it, and will therefore punish a number of people, although these three characters are those that initially give rise to Dants betrayal and revenge. Climax The Climax of the novel occurs when the Count of Monte Cristo, after years of planning his revenge, arrives in Paris to carry out his laboriously detailed plans for vengeance. His enemies are all unaware of what is in store for them as the Count patiently and anonymously begins to destroy their lives and ensure they suffer as much as he suffered while in jail. Outcome The novel ends on a happy note, in that the Count has accomplished his plans for revenge, he has punished those who are "evil", he has rewarded those who are "good", and he appears able to put his past misery and sufferings behind him and to begin to live life for himself. Until the end of the novel, the Count has lived only to punish his enemies, and had a difficult time caring for or liking anyone. Towards the end he feels his anger is appeased and he appears ready to let himself love and be loved again. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) The novel begins in 1815, when Dants is a happy young man, about to become captain of Morrels ship The Pharaon and he is engaged to his fiance, Mercedes. However, Dants is unaware that his shipmate, Danglars, is jealous of his success and promotion as captain, and that Mercedes cousin Fernand is jealous of Mercedes love for Dants. Both Danglars and Fernand

contrive a plan to frame Dants as one of Napoleons agents, a particularly damning charge as the King at this point is fighting to retain power in the face of Napoleons large and loyal following. Danglars and Fernand send a letter denouncing Dants as a revolutionary agent to Marseilles local magistrate, M. de Villefort, a staunch royalist, who is horrified to learn that Dants was unwittingly going to deliver a letter planning the return of Napoleon (known as The 100 Days) to his father, a revolutionary. In order to save his father from discovery and to gain the good graces of the King, Villefort throws Dants in prison although he believes him to be innocent, and gains a good post as a magistrate from the King as thanks for the warning of Napoleons imminent arrival. Dants is thrown in a political prison and forgotten for 14 years, during which time he contemplates suicide, unaware that his father has starved to death while he was imprisoned, that his employer was unable to find out where he was being kept or have him released, and that Mercedes has married Fernand. During his last few years in prison, he and his neighboring prisoner, the Abb Faria, contrive a plot to escape the prison. As they plan their escape and dig tunnels, the Abb Faria teaches him everything he knows (which is a substantial amount), helps him to understand that Danglars, Fernand and Villefort were responsible for his imprisonment, and offers to give Dants half of an immense fortune that the Abb knows is hidden on the Island of Monte Cristo. Shortly before their planned escape, the Abb Faria dies, and Dants replaces the Abbe's corpse with his own body, thereby escaping the prison when the "Abbe's body" is thrown into the ocean.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Having escaped the prison, Dants spends some time as a smuggler on a ship in the Mediterranean as he decides what to do, and during one smuggling trip he has the opportunity to go to the Island of Monte Cristo, where he discovers the incredible treasure. He immediately resigns from the smuggler ship, and proceeds to find out what has happened to his old friends and enemies in Marseilles. He uses the money to anonymously rescue his old employer Morrel from bankruptcy and dishonour, and then, in disguise, goes to see his old neighbour Caderousse, who tells him where everyone is now living and what they are all doing. The novel then skips ahead a few years and we are next introduced to "The Count of Monte Cristo" in Italy, who is a wealthy, amazingly eccentric and intelligent man. He meets two young men from Paris in Rome and renders Albert de Morcerf (Fernands son) a favour by helping to ransom him from a bandit friend of Monte Cristos named Luigi Vampa. In return, the Count asks that Albert act as his host when he moves to Paris in three months. When the Count arrives in Paris, he causes a sensation with his money and ability to do everything that would be impossible for anyone with less money or intelligence. He gets to know Villefort and his family, Danglars and his family, and Fernand, Mercedes and their family very well, never revealing that he is Edmond Dants. Slowly, the Count begins to destroy the lives of his enemies in the way that is the most damaging to their lives: he tampers with the political intelligence that Danglars uses to play the stock market, and Danglars is rendered practically bankrupt at the end of the novel, and is made to repent of his crimes. Fernands family learns of

his treachery of both Dants and his former employer, the Ali Pasha, and he commits suicide when he is publicly humiliated for this betrayal and his wife and son leave him. Monte Cristo assists Villeforts second wife in the systematic murder of several members of Villeforts family, and then tricks Villefort into believing that his beloved daughter, Valentine, has also died, although the Count has only helped her to escape so that she might marry the Counts friend, Maximilan Morrel. Along the way, the Count punishes a number of evil people including Caderousse, whose greed continuously causes him to harm others, as well as Benedetto, the bastard child of Villefort and Madame Danglars that Villefort once buried alive in order to preserve his own reputation. This child also grows up to be evil, and Monte Cristo uses Benedetto to destroy Villefort, and then punishes Benedetto himself. At the end of the novel, Monte Cristo has saved Valentine, one of the only members of the Morcerf, Villefort and Danglars family he believes was worth saving, and assists her and Maximilian Morrel in their plans to marry. Mercedes and her son Albert have left Fernand and leave to begin a new life in Marseilles, and Monte Cristo/Edmond Dants has fallen in love with Haidee, the daughter of the man betrayed by Fernand, and sets on a new life of happiness and love, feeling as if he has accomplished his purpose. THEMES The novel is an extremely moral one at heart, dealing primarily with Themes of God, religion, the relationships between men, and the conflict between good and evil. Dumas bases the novel around the overall theme of revenge, with the implications of this revenge (specifically: good vs. evil, man vs. man and man vs. God, punishment and reward, the relationship between suffering and happiness, the importance of hope, man as his own authority, the relationship of man with society) explored as supporting Themes which arise from the act of revenge itself. As a general overall side note, the novel addresses the issue of "circumstance", without necessarily addressing it as a "theme". Almost every character in the novel finds him or herself a "victim of circumstance" at some point in the novel, and the theme of revenge and the punishment of evil and the reward of good results in rapid changes in the circumstances of the characters who are affected. In this sense, the ephemeral nature of circumstance is highlighted, as characters that are burdened by suffering one day are suddenly wealthy and successful the next, while characters that are successful and wealthy one day are suddenly poor and uncovered as frauds the next.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Unfortunately, Dumas oversimplifies his characters in his attempt to render the issues surrounding the act of revenge as black and white, essentially rendering the characters as either martyrs or "bad seeds" which have no hope of redemption. MOOD

The mood of the book changes throughout its course, beginning as light and optimistic, as we are happy for the protagonist and note that he has what appears to be a bright future ahead of him. The mood turns sinister when we realize that his supposed "friends" are trying to harm him because of their own ambitions, and the mood then becomes depressing while Edmond Dants is in jail and absolutely miserable. Following his release from jail and for the majority of the rest of the novel, the mood is consistently and remarkably one which is permeated by anger, bitterness and revenge. The Count, a perfect Byronic hero, is obviously an outsider to the society he is attempting to destroy, and the mood becomes one of foreboding and expectation, as the reader almost dreads to learn how the Count will punish his enemies. At the end of the novel, the Count has accomplished all he set out to do, and appears to feel better. As a result, the mood becomes lighter, and the Count sums up his eternal life motto at the end of the novel as one of "hope".

David Copperfield
by Charles
1850 THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES - BIOGRAPHY "I seem to be sending some part of myself into the Shadowy World," Charles Dickens wrote in a letter just before he finished the final chapter of David Copperfield. Dickens, as a matter of course, became intensely involved with all his books while he was writing them. His daughter once recalled how her father would sit in his study, speaking the characters' speeches as he wrote them, making faces, giggling, or sighing with emotion. But in 1869, the year before he died, Dickens wrote that Copperfield was still his "favourite child." Why was he so attached to this novel, of all the masterpieces he had created? Readers of his own time assumed, of course, that David Copperfield was thinly disguised autobiography. After all, it was the first novel Dickens had written in the first person. Like Dickens, David is a novelist who started out as a political reporter. David's initials are even Dickens' in reverse (though Dickens himself was surprised when that coincidence was pointed out to him). But now that more is known about Dickens' life, it is clear that he changed the facts a great deal to write David Copperfield, Let's compare the two stories. Whereas David is a naive village boy and an orphan, Charles Dickens spent his childhood in the bustling seaside towns of Portsmouth and Chatham, on the southern coast of England, and was the second of eight children. His parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens, were charming and utterly irresponsible people, who lived far beyond Mr. Dickens' salary as a civil servant. When their financial situation grew desperate, they packed up and moved to London, to a cramped, grubby


house, where bill-collectors were continually hammering at the door. Finally John Dickens was arrested for debt and sent to Marshalsea Prison. Most of the family moved in with him (a typical arrangement in debtors' prison, which was a fairly open place), but twelve-year-old Charles lived outside in rented rooms so he could work in a factory, pasting labels on bottles of bootblacking (a kind of shoe polish). Although this experience lasted only four months, it scarred Charles so profoundly that he never spoke of it to anyone. We only know about it from a fragment of writing he once silently showed to his closest friend-and from his fictional treatment of it, when he sends David Copperfield to work in a similar sweatshop. Dickens never really forgave his parents-especially his mother, who'd pushed the idea hardestfor sending him to the factory. Perhaps that is why he later identified so readily with the orphans in his novels, and wrote glowing descriptions of the "perfect" family he felt he'd never had. It's interesting, however, that John and Elizabeth Dickens' delightful personalities seem to have been the models for David's friends, the Micawbers, while Dickens created for David a wicked stepfather, Mr. Murdstone-a worthy target for the anger that still boiled deep in Dickens' heart. A surprise inheritance from a distant relative freed the Dickens family from prison. Yet it took a bit of arguing for Charles to persuade his mother to let him quit working and go back to school. Unfortunately, the school he was finally sent to, Wellington House, was run by a cruel headmaster who liked to beat boys-much like Mr. Creakle at Salem House, where David begins school. Whereas David later gets a good education from Dr. Strong, Charles had to make do with the little he learned at Wellington House. Again Charles was resentful, sensing that he had talent and feeling thwarted by his inferior education. He went to work first as a clerk in a lawyer's office and then, dissatisfied with law, learned shorthand so that he could get a job taking down the debates in Parliament for a newspaper that published transcripts of them. David Copperfield does this, too.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. When he was seventeen, Dickens fell in love with Maria Beadnell, who by all accounts was as winsome and flirtatious as David Copperfield's sweetheart, Dora. Maria's father, a banker, apparently disapproved of Dickens, and after a couple of years, he sent his daughter abroad to separate them, just as Dora's father threatens to do in David Copperfield. Maria showed no interest in Charles after her return, and he felt crushed. In describing David Copperfield's courtship of Dora, Dickens may have been reliving his infatuation with Maria-and, in David's marriage to Dora, Dickens may have been speculating on what could have happened if he had married Maria. (Soon after publishing David Copperfield, Dickens would run into Maria Beadnell again and discover, with chagrin, that the living model for Dora had become a fat and extremely silly middle-aged matron.) Hurt by Maria's rejection, Dickens threw himself into hard work. Then began another courtship, this time with Catherine Hogarth, the daughter of a fellow journalist. He was so desperate to settle down that he didn't judge his prospective bride carefully, for they were not really suited for

each other in the long run. David's disappointment with his "child-wife" Dora may be realistically drawn from Charles' eventual discontent with the woman he did marry-dull, sweet Catherine. But before he could get married, Dickens, like David, had to work furiously to set himself up in his career. He had won some fame as a journalist, and in 1836, just before his wedding, he published his first work of fiction-Pickwick Papers, a loosely connected series of comical sketches. This book appeared in serial installments, as all of his novels would. Month by month Dickens' fame mushroomed. Suddenly he was a celebrity. Even while Pickwick was still appearing, Dickens began a new book, Oliver Twist, which also was a best-seller-and he kept producing hits, year after year. By the time David Copperfield, his seventh novel, appeared in 1850, Charles Dickens was a British national institution. To be a best-selling novelist in nineteenth-century England was practically like being a pop star today. In those days before movies, radio, or television, people read novels as their main form of entertainment. They didn't think of them as "literature." Dickens' books did a lot to make novels more respectable, because his novels were read by all levels of society. Intellectuals pored over them for their political satire and social commentary. Middle-class families in their cozy parlors looked forward to reading Dickens' latest book, admiring his sentimental scenes and moral messages. In poorer neighborhoods, people might gather in groups, breathlessly listening to it being read aloud; they laughed at the broad comedy and gasped at the thrilling suspense. Dickens had hit upon a formula for pleasing everybody: he spanned all levels of society with his multilayered plots and huge cast of characters, and he ended each serial installment with a thrilling climax, to make his readers rush out to buy the next month's. Having begun his career as a political journalist, Dickens used his novels to examine problems he saw in society. In Oliver Twist, for example, he exposed the wretched living conditions of England's poorhouses and slums. In Nicholas Nickleby he attacked the cruel, negligent Yorkshire boarding schools. In Bleak House he went after the Court of Chancery. Thus, in David Copperfield, he protests against the sexual mores of his age that condemned "fallen" womenunmarried women (usually poor) who had affairs or gave birth to illegitimate children. He also shows the misery of child labor. (While his original readers probably assumed the warehouse scenes were invented for purposes of satire, we now know that Dickens was recording actual memories of his secret past.) Dickens criticizes the antiquated legal institution of Doctors' Commons in a few passages. He also devotes a chapter to satirizing prison reform. Some of these bursts of satire are not really central to the book. It's almost as if Dickens felt he had to include satire, because that was what he was known for. Much of Dickens' popularity was based on his reputation as a social critic. Many middle-class Victorians liked to think of themselves as concerned citizens, whose rational, humane efforts were creating the perfect society. Dickens was, like them, a reformer but not a radical. Some of the conditions he criticized had already been improved by these reformers by the time he wrote about them. Dickens had no interest in tearing apart the framework of society-only in improving it to come closer to his ideals of justice and Christian charity. He was actually more of a conservative than many readers realize.

Some readers see the publication of David Copperfield as the turning point in Dickens' career. Until then, in novels such as Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and Dombey and Son, he had written very much with his audience in mind. All the elements of comedy, melodrama, mystery, and social criticism appear in those books, for the author seems most concerned with entertaining his readers. But David Copperfield gave Dickens an opportunity to be more personal, to write about his own life and explore individual human nature rather than society as a whole. His later novels, such as Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend, move further into this psychological territory and leave satire further behind. At the time he wrote David Copperfield, Dickens was popular, admired, famous, and rich, just as David Copperfield is at the end of the novel. Yet Dickens' later years did not bring him the happy ending he had written for David. He found that the success he had driven so hard for only increased the demands upon his time and energies. He felt his ideal of domestic harmony falling to pieces. In 1858 he and his wife separateda scandalous action in those days. Though his ten children remained with him in his huge country house, he was bitterly disappointed by his sons' failures. Melancholy, restless, and irritable, he continued to write novels, but they became tinged with pessimism about human nature and society. He tried to stave off depression with more and more work, as well as with amateur theatricals, lecture tours, and dramatic readings from his own works. But this frenzied activity only hastened his death of a stroke in 1870. Like most great artists, Dickens was a complex man, perhaps more complex than his character David Copperfield. His writer's instincts compelled him to shape the events of his life into a richer, more artistic form when he wrote about them in David Copperfield. If you want to read a biography of Dickens, there are plenty to choose from. But if you want to read a great work of literature, turn to David Copperfield. THE NOVEL THE PLOT - SHORT SUMMARY / SYNOPSIS The day David Copperfield is born, his rich, eccentric Aunt Betsey Trotwood storms away in disapproval because the new baby is not a girl. David is raised by his pretty young mother, widowed before he was born, and their loyal servant, Clara Peggotty. But this idyllic childhood is interrupted when black-whiskered Mr. Murdstone begins to court Mrs. Copperfield. David happily goes with Peggotty to visit her family in Yarmouth-her fisherman brother, Daniel, and his adopted nephew and niece, Ham and Little Em'ly. When David returns home, however, Murdstone and David's mother have married, and not long after, Murdstone's sister Jane moves in. The Murdstones intimidate David's mother and terrorize David, until one day he bites Mr. Murdstone's hand in a rebellious rage. As punishment, David is sent to Salem House, a boarding school near London, where he is miserable. However, he does make two friends-dull, decent Tommy Traddles, and brilliant James Steerforth, an older student whom David idolizes. David's schooldays are interrupted by the news that his mother and her new baby have died. After their funeral, David is not sent back to Salem House but kept idle at home. Peggotty is fired and marries the local wagon-driver, Barkis. Eventually Murdstone announces that he has provided for David by getting him a job, working in the London warehouse of Murdstone's wine

business. David, who is only ten, begins to work several hours a day, six days a week, alongside grimy, uneducated boys, for only a few shillings. The only light in this grim period is his friendship with the debt-ridden Micawber family, who rent a bedroom in their apartment to David. When the Micawbers leave London, David decides to run away to his Aunt Betsey, whom he has never met. On foot, penniless, beset by thieves and con men, David makes the journey to Aunt Betsey's cottage in Dover. Though disconcerted by this ragged child on her doorstep, Betsey soon warms to him, especially after the Murdstones come to collect him and she sees what his alternative is. David settles happily into a new circle of friends: simpleminded Mr. Dick, who lives at Betsey's; Betsey's lawyer Mr. Wickfield, his sweet daughter Agnes, and his fawning law clerk Uriah Heep; the master of David's new school, Dr. Strong, his young wife Annie, and her flirtatious cousin Jack Maldon.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. David grows to young manhood, and, once he has finished school, his aunt sends him to London to choose a career. In London, David runs into his old friend James Steerforth, who takes David home to meet his proud, possessive mother and her companion, the intense Rosa Dartle. In turn, David takes Steerforth with him to Yarmouth, to visit Peggotty and her family. Steerforth is a great hit with everyone, and he buys a boat so he can sail down there regularly. Back in London, David and Betsey go to the law offices of Spenlow and Jorkins; in Doctors' Commons, where David is taken in as a trainee in the firm. David meets Mr. Spenlow's pretty daughter Dora and falls madly in love. He also meets Tommy Traddles again, and finds that he is boarding with the Micawbers! Then David is called to Yarmouth for Barkis' funeral. That night, Emily, who has been engaged to Ham, disappears, leaving a note that she has run off with Steerforth-with no plans to be married. Aunt Betsey arrives in London with the news that she has lost all her money and is moving in to live with David on a tiny income. In spite of this setback, David continues to court Dora secretly until, after Mr. Spenlow's sudden death, they can announce their engagement. But Mr. Spenlow left Dora penniless, and David must work hard to earn enough money to marry. He takes on a second job as secretary to his old schoolmaster, Dr. Strong, who has now moved to London. David also learns shorthand and begins working as a reporter covering parliamentary debates. He finally makes enough money to marry Dora, and they move into a cottage across the street from Aunt Betsey. David discovers that his adorable bride is totally unfit to manage a household, and, though he still loves her, he despairs about their domestic life. He throws himself into his work and begins to win some fame as a fiction writer. At about this time he witnesses a reconciliation between Annie and Dr. Strong, who have been unhappy together because of Jack Maldon's flirtations with Annie. As David hears Annie tell Dr. Strong how his love for her has given her strength and wisdom, David wonders if his own marriage will survive so well.

News from Canterbury, from David's old friends the Wickfields, becomes steadily gloomier. Mr. Wickfield, who is depressed and drinking too much, has had his business virtually taken over by Uriah Heep, who also has hopes of marrying Agnes. The usually unemployed Mr. Micawber now works for Heep, and his personality has become strangely secretive and harsh, to Mrs. Micawber's despair. David and Traddles meet Micawber in London, and learn that he, too, is in Heep's power. But he intends, with help, to expose the villain. While Traddles helps Micawber to uncover evidence against Heep, David helps Daniel Peggotty find Emily, who has returned, a ruined woman, to London. She and her uncle make plans to emigrate to Australia, where her past will be unknown. Meanwhile, after a stillbirth, Dora has fallen gravely ill. David leaves her bedside to go to Canterbury to watch Micawber and Traddles confront Heep with their knowledge of his schemes. Heep is thrown out, Mr. Wickfield's name is cleared, and Betsey's "lost" investments are recovered. Betsey suggests to Micawber that he and his family emigrate to Australia, too, and lends him some money for a fresh start. Back in London, David nurses Dora, but it is Agnes, sisterly and serene, who is with her when she finally dies. Numb with grief, David helps the emigrants prepare to leave, and agrees to take a letter from Emily to Ham. But a wicked storm hits Yarmouth that night, and David sees Ham, who seems indifferent to life now, swim out to save people from a shipwreck. David alone recognizes the ship's last victim as Steerforth. Ironically, Ham drowns trying to save the man who ruined his happiness. Steerforth's lifeless body is washed up on shore. The emigrants leave for Australia, and David goes to Switzerland for several months to recover from his grief. Eventually he writes a novel about his experiences. He also thinks a lot about Agnes Wickfield, realizes that he has always been in love with her, and regrets that she has shown only sisterly feelings toward him. Returning to England, he finally confesses his feelings to Agnes and learns that she has always loved him, too. They marry, have children, and live happily ever after. THE CHARACTERS - CHARACTER LIST AND ANALYSIS DAVID COPPERFIELD Because David Copperfield is the narrator, many readers have assumed he is a self-portrait of Dickens. There are several similar incidents in their lives (see "The Author And His Times"), but how similar are their personalities? Some readers believe that David is simply a portrait of a typical young gentleman of the early Victorian age. He has a middle-class gentleman's education (a good secondary school but no university degree). He holds some liberal beliefs; for example, he criticizes Doctors' Commons and the parliamentary debates. But on the whole he is a supporter of the Establishment. He doesn't question the social conventions that judge his friend Emily to be "ruined" because she has had an affair. He's convinced that it's important to work hard, succeed in a career, and make money. He believes in God, but only as a vague idea-you never see him going to church as an

adult. He places a high value on domestic harmony, and thinks that a woman's place is in the home. Other readers say David is too good to be true. They think that Dickens was trying to deny his own selfishness and insecurity by showing himself in David as a decent, generous young fellow. They point out that David is much more realistic as a child than as an adult. As a boy, he can't pay attention in church, he resents the Murdstones for coming between him and his mother, and he feels sorry for himself when he is punished. Even as he grieves over his mother's death, he basks in the special attention he's getting. But once David grows up, he becomes a model citizen. He bears the burden of his wife Dora's failures; he remains loyal to his treacherous friend Steerforth; he spends a lot of time and energy helping the Strongs, the Wickfields, the Micawbers, and the Peggottys with their problems. He is terribly modest about his career as a writer. Readers who see David in this light feel that it's fitting that he ends up married to such a noble, sexless creature as Agnes. In a later book, Great Expectations, they point out, Dickens finally created an honest picture of himself in the narrator, Pip, who criticizes himself as a snob and an ungrateful profligate. Other readers say that David does have flaws, many of the same ones Dickens had. David's selfcenteredness as a child continues into his adult years. For example, he can't help but think of how his future is changed when his Aunt Betsey loses her money. He's also a terrible judge of people. He is blind to the truth about the women he loves, both Dora and Agnes. He underestimates Mr. Dick, Traddles, and Annie Strong, but on the other hand can never see the weakness in Steerforth. He can be impatient and demanding with Dora, yet he's so shy and insecure that he can't deal with servants or waiters. David sometimes seems obsessed with work, orderliness, and money, and can't always see how dull it makes him.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. In the book's opening sentence, David asks you to decide whether or not he is the hero of his own life-judging from what the book shows you. You can take the word "hero" in several different senses: 1. The hero is the central character, or protagonist. Of course, since David is the narrator, he appears in nearly every scene of the book. But the novel has several plots. In some of them, David is just an observer of the action. 2. The hero is the most admirable person in the book. Consider, as you read, whether you think David is admirable. Is he a good person? Is he too good to be believed? Would you want to be like him? 3. The hero of David's own life is the person who deserves the credit for his success and happiness. As you read, think about how David feels about himself. Do you think he sees himself as the "hero" of his life? Why?

4. The hero is the focus of the themes of the book. As you read and decide what the main themes are, ask yourself if they all relate to David. Watch, too, how the subplots interconnect. Dickens' themes develop from a pattern of all the plots together, mirroring, shadowing, and reversing each other. Is Dickens developing a view of the world as a whole, or do all these themes lead you back to an understanding of David? AUNT BETSEY TROTWOOD Anyone who says that Dickens can't create believable women characters is overlooking Aunt Betsey. From her first bold, comic entrance in Chapter 1, she is one of the book's strongest characters. Orphan David instinctively flees to her cottage in Dover in spite of the stories he's heard about her, because he needs a stable home. Beneath her gruff exterior, she's a real softie. She has already taken in Mr. Dick, and soon agrees to take in David, especially after meeting the Murdstones, who arouse her feisty spirits. Aunt Betsey may at first seem like a modern feminist, rebelling against the male-dominated system by approving only of girl babies and by teaching her servant girls to give up men. But she isn't as inflexible as her opinions sound. The servant girls always get married, and Betsey comes to love David as much as she ever could have loved his never-born sister. Although Betsey begins as a comic character-almost a caricature-she becomes more real as the book goes on. She's not much good as a substitute mother for David. She doesn't have that kind of affectionate nature, and she seems awkward caring for a small boy. But Betsey does become rather like a second father to David. She protects their home fiercely, driving away the trespassing donkeys, and physically shields David from the Murdstones. Though she's comically opinionated and brusque, she's shrewd enough to see the truth about such characters as Mr. Wickfield and Mr. Dick. With businesslike briskness she handles such matters as arranging for David's schooling, changing her will to make him her heir, and paying for his entry into a profession. Therefore, it's startling when she shows up on David's doorstep in London, announcing that she has handled her finances badly and is virtually broke. This is a signal for a shift in generations: the "son" David must begin to provide for the "father" Betsey. David changes with this new responsibility, but so does Betsey. She seems vulnerable at last. She begins to warm up to Peggotty and even becomes fond of Dora (though she can see that David is "blind" to marry her). When David's marriage falters, Betsey is a great emotional support, advising him to be more patient and gentle with his bride (this from the woman who bullied Clara Copperfield!). A mysterious figure haunting Betsey's doorstep from time to time seems to threaten her. When she finally reveals that he is her former husband and admits how much she still feels for him, it's easier for you to understand why she developed that tough shell in the first place. While other characters have to learn to love more wisely, Betsey has to learn that it's all right to let her heart rule sometimes. This adds a vital dimension to the novel's view of life and love. DORA SPENLOW Like many other romantic heroines in Dickens' novels, Dora is tiny, childish, almost doll-like (perhaps Dickens' first love, Maria Beadnell, was like that). Though she's a flirt, she isn't very

sexy. David's notions about her are romantic, not physical. After they are married he seems almost amazed to be left alone with her, as though he never imagined going so far as to sleep with her. But remember that it's David who idealizes Dora and describes her like a doll, because Dickens is satirizing a young man's romantic foolishness. If you read beyond what David says about her, however, you can discover a three-dimensional person in Dora. She isn't to blame for her immaturity and ignorance. Her father obviously spoiled and overprotected her, and David falls into the same pattern. She has enough wisdom to know that she has disappointed David, and she understands better than he does that she can only be herself. Although she seems shallow and manipulative during their courtship, with her obnoxious dog Jip and her cliche-ridden friend Julia Mills, her loyalty and affection for David never waiver during their brief marriage. With her sweet, loving nature, her pretty face, and her gullible naive ways, Dora is very much like David's mother. David adored his mother. Perhaps that's why he falls in love with Dora, and why he can't see her shortcomings. When David tries to "form her mind," he is really doing just what Mr. Murdstone did to Mrs. Copperfield, although in a milder fashion. David is as much to blame as Dora for the failures in their marriage. AGNES WICKFIELD Dora may be the romantic heroine of the book, but Dickens saw Agnes as "the real heroine." From her first entrance, she is almost encircled by a halo. David envisions her as a stained-glass window or an angelic statue, with her hand pointing up to heaven, but he never really tells us what she looks like. He refers only to her beautiful spirit and her good influence on him, as though she were simply a symbol of his conscience. Dora, with her silly lapdog, always seems like a child, but Agnes is motherly even as a young girl, with her housewifely basket of keys at her waist. Many readers object to Agnes, saying she is an unreal vision of the pure, good, wise woman Dickens longed for. Dickens' fondness for his wife's sister Mary, who lived with them when they were first married, seems to have had a level of sexual attraction in it, so perhaps when David says he loves Agnes as a "sister," Dickens meant this to be more romantic than it sounds. But to many readers, Agnes doesn't seem human. She's unnaturally selfless, self-contained, and noble. She lets David confide all his teenage crushes to her, and she becomes Dora's best friend, even though she herself has secretly been in love with David all her life. She never responds, even with a shudder, to Uriah Heep's repulsive attentions to her. She seems passionless and imperturbable until the last few chapters, when her feelings for David begin to show through. Remember that you are seeing Agnes through David's eves, and he is notoriously blind to other people's true natures. Remember, too, that she's the only child of a melancholy, aging father, and her devotion to him has colored her whole life. Consider the lessons David learned from his first marriage, and then you will be prepared to comment on Agnes's suitability as the heroine of this novel. OTHER ELEMENTS SETTING

David Copperfield is set in the years of Dickens' youth rather than at mid-century, when he wrote it, and therefore at least the first half of the novel is tinged with nostalgia. Readers in Dickens' own time recognized the clothing and customs described in the book as "old-fashioned." Dickens fondly recreated the era of stagecoaches, which he had ridden all over England as a young reporter covering stories. By 1850, however, railroads had transformed the country.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Along with its multiple plots, David Copperfield has multiple settings. The childhood settings are softened, charming, idealized. David is born in Blunderstone in Suffolk. (Dickens had found this suggestive name on a signpost.) The village is pictured vaguely because Dickens did not know Suffolk villages well, having been bred a city boy. Yarmouth, the seaside town where the Peggottys live, was more to his taste. After spending one day there, he caught its spirit and dialect so accurately that readers assumed he was from there. David's teenage years are spent in Dover and Canterbury, close to Dickens' happy early childhood home in Chatham. Seen through his fond memory, these towns are depicted lovingly. But Dickens' greatest literary territory was London. For this book, he drew upon memories of his blacking-warehouse days, when wandering the streets for hours was the only entertainment he could afford. As David's adult home, it seems a more complicated and gritty place. Central London itself appears depressing, from the musty precincts of Doctors' Commons to the dark streets where Dan Peggotty hunts for Emily. David also travels far into the suburbs, visiting the Steerforths and the Strongs in Highgate, Dora at Norwood or Putney, and Traddles in shabby Camden Town. The only houses described in detail are Dan Peggotty's eccentric boat-house and the Wickfields' quaint old home in Canterbury. David himself spends a lot of time on the road, in Barkis' cart, in coaches, or walking long distances. (Dickens was a great walker.) Where do you think David feels most at home? THEMES - THEME ANALYSIS 1. THE MAKING OF A WRITER Like many novels, David Copperfield shows its main character growing up. But since David is a writer, the lessons he learns are especially important for that profession. Consider this at each stage of David's development. Look for evidence in his childhood that he's destined to be a storyteller. Think about the importance he places on education and discipline. Watch for episodes where David is an observer of events, drinking in impressions of life rather than acting upon them. Think about how David's suffering deepens his art, and how his struggle to balance romantic and realistic outlooks may lead him to see all aspects of life. 2. MARRIAGE

This novel presents you with a spectrum of marriages. David himself is married twice and learns that romantic love and domestic happiness don't always come in the same package. Dickens looks at power struggles in married life. For example, compare Mr. Murdstone's tyranny over his wife to the Micawbers' loyal partnership. Dickens could not write openly about sex, but sexual currents run strongly beneath the surface. For example, think about Annie Strong married to old Dr. Strong, or Agnes pursued by vile Uriah Heep. Emily chooses an affair with the attractive Steerforth over marriage to Ham, whom she loves as a brother, yet David's brotherly love for Agnes appears more lasting than his attraction to Dora. Dickens shows some couples, like Peggotty and Barkis, making a go of unromantic marriages while he depicts others, like Aunt Betsey, as bitterly disappointed by romantic marriages.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. 3. DISCIPLINE Dickens emphasizes discipline as a virtue David must cultivate. Aunt Betsey goes to great lengths to teach David self-reliance. Though he lacks David's talent, Traddles shows how far steady work alone can carry someone toward success. Useful work is a joy to Mr. Dick, and it transforms Mr. Micawber. Set against this, however, are those who abuse discipline, such as the Murdstones and Mr. Creakle. Dickens asks you to consider emotional discipline as well. David's romantic nature needs to be brought under control before he can find happiness. Steerforth and Emily lack discipline, and this leads them to ruin, whereas Annie Strong saves herself by disciplining her heart. In contrast, Aunt Betsey must learn to be less disciplined and more open to her feelings. 4. PARENTS AND CHILDREN Almost no one in this book has a complete family. There are orphans (Traddles, Ham, and Emily), only children with a single parent (Agnes, Uriah Heep, Steerforth), and only children with a single parent who later become orphans (David and Dora). Often these single parents have an unhealthy attachment to their children. Mrs. Steerforth ruins her son, Mr. Wickfield ruins himself for Agnes, Mrs. Markleham undermines her daughter's marriage, and Dan Peggotty becomes obsessed with searching for his adopted daughter. The only big, happy family is the Micawbers, and Dickens suggests that they have too many children. Dickens came from a large, poor family himself. The effect of these fragmented homes is to emphasize characters' loneliness, the fragility of the family, and the importance of forming other bonds of friendship and responsibility. 5. ROMANCE VS. REALITY As David struggles to balance these two strains in his personality, consider other characters who relate to this theme: the romantics (Mrs. Copperfield, Emily, Dora, Steerforth, Mr. Wickfield, the Micawbers) and the realists (Aunt Betsey, Uriah Heep, Traddles, Agnes, the Strongs). Consider also how Dickens shifts between romantic and realistic viewpoints and styles.

AUTHOR'S STYLE Dickens is known for a rich range of writing styles-indignant, ironical, melodramatic, and sentimental, all of which appear in David Copperfield. To set the nostalgic tone for this novel, he also uses certain words like "little" and "old" more than usual, so his language seems especially sentimental. He tries to intensify the melodramatic impact with words such as "quite," "great," "very." These styles suit the Victorian fashion of emotional fiction, but they also reflect Dickens' personal habit of emotional involvement with his books. The tone of David Copperfield is, of course, mostly controlled by its narrator. Sometimes David's narrative voice is exaggerated and ironical, as in the opening paragraphs. Yet because, as he says, these memoirs are not to be read by anyone else, he often speaks in an honest and straightforward tone of voice, as at the end of Chapter II. When he wants to show the older narrator's perspective on his younger self, he uses a tongue-in-cheek style, as when he describes David's infatuation with Dora. There are many other voices in the novel, too, for Dickens is a superb dramatist: his characters reveal themselves more by what they say than by what he says about them. Compare Rosa Dartle's intense, sarcastic speeches to Steerforth's languid drawl. Read aloud examples of Mr. Micawber's pompous, wordy, euphemistic speeches, or Uriah Heep's winding, jerky, suggestive sentences. POINT OF VIEW This novel is seen through the eyes of David Copperfield. This should limit the story to events David has witnessed, but Dickens gets around that. Often he will have another character tell a piece of the story in a speech to David (like Dan Peggotty's account of his search for Emily) or in a letter (like Emily's letters home). When Dickens needs to show a private scene, such as the Strongs' reconciliation or Rosa Dartle's accusation of Emily, he makes David happen to turn up so he can be a spectator. David even gives a detailed description of his own birth.

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Often Dickens will let a dramatic scene play out, almost as if it were on stage, as with Peggotty's quarrel with Mrs. Copperfield in Chapter II. In other dialogue scenes, like Aunt Betsey's conversation with Mr. Chillip in Chapter I, Dickens steers your responses in a particular direction with loaded descriptions and comments. In general, however, David speaks directly to you. You can even picture him as he writes; for example, in the middle of a description he may stop to comment on how vividly he still sees it, or how the memory affects him. (He says the smell of geraniums always reminds him of falling in love with Dora.) He also comments on what he did not know at the time, handing you a clue to future events and pulling you forward in the story.

FORM AND STRUCTURE David Copperfield was written in twenty monthly installments (it actually came out in nineteen parts, the final one being a double installment). Each installment was written to fit thirty-two closely printed large pages. Dickens kept each of his subplots moving along each month, never leaving an important character offstage for too long. He also ended each installment on a note of suspense, surprise, or foreboding. Toward the end of the book, some readers feel that the climaxes of the different plots are clustered too closely. For example, David has to leave his dying wife's bedside to help expose Uriah Heep, and then he hardly has time to grieve for her death before he's off to watch Ham and Steerforth die. Some readers have also criticized the coincidences Dickens uses to keep his plots interconnected. But he believed that this imitated life, where events are jumbled together in surprising ways. Here are several ways you can examine the book's structure: 1. As David grows up, the book's vision and style change. First comes the fairy-tale world of Suffolk and Yarmouth, which lasts until David runs away from the factory. Next comes the social comedy of David's adolescence, until Betsey is ruined. Then there is the melodrama of his adulthood, until Dora and Steerforth die. In the melancholy epilogue, David marries Agnes. 2. The book falls into two parts because Dickens has different motives for writing each half. First he is remembering his own childhood, up through the time David goes to London. Then he starts writing a novel about the education of a novelist. -3. This novel is divided into four parts by the four "Retrospect" chapters, XVIII, XLIII, LIII, and LXIV. Each retrospect catches David at a moment when he has achieved a goal or acquired new knowledge of the world-and will soon be moving on. Table of A STEP BEYOND TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST 1 _____ 1. The Crocodile Book is A. David's childhood storybook B. a legal record at Doctors' Commons C. Uriah Heep's secret account book _____ 2. Mr. Mell is a school teacher I. at Salem House II. at Dr. Strong's

III. in Australia A. I only B. I and II only C. I and III only _____ 3. Tommy Traddles is always doodling A. snakes B. skeletons C. locks and keys

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. _____ 4. Ten-year-old David walks from London to Dover because A. he's following the Micawbers B. his money was stolen from him C. there's a storm brewing _____ 5. Mr. Wickfield's "one motive" is A. to send Jack Maldon abroad B. to take care of Agnes C. to expose Uriah Heep _____ 6. Rosa Dartle's scar was caused by A. young David biting her B. the slip of a surgeon's knife C. a hammer Steerforth threw at her _____ 7. Two contrasting ideas of "firmness" are held by A. Mr. Murdstone and Aunt Betsey B. Miss Murdstone and Peggotty C. Mr. Spenlow and Mr. Jorkins _____ 8. As he gets older, Barkis A. gets short of breath B. becomes a miser C. loses his power of speech

_____ 9. David's secret courtship of Dora is discovered when A. Mr. Mills comes home early B. Jip barks from the next room C. Miss Murdstone finds his love letters _____ 10. One happy partnership in this book is A. Omer and Joram B. Spenlow and Jorkins C. Wickfield and Heep 11. Do you think David is the hero of this book? Why or why not? 12. Are the Micawbers a portrait of a happy family? Defend your answer. 13. Do you think Dickens identifies with David? Support your opinion. 14. Is David Copperfield a satirical novel? Discuss specific examples. ANSWERS - TEST 1

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. 1. A 2. C 3. B 4. B 5. B 6. C 7. A 8. B 9. C 10. A

11. Begin by identifying this question as a reference to the novel's opening sentence. Then define your use of "hero"- as the main character, the most admirable character, or the subject of the book. You might spend one paragraph discussing how David fulfills (or does not fulfill) each of these "hero" roles. Or, after defining your term, you can devote your answer to proving that David is or is not a hero in one particular sense. If you talk about David as the main character, be sure that you distinguish between his role as the narrator and his role as the protagonist (the main actor in the plot). If you talk about David as the most admirable character, you might want to compare him to other characters to show whether or not David seems more admirable than they are. If you discuss David as the subject of the book, it would be useful to show not only whether the plot revolves around him, but also whether the themes all relate to him. 12. First show what makes the Micawbers distinctive in this book-the fact that they are a large family, with both parents, while most of the other families are made up of single children and single parents. Then discuss both sides of the question. What evidence do you have that this is a happy family? What evidence do you have that they are unhappy? Be sure to look at the children as well as the parents, particularly in the later chapters. Finally, state your opinion about them, and defend it. Show how they fit into the values of the book as a whole, especially the theme of families. Explain your own reaction to them; for example, how you feel when you read the passages describing them, or what you imagine it would be like to be part of that family. 13. Make some notes before you start writing. First list places in the book where Dickens does not seem to identify with David, such as when David is being blind about Dora or about Agnes. In the other list, include examples where Dickens does seem to identify with David, such as when he explains about his writing career, when he remembers working in the factory, and when he satirizes political institutions. When you write your answer, try to show both sides before you state your opinion. Also, be careful to distinguish between the older David who is narrating the story and Dickens himself. For example, during David's courtship of Dora, the narrator is consciously poking fun at himself, so Dickens identifies with David the narrator, even if he doesn't totally identify with David the young lover. Remember that Dickens may not be consistent. In some plots, his attitude toward David may be different than in others, as David plays different roles. Try to show the complexity of this question, rather than strain to prove your opinion. 14. Begin with a little background on Dickens as a satirist in general, referring to other books and to his life and times, if possible. Then turn to the satire in David Copperfield. First outline the topics of satire in this book-fallen women, child labor, education, Doctors' Commons, parliamentary debate, prison reform. Explain how each occurs in the book and the attitude Dickens seems to take toward each one. Describe the different satiric techniques he uses. For example, he may not use a satirical tone when writing about Emily, because melodrama is the most effective way of getting his political message across. Finally, relate the satire to the book as a whole. Are these satiric passages central to the book? Is the novel's overall tone satiric? Don't be afraid to base your answer on your own feelings. Show which elements you feel are strongest or most believable, even if they may not be Dickens' main concerns.

Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe


If you met Christopher Marlowe, you might not like him. But you would probably be fascinated by him. Marlowe was a fiery genius whose brief career resembled the trail of a meteor across the night sky. Marlowe was not just a writer. A hot-headed swordsman, he was arrested twice for street fighting and spent some weeks in prison for his role in a fatal duel. He was also a spy, involved in a dangerous, though not fully understood, ring of secret agents. At one extreme, Marlowe was a social climber who hobnobbed with the rich and powerful of his day. He was friend to Sir Francis Walsingham, head of the government's secret service. And he knew Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth's favorite at court. At the other extreme, Marlowe had a taste for London low life. He haunted the taverns till dawn in the company of thieves and confidence men. Marlowe combined a thirst for adventure with wildly speculative opinions. In Elizabethan times, when church attendance was strictly enforced by law, Marlowe was an atheist. Like Faustus, he scoffed openly at established beliefs. He called the biblical Moses "a juggler," or second-rate magician, and referred to Christ as a not-so-pious fraud. Not surprisingly, when Marlowe died at 29- stabbed through the eye in a tavern brawl- many people saw in his fate the hand of an angry God. But let's start at the beginning. Marlowe was born in 1564, two months before William Shakespeare, in the cathedral town of Canterbury. He was a shoemaker's son and, in the normal course of events, would have taken up his father's trade. Destiny intervened, however, in the form of a college scholarship. In the sixteenth century, even more than in the present day, college was a way out of a laborer's life. It opened up the path of advancement, presumably within the church. Today, we think of education as a universal right. But in those days, it was a privilege. The ability to read- which meant the ability to read Latin- was still a rare accomplishment. In fact, under English common law, any man who could read was considered a priest and could claim, if arrested, a right called "benefit of clergy." That meant, if you killed a man and could read, you might go free with a warning. But if you killed a man and couldn't read, you were sure to swing from the gallows. In the sixteenth century, as you will see in Doctor Faustus, there was still something magical about books and people who could read them. That's why, when Marlowe was offered a

scholarship by the Archbishop of Canterbury, he probably jumped at the chance. In 1581 the promising youth left home to attend Cambridge University. Cambridge fed Marlowe's hungry mind, even while it vexed his spirit. The university library was one of the world's finest. Good books were still scarce and expensive. The shoemaker's household would have had its Bible and some collections of sermons. But the Cambridge library shelves were lined with leather-bound classics, those works of ancient Greece and Rome that the Renaissance found so illuminating. Aristotle's studies of Nature, Homer's magnificent epics, the Roman poet Ovid's frank celebrations of love- they were all there, and Marlowe read them avidly along with maps that showed him the exotic places of the world. The books and the library were part of the luxury offered by Cambridge. But there was an oppressive side, too, to university life. Cambridge in those years was a training ground for the ministry, its graduates destined to be clergymen or schoolmasters. Piety and sobriety were the virtues promoted in its cold stone halls. Cambridge scholars slept in communal dormitories, took their bread at the buttery (a sort of feudal cafeteria), and wore, by regulation, simple wool caps and gowns. Innocent pastimes like swimming were forbidden and subject to severe punishment. In short, despite occasional high-jinks, the lives of the students were not so different from those of medieval monks. There was a basic contradiction in all this, a contradiction that lies at the heart of Doctor Faustus. The classics which these young men were reading beckoned them toward the world and the pleasures of the senses. But to stay at Cambridge and to study these books, the young men had to appear to be devout ministers-in-training. As Faustus puts it, they were "divines in show." A whole generation broke under the strain. They fled the Cambridge cloister and descended on London to earn a precarious living by writing. These were the so-called University Wits. And Marlowe would soon join them, for he, too, was in rebellion against the religious demands of Cambridge. While studying for his master's degree, Marlowe wrote plays in secret (plays were viewed as the devil's work by the church), and he became involved in some colorful espionage activities. In a flagrant breach of the rules, Marlowe stayed absent for months at a time, traveling on the Continent on some deep business of the Privy Council's. (The Privy Council was a body of advisors to the queen, a sort of unofficial Cabinet.) The Cambridge authorities moved to expel Marlowe, but a grateful government intervened. The university dons, their arms gently twisted by the Privy Council, awarded Marlowe the highly respected Master of Arts degree in 1587. With two university degrees (a bachelor's and a master's) under his belt, the shoemaker's son was entitled to style himself Christopher Marlowe, gentleman. No small matter in class-conscious England, then or now. His studies behind him, Marlowe left for London, where he joined the circle of bright and ambitious university renegades: Thomas Nashe, John Lyly, Robert Greene. Marlowe and the rest headed for the theater with a sense of exhilaration. In London of the 1580s, the drama was just springing to life.

The first theaters were being built- the Curtain, the Rose- legitimate places for plays that had previously been performed in innyards. The first acting companies were being formed- the Lord Admiral's Men, the Lord Chamberlain's Men- as the players, frowned upon by the church, sought the service and protection of the great lords. Marlowe, an innovator, thrived in this stimulating environment. He threw himself into the new theater with enthusiasm. He took lodgings in Shoreditch, the theatrical district on the outskirts of town, and roomed for a while with Thomas Kyd, the author of the popular Spanish Tragedy. Marlowe worked for the hard-headed theater owner, Philip Henslowe, and wrote plays for the Lord Admiral's Men and their great star, Edward Alleyn. In the process, Marlowe's fertile brain and fiery spirit helped give shape and form to what we now call Elizabethan drama. The main gift Marlowe gave to the theater was its language. As you probably know from your study of Shakespeare, Elizabethan playwrights wrote in blank verse or iambic pentameter. (Iambic pentameter meant that the verse line had five feet, each composed of a weak and a strong syllable.) Marlowe didn't invent blank verse, but he took a form that had been stilted and dull and he breathed fresh life and energy into it. It was Marlowe who made blank verse a supple and expressive dramatic instrument. When Marlowe arrived in London, he took the theatrical world by storm. He was new to the stage, but within months, he was its master. He was admired, imitated, and envied, as only the wildly successful can be. His first play was Tamburlaine (1587), the tale of a Scythian shepherd who took to the sword and carved out a vast empire. Audiences held their breath as Tamburlaine rolled across stage in a chariot drawn by kings he had beaten in battle. Tamburlaine cracked his whip and cried, "Hola, ye pampered jades of Asia!" (Jades meant both worn-out horses and luxury-satiated monarchs.) This was electrifying stuff which packed the theaters and made ruthless conquerors the rage of London. Marlowe had a terrific box-office sense, and he kept on writing hits as fast as his company could stage them. In 1588 came Tamburlaine II and then, probably in 1591, The Jew of Malta, the story of a merchant as greedy for riches as Tamburlaine was for crowns. Gold wasn't good enough for the Jew of Malta. That merchant longed for priceless gems and unimaginable wealth. No warrior, the Jew of Malta's weapons in his battle with life were policy and guile. He set a new style in dramatic characters, the Machiavellian villain. (These villains were named for Nicholas Machiavelli, the Italian author of a cynical guide for princes.) Faustus was either Marlowe's second or last tragic hero. Some scholars believe Doctor Faustus was written in 1590, before The Jew of Malta. Others date the play from 1592, the last year of Marlowe's life. In either case, Faustus completed the circle of heroes with superhuman aspirations. Where Tamburlaine sought endless rule, and the Jew of Malta fabulous wealth, Faustus pursued limitless knowledge. Like Tamburlaine, Faustus had a powerful impact on Elizabethan theatergoers. For audiences who flocked to see him, Marlowe's black magician combined the incredible powers of Merlin

with the spine-chilling evil of Dracula. We know the thrill of horror that swept through spectators of Doctor Faustus since there are records of performances called to a halt, when the startled citizens of London thought they saw a real devil on stage. Marlowe's tragic heroes share a sense of high destiny, an exuberant optimism, and a fierce unscrupulousness in gaining their ends. They've been called "overreachers" because of their refusal to accept human limitations. Humbly born, all of Marlowe's tragic heroes climb to lofty heights before they die or are humbled by the Wheel of Fortune. Did Marlowe share the vaulting ambitions of his characters, their lust for power, riches, and knowledge? In dealing with a dramatist who wears a mask, it's always dangerous to make assumptions. But the slim facts and plentiful rumors that survive about Marlowe suggest a fireeating rebel who was not about to let tradition stand in his way. All his life, Marlowe thumbed his nose at convention. Expected to be first a cobbler, then a clergyman, he defied expectations and chose instead the glamorous world of the theater. Lacking wealth and a title- the passports to high society- he nevertheless moved in brilliant, aristocratic circles. In the shedding of humble origins, in the upward thrust of his life, Marlowe was very much a Renaissance man. Free of the restraints of Cambridge, Marlowe emerged in London as a religious subversive. There are hints of forbidden pleasures ("All that love not tobacco and boys were fools," he quipped) and more than hints of iconoclasm. Marlowe is said to have joined a circle of freethinkers known as the School of Night. This group, which revolved around Sir Walter Raleigh, indulged in indiscreet philosophic discussion and allegedly in blasphemies concerning the name of God. Marlowe was blasted from the pulpit, and eventually his unorthodoxy landed him in trouble with the secular authorities. In 1593 he was summoned before the Privy Council, presumably on charges of atheism. (In Elizabethan times, atheism was a state offense with treasonous overtones.) Though Marlowe's death forestalled the inquiry, the furor was just beginning. Two days after Marlowe was killed, an informer named Richard Baines submitted to the authorities a document concerning Marlowe's "damnable judgment of religion." Baines attributed eighteen statements to Marlowe, some attacking Jesus, others the Bible and the church. A sample comment of Marlowe's was that "if the Jews, among whom Christ was born, crucified him, they knew him best." By implication, they knew what he deserved. The document ends with Baines' charge that Marlowe failed to keep his outrageous opinions to himself, touting them all over London. In addition, Marlowe's sometime roommate, Thomas Kyd, who was also arrested and tortured, accused Marlowe of having written atheistic tracts that were found in Kyd's possession, when his house was searched. The evidence against Marlowe is suspect or hearsay. But with so much smoke, there may have been fire. Some scholars think that Marlowe leapt at the Faustus story because it gave him a chance to vent his godless beliefs under cover of a play with a safe moral ending. Yet other scholars point to the damnation of Faustus as evidence that Marlowe was moving away from

atheism- indeed, that he was moving toward Christianity, even though he never quite arrived there. Was Marlowe beginning to be frightened by his audacity? Was he mellowing with the approach of middle age? Or was God-defiance and a youthful faith in glorious human possibility simply his life-long credo? These questions have no answers, for Marlowe's life and writing career were cut short in May 1593. After spending a day closeted with secret agents in a Deptford tavern, Marlowe quarreled with one of them- Ingram Friser- over the bill. Marlowe pulled out a dagger and hit Friser over the head with its flat end. In the ensuing scuffle, Friser got hold of the dagger and thrust its point deep into Marlowe's eye. The playwright died of brain injuries three days later, "died swearing" according to the gratified London preachers. We can only speculate as to what heights Marlowe might have climbed as a dramatist, had he lived. He spent six astonishingly productive years in London. Had Shakespeare, his contemporary, died at the same age, he would have written very few of the plays for which he is loved today.

If you are interested in the world of the occult, you'll like this play. Doctor Faustus is a drama about a famous scholar who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for magical powers. It is a play which has come down to us over the centuries in two different versions (see the beginning of the section on The Story). Events found in the 1616 text, but missing from the 1604, are marked here with an asterisk (*). In Doctor Faustus, as in many Elizabethan plays, the main plot centers on the tragic hero, while a subplot offers comic relief. Dr. John Faustus, the renowned scholar of Wittenberg, has closeted himself in his study to decide his future career. Law, medicine, theology- he has mastered them all. And he finds them all dissatisfying. Faustus wants a career to match the scope of his ambition, a subject to challenge his enormous intellect. So he turns to necromancy, or black magic, which seems to offer him godlike powers. He knows, however, that it involves forbidden traffic with demons. Faustus summons Valdes and Cornelius, two accomplished magicians, to instruct him in the art of conjuring. That night, in the midst of a crashing thunderstorm, Faustus raises up the demon spirit, Mephistophilis. Faustus proposes a bargain. He will give his immortal soul to the devil in exchange for twenty-four years of magic and merry-making. Mephistophilis procrastinates. Reconsider, he advises Faustus. You really don't know what you are getting into. Besides, Mephistophilis does not have the power to conclude such an agreement.

He is only a servant to Lucifer, the prince of hell. Faustus orders him to speak with Lucifer, so Mephistophilis quickly flies off to the nether regions. While waiting for the spirit to return, Faustus has second thoughts. Is it too late to pull back from the abyss? Never too late, counsels the Good Angel, who suddenly appears before Faustus' eyes. Too late, whispers the Evil Angel, who advises Faustus to think of fame and wealth. Wealth! The very word makes Faustus catch fire. Hesitation flies out the window as Mephistophilis flies in with Lucifer's reply. The prince of hell will grant Faustus' wish, provided that Faustus sign over his soul in a deed of gift. Lucifer wants a contract to make sure he isn't cheated. The contract must be written in Faustus' own blood. In compliance with Lucifer's demand, Faustus stabs his arm, only to find that his blood has mysteriously frozen in his veins. Mephistophilis comes running with hot coals to warm Faustus' blood, and it starts flowing again. The contract is completed, and the moment of crisis past. Mephistophilis provides a show to divert Faustus' thoughts. He calls for devils who enter with a crown and royal robes. They dance around Faustus, delighting him with the thought that he can summon such spirits at any time. Now that the bargain is sealed, Faustus is eager to satisfy his passionate curiosity and appetites. He wants answers to questions that surge in his brain about the stars and the heavenly spheres. He also wants a wife to share his bed. Faustus' demands are met in typically hellish fashion. Mephistophilis' revelations about the stars turn out to be no more than elementary assumptions of medieval astronomy. And the wife provided Faustus by the spirit is a female demon who bursts onto the stage in a hot spray of fireworks. Faustus becomes wary. He suspects he has sold his soul for a cheap bag of tricks. The disillusioned scholar falls into bitterness and despair. He curses Mephistophilis and ponders suicide. Faustus makes a futile stab at repentance. He prays desperately to God, only to have Lucifer appear before him. As a confirmation of Faustus' bondage to hell, they watch a parade of the Seven Deadly Sins. Pride leads Avarice, Gluttony, and the rest, as each brandishes his own special weakness of the soul or flesh. Casting aside all further thoughts of repentance, Faustus gives himself up to the distractions that Mephistophilis puts in his way. Through travel and visits to foreign courts, Faustus seeks to enjoy himself in the time he has left on earth. Mephistophilis takes Faustus to Rome and to the private chambers of the Pope. The two become invisible and play practical jokes until a planned papal banquet breaks up in disarray. Then it's on to the German Emperor's court, where they entertain his majesty by raising the ghost of Alexander the Great.

* At the Emperor's court, a skeptical knight voices his doubts about Faustus' magic powers. The magician takes revenge by making a pair of stag horns grow on the knight's head. Faustus follows this prank with another. He sells a crafty horse-dealer a demon horse which vanishes when it is ridden into water. In the meantime, Faustus' experiments with magic are being imitated by his household staff. Faustus' servant, Wagner, tries his own hand at conjuring by summoning two comic devils who force the clown, Robin, into Wagner's service. Not to be outdone, Robin steals one of Faustus' conjuring books. In his dimwitted way, he tries to puzzle out the spells. The real magic is that Robin's spell works! A weary Mephistophilis, summoned from Constantinople, rises up before the startled clown. In anger, the spirit turns Robin into an ape and his sidekick, Dick, into a dog. * The transformed clowns and the horse-dealer meet in a nearby tavern, where they swap stories about the injuries they have suffered at Faustus' hand. Tipsy with ale, they descend on the castle of Vanholt, where Faustus is busy entertaining the Duke and Duchess with his fabulous magic tricks. The magician produces for the pregnant Duchess an out-of-season delicacy she craveswintertime grapes. * Faustus wins an easy victory over the rowdy crew from the tavern, striking each of them dumb in turn. He then returns to Wittenberg, in a more sober frame of mind, to keep his rendezvous with fate. Faustus' mind has turned toward death. He has made a will, leaving his estate to Wagner. Yet he still holds feverishly onto life. He drinks and feasts far into the night with the dissolute scholars of Wittenberg. And, in a last magnificent conjuring trick, he raises the shade (spirit) of the most beautiful woman in history, Helen of Troy. At the end of his career, poised between life and death, Faustus undergoes a last crisis of conscience. An Old Man appears to plead with Faustus to give up his magic art. God is merciful, the Old Man promises. He will yet pardon Faustus and fill his heart with grace. The magician hesitates, visibly moved by the Old Man's chastening words. But Mephistophilis is too quick for him. The spirit threatens Faustus with torture, if he reneges on his contract with Lucifer. At the same time, Mephistophilis promises to reward Faustus with Helen of Troy, if he keeps faith with hell. Faustus collapses under the pressure. He orders Mephistophilis to torture the Old Man. (Anyone, anyone but himself.) And he takes the insubstantial shade of Helen for his lover. In doing so, he is lost. The final hour approaches. As the minutes tick away, Faustus tries frantically to stop the clock. Give him one more month, one more week, one more day to repent, he cries. But the hours chime away. Midnight strikes. The devil arrives through billowing smoke and fire, and Faustus is led away to hell.

* In the morning, the scholars of Wittenberg find Faustus' body. They deplore his evil fate, but honor him for his learning. For the black magician who might have been a light unto the world, they plan a stately funeral. [Doctor Faustus Contents]



It is no accident that Faustus compares himself to a colossus (IV, VII). Marlowe's hero looms out of the play like some huge, jagged statue. There is far too much of him to take in at a glance. Make any simple statement about Faustus, and you'll find you are only talking about part of the man. Faustus lends himself less than most characters to easy generalization. Say, for instance, that Faustus is a scholar. Books are his trade, philosophy his strength. Yet what an unscholarly scholar he is! At times during the play, he kicks up his heels and romps about the stage just like a comedian who has never heard of philosophy in his life. Or say that Faustus is an atheist. He scoffs at religion and denies the existence of God. But, at one of the play's most dramatic moments, you see Faustus fall to his knees in a fervent prayer of contrition to Christ. Perhaps we should take our cue from such contradictory behavior and seek the key to Faustus in contradiction. Clearly he's a man of many inner conflicts. Here are three for you to think about:
1. Some people sense an age-old conflict in Faustus between his body and his mind. To these readers, Faustus is a noble intellect, destroyed by his grosser appetites. In this interpretation, Faustus' tragedy is that he exchanges the worthwhile pursuit of knowledge for wine, women, and song. Faustus not only burns in hell for his carnal ways, he pays a stiffer price: loss of his tragic dignity. 2. Other readers see Faustus' conflict in historical terms. Faustus lives in a time of the Middle Ages and the start of the Renaissance. These were two very different historical eras with quite different values, and Faustus is caught in the grip of changing times. On the one hand, he is very aware of the admonitions of the medieval church- don't seek to know too much, learn contempt for this world, and put your energy into saving your soul. On the other hand, Faustus hears Renaissance voices which tell him just the opposite. Extend the boundaries of human knowledge. Seek wealth and power. Live this life to the full because tomorrow you'll be dead. (This theme of "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" is known as carpe diem or seize the day. It was a popular theme in the Renaissance.)

3. Still other readers see Faustus torn between superhuman aspirations and very human limitations. Faustus dreams that magic will make him a god. In his early dealing with Mephistophilis, he talks about himself as if he were a king. He gives commands, dictates terms, and fancies himself on a par with Lucifer, the dreaded regent of hell. Faustus is willing to sign a contract which will free him from human restraints for twenty-four years. During that time, he will have a spirit's body that can soar free of the earth, a body immune from the ravages of old age and time. Yet, even as he signs the contract, Faustus somehow knows that he is only human. His body warns him to flee and addresses him, in no uncertain terms, as "man."

The contrast between Faustus' hopes and his realities is very great indeed. The man who was to have been a king grovels like a slave before Lucifer. The "god" who was to have escaped from time watches powerless as the last hour of his life ticks away. Because of the great distance between Faustus' dreams and achievements, he strikes some readers as a wretch, an immature egotist who cries like a child when the universe won't let him have his way. Indeed, all three interpretations of Faustus present you with a challenge and a question. Which emerges most strongly from the play: Faustus' noble mind, his soaring Renaissance aspirations, his superhuman dreams? Or Faustus' gross appetites, his sins against God, his very human terrors? Somewhere between the super-hero and the lowly wretch, you will find your own truth about Faustus.


There are two sides to Mephistophilis. One of these spirits is an evil, malevolent tempter. He wants Faustus' soul and stops at nothing to get it. This Mephistophilis lies to Faustus, manipulates him with threats of torture, and jeers at him when his final hour has come: What, weepst thou? 'tis too late: despair. Farewell. Fools that will laugh on earth must weep in hell. The second spirit has a sweeter nature. He's a reluctant demon who would spare Faustus if he could. This Mephistophilis offers no enticements. He watches, in quiet distress, while Faustus damns himself. When summoned during the night by Faustus' blasphemous conjurings, the spirit does not seize the soul that is offered to him. Instead, he urges Faustus away from his contemplated deal with hell: O Faustus, leave these frivolous demands Which strike a terror to my fainting soul. Which is the real Mephistophilis? It isn't easy to say. You can put your trust in Mephistophilis' better nature and see him as a kind of guardian spirit. You'll find evidence in the play that Mephistophilis cares for Faustus and feels a strong attraction to the man. He calls his charge "My Faustus," and flies to his side with eagerness. He is a companion in Faustus' adventures and is also Faustus' comforter. The spirit sympathizes

when Faustus is sick with longing for heaven. And he goes out of his way to console the scholar with the thought that heaven isn't such a great loss after all. Mephistophilis understands Faustus in ways that suggest they are two of a kind. He's been called Faustus' alter ego. And you get the feeling that he sees himself in Faustus as he was eons before- a proud young angel who marched with Lucifer against God, only to see his hopes of glory dashed when Lucifer's rebellion failed. It's possible that, when Mephistophilis threatens Faustus, he is merely doing his job. The spirit isn't free to do what he likes. He is Lucifer's man. Mephistophilis has counseled Faustus against making a deal with hell. But once that deal is made, the spirit has no choice but to hold Faustus to it. On the other hand, you may feel that Mephistophilis shows more enthusiasm than the job requires. In that case, you can see the spirit as Faustus' evil genius. And Mephistophilis' understanding of Faustus becomes a potent weapon in his hands. The spirit, for instance, knows just what cleverly worded promises to make to get Faustus' signature on the dotted line. He tells Faustus, "I will... wait on thee, and give thee more than thou has wit to ask." That promise turns out to be true, but not in the way that Faustus has reason to expect. What Mephistophilis gives Faustus is an eternity of torment, not the limitless power that Faustus imagines. Mephistophilis is a trickster. When Faustus asks for a wife, the spirit provides one- a demon too hot to touch. When Faustus asks for information about the stars, Mephistophilis gives him facts which the scholar already knows. In his own hellish fashion, Mephistophilis abides by the letter, not the spirit, of the contract. He obeys Faustus' commands without fulfilling his wishes. The spirit makes sure that Faustus pays full price for relatively shoddy goods. Is Mephistophilis a brilliant schemer who plots the damning of Faustus? Or is he a reluctant actor in the tragedy? It's up to you to decide.


Wagner is not happy in his role as a servant. He's sufficiently educated to regard himself as a scholar, and he's eager to prove his prowess in logical dispute. If you read between the lines, you begin to suspect that Wagner has a secret yen to wear a professor's robes and sit as king of the roost in Faustus' study. Yet there is a more faithful side to Wagner. He serves his master loyally. He shields his master from the prying eyes of tattle-tale clerics. And he takes the trouble to track Faustus down on the road with an invitation to the castle of Vanholt. (Wagner knows very well that his master likes to preen in front of the nobility.) What's more, Wagner is Faustus' heir. Faustus probably wouldn't leave his money to Wagner except as a "thank you" for years of good service.

Some readers think Wagner is foolish. But there's every indication he's really rather clever. He dabbles in magic and conjures demons without going to hell. Wagner watches carefully as his master gets snared by the devil. He manages to skirt by the same trap without getting caught.


Valdes and Cornelius usher in the era of wizardry at Wittenberg. By introducing magic to the university, they, play a minor role in tempting Faustus. Valdes seems the bolder of the pair. He dreams of a glorious association with Faustus and has himself overcome the scruples of conscience that await the would-be magician. Cornelius is more timid, content to dabble in magic rather than practice it in earnest. "The spirits tell me they can dry the sea," Cornelius says, never having ventured to try the experiment.


With his stirrings of ambition and his hapless attempts at conjuring, Robin, the clown, is a sort of minor Wagner. He's yet another servant who follows his master into devilry. Like most of the characters in the play, Robin is an upstart. He regards himself as destined for higher things than service in an innyard. In particular, magic turns his head. Intoxicated with the thought of commanding demons, Robin turns impudent. He gets drunk on the job and boasts of seducing his master's wife.


The Old Man is a true believer in God and is the one human being in the play with a profound religious faith. He walks across the stage with his eyes fixed on heaven, which is why he sees angels visible to no one else. With his singleness of purpose, the Old Man is an abstraction, rather than a flesh-and-blood character. (Appropriately, he has no name.) His role is to serve as a foil for Faustus. His saintly path is the road not taken by Marlowe's hero.


There's something compelling about the prince of hell, a fallen angel who once dared to revolt against God. Formerly bright as sunlight, Lucifer's now a dark lord who holds sway over a mighty kingdom. Yet there's something coarse about him, too. Lucifer's regal image is tarnished by association with creatures like the Seven Deadly Sins and that jokester, Belzebub. The grandeur of ambition, the grossness of sin- these two aspects of Lucifer are reflected in his servants.


A courtier, Benvolio takes the world with a blase yawn and a skeptical sneer. You can't fool him, but he can outwit himself. He does so by rashly challenging the powers of hell on two occasions.


Horse coursers or traders were the Elizabethan equivalents of our used-car salesmen. That is, they were known for being cheats. Marlowe's horse courser is no exception. A sharp bargainer, he beats down the price of Faustus' horse. And when the horse proves to be a spirit, he demands his money back. This hardy peasant is a survivor.


The Pope is the most worldly of priests, luxury-loving and power-hungry. The character seems tailored to the Elizabethan image of the churchmen of Rome, and his defeat at Faustus' hands was undoubtedly the occasion for roars of approval from a Catholic-hating crowd. [Doctor Faustus Contents]


Doctor Faustus stands on the threshold of two eras- the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Some aspects of the setting are distinctly medieval. The world of Doctor Faustus, for example, includes heaven and hell, as did the religious dramas of the medieval period. The play is lined with supernatural beings, angels and demons, who might have stepped onstage right out of a cathedral. Some of the background characters in Doctor Faustus are in fervent pursuit of salvation, to which the Middle Ages gave top priority. But the setting of Doctor Faustus is also a Renaissance setting. The time of the play is the Age of Discovery, when word has just reached Europe of the existence of exotic places in the New World. The atmosphere of Doctor Faustus is speculative. People are asking questions never dreamed of in the Middle Ages, questions like, "Is there a hell?" Faustus himself is seized by worldly, rather than otherworldly ambitions. He's far more concerned with luxurious silk gowns and powerful war-machines than with saving his soul. It's easy for us to talk as if there were a neat dividing line between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But of course there isn't. People lived through a long period of transition in which old and new ways of thinking existed side by side. Transition is a key to the setting in Doctor Faustus. Specifically, the scene is Wittenberg, a German university town in the grip of change. For almost a century before Faustus' time, Wittenberg was a bastion of the Protestant faith. But now, religious certainties are being challenged by new ideas. The students are more interested in Homer than in the Bible. The younger men press forward toward forbidden knowledge, while the old men shake their heads in dismay.

The tensions of the university are reflected in Faustus' study, where much of the play takes place. The study is an uneasy room. At its center, on a great stand, lies the Bible. It is there to remind Faustus of God. But the bookshelves contain works of ancient Greek writers which suggest a more practical approach to life (Galen's guide to medicine, for example). The study also contains maps which show Faustus exotic lands with their promise of new sensations. And the scholar has recently added occult books, with their short cut to Nature's secrets. The room gives off conflicting signals about a man on the verge of a great decision. Theology? Science? A life of unabashed pleasure? Which shall it be? In this uncertain atmosphere, Faustus struggles and fails to find his way. Even as he entertains bright Renaissance dreams, he gets caught in the door that history is closing on the medieval age of faith.

The following are major themes of Doctor Faustus.


Doctor Faustus is a study in ambition. Its hero is an "overreacher," a man who strives against human limitations. Faustus tries to do more than is humanly possible. He seeks to know, possess, and experience everything under the sun. There are two ways to read Doctor Faustus: (1) The play glorifies ambition. Though Faustus is finally undone, his dreams emerge larger than the forces that defeat him. (2) The play criticizes ambition. Faustus falls to great depths from lofty heights. What's more, his larger-than-life dreams are cut down to size by the pointed ironies of Mephistophilis.

There are three different concepts of hell in this play. Faustus claims there is no hell. Mephistophilis defines hell as the absence of God. The church says that hell is a pit of fire, and that's where Faustus goes in the end. Why are there three hells instead of just one? Perhaps Marlowe is exploring his own uncertain ideas. Or perhaps everyone finds a hell of his own.

Despite its pantheon of gods, the classical world believed in humanity. The ancient Greeks extolled the perfection of the human body and the clarity of human thought. The medieval church held almost the opposite view. In the eyes of the church, reason was suspect and flesh was the devil's snare. Christian and classical beliefs clash in Doctor Faustus. The classical ideals focus on beauty, which is exemplified in the play by Helen of Troy. The Christian ideals are more severe and are personified by the Old Man. Helen's beauty is not to be trusted, but the Old Man's counsel is sound, even if grim.

A sense of doom hangs over Doctor Faustus, a sense that Faustus' damnation is inevitable and has been decided in advance. Faustus struggles to repent, but he is browbeaten by devils and barred from salvation by all the forces of hell. Nonetheless, it is of his own volition that Faustus takes the first step toward evil. He makes a pact with the devil to satisfy his lust for power. And in that sense, Faustus chooses his fate.

On the surface, Doctor Faustus has a Christian moral. Faustus commits a mortal sin and goes to hell for it. He denies God and is therefore denied God's mercy. Faustus is a scoffer who gets a scoffer's comeuppance. No fire-and-brimstone preacher could have put it better than Marlowe. If the surface moral is the true moral of the play.... There are reasons to be suspicious. Marlowe was known to be an atheist. Moreover, he included a lot of blasphemy in the play. He seems to have taken an unholy glee in antireligious ceremony. There is some powerful sacrilege in Doctor Faustus, half buried in the Latin. Was Marlowe trying to slip a subversive message past the censors? Or was he honestly coming to grips with doubts about his own atheistic beliefs? If Marlowe knew the truth, it died with him.

Hell has a lot of interesting gimmicks to keep Faustus from thinking about death and damnation. Devils provide distracting shows, fireworks, and pageants for his entertainment. Soon Faustus catches on to the idea. He learns to preoccupy his own mind by feasting, drinking, and playing pranks. All these diversions keep Faustus from turning his attention to God and to the salvation of his soul. But is Faustus so different from the rest of us? Perhaps Marlowe is saying that diversions are not only the pastimes of hell. They are also the everyday business of life itself.

Whenever you read a critical work on Marlowe, you are almost certain to find the writer referring to "Marlowe's mighty line." That much-quoted phrase was coined by Ben Jonson, an Elizabethan playwright, in a poetic tribute he wrote, not to Marlowe, but to Shakespeare. The poem was a send-off to the first complete edition of Shakespeare's plays, published in 1623. Here is what Ben Jonson had to say:
How far thou [Shakespeare] didst our Lyly outshine, Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line.

And there Marlowe has stood through the ages, his name unflatteringly bracketed with Shakespeare's. Marlowe the loud-voiced trumpet to Shakespeare's mellow violin.

Ben Jonson's left-handed compliment was fair enough in its way. Marlowe earned his reputation as a loud-mouth. His heroes are boasters, not only in their aspirations, but also through their language, which defies all limits. You can see the mighty line at work in Doctor Faustus. When Faustus speaks of power, for instance, he boasts of command over "all things that move between the quiet poles," dominion that stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man." The literary term for extravagant, exaggerated language like this is "hyperbole." And Marlowe exaggerates in many interesting ways. For example, he likes exotic adjectives. "Pearl" alone won't do. He wants to convey the soft luster of a rarer gem. So he reaches for a phrase that has an air of Eastern mystery to it. He writes of the "orient pearl." Marlowe's giants are not merely large, they are "Lapland giants," huge, furclad creatures from the frozen North who come running, with smoke on their breath, to obey a magician's commands. Marlowe has a fondness for dazzling heights and far-off vistas. In Doctor Faustus, he speaks of the "topless towers" of Troy, towers so dizzyingly high they can't be climbed or assaulted. He imagines spirits who will "ransack the ocean" floor and "search all corners of the new-found world" for delicacies and treasure. This outward thrust of the language suggests space without limits, space that gives his restless, searching heroes worlds to conquer and room to maneuver in. Marlowe likes the sound of large, round numbers. In Doctor Faustus, the figures tend to be moderate: "A thousand ships," "a thousand stars." But elsewhere, the playwright deals cavalierly in half-millions. In addition, Marlowe makes impossible comparisons. Faustus is promised spirit-lovers more beautiful than Venus, the queen of love. In fact, he is given Helen, who is brighter and more luminous than a starlit sky. The very use of Helen as a character suggests another of Marlowe's stylistic devices. He raids the pantheon of classic gods and heroes for comparisons that reflect favorably on his own protagonists. Helen steps out of the pages of the world's most famous epic straight into Faustus' arms. And Alexander the Great appears at the snap of the magician's fingertips. Marlowe's heroes don't seek to emulate famous figures. The ancient gods and warriors come to them. Marlowe's use of hyperbole has a profound effect on your perception of Faustus, though you may not be aware of it. Without the real magic of the language, Faustus would be a second-rate magician. But with the poetry spinning its silken web, Faustus becomes a dreamer of real magnitude. The language makes him a force to be reckoned with and gives him heroic stature.

The term "Elizabethan English" is often applied to the English of the period 1560-1620. It was a time when English began to be used with vigor and growing confidence. Before Elizabeth I's reign (1558-1603), Latin was the language of the Church, of education, of law, science, scholarship, and international debate. English was regarded by many as an inferior language. It had no fixed spelling, no officially sanctioned grammar, and no dictionaries. In the words of one

scholar, writing in 1561, "Our learned men hold opinion that to have the sciences in the mothertongue hurteth memory and hindereth learning." During Elizabeth's reign, poetry, drama, and criticism in English flourished. Writers like Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare helped to forge English into a flexible medium capable of being used not only for the expression of local culture but also for a translation of the Bible. Language differences can occur even today between parents and their children. It is only to be expected, therefore, that the English used some four hundred years ago will diverge markedly from the English used today. The following information on Marlowe's language will help you to understand Doctor Faustus.


Adjectives, nouns and verbs were less rigidly confined to particular classes in Marlowe's day. For example, nouns could be used as verbs. In the first lines of the Prologue, the Chorus says:
Not marching in the fields of Trasimene Where Mars did mate the warlike Carthagens

using "mate" to mean "befriend." Nouns could also be used as adjectives as in Act I, Scene I, when "orient" is used to mean "shining":
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl.

Adjectives could be used as adverbs. In Act II, Scene II, Faustus says to Lucifer, "This will I keep as chary as my life," using "chary" where a modern speaker would require "charily" or "carefully."


The meaning of words undergoes changes, a process that can be illustrated by the fact that "silly" used to mean "holy" and "villain" referred to a "peasant." Many of the words in Doctor Faustus are still an active part of our language today but their meanings have changed. The change may be small as in the case of "dispute," which meant "debate, discuss," as in:
Is to dispute well logic's chiefest end? and "wit," which meant "understanding": A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit

The change could be more fundamental, so that "artisan" implied "student"; "cunning" was the equivalent of "knowledgeable"; and "boots" meant "is worth" in:
What boots it then to think of God or heaven?

(Act II, Scene I)


Words not only change their meanings but sometimes disappear from common usage. In the past, "earm" meant "wretched" and "leod" meant "people." The following words found in Doctor Faustus are no longer current in English, but their meaning can usually be gauged from the context in which they occur.
AMAIN at top speed AND if ANON immediately, soon BELIKE it would appear, probably BESEEMS suits, fits BOTTLE bundle BREVIATED cut short, abbreviated BRIGHT-SPLENDENT magnificent CAITIFF miserable person, wretch

COIL turmoil, noisy row COSMOGRAPHY geography COZENING cheating ELL 45 inches (103 centimeters) ETERNIZED made famous forever FAIN willingly, gladly FAMILIARS spirits. Old women's cats were often thought to be "familiars," devils in disguise. FOOTMANSHIP skill in running GET create, beget GLUT satisfy GRAMERCIES great thanks GRATULATE express pleasure at GRAVELLED

confounded HEST command LIST wish, please LOLLARDS heretics LUBBERS clumsy men MALMSEY sweet wine MUSCADINE muscatel wine PICKEDEVANTS pointed beards PROPER own PRITHEE pray thee PROPER own QUICK alive QUITTANCE payment for

RAZE cut, scratch ROUSE carousal, drinking bout 'SBLOOD by God's blood SIGNORY lord, lordship SITH since 'SNAILS by God's nails STAVESACRE insecticide TERMINE end, terminate TESTER small coin THEREFOR for this THOROUGH through VARLETS rascals WELKIN

sky, heavens WHATSO whatever, whatsoever WHIPPINCRUST hippocras, cordial wine 'ZOUNDS by God's wounds

In addition, Marlowe could have assumed much of his audience was familiar with Latin and the Bible. This is why he could make use of such Latin tags as "Stipendium peccati mors est," meaning "The wages of sin are death."


Elizabethan verb forms differ from modern usage in three main ways:
1. Questions and negatives could be formed without using "do/did," as when Faustus asks:

Why waverest thou? where today we would say: "Why do you hesitate?" Marlowe had the option of using forms a and b whereas contemporary usage permits only the a forms:
a What do you see? What did you see? You do not look well. You did not look well. b What see you? What saw you? You look not well. You looked not well.

2. A number of past participles and past tense forms are used that would be ungrammatical today. Among these are:

"writ" for "written":'s nothing writ. (II, I) "beholding" for "beholden":

...I am beholding To the Bishop of Milan. (III, II) "cursen" for "accursed" and "eat" for "eaten": I am a cursen man, he never left eating till he had eat up all my load of hay. (IV, VI)
3. Archaic verb forms sometimes occur:

No Faustus, they be but fables. (II, II) Thou art damned (II, II) Thou needest not do that, for my mistress hath done it. (II, III)


Marlowe and his contemporaries had the extra pronoun "thou," which could be used in addressing equals or social inferiors. "You" was obligatory if more than one person was addressed: Come, German Valdes, and Cornelius And make me blest with your sage conference. (I, I) It could also be used to indicate respect, as when Faustus tells the Emperor: My gracious Lord, you do forget yourself. (IV, I) Frequently, a person in power used "thou" to a subordinate but was addressed "you" in return, as when the Clown agrees to serve Wagner at the end of Act I, Scene IV.

Clown: I will, sir. But hark you, master, will you teach me this conjuring occupation? Wagner: Ay, sirrah, I'll teach thee to turn thyself to a dog. Relative pronouns such as "which" or "that" could be omitted: ...'twas thy temptation Hath robbed me of eternal happiness. (V, II) The royal plural "we" is used by the Pope, the Emperor, and Lucifer when they wish to stress their power: We will despise the Emperor for that deed. (III, I) Thrice-learned Faustus, welcome to our court. (IV, II) Thus from infernal Dis do we ascend. (V, II)


Prepositions were less standardized in Elizabethan English than they are today and so we find several uses in Doctor Faustus that would have to be modified in contemporary speech. Among these are: "of" for "by" in: Till, swollen with cunning of a self-conceit (Prologue) - "of" for "from" in: Resolve me of all ambiguities (I, I) "on" for "of" in: Ay, take it, and the devil give thee good on't.

(II, I) "of" for "on" in: They put forth questions of astrology. (IV, The Chorus) "unto" for "into" in: ...and I be changed Unto some brutish beast. (V, II)


Contemporary English requires only one negative per statement and regards such utterances as "I haven't none" as nonstandard. Marlowe often used two or more negatives for emphasis. For instance, in Why, thou canst not tell ne'er a word on it. (II, III)

There really was a Faust, casting his magic spells about fifty years before Christopher Marlowe wrote his play. Johannes Faustus, a German scholar of dubious reputation, flourished between 1480 and 1540. Some of his contemporaries spoke of him as a faker who lived by his wits, a medieval swindler. Others, more impressed, thought him a sorcerer in league with evil spirits. Whatever else he may have been, he was certainly notorious. A drunken vagabond, he was reported to have studied magic in the Polish city of Cracow. While some regarded him as a fool and a mountebank, others claimed that he traveled about with a dog and a performing horse- both of which were really devils. Soon after his death the "real" Dr. Faustus disappeared into the realm of legend, and every story popularly told about wicked magicians was told about him. Faustus became the scholar who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for universal knowledge and magical power, and so was damned forever. Stories like these weren't new- they had been popular for centuries. There was a legend about Simon Magus, a wizard of early Christian times, who was said to have found death and damnation, when he attempted to fly. Pope Sylvester II (314-335) was also suspect. He knew so

much that his contemporaries thought he must have sold his soul to the devil to gain such knowledge. During the Renaissance, the Faustus tales had a powerful impact. They dramatized the tug-ofwar between the admonitions of the church and the exciting possibilities of knowledge suggested by the advance of science and the revival of classical learning. All over Europe, inquisitive spirits found themselves in trouble with the conservative clergy. In Italy, for instance, Galileo was accused of heresy for challenging the Roman Catholic view of the heavens. In England, the free-thinking Sir Walter Raleigh was investigated for atheism. And in Germany, adventurous scholars found themselves at odds with the zealous spirit of the Protestant Reformation. Protestant theologians thought that mankind's energies should be focused on God, the Bible, and salvation by faith. By 1587, the German Faustbuch (Faustbook) had appeared, a collection of tales about the wicked magician. The Protestant author makes it clear that Faustus got exactly what he deserved for preferring human to "divine" knowledge. But theological considerations aside, these were marvelous stories. The book was enormously popular and was rapidly translated into other languages, including English. However, the English Faustbook wasn't published until 1592, a fact that creates some mystery for scholars who believe that Doctor Faustus was written in 1590. Christopher Marlowe saw the dramatic potential of the story. He promptly used it as the plot of his play, the first Faust drama, and possibly the best. Every incident in the play seems taken from the Faustbuch, even the slapstick comedy scenes. The attacks on the Roman Catholic church had also become part of the Protestant orthodoxy of the tale. The poetry, however, is Marlowe's. Since then, the story has been used many times, both comically and seriously. The German poet Goethe turned Faust into a hero whose thirst for knowledge leads to salvation. In the nineteenth century, Charles Gounod and Hector Berlioz wrote operas about Faust. Shortly after World War II, the novelist Thomas Mann used the Faust story as the basis of an allegory about the German people. More recently, the story was transformed into the musical comedy Damn Yankees, in which the hero sells his soul to help his hometown baseball team win the pennant.

Allowances must be made for the shattered form in which Doctor Faustus survives. Originally, the play may have had the loose five-act structure suggested by the 1616 text. Or it may simply have been a collection of scenes or movements, as in the shorter version of 1604. In fact, the act divisions in Doctor Faustus are the additions of later editors. Scholars have made their own decisions about the play's probable cut-off points. That's why no two editions of Doctor Faustus have identical act and scene numbers. The genre of Doctor Faustus is the subject of critical debate. Some readers view the play as an heroic tragedy where the hero is destroyed by a flaw in his character but retains his tragic grandeur. Others believe Doctor Faustus is more of a morality play in which the central character forfeits his claim to greatness through a deliberate choice of evil.

Doctor Faustus most closely resembles the type of drama known in the Renaissance as an atheist's tragedy. The atheist's tragedy had for its hero a hardened sinner, a scoffer who boldly denied the existence of God. In such a play, the hero's cynical disbelief brought about his downfall. His tragedy wasn't just death. It was also damnation. For the edification of the audience, the hero died unrepentant, often with a curse on his last breath, and one had the distinct impression that repentance would have saved him. It is technically possible to diagram Doctor Faustus in a manner similar to Shakespearean tragedy:

ACT I: EXPOSITION Faustus' ambitions are explored. He turns to magic to fulfill them. ACT II: RISING ACTION Faustus summons Mephistophilis and signs a contract with hell. He begins to regret his bargain. ACT III: CLIMAX Faustus repents, but Lucifer holds him to his agreement. Faustus reaffirms his bondage to hell. ACT IV: FALLING ACTION Faustus wins fame and fortune through magical evocations. His inner doubts remain. ACT V. CATASTROPHE Faustus damns himself irrevocably by choosing Helen over heaven. His final hour comes, and he is carried off by devils.


_____ 1. Faustus sells his soul to the devil primarily for

A. immortality B. limitless knowledge C. Helen of Troy _____ 2. The Vatican banquet is an example of A. Faustus' great appetite B. Marlowe's atheism C. satire on the Catholic Church _____ 3. One thing Faustus does not request of Mephistophilis is A. a golden crown B. a wife C. information about the stars _____ 4. When Faustus dies, the scholars of Wittenberg

A. deny him Christian burial B. foreswear (give up) the practice of magic C. plan a stately funeral _____ 5. Robin the clown agrees to serve Wagner because he A. needs money B. is frightened into it by demons C. wants to learn about magic _____ 6. Faustus' contract with the devil specifies that Faustus will I. visit the heavens II. have Mephistophilis to serve him III. take on the attributes of a demon A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only _____ 7. "Then be thou as great as Lucifer" is an example of I. blank verse II. poetic imagery III. irony A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only _____ 8. Lucifer calls for the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins in order to I. reward Faustus for his surrender II. divert Faustus' thoughts III. show Faustus his future in hell A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only _____ 9. "Was this the _____ that launched a thousand _____" A. woman... heroes B. face... ships C. angel... warriors _____ 10. The proverb that best applies to Faustus is

A. pride goeth before a fall B. a little learning is a dangerous thing C. eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die

11. Is Mephistophilis Faustus' friend or his deadly enemy? 12. Why doesn't Faustus repent? 13. What role do diversions play in Doctor Faustus? 14. How does magic affect the comic characters, Wagner and Robin? 15. What does the Chorus think of Faustus?

_____ 1. In Doctor Faustus, hell is not described as

A. a burning pit B. psychological pain C. an old wives' tale _____ 2. Faustus is tempted to take up magic mostly by A. Valdes and Cornelius B. the Evil Angel C. himself _____ 3. During the final hours of his life Faustus tries to A. make his peace with God B. stop the clock from striking midnight C. hide from the devils who will come for him _____ 4. The setting for Doctor Faustus can best be described as A. Germanic B. collegiate C. cosmic _____ 5. Faustus' next-to-last words are A. "I confound hell with Elysium" B. "I'll burn my books" C. "Make me immortal with a kiss"

_____ 6. The episode with the horse-courser can be called I. a bad joke II. a diversion III. highway robbery A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I, II, and III _____ 7. "What will be, shall be" is Faustus' argument for I. disregarding the Bible II. taking up magic III. becoming the lover of Helen of Troy A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I, II, and III _____ 8. Faustus leaves Wagner his money because I. Faustus is a lonely man II. Wagner has been loyal III. the scholars have proved to be fair-weather friends A. I and II only B. II and III only C. I, II, and III _____ 9. The emperor wants to see if Thais has a mole because A. he doesn't believe in perfect beauty B. the mole is hereditary, and Thais is his ancestor C. he wants to make sure Thais is real _____ 10. One of Faustus' saving graces is A. responsiveness to beauty B. a sense of humor C. manly fortitude

11. What is the definition of hell in this play? 12. Faustus dreams that magic will bring him limitless power. To what extent do his dreams come true?

13. How do the Old Man and Helen function as dramatic opposites in Act V? 14. Is Faustus a Renaissance or medieval hero? Justify your response. 15. Find three examples of hyperbole (exaggeration), and discuss Marlowe's specific techniques.
ANSWERS TEST 1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. B C A C .B .C .B A B A

11. If you take the position that Mephistophilis is Faustus' friend, you'll want to prove that Mephistophilis cares for Faustus and would spare him hell's torments, if he could. You'll find your best ammunition in the third scene of the play. Point out that, here, Mephistophilis specifically warns Faustus against any involvement with hell. He is honest and moving in his description of the suffering that awaits Faustus. It is the arrogant Faustus who ignores the spirit's danger signal. When you deal with Mephistophilis in the later scenes- the Mephistophilis who holds Faustus firmly to his agreement- be sure to mention that the spirit isn't free. He is Lucifer's servant and must obey his master's orders, however distasteful he finds them. If you decide that Mephistophilis is Faustus' enemy, you will argue that the spirit is eager for Faustus' damnation and plans for it all along. In this interpretation, Mephistophilis' "friendly" warning in Scene III is just a trick to get Faustus to trust him. And once he has that trust, the spirit lies shamelessly to Faustus. Mephistophilis cons Faustus into signing the contract with hell under the totally false promise that Faustus will be "as great as Lucifer." After Faustus has signed the contract, the spirit holds him to it relentlessly. Mephistophilis bars Faustus' way to repentance with daggers and threats of torture. If you are reading the 1616 text, you can clinch your argument with the spirit's jeering speech in Act V, Scene II, where he rejoices in Faustus' fate and boasts that he has brought it about single-handedly. 12. There are two ways to attack this question. You can argue that Faustus doesn't really want to repent. His failure to do so stems from a lack of motivation. Or you can argue that Faustus wants repentance, but isn't permitted it. All the forces of hell stand between Faustus and God.

If you believe that Faustus is insincere in his talk of repentance, you can marshall the following evidence: (1) Faustus is a skeptic. He can't turn to God with any real feeling because he doesn't believe in God. (2) Faustus is too easily distracted from thoughts of repentance in order for his contrition to be genuine. Just mention wealth to Faustus (II, i) or show him a beautiful woman (V, i), and he forgets all about God. (3) Faustus is too proud and too sensual a man to repent. He's just not the type to lead a penitent's life of humility and self-denial. If you believe that Faustus is sincere about repentance, then you'll have to prove that he's trapped in sin by forces beyond his control. You can mention (1) Lucifer's dramatic appearance (II, ii) when Faustus is on his knees, calling to Christ. It would take a martyr to stand up to the fury of the monarch of hell, and Faustus is no martyr. (2) The Evil Angel's all-too-cogent argument. Marlowe seems to have stacked the deck by giving the Evil Angel the persuasive words and the Good Angel the weaker arguments. (3) Mephistophilis' threats of torture, when the Old Man has all but converted Faustus. Poor Faustus doesn't have the courage to face being torn apart. But then, who does? 13. Diversions are hell's way of keeping Faustus' mind occupied, so that he doesn't think about death and damnation. You should choose at least three examples of diversion in the play and explain what purpose each one serves. For example, you might discuss (1) Mephistophilis' ad-lib show in Act II Scene I, which distracts Faustus' attention from the warning inscription on his arm and gets the scholar to hand over the contract. (2) Lucifer's pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins in Act II, Scene II, which captures Faustus' interest after his abortive attempt at repentance and makes him wonder what other marvels hell has in store. (3) The trick Faustus plays on the horsecourser in Act IV, Scene V, which takes the magician's mind off thoughts of his approaching death. Faustus, well trained in the ways of hell, provides this diversion for himself. There are many other examples from which to choose. You might discuss the elaborate feasts Faustus holds for the scholars of Wittenberg (V, i); the journey to Rome (III, i); and the most wonderful diversion of all, Helen of Troy. 14. To answer this question, you'll need to focus only on two or three scenes in the play. In Act I, Scene IV, Wagner has learned how to conjure. Being Faustus' servant is not good enough for him any more. Wagner now wants a servant of his own. Heady with the sense of his new powers, Wagner summons two devils to impress the clown, Robin, into his service. By Act II, Scene III, Robin has caught on to the idea. He has stolen one of Faustus' conjuring books and plans to learn magic, so that he can tell his master off and live on the devil's handouts. For both these lower-class characters, magic means new ambitions, aspirations above their station in life. You might want to mention that Robin's swelled head gets him into trouble. The clown manages to summon Mephistophilis, who turns him into an ape. 15. To answer this question, you will have to analyze carefully the Chorus' language in his four appearances. (See the beginning of Acts I, III, IV, and the end of Act V.) You may decide that

the Chorus has ambivalent feelings toward Faustus- that he admires Faustus' achievement but deplores his godless beliefs. Or you may feel that the Chorus changes his mind about Faustus over the course of the play. In your essay, be sure to discuss the Icarus image and that of the burnt laurel bough. TEST 2
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. B C B C B C A A C A

11. This is a tricky question because Marlowe makes use of three different concepts of hell. (1) Though Faustus avails himself of hell's services, at times he denies the existence of hell. In Act II, Faustus calls hell "a fable" and claims that there is no hell at all. (2) Mephistophilis, an apparent expert on the subject, describes hell as a real, if unlocalized place. The spirit says hell is where the damned dwell, forever banished from the light of God. (3) Faustus is sent to a hell which is a very tangible pit of fire. This is the hell suggested by the setting of Doctor Faustus, where a smoking trapdoor is a constant reminder of flame just below the stage. There is perhaps a fourth definition of hell implied in the play. Hell exists, but it is here and now. Hell is the human condition. It is life itself because in life we are subjected to the frustration of our dreams and to the terrors of death and old age. Do you find one definition of hell more convincing than the others? If so, develop this in your essay and explain your choice. 12. Most readers of the play sense a large gap between Faustus' original hopes for magic and the realization of those hopes. The inspiration is grand, the price is terrible, and the stage business verges on the ludicrous. If you agree with this interpretation, you can prove your case by comparing Faustus' glowing dreams in Act I with his trivial magic tricks in Acts III and IV. Faustus envisions fabulous riches, but ends up robbing a working man of his coins. Faustus dreams of power over Nature, dominion over the winds and the clouds. Yet all he has to show for it is a bunch of out-of-season grapes. Curiously, Faustus seems smugly pleased with himself as he pulls off these silly stunts. Somewhere along the line, the dreamer has vanished and the showman in Faustus has taken over. You will find it a little more difficult to argue that Faustus realizes his dreams and becomes a great wizard after all. But you can do it. You will want to point out the limits of Elizabethan stagecraft and mention that Elizabethan audiences took the word for the deed. In their eyes, a

bunch of grapes stood for all of Nature, as a pot stood for a kitchen or a bush for the Forest of Arden. You should also mention that the Holy Roman Emperor, a sophisticated ruler, is left speechless when Faustus summons the ghost of Alexander the Great. And you will point to Faustus' truly impressive feats of magic in the play- his trek among the stars, described by the Chorus in Act II, and his raising of the most exquisite of Homeric shades. 13. In the last act of the play, the Old Man and Helen are two rival contenders for Faustus' soul. Of the two characters, the Old Man is undoubtedly real. His gray hair and wrinkles are the harsh results of life. Helen, on the other hand, is eternally young and beautiful. Thousands of years after the Trojan War, she is as radiant as she was on the day Paris stole her from her husband's side. But Helen is a shade, a ghost, an airy thing not made of flesh and blood. Point out in your essay that the Old Man is a spokesman for faith. In the entire play, he's the only human being who believes profoundly in God. The Old Man fervently pleads with Faustus to turn from magic and its illusory delights. By precept and example, he tries to persuade Faustus to accept heaven's grace. Helen does not open her mouth. Nonetheless, she's an effective spokesman for worldly pleasure. With her exquisite beauty, Helen is a walking argument for love. In your essay, you will have to take a position for or against Helen's authenticity. If you think Helen is the real Helen, then talk about her as Nature's supreme creation- this world's answer to the next. If you think Helen is a demon spirit, then describe her as a sort of watch dog for hell, brought on by Mephistophilis to guard Faustus' soul against the Old Man's persuasions. 14. This is a difficult question, and one you can't answer by reading Doctor Faustus alone. You will have to draw on your knowledge of Shakespearean drama. You should also get a copy of Everyman, so that you will have some first-hand information about medieval morality plays. (You will find Everyman in many anthologies, like the Norton Anthology of English Literature.) The question is included in this guide because it's a popular essay, and one you should be prepared to answer if you're studying Doctor Faustus in a college-level drama course. To argue that Faustus is a Renaissance hero, you'll want to point out that, unlike Everyman, he is very much an individual. Faustus has a well-documented background, a hometown, and an Alma Mater. In this, Faustus resembles Hamlet, for example, whose upbringing in the Danish court and whose scholarly pursuits are germane to Shakespeare's play. Faustus also has distinctly Renaissance aspirations. He wants to take advantage of the possibilities of knowledge and sensations that were just opening up in the sixteenth century. The emerging sciences fascinate Faustus. And his yen for New World fruits reflects his interest in the recent voyages of discovery. To argue that Faustus is a medieval hero, you will want to talk about the many holdovers in Marlowe's drama from the medieval morality plays. Faustus lives in a world of angels and

demons, supernatural beings who belong to the medieval stage. Like a medieval hero, Faustus has direct dealings with heaven and hell. (God is a character in Everyman, but divine intervention vanishes entirely from the English Renaissance stage.) Finally, Faustus pays a medieval hero's penalty for his sin. Because of his overbearing ambition, Faustus is sent to an eternity of torment in hell. (Macbeth, for a similar transgression, suffers agonies of mind in the here and now.) Still a third possibility is to portray Faustus as a man caught between two worlds. For help with this kind of answer, see the sections on Characters and Setting. 15. The best examples of hyperbole can be found in Acts I and V. If you choose as one example the Helen of Troy speech, you would point out that the speech begins with a rhetorical question in which Faustus implies that the whole world would be well lost for Helen's love. The speech goes on to include highly poetic and exaggerated comparisons. ("O, thou art fairer than the evening air," etc.) In addition, it draws on Trojan War heroes to heighten Faustus' nobility. You might mention, however, that an undercurrent of irony in the speech works against the high notes of a lover's rapture. For more help on hyperbole, see the section on Style. [Doctor Faustus Contents

A Doll's House
by Henrik Ibsen
1879 THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES - BIOGRAPHY On a chilly April day in 1864, Henrik Ibsen arrived at the docks in the Norwegian capital of Oslo (then called Christiania). The young man was a failure. The theater he'd run had closed, and none of his own plays were successful. He had a wife and a young son to support, but all his possessions had been auctioned off two years before to pay his debts. He'd applied for a grant from his native country, Norway, but was turned down. Disillusioned by his country and society, Ibsen, together with his wife and son, boarded a ship and left Norway, figuratively slamming the door behind him. Fifteen years later, a similarly disillusioned Nora Helmer would slam the door on stage at the end of A Doll's House, helping to change the course of modern drama.

Ibsen had become disillusioned very early. In 1836, when he was eight years old, his wealthy parents went bankrupt. They were forced to move from town to a small farm. All of their old friends deserted them, and they lived for years in social disgrace. Although young Henrik appeared quiet and withdrawn, his deep, bitter anger at society would occasionally escape in the scathing caricatures he would draw or in tirades against young playmates. His sole happiness seemed to come from reading books and putting on puppet plays. Ibsen didn't like his own family any more than he liked the "proper" society that shunned them. His domineering father was an alcoholic, while his quiet mother found comfort in religion. This blend of overbearing husband and submissive wife makes repeated appearances in his plays, most notably in Brand, in A Doll's House, and in Ghosts, After he left his parents' home at sixteen in 1844, he never went back, even years later when he got word that his mother was dying.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Hoping eventually to study medicine, Ibsen became a druggist's apprentice in Grimstad, a small Norwegian village. But he still felt like an outsider, a feeling that would dog him all his life and find expression in many of his plays. (It didn't help his social standing when he fathered an illegitimate son by a servant girl ten years older than he. Some feel that it was this unwanted child that reappears in many of his plays as a lost or murdered child. In A Doll's House, the nursemaid gives away her illegitimate child.) But Ibsen found he wasn't alone in his contempt for those who controlled society. He became friends with a boisterous group of young artists who specialized in political satire. By 1848, a spirit of political unrest was sweeping Europe. Rebellions against monarchy flared in many countries. This spirit of revolution was intoxicating for Ibsen and his friends. Royalty and aristocracy seemed on their way out; the people were coming into their own. Two years later, Ibsen moved to Oslo to attend the university but failed to complete the entrance examinations. He was so caught up in politics and writing, however, that he really didn't care. After all, modern society seemed to be at a crossroads, and the world offered infinite possibilities. But things began to go wrong. The revolutions of 1848 faltered and finally were crushed. Artists and politicians alike lost their idealism. The world of infinite possibilities didn't really exist. Years later, Ibsen would use the experiences of this period in his plays. Certain of his characters (like Nora in A Doll's House and Lovborg and Hedda in Hedda Gabler) reflect the possibility of a society where people can reach their individual potential. But these are lonely characters who must struggle against society as well as their own human failings. Although he avoided any further active involvement in politics, Ibsen remained a nationalist. For the first time in centuries, Norway had its own government and was trying to escape the political and artistic influence of Denmark and Sweden. Authors wrote Norwegian sagas, and the

Norwegian Theater was opened in Bergen. Young Ibsen became active in Norway's artistic rebirth. His first plays were filled with sweeping poetry about Vikings and political heroes. In fact, the fourteen plays Ibsen wrote between 1850 and 1873 are said to make up his Romantic Period. Ibsen quickly forgot about being a doctor. On the merit of two plays, he became the director of the theater at Bergen, with the assignment to write one original play each year. But things did not go well for him there. Not only were his own plays failures, but he was forced to produce plays he considered mindless and unimportant-such as drawing room comedies by the contemporary French playwright Augustin Eugene Scribe. Although Ibsen ridiculed Scribe's plays, he absorbed much about their structure, known as the piece bien faite (well-made play). These were tightly woven melodramas, designed primarily to entertain, to keep theatergoers on the edge of their seats. Such plays usually included a young hero and heroine, bumbling parents, and a dastardly villain. The action hinged on coincidences, misplaced letters, misunderstandings, and some kind of time limit before which everything had to work out. There is a real art to writing a piece bien faite, because there can be no unnecessary scenes or dialogue; every word and action sets up a later action. Ibsen would use this tight structure in A Doll's House, but he would add elements that turned an entertainment into modern drama. In 1858, while in Bergen, Ibsen married Susannah Thoresen. Hardly a subservient wife, she helped manage his career, run his house, and screen his guests. All through his life, however, Ibsen continued to have flirtations with pretty young women (including Laura Kieler, who was the model for Nora, and Emilie Bardach, who may have had some of Hedda Gabler's traits). Ibsen left Bergen to become the artistic director of the Norwegian theater in Oslo. The hardship of these next few years took their toll. The theater went bankrupt in 1862, and Ibsen, destitute, reportedly became involved with moneylenders, who may have provided the model for Krogstad in A Doll's House. Despairing, Ibsen turned to drink, and, like Eilert Lovborg in Hedda Gabler, he almost lost his genius to alcohol. Finally, in April 1864, he left Norway with Susannah and their son Sigurd. Over the next twenty-seven years they lived in Rome, Dresden, and Munich. Curiously, the first play that Ibsen wrote after leaving Norway became his first Norwegian hit. And it was this play, Brand (1865), that finally persuaded the Norwegian government to grant Ibsen a yearly salary to support his writing. Success changed Ibsen's life. He no longer had to scrape for money, He was ready for his new role. He altered his wardrobe, his appearance, and even his handwriting. He consciously made himself over into the man he always thought he could be-successful, honored, sought-after. Even though Ibsen had left Norway, he retained strong ties to the country and all but one of his plays are set there. He kept up with literary events and trends in Scandinavia. One of these events prepared him for another major change in his thinking. In 1872 the Danish critic Georg Brandes attacked Scandinavian writers for dealing only with the past. It was time to start discussing modern problems, he said. Ibsen listened and agreed. The

time was ripe for a change in world drama. In France, Alexandre Dumas, fils [the son], was dramatizing social ills in plays like La Dame aux Camelias (Camille); in Russia, Anton Chekhov was mourning the death of the aristocracy, and Count Leo Tolstoy was glorifying the peasants. Even though the popular revolutions had been defeated, social change was in the air. An educated middle class was flexing its muscles. Women were beginning to question the submissive behavior they had been taught. They were now allowed to move in educated circles although seldom permitted anything beyond a rudimentary education. Often little more than decorative servants, women could not vote and had few property rights. They were expected to be passive, no matter what their true personality was. Ibsen sided with women who sought to change their traditional role. He decided to write plays about modern people who would use contemporary, everyday language. Writing in prose instead of poetry, he turned from imaginary, romantic settings to "photographically" accurate everyday settings. His first realistic prose play was The Pillars of Society (1877). It was a success, but some readers feel it was only practice for his next play, A Doll's House (1879). It's hard for us to realize just how revolutionary A Doll's House was. It took the form and structure of the "well-made play" but turned it from a piece of fluff into a modern tragedy. In addition, the "hero" isn't a prince or a king-or even a member of the aristocracy. Instead, it's a middle-class woman, who decisively rebels against her male-dominated surroundings. A play that questioned a woman's place in society, and asserted that a woman's self was more important than her role as wife and mother, was unheard of. Government and church officials were outraged. Some people even blamed Ibsen for the rising divorce rate! When some theaters in Germany refused to perform the play the way it was written, Ibsen was forced to write an alternate ending in which the heroine's rebellion collapses. Despite the harsh criticism of A Doll's House, the play became the talk of Europe. It was soon translated into many languages and performed all over the world. The furor over Ibsen's realistic plays helped him to become an international figure. Some writers like Tolstoy thought Ibsen's plays too common and talky; but the English author George Bernard Shaw considered Ibsen to be more important than Shakespeare. No matter what individual viewers thought about its merits, in A Doll's House, Ibsen had developed a new kind of drama, called a "problem play" because it examines modern social and moral problems. The heroes and heroines of problem plays belonged to the middle or lower class, and the plays dealt with the controversial problems of modern society. This seems commonplace today, as popular entertainment has been dealing with controversial topics for years. Until Ibsen's day, however, it just wasn't done. Many of the most important plays written in our day, like Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, have their roots in the problem play. Ibsen's Realistic Period (1877 to 1890) earned him a place as a theater giant. Not only did he introduce controversial subjects, everyday heroes, and modern language, he resurrected and modernized the "retrospective" plot, which had been popular with the ancient Greek playwrights.

In a retrospective play, like A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler, the major events have taken place before the curtain goes up. The play concerns the way the characters deal with these past events. Hedda Gabler was another innovative experiment for Ibsen. Instead of presenting a merely social problem, he painted a psychological portrait of a fascinating and self-destructive woman. Hedda Gabler has many striking resemblances to A Doll's House, even though it appeared eleven years later, in 1890. In both plays, the action takes place in the drawing room. The characters include a husband and, wife, the husband's friend (who completes a romantic triangle), an old school friend of the wife's, and this friend's love interest. Both wives are in a psychological crisis: Nora is not in touch with her aggressive or "male" side, while Hedda cannot bear her own femaleness. (It's interesting to note that Ibsen wrote these plays before Freud expressed his idea that everyone has both male and female components.) Nora, a member of the middle class, deals constructively with her search for self-knowledge. Her final closing of the door at the end of the play signifies that she is going out into the world, which is full of possibilities. On the other hand, Hedda Gabler, a member of the dying aristocracy, becomes destructive and predatory. Her final action is suicide. Despite his success, Ibsen was never satisfied with his work. He felt his major characters had all failed to achieve something important, something dramatic-and he felt the same way about himself. He was in his sixties when he wrote Hedda Gabler and it signaled another change in his life and writing. In 1891, after twenty-seven years of exile, Ibsen moved back to his native Norway and into his third phase of plays, called his Symbolist Period. The main characters in these plays aren't women, but spiritually defeated old men. Ibsen had a stroke in 1900 from which he never completely recovered. But he remained an opposing force to the end. In 1906, as he was coming out of a coma, the nurse commented to his wife that he seemed a little better. "On the contrary!" Ibsen snapped. He died a few days later. THE PLOT - SHORT SCENE SUMMARY (Synopsis) (The following edition was used in the preparation of this guide: Henrik Ibsen, Four Major Plays, Vol. I, trans. by Rolf Fjelde, Signet Classic, 1965.) It's Christmas Eve. Nora Helmer, a beautiful young wife, has been out doing some last-minute shopping. When she returns, her husband Torvald immediately comes to see what his "little squirrel" has bought. They playfully act out their roles-Torvald the big, strong husband, Nora the dependent, adoring wife. This is a happy Christmas for the Helmers and their children because Torvald has recently been appointed manager of the bank. Soon they'll be well off and won't have to scrimp. However, Torvald will still control the cash in the house, because he feels that his irresponsible Nora lets money run through her fingers, a trait she "inherited" from her father.

An old school friend, Kristine Linde, comes to visit Nora. During the conversation, Kristine reveals that she had married a wealthy man she didn't love in order to support an invalid mother. Her husband's death three years ago left her penniless and she's returned to seek work. Nora promises to speak to Torvald about a job in his bank. Having had such a hard time herself, Kristine is scornful of Nora's easy married life until Nora describes a secret she has been concealing for many years. Early in her marriage, when Torvald became seriously ill, she secretly borrowed a large sum to finance a year-long stay in a warmer climate. Since he did not know the extent of his illness, and since, even if he had known, borrowing money would have been against his principles, she pretended the money was from her late father. Since then she has been struggling to repay the debt by economizing from her personal allowance and by secretly working at home.

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The women are interrupted by the arrival of Nils Krogstad, a clerk in Torvald's bank. When Krogstad goes into the study, Dr. Rank, an old family friend, comes out. Knowing of Krogstad's reputation as a forger, Rank tells the women that Krogstad is one of those "moral invalids." Unknown to any of them, Torvald is firing Krogstad. This leaves a vacancy, and, 9when Torvald joins them, he agrees to give Kristine the job. Torvald, Dr. Rank, and Kristine then leave together. As Nora is playing happily with her three young children, Krogstad reappears. It turns out that he is the one who had lent the money to Nora. He also knows that Nora not only forged her father's signature as cosigner of the loan but dated it several days after his death. Krogstad leaves after threatening to expose Nora unless he gets his job back. Nora pleads with Torvald to reinstate Krogstad, but he refuses. She is frantic, imagining that once Krogstad reveals the truth, Torvald will himself assume the blame for the forgery and be ruined. The next day Dr. Rank, who is suffering from a fatal illness, comes to visit. He speaks openly of his impending death and tells Nora that he loves her. Nora is upset, not because he loves her, but because he has told her so and ruined the innocent appearance of their relationship. The arrival of Krogstad interrupts their conversation, and Nora slips down to the kitchen to see him. He tells her he has written a letter to her husband, which explains the debt and the forgery. Then as he leaves, he drops it into the locked mailbox. In despair because Torvald has the only key to the box, Nora thinks wildly of suicide. When Kristine learns about the forgery, she offers to intercede with Krogstad on Nora's behalf, because she and Krogstad had once been in love.

Meanwhile, Nora gets Torvald to promise to spend the rest of the evening helping her practice the tarantella-the dance she's to perform at a masquerade party the next night. Torvald sees a letter in the mailbox, but true to his promise, he ignores it and concentrates only on Nora's dance. The next night, while the Helmers are at the party, Krogstad and Kristine meet in the Helmers' drawing room. They forgive each other's past mistakes and are reunited. Krogstad offers to ask for his letter back, unread, from Torvald, but, unexpectedly, Kristine stops him. She has had a change of heart and says he should leave the letter-Nora and Torvald must face the truth. Torvald drags Nora away from the party the minute she finishes the dance. He is filled with desire for her and is glad when Kristine leaves. Shortly after, Dr. Rank stops by to bid a final farewell. Nora realizes he is returning home to die alone. Overwhelmed by his feelings for Nora, Torvald says he wishes he could save her from something dreadful. This is her cue. Nora tells him to read his mail. She is certain that now the "miracle" will happen: Torvald will nobly offer to shoulder the guilt himself. He retires to his study with the mail. Rather than see Torvald ruined, Nora throws on her shawl and starts for the hall, determined to carry out her suicide plan. But instead, her fine illusions about her husband crumble when an outraged Torvald storms out of his study, calling her a criminal and accusing her of poisoning their home and their children. Since his reputation is at stake, he feels completely in Krogstad's power and must submit to the blackmail. Still, he insists that they must maintain the appearance of a happy family life. Then a second letter arrives from Krogstad, dropping the charges and returning Nora's forged note. Torvald is relieved and immediately wants to return Nora to the status of pet and child. But she has seen him as he really is. She realizes that she went straight from her father's house to her husband's and has never become her own person. She has always subordinated her opinions and her identity to those who she assumed were nobler. Now she sees that both Torvald and her father were weak, and have kept her weaker only to have someone to bully. Nora decides to leave Torvald's house to discover who she is. She says she's not fit to raise her children in the state she's in- she's been teaching them to be mindless dolls, just as she was. When Torvald asks if she'll ever return, she replies that she could only return if the greatest miracle happened and they were truly equals, truly married. Torvald is left clinging to this hope as his wife departs, slamming the door behind her. Table THE CHARACTERS - CHARACTER LIST AND ANALYSIS (Spelling of the characters' names may vary according to the translation.) NORA HELMER

Nora is a fascinating character for actresses to play, and for you to watch. She swings between extremes: she is either very happy or suicidally depressed, comfortable or desperate, wise or naive, helpless or purposeful. You can understand this range in Nora, because she wavers between the person she pretends to be and the one she may someday become. At the beginning of the play, Nora is still a child in many ways, listening at doors and guiltily eating forbidden sweets behind her husband's back. She has gone straight from her father's house to her husband's, bringing along her nursemaid to underline the fact that she's never grown up. She's also never developed a sense of self. She's always accepted her father's and her husband's opinions. And she's aware that Torvald would have no use for a wife who was his equal. But like many children, Nora knows how to manipulate Torvald by pouting or by performing for him. In the end, it is the truth about her marriage that awakens Nora. Although she may suspect that Torvald is a weak, petty man, she clings to the illusion that he's strong, that he'll protect her from the consequences of her act. But at the moment of truth, he abandons her completely. She is shocked into reality and sees what a sham their relationship has been. She becomes aware that her father and her husband have seen her as a doll to be played with, a figure without opinion or will of her own- first a doll-child, then a doll-wife. She also realizes that she is treating her children the same way. Her whole life has been based on illusion rather than reality.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. The believability of the play hinges on your accepting Nora's sudden self-awareness. Some readers feel that she has been a child so long she couldn't possibly grow up that quickly. Others feel that she is already quite wise without realizing it, and that what happens is credible. There are lines in the play that support both arguments. It's up to you to read the play and then draw your own conclusions. There is a parallel to the story of Nora in the life of one of Ibsen's friends, a woman named Laura Kieler. She, too, secretly borrowed money to finance a trip to a warm climate for a seriously ill husband. When she had difficulty repaying the loan, she forged a note but was discovered and placed in a mental institution. Eventually, she was released and went back to her husband for her children's sake. The story outraged Ibsen, and he fictionalized it in A Doll's House, although rewriting the ending. TORVALD HELMER Probably all of you know someone like Torvald. He's a straight-laced, proper man, and proud of it. At first, he seems genuinely in love with Nora, even if he does tend to nag and preach a bit. But as the play progresses, you discover more disturbing parts of his character. Like anyone who doubts his own power, Torvald must frequently prove it. He keeps tight control over who comes to his study and whom he speaks to at work, and over everything affecting Nora. He even has the only key to their mailbox.

During the third act, you see his need for dominance increase. His fantasies always have Nora in a submissive role. He is happiest when treating her as a father would a child. This gives an incestuous tinge to their relationship, which Nora comes to realize and abhor at the end of the play. On the other hand, Torvald is not a bad man. He is the product of his society, one who seems to fit well in the middle-class mold. It's only when he's tested that his well-ordered house of cards comes crashing down. Some readers question the believability of Nora's love for Torvald. How could she have been blind to the obvious faults of this dull, petty man for eight years? He must have qualities that make Nora's love credible, but at the same time he must become odious enough at the end for her to break all ties and leave immediately upon discovering his true self. What kind of marriage relationship would put a premium on Torvald's good qualities? Besides being Nora's weak and unsupportive husband, Torvald represents a "type" of thought and behavior that contrasts with Nora in several effective ways. He represents middle-class society and its rules, while Nora represents the individual. He stands for the world of men and "logical male thinking," while Nora's thinking is more intuitive and sensitive. Can you think of other ways that Torvald and Nora are compared? In light of these comparisons, how would you interpret Torvald's defeat at the end? Certainly at the play's start, Torvald appears to be in command in contrast to Nora's weakness. But by the end of Act Three their roles have been reversed: he is the weak one, begging for another chance, and Nora has found strength. Does the author mean to suggest that the ideas of male supremacy and middle-class respectability were changing? DR. RANK Dr. Rank is an old family friend, whose relationship to the Helmers is deeper than it appears. He always visits with Torvald first, but it is Nora he really comes to see. Both Rank and Nora prefer each other's company to Torvald's. Although Nora flirts with Rank and fantasizes about a rich gentleman dying and leaving her everything, she never acknowledges her true feelings-the attraction she feels for older, fatherfigures. Rank at least is honest in declaring his love for Nora. The doctor serves several important functions in the play. His physical illness, inherited from his loose-living father, parallels the "moral illness" shared by Krogstad and Nora. The hereditary nature of Rank's disease, although it is never identified, suggests the possibility of immorality passing from generation to generation. Rank's concern with appearing normal despite his illness parallels Torvald's concerns with maintaining the appearance of a normal marriage after he discovers Nora's moral "disease." Dr. Rank helps Nora on her journey to self-discovery. He forces her to face the reality of his death, which prepares her for the death of her marriage. He also forces her to look behind

appearances to see the romantic nature of her and Rank's relationship. Nora refuses to deal with both of these issues in the second act, but by the third act she and Rank are through with masquerades and are both openly preparing to die. At the end, Rank realizes and accepts his approaching death, while Nora realizes and accepts the death of her marriage. KRISTINE LINDE Mrs. Linde, Nora's old friend, is the first "voice from the past" who affects the future. On the one hand, she is like Nora because she's gone through what Nora is about to face. Kristine has come out of a marriage that was socially acceptable and emotionally bankrupt. On the other hand, she is different from Nora because, having already been disillusioned, she has now gained a firm grasp on reality. She has hope, but it's based on knowing and accepting the truth about herself and about Krogstad. Kristine is the first to see Nora's marriage for the pretense it is. It is Kristine who decides, for better or worse, that Torvald has to know the whole truth about Nora's forgery. Kristine and Krogstad's compassionate and realistic relationship contrasts with Nora and Torvald's playacting. While the Helmers' socially acceptable relationship crumbles because it's based on deceptions, Nils and Kristine's relationship is renewed and strengthened because it's based on truth. NILS KROGSTAD Nils Krogstad, a clerk in Helmer's bank, is called immoral by several other characters in the play, but is he? We usually think of an immoral person as someone who has no regard for right and wrong. But Krogstad is concerned with right and wrong. He's also concerned about his reputation and its effect on his children. Although he has been a forger, he wants to reform and tries desperately to keep his job and social standing. Once they're lost, he decides to play the part of the villain in which society has imprisoned him. His attempt to blackmail Nora sets the play's action in motion. Through his blackmail letter he forces Nora into self- knowledge. He also affects some of the other characters in ways that reveal not only the truth about him, but the truth about them as well. For example, you discover much of Torvald's pettiness from the way he reacts to Krogstad as an inferior. Despite his superficial role as a villain, Krogstad understands himself and the world. Although some find his conversion in Act Three hard to believe, he (together with Kristine) offers that message of hope that gives promise to Nora's future. SETTING A Doll's House takes place in a large Norwegian town. The entire drama unfolds on one set, a "comfortable room" in the Helmers' house that serves both as a drawing room in which to receive guests and as a family room where the children play and where the family sets up its Christmas tree. There is a door to the entryway and another to Torvald's study.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Ibsen describes this setting in minute detail. About midway through his career, he adapted a style of drama that has been called "photographic." Instead of creating various country or city scenes as background for his characters, he "takes a picture" of one room they inhabit. Every piece of furniture, every prop reveals the character of the people who live in this place. For example, in the Helmers' drawing room there is a "small bookcase with richly bound books." What better way to describe Torvald, their owner, than as "richly bound"- someone who looks good from the outside? Also, the Christmas tree serves to represent various stages in Nora Helmer's life. When her life appears happy, the tree is beautifully trimmed. When her happiness is shattered, the tree is stripped and drooping. Ibsen has described the set and its props precisely, so that every production will reproduce this same "photograph" of the Helmers' living room. Probably the most significant thing about the setting of this play is that it concerns middle-class characters and values. It takes place in an unnamed city, where banking and law would be considered normal and respectable occupations. Banking is the occupation most closely associated with money, the symbol of middle-class goals, and the crimes of the characters-Nora, her father, and Krogstad-are monetary ones. Notice also how Torvald, a lawyer and bank manager, is preoccupied with Nora's extravagance, or waste of money. Up until Ibsen's time, serious drama had been almost exclusively concerned with members of the aristocracy or military heroes. Comedy had served to depict the lives of the farmers, workers, and lower class. But A Doll's House is a serious drama about the middle class. Some might even say it is a tragedy of everyday life. In light of today's understanding of marital roles and the larger issue of women's self-awareness, would you call the fate of the Helmers' marriage a tragedy? THEMES - THEME ANALYSIS The major themes of A Doll's House recur in many of Ibsen's plays, including Hedda Gabler. 1. THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY Ibsen felt strongly that society should reflect people's needs, not work against them. In A Doll's House, society's rules prevent the characters from seeing and expressing their true nature. When Krogstad tells Nora that the law takes no account of good motives, she cries, "Then they must be very bad laws!" At the end of the play, she realizes she has existed in two households ruled by men and has accepted the church and society without ever questioning these institutions. In the third act, Nora separates herself from the "majority" and the books that support them. "But," she says, "I can't go on believing what the majority says, or what's written in books. I have to think over these things myself and try to understand them." The individual has triumphed over society, but at a heavy price that includes her children. When Nora walks out the door, she becomes a social outcast.

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2. DUTY TO ONESELF Ibsen seems to be saying that your greatest duty is to understand yourself. At the beginning of the play, Nora doesn't realize she has a self. She's playing a role. The purpose of her life is to please Torvald or her father, and to raise her children. But by the end of the play, she discovers that her "most sacred duty" is to herself. She leaves to find out who she is and what she thinks. 3. THE PLACE OF WOMEN This was a major theme in late nineteenth-century literature and appeared in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, to name only a few. Ibsen refused to be called a feminist, preferring to be known as a humanist. He had little patience with people, male or female, who didn't stand up for their rights and opinions. Still, he argued that society's rules came from the traditionally male way of thinking. He saw the woman's world as one of human values, feelings, and personal relationships, while men dealt in the abstract realm of laws, legal rights, and duties. In A Doll's House, Nora can't really see how it is wrong to forge a name in order to save a life, but Torvald would rather die than break the law or borrow money. This difference in thinking is what traps Nora. However, for Ibsen, the triumph of the individual embraces the right of women to express themselves. In the end, Nora's duty to know herself is more important than her female role. 4. APPEARANCE AND REALITY At the beginning of the play, family life is not what it seems. Nora is Torvald's "little squirrel"; they appear to have a perfect marriage and their home is debt-free. Nora seems content and Torvald is in control. Scandal can't touch them. Everyone concerned wants to keep up appearances. But, little by little, as the play progresses, reality replaces appearances. Nora is upset when Dr. Rank shatters the appearance that their relationship is innocent. Torvald insists on keeping up the appearance of marriage even after rejecting Nora for her past crime. He is appalled when Krogstad calls him by his first name at the bank-it doesn't appear proper. Dr. Rank wants to appear healthy. Krogstad and Nora want to hide their deeds and are enmeshed in a tissue of lies.

Only when the characters give up their deceptions and cast off their elaborately constructed secrets can they be whole. Ask yourself how all the characters achieve this freedom from appearances by the play's end. Do any of them fail? 5. THE COLLAPSE OF THE PARENTAL IDEAL Nora seems to be under the impression that her father was perfect, and she tried to replace himfirst with Torvald, then with Rank. When she realizes her father wasn't looking out for her best interests, it's only a short step to discovering that Torvald isn't either. Table of Contents AUTHOR'S STYLE After finishing an earlier play, Ibsen wrote a letter saying, "We are no longer living in the age of Shakespeare... what I desired to depict were human beings, and therefore I would not let them talk the language of the gods." This doesn't seem unusual to us today because we expect the major characters in contemporary plays and movies to speak in everyday language. But in Ibsen's day the use of common speech was shocking. Writers in the mid-1800s were largely devoted to the tradition requiring plays to be about larger-than-life heroes who spoke grand and noble language. Even Ibsen's early plays were about heroic events and contained dialogue filled with poetry. But later he wanted to do something different. He wanted to write realistic plays about the average middle-class people who made up his audience and who spoke the way they did. In A Doll's House, the characters use everyday vocabulary and colloquial expressions. They interrupt each other, correct themselves, and speak in incomplete sentences. This switch to realistic dialogue is considered one of the major breakthroughs in the development of modern drama.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. It's also important to note that Ibsen was writing in Dano- Norwegian. For centuries, Norway's art and literature had been heavily influenced by Denmark. Even when a group of authors finally started a Norwegian writers' society, they met in Denmark. Then in the 1800s, Norwegians became very nationalistic. They wanted their own art and their own language. In those days there were only two languages to choose from: a mixture of peasant dialects or a refined mixture of Norwegian and Danish. Ibsen was part of the first generation who had grown up speaking and writing Dano-Norwegian. (Today in Norway, even Ibsen's language sounds old-fashioned and stilted because the language has reduced the amount of Danish and increased the amount of colloquial Norwegian.) There are several notable differences between Ibsen's original language and English translations. English has many synonyms and uses many modifiers. Dano-Norwegian, on the other hand, tends to be simpler, using fewer words and adjectives. It will use a few very brief, strong images,

instead of effusive descriptions. This is evident in A Doll's House in several ways. There are very few metaphors (elaborate word comparisons) or descriptive adjectives. The sparse language lends itself to understatement and to multilevel meanings for single words. Much of the humor comes from understanding the layers of different meaning. Ibsen adds his own strict control of language to this natural Norwegian economy. None of the dialogue is superfluous; it is all packed with meaning. In fact, often the dialogue means more than the character knows it means! An example of this "loaded" dialogue occurs when Torvald talks about how an immoral parent poisons the whole family. He is referring to Krogstad, but Nora's replies refer to herself. The differences between English and Norwegian make Ibsen's plays somewhat difficult to translate. Ibsen's own wish was "that the dialogue in the translations be kept as close to everyday, ordinary speech as possible." One difficulty, for example, is that Norwegian doesn't use contractions, but English without contractions sounds dry and stilted. Most modern translators try to keep Ibsen's text close to everyday English and the spirit, if not the word, of the original. This means that phrases may change from earlier to later translations depending on current usage. Also, be aware that some versions available in America are British and use distinctly British speech patterns. FORM AND STRUCTURE The basic form for A Doll's House comes from the French piece bien faite (well-made play), with which Ibsen became familiar while producing plays in Oslo and Bergen, Norway. At the time, France was the leader in world drama; however, "serious" dramatists in France looked down on the piece bien faite as low-class entertainment. Typically, this kind of play contained the same stock characters-including the domineering father, the innocent woman in distress, the jealous husband, the loyal friend, the cruel villain-who underwent predictable crises involving lost letters, guilty secrets, and mistaken identity. Intrigue and tension-building delays were heaped on top of each other until the final embrace or pistol shot. There was always a moral to the story.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Ibsen adopted the techniques but changed the characters. Instead of being cardboard types, they are complicated people whose problems the audience can identify with. You (as the reader or audience member) can learn something about yourself and your world through the intrigue and tension onstage. Nora's plight makes you consider your own ideas and relationships, for example. Another structural technique commonly used by Ibsen is to place all of the important "events" before the play opens. Instead of witnessing the events as they occur, you find them revealed and explained in different ways as the play progresses. The key past event in this play is Nora's secret loan obtained by forging her father's signature. Other important past events are Krogstad's crime, Mrs. Linde's marriage, and Dr. Rank's inherited fatal illness.

The action of the play is very compressed. It takes place in one location (the living room) over a period of three days. The five major characters are closely related, and their lives and roles mirror or contrast with each other's. One character cannot act without affecting each of the others. Even the small part of the nursemaid is tied in to the major theme of Nora's development from child to child-wife to woman. She not only connects Nora to the past but foreshadows the future when Nora will leave her own children to be cared for by another. This unity of time, place, and characters gives the play what some have called "unrelenting cohesion." In addition, every prop and costume is meant to be symbolic, every conversation layered with meanings. For example, one reader points out that Nora addresses her baby as "my sweet baby doll" (a reminder of her own doll role) and plays hide-and-seek (a reminder of hidden truth) with the older children. You might want to list the ways in which the words, action, and setting give off many messages. Just as the details reveal the meaning, the overall action is constructed to make you feel the tension mounting within the play. Act One proceeds from the calm of everyday life to disturbing interruptions and revelations. In Act Two, thoughts of death and suicide culminate in the climax of Nora's frantic tarantella. In Act Three, you feel the calm as the confrontation between Nora and Torvald approaches. Some think that the play's resolution-Nora's decision to depart-is also its true climax. STUDY QUESTIONS / QUIZ / TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST _____ 1. Nora's macaroons symbolize A. Christmas B. a secret defiance of Torvald C. her flirtation with Dr. Rank _____ 2. In the play we find that Nora I. doesn't understand the male worlds of money and business II. has more to do with finance than Torvald knows III. has been able to save a nice nest egg for her family A. II and III only B. I and II only C. I, II, and III

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. _____ 3. Ibsen gives us insight into Torvald's character through his

I. delight in travel II. attitude toward money III. use of pet names A. II only B. I and II only C. II and III only _____ 4. One of the play's major themes is A. women are stronger than men B. marriage is basically destructive C. "to thine own self be true" _____ 5. Inherited "moral sickness" is attributed to A. Nora and Krogstad B. Torvald C. venereal disease _____ 6. Nora's greatest miracle will be that A. she can find herself B. Rank won't die C. Torvald takes the blame for her forgery _____ 7. Nora confides her biggest secret to Kristine because A. Kristine told Nora her secrets B. Kristine thinks Nora is naive C. Nora needs help _____ 8. According to A Doll's House A. men and women think alike B. men and women think differently, but both viewpoints are valid C. women need to learn how to survive in the business world _____ 9. Nora feels she must die A. to make clear her own responsibility for the forgery B. because she'll never be free of Torvald C. in order to serve as an object lesson for Torvald _____ 10. Nora prepares for death by

I. dancing a wild dance II. writing a farewell letter to Torvald III. having a banquet A. I only B. I and III only C. I, II, and III 11. Compare and contrast the rise and fall of the two couples: Nora and Torvald; Kristine and Krogstad. 12. What illusions shape Nora and Torvald's lives, and what forces Nora to confront reality? 13. In what ways are each of the other characters' situations similar to and different from Nora's? 14. Discuss the role of heredity and hereditary disease in A Doll's House. 15. Why does Nora have to leave at the end of the play? Will she ever return? Defend your position with evidence from the play.
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1. B 2. B 3. C 4. C 5. A 6. C 7. B 8. B

9. A 10. B 11. You might start by showing how things appear at the beginning. Nora and Torvald seem to have a happy marriage and a secure social position. Both Kristine and Krogstad appear to be lonely outcasts who have little to live for. Then describe how these appearances start to crumble. Nora's marriage is based on deceptions and manipulation. Kristine, on the other hand, recognizes her own empty marriage and has accepted responsibility for her life. Kristine sees life realistically, while Nora hides from reality. Torvald and Krogstad both seek respectability, but Torvald is a pillar of society, while Krogstad is a forger. Some of the circumstances that these couples have in common come to the surface. Nora is found to be guilty of the same crime that Krogstad once committed. She is in danger of morally infecting her children the same way that society feels Krogstad is ruining his. Kristine and Krogstad are eventually able to look at the truth about themselves and each other. They can forgive each other and go about building a new life together. Nora and Torvald are also forced to see the truth about each other. However, while Nora realizes that their relationship and her life have been based on lies, Torvald refuses to admit they are lies. He can't forgive because, unlike Kristine and Krogstad, he still holds society's false values uppermost. While the truth saves Krogstad and Kristine, lies ruin Nora and Torvald. 12. Cite examples to show that Torvald thinks his wife is a doll, a toy, and a temptress with no ideas of her own. He thinks his house is free from debt; he believes he can control his family and his business decisions. He sees Rank only as his friend and ignores the doctor's relationship to Nora. Nora at the outset believes that her husband is a good man who looks out for her best interests. She thinks she is an adult, a good wife and mother. She also thinks that secrets and manipulations are the normal ways to get what she wants. She treats life as a game that she knows how to play. She thinks that Torvald will be honorable and save her. But Nora finds increasingly that reality intrudes. Dr. Rank is near death. The hidden loan is coming to the surface. She realizes that forgery even for love is a criminal act. Krogstad's threat to reveal Nora's past act initiates the series of crises that forces Nora into reality. She is prepared for this by Rank's confession of his love. His imminent death will leave Nora and Torvald alone together. When the final crisis comes and they face each other, Nora's last illusion is shattered. She finds out that Torvald is looking out for himself, not her. In fact, no one is looking out for her. This is a role she must take on herself. She must leave her "doll's house" to become a person.

13. There are many parallel situations in the play. They call attention to the different ways each situation might be worked out. You might cite specific examples-for example, Torvald and Nora mirror each other at the beginning of the play because they both favor appearance over reality. This calls attention to the contrast between them at the end when she has the strength to reject appearances. Kristine's former marriage parallels Nora's. It was an empty sham. Kristine married to get money for a good cause the same way that Nora illegally borrowed money for a good cause. However, in contrast to Nora, Kristine knows what she has done and is ready for a new life. Krogstad and Nora are in similar situations. They are both accused of passing on moral sickness to their children. They are also both considered to have contracted their sickness from a parent. Krogstad, however, is an outcast, while she is respected. He knows he has committed a crime, while Nora sees her act as a gesture of love. Dr. Rank, Krogstad, and Nora all have an "inherited" sickness that must be faced. Nora and Dr. Rank play at love (like Nora and Torvald). They both face death, and at the end of the play, both are in a sense released to "a greater beyond." Unlike that of Nora or Krogstad, Rank's sickness is not purely moral so he is condemned to certain death. Nora's death, however, is a self- created fantasy based on wishful thinking. Also, unlike Rank, Nora refuses to acknowledge her feelings for him as well as his for her. Anne-Marie, the nursemaid, parallels Nora because she gave up her child to be raised by someone else. In contrast to Nora, she had to do it for social and economic reasons. Nora proposes to give up her children for moral reasons. There are other examples of parallelism and contrast that you might choose instead. 14. Heredity is first introduced when it is disclosed that Dr. Rank is dying of an unnamed disease he was born with, and for which his father's immoral ways were in some sense responsible. The term heredity as used in the play could also be considered as environmental influence or psychological conditioning. Torvald insists that someone like Krogstad is a criminal because he had a dishonest mother. This implies that Nora's children are in moral danger of "catching" dishonesty from her. Torvald also assures Nora that she inherited her ineptitude with money from her father. The connection between the moral condition of a parent and child is reinforced by Dr. Rank's references to children suffering for the sins of their fathers (or other family members) in Act 2. Other forces of so-called heredity or parental transmission are at work. Nora learned compliance from her father and has transferred this relationship to Torvald. She is teaching her children to be unthinking and compliant the same way she was taught. To her, this is more dangerous than passing on dishonesty. However, we see the possibility of thwarting "heredity," or past conditioning, in Krogstad's conversion by love and Nora's by intellectual self-realization. 15. It seems that Nora has to leave because the situation in her home will not allow her to discover who she is and how to live truthfully. She and Torvald have never had a serious

discussion, and Torvald shows no signs of knowing how to start. His deeply ingrained gender role is dependent on her being passive and innocent (ignorant?). Moreover, he considers her deeply guilty of moral corruption and a danger to his children. He lacks compassion. When the crisis passes, he insists on treating her like a child again. Nora, on the other hand, has to take time to question the attitudes she's been spoon-fed. Is society right? Is the church right? Is Torvald right? Maybe there's truth on all sides, but she's never thought it out for herself. She feels she must remove herself from this false relationship before she can begin to discover if it can become constructive. Will Nora ever return? If you choose to argue that she will, find evidence to support the view that (a) Torvald will change; (b) Nora will find a way to compromise; (c) Nora will not be able to cope on her own without her children; (d) Nora will realize her "folly"; or a similar argument. If you choose to say she will never return, argue that (a) Torvald will never change; (b) Nora couldn't accept any marriage situation of that era; (c) she couldn't forgive Torvald for his rejection; (d) she never really loved Torvald; (e) she can make it on her own in the world; or another similar position. Remember to support your view with evidence of Nora's and Torvald's characters drawn from the play.

Don Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes
1615 SETTING While Don Quixote is not, on the surface at least, much concerned with historical events or social commentary, it does paint a lively picture of the Spain its author knew. By the time Cervantes wrote his masterpiece, the price of Spain's dreams of world domination was already becoming apparent. The Golden Age, as Don Quixote says in the novel, was being overtaken by an Age of Iron. Although the son of Charles I, Philip II, who ascended the Spanish throne in 1556 and reigned until 1598, was in some ways a strong ruler, he was not the inspiring figure his father had been. People called Philip II the "paperwork king" because he preferred to rule his empire from behind a desk, leaving the leg-work to an army of bureaucrats. Cervantes himself was part of this army, and his experiences as a tax collector and commissary officer gave him little reason to view the bureaucracy with admiration. Philip's military ventures were not always successful either. The so-called Invincible Armada, a large naval fleet assembled in 1588 for an invasion of England (a

project for which Cervantes requisitioned food supplies) was defeated by the English before it even reached an English shore. In addition, much of the country's enormous wealth had been squandered on expensive foreign wars, with disastrous results for the economy at home. The national treasury was bankrupt. Inflation was out of control. Culturally, too, Spain was beginning to withdraw from its position as a leader in Europe. The spread of the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe had put the Spanish Roman Catholic Church on the defensive. After 1559, Spanish students were forbidden to study at foreign universities, and the office of the Spanish Inquisition-church officials appointed by the pope-had the power to censor books and search through the general population for heretics.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Today, some historians believe that one of Spain's greatest weaknesses was the existence of such a large class of hidalgos, or noblemen. At least one quarter of all Spaniards considered themselves part of this class. Unlike the high aristocracy, however, hidalgos were not necessarily independently wealthy. Most were poor but proud. Some hidalgo youths, like their fathers before them, sought fame and fortune in military careers. Miguel de Cervantes, an hidalgo, realized all too well that the social class he belonged to was becoming obsolete. Its values were those of a bygone age. Economically, it had no place in the modern world. In the meantime, the richest nobles were becoming richer, and the poor farmers of Spain were staggering under the twin burdens of heavy taxes and high inflation. Don Quixote, the most famous hidalgo in all of literature, reflects Cervantes' understanding that the hidalgos were already living in the past. It is often said that Don Quixote "killed" chivalry with mockery. The English poet Lord Byron expressed this opinion when he wrote that Cervantes "smiled Spain's chivalry away." In fact, as Cervantes knew very well, the society that had spawned the code of chivalry was already dead. Spain had become a modern nation with a global empire. The country was run by bureaucrats, not by a heroic band of warrior knights. Modern nations could not afford to treat war as basically a sport for gentlemen. They could not afford to support a large percentage of the population who lived in idleness, playing at being lords and ladies. Even the high ideals of chivalry had become obsolete. Unquestioning religious faith, a rarefied vision of romantic love, and a code of behavior based on knightly honor still had nostalgic appeal for many Spaniards. But these wonderful virtues were part of a social system based on a rigid class structure, a sexist view of woman's role, and the persecution of religious minorities. Cervantes might be compared to the boy in the story "The Emperor's New Clothes" who pointed out that the emperor was really naked. Cervantes did not "kill" chivalry. He merely issued a belated death notice.

THEMES ANALYSIS 1. QUIXOTISM Although Don Quixote was written in Spanish, its main character inspired the coining of the English word quixotism. Normally, we say an individual is being quixotic when he is in the grip of misguided idealism. The novel's view of quixotism, however, is more complex. Don Quixote's overactive imagination turns windmills into giants and poor farm girls into delicate princesses. Sometimes Don Quixote's delusions make him appear ridiculous. Sometimes they do more harm than good. For example, his inept attempt to save the shepherd boy Andrew from a beating (Part I, Chapter Four) only gets the boy into worse trouble. Yet in many scenes in the story Don Quixote is a sympathetic, even tragic, figure. Does his consistent fidelity to his ideals, however unrealistic, inspire your admiration? Although everyone agrees that quixotism is the principal theme of Don Quixote, there are almost as many different interpretations of this concept as there are readers of the novel. 2. A PARODY OF CHIVALRY For centuries, the majority of readers considered Don Quixote a comic novel, plain and simple. They took literally Cervantes' claim that his purpose in writing Don Quixote was to poke fun at the popular chivalric romances. Some readers today agree with this point of view. They maintain that the novel was written to be amusing, and that anyone who tries to find tragic overtones in the story is missing the point. 3. THE NATURE OF FAITH In the nineteenth century, many readers began to take Don Quixote more seriously. These readers noted that in popular belief and in literature, mad persons are often thought to be especially close to God. Insanity can be an expression of divine inspiration. (This belief is even discussed in the novel, in the chapters devoted to the Captive's Tale.) Some readers even wondered whether Don Quixote was not merely pretending to be mad. Such questions have given rise to many different theories about the character of Don Quixote.

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One theory is that Don Quixote is a Christian hero, a man who holds fast to his faith in a world that can neither share nor live up to his high standards. Readers who take this view usually emphasize the conservative values of the novel. Although Cervantes may make jokes at the expense of the church hierarchy or the upper classes, these readers say, he never ridicules such basic values as courage, fidelity, and chastity.

Another group of readers has pointed out that the character of Don Quixote is a very accurate psychological portrayal of a revolutionary. Don Quixote, they say, is an example of a man who sets out to transform the world in accordance with his vision. Like the fanaticism of real-life crusaders, religious and political, his can be laughable, even dangerous. Yet his persistence does succeed-for example, in its influence on Sancho Panza. Readers who take this viewpoint are likely to emphasize the elements of the novel which show that the author had been exposed to the thinking of humanist philosophers. They feel that many of his criticisms of the established order, while humorous, have a hidden sting. Cervantes could hardly have been more direct in his satire, they point out, since he was writing under the restraints of censorship. 4. IDEALISM VS. REALISM Some readers feel that quixotism is a comment on the unresolvable conflict between idealism and realism. Don Quixote's ideals may be admirable, but they are doomed to futility because he is out of touch with the world he lives in. Time has passed him by. Our noble intentions can come to a disastrous end if we do not pay attention to the practical consequences of our actions. Curiously, there have even been a few readers who accuse Cervantes of writing a dangerous, hateful book. Admirers of chivalry and the society of the Middle Ages sometimes take this point of view. G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), the British journalist and author of the Father Brown mystery stories, even wrote that by ridiculing the values of chivalry, Cervantes had made it impossible for modern men and women to take them seriously. Cervantes, then, must bear part of the responsibility for the confusion about morals that plagues today's world. Although this is certainly an extreme point of view, it illustrates how a book which many see as pure comedy can rouse other well-educated readers to fury. 5. ILLUSION VS. REALITY There are many layers of illusion and reality in Don Quixote. First, there are the Don's own mad delusions. Later, his friends begin to play tricks on him and disguise themselves in order to get him to give up his quest and return home. In the beginning of the novel, you always know exactly what is real and what is fantasy. By the middle of Part II, however, the distinctions sometimes are blurred. For example, when Don Quixote has a bad dream in the cave of Montesinos, you are no longer certain whether the dream is just another delusion-or whether it is a product of the mind of his sane alter ego, Alonso Quixano. Besides all of these complications in the plot itself, you are constantly reminded that what you are reading is "only a book." The narrator-and his imaginary creation, the historian Cide Hamete-both interrupt the story frequently to comment on the action. And in Part II, even the Don and Sancho are aware that they are only characters in a book-in fact, in two books: Part I of Don Quixote and the bogus sequel produced by an anonymous contemporary of Cervantes. Cervantes was certainly familiar with Aristotle's statement that art was a "mirror of reality." He understood that by using a trick mirror it was possible to purposely distort reality, creating illusions that took on a life of their own. While Don Quixote's unrealistic view of the world is a product of his insanity, the author finds ways to remind you during the course of the book that he can alter the reality of his novel just for fun. During the course of the story, the Don and Sancho-

who on some levels seem real, despite their many improbable adventuresconstantly interact with characters who have obviously just stepped out of the pages of other genres of literature. Although some literal-minded readers consider the appearance of these rather shallow characters to be a flaw in the novel, you should keep in mind that Cervantes introduces them purposely, as just another playful twist on the theme of reality vs. illusion. Table of AUTHOR'S STYLE The language of Don Quixote is so rich and exuberant that no summary of the story can possibly do justice to it. You have to read the novel for yourself to see just how much fun the author has with language. For the most part, the prose style of the novel is earthy and direct. At times, however, it rises to heights of eloquence. At other times, the author uses high-flown language to parody other types of literature. Don Quixote's speech at the very beginning of Chapter 20, in Part II, is one example of the way Cervantes uses overly elegant language for the sake of humor. Sancho Panza sleeps right through the Don's flowery speech, only to be awakened by the downto-earth aroma of frying bacon. There are also a great many puns and other types of word play in the story. Some of the puns will be lost on readers who do not know Spanish. Fortunately, much of the humor survives the translation of the novel into English. The illiterate Sancho Panza constantly confuses one word with another, mistaking "revoking" for "revolting" and "critics" for "crickets." Another of Sancho's quirks is his tendency to quote folk sayings and proverbs at length. Sometimes the proverbs are appropriate to the occasion. At times, though, Sancho's garbled proverbs are laughable, a form of double talk. As in the plays of William Shakespeare, there are episodes in Don Quixote where the humor descends to what we would consider a dirty joke. One example of this occurs in Part I, when the barber Nicholas borrows an oxtail that the innkeeper uses to hang his comb in to use as a false beard. This sets the stage for some bawdy wisecracks when the landlady later demands that Nicholas give her her "tail" back because her husband needs it. This type of humor, as well as Sancho's occasional jokes about bodily functions and disgusting odors, was taken more or less for granted in the seventeenth century. Of course, you should keep in mind that in reading Don Quixote in an English translation you are not reading the actual language Cervantes wrote. However, the translations most commonly used today-especially those by J. M. Cohen and Walter Starkie-will give you a fairly accurate idea of the tone of Cervantes' prose.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. FORM AND STRUCTURE

Don Quixote is a very loosely structured novel. Many readers complain that the story is too repetitive and filled with unnecessary, and sometimes confusing, digressions. Others find it jarring that the two halves of the novel are so different in tone. These complaints are not new. The original readers of the novel raised the same objections-and, indeed, you will find Cervantes' reply to these criticisms incorporated in Part II of the book. There is a simple explanation for the unusual structure of the novel. Cervantes himself had no idea, when he began writing, of how the Don's adventures would end. Most likely, he originally intended to write a novella, or long short story, ending the Don's quest after his first return home and the burning of his library (now Chapter 8, Part I). When he decided to expand his story, he created the series of seemingly endless, and sometimes repetitive, adventures that make up what we know as Part I of the novel. While it is true that the Don's adventures sometimes seem to go on and on, this is just part of the joke. Lack of structure and repetition were among the characteristics of the chivalric romances that Cervantes had set out to lampoon. When he began to write Part II of the novel, Cervantes had developed a more subtle conception of his characters, and he changed his approach to structure as well. Most modern readers find Part II more satisfying because the episodes seem less randomly strung together. It is easier to see how each new adventure affects the changing relationship between Quixote and Sancho and leads to the Don's eventual return home. But it is possible to disagree with this judgment. Some readers continue to find Part I funnier and more lively, and it is true that the best-remembered incidents from the story-the Don's attack on the windmills and his battle with the wineskins, for example-occur in the first part of the book. If you enjoy tightly plotted suspense novels-or the kind of economical writing that makes every word count toward a single resolution or a unified theme-then you may find yourself growing impatient with Don Quixote. To put it another way, this is not a novel for people who care a great deal about neatness. Don Quixote was written in a spirit of experimentation-in the attempt to break out of established literary molds and to put more of life between the covers of a book than anyone had done before. The readers who enjoy this novel most are usually those who relax and get into the free-wheeling spirit of the individual episodes. POINT OF VIEW The shifting points of view in Don Quixote underline and emphasize the theme of illusion vs. reality. The story is told by an author, presumably Cervantes himself, who sometimes interrupts his tale to speak directly to you. In the Prologue to Part I, for example, this author even complains about how much trouble he has had finishing his work. The author claims that he is only retelling a true story related by an Arab historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli. Of course, there is no such person as Benengeli. The author made him up. Benengeli's comments on the story represent another level of unreality that lies between you-the reader-and the adventures of Don Quixote. Sometimes Benengeli's observations point out certain aspects of the novel to you. Sometimes Cervantes even uses Benengeli to make fun of Cervantes the author, as when he has Benengeli complain that the Don's story as written has become too long and tedious.

The Divine Comedy The Inferno Dante's Inferno



Dante Alighieri
SETTING "Inferno' here refers to Hell, and that is where the whole story is set. Virgil rescues Dante from the dark woods in which he is lost. The only way out is through Hell and so they proceed downwards into the bowels of the earth. They pass through the three divisions of hell, namely; incontinence, violence and fraud. The first circle of Hell is the Limbo, followed by the other circles of carnality, gluttony, avarice, and anger. They, then come to the city of Dis where the arch-heretics are punished, this is the sixth circle. The seventh circle is that of Violence. Then they pass a dense forest called The Wood of the Suicides; where people who took their own lives are punished.. The Eight Circles of Hell consist of ten stone ravines called Malebolge (evil pockets). In each of these a particular type of sin is punished. The ninth circle contains people who have been treacherous. And at the very center of "Inferno", which is the center of the Earth, suffering eternal damnation is Lucifer. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Dante the Pilgrim Dante the Pilgrimis the literary invention of Dante the Poet. The Pilgrim is the main protagonist of The Divine Comedy. The entire action revolves around his plight and his experiences. When Virgil comes to his rescue in the dark woods, he (Pilgrim) is a confused novice, full of fear and doubts. But as Inferno progresses he learns to put his full faith in his guide, Virgil. He also grows spiritually and hardens his heart against sin. He learns to look dispassionately upon unrepentant sinners. He starts understanding the nature of sin. He further learns how important despising the sin is, rather than despising any particular sinner.

CONFLICT Protagonist The protagonist of this epic poem is Dante the Pilgrim. Dante the Pilgrim is the creation of the historical figure Dante the poet. The former moves in a world of the poet's invention. The ride of the Pilgrim is that of a fragile and inexperienced soul. The Pilgrim is lost in a dark wood (worldly life of sin) and trapped there by fierce beasts. He is rescued by Virgil, who tells him that the only way out is through Hell. Virgil discloses the fact that he has come to the Pilgrim's aid at the behest of Beatrice. This along with Virgil's encouraging words led the Pilgrim to follow Virgin to hell. Antagonist Since "The Divine Comedy" is a spiritual book, the antagonist that opposes Dante the Pilgrim is anything that is of a sinful or impure nature. Thus all varieties of sin, ignorance, temptations fall into this category. The protagonist's own weakness or fear also acts as antagonistic forces, hindering his journey (both spiritual and material) forward. The sinners that he meets who try to misled him by engaging his pity can also be seen as antagonistic forces because they ask him to blind his reason and sympathize with those who have willingly sinned.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Climax The Inferno is a description of the various circles of Hell. Beginning with the Limbo onwards, as one goes along, increasing degrees of sin are punished. The sin and its accompanying punishment increase in severity as one goes further into Hell. It is like the building of a crescendo, and it reaches its climax at the center of Inferno, where the figure of Dis (Lucifer) is transfixed in eternal domination. Outcome In spite of his tremendous fear at the sight of Lucifer the Pilgrim follows Virgil and they make their way down Lucifer's hairy body. The pass the center of the earth and climb out of Hell through a rock tunnel. They reach the end of the tunnel where they come across an opening from which they can see the sky again. Thus they emerge safe from the Inferno.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Virgil

Virgil is a shade from the Limbo. He comes to guide the Pilgrim at the behest of Beatrice. Virgil is the personification of human reasonin the poem. And thus it is his task to teach the Pilgrim about Hell, sin, and punishment in order to direct his spiritual growth in the right direction. He is a strict teacher and loses all patience with the Pilgrims uncontrolled pity for sinners. Nevertheless he encourages the latter and reinforces him with ample praise, when the pilgrim treads on the right path. Minor Characters Alessio Interminei A Florentine, who was known for his flattery skills, and who lived in the eighth circle of Hell called Bolgia. Ali He was the first of Mohammeds followers and married the prophet's daughter Fatima. Ali became the Caliph in 656 AD. He is punished in the Ninth Bolgia with sowers of scandal and schism. Antaeus Son of Neptune and Gaea and one of the Titans. He did not join the other Titans in their rebellion against the gods. Archbishop Ruggieri He was the Archbishop of Lisa and an associate of Count Ugolino. He deceived Ugolino and imprisoned him along with his family and caused them to starve to death. Branca D Oria A prominent resident of Geno, he murdered his father-in-law, Miche Lanche, after having invited him to dinner. Brutus Marcus Junius (85-42 B.C.) He sided with Pompey in the civil war of 49 B.C. After the battle of Pharsalia in 48 B.C. Julius Caesar pardoned him and raised him to high favor, making him governor of Cisalpine Gaul in 46 B.C. Persuaded by Cassius, he took part in the conspiracy to murder Caesar in hope of re- establishing the Republic. Bocca Degli Abati A Ghibelline who pretended to support the Florentine Guelfs. And by cutting the hand of the Guelf standard bearer caused their defeat in the battle of Montaperti.

Bertran De Born He was lord of Altaforte and a soldier and a troubadour. He caused the rebellion of Prince Henry against his father, Henry II, King of England. Bertran lies punished in Inferno for this sin in the ninth Bolgia. Brunetto Latini Florenine politician and man of learning. He wrote the 'Tresor' and 'Tesoretto' works that greatly influenced Dante's own life and work. Latini is punished in the seventh circle for Sadomif. Beatrice She was a noble Florentine woman of outstanding grace and beauty. She was the daughter of Eolco Portinari and later became the wife of the banker Simone dei Bardi. Dante's life and writings were influenced by his acquaintance with her. Dante gathered all the poems he wrote to her in a book called "Vita Nuova" or the New life, where he added a commentary on the meaning and occasion of each. Charon The boatman of River Acheron. He ferries the souls of the sinners across Acheron, from the vestibule of Hell, into Hell proper. Cerberus Cerberus is the three headed, dog-like beast who guards the Gluttons in the Third Circle of Inferno. Ciacco A Florentine punished in the third circle of Gluttons. He makes a prophecy concerning the political future of Florence. Cavalcante De Cavalcanti A Florentine nobleman and father of Guido Cavalcanti. Guido was a poet and friend of Dante's. Both Guido and his father were reckoned Epicureans. And Cavalcanti lies in the sixth circle, punished for having being an Epicurean heretic. Centaurs Half-horse, half-man creatures who guard the first division of the seventh circle, where the murderess and tyrants are punished. Chiron

The chief of the Centaurs. Capaneus One of the seven Kings who fought against Thebes. While scaling the walls of Thebes he blasphemed against God, who then struck him a thunderbolt. In Inferno he represents the blasphemers. Catalano De Malavoltin He is in the sixth Bolgia where hypocrites are punished. A Jovial Friar from Bologna. He was elected jointly to the office of mayor in Florence with Loderingo Degli Andalo. Caiaphas He was the high priest of Jews who decided to sacrifice Jesus to save the Hebrew nation. He lies crucified and transfixed to the ground in the sixth bolgia of hypocrites. Capocchio A sinner sitting back to back with Griffolino da Arezho in the tenth Bolgia of the eighth circle. Count Ugolino Belonged to a noble Tuscan family whose political affiliations were Ghibelline. He cheated his party by supporting the Guelfs. Cassius Caius Cassius Longinus, Roman statesman and general. He was pardoned by Caesar and made praetor and promised the governorship of Syria. Cassius, however, repaid this generosity by heading a conspiracy to murder Caesar and persuading Marcus Brutus to join it. Diomed He was the king of Argos and a major Greek figure in the Trojan War and was frequently associated with Ulysses in his exploits. In Inferno both Ulysses and Diomed are punished in one burning flame. Ephialtes Son of Neptune and Jphimedia. He was a giant. He tried to climb to Heaven to make war on the gods. Friar Alberigo

A Jovia Friar and native of Eaenza. He invited his relative Manfred and his son to dinner and then had them killed. Filippo Argenti A Florentine, member of the Adimari family. He lies in the Styx where the wrathful are punished. Farinata Farinata Degli Uberti, Ghibelline leader of Florence. He is punished in the sixth circle for being an Epicurean heretic. Francesca Da Rimini and Paolo Francesco was the wife of Gianciotto de Verruchio and Paolo was his brother. Francesca was her brother-in-law Paolo's lover. When he discovers this love affair, Gianciotto kills both of them. Giacomo Da Sant Andrea A native of a Padua, he was an incorrigible self-vandalizer who wasted most of his riches. Guido Guerra A Florentine nobleman and grandson of "good Gualdrada". He is in the seventh circle with other warriors. Guido Da Montefeltro A famous deceiver, he was a soldier who became a friar in his old age to repent for his sins. But he was untrue to his vows when, at the urging o Pope Boniface VIII, he counseled the use of fraud in the Pope's campaign against the Colonna family. Geri Del Bello He was the first cousin of Dante's father. He was murdered by one of the Sacchetti family. Geri lies in the ninth bolgia of the eight circle. Griffolino Da Arezzo Lies in the tenth of bolgia of falsifiers. He is in Hell for living a practitioner of alchemy. AUTHOR'S STYLE The language of Don Quixote is so rich and exuberant that no summary of the story can possibly do justice to it. You have to read the novel for yourself to see just how much fun the author has

with language. For the most part, the prose style of the novel is earthy and direct. At times, however, it rises to heights of eloquence. At other times, the author uses high-flown language to parody other types of literature. Don Quixote's speech at the very beginning of Chapter 20, in Part II, is one example of the way Cervantes uses overly elegant language for the sake of humor. Sancho Panza sleeps right through the Don's flowery speech, only to be awakened by the downto-earth aroma of frying bacon. There are also a great many puns and other types of word play in the story. Some of the puns will be lost on readers who do not know Spanish. Fortunately, much of the humor survives the translation of the novel into English. The illiterate Sancho Panza constantly confuses one word with another, mistaking "revoking" for "revolting" and "critics" for "crickets." Another of Sancho's quirks is his tendency to quote folk sayings and proverbs at length. Sometimes the proverbs are appropriate to the occasion. At times, though, Sancho's garbled proverbs are laughable, a form of double talk. As in the plays of William Shakespeare, there are episodes in Don Quixote where the humor descends to what we would consider a dirty joke. One example of this occurs in Part I, when the barber Nicholas borrows an oxtail that the innkeeper uses to hang his comb in to use as a false beard. This sets the stage for some bawdy wisecracks when the landlady later demands that Nicholas give her her "tail" back because her husband needs it. This type of humor, as well as Sancho's occasional jokes about bodily functions and disgusting odors, was taken more or less for granted in the seventeenth century. Of course, you should keep in mind that in reading Don Quixote in an English translation you are not reading the actual language Cervantes wrote. However, the translations most commonly used today-especially those by J. M. Cohen and Walter Starkie-will give you a fairly accurate idea of the tone of Cervantes' prose.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. FORM AND STRUCTURE Don Quixote is a very loosely structured novel. Many readers complain that the story is too repetitive and filled with unnecessary, and sometimes confusing, digressions. Others find it jarring that the two halves of the novel are so different in tone. These complaints are not new. The original readers of the novel raised the same objections-and, indeed, you will find Cervantes' reply to these criticisms incorporated in Part II of the book. There is a simple explanation for the unusual structure of the novel. Cervantes himself had no idea, when he began writing, of how the Don's adventures would end. Most likely, he originally intended to write a novella, or long short story, ending the Don's quest after his first return home and the burning of his library (now Chapter 8, Part I). When he decided to expand his story, he created the series of seemingly endless, and sometimes repetitive, adventures that make up what we know as Part I of the novel. While it is true that the Don's adventures sometimes seem to go

on and on, this is just part of the joke. Lack of structure and repetition were among the characteristics of the chivalric romances that Cervantes had set out to lampoon. When he began to write Part II of the novel, Cervantes had developed a more subtle conception of his characters, and he changed his approach to structure as well. Most modern readers find Part II more satisfying because the episodes seem less randomly strung together. It is easier to see how each new adventure affects the changing relationship between Quixote and Sancho and leads to the Don's eventual return home. But it is possible to disagree with this judgment. Some readers continue to find Part I funnier and more lively, and it is true that the best-remembered incidents from the story-the Don's attack on the windmills and his battle with the wineskins, for example-occur in the first part of the book. If you enjoy tightly plotted suspense novels-or the kind of economical writing that makes every word count toward a single resolution or a unified theme-then you may find yourself growing impatient with Don Quixote. To put it another way, this is not a novel for people who care a great deal about neatness. Don Quixote was written in a spirit of experimentation-in the attempt to break out of established literary molds and to put more of life between the covers of a book than anyone had done before. The readers who enjoy this novel most are usually those who relax and get into the free-wheeling spirit of the individual episodes. POINT OF VIEW The shifting points of view in Don Quixote underline and emphasize the theme of illusion vs. reality. The story is told by an author, presumably Cervantes himself, who sometimes interrupts his tale to speak directly to you. In the Prologue to Part I, for example, this author even complains about how much trouble he has had finishing his work. The author claims that he is only retelling a true story related by an Arab historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli. Of course, there is no such person as Benengeli. The author made him up. Benengeli's comments on the story represent another level of unreality that lies between you-the reader-and the adventures of Don Quixote. Sometimes Benengeli's observations point out certain aspects of the novel to you. Sometimes Cervantes even uses Benengeli to make fun of Cervantes the author, as when he has Benengeli complain that the Don's story as written has become too long and tedious. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) The entire action of " Divine Comedy" takes place in one week's time. It is on the night of April 17, 1300, the Thursday before Good Friday, that Dante the Pilgrim comes to his senses in the dark wood (the worldly life of sin). All of the following day he spends trying to find his way out of the place; he attempts to climb a sunlit mountain and is forced back down by three beasts - leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf, that block his ascent. Then, suddenly, the shade of a man (ghost) appears on the scene. The figure is the shade of Virgil, who offers to lead the Pilgrim out of the dark wood by another way. Virgil has been sent to guide the Pilgrim to safety by; the blessed Beatrice. The only way to escape from the dark wood is to descend into hell.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. At sunset on the eve of Good Friday, Virgil and Pilgrim enter the Gates of Hell, and all that night and the next day they descend, circling always to the left, until they reach the gigantic figure of Lucifer. Before they reach Lucifer they pass through the three divisions of "Inferno" (Hell). The pilgrim takes careful notice of each region, the type of sin punished, the sinners and the nature of the punishment. Virgil acts as his guide and clears his doubts about all that they come across. Once they reach Lucifer, they climb down his hairy sides and in a matter of minutes they are in the opposite hemisphere, the midpoint of which is Purgatory. Once the travelers pass the Center of the earth they gain twelve hours. All of that new Sunday as well as the next night they use in climbing up the long passageway leading to the other side of the earth. This ascent is as long as the descent was from the dark wood, all the way down to Lucifer's navel. THEMES Main Theme The main theme of The Divine Comedy is the spiritual journey of man through life. In this journey he learns about the nature of sin and its consequences. And comes to abhor it (sin) after understanding its nature and how it corrupts the soul and draws man away from God. The subject of the whole work, taken literally, is the condition of souls after death. But if the work is taken allegorically, the subject is man, how by actions of merit or demerit, through freedom of will, he justly deserves to be rewarded or punishment. It is the story of man's pilgrimage to God.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Minor Themes The political theme running through the poem forms an important minor theme. Political strife had rent Florence into two bitter halves - the Guelf and the Ghibellines. Dante's family was affiliated with the Guelf party. Eventually, because of political reasons Dante was permanently exiled from Florence. Dantes conception of Hell is partly the product of medieval theology and the violence and misery of constant wars. Some of it, however, is the result of his own inextinguishable bitterness for the long years of impoverished exile, living on the charity of noblemen. While he could have been an honored man in Florence. MOOD

The poem starts with the Pilgrim's fear and confusion as he finds himself lost and confined in the dark woods. Virgil's appearance on the scene infuses energy and hope in him. Although Inferno, as the name suggests is mostly about sin and punishment, the mood of the poem is not just morbid and sober. The education Dante received each step of the way is an affirmation of life and goodness. So the Inferno imports a lot of energy to its readers. Another dimension of the Inferno is that of wonder and breathless anticipation as new sinners and their punishments unfold. The final Canto reveals, and Dis (Lucifer) is the point where all eagerness and fear crystallize and the final effect is of victory because one sees evil trapped, defeated and punished.

Jane Austen
SETTING Highbury, a prosperous village, almost a small town, sixteen miles away from London provides the physical setting. Nevertheless, Jane Austen is interested in the human setting more than the physical setting. She, therefore, highlights the social world of Highbury, which is hierarchical. Property determines rank in Highbury society; therefore, the estates of the country gentry provide the social setting. The Churchills of Enscombe in Yorkshire are at the top of this social hierarchy. Among the country gentry of Highbury, the Woodhouses of Hartfield are the most important, followed by the Knightleys of Donwell Abbey and the Westons of Randalls. The merchants, also called the newly rich, are represented by the Coles in Highbury. Next on the social scale are persons of different professions, like Mr. Elton, the clergyman, Mr. Perry, the apothecary, Mrs. Goddard, the owner and school mistress of the boarding school, and Miss Taylor, the governess. Though Highbury is the center of activity, in reality the homes of the landowners are where the action takes place. Only a few incidents occur in the outdoors, and only a few other places, such as London and Bath, are mentioned in the course of the novel.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Emma Woodhouse

The pretty second daughter of Mr. Henry Woodhouse, is the protagonist of the novel. She is twenty-one years old and presides as the mistress of the Hartfield estate. Because of her beauty, intelligence, and wealth, she acts conceited and domineering. Strongly attached to her old and hypochondriac father, Emma has decided not to marry. She satisfies her romantic desires by trying to be a matchmaker; she even fantasizes a perfect match for herself. Mr. George Knightley A perfect English gentleman. He is thirty- eight years old and is the owner of Donwell Abbey. He believes in the social hierarchy, but is mature enough not to let it rule his life. He helps Emma to free herself of delusions. Frank Churchill The twenty-three year old son of Mr. Weston. His manners expose him as a selfish man, deficient in elegance in thought and deed. Heir to his father's property, he is anxious not to forfeit his claims to the Enscombe estate of the Churchills, who have adopted him as their son. In a wanton and frivolous manner, he exploits Emma's self-love and self-conceit to serve his own interests and does not hesitate to hurt the feelings of Jane Fairfax to whom he is secretly engaged. Given to indecisiveness and deceit, Frank Churchill undeservedly wins Jane Fairfax's true and selfless love. Jane Fairfax A charming young lady of Emma's age who serves as a foil to her. Jane has been educated in London and has acquired an elegance in manners and mind under the considerate and parentlike care of the Campbells. Jane, who is poor and orphaned, is faced with the prospect of earning a living by working as a governess, which she considers a lowly job. She, therefore, gets secretly engaged to Frank Churchill, hoping to free herself from the hard luck of working as a governess. Mr. Philip Elton A twenty-seven year old bachelor clergyman in Highbury. He hopes to elevate himself socially by marrying a young girl of fortune and social rank. Harriet Smith The daughter of an unknown rich man who is not a resident of Highbury. Pretty and sweettempered, she is a student in the boarding school run by Mrs. Goddard in Highbury. She looks up to Emma with awe for her wealth, social status, and intelligence. Minor Characters Mr. Henry Woodhouse

Emma's father. He is a wealthy, landed gentleman and owner of Hartfield. He is a comic character who provokes laughter by his constant references to food and health. Miss Henry Bates The daughter of a clergyman and the aunt of Jane Fairfax. She is a poor middle-aged spinster who looks after her old mother. Her comic, rambling talk, which reveals the stream of her thoughts, is a chief source of laughter in the book. Mrs. Augusta Elton The wife of the vicar of Highbury. As the daughter of a wealthy Bath tradesman, Mr. Hawkins, she brought a dowry of ten thousand pounds to her marriage. She is a woman of affected manners, who patronizes Jane Fairfax and boasts about her sister Selina and brother-in-law, Mr. Suckling. She serves as a comic character in the book. Mr. Weston The middle-aged owner of Randalls. Although the son of a respectable businessman in Highbury, he left to become a captain in the army. He married a woman of fortune, Miss Churchill of Yorkshire, left the army after his her death, allowed his small son to be adopted by his brother-in-law, became a tradesman, earned a lot of money, and returned to Highbury and bought a small estate. He then married Miss Taylor, Emma's governess. He is extremely sociable, amiable, and proud of his son Frank Churchill. Isabella Knightley The pretty, gentle, and affectionate elder sister of Emma. She is married to John Knightley and lives at Brunswick Square in London. She has five children, three sons and two daughters. She is a devoted wife and a doting mother. Mr. John Knightley The husband of Isabella and a popular lawyer in London. Intelligent and short-tempered, he is very frank and has no patience for the peculiarities in the character of old Woodhouse. Mr. Perry The doctor in Highbury. He is much patronized by Mr. Woodhouse. The Coles A merchant family who has bought a country house in Highbury. They hope to interact with the landed gentry in Highbury and be socially elevated. Mrs. Goddard

The owner and mistress of a boarding school where the young girls of good families are taught social graces and proper etiquette. CONFLICT Protagonist Emma Woodhouse, pretty and intelligent, is the protagonist of the novel, as indicated by the title. She deceives herself into believing that she is good at matchmaking and is disillusioned when Elton proposes to her and not to Harriet Smith, whom she wanted Elton to marry. She makes a second disastrous mistake by imagining herself being loved and wooed by Frank Churchill; when she realizes she is not in love with Frank, she tries to match him with Harriet. Fortunately, Emma comes to her senses, realizes her foolishness, and marries Knightley.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Antagonist Emma's antagonist is herself, for she lives in a world of self-delusion. Frank Churchill exploits Emma's delusions to keep his engagement to Jane Fairfax a secret in Highbury. Although intelligent, Emma is given to fantasizing and fails to see through his flippant manners and double standards. Knightley kindly points out Emma's weaknesses to her, which makes her face up to her shortcomings. Climax The climax occurs after a picnic at Box Hill. During the party, Frank Churchill encourages Emma to imagine herself a goddess, seated on top of a hill, and he himself a devotee of that goddess. As her pretended devotee, he asks others to say something very entertaining in prose or verse to please Emma. This mock drama pleases Emma so much that she really pretends to be a goddess and rudely snubs Miss Bates for her silly, rambling talk. Driving Emma home in his carriage, Knightley points out to Emma her moral lapse and inelegant behavior. Emma silently weeps over her behavior and feels mortified and grieved, fearing she has lost Knightley's good opinion of her. From this point forward in the novel, the reader sees a changed and maturing Emma. Outcome The novel ends in comedy for Emma, for she awakens to the reality of her own self-delusion and realizes her love of Knightley. After helping Emma to see her own weaknesses, Knightley proposes to her, and she readily accepts. Since Knightley appreciates Emma's concern for her old father, he agrees to stay at Hartfield after their marriage.

Because true comedies have all situations presented in a novel end in happiness, Emma ends with the marriage of Harriet and Martin and Jane and Frank, as well as Emma and Knightley. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) Emma is a social comedy revolving around the domestic life of a few families of the upper middle class, primarily the landed gentry, in the small town of Highbury. The key families of the novel and Highbury society are the Woodhouses of Hartfield, the Knightleys of Donwell Abbey, the Westons of Randalls, a merchant family by the name of Coles, the vicar Mr. Elton, old Mrs. Bates, and her middle-aged unmarried daughter Miss Bates. The novel opens with Emma, the twenty-one year old daughter of the sick, old Henry Woodhouse, boasting of her success in getting her governess, Miss Taylor, married to the middle-aged widower, Mr. Weston of Randalls. Emma herself has resolved never to marry, for she cannot bear the thought of leaving her old father. She, therefore, amuses herself by arranging marriages for others and believes herself good at matchmaking. She is eager to arrange the marriage of Mr. Elton, the twenty-seven year old clergyman who often visits Hartfield to play cards. Her brother-in-law, Mr. Knightley, who also visits Hartfield regularly, advises Emma not to think of Mr. Elton's marriage. In spite of the advice, she begins to groom the good-looking and sweet-tempered Harriet Smith to become Elton's wife. Since Harriet thinks she is in love Robert Martin, a tenant farmer, Emma must convince her not to marry below her rank.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Emma does all kinds of things to encourage Harriet to fall in love with Mr. Elton, the Vicar. She invites Elton to stay at Hartfield while she draws the portrait of Harriet. Then she plays riddles with Elton and makes Harriet enter Elton's riddles in her diary. One day in the course of her morning walk with Harriet, Emma cleverly breaks her shoe laces and goes to Elton's house with Harriet on the pretext of mending her laces. She assumes things are going well between Harriet and Elton; then to Emma's surprise, during Christmas week, Elton proposes to her. Emma rejects his proposal and points out that his real object of love should be Harriet Smith. Hurt by Emma's rejection, Elton goes to Bath and stays for three weeks. While in Bath, he wins the love of Miss Augusta Hawkins, the daughter of a tradesman, who has a dowry of ten thousand pounds. While Elton is away from Highbury, Jane Fairfax comes to stay in Highbury with her aunt, Miss Bates. Emma imagines fancifully that Jane is in love with Mr. Dixon, the son-in-law of Colonel Campbell, who raised Jane. In the meantime, Emma finds herself romantically attracted to Frank Churchill, who is secretly engaged to Jane. Realizing Emma's romantic fantasies about him, Churchill uses her to hide his engagement to Jane. Emma plays into his hands, flattered by his compliments on her appearance. At a party given by the Coles, Emma and Frank talk and laugh. Jane feels humiliated by Frank's frivolous behavior. On the other hand, Emma finds Jane too reserved; she also resents Jane, who is much more accomplished and elegant in manners than Emma

At the Coles' party, Frank decides to arrange a ball. The Westons immediately agree, and the Crown Inn is selected as the place. A day before the party, Frank gets the news that his aunt, Mrs. Churchill, is seriously ill; therefore, Frank leaves for Yorkshire. Before departing, he indicates that he wants to speak to Emma, but then he does not. Emma foolishly concludes that Frank intends to propose to her, but she is not sure she loves him. Emma also senses that Knightley is attracted to Jane Fairfax. She does not want him to marry Jane, for she wants her nephews to inherit his property. When Frank returns, the ball at the Crown Inn is held. Emma dances with both Frank and Knightley. On the day after the ball, Harriet, during her walk, wanders into a camp of gypsies from whom she feels a threat. Luckily, Frank happens to be passing by and saves her. When Harriet narrates this misadventure and her rescue from the gypsies to Emma, Emma thinks that Frank is now falling in love with Harriet. She is happy for Harriet who, however, tells Emma that she loves someone much superior in status and intelligence. Knightley suspects that Frank and Jane are romantically involved, but Emma does not agree with him. As desired by Mrs. Elton, Knightley arranges a strawberry party at Donwell Abbey, where Emma sees Knightley walking with Harriet. She also notices that Jane leaves early, and Frank arrives very late. The next day, everyone goes for a picnic to Box Hill. Emma and Frank behave in a very frivolous manner, with Emma being very rude to Miss Bates; their behavior clearly annoys Jane. When the party leaves Box Hill, Knightley accompanies Emma to her carriage and criticizes her for her lack of elegance and vanity. Emma, feeling very ashamed, weeps on her way home, fearing that she has lost Knightley's affection and goodwill. The very next day Emma visits the Bates to apologize to Miss Bates and Jane. Jane, however, refuses to greet Emma, and Miss Bates informs her that Jane has accepted a job as a governess with the Smallridges in Bath. Frank's hopes of inheriting the property of the Churchills are fulfilled. Now a wealthy man, he writes a letter to his father to inform him about his secret engagement to Jane. It is during this time that Harriet also confides in Emma that she loves Knightley. At this news, Emma is shocked to realize that she herself is in love with Knightley. She wishes she would have allowed Harriet to marry Robert Martin. In the meantime, Knightley, without Emma's knowledge, has succeeded in bringing Harriet and Martin together. When Emma breaks to Knightley the news of Jane's engagement to Frank, Knightley tells her about Harriet's engagement to Martin. He praises Emma for having refined Harriet's manners. He then proposes to Emma, who readily accepts. He admires Emma for her attachment to her father and agrees to live with her at Hartfield after their marriage. The novel ends as a comedy. With the marriages of Jane and Frank, Harriet and Martin, and Emma and Knightley, all of the major characters of the novel are delightfully happy. THEMES Major Theme The major theme of the novel is the folly of arrogance and self- deception, as portrayed in Emma. She foolishly thinks that she is better than most people and is capable of managing the lives of others, such as Harriet Smith and Clergyman Elton. She also deludes herself, believing that Frank Churchill is in love with her. It is this self-deception that causes her to behave in a

ridiculous manner with Frank during the Box Hill picnic. Fortunately, through the guidance of Knightley, Emma leaves her self-delusion behind.

Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. Minor Themes Marriage is an important theme that runs throughout the novel. Emma begins with the marriage of Miss Taylor to Mr. Weston, which Emma has helped to arrange. Then Emma makes efforts to marry Harriet Smith and Elton; but he chooses to marry Augusta. The novel ends with three more unions, showing different social, economic, and psychological bases of marriage. Jane Fairfax, who has no financial means since she is an orphan, seeks to marry someone wealthy and chooses Frank Churchill, in spite of his selfish and arrogant ways. Harriet Smith, the illegitimate daughter of a tradesman, has a large dowry to offer her husband, but is happy to marry Robert Martin, a tenant farmer and believes she will elevate her social rank as a result. Emma's marriage to Knightley is the most suitable, for both belong to the same social class, the landed gentry. Unlike Jane or Harriet, Emma does not seek economic security or social elevation through Knightley. Instead, her marriage is based on emotional needs, mutual respect, and love. Jane Austen indicates that Emma's marriage to Knightley will bring happiness to both of them. Marriage was very important to a woman in the English society of the eighteenth century. Since she had no chance of a real career, she was dependent upon a husband for support. If an appropriate one was not found, the young lady could be forced into a lifetime of demeaning work, such as being a governess, the job that Jane Fairfax refused to accept. That an unmarried woman was an object of pity is made evident from the life style of Miss Bates. Because females were so dependent upon marriage, they often stayed in uncomfortable relationships. The marriage of Emma's elder sister Isabella to John Knightley, the lawyer, shows that the husband and the wife do not love, but only tolerate, each other. Another minor theme is the stiltedness of the English society in the eighteenth century. In the countryside, the English society had not been influenced by industrialization, and the landed gentry were still dominant. The society was highly stylized and hierarchical, as reflected in Highbury. The Churchills are shown as the great landowners and, therefore, socially at the top. The Woodhouses, the Knightleys, and the Westons are also important members of the landed gentry. The Coles, a merchant family, seeks entry into this formalized society, hoping to elevate their status on the basis of wealth. There is a very strict set of rules amongst the upper class in this eighteenth century society, with an emphasis upon proper etiquette and social graces. People are to be addressed formally; when Mrs. Elton addresses Miss Jane as Jane or Mr. Knightley as Knightley or her husband as Mr. E or caro sposo, she reveals her inelegance in manners, something which this society frowns upon. The visits to each other's houses are never casual, but always formal and only by invitation. Even though the landed families participate in acts of charity to the poor, there is a general condescension to the lower classes. Miss Bates receives pieces of cakes and meat from the

Woodhouses and apples from Mr. Knightley, and Emma visits the colony of the poor in order to fulfill the charitable expectations placed on the upper class. The people of the middle class, such as clergyman Elton, Doctor Perry, and the school mistress Mrs. Goddard, are tolerated and sometimes permitted to visit the houses of the landowners, but they are never really made to feel a part of this society. Austen criticizes this stilted upper-class society for its emphasis on manners over human considerations. She clearly shows in the novel that snobbery of the rich needs to be controlled by regard for others and self-knowledge. This is especially shown through her protagonist, Emma. Fortunately, Knightley teaches Emma to value others, and, in the course of the novel, she rises above her foolish self-delusion to become a more moral and less petty human being. MOOD The mood of the novel is predominantly light, leading to the comic ending where there is a happy resolution for everyone. During the course of the novel, Jane Austen clearly underscores the follies and illusions of Emma, which sometimes seem almost humorous, adding to the light mood

Mary Shelley

(1818) SETTING The novel starts with a sea-captain writing from St. Petersburg to his sister in England. Robert Walton, the sea-captain, is traveling towards the North Pole via Archangel when he encounters Victor Frankenstein. The focus of the book then shifts to Victor Frankenstein, whose story begins in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is born. Other European cities, which Victor's parents visit early in their marriage, are mentioned. At the age of seventeen, Victor leaves for the university at Ingolstadt, where he spends six years. He creates the monster in an old deserted house in this city.

The novel is set mainly in Geneva against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps. Plainpalais in Geneva is the place where Frankenstein loses his brother, William. The mountains and lakes of Switzerland are prominent in the protagonist's life. Victor seeks refuge in the village and valley of Chamounix. For a change of scenery, Victor stays at his house in Belrive. It is on Montanvert that Victor encounters the monster.

The story of the monster is set largely in Germany, since he is created in Ingolstadt. He spends much time by a cottage in the hills of Germany, where he observes the De Lacey family. But the narrative is not restricted to Europe alone. The De Lacey family originates in France and has ties to the Near East. The monster wanders about in the woods and mountains of Europe. He crosses them in order to reach Geneva. Victor wishes to travel abroad. He begins with a trip to England. Then he and Henry meet at Strasbourg and descend the Rhine River to Rotterdam, from where they head for London. From London they proceed to Perth, Scotland. Victor travels the northern highlands, and on a remote island he finds the place where he can create the second monster. The action now moves to Ireland, where Victor finds himself lost. His father and he are then bound for Havrede-Grce, away from the Irish shores. They then proceed to Paris and later leave for Geneva again, where Elizabeth and Victor enjoy their courtship. They get married and spend some brief time on the shores of Lake Como, where Elizabeth has inherited property. Victor returns to Geneva alone, but leaves soon afterward in search of the monster. Later, the readers are taken along the Rhine and visit the Mediterranean and Black Seas, as well as the wilds of Tartary and Russia. The action eventually reaches the North Pole, where Robert and Victor meet. Robert is forced to return to England. Thus, the novel is set all over Europe. The North Pole is uncharted territory for Robert, but for Victor, it is a place where he can destroy the monster. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Victor Frankenstein The young scientist, around whose creation the story revolves. He can be said to be an example, or role-model, for Robert.

Elizabeth Lavenza Frankenstein The "more than sister" of Victor Frankenstein. She is an adopted child, and she later marries Victor. The monster murders her after her marriage. Henry Clerval The son of a merchant and a dear friend of Victor's. He is often Victor's protector, and he becomes one of the victims of the "monster." The "Monster" The result of Victor's ambition. He is an enormous creature and a misfit in society. He is feared by all because of his appearance, and he learns to despise humankind. His goal is to destroy his creator, Victor Frankenstein.

Minor Characters William Frankenstein The younger brother of Victor. He falls prey to the "monster". Ernest Frankenstein Also the younger brother of Victor. He wants to join the military and remains the sole surviving member of the Frankenstein family. Alphonse Frankenstein Victor's father. He is a man of character. Caroline Frankenstein The kind, devoted wife of Alphonse Frankenstein. She dies before Victor leaves for the university. M. Krempe A professor of Victor's at the University of Ingolstadt.

M. Waldman Also a professor of Victor's. He becomes a mentor and a friend to Victor. He appreciates Victor's passion for learning and encourages him to study science. De Lacey An old man from France; he lives in exile in Germany. He is the father of Agatha and Felix. Robert Walton The sea-captain and explorer who meets Victor and learns his story. Agatha De Lacey The daughter of De Lacey. She is a mild-mannered and sweet girl. Felix De Lacey The loving son of De Lacey. He marries Safie after helping her father escape from France. Safie Felix's love interest. She breaks free from Arab tradition and marries Felix, a Christian. The Turk Safie's father. He is a Turkish merchant in France. He is strongly opposed to Safie's marriage to Felix. Mr. Kirwin An Irish magistrate who takes care of Victor when he is imprisoned in Ireland. Justine Moritz An adopted child of Caroline Frankenstein. She is tried for the murder of William and executed, thus she is an indirect victim of the monster's violence. Margaret Saville

The sister of Robert Walton and the recipient of his letters. She is married and has children. CONFLICT Protagonist Victor Frankenstein is the creator of the "monster." Because of his thirst for knowledge, he goes too far and creates a huge monster, whom he immediately rejects. This rejection contributes to the monster's hatred for humankind. Antagonist The protagonist's creation turns against him. He is a creature with no name or identity. He is sensitive but highly misunderstood. His rejection by humankind leads to his violence. He is forced to hate humans and sets out to destroy his creator, Victor.

Climax The desolation of the "monster" causes him to destroy Victor's life. He commands Victor to create another creature; this time it must be a female who will become his companion. Victor consents and nearly completes the second creature. However, overcome by disgust, he suddenly destroys this monster before bringing it to life. He is horrified at the possible union of two such monsters. The monster's ultimate act of vengeance, the murder of Elizabeth on the Frankensteins' wedding night, is the climax of the novel. After this point, Victor vows to kill his creation. Outcome Victor does not succeed in killing the monster. His creation, however, succeeds in destroying almost everyone that Victor loves. Victor dies without realizing the full implications of his role as creator. The outcome is thus doubly tragic for Victor. Before departing to kill himself, the monster tells Robert Walton of his experiences. The tragedy of Frankenstein lies in the fact that the monster is driven by mankind to be evil. The end is tinged with a sense of the supernatural: the monster is last seen alive, whereas the creator dies. One is horrified at the possibility of the monster's return.

SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) The plot deals with the conflict within Victor Frankenstein, who, due to his love of the natural sciences, produces a monstrous creature. Victor himself is disgusted at the sight of his creature and rejects him. All other humans likewise reject him because of his horrible appearance. The monster, frustrated and misunderstood, ultimately kills the people who are closely related to his creator, Victor Frankenstein. This is the tale told by Victor to Robert Walton, a sea-captain on a voyage to the North Pole. Both Victor and Robert have much in common in terms of their childhood and their passion for knowledge. Both are explorers of a sort: Robert loves voyages, while Victor loves science. Each is prepared to go to any length to achieve his goals. Victor tells Robert his story so that he can learn to curb his extreme enthusiasm about achieving his goals. The monster, too, has his own tale to tell. His sensitivity is awakened by Nature and the gentle manners of the family that he lives near. This is the De Lacey family, which is in exile. The family is brought to ruin and forced to seek refuge in a cottage in Germany, where the monster finds them.

When these people reject him, the creature destroys everything in sight. He now feels a tremendous hatred towards the human race. This is what sets him against his creator, whom he intends to destroy by isolating him from those he loves. He kills Victor's brother, his friend and his wife. The innocent Justine is accused of a murder (committed by the creature) and dies a murderess, thus increasing Victor's feelings of guilt and his need for revenge. Victor makes it his mission to destroy the monster, who has been wreaking havoc in his life. In the meanwhile, he is approached by the monster, who requests that he create another being who can be his companion. Although Victor feels threatened, he consents. Eventually, he is caught between two moral responsibilities. He has a responsibility towards his own creation, and he has a responsibility towards the human race. At the last minute, he decides not to give life to the second creature, regardless of what the monster may do to him. The monster threatens to be there with him on his wedding night. Victor interprets this as a threat against his own life, but instead he finds his beloved Elizabeth murdered. By this point, Henry has also been killed by the creature.

Victor reaches the North Pole in his pursuit of the monster, who evades him every time. Cold, tired and hungry, he meets Robert and narrates his saga. Afterwards, he dies. The monster makes an appearance, tells Robert his tale and vows to burn himself in a grand funeral pyre. THEMES Major Theme The author explores the theme of playing God in a society which is constantly making "progress," or technological advancement. Science appears as a savior, or so people think. Science is the last refuge of modern people, who believe it to be the panacea (cure-all) for all evil, regardless of the evil it brings with it. Playing God in this novel leads to chaos and gruesome murders.

Minor Themes Another theme deals with Frankenstein's new, unnatural mode for "creating" life. This new mode of creation, involving neither God nor womankind, leads ultimately to destruction. There is no nurturing involved, and nature itself is bizarrely manipulated. Frankenstein has become even more relevant in the present time. Cloning procedures and other technological advancements have raised questions about the ethics of mankind's involvement in "creation." Another minor theme is the human tendency to judge a person based on his/her appearance. It is true that the monster appears horrifying, but he is shown to be more "humane" than the other humans; indeed, he is at first more sensitive and tolerant. Unfortunately, no one tries to understand him or to accept him the way he is. Finally, Shelley treats the theme of love, but in this novel, it is the absence of love that is most striking. The lack of love between the creator (Victor) and his creation (the monster) can lead only to misery and destruction. MOOD The mood is quite somber throughout the novel, particularly with the entry of the monster. It does have some touching episodes of happy family life among the Frankensteins, as well as among the De Laceys. But these are not sufficient to counter

the sense of horror and brutality that is aroused by the atrocities enacted by the monster. The mood is almost cold towards the end of the novel, with Victor coming to terms with the deaths around him. But vengeance and rage still have a place in his heart, as in that of the monster. AUTHOR'S STYLE Frankenstein as a gothic novel The gothic tradition highlights the grotesque, relies on mysterious and remote settings, and is intended to evoke fear. All of these qualities are evident in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The "monster" around whom the novel revolves is itself a product of Victor Frankenstein's attraction to the grotesque, which results in deformity and deviation. The monster towers over other human beings. While he has a good soul, he strikes fear in all who lay eyes on him. The fine settings within the novel are striking and distinctively gothic. Appropriately, the creature first breathes on a "dreary night of November." Victor creates his monster in a remote laboratory at Ingolstadt, while the second "monster" is begun in a desolate area of Scotland. Elizabeth is killed on a stormy night, the perfect time for a dramatic murder.

The eerie atmosphere of Frankenstein is typical of the gothic tradition. Victor, unafraid of the dark, spends his time in "vaults and charnel-houses." He boldly visits the cemetery at night and vows to avenge the murders of his family members. Such details as the creaking doors, the soft blowing of the wind in the still of the night, and the quiet footsteps in the house all lead to a feeling of fear and suspense. Frankenstein succeeds as a gothic horror and as a "ghost story." In the gothic there is a strong reliance on the fantastic and the supernatural, which often overrides inconsistencies within the details of the plot. The fact that the monster unfailingly follows Victor everywhere he goes is rather questionable. Almost no mention is made of the obstacles he could have faced along the way. It is equally striking that the murders committed by the "monster" have all gone unwitnessed. Finally, the gothic takes the theme of death in an interesting direction: overcoming the limits of mortality is a major concern. On a certain level, Victor's interest in creating

life is an extension of this desire to escape death. By assembling the body parts of the dead, Victor makes a "monster" who is part human and part ghost. Like a tormented spirit, his creation haunts the living.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Ernest Hemingway

1940 SETTING The novel is set in Spain in the 1930s. The Spanish Civil War is raging, and the protagonist, Robert Jordan, is an American, fighting behind enemy lines for the Republican cause. He has been sent on an assignment to blow up a bridge in the mountains of the Spanish Sierra. The main action of the book takes place in the hills of the Sierra, where a fascist post has to be demolished. Guerilla bands and partisans are spread all over the mountains, and they come forward to aid Robert Jordan in his mission. Throughout the novel, there are references made to the towns of Segovia, Anila, and La Granja. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Robert Jordan Robert Jordan, the protagonist of the novel, is an American college instructor of Spanish, who is fighting for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. He is sent on a mission to destroy a bridge behind the enemy lines in order to prevent reinforcements from coming up after the offensive has started. In the mountains he meets and falls in love with a Spanish girl, Maria. Pablo

Pablo is the leader of the guerilla band, which is assisting Robert Jordan in his mission. He sometimes comes across as sullen and uncooperative. It becomes apparent that Pablo is disenchanted with the war and wants to lead a peaceful existence, living in the mountains and raising horses. Since his belief in the Republican cause has been shaken by his personal feelings, he does not have the fervor that he had at the beginning of the movement.

Pilar Pilar is a part of the guerilla band and is Pablo's "woman". She is completely devoted to the cause and, unlike Pablo and Jordan, has not become cynical. She is superstitious and believes that she can foretell the future. Maria Maria is a Spanish girl who has been rescued from the fascist camp by Pablo's band. She falls in love with Jordan, who promises to marry her after the mission is over. Minor Anselmo He is a sexagenarian, who guides Jordan through the mountains. He takes Jordan to meet the guerilla band, which will assist him in his mission. General Golz He is the Russian officer who is in charge of the offensive. He orders Jordan to demolish the bridge after he has commenced the attack. Kashkin A demolition man, he was Jordan's predecessor. When the novel opens, he is already dead. The reader knows him only through references made by others about him. In the book, it is learned that Jordan shot Kashkin after he was severely wounded in the blow up of the train. El Sordo

He is the leader of another guerilla band, which has camped in the same mountains as Pablo's band. He offers to help Jordan with his mission, but his entire band is killed by the fascists before Jordan's mission begins. Andres He is a member of Pablo's guerilla band. He is sent by Jordan to deliver a message to General Golz, telling him what has happened to El Sordo's band and asking him to cancel the offensive. Gomez He is a Republican inside Golz's camp, who leads Andres to the general. Joaquin He is a young boy in El Sordo's band. Eladio, Agustin, Fernando, Primitivo6, Rafael They are members of Pablo's band. CONFLICT Protagonist Robert Jordan is the protagonist of the novel. Fighting for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, he accepts a mission to destroy a bridge in the Sierra Mountains. Since the bridge cannot be destroyed until after an attack on the enemy begins, it is a highly risky mission. Initially Jordan is dedicated and determined to carry out his orders; but somewhere along the line, he becomes disenchanted with the war. He even questions the correctness of his mission after he kills a fascist cavalryman and falls in love with Maria. Antagonist Robert Jordan must fight both external and internal antagonists. The external conflict, caused by the war in which he is fighting, is the dangerous assignment he has been given, which could cost him his life. He must blow up the bridge only after an attack on the enemy has begun; as a result, it must be accomplished in daylight, making his escape more difficult. His task is made worse by the lack of cooperation he receives from Pablo and his guerilla band, which has been assigned to support him, and by the fact that the fascists have learned about the planned offensive against them,

guaranteeing a counter-offensive. Jordan must also fight against his own emotions. Although he is very enthusiastic at the beginning of his assignment, he becomes weary and disenchanted with the entire war effort during the course of the novel. He longs to settle down to a peaceful existence with Maria. Climax When Jordan tries to escape on horseback after he has blown up the bridge, the fascist cavalry starts firing at him from behind. When he falls and breaks his leg, it is the turning point of the plot. One moment Jordan is trying to escape to a future with Maria, and the next moment he is lying seriously injured on the ground. The tragic ending of the novel is clear at this moment.

Outcome The outcome of the novel is a tragedy, with Jordan lying on the ground in the forest, waiting for either the enemy or death, whichever reaches him first. He pleads with Maria to leave him so that at least one of them survives. Although his dreams are destroyed and death is eminent, he displays the typical Hemingway grace under pressure, accepting his end in a noble way and trying to help the others to escape the enemy. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) Robert Jordan, an American expert in dynamite, is fighting for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. A Russian officer, General Golz, sends him on a dangerous mission to destroy an important bridge in the Sierra Mountains. Anselmo, an old Spaniard, guides Jordan through the enemy lines to see the bridge, which is guarded by fascists at both ends, and to meet a guerilla band, which is to aid him in his mission. The head of the guerilla band is Pablo, a sullen and uncooperative man, who hides out with his men in a cave. From the beginning, he thinks of Jordan as an alien and fears that he has really come to displace his band from the mountains. He becomes further concerned when he learns from Jordan that Kashkin, Jordan's predecessor who had helped to blow up an enemy train, is not dead. When the men sit down to eat and drink wine, Maria enters, bringing food. She is a Spanish girl, who was rescued by the guerilla band after the train incident. Jordan is

instantly attracted to her. Jordan also meets Pilar, Pablo's woman, who fights with the band. She encourages Jordan to pursue a courtship with Maria, but she warns him to take care of her, for Maria has undergone tremendous trauma. Jordan and Anselmo leave to inspect the bridge. Jordan sketches it and takes notes about the best way to place the explosives. On the way back to the cave, the two men discuss war. Anselmo believes it a sin to kill, even in war, but he says he will do it for the cause. Jordan says he is also fully prepared to kill the enemy. Near the cave, Agustin, who is serving as guard, challenges their approach. When he learns their identities, he warns Jordan to protect his explosives from Pablo. A hush descends on the cave as Jordan enters, indicating that the band of guerillas has been talking about him. Pablo addresses Jordan and voices his disapproval of the mission. Pilar, however, interrupts to say that she supports the demolition of the bridge. Pablo sullenly departs the cave to go out and tend his horses. As Jordan follows Pablo, Rafael stops him and tells him he should kill Pablo. Back in the cave, Pilar is disturbed that El Sordo, another guerilla leader, has not put in an appearance. They make a plan to go and visit him the next day. When everyone adjourns for the night, Maria comes and joins Jordan. The sound of fascist airplanes wakes them in the morning. When Jordan gets up and goes into the cave, he hears Pilar asking Fernando what news he has brought from La Granja. Fernando says that there is talk about the Republican offensive. This news upsets Jordan, for the planned attack should have remained confidential. If everyone knows about it, the fascists are sure to be planning a counter-offensive. Pilar, Maria, and Jordan leave for Sordo's camp. Along the way, Pilar recounts incidents from the past. She talks about the massacre of fascists in Anila, the town from which Pablo has come. When they arrive at Sordo's cave, he greets them and offers Jordan whiskey. In the course of their discussion, both Sordo and Jordan agree that night would be a better time to attack the enemy and blow up the bridge; unfortunately, their orders do not permit it. As they discuss the planned daytime attack, Jordan and Sordo realize they do not have enough horses for the mission. Sordo volunteers to steal some after Jordan departs. Returning to the area of Pablo's cave, Jordan goes to find Anselmo, who has been left behind as a guard and a spy on enemy movement. When he returns to the cave, he and Pablo get into another fight. After Pablo goes out, all the others encourage Jordan to kill him; but Pablo disarms them with politeness when he comes back, averting the crisis.

The next morning, Jordan awakes to the sound of an approaching cavalryman. Recognizing the uniform as fascist, he kills the man and orders the others to take their posts. When four other fascists come in range, Jordan prevents the men from firing, not wanting to provoke a confrontation. Before long they hear gunfire coming from the area of Sordo's camp. Sordo has been trapped on a hilltop under fire from fascist planes. The fascist leader, Lieutenant Berrendo, orders his men to cut off the heads of Sordo's band. Anselmo later sees the headless bodies. Since the fascists are taking the offensive, Jordan dispatches a note for General Golz, asking him to cancel the guerilla attack and destruction of the bridge. Hoping to receive a positive response the next day, he retires for the night with Maria, who tells him about her traumatic past. At two o'clock in the morning, Pilar awakes Jordan to inform him that his sacks of explosives have been slit open, and Pablo has departed. When Jordan goes to inspect his sacks, he finds that the exploder, detonators, fuse, and caps are missing. Pablo has also taken two horses with him. Jordan is appropriately enraged. Jordan comes up with a plan to use some grenades as detonators. When she hears of the plan, Pilar bravely volunteers to take Pablo's place at the lower post. Suddenly Pablo returns and confesses that he has thrown the explosives in the river. As a conciliatory gesture, he has brought men from other bands to assist them in the attack on the fascists forces. Andres, the messenger sent to Golz with Jordan's request, does not succeed in reaching him in time. As a result, the Republican planes take off and the shelling of the fascists begins. Pablo goes to his lower post and begins an attack. Jordan now has no choice but to commence his mission. He approaches the bridge and kills the sentry. He places the explosives on the bridge with Anselmo's help. By the time he finishes, he sees that the guerillas are retreating from the upper post and that Fernando is badly wounded. Jordan hands to Anselmo the coil of wire coming out of one set of the explosives and signals him to pull on it. When the explosion occurs, the center of the bridge drops into the gorge, and Anselmo is killed. The remaining guerillas rush to the appointed place, where Maria is holding the horses. They quickly mount and gallop away as the fascists begin to fire. Jordan's horse is hit. He is thrown from the animal, crushing his left leg. He is dragged to a spot away from the gunfire, but Jordan knows that death his eminent. He urges Maria to leave and save herself. As Maria, Pablo, and Pilar depart,

Agustin offers to shoot Jordan, sparing him from capture or death from the fascist enemy, but Jordan refuses. He feels he may be able to slow down the enemy so that Maria can reach safety. As the book ends, Jordan waits with his gun for the fascist cavalry to come into range. THEMES Major Themes Death and Disillusionment in War The novel, as many of Hemingway's other works, deals with war. Since death is inevitable in the war effort, many of those fighting for the cause become disillusioned. They realize that the war does not really benefit the common man, even though the leaders insist that the war is being fought to protect them. From the time the book opens, Pablo, the guerilla leader is disenchanted with the war. He simply wants to be left alone to enjoy life. As the book progresses, the readers see Jordan and Anselmo also becoming disillusioned by the death and destruction that surrounds them. Grace Under Pressure To be a hero, Hemingway believes that a man must display grace under pressure. Most of his characters put themselves into dangerous situations and then act with remarkable bravery in the face of danger. Robert Jordan is no exception. Even though he has become disillusioned with the war effort and disagrees with the methodology of destroying the bridge, he carries out the mission flawlessly. After he blows up the bridge and is riding away to a new life with Maria, he is shot by the fascists who pursue them. When his horse is shot, he is thrown and injures his leg. Unable to travel to safety, he faces death with bravery, firing his gun at the enemy to give the others time to get away.

Minor Themes The Power of Superstition Throughout the novel, there are references to superstitions. In the very beginning, Robert Jordan sets the tone of the novel when he thinks it is a very bad sign that he has forgotten Anselmo's name. Although he claims several times in the book that he is not superstitious, his thoughts, words, and actions prove that he is always seeing

"signs" about his fate. Although he is not openly superstitious like some of the Spaniards around him, he is influenced by the mystical. MOOD A gloomy pall hangs over the novel from the first pages. A war rages in the background, and death is all around. Jordan has been sent to blow up a bridge under the most dangerous of circumstances. In the first pages of the book, he admits that he does not have a good feeling about the mission. When he meets Pablo, the guerilla leader who is to help him, things grow worse. Pablo is a sullen and disillusioned man who no longer cares about the war effort. He immediately dislikes Jordan, seeing him as a threat, and later deserts him for awhile. When Pilar reads Jordan's palm, she sees something negative that she is not willing to disclose. Then Jordan is forced to kill several men and, in turn, is injured himself. As the book ends, his death is eminent. There are a few light moments in the novel when Jordan and Maria are together and plan for their future. They are also aware that there may not be a future for them because of the war. As a result, it seems that they are trying to live their entire lives in the little time that they have together. In the end, Jordan sends Maria away to safety as he is left to die alone. CONFLICT Protagonist Robert Jordan is the protagonist of the novel. Fighting for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, he accepts a mission to destroy a bridge in the Sierra Mountains. Since the bridge cannot be destroyed until after an attack on the enemy begins, it is a highly risky mission. Initially Jordan is dedicated and determined to carry out his orders; but somewhere along the line, he becomes disenchanted with the war. He even questions the correctness of his mission after he kills a fascist cavalryman and falls in love with Maria. Antagonist Robert Jordan must fight both external and internal antagonists. The external conflict, caused by the war in which he is fighting, is the dangerous assignment he has been given, which could cost him his life. He must blow up the bridge only after an attack on the enemy has begun; as a result, it must be accomplished in daylight, making his escape more difficult. His task is made worse by the lack of cooperation he receives from Pablo and his guerilla band, which has been assigned to support him, and by the fact that the fascists have learned about the planned offensive against them,

guaranteeing a counter-offensive. Jordan must also fight against his own emotions. Although he is very enthusiastic at the beginning of his assignment, he becomes weary and disenchanted with the entire war effort during the course of the novel. He longs to settle down to a peaceful existence with Maria. Climax When Jordan tries to escape on horseback after he has blown up the bridge, the fascist cavalry starts firing at him from behind. When he falls and breaks his leg, it is the turning point of the plot. One moment Jordan is trying to escape to a future with Maria, and the next moment he is lying seriously injured on the ground. The tragic ending of the novel is clear at this moment.

Outcome The outcome of the novel is a tragedy, with Jordan lying on the ground in the forest, waiting for either the enemy or death, whichever reaches him first. He pleads with Maria to leave him so that at least one of them survives. Although his dreams are destroyed and death is eminent, he displays the typical Hemingway grace under pressure, accepting his end in a noble way and trying to help the others to escape the enemy. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) Robert Jordan, an American expert in dynamite, is fighting for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. A Russian officer, General Golz, sends him on a dangerous mission to destroy an important bridge in the Sierra Mountains. Anselmo, an old Spaniard, guides Jordan through the enemy lines to see the bridge, which is guarded by fascists at both ends, and to meet a guerilla band, which is to aid him in his mission. The head of the guerilla band is Pablo, a sullen and uncooperative man, who hides out with his men in a cave. From the beginning, he thinks of Jordan as an alien and fears that he has really come to displace his band from the mountains. He becomes further concerned when he learns from Jordan that Kashkin, Jordan's predecessor who had helped to blow up an enemy train, is not dead. When the men sit down to eat and drink wine, Maria enters, bringing food. She is a Spanish girl, who was rescued by the guerilla band after the train incident. Jordan is

instantly attracted to her. Jordan also meets Pilar, Pablo's woman, who fights with the band. She encourages Jordan to pursue a courtship with Maria, but she warns him to take care of her, for Maria has undergone tremendous trauma. Jordan and Anselmo leave to inspect the bridge. Jordan sketches it and takes notes about the best way to place the explosives. On the way back to the cave, the two men discuss war. Anselmo believes it a sin to kill, even in war, but he says he will do it for the cause. Jordan says he is also fully prepared to kill the enemy. Near the cave, Agustin, who is serving as guard, challenges their approach. When he learns their identities, he warns Jordan to protect his explosives from Pablo. A hush descends on the cave as Jordan enters, indicating that the band of guerillas has been talking about him. Pablo addresses Jordan and voices his disapproval of the mission. Pilar, however, interrupts to say that she supports the demolition of the bridge. Pablo sullenly departs the cave to go out and tend his horses. As Jordan follows Pablo, Rafael stops him and tells him he should kill Pablo. Back in the cave, Pilar is disturbed that El Sordo, another guerilla leader, has not put in an appearance. They make a plan to go and visit him the next day. When everyone adjourns for the night, Maria comes and joins Jordan. The sound of fascist airplanes wakes them in the morning. When Jordan gets up and goes into the cave, he hears Pilar asking Fernando what news he has brought from La Granja. Fernando says that there is talk about the Republican offensive. This news upsets Jordan, for the planned attack should have remained confidential. If everyone knows about it, the fascists are sure to be planning a counter-offensive. Pilar, Maria, and Jordan leave for Sordo's camp. Along the way, Pilar recounts incidents from the past. She talks about the massacre of fascists in Anila, the town from which Pablo has come. When they arrive at Sordo's cave, he greets them and offers Jordan whiskey. In the course of their discussion, both Sordo and Jordan agree that night would be a better time to attack the enemy and blow up the bridge; unfortunately, their orders do not permit it. As they discuss the planned daytime attack, Jordan and Sordo realize they do not have enough horses for the mission. Sordo volunteers to steal some after Jordan departs. Returning to the area of Pablo's cave, Jordan goes to find Anselmo, who has been left behind as a guard and a spy on enemy movement. When he returns to the cave, he and Pablo get into another fight. After Pablo goes out, all the others encourage Jordan to kill him; but Pablo disarms them with politeness when he comes back, averting the crisis.

The next morning, Jordan awakes to the sound of an approaching cavalryman. Recognizing the uniform as fascist, he kills the man and orders the others to take their posts. When four other fascists come in range, Jordan prevents the men from firing, not wanting to provoke a confrontation. Before long they hear gunfire coming from the area of Sordo's camp. Sordo has been trapped on a hilltop under fire from fascist planes. The fascist leader, Lieutenant Berrendo, orders his men to cut off the heads of Sordo's band. Anselmo later sees the headless bodies. Since the fascists are taking the offensive, Jordan dispatches a note for General Golz, asking him to cancel the guerilla attack and destruction of the bridge. Hoping to receive a positive response the next day, he retires for the night with Maria, who tells him about her traumatic past. At two o'clock in the morning, Pilar awakes Jordan to inform him that his sacks of explosives have been slit open, and Pablo has departed. When Jordan goes to inspect his sacks, he finds that the exploder, detonators, fuse, and caps are missing. Pablo has also taken two horses with him. Jordan is appropriately enraged. Jordan comes up with a plan to use some grenades as detonators. When she hears of the plan, Pilar bravely volunteers to take Pablo's place at the lower post. Suddenly Pablo returns and confesses that he has thrown the explosives in the river. As a conciliatory gesture, he has brought men from other bands to assist them in the attack on the fascists forces. Andres, the messenger sent to Golz with Jordan's request, does not succeed in reaching him in time. As a result, the Republican planes take off and the shelling of the fascists begins. Pablo goes to his lower post and begins an attack. Jordan now has no choice but to commence his mission. He approaches the bridge and kills the sentry. He places the explosives on the bridge with Anselmo's help. By the time he finishes, he sees that the guerillas are retreating from the upper post and that Fernando is badly wounded. Jordan hands to Anselmo the coil of wire coming out of one set of the explosives and signals him to pull on it. When the explosion occurs, the center of the bridge drops into the gorge, and Anselmo is killed. The remaining guerillas rush to the appointed place, where Maria is holding the horses. They quickly mount and gallop away as the fascists begin to fire. Jordan's horse is hit. He is thrown from the animal, crushing his left leg. He is dragged to a spot away from the gunfire, but Jordan knows that death his eminent. He urges Maria to leave and save herself. As Maria, Pablo, and Pilar depart,

Agustin offers to shoot Jordan, sparing him from capture or death from the fascist enemy, but Jordan refuses. He feels he may be able to slow down the enemy so that Maria can reach safety. As the book ends, Jordan waits with his gun for the fascist cavalry to come into range.

Far From the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy

KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING In his novels, Hardy firmly establishes the imaginative world of Wessex as the setting for the drama of his main characters. Far from the Madding Crowd is set against the landscape around Norcombe Hill and the village of Weatherbury. The pastoral setting of the novel is emphasized by such rustic occupations as sheep washing, sheep shearing, and the buying and selling of sheep at the Annual Fair at Greenhill. References are also made to farming, harvesting, haymaking, and the transactions at Casterbridge market. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Bathsheba Everdene - the heroine of the novel who is extremely susceptible to flattery and jealousy. She has a deeply emotional nature and a highly romantic temperament. She is also endowed with self-confidence, efficiency, a sympathetic nature, dignity, and maidenly purity. and candor. Gabriel Oak - the hero of the novel and the bailiff of Bathsheba. His striking qualities are his devotion and loyalty to Bathsheba, his sense of duty, his simplicity and straight-forwardness, his capacity for endurance, his self-respect, kindness and sympathy and above all his modesty, humility, and his sense of humor. Sergeant Troy - a dissembler, a philanderer and a flatterer who lives in the present. He is a selfish man with social charm and a sinner who is incapable of remorse. He hides his love affair with Fanny and marries Bathsheba.

Farmer Boldwood - a man who has a wild and uncontrollable passion for Bathsheba. A strong gentleman who is fair in all his dealings, he is endowed with a sympathetic nature. There is a streak of insanity in his nature. Fanny Robin - an innocent woman noted for purity and concentration in love, used by the philanderer Troy. Minor Characters Joseph Poorgrass, - a self-conscious, modest, bashful but humorous rustic and a carter on Bathsheba's farm. He has a taste for strong drink. Jan Coggan - a respectable, young rustic who can narrate interesting anecdotes with a sense of humor. He is middle-aged, twice married, and a master shearer. Henery Fray - an amusing rustic character. He is a farm hand who aspires to be Bathsheba's bailiff. The old maltster - another amusing rustic character. Cain Ball - under-shepherd to Gabriel Oak Matthew Moon - another general farm hand Laban Tall - a young farm hand, henpecked by his older wife. He later becomes the clerk of the parish. Mrs. Hurst - Bathsheba's aunt Liddy Smallbury - Bathsheba's maid Jacob Smallbury - Bathsheba's farmhand Bill Smallbury - Bathsheba's farmhand Maryann Money - Bathsheba's chairwoman Mrs. Coggan - a maid employed by Bathsheba. CONFLICT

Protagonist: Gabriel Oak, a devoted lover of Bathsheba, he waits patiently through the years for the approval of Bathsheba. Antagonists: The antagonist is winning the love of Bathsheba. The first obstacle is Bathsheba's pride and vanity, which makes her reject Gabriel in the belief that he is not good enough for her. The second obstacle is Sergeant Troy, who hides his love affair with Fanny Robin and marries Bathsheba. The third obstacle is Farmer Boldwood who has an uncontrollable obsession for Bathsheba and plans to marry her if Troy does not reappear. Climax: In chapter fifty-two, the climax occurs when Troy makes his reappearance at the party hosted by farmer Boldwood after he has been thought dead. Boldwood, driven to insanity by his obsession for Bathsheba, kills Troy. This frees the path for Gabriel to marry a much-matured Bathsheba, who now recognizes his genuine worth and goodness.

Outcome: The story ends in a comedy for Gabriel, for he finally marries Bathsheba. Unfortunately, it is Troy's death at the hands of Boldwood that clears the way for Gabriel to realize his dream. PLOT (Synopsis) Far from the Madding Crowd narrates the story of the love of three men, Gabriel Oak, Farmer Boldwood, and Sergeant Troy, for the same woman, Bathsheba Everdene. Gabriel Oak is the protagonist of the novel, and the other two men are his antagonists, standing in the way of his marrying Bathsheba. Bathsheba unexpectedly comes into possession of her rich uncle's farm and property. The shepherd Gabriel serves the young and spirited Bathsheba with unselfish devotion. He is the first to fall in love with her. He proposes marriage to her even before she acquires her uncle's property and is rejected. Bathsheba depends greatly on Gabriel's support but does not regard him as a suitor. Another of her admirers is the neighboring farmer, Boldwood; but Bathsheba does not love him either. The dashing Sergeant Troy loves one of Bathsheba's servants, Fanny Robin. However, after a misunderstanding, he deserts the woman. Eventually, she dies in childbirth in the workhouse. Meanwhile, Troy has captivated and married Bathsheba, but he soon begins to neglect and mistreat her.

When he hears of Fanny's death, he leaves the farm. Soon Bathsheba receives a report that Troy has been drowned. Actually, Troy is alive. Believing that Bathsheba has become a widow, Boldwood, during a party, urges her to marry him some time in the future. Troy reappears at the party, and Boldwood, driven to madness by his reappearance, shoots him. Boldwood is tried and pronounced insane. Gabriel and Bathsheba are at last married. THEMES Major Theme The major theme of the novel is that true love persists and wins. Three men, Gabriel Oak, Sergeant Troy and Farmer Boldwood, love Bathsheba Everdene. Gabriel Oak loves her dearly, but his initial love petition to Bathsheba is rejected. Troy is a philanderer who charms Bathsheba, hides his love affair with Fanny, and marries Bathsheba. The marriage is an unhappy one and is terminated by Boldwood's shooting of Troy. Boldwood's love for Bathsheba has been an obsession bordering on insanity. Gabriel Oak's patience and true love enable him to win Bathsheba, who realizes the true worth of Gabriel at the end of the novel. Minor Themes One minor theme of the novel is developed through the rustic characters that show that humor is good for the soul. These rustics provide comic relief to the tragic tension of the novel and act as the chorus, commenting on the major events. They provide comedy of character, comedy of situation, and verbal humor arising out of their handling of the language.

Another minor theme is that nature provides a solace to the soul. This theme is developed through the character of Gabriel Oak who lives in peace and harmony with nature, working the land, telling time by the stars, noticing the scurrying of insects and animals, appreciating the beauty of the landscape, and sensing the weather. Because he is at peace with who and what he is, Gabriel, unlike Troy and Boldwood, can wait patiently for Bathsheba. In the end, he wins his true love, largely because he has served her well on the land.

MOOD The essential mood of the novel is serious and tragic. This mood, however, is often relieved by the comic mood, provided by the rustic characters in the nove

Great Expectations
Charles Dickens

1860 - 61 SETTING The action of Great Expectations takes place in a limited geography between a small village at the edge of the North Kent marshes, a market town in which Satis House is located, and the greater city of London. The protagonist, Pip, grows up in the marsh village. Eventually he becomes a frequent visitor to Satis House, located in the market town. Upon inheriting a good deal of money, he moves to London, where he is taught to be a gentleman. Throughout the novel, Pip travels between these three locations in pursuit of his great expectations. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Pip Philip Pirip. He is the narrator and hero of the novel. He is a sensitive orphan raised by his sister and brother-in-law in rural Kent. After showing kindness to an escaped convict, he becomes the beneficiary of a great estate. He rejects his common upbringing in favor of a more refined life in London, unaware that his benefactor is actually the convict. By the end of the novel he learns a great lesson about friendship and loyalty, and gives up his "great expectations" in order to be more true to his past. Joe Gargery A simple and honest blacksmith, and the long-suffering husband of Mrs. Joe. He is Pip's brother-in-law, as well as a loyal friend and ally. He loves and supports Pip

unconditionally, even when Pip is ashamed of him and abandons him. By the end of the novel, Pip realizes the true worth of Joe's friendship. Miss Havisham A bitter and eccentric old lady who was long ago jilted on her wedding day. She continues to wear her faded wedding gown, though it is old and yellowed. The cake, rotted after all these years, still adorns her dining room table. Twisted by her own hatred and resentment, she lives in cobwebbed darkness with her adopted daughter Estella, whom she has raised to be a man-hater. Estella The beautiful adopted daughter of Miss Havisham. Haughty and contemptuous, she is a girl with a very cold heart. She has been brought up to wreak revenge on the male sex on Miss Havisham's behalf. She is honest with Pip when she tells him she is incapable of returning his love.

Magwitch (also known as Provis and Campbell) An escaped convict who initially bullies Pip into bringing him food and a file. Unbeknownst to Pip, the convict later rewards him by bequeathing him a large amount of money anonymously. He comes back into Pip's life when Pip is an adult, revealing himself as the donor, and asks for help in escaping the death sentence he has been given as a result of his life of crime. Minor Characters Mrs. Joe Gargery Pip's sister. She is a short-tempered woman who resents Pip because he is a burden to her. She is attacked with a leg-iron and spends the rest of her life unable to communicate because of a brain-injury. She learns to be patient and forgiving as a result of the attack. Biddy Wopsle Pip's confidante and teacher. As a child, she develops a crush on Pip. She runs the house after Mrs. Joe's accident and later marries Joe.

Mr. Wopsle A parish lay clerk who had formerly wanted to be a clergyman. He leaves his church to become a not-so-successful actor in London. His "great expectations" are in comic parallel to Pip's. Mr. Pumblechook Joe's uncle. He joins Mrs. Joe in bullying and resenting Pip, then takes some credit for Pip's good fortune. Mr. and Mrs. Hubble Friends of Mrs. Joe. Orlick Joe's employee. He is an evil character who attacks Mrs. Joe and also attempts to take Pip's life. Later he robs Mr. Pumblechook and ends up in jail. Mr. Jaggers A criminal lawyer in London. He is well respected in his own dubious social circle, and is most well known for his ability to defend even the dregs of society. He is the administrator of Pip's inheritance. Wemmick Jaggers' confidential clerk. He is a good-natured man in his personal life, but is incredibly stern and officious in his professional life. Pip often remarks that Wemmick has two personalities. He becomes an advisor and friend to Pip. Herbert Pocket Pip's elegant and artlessly optimistic best friend. Though living in genteel poverty, he is an example of an uncommon gentleman. Mr. Matthew Pocket Pip's teacher and Herbert's father. He is a thoroughly educated gentleman under whom Pip is to learn. He is the only member of the family who does not flatter Mrs. Havisham; as a result, she is not happy with him.

Bentley Drummle A sulking brute who eventually marries Estella then mistreats her. Startop A tenant of Mr. Pocket and a friend of Pip. Molly Jaggers' housekeeper. She was once accused of murder but acquitted. She turns out to be Estella's mother. Miss Skiffins Wemmick's girlfriend and later, bride. Clara Herbert Pocket's girlfriend and later, bride. Mrs. Brandley The old widow with whom Estella lives in Richmond. Mrs. Whimple An elderly woman at whose house Pip and Herbert lodge Magwitch in order to hide him. Compeyson Magwitch's onetime partner in crime. It is his fault Magwitch is sentenced to prison. He becomes an informant to the police and helps recapture Magwitch. CONFLICT Protagonist The protagonist of this novel is Philip Pirip, called Pip. Pip is a sensitive child, orphaned and living under the care of his sister and her husband. His sister resents him and continually reminds him that he is a burden. His brother-in-law, Joe, is kind to him; in fact, he is the only one who shows Pip any love.

An encounter in his childhood leads Pip to aid an escaped convict. In order to repay Pip, the convict secretly bestows him with large sums of money, so that Pip's dream of becoming a gentleman is realized. Pip changes on acquiring wealth and status; his childhood home and friends are embarrassing to him. In trying to live up to his own great expectations, he loses his sense of judgment and begins to value material possessions and gentlemanly pretensions more than kindness and friendship. On realizing that his patron is a convict, and that he has forsaken everyone who loved him in this false attempt to be a gentleman, Pip mends his way of life and returns to his good-natured self, more mature as a result of his experience.

Antagonist The antagonist in this novel is not a person as much as it is an expectation, or rather, a set of expectations. Pip is led into making grave mistakes based on his false expectation of being a gentleman, his false expectation of marrying Estella, and his general false expectation of rising above his past. In the process of living out these expectations, Pip hurts the people who have been kindest to him -- namely Joe and Biddy. In the end, he learns that all his aspirations have been based on a false presumption that he could rise above his past and be something better than Joe or Biddy. His wealth comes from a convict, and his newfound airs of being a gentleman dissolve in the realization that things are not what he has thought. He learns that true worth comes from inside a man, and turns away from his once-great expectations. At times, actual characters seem menacing or dangerous, qualities usually associated with antagonists. Orlick, for example, is Pip's first enemy. He resents Pip and seriously wounds Mrs. Joe. Later, he tries to kill Pip. Drummle, for his part, is known as the "Spider." He baits Pip continually and steals Estella away as his wife, only to abuse her. Compeyson haunts Pip and Magwitch, eventually causing Magwitch serious wounds and successfully aiding the police in capturing him. These three, more than any other characters, provide the texture of the dramatic tension in the novel. Estella and Miss Havisham occupy a special place in the dramatic breakdown of the novel as well. For some time, both are mildly threatening characters; Estella with her alternating cruelty and kindness and Miss Havisham with her morbid dress and rotten cake. Bitterness has led Miss Havisham to train Estella in coldness. And Estella herself warns Pip with certainty that she can only hurt him and that she is not capable of returning his love. In the end, Miss Havisham repents of her bitterness and Estella and Pip part as friends, but roles of these two women in sustaining the dramatic tension of the novel cannot be ignored.

Climax The climax occurs when Pip learns the identity of his benefactor. In that moment, all his great expectations dissolve into shame of the convict and disgust with himself for his gradual change. He knows now that he is not destined to marry Estella, nor is he any less common than he was as a blacksmith's apprentice. As well, he is obligated to protect his benefactor out of loyalty and gratitude. The foundation of assumptions and expectations on which he has built his life is completely shaken. Outcome Pip lays aside his expectations of greatness. He protects his benefactor and realizes that this convict has been more loyal to him than he has been to Joe. He makes sure he will not have access to any more of the convict's money and acknowledges the dignity of laboring for his own keep. He apologizes to Joe and Biddy for his lack of loyalty to them. Finally, eleven years later, he meets Estella and is able to part from her as friends. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) As a young child, the orphan Pip lives with his sister and brother-in-law, the village blacksmith. On Christmas Eve, Pip is walking through the marshes when he meets an escaped convict who threatens him into bringing back food and a file to break the legirons. On Christmas Day, the convict is captured and returned to the prison ships known as The Hulks. He never reveals Pip's assistance when he is caught and asked how he escaped his irons. Much later, young Pip is sent to entertain Miss Havisham, a wealthy old lady who lives in a mansion known as Satis House. Miss Havisham is a bitter woman who was jilted on her wedding day long ago. She still wears her wedding gown, and the nowrotten wedding cake sits atop her dining room table. Her adopted daughter, Estella, is beautiful, and Pip instantly falls in love with her. But Estella is cold and distant. Over time, she softens somewhat toward Pip, but her affection is erratic. She tells him she can never love anyone. Pip is dismissed from Miss Havisham's service and becomes an apprentice to Joe. But Estella has instilled in him a shame in his commonness. He longs to be a gentleman, not a blacksmith. His discontent grows. One day he learns that an anonymous benefactor has left him an enormous sum of money. He is to move to London, where he will be trained to act as a gentleman. A lawyer, Jaggers, will oversee his inheritance. Pip is certain his benefactor is Miss Havisham, and believes he is being trained as Estella's future husband. Pip's happiness is unfathomable as he moves to

London, away from the only family and friends he has ever known. He is educated by Mr. Mathew Pocket and strikes a great friendship with his son, Herbert.

His wealth and position changes him, and soon Pip leads a dissipated life full of idleness. He is ashamed of Joe and Biddy, and wants little to do with them. He thinks association with them will lower him in Estella's eyes. Estella continues to be a powerful factor in his life. She has been trained by Miss Havisham to break men's hearts, and is constantly put in Pip's life to toy with him. Even though she warns him she cannot love him, Pip persists in loving her. On his twenty-fourth birthday, Pip learns that his benefactor is not Miss Havisham, but the convict from long ago. He realizes he is not meant for Estella, and also that Miss Havisham deliberately let him assume incorrectly. As well, he realizes with shame that he has mistreated his good friend Joe, who was always faithful to him. Though Pip is ashamed of the convict, Magwitch, he is grateful and loyal, so he commits himself to protecting Magwitch from the police, who are looking for him. His friend, Herbert Pocket, helps him. Pip's moral education begins. He decides he can no longer accept the convict's money. He becomes compassionate towards Magwitch, realizing the depth of the convict's love for him. He tries to help Magwitch escape, but in the chaos, Magwitch is injured and caught. Magwitch dies, but not before Pip discovers that adopted Estella is Magwitch's daughter and tells Magwitch how lovely she is. Estella marries Pip's enemy, Drummle. Miss Havisham dies, but not before repenting of the bitterness that has ruined her life. She leaves a good deal of money to Herbert Pocket, at Pip's request, in the hope that it will earn her forgiveness. Pip goes to Joe and Biddy, who have married one another since the death of Pip's sister. He atones for his sins against them then sets off on his own, determined to make things right in his life. The novel ends when he meets Estella after many years. She has left Drummle, who has since died. She is remarried. She and Pip part as friends and Pip realizes she will always be a part of his life, as surely as all the other memories of his once-great expectations. THEMES The major themes in the novel are all related to ambition, i.e. "great expectations." Some issues explored under this umbrella theme are greed, envy, pride, arrogance, ingratitude and unkindness. The primary lesson Pip learns is that uncommon-ness on the inside is more important than uncommon-ness on the outside. He learns contentment and humility and returns to the kindness and generosity that

characterized him when he was young. The themes are related to and presented in the Bildungsroman genre, which is explained in the "Background" section of this guide.

MOOD Great Expectations is regarded as Dickens "grotesque tragicomic" conception, probably because of the mix of comedy and tragedy that adorns most of his novels. The opening of the novel is a perfect example of the dual mood. There are moments of touching tragedy and sadness, such as young Pip in a cemetery surrounded by his dead family, and Pip being mistreated by his only surviving relative, Mrs. Joe. At the same time, there is lighthearted comedy, such as when Mr. Pumblechook and Mr. Wopsle weave their tales of how the thief must have stolen the pork pie, when all the time, it was no thief but Pip. Though some of the comic mood is sustained throughout the book, it is definitely not the predominant mood. In fact, the darker moods dominate the text, with mystery and danger always lurking beyond the next page. Miss Havisham presents a grotesque mystery, as does Jaggers' housekeeper Molly. The unknown and the dreaded are always present, especially toward the end of the novel, when grave events and serious complications completely envelop the plot.

Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift
1727 THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES - BIOGRAPHY Gulliver's Travels was an overnight success, a runaway best-seller. And why not? Not only did it smack of mystery and political, social, and sexual scandal, but it's often hilarious, and just about always brilliant. Swift was dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin when his novel came out. Since in this book he wrote about-and often harpooned-prominent political figures, he published the book anonymously. While most readers were trying like mad to find out who the author was, Swift's close friends had great fun keeping the secret. Days after the publication of the Travels, Alexander Pope, one of Swift's dearest friends and the author of such important works as "The Rape of the Lock" and "An Essay on Man,"

wrote him in an especially playful letter: "Motte [Swift's publisher] receiv'd the copy (he tells me) he knew not from whence, nor from whom, dropp'd at his house in the dark, from a Hackney-coach: by computing the time, I found it was after you left England, so for my part, I suspend my judgment." Pope, of course, knew perfectly well that Swift was the author of Gulliver's Travels. London fairly buzzed with speculations, suggestions, and countersuggestions regarding the author's identity, as well as those of some of his characters. In Part I, for example, the Lilliputian Emperor-tyrannical, cruel, corrupt, and obsessed with ceremony-though a timeless symbol of bad government, is also a biting satire of George I, King of England (from 1714 to 1727), during much of Swift's career. The Lilliputian Empress stands for Queen Anne, who blocked Swift's advancement in the Church of England, having taken offense at some of his earlier, signed satires. There are two political parties in Lilliput, the Low-Heels and the High-Heels. These correspond respectively to the Whigs and Tories, the two major British political parties. It didn't take long for people to catch on to the fact that the author was writing about England by way of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms. And it also didn't take long for the public to discover that the author was Jonathan Swift. Not only had he been involved in some of the most important and heated political events of the time, but he was also a well-known political journalist and satirist whose style was, to say the least, distinctive. Swift got his political feet wet in the Glorious Revolution (1688-89), the object of which was to convince James II (king of England from 1685 to 1688) to abdicate the throne. James, a Roman Catholic, sought to increase the power of the Roman Church in England at the expense of the Anglican Church, long considered the country's official church. James' interests ran counter to those of the majority of his subjects, which was bad enough, but his methods-underhanded, blatantly discriminatory against Anglicans (also called Episcopalians), and cruel-made the situation impossible. James did flee England in December 11, 1688, when William of Orange, his son-in-law and a moderate Protestant, arrived with a small army to depose him. James lived the rest of his life in France under the protection of Louis XIV, but the English remained anxious that he or his son would again try to seize the throne.

At this point, Swift was secretary to Sir William Temple, a prominent Whig. Though Swift (an Anglican clergyman, remember) welcomed the Protestant William of Orange, he was uneasy that the monarch was so lenient toward Roman Catholics.

Swift, for example, favored the Test Act, which required all government officials to take the Sacraments according to the rites of the Anglican Church. This measure, of course, would exclude Catholics and other non-Anglicans from holding government posts. This put Swift at odds with the Whig party which, like the king, favored the repeal of the Test Act. By 1710 it became clear that the Whig government would fall. After making sure that the Tories would favor his policies for a strong Church of England, Swift changed parties. All of Part I of the Travels is an allegorical account of British politics during the turbulent early eighteenth century, when the main political parties, the Tories and the Whigs, competed with each other bitterly. England is a limited monarchy. There is a king and/or queen, whose power is checked by Parliament, especially the House of Commons which consists of representatives of the people. In Swift's time the Tories tended to be a more conservative party: they supported a strong monarchy and a strong Church of England; they were hostile to the new mercantile classes; their support came mostly from the landed gentry and clergy. The Whigs, on the other hand, emphasized the parliamentary aspect of the government, supported the rise of the new middle class, and were more religiously tolerant than the Tories. The Whigs were a more varied group than the Tories, and drew support from the new middle class, sectors of the nobility who hadn't profited from James II's abdication, bankers and financiers, as well as Catholics and other non-Anglican members. From 1710 to 1714 Swift, who was now a Tory, remember, was one of the most influential members of the English government. As editor of the Examiner, the Tory party organ, he was also one of the most famous political journalists of his day. He was very close to Oxford and Bolingbroke, heads of the Tories (they also appear, in various "disguises," in Part I). Swift wrote in support of the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which ended the War of the Spanish Succession with France and Spain. This war is recounted allegorically in Book I as the war between Lilliput (England) and Blefuscu (France). While in London Swift worked passionately for his political ideals. He expected that in return for his efforts he'd be rewarded with a bishopric in England. That way he would remain close to London, the center of activity. He was slighted, however, and given the deanship of St. Patrick's in Dublin. This was a blow from which many say Swift never really recovered. He felt as though he'd been banished, unfairly, and in many ways he had been THE NOVEL THE PLOT

Gulliver's Travels is the tale of Lemuel Gulliver as he voyages to the strange lands of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, the kingdom of Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms. In Lilliput people are six inches high, and Gulliver, in comparison, is a giant, or a "Man-Mountain," as they call him. This section of the novel (Part I) is essentially an allegory of English politics in the early eighteenth century when the Whigs and Tories were fighting bitterly for control of the country. Correspondingly, Gulliver becomes involved with the domestic and international dealings of the Lilliputian government. Legislation is drafted and enacted to deal with Gulliver's physical presence and needs; an official document outlining the terms of his freedom is drawn up. One of these terms is that Gulliver must aid the Lilliputians in their war against Blefuscu (Lilliput represents England, Blefuscu, France). Gulliver literally seizes the enemy fleet and strides across the harbor with it back to Lilliput. For a short time he's a hero. But Gulliver intervenes in the peace process, and wins a more advantageous treaty for the Blefuscudians than they would otherwise have had. After that it's downhill for Gulliver in Lilliput. When he urinates onto a fire raging in the palace and thereby saves the royal chambers, he is impeached for disobeying an ordinance prohibiting public urination. This and some other trumped-up charges against Gulliver result in a conviction of high treason, punishable by blinding. Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu, then home to England. Part II, which takes place in the land of Brobdingnag, continues the allegory on English politics. This time, however, it's Gulliver-every inch the Lilliputian among the giant Brobdingnagians-who represents English ways. After a short stint as a working freak, Gulliver is rescued by the king and queen and lives a life of considerable comfort at court. He spends much of his time learning the language and talking with the king about life in England. The king emerges as a fair, merciful ruler and a very sympathetic and humane man. Gulliver, in contrast, seems as petty, vindictive, and cruel as the Lilliputians. One day while on an outing with the king and queen, Gulliver's "box" (his house) is kidnapped by a bird (with him inside), and dropped in the sea, and recovered by an English ship. Gulliver stays in England a while with his family then goes back to sea.

In Part III, where Gulliver goes to the flying island of Laputa and some of its colonies nearby, you get a sort of "allegorical whirlwind tour" of early eighteenth-century scientific activities and attitudes. His first stop is Laputa, where the inhabitants have one eye turned inward and one eye turned up to the sky-they're thinking always of

their own speculations (inward) and of lofty issues in mathematics, astronomy and music (upward). They're so fixated they need "flappers" to box them on the ear to let them know someone is talking to them. The Laputans are so distracted from everyday life that they're barely conscious of their wives (who fornicate with their lovers right in front of them, knowing they'll never be noticed). Because the Laputans are despotic rulers of their colonies, and because they pay precious little attention to Gulliver, he gets sick of them and goes on to the island of Balnibarbi. There Gulliver becomes friendly with Count Munodi, who is the only one on the island who lives in a beautiful, well-built house and whose lands yield crops. The others-Projectors, most of them, engaged in "advanced" scientific research-do everything according to the most "sophisticated" theories. Consequently their houses are in ruins and their lands lie fallow. Gulliver visits the Academy of the Projectors to learn more about them, and witnesses a series of perfectly useless, wasteful experiments. In Glubbdubdrib Gulliver is able to call up historical figures from the past and converse with them. In Luggnagg Gulliver meets the Struldbrugs, a race of people who live forever. They do not have eternal youth, though; rather, they grow perpetually older, more feeble, miserable, and useless. Gulliver returns to England before again setting sail. In Part IV Gulliver, after a mutiny, ends up in the land of the Houyhnhnms (pronounced WHIN-nims). The Houyhnhnms are horses governed totally by reason. They have created a society that is perfectly ordered, perfectly peaceful (except for the Yahoos), and exempt from the topsy-turviness of passion. The Yahoos are humans, but are so bestial that they are human only in outward appearance. The Yahoos are kept in a kennel, and are prohibited from having anything to do with the Houyhnhnms. The Yahoos arrived here by accident. Gulliver tries his best to become a Houyhnhnm-he talks like them, walks like them, tries to think and act like them. He's in the anxious position of being neither a Yahoo nor a Houyhnhnm; he fits nowhere, and because of this he must leave. Gulliver goes mad in Part IV, and can never reconcile himself to other people, whom he considers Yahoos. Neither can he come to terms with the Yahoo part of himself. Back in England, he buys horses and spends most of his time in the stable. He can barely tolerate the presence of his family, and has as little to do with them as possible.

He says that his aim in writing Gulliver's Travels is to correct the Yahoos. Having been exposed to the Houyhnhnms, he feels he is the man for the job. THE CHARACTERS - DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS Swift's characters aren't the well-rounded, "flesh and blood" characters you usually find in a skillfully written novel. His characters are allegorical; that is, they stand for something-an idea, an attitude, a posture-or someone else. It's never simple with Swift. Gulliver, for instance, represents different things at different points in the novel. In Part I Gulliver is solid, decent, and responsible. At times in Lilliput (during the inventory sequence in Chapter II for example), Gulliver stands for Lords Oxford and Bolingbroke. In Part II Gulliver represents a man who under repeated attacks on his ego and self-image succumbs to pettiness and vindictiveness characteristic of the Lilliputians. Swift's allegories are never black and white. Even the Lilliputians have their good points-they are very clever. And the Houyhnhnms, who have created a perfectly orderly society in which there are not even words to describe anger, lying, and disagreement, let alone the more serious vices, have their drawbacks, subtle though they may be. A life without passion may always be calm, but is it life as humans know it, and could live it? Part III may be the exception, in that the Laputans and Projectors do tend to be black and white. Many critics feel that because of this, Swift's satire, from an artistic standpoint, is weaker here than in the other books. You will have to decide this for yourself. Bear in mind that in Gulliver's Travels there's no character you can follow as you can a traditional omniscient narrator. Swift's satire is designed to keep you an independent reader, the characters are meant to stimulate you, not to lead you. LEMUEL GULLIVER Gulliver is the most important character in this novel. He's the "author" of the Travels, he's your tour guide. He's also one of the most vexing characters in English literature. Gulliver's frustrating to deal with for a number of reasons. 1. He's not steady; he changes in relation to the places he visits and the events that befall him as he voyages. 2. He's often a victim of Swift's satire. This means that we have to be on our guard against what he says, and even though he's our guide, we can't follow him everywhere. If we do, he'll lead us into madness. 3. It's impossible to feel relaxed with Gulliver, as we can with a traditional omniscient narrator. Swift won't let us trust him

enough for that. 4. Because Gulliver directs a lot of his hostility toward us-readers beyond reform-we in turn feel hostile toward him. 5. Looking at Gulliver is a lot like looking in a mirror. We are by turns fascinated, attracted, disgusted, and ashamed. You first meet Gulliver at the "end" of his story, in a letter he's written to his publisher. By now Gulliver is out of his mind: he's raving, he's nasty, he lies, he's proud beyond the limits of pride. But he wasn't always. He grew up in Nottinghamshire, the third of five sons in a respectable, middle-class family. While in school he held jobs: as an apprentice, he proved his competence; as a physician, he was able to get work on ships, which had been his lifelong dream. Before Gulliver leaves for Lilliput it can be said that he's reasonably intelligent, hard working, disciplined, alert, and curious. As a traveler in Lilliput he's careful in his observations, complete in his descriptions. Occupied as he is with the surface of things, he's a bit naive. Gulliver is a good, all-around type of guy. But he gets knocked around while he's traveling, and this affects his character. In Lilliput he seems to be eminently fair-minded compared to the cunning, vindictive, petty Lilliputians. Literally a giant in their land, Gulliver never takes unfair advantage of his size in his dealing with them. Though they're violent with him, he never retaliates in kind. In Brobdingnag, land of the giants, Gulliver appears Lilliputian in more ways than one. But his size is a dire problem to him here. He is frequently injured, the king's dwarf takes out his frustrations on tiny Gulliver, but the latter is an improvement for Gulliver-before coming to court, his master hired him out as a freak at village fairs. Gulliver can't keep it together under the strain of repeated attacks on his ego, and in his dealings with the Brobdingnagian king, Gulliver appears as nasty and cruel as the Lilliputians themselves.

Gulliver recedes in Part III. Not much happens to him personally, for the most part he recounts what he observes in the way of scientific experiments. Swift uses Gulliver to relate deadpan what he himself considers to be foolish attitudes and activities. Gulliver goes mad in Part IV. Presented with the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos, Gulliver tries desperately to become a Houyhnhnm, an animal governed entirely by reason. He cannot, of course. Gulliver isn't able to see the Yahoos as Swift intends them to be seen-as representing the worst traits in human nature, and the lowest level to which he might sink. Gulliver sees the Yahoos as mankind, period. Gulliver also

misapprehends the Houyhnhnms. It is only to Gulliver-not to Swift-that these creatures represent a human ideal. Gulliver, neither Yahoo nor Houyhnhnm, can find no species to which he belongs, and so goes mad. When the Travels first came out Swift was attacked for misanthropy, largely on the basis of Gulliver's hostility to humans in Part IV. Highly influential critics, such as William Thackeray (whose novels include Vanity Fair and Henry Esmond, Esq.) equated Gulliver with Swift. This is a misreading of the book, but the notion remains an important part of the early history of critical reaction to Gulliver's Travels. You must come to terms with Gulliver and with the uses Swift has for Gulliver. Be alert for the instances when Swift and Gulliver overlap, when Gulliver says something with which Swift agrees; for the instances when Swift lets us know that Gulliver's viewpoint is one among many; and for the instances when Swift holds Gulliver up for our criticism. THE LILLIPUTIAN EMPEROR On one level, the Lilliputian emperor represents George I of England. Swift had no admiration for this king, and uses Lilliputian court practices allegorically to criticize the English monarch. On another level the tiny emperor represents tyranny, cruelty, lust for power, and corruption. He is a timeless symbol of bad government. FLIMNAP This is a Lilliputian government official who represents Robert Walpole, the Whig prime minister under George I. Walpole was Swift's enemy. THE LILLIPUTIAN EMPRESS The empress represents Queen Anne, who blocked Swift's advancement in the Church of England because she was offended by his writings. The empress bears early responsibility for Gulliver's demise in Lilliput. OTHER ELEMENTS SETTING Written in the form of a travel book, Gulliver's Travels has a variety of settings, each of which symbolizes one or more of Swift's themes. Gulliver stands out in relief against these settings; each brings out different parts of his personality. We get to know Gulliver, and Gulliver gets to know himself, through comparison and contract to those around him. Because the settings change, and Gulliver finds himself in

contrasting situations, Gulliver's viewpoints (as well as our own) are constantly shifting. Part I takes place in Lilliput, where the inhabitants are six inches high, and Gulliver seems a giant. Swift makes his question literal: What is it to be small? What are the many forms of smallness? What is the value of doing things on a small scale? The hazards? Over the years many critics have suggested that in Part I Gulliver is looking down the Great Chain of Being at the Lilliputians who are petty, cruel, benighted. In comparison, Gulliver's (man's) place on the chain seems secure somewhere between animals and angels. Yet this is Swift, so things don't remain so simple. The Lilliputians have the refinement (to Gulliver), the physical attractiveness, and ingenuity we normally associate with human beings. Gulliver's bulk renders him more animallike, in that he is a physical problem in Lilliput. Bestial as he seems at times, Gulliver is the humanitarian.

The Lilliputians represent the Whigs for whom Swift has so much contempt. Their political ways correspond to Whig machinations in Englishgovernment in the early eighteenth century. Part II takes place in Brobdingnag, the land of giants. What does it mean to be big? What are the forms of bigness? The values of it? The hazards in it? Here Gulliver has been said to be looking up the Great Chain of Being-he may seem physically very refined here, but he's no humanitarian. The Brobdingnagians represent what Swift considers good rulers and politicians. Part III constitutes a "whirlwind tour" of Enlightenment intellectual and scientific attitudes and practices. In Part IV, the world is stood on its head-animals rule and people are kept in cages. THEMES The overarching theme of this novel is the question, 'What is it to be human?' You follow Gulliver through four traumatic voyages, you are exposed to a host of creatures and situations and systems of their devising that help you to form an answer to this question. But let's break it down.

1. HUMAN NATURE IS PETTY The Lilliputians and Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians make a good case for the pettiness of human nature. 2. HUMAN NATURE IS MAGNANIMOUS AND JUST The Brobdingnagians and Pedro de Mendez are fine examples of generosity and fairness. 3. MAN IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN PETTINESS ANDMAGNANIMITY There are two ways of looking at this theme: either man is capable of improving himself, or he is not. Bear in mind that Swift was a traditional cleric who held the view that man's task on earth is to better himself spiritually, to get as far as possible from the Yahoo parts of his character. On the other hand, the Yahoos make an extremely strong impression and Gulliver never fully recovers from his exposure to them. It seems it's an individual thing-some people can and some can't. 4. THE SIN OF PRIDE IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SIN OF ALL Gulliver at the end is guilty of pride even as he inveighs against it. He is most like a Yahoo at this moment. Trace the attacks against Gulliver's pride throughout the four books, and the fatal blows to his ego.

5. WHAT IS GOODGOVERNMENT? Contrast the governments of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. 6. WHAT IS THE PROPER PLACE AND USE OF SCIENCE AND THE ABSTRACT DISCIPLINES? Consider the follies committed in Part III. 7. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF TRADITION? Consider the contempt for tradition among the Projectors in Part III. 8. WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF RELIGION?

Is it a means to attain political power, as in Lilliput? Are religious differences really worth going to war over? Is religion a means whereby man might improve himself spiritually? 9. WHAT ARE THE VALUES OF REASON? Consider not only the most sensible aspects of Houyhnhnm society, but Lilliputian ingenuity, Brobdingnagian justice and forbearance, and the kindness and patience of Pedro de Mendez. 10. WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF REASON? Think of the dryness of many Houyhnhnm ways. Think, too, of the ways in which Lilliputians and Laputans distort reason and its powers. Notice that many of these themes contradict each other. Swift was writing to vex you, to startle you into deep reflection, to invite debate. AUTHOR'S STYLE Swift's style is composed chiefly of satire, allegory, and irony. Satire consists of a mocking attack against vices, stupidities, and follies, with an aim to educate, edify, improve. Allegory is one of Swift's most important satirical tools. Allegory is a device in which characters, situations, and places have a significance that goes beyond simply what they are in themselves. Allegory, like satire, is used to teach. The Lilliputians, for example, are allegorical Whigs. The Academy of Projectors is an allegory of the Royal Society. In order to make his devastating case against the Whigs, for example, Swift needs the disguise (the allegory) of the Lilliputians. He could never have actually named real names in his novel. The Yahoos are an allegory for a part of man's nature. Notice how important a part exaggeration plays in Swiftian allegory. Irony is when the intended meaning of a statement or an action is opposite to that which is presented. A fine example of Swiftian irony is when Gulliver says he saw no mercy in the Lilliputian decision to blind him. Gulliver was actually looking for the mercy here, and, of course, there was none to be found. It is also ironic that the Brobdingnagians appear gross, but are filled with beauty. Swiftian satire is a complicated affair. You've seen how even when he's using Gulliver to satirize the Lilliputians, for example, Swift is satirizing Gulliver. And then Swift satirizes the reader by creating a great tension between what is and what appears to be. He seems always to be prodding us, "What do you really think, beneath your nice

appearance, polite ways, and evidence of intelligence?" It's hard not to fall into Swift's trap. The most obvious Swiftian trap, of course, is Gulliver himself, your tour guidean affable, respectable, conscientious man. But if you follow him all the way, he'll lead you to madness.

Swift also satirizes himself through Gulliver. Gulliver ranting that mankind is beyond improvement is Swift flagellating himself for even trying. Yet, of course, there's tension here, too, for Swift has written the book. The tension within Swift is communicated directly to us, for if he fails as a satirist, it's because we've failed as human beings. But Swift satirizes because overridingly he cares, and thinks we, and his efforts, are worth it. POINT OF VIEW Point-of-view in Gulliver's Travels shifts. As Gulliver travels, his viewpoint changes. Though the novel is narrated by Gulliver, he is not an omniscient (all-knowing) narrator. Because Swift frequently satirizes Gulliver, we must be on our guard against what Gulliver would have us believe. Sometimes Gulliver speaks for Swift, and sometimes he doesn't. Swift's aim in this book is for you to come to terms with your ideas on some important questions regarding humanity and to be aware of the factors that influence your beliefs. Like all effective teachers, Swift knows that his audience has to learn to think for itself, and not simply accept everything he tells us through his narrator. FORM AND STRUCTURE The novel is written in the form of a travel book. Swift chose this device because travel tends to change our perspective on the world around us. What may seem strange at the start of a trip may well seem ordinary by the end, or strange in other ways, for different reasons. As Gulliver voyages, and we voyage with him, his (and our) viewpoint changes according to the place(s) in which he finds himself and the things that happen to him there. True to form, Swift also satirizes travel books in Gulliver's Travels. TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST 1

_____ 1. Gulliver's Travels was intended as A. a glorification of eighteenth-century England B. A condemnation of certain human traits C. escapist literature _____ 2. Sizes and measurements in Lilliput become normal if we multiply everything by A. four B. six C. twelve _____ 3. Gulliver finds the Lilliputians A. proud and corrupt B. ingenious and forgiving C. suspicious but fun-loving _____ 4. Gulliver falls into disfavor with the Emperor A. because of the way he put out the palace fire B. when he refuses to help him enslave Blefuscu C. when a rumor spreads of a scandal involving Gulliver and the wife of a high official

_____ 5. Gulliver's friend among the Lilliputian officials is A. Bolgolam B. Flimnap C. Reldresal _____ 6. Which statement is true? A. the King of Blefuscu turns out to be kinder than the Emperor of Lilliput B. after returning to England, Gulliver made a fortune in exhibiting one of the little people he had hidden in his pocket C. important positions in Lilliput were given out according to an individual's height. _____ 7. The Prince of Lilliput walked with a hobble because

A. he was born lame B. he was wounded in the battle with the Blefuscudians C. the heels of one of his shoes was slightly higher than the other _____ 8. Gulliver finds the size of the Brobdingnagians A. magnifies their physical blemishes to the point of disgust B. helps him appreciate the beauty of his English countrymen C. arouses a feeling of envy within him _____ 9. Which is true? A. Gulliver is almost killed by a hazelnut thrown at him during his performance B. Gulliver's performance at the Green Eagle Inn consists of singing and dancing C. The farmer is very careful not to exhaust Gulliver with too many performances as it might ruin a very profitable business _____ 10. After listening to Gulliver's account of life in England, the King A. mildly reprimands him for inventing this "fiction" B. pronounces his sympathies are with the Whigs C. expresses an opinion about the Whigs and Tories which is similar to Gulliver's opinion about the Big-Endians and Little-Endians 11. Swift has been called one of the greatest satirists in the English language. Describe Swiftian satire. 12. On the basis of Gulliver's Travels, discuss Swift's notions of a good and just government. 13. Find support in the Travels for the statement, "Human nature is petty." 14. Find support in the Travels for the statement, "Human nature is magnanimous and just." 15. Discuss the limits of reason as found in Gulliver's Travels. TEST 2 _____ 1. Gulliver is forced to defend himself against

A. the royal dwarf B. the flies and wasps C. the beggars of Brobdingnag _____ 2. The episode with the Queen's maids of honor A. reflects the moral behavior of English court ladies B. shows Swift's avoidance of gross physical details C. shows that palace intrigues do not depend on the size of the participants _____ 3. Gulliver leaves the land of the giants when the A. Kings orders his expulsion B. nurse reluctantly helps him build a boat C. box he was left in is carried away by an eagle _____ 4. Which is not true of the scientists of Laputa? A. they need servants to remind them they are in the middle of a conversation B. their wives deceive them at every opportunity C. their experiments are aimed at improving the standard of living _____ 5. Which is an undertaking of the Academy of Projectors? A. extracting sunbeams from cucumbers B. transmuting lead into gold C. growing wool on animals other than sheep

_____ 6. The Struldbrugs are A. happy because they live forever B. miserable because they lose their youth and health at the same age as mortals C. the teachers and purveyors of wisdom because of their unlimited experience _____ 7. The Houyhnhnms at first do not regard Gulliver as a Yahoo because of his A. clothing B. speech C. ability to survive on his own

_____ 8. Gulliver explains to the Houyhnhnms that the rulers in his land govern A. by virtue of their power of reasoning far beyond that of the brutish Yahoos B. an intricate system of succession and parliamentary rules C. by circumventing their physical inefficiency with weapons _____ 9. The most despicable characteristic of the Yahoos is A. pride B. greed C. ambition _____ 10. The visit to the country of the Houyhnhnms A. leaves Gulliver insane B. proves the possibility of "educating" the animal world C. convinces Gulliver that there is no real difference between men and beasts 11. Discuss the ways in which Swift plays with notions of "big" and "small" inGulliver's Travels. 12. Discuss Swift's handling of pride in the Travels. 13. What is the function of religion in Gulliver's Travels? 14. Discuss Swift and his relationship to the Enlightenment. 15. Why is Gulliver's Travels relevant today? TEST 1 1. B 2. B 3. A 4. B 5. C 6. A

7. C 8. A 9. A 10. C 11. Think in terms of two things: the objects of Swift's satire, and the techniques that go into Swift's satire. Think back over the novel. In Part I, for example, Swift satirizes the court of George I. His primary satirical device here is allegory-the Lilliputian government leaders stand for Whig leaders in the tumultuous years between 1708 and 1726. In Part II it is Gulliver who represents English attitudes Swift wishes to criticize. In Part III the Projectors are allegories for certain members of the Royal Society, whom Swift was attacking satirically. In Part IV the allegories are not so clear-cut; the Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are both exaggerated representations. Just as the Houyhnhnms aren't intended to represent Swift's human ideal, neither do the Yahoos represent his opinion of mankind. It is Gulliver, because he can't see Swift's distinction, who is the brunt of Swift's satire. Go through the book carefully, taking special note of the ways in which Swift uses allegory, irony, and shifts in perspective to launch his attacks. 12. Compare the Lilliputian emperor with the Brobdingnagian king. Also, consider the role of government in the funding of scientific and academic research. Think in terms of Part III as you reflect on the second part of this question.

13. Start by examining the attitudes and practices of the Lilliputians, the many ways in which they are small. Then take a close at look at Gulliver and the ways in which he's Lilliputian compared to the king of Brobdingnag. Don't forget to reflect on the Laputans and Projectors and the extent to which they allow themselves to be cut off from the world because of their individual abstract preoccupations. 14. Think about Gulliver and the restraint, patience, and faithfulness to justice he shows in Part I. Consider the king of Brobdingnag, the kindness he and his wife show Gulliver, and the ways in which he governs his country. Think, too, of the courtesy he shows Gulliver even after Gulliver tells him about gunpowder. As you're answering

this question break down the Houyhnhnm composite. Owing to their great stores of reason, the Houyhnhnms have eradicated vices such as lying, corruption, infidelity, etc., from their society. In certain ways their society does reflect the best we're capable of-enduring peace, for one. Don't forget Captain Pedro de Mendez, who is exceedingly kind to Gulliver at the end of Part IV. 15. In answering Question 14 you thought about the admirable aspects of a society governed entirely by reason. Now think about the aspects of life among the Houyhnhnms that are less attractive, less desirable, less human. For example, there is no feeling of kinship among the Houyhnhnms. Neither is there any such thing as falling in love. The personal joys connected with conceiving a baby, giving birth, and raising a family are nonexistent. Even life itself seems less precious-no one minds dying, and no one mourns the death of anyone else. TEST 2 ANSWERS 1. B 2. A 3. C 4. C 5. A 6. B 7. A 8. C 9. B 10. A 11. Consider Gulliver when he appeared very big in the land of Lilliput. In many ways he was grotesque. Yet finally it was the Lilliputians, fine and small though they are, who proved to truly be grotesque. Think now of the Brobdingnagians. Physically they are repulsive to Gulliver, as grotesque as he was in Lilliput. Yet it is the giants compared to Gulliver who are refined.

Swift accomplishes two things here. The Lilliputians are literally small; they are also figuratively small (small-minded and narrow of spirit). To the eye they're attractive, yet to the mind's eye they're not. The Brobdingnagians are literally and figuratively big (large in their sympathies, big-hearted, open-minded). To the eye they're not pleasant to look at, yet how they please the mind's eye!

Think as well of the ways in which Gulliver when he feels (and is) so small, tries to make himself bigger. To cite the most obvious example, he tries to impress the king with the powers of gunpowder. Consider, too, how awful it is for Gulliver to be small, how shameful he begins to feel, how violent and disgusted and vengeful. 12. This question is linked to Question 11, dealing with notions of "big" and "little." Think about the tiny Lilliputians and their grandiose ceremonies, their imposing bureaucracy, and the craftiness with which they exact their revenge. Think, too, about Gulliver in Part II, and the repeated attacks to his self-image and feelings of security he's often injured, made fun of by the dwarf, hired out as a freak, loved more as a puppy than a man, etc. In answering this question deal with both the evidences of pride and the factors that lessen our vulnerability to the sin of pride. Keep in mind that in Part IV Gulliver is lost because he's totally isolated. He's neither a Yahoo nor a Houyhnhnm; in other words, he retreats from being human, part animal/part man. The Yahoos, you remember, are savage at least partly because they're cut off from their Yahoo society. 13. Religion has various functions in this novel. In Lilliput it is a means to attain power and an excuse by which to dominate even enslave-others. Since you know that the Lilliputians stand for the Whigs, Swift's enemies, you can deduce Swift's opinion on religion as handled by the Lilliputians. In Part III, where tradition has no place, religion has no value. The closest they come here is astrology, if you consider religion to be primarily mystical. If you consider religion as a constant, guiding force in a person's life, then in Part III abstract science constitutes religion. The Houyhnhnms have no need of religion. There is nothing they question, nothing that awes them, nothing that frightens them. Swift evidently finds this an impossibly sterile way to be alive.

It's important to consider that Gulliver is lost because he doesn't understand what Swift thinks is the function of religion. For Swift, religion helps man to improve himself spiritually while he is on earth. Gulliver misunderstands Swift's presenting him with the Yahoos. Gulliver thinks that people are Yahoos; Swift's message is that Yahoos are what we must strive to not become. 14. You know already that the Enlightenment was an age that exalted the powers of reason, that believed that man was essentially good (and therefore needful of the redemption prescribed by traditional religion), that valued above all else that which was new. The Enlightenment was the beginning of the modern age. Think of Swift and his satire in Part III against the Royal Society. Think, too, of his sympathetic Count Munodi. Examine carefully the limits of reason as they appear in Part IV. 15. For starters, Swift is dealing with human nature, the abiding weaknesses and strengths of people. We certainly haven't solved the problems of government, so Swift's work is far from dated on that score. Just as Swift was on the brink of the modern age, we are new to the nuclear age. Gunpowder was the worst weapon on earth during Swift's lifetime; today we have nuclear bombs. What do you think Swift would have thought of the A-bomb? What do you think he'd have thought of our government subsidizing billions of dollars of research into nuclear arms? And of many of our brightest young scientists seeking to be involved in this research?

William Shakespeare

SETTING The play is set at Elsinore, the royal court of the King of Denmark. The play begins in the open battlements of the castle on a bitterly cold night, then shifts inside the castle to the formality and conventions of the court. A total of two scenes take place on the battlements; the rest occur in various locations inside the royal court, except for a brief scene at the cemetery.

CHARACTERS Major Characters Hamlet The Prince of Denmark. Hamlet is the central character and protagonist of the play. His father, the King, has recently died, and his mother has remarried within weeks of his death, causing Hamlet great unhappiness. The ghost of his father tells him that he was murdered and that his uncle, the new King, is responsible. Hamlet becomes fixed on vengeance for his father and feigns insanity as a means of executing his plot. Claudius The present King of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle. He succeeds to the throne by murdering his brother and incestuously marrying his sister-in-law. He is devious and manipulative, except for one moment of fearful regret. Gertrude Hamlet's mother and the foolish, weak-willed Queen of Denmark. She is accidentally killed in the finale by drinking poisoned wine that Claudius intended for Hamlet. Ophelia Polonius' daughter. She loves Hamlet but is forbidden to see him at the request of her father. Later, when her father commands her to receive Hamlet, she is rejected. Hamlet's "madness" and her father's death are unbearable to her, and she has a breakdown. She drowns in the creek in what is probably a suicide. Polonius Ophelia's father and the Lord Chamberlain of Elsinore. He has an annoying habit of spying and eavesdropping. He is a pompous and wordy fool who is accidentally killed by Hamlet when he is mistaken for King Claudius.

Minor Characters Horatio

Hamlet's loyal friend and confidante. He is a scholar and philosopher, as well as the first character to speak to the Ghost. He is the only person on whom Hamlet can rely in times of adversity. At the end of the play, Hamlet gives him the responsibility to "report me and my cause aright /To the unsatisfied." Laertes The hot-headed son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. He is a man of action and represents a distinct contrast to Hamlet. He orders Ophelia not to reciprocate Hamlet's love. Near the end of the play, he challenges Hamlet to a duel to avenge the deaths of his father and sister. He willingly conspires with Claudius and uses a poisoned foil to ensure Hamlet's death. In the end, he confesses all to Hamlet before both men die. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - former friends of Prince Hamlet. They conspire with Claudius to spy on Hamlet. Their alliance with Claudius eventually leads to their deaths. Fortinbras Prince of Norway. He is an aggressive leader who longs to recover the lands and power lost by his father in a past battle with Denmark. Eventually, he is asked by Hamlet to rule Denmark in the aftermath of the tragedy. Marcellus, Francisco, and Bernardo Danish officers on watch on the battlements. They are the first to see the Ghost. Osric A foppish young courtier who organizes the duel between Hamlet and Laertes. Voltimand and Cornelius Danish courtiers who are sent to Norway by Claudius. They return to announce Fortinbras' friendship with Denmark. Reynaldo The patient and persevering servant of Polonius. The Gravediggers

Clownish figures who dig Ophelia's grave and provide comic relief before the culminating tragic scene. The Ghost of Hamlet's Father An apparition that reveals how Claudius treacherously murdered him by pouring poison in his ear. A group of strolling players Traveling actors whom Hamlet enlists to re-enact the murder scene at the court. CONFLICT Protagonist The protagonist of the play is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. When the play opens, Hamlet has been summoned from the University at Wittenberg on account of the sudden death of his father, who supposedly died from snakebite. He returns to find that his mother has already wed his father's brother. The hasty marriage and sudden death cause Hamlet a considerable degree of unhappiness. His trouble is intensified when the Ghost of his dead father tells him his death was not accidental; instead it was a murder carefully perpetrated by his own brother Claudius, the new King of Denmark. The Ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his death. Hamlet struggles with the duty left to him, unsure of how to proceed. In the end, he does exact vengeance, but at the cost of his own life and the lives of those dearest to him. Antagonist Claudius is Hamlet's antagonist and the villain of the play. He begins his evil deeds by murdering his own brother (Hamlet's father), then marrying his widowed wife (Hamlet's mother). Hamlet learns from the ghost of his father that Claudius is the murderer; as a result, he spends the entire play trying to gain his revenge against Claudius. When Claudius realizes that Hamlet has begun to suspect him, he arranges to have the Prince killed. When his first plan fails, he creates several back-up plans with the assistance of Laertes, a hasty and impulsive young man whose sister Ophelia has been in love with Hamlet. Though his plot succeeds in killing Hamlet, he also dies in the final moments of the play. Hamlet stabs him, then forces him to drink poisoned wine.

Climax The climax of the play is the Hamlet-Laertes duel. Claudius has fixed the outcome of the duel in such a way that Hamlet will perish no matter what. But there are also several events related to the duel. Queen Gertrude accidentally drinks some poison intended for Hamlet and dies. Hamlet, wounded by Laertes' poisoned sword, stabs his opponent. Before he dies, Laertes tells Hamlet about the evil plots of Claudius and the poison now coursing through Hamlet's veins. He tells the wounded prince his death is very near. Before he dies, Hamlet stabs Claudius and forces him to drink poison. When the Prince of Norway enters, the dying Hamlet makes him ruler over Denmark. Outcome The play ends in tragedy for Hamlet, for he is overcome by Claudius, his antagonist, and dies; at least, however, he does get his revenge against Claudius, stabbing the king. Fortunately, Denmark is at least spared. Hamlet's friend Horatio acts as a witness to all that has transpired. He absolves Hamlet of guilt in the bloody tragedy and reveals to all the treachery of the King. Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway, prepares a military burial for Hamlet and assumes control of the country, restoring order. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) The King of Denmark is killed by an apparent snakebite while sleeping in the garden. His brother Claudius assumes the throne and marries the widowed Queen, Gertrude, within weeks of the King's death. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark and the dead King's son, mourns for his father and anguishes over his mother's hasty remarriage, considering it as unnatural as incest. The play opens outside the castle grounds, where three guards have been witnessing the appearance of a Ghost who looks like the dead King. They ask the Prince and his friend Horatio to come see the Ghost. Prince Hamlet speaks to the apparition, who claims to be the spirit of his dead father. In a private conversation, the Ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius, in fact, murdered him. The Ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his murder. Hamlet takes his responsibility to seek vengeance for his father very seriously, perhaps too seriously. Hamlet is in love with Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius (the Lord Chamberlain); however, the father commands Ophelia to reject Hamlet's advances. Polonius and his son Laertes believe Hamlet will never marry Ophelia since her rank is beneath his. Although Ophelia is very much in love with Hamlet, she is an obedient child; as a result, she complies with her father's commands. Satisfied that his sister is now safe, Laertes goes off to France in pursuit of a good time. Ophelia and her father are left to

look after one another. When Hamlet feigns madness in order to observe the new King and his mother, Polonius tells the King that Hamlet's madness is because of unrequited love for Ophelia. He orders Ophelia to return Hamlet's advances to test this theory. Hamlet spurns Ophelia, however, breaking her heart. The King begins to suspect that Hamlet knows about the murder, but Hamlet is hesitant and full of anxiety over how to proceed. When at last he moves to punish Claudius, he accidentally kills Polonius. Ophelia, on hearing the news of her father's death, loses her mind and drowns in the river. Claudius, now more fearful than ever that Hamlet will eventually expose him, makes arrangements for Hamlet to die. Hamlet, however, escapes Claudius' plans and returns to Elsinore to exact revenge. Laertes, now seeking revenge against Hamlet on behalf of his father and sister, challenges Hamlet to a duel. Secretly, he has conspired with Claudius to make sure Hamlet dies in the battle. The sword he uses is poisoned, as is Hamlet's drink. During the duel, the Queen accidentally drinks the poisoned cup and dies. Hamlet and Laertes are both seriously wounded. Before dying, Laertes confesses all to Hamlet, telling him the details of Claudius' plot against him, including the fact that he will die shortly from the poison. Hamlet kills Claudius, then implores his friend Horatio to tell the world the truth about the tragedy. Horatio lives to clear Hamlet's name, and the Prince of Norway comes to restore order to Denmark. THEMES The major theme of the novel is revenge. Several of the characters are entrusted with the duty of restoring family honor by exacting vengeance. Young Fortinbras reclaims his father's lost honor by gaining territory. Hamlet must avenge his father's murder by killing Claudius. And Laertes must avenge his father and his sister by exacting revenge upon Hamlet. A second major theme is appearance vs. reality. The play makes several references to how things appear versus the truth. Hamlet speaks in riddles, feigned madness gives birth to real insanity, and even actors appear to confuse the truth. King Hamlet's death, an event that precedes the beginning of the play, appears to be snakebite but in reality is calculated murder. The new King of Denmark seems to be the proper and rightful heir to the throne, but he is really a power-hungry murderer. The theme of appearance vs. reality is a favorite of Shakespeare's, but in Hamlet, the theme is more well developed than in most of his plays.


An atmosphere of evil darkness pervades the play right from the beginning, for "something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Hamlet feels that he is living in a world of deceit and corruption where no one can be trusted. For that matter, reality is not even certain. The imagery of disease, corruption, and decay contributes to the mood of darkness and evil. The aura of tragedy is present from the beginning to the end of the play; the only slight respite in the dark mood comes in the Gravediggers' scene, but even the comedy of this scene is morbid. BACKGROUND INFORMATION - BIOGRAPHY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE William Shakespeare is usually considered the greatest dramatist and finest poet the world has ever known. No other writer's plays and poetry have been produced so many times or in so many countries or translated into so many languages. One of the major reasons for Shakespeare's popularity is the variety of rich characters that he successfully creates, from drunkards and paid murderers to princes and kings and from inane fools and court jesters to wise and noble generals. Each character springs vividly to life upon the stage and, as they speak their beautiful verse or prose, the characters remind the viewers of their own personalities, traits, and flaws. Shakespeare also made his characters very realistic. The dramatist had an amazing knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, and his well-developed characters reflect this knowledge, whether it be about military science, the graces of royalty, seamanship, history, the Bible, music, or sports. In Shakespeare's time, few biographies were written, and none of the literary men of the Elizabethan Age was considered important enough to merit a book about his life. The first portfolio of his works, collected as a memorial to Shakespeare by members of his own acting company, was not published until 1623, seven years after his death. His first biography was written one hundred years later. As a result, many of the facts of Shakespeare's life are unknown. It is known that he was born in Stratford-on-Avon in England, sometime in early 1564, for his Baptism is recorded on April 26 of that year. His mother Mary had eight children, with William being the third. His father, John Shakespeare, was a fairly prosperous glovemaker and trader who owned several houses in Stratford and became the town's mayor when Shakespeare was a boy. The young Shakespeare probably studied in the local grammar school and hunted and played sports in the open fields behind his home. The next definite information about William Shakespeare is that the young man, at age 18, married Anne Hathaway, who was 26, on November 28, 1582. In 1583, it is recorded that Anne gave birth to their oldest child, Susanna, and that twins, Hamnet and Judith, were born to the couple in 1585. By 1592, the family was living in

London, where Shakespeare was busy acting in plays and writing his own dramas. From 1592 to 1594, the plague kept most London theaters closed, so the dramatist turned to writing poetry during this period, and his poems, which were actually published unlike his plays, became popular with the masses and contributed to his good reputation as a writer. From 1594 to the end of his career, Shakespeare belonged to the same theatrical company, known first as Lord Chamberlain's Men and then as the King's Company. It is also known that he was both a leader and stockholder in this acting organization, which became the most prosperous group in London, and that he was meeting with both financial success and critical acclaim. In 1954, Shakespeare was popular enough as an actor to perform before Queen Elizabeth. By 1596, he owned considerable property in London and bought one of the finest houses in Stratford, known as New Place, in 1597. A year later, in 1598, he bought ten percent of the stock in the Globe Theatre, where his plays were produced. In 1608, he and his colleagues also purchased The Blackfriars Theatre, where they began to hold productions during the winter, returning to the Globe during the summer months. Throughout the rest of his life, Shakespeare continued to purchase land, homes, and businesses. He obviously was a busy man between handling his business ventures, performing on the stage, and writing or collaborating on the thirtyseven plays that are credited to him. Shakespeare's most productive years were from 1594 to 1608, the period in which he wrote all of his great tragedies, such as Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet. During these fourteen years, he furnished his acting company with approximately two plays annually. After 1608, it appears he went into semiretirement, spending more time in Stratford and creating only five plays before his death on April 23, 1616. He was buried before the altar in the Stratford Church, where his body still lies today. Many literary students and visitors make a pilgrimage to this shrine each year in order to honor William Shakespeare, still recognized after 400 years as the world's greatest poet and dramatist. LITERARY/HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Probably written in 1601 or 1602, Hamlet is probably one of Shakespeare's most studied and popular plays. Loosely based on Danish history, the play most likely has its origins in Histoires Tragiques, written by Belle-Forest in 1570; much of BelleForest's information is drawn from the Historica Danica, written by Saxo Grammaticus in 1208. In Belle-Forest's version of Hamlet, it is a known fact that Claudius, the King's brother, murders him and takes the throne. Claudius then tries to find reason to have Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, put to death in order to ensure his retention of the throne. Realizing her error in marrying Claudius, Hamlet's mother begs forgiveness from her son and acts with him to seek vengeance on Claudius.

During a banquet, Hamlet sets fire to the dining hall and beheads his uncle, the guilty King of Denmark. Hamlet is then crowned King. As usual, Shakespeare has researched information about his main character and then changed him into the dramatic personage that he becomes. Although the Shakespearean version of Hamlet has similarities to the Belle-Forest version, there are also obvious differences, including the introduction of the Ghost to heighten dramatic interest and the death of Hamlet at the end of the play to heighten the tragedy. The end results of Shakespeare's changes are the creation of a powerful and memorable protagonist and a dramatically effective play.

Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad

1899 SETTING The novel has two separate settings. One, the frame narrative, is the setting for the telling of the tale on a cruising yawl (sailing vessel) or yacht on the Thames River near London, England. The second setting is that of the actual tale. In it, the protagonist travels to Brussels, the capital city of Belgium and home to the ivory company. Then to the Belgium Congo in Africa, with its dark, snaking, and mysterious river (in contrast to the tranquil Thames), and then back to Brussels. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Charlie Marlow An English seaman with a philosophical cast of mind, who is the protagonist of the novel, idealistically in search of finding some good in the European imperialism in Africa. Kurtz

A European, half English, half French, who works for the ivory company at the Inner Station on the Congo, and who espouses the idealism of imperialism and the pure side of the European presence in Africa, but whose actions do not live up to his philosophies.

The Manager An Englishman who runs the Central Station on the Congo for the ivory company and who is the personification of the greed and evil of European imperialism in Africa. Minor Characters Director of Companies A nameless captain on board the Nellie, one of Marlow's listeners. Lawyer A nameless man on board Nellie, one of Marlow's listeners Accountant A nameless man on board Nellie, one of Marlow's listeners Unnamed Narrator A nameless man on board the Nellie, one of Marlow's listeners, who is repeating Marlow's tale Chief Accountant An Englishman who lives on the Congo at the Outer Station The Russian A man who appears to be a sort of disciple for Kurtz, who greets Marlow at the Inner Station The Intended

Kurtz's fiance, who Marlow visits in Brussels at the end of the novel. CONFLICT Protagonist Charlie Marlow, a philosophical seaman who travels to the Congo River as a means of escape from the conformity of city life in Europe, is idealistic about the Europeans' role in Africa. He wants to believe and find that there is some good in the white presence in "the dark continent." He identifies with Kurtz long before he meets him. For he believes that this European man truly represents the good of imperialism. Antagonist The reality of European imperialism in Africa is total greed and evil. When Marlow arrives in Africa, he finds only senseless destruction and waste, man's inhumanity to his fellow man, and the unblinking rapacious materialism of European imperialism. He distances himself from the Europeans he meets in Africa and is critical about their brutality. Instead, he identifies with Kurtz before he meets him at the end of the novel, believing that this man is a symbol of the idealistic, pure side of imperialism and a hope for humanity.

Climax When the protagonist finally arrives at the Inner Station and finds out that Kurtz appears insane and has stooped, like his fellow Europeans, to a base level of greedy imperialism and senseless brutality, Marlow's idealism and hope is destroyed. Nothing is left but materialism for greed's sake and man's cruelty to his fellow man. Outcome The novel ends in tragedy, as suggested by the title Heart of Darkness, referring primarily to man's inhumanity to man as witnessed in Africa. When Marlow discovers the truth about Kurtz's greed, ambition, and inhumanity, he realizes that there is no vestige of pure motive in the European imperialism in Africa except greed and evil triumph. And yet Marlow cannot fully come to terms with this knowledge because of his strong idealism and belief that there must be goodness in mankind. At the end of the novel it is obvious that he cannot fully accept the truth, and he lies to Kurtz's

Intended and lets her believe that Kurtz died with a noble purpose, helping the Africans, and uttering her name as his last words. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) The novel opens on the Nellie, a cruising yawl (sailing vessel), anchored outside London on the Thames River. On board are the Director of Companies, the Lawyer, the Accountant, and Marlow. Marlow tells them a tale, which makes up the entire novel. At points in the narration, readers are reminded of this scene of telling. The last paragraph of the novel returns the reader to Marlow on the Nellie. Marlow tells his companions of his trip to Africa as a seaman. Out of work and feeling extremely alienated by the city of London, Marlow begins looking for a contract to go to sea. When he cannot find one, he contacts his aunt, who is living on the European continent and who has contacts in a Trading Company, which operates in Africa. After having a physical, where his head is measured in the interests of science and to find out if changes happen to people who go to Africa, Marlow ships out. He later finds out that his aunt has represented him to the company as an idealist who believes that the European mission in Africa is to bring enlightenment to the natives rather than to grab their resources for the sake of money. When Marlow arrives in Africa, he finds mass destruction of the earth, the people, and even the machinery. He sees what seems like senseless work and senseless dying on the part of the Africans. He finds the Europeans to be oblivious to the immorality of what they are doing. At the Outer Station, Marlow meets the Chief Accountant, whom Marlow admires somewhat ironically because in the midst of the chaos he "kept up his appearance." The Chief Accountant tells Marlow of Kurtz, a man who runs the Inner Station and who sends back more ivory than all the rest of the company's agents. Marlow next travels to the Central Station, run by the Manager, who Marlow finds embodies all the worst of the European imperialism. He calls the Manager a hollow man without values. The Manager is purely greedy and desperately competitive with other agents.

Marlow finds an atmosphere of petty intrigue at the Central Station and regrets having to stay there for months because his steamer is out of order. He lacks the necessary parts-- rivets--to repair his riverboat and leave the Central Station. While there, Marlow hears more about Kurtz this time from the Manager, who is jealous of Kurtz's success. He also finds that Kurtz is a "universal genius", gifted in oratory, painting,

and poetry, but has recently stopped sending ivory down the river and has gone out of communication. Marlow begins to idealize Kurtz as a sort of a savior, who can redeem the petty greed of imperialism with an idea. He suspects that the Manager is intentionally delaying the sending of relief to Kurtz in order to dispose of him as competition in the company. Marlow finally repairs his steamer and travels further up the Congo River toward the Inner Station, where Kurtz lives, taking on board with him the Manager and other company officials sent to find out what had happened to Kurtz. During the trip, Marlow is terrified by the immensity of nature that surrounds him. Here nature is unconquered and uncontrolled, making Marlow feel small and powerless, alienated from his usual identity as a European. Marlow is also terrified and fascinated by the Africans he sees along the shore. He struggles with "the suspicion that they were not inhuman," that he has some "remote kinship" with them. He is relieved by the antics of his fireman, an African man, whom Marlow refers to as "an improved specimen" and who fits all of Marlow's expectations of Africans as superstitious, child-like, and foolish. As Marlow approaches Kurtz's station, natives using arrows and spears assault his riverboat. Marlow watches as his helmsman, an African, dies and ironically feels a strange bond to him, more so than he does to the Europeans on board. The Europeans, whom Marlow refers to as pilgrims, reveal their true inhumanity as they fire randomly into the bush, hoping to kill as many natives as possible. As Marlow contemplates the situation in Africa, he becomes extremely anxious that Kurtz may be dead and he may never be able to talk to him. Before meeting Kurtz, Marlow breaks the story line to talk to his companions on the Nellie. He describes his extreme alienation from the Europeans and their actions in Africa, his intense interest in talking to Kurtz, and he tells them that he ends up lying to Kurtz's Intended (his fianc), even though Marlow hates a lie worse than anything. Marlow then returns to the narration of his story and tells of his encounter with the Russian, a man dressed like a harlequin, who cheerfully describes Kurtz as a sort of god to the Africans. He reveals that Kurtz is an egomaniac, a man who "wanted an audience", and who made the African chiefs crawl to him. As Marlow listens to the Russian, he uses binoculars to look at Kurtz's station. He sees human skulls resting on poles outside of Kurtz's house and realizes the ruthless nature of the man. He also learns that Kurtz ordered the attack on the steamer by the natives, for he does not want to leave the Inner Station. Marlow is very disturbed by what he sees and hears about Kurtz and describes him as an empty man, "hollow at the core," who is all talk with no real beliefs. While the Russian is on board the steamer, Kurtz's African supporters come out to make a show of force. Among them

is an African woman, apparently Kurtz's lover, who is richly dressed and beautiful. She is forlorn that her lover is being taken from her. When the steamer pulls away from the station the next day, she reaches out in anguish towards the departing boat and is needlessly shot by the brutal Europeans. The Europeans manage to bring Kurtz on board, but he escapes and flees to shore. Marlow leaves the boat to find Kurtz on land. As Marlow subdues him, Kurtz tells Marlow that he had had "immense plans" for Africa. He then realizes that Kurtz's "soul was mad." Marlow coaxes Kurtz back on board, but Kurtz dies during the journey. His last words, "The horror, the horror!" seem to refer to the entire human condition. Marlow returns to Europe and manages to keep Kurtz's papers, entrusted to him, away from company officials. He also visits Kurtz's Intended, feeling that Kurtz's vision enters her house with him. He hears the words "the horror, the horror!" echoing in his ears; but when the Intended wants to know Kurtz's last words, he answers that Kurtz dies saying "your name." He also lies and tells her that Kurtz purpose in Africa was noble to the end. The novel ends back on the Nellie with a sky of black clouds overhead and the river seeming "to lead into the heart of an immense darkness." THEMES Major Themes Heart of Darkness centers on both a political and a personal theme. Marlow starts out for Africa feeling distanced from and critical of the imperialist project. In his mind, he goes to Africa only for an abstract notion of adventure. When he arrives and finds the devastation wrought by the Europeans in Africa, he feels repugnance for the white man's greed and his brutal inhumanity to his fellow man. Yet he longs for evidence that Europeans can display pure purpose, rational power, and benevolent dominance over Africa and Africans. He retains notions of the supremacy of Europeans from his own education and even when he sees evidence which refutes that supremacy, he wishes to retain a belief in it. Marlow can never see the Africans as fully human and he can never bring himself fully to condemn the imperialist project in Africa. When he lies to the Intended, he participates in the lie that says imperialism is justly supported by sound ideals. By doing nothing to stop the devastation caused by the imperialism in Africa, he tactfully accepts the inhumanity of mankind to its fellow man and allows it to continue on the Dark Continent.

Minor Themes Marlow is also a romantic, longing for some lost wholeness. His near idolization of Kurtz demonstrates the power of his romanticism. Kurtz embodies for Marlow the powerful European man facing nature alone and conquering it. The title of the novel, Heart of Darkness, is the realization that there is nothing morally substantial behind that conquest. Many critics have referred to the theme of this novel as a metaphysical one, a journey of one man into the territory of his heart, but what he finds there is darkness. MOOD The mood of the entire novel is dark and somber. It is night-time on the Nellie when Marlow's tale is being woefully told. The tale is about the darkness and evil of imperialism in Africa, as shown in the greed, stupidity, and brutality of the Europeans, as they devastate the continent and are cruel to their fellow man. In addition, Conrad writes the novel in a mood of surreal (dream- like) and philosophical detachment. Marlow is never emotionally engaged with any people in the novel except for Kurtz and even then, he realizes with dread that Kurtz is mad. The sentence structure is also long and tends to meditatively wander, while the narrator often digresses into philosophical speculation. What exactly is the heart of darkness? What exactly is the horror of which Kurtz speaks? This is ultimately left for the reader to decide. There are many possibilities to its meaning.

Hard Times Charles Dickens

1854 by Michael Adams

THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES In 1839, Charles Dickens, whose popular novel Oliver Twist had just been published, took a trip to Manchester, a city in northwest England. It was a trip that was to change his life and result in one of his most bitter and controversial novels, Hard Times. In Manchester, Dickens was taken to see cotton mills typical of those that had sprung up in northern England as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The invention of the

steam engine in the late eighteenth century was a major force behind this "revolution." Power became accessible and inexpensive, and factories boomed with production. There was a darker side to this teeming productivity, however. The methods of organizing the workers for maximum efficiency often led to miserable working conditions; long hours, hard work, dangerous machinery. Young children were often put to work, despite laws that were meant to prevent the abuse of minors. Workers were housed in slums with filthy sanitation. Factories poured poisonous smoke into the atmosphere, darkening the skies and threatening the health of anyone who lived in the town. Laws were passed that offered some protection to these workers, but factory owners often disregarded them, and the laws were difficult to enforce. So the dangerous machinery and poor sanitation continued, and many owners felt they had no responsibility to their employees except to pay them wages that were established by the laws of supply and demand. Prosperity, so said many in charge, depended on high profits and inexpensive labor. The basis for much of this abuse, according to writers such as Dickens and the Scots essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle (to whom Hard Times is dedicated), was the political philosophy of Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism had its roots in the laissez-faire doctrine of the Scots economist Adam Smith, expressed in his book The Wealth of Nations (1776). Laissez-faire means, in the original French, "leave alone," and Smith's book detailed his opposition to governmental interference in the economy of a nation. Smith's ideas were elaborated by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the founder of Utilitarianism, and then further developed by the English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill. In simple terms, the Utilitarians sought "the greatest happiness for the greatest number"- in other words, whatever was correct for the majority, particularly in regard to economic profit, was thought to be correct for everyone. The Utilitarians brought about important social reforms. Yet, as Dickens and others pointed out, Utilitarianism was subject to abuse, particularly where the poor minority were concerned. In striving for greater profits that would benefit the nation, management often exploited the workers, and politicians winked at their exploitation. In Hard Times, Gradgrind Sr. is portrayed as a strict Utilitarian, who practices his philosophy at home and in the school he governs. Like others of his kind, he sees little reality beyond profit and loss. After visiting Manchester, Dickens wrote to a friend: "I went to Manchester and saw the worst cotton mill. And then I saw the best... There was no great difference between them." The workers made a lasting impression on Dickens. He wrote:

"...what I have seen has disgusted me and astonished me beyond all measure. I mean to strike the heaviest blow in my power for these unfortunate creatures."

For Dickens, striking the "heaviest blow" meant using his pen. Few writers have ever been so popular in their lifetimes. His work combines elements of hilarious and thrilling entertainment with sharp condemnations of society, and many readers believe he blended these elements more skillfully than any other novelist in the English language- before or since. Born in Portsmouth, England, in 1812, he was the son of John Dickens, a clerk for the Navy. The elder Dickens, who later moved his family to London, was known as a warm-hearted, generous man, who, however, often found himself broke. (In the novel David Copperfield, Dickens offers a fictionalized portrait of John Dickens in the character of the lovable but irresponsible Mr. Micawber.) John Dickens's free-spending ways resulted in two traumatic incidents for young Charles. At the age of twelve, when his family's finances slipped badly, Dickens was forced to work in a blacking factory (which manufactured boot blacking or shoe polish). Dickens was devastated! He felt abandoned and discarded by his family. The lofty ambitions to become a man of learning crumbled. Throughout his life he refused to discuss the experience with anyone but vowed he would never again have to endure such hardship. His wife and children never knew until after his death that he had worked in a factory as a child. The terror and anger this incident caused found its way into several of Dickens's novels as he created many children orphaned or abandoned by their parents: Jo in Bleak House, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and his sister Kate, Sissy Jupe in Hard Times, and others. While some accuse Dickens of often sentimentalizing these characters, others point to how those young people reflect the deep sense of rejection he must have felt. The second traumatic incident occurred soon after Dickens left the blacking factory, when his father was arrested for debt and sent to prison. For three months Mrs. Dickens and her children lived there with him, allowed their freedom during the day, but locked in at night. Charles lived elsewhere, hating the confines of the prison and embittered at the complicated laws that kept his father there. Little by little, Charles Dickens was developing the soul of a reformer. Life in a debtor's prison became the basis for one of his more complex and mature novels, Little Dorrit.

A change in his father's fortunes allowed Charles to return to school. He had always been precocious, reading hungrily whatever he could- newspapers, history, fairy tales, all of which influenced his later writing. A love of the theater inspired him to create lively characters, suspense, comic high spirits, and excitement in his work. After leaving school, Dickens worked for a time as an office boy in a law firm, and then as a newspaper reporter, writing general news for one paper, reporting on the affairs of Parliament for another. It was through these jobs that Dickens developed a lifelong distrust of the law, a contempt that emerged in such novels as Bleak House and Hard Times. He began to write short fictional sketches about London life and characters, using the pen name "Boz." The broad appeal of these sketches led one editor to ask Dickens to try an experiment- to write a novel in serial form, several chapters per month. Novels were usually published in three volumes, making them expensive for the average person. Publishing them in a monthly magazine would make them more accessible and inexpensive. The result was The Pickwick Papers (1836-37), an immediate success. It may be difficult to understand how the weekly installments of a book could create the fever pitch of excitement that Pickwick did. But if you remember that, without television or movies, Victorians turned to books for their entertainment, you might understand that they awaited the next installment just as eagerly as you may look forward to a new episode of your favorite television show. "Boz" was the toast of London, and everyone wanted to know who he was. Dickens soon dropped his pen name as he continued to write serials, sometimes beginning one at the same time he was writing another. And while Pickwick Papers is a comic romp through the towns and countryside of England, the later novels began to explore some of the murkier aspects of big city life in the nineteenth century. Oliver Twist (1837-38) examines the plight of the poor who lurked in London's underworld. Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39) deals in part with the abuses of schools that mistreated and victimized their students. Bleak House (1852-53) looks at the weighty and impossibly complicated affairs of the court system. Yet if Dickens had been nothing more than a moralizing social critic, it's unlikely that his works would be read and enjoyed today. He was, first and foremost, one of the supreme entertainers in literary history. His books have intricate plots, memorable characters, brilliant comedy, intense emotion. But Dickens, despite his popularity, was constantly afraid of losing his public. If the sale of a magazine that contained one of his serials began to drop, Dickens might alter the plot in some way to bring people

back. That he was able to combine popular appeal with literary genius (second only to Shakespeare, according to many) is a testament to his incredible skill. Unfortunately, Dickens's personal life did not always match the success of his writing career. At the time he was writing The Pickwick Papers (1836) he married Catherine Hogarth, the daughter of one of his editors. For a time the marriage was quite happy, and Catherine eventually bore him ten children. But as the years passed, Dickens began to find his wife lazy, clumsy, socially inept- not at all the kind of wife he felt a man of his stature deserved. THE PLOT Coketown is a grimy, smelly industrial town in northern England, its houses and skies blackened by smoke from factory chimneys. One of its leading citizens is Thomas Gradgrind, future member of Parliament and governor of the local school. Gradgrind lives with his wife and five children, including the eldest, Louisa, and Tom, Jr. When we first see Gradgrind, he is observing a typical class in his school, taught by Mr. M'Choakumchild. Gradgrind lectures the teacher on the school's philosophy: "Facts" are important, nothing else but facts. All else is "fancy"- sentiment, imagination. Cecilia Jupe ("Sissy"), the daughter of an acrobatic rider and clown with a traveling troupe of performers, is asked to define a horse. She can't, but Bitzer, an ambitious student, can. His answer is based entirely on fact. Gradgrind later spies Louisa and young Tom outside the horse-riding (circus) tent, trying to catch a glimpse of the performers. Shocked at their interest in such frivolity, Gradgrind seeks the advice of his friend, Josiah Bounderby, a banker and factory owner. They conclude that it must be Sissy Jupe's influence that is responsible. They try to find her father, but discover that he's deserted Sissy to prevent her from seeing him lose his talents. Gradgrind offers to take care of Sissy by bringing her into his household, hoping that Louisa will see what happens to someone who was raised on fancy, not fact. Sissy accepts his invitation. Bounderby objects to the arrangement. He has dragged himself up from poverty to a position of power and wealth. Treating the "lower classes" with such kindness is a mistake to him; these people are spoiled enough. Bounderby lives with his housekeeper, Mrs. Sparsit, a member of the faded aristocracy. She has lost her money, but not her disdain for those she considers beneath her. Another resident of Coketown is Stephen Blackpool, a factory worker.

Once happily married, Stephen is separated from his wife, a drunkard who wanders off for months at a time, only to return to shame him. Stephen is in love with Rachael, another worker, but the two of them can't marry because of divorce laws that favor the wealthy. For Stephen and Rachael, life is a "muddle." Gradgrind is elected to Parliament. It is decided that his son Tom should work at Bounderby's bank and that his daughter Louisa should marry Bounderby. Louisa tries to communicate to her father that the marriage would be a mistake, but Gradgrind refuses to hear of anything that speaks of love or sentiment. Only Sissy, who discontinues her education because she is thought "unteachable," but who stays on in the Gradgrind household, understands Louisa's plight. But Louisa is too proud to accept Sissy's compassion. When the wedding takes place, only Tom Gradgrind is truly happy, thinking his life at the Bounderby bank will be much easier with his sister around to defend him. A year after the wedding, changes have taken place in Coketown. Mrs. Sparsit now lives in an apartment at the bank, where the sneaky Bitzer has become the messenger. And a new person has come to town- James Harthouse, an aristocratic young man recruited by Gradgrind's political party. Harthouse is immediately attracted to Louisa, and he accurately senses that the Bounderby marriage is not a success. He makes plans to alleviate his own boredom by trying to win Louisa's affections. Meanwhile, the workers of Coketown are attempting to form a union to protect their rights. They are led by Slackbridge, a power-hungry union organizer. Stephen refuses to join the union because he's convinced it won't help their plight, and because of a promise he's made to Rachael. True to their pact, the workers shun Stephen, who eventually loses his job when loyalty to his co-workers prevents him from denouncing them to Bounderby. Stephen is forced to leave town to look for work. Louisa offers him money, which he refuses, but Tom has something else in mind. He asks Stephen to linger for several evenings around the bank, which Stephen innocently does. After waiting for three evenings, nothing happens, so Stephen sets off from Coketown. The relationship between Harthouse and Louisa begins to intensify. Their every move is watched by Mrs. Sparsit, eager to prove the fact of adultery and to see the Bounderby marriage crumble. Soon after Stephen's departure, it's learned that the bank has been robbed. Since Stephen was seen lingering outside the bank, he is implicated in the crime. So is Mrs.

Pegler, a woman Stephen befriended, who comes to Coketown every year to watch Bounderby from afar. Louisa immediately suspects that Tom is responsible for the robbery, but he denies it. Mrs. Sparsit believes that Harthouse and Louisa are about to elope. As Mrs. Sparsit sees Louisa board a train, she follows her, only to lose her along the way. But Louisa is not on her way to meet Harthouse. She is going to her father's home, and there she confesses to him that Harthouse is waiting to run away with her. She begs for her father's advice. Faced with the failure of his "facts-only" philosophy, Gradgrind is shattered. He offers Louisa shelter. Sissy, now an important part of the Gradgrind household, goes to Harthouse on her own to persuade him to leave town. He is powerless in the face of Sissy's moral goodness, and he agrees to leave Louisa and Coketown behind. The robbery still remains unsolved. Mrs. Sparsit is triumphant when she discovers Mrs. Pegler, but the old woman turns out to be Bounderby's mother, who had supposedly deserted him at an early age. Bounderby is revealed as a fraud and a liar, but he is unrepentant. The search for Stephen continues. Rachael can't understand why he has not responded to her letter asking him to return. But the mystery is solved when Sissy and Rachael take a quiet walk in the country. They discover that Stephen has fallen into an abandoned mine and is near death. When he is brought from the pit, he is reunited briefly with Rachael before he dies. Knowing that Stephen's death will point the finger of guilt at him, Tom runs away, on Sissy's advice, to Sleary's circus. When Louisa, Sissy, and Gradgrind find him there, he is playing a silly down in one of the circus acts. He feels no guilt for what he has done, and Gradgrind again must face a failed product of his philosophy. Despite Bitzer's attempts to arrest Tom, Sleary helps the young culprit escape to a port where he can sail to safety. Sleary offers the final parting words of wisdom: people need amusement as much as they need work. The characters go on to their respective futures. Mrs. Sparsit will live unhappily with her relative, Lady Scadgers. Bounderby will die of a fit. A repentant Tom will die before he has a chance to return home. Gradgrind will grow old, alienated from those who once shared his philosophy. Rachael will continue to live in town, occasionally helping a drunken wretch of a woman who shows up from time to time. Sissy will marry and have children, but there is no such reward in store for Louisa. She must be

content with helping those less fortunate than she. Nothing changes for the workers of Coketown. They continue to be exploited from every side, all of life still "a muddle."

THOMAS GRADGRIND, SR. A leading businessman of Coketown and governor of the school, Gradgrind becomes a member of Parliament during the course of the story. He is married and the father of five, including Louisa and Tom, Jr., two of the major characters. Gradgrind is a strict disciple of the philosophy of Utilitarianism that prizes hard fact above all else. Anything not a fact is considered "fancy" or sentiment. Gradgrind practices what he preaches- to the letter. Not only are his learning techniques taught in the school he governs, but his children have been raised by its laws. Their learning has been strictly scientific, free from the "corrupting" influence of poetry, fairy tale, or song. The novel charts Gradgrind's growing realization that his theories, when applied without the humane influence of the heart, can be destructive. A marriage arranged for profit and convenience between Louisa and Bounderby ends in disaster. Tom, Jr., becomes a liar and a thief, forced to escape the law in disguise. A basically decent man (unlike Bounderby), Gradgrind is not beyond redemption, according to Dickens. Largely through the influence of Sissy Jupe and the trauma of Louisa's failed marriage, Gradgrind grows in wisdom and experience. He pays for his earlier insensitivity by seeing the harmful results of his philosophy: Tom's life of crime, Bitzer's cold-hearted practicality, and Louisa's emotional breakdown. By the end of the novel, however, he is a wiser and better man.


Daughter of Thomas Gradgrind and, later, wife to Josiah Bounderby, Louisa is first seen curiously peeking at the goings-on at the horse-riding performance. Her action is symbolic of her yearning to experience more than the hard scientific facts she has learned all her life. Instinctively seeking romance and

laughter when all she has known are theory and statistics, Louisa is viewed by Dickens as a pathetic product of her father's philosophy. Attractive and sensitive, Louisa has always masked her emotions under a cool and passive facade. She is often linked symbolically to fire: Dying embers represent her fading hopes for happiness, and the fires of Coketown chimneys that are frequently hidden beneath smoke represent her inward passions. Her humanity emerges gradually as the novel progresses. At first she cares only for her brother Tom; for his sake she marries Bounderby, a much older man. But as the lovelessness of her marriage takes its toll, she reaches out, first to Stephen Blackpool, an oppressed factory worker, and then to James Harthouse, an arrogant aristocrat who tries to seduce her. Pressed to the brink of madness by the temptation that Harthouse offers, Louisa throws herself on her father's mercy. Nothing in her previous education has prepared her to handle her emerging passions. She saves herself from disgrace just in time, helped by the friendship of Sissy Jupe, who represents the wisdom of the heart- a wisdom Louisa has never known. Louisa and Gradgrind's changes of character mark the greatest progression in the novel. Louisa begins as a passive, daydreaming girl and ends as a mature, generous, and humane young woman. She dedicates her life to helping those less fortunate than she. JOSIAH BOUNDERBY A powerful citizen of Coketown, Bounderby owns a factory and a bank. If Gradgrind represents the Utilitarian philosophy in the novel, Bounderby symbolizes the greedy capitalist, shockingly insensitive to the needs of workers. Bounderby (whose name is British slang for "cad") is also the "Bully of humility," a self-made man who endlessly repeats the story of his rise from poverty and childhood abuse to his current position of power. He claims to loathe the trappings of wealth- a grand home, beautiful furnishings, art objectsbut he nonetheless collects them avidly. His greatest source of pride is Mrs. Sparsit, his housekeeper, a woman of high station brought low by a bad early marriage. The delicious irony that this highborn lady should now work for him- who was born a pauper- is irresistible to Bounderby. He reminds everyone, including Mrs. Sparsit, of this striking contrast time and again. Bounderby is shattered by his marriage to Louisa, who never respects him as he thinks he deserves. He is also highly embarrassed when it is discovered that Mrs. Pegler is his mother and that he has paid her to stay out of his life. He

suffers a dual humiliation when Louisa deserts him and Mrs. Pegler reveals that he has lied about his past. To make matters worse, he learns that Mrs. Sparsitthe one person whose respect for him seemed unshakable- has long held him in contempt. Bounderby is a one-dimensional character. He learns nothing from his trials, and he seems to have no inner life. He begins and ends as a blustering, opinionated fool. Drawn from a comic tradition that Dickens began with The Pickwick Papers, Bounderby is "flat," almost a cartoon. His effect on other characters in the book, such as Stephen Blackpool and Louisa, is powerful and real, but he is not as fully rendered a character as his friend Gradgrind.

CECILIA JUPE ("SISSY") Daughter of a horse-riding acrobat and clown at Sleary's traveling circus, Sissy is taken into the Gradgrind household when her father deserts her. From the first, Sissy is treated by Gradgrind and Bounderby as a bad influence on the Gradgrind children, one who has been poorly educated and corrupted by the vulgar show folk who raised her. But Sissy symbolizes the "Wisdom of the Heart" that has been sadly lacking among the Gradgrinds. Little by little, her positive influence is felt. Louisa's sister Jane is visibly happier than Louisa ever was as a child, and even the self-pitying Mrs. Gradgrind wonders, as she lays dying, what has been missing from their lives. When Louisa leaves her husband and returns to her childhood home, Sissy becomes a dominant force in the novel. She offers Louisa the healing balm of friendship to bring her from the brink of emotional breakdown. Sissy confronts Harthouse with her ultimatum that he leave Coketown. She comforts Rachael and helps find Stephen. And she provides Tom with a means of escape via Sleary's circus. Sissy, more than any other character, proves to Gradgrind that the wisdom of the heart is no myth, but is as real as any fact he ever learned. Sissy is awarded the Victorian ideal of true happiness- a husband and children. Although never sure her father still lives, she painstakingly keeps the jar of nine-oils to soothe his bruises should he ever return.


The action of Hard Times takes place in the city of Coketown and the surrounding countryside. Coketown represents a number of industrial towns in northern England-

such as Manchester and Preston. It was Dickens's visit to Manchester almost fifteen years before he wrote Hard Times that gave him the impetus to write the novel. For further research as he was beginning to write his novel, Dickens traveled to the mill town of Preston, scene of a famous labor strike in 1853. Although Dickens did not choose to dramatize a strike in Hard Times, he probably found the model for the union organizer Slackbridge in Preston. The atmosphere of Coketown is essential to the novel's mood. Dickens's images suggest an urban jungle. "Serpents" of smoke rise from factory chimneys to clog the skies with soot. The steam engine has an "elephant's head" that monotonously lifts up and down and fills the air with horrible sounds. All the red brick buildings are blackened with soot, and each building looks tediously like the next. Even on a sunny day, the sun can't penetrate the grime in the air. From a distance the town looks like a blur of smoke and dirt.

The depressing surroundings take their toll on the citizens, who are consistently woeful. The dreariness of the town is symbolically liked to the philosophies that govern the citizens' lives. No sunlight can penetrate the clouds, and no sense of imagination or fun is allowed to alleviate the tedium of the workaday world. The main characters are no less affected by their surroundings. Louisa and Tom are so deprived of color and fun in their lives that the arrival of a traveling circus is a source of guilty pleasure for them. Stephen Blackpool and Rachael are first seen together in the midst of a grimy rain. Coketown offers them no other pleasure but their friendship. Gradgrind, Bounderby, Mrs. Sparsit, and Bitzer are all humorless, unhappy people. Their grim personalities are as much products of their environment as they themselves are victims of the philosophies that rule their lives. Some readers have pointed to minor inaccuracies in Dickens's portrayal of Coketown. Not all such towns had these unsanitary conditions or unspeakable working situations. But Dickens was working for a poetic reality, not the literal truth. His occasional exaggerations or inventions are done to prove a point, and few can deny that he achieves a remarkable portrait of an industrial city whose suffocating influence is never far from your mind as you read. In fact, "Coketown" has come to represent a term for such grimy towns throughout the world, some of which still exist, although laws for pollution control have done a great deal to lessen their hazardous effects.

Hard Times is a unified, compact novel. Its themes often overlap as Dickens points an accusing finger at a specific time and place: England during the time of the Industrial Revolution. The themes are discussed throughout The Story section as they relate to the plot. They are listed here so that you may be aware of them as you read. MAJOR

1. THE WISDOM OF THE HEART VS. THE WISDOM OF THE HEAD Gradgrind represents the wisdom of the head. His philosophy is based on utilitarianism, which seeks to promote "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." The philosophy is based on scientific laws that dictate that nothing else is important but profit, and that profit is achieved by the pursuit of cold, hard facts. Everything that isn't factual is considered "fancy," or imagination. The wisdom of the heart is embodied in Sissy Jupe. Simple, considered uneducable, Sissy brings goodness and purity to bear on many of the characters, including Gradgrind. As he sees the products of his philosophy shattered around him, particularly Louisa and Tom, he begins to wonder if the wisdom of the heart that others have talked about really exists. Sissy proves to him that it does, and she salvages a great deal that might have been lost. Closely related to this theme is man's need for "amusement." Sleary, the owner of the traveling circus, insists that people can't work and learn all the time- an idea once odious to Gradgrind.

2. EXPLOITATION OF THE WORKING CLASS We see this theme worked out through the character of Stephen Blackpool, a factory worker. Stephen's life is "a muddle," in part because he and the other workers are exploited from all sides. Their employer, Bounderby, thinks that their lives are easy and that their complaints stem from selfishness and greed. The utilitarians who run the schools and the government are interested only in profit. The union organizers are driven by power-hungry self-interest. At one point Stephen indicates that the workers have bad leaders because only bad leaders are offered to them. Throughout the novel, the workers are almost all faceless, nameless individuals. They are called by the reductive term "hands," because it is their working hands that are important to the employers- not their souls or brains or spirits.

3. THE EFFECTS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Closely connected with the theme of exploitation, this theme is more allencompassing. It reveals the abuses of a profit-hungry society that result in a variety of social disgraces: poor education of its children; smoke-filled cities and polluted water; dangerous factory machines; dreadful working conditions; substandard housing for the workers. This corrupt society is more interested in productivity and profit than in the health and happiness of its citizens. These issues are still relevant today in different degrees in different parts of the world; well over a century has passed since Dickens the reformer wrote Hard Times, but some of the abuses to which he called attention still linger. 4. THE FAILURE OF THE UTILITARIAN EDUCATION The opening scene in M'Choakumchild's classroom sets the tone for this theme. Students are taught according to what is factual and are ordered to avoid anything imaginative. As governor of the school, Gradgrind not only sets the policy of hard facts but also practices it in the raising of his own five children. Educators like Gradgrind see children as "empty vessels" to be filled to the brim with facts and statistics. They never take into account the child's need for poetry, song, and fiction- those elements that feed the heart and soul, as well as the mind. The failure of this system is seen through Louisa and Tom Gradgrind, and the ambitious sneak Bitzer. 5. THE ARROGANCE OF THE UPPER CLASSES Mrs. Sparsit and James Harthouse represent this theme. Mrs. Sparsit clings fiercely to her heritage and faded glamor. She is haughty to those "beneath" her and despises the efforts of the workers to organize a union. Harthouse is revealed as cynical and directionless. He treats his seduction of Louisa as a diversion, without thinking of the consequences of his actions. A related minor theme is the worship of the upper classes by those of the middle class. This is demonstrated in Bounderby's pride over Mrs. Sparsit's lofty background, in his acquisition of the trappings of wealth (despite his apparent disdain for them), and in Tom's admiration for Harthouse's worldly ways.

Dickens's distinctive style is one of the most admired in the English language. Here are some of its notable characteristics, followed by examples from Hard Times. 1. USE OF WORDS AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE Dickens had a great love of language, which reveals itself in elaborate descriptions of people, places, and events. Long, complex sentences are common, but the words are rarely wasted. When simplicity is called for, Dickens can be frugal with his words. If he does get carried away, remember that his readers were used to long, spacious books with full descriptions. Books provided the main source of entertainment for Victorians, so readers liked to get their money's worth! Look at the second paragraph in Chapter 10, Book the First. (It begins "In the hardest working part of Coketown;"). The entire paragraph is one sentence, built of prepositional phrases and subordinate clauses that lead to the introduction of Stephen Blackpool. Not only is this device highly descriptive, but it underlines the importance of the subject of the sentence- Stephen Blackpool- and provides a very dramatic way to introduce him. 2. REPETITION Repeating words and phrases within a sentence or paragraph adds emphasis and musicality to Dickens's prose (and makes it fun to read aloud). Read carefully the second paragraph of Chapter 1 of Book the First, beginning "The scene was..." Notice the repetition of such phrases as "The emphasis was helped" and such words as "square." This technique is typical of Dickens's style, and is often imitated. 3. SYMBOLISM AND METAPHOR Hard Times is rich in symbolism, from Louisa's identification with fire to Tom's depiction as a sad clown in one of the final scenes. Metaphorically, Coketown is described as a jungle, its smoke a series of serpents, its steam engine an elephant's head. Other metaphors abound. Gradgrind's hair is a "plantation of firs"; Mrs. Gradgrind is "a bundle of shawls"; time is compared to machinery, with "innumerable horse- power." Watch for Dickens's use of metaphors as you read. Draw up a list of your favorites.

4. ALLUSIONS Dickens peppers his works with allusions to literature, mythology, the Bible, current events. Most of his readers would be familiar with these allusions, but some of them might be confusing to the modern reader. This guide will help you to understand the most important ones. 5. RHETORICAL DEVICES Rhetorical devices are those which mirror techniques used in speech-making: exclamatory sentences, direct address to the audience (and to characters), questions. There are times when you might feel that Dickens is making a speech rather than writing a novel. "Ah, rather overdone, M'Choakumchild," he chides the teacher in Chapter 2, Book the First. "Where was the man, and why did he not come back?" he wonders about Stephen Blackpool in Chapter 5, Book the Third. "Dear reader!" he says in the final chapter. Many readers find these devices pretentious and inflated, but others find them energizing and vivid. How do you feel about them? Do they contribute to your enjoyment of the book? 6. COMIC RELIEF There are few greater comic writers than Dickens. Some say he is a better writer when he is comic than when he is serious and sentimental. Hard Times can be a grim and bitter novel, but it is saved from being completely depressing by its comic moments (although there are fewer in this novel than in most of Dickens's work). The tension is relieved by Sleary and his troupe, by Mrs. Sparsit (before she decides to undo Louisa), even by the pathetic Mrs. Gradgrind with her total lack of logic. Look at Chapter 6, Book the First, "Sleary's Horsemanship." The tension is high because Gradgrind and Bounderby have come to scold Jupe for bringing up so poorly educated a daughter. But Jupe is missing, and everyone is afraid of Sissy's reaction. Dickens relieves the tension by the comic jousting among Bounderby, Childers, and Kidderminster. Bounderby doesn't realize he's being made fun of, but the ways in which the two performers deflate his pomposity enliven a gloomy scene.

The lack of humor in the Stephen Blackpool scenes is one reason some readers feel these parts of the book are less successful than others

A great entertainer, Dickens was a storyteller of the highest degree, and in Hard Times- as in most of his novels- he weaves a wonderful story. Dickens himself is the narrator, observing his characters, commenting upon them, and talking directly to the reader. (You saw in the style section how these devices work to pull in the reader.) With few exceptions (the first-person David Copperfield is one), Dickens favors this third-person point-of-view in his novels. Dickens as narrator is selectively omniscient. For example, you may go for a long time without knowing what Tom is thinking, but then- for a brief moment or twoyou'll be allowed entrance into Tom's mind. This choice of when and how you may see into the minds of the characters gives the narrator a great deal of power over how he wants you to view the story. The strength of this narrator also dictates how you are to feel about each character. There's no ambiguity for Dickens here. You are told that Bounderby is a "bully," Tom a "hypocrite." Dickens is firm in these judgments; you know from the start which characters engage his sympathies and which repel him. Thus the morals he draws from his characters are very clear, down to the last bit of advice he offers in the novel's final paragraph. You may find yourself resisting Dickens's opinions now and then, since his narrative voice is so strong. You may not need to be told, for example, that Tom is a monster and a hypocrite; you'd rather form that opinion yourself. If so, you're not alone among those who resent such narrative intrusion. But even if you do disagree with Dickens's moments of moralizing, you're not likely to question the passion and sincerity with which he voices these thoughts.


Hard Times is divided into three sections, or books, and each book is divided into three separate chapters. The structure of the book takes its shape from the titles of the books, all of which are drawn from farming images that have biblical connotations. Book the First, "Sowing," shows us the seeds planted by the Gradgrind/Bounderby philosophy: Louisa, Tom, and Stephen Blackpool.

Book the Second, "Reaping," reveals the harvesting of these seeds: Louisa's unhappy marriage, Tom's selfishness and criminal ways, Stephen's rejection from Coketown. The first two books recall the biblical passage, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). Book the Third, "Garnering," details the results of the harvest. The title of the book recalls the biblical character Ruth. Ruth followed her mother-in-law Naomi to Naomi's homeland. There Ruth was allowed to follow the harvesters in the cornfield and gather what they did not pick up. The owner of the fields, Boaz, was so moved by her sense of duty and hard work that he took her for his wife. In Hard Times, the characters must "take home" the results of what has been reapedthat is, they must live with the circumstances of their mistakes. Louisa's marriage fails, Tom must escape from the country, and Stephen dies. Hard Times was written as a weekly magazine serial in twenty parts. This accounts for the number of chapters that end in suspense or in minor climaxes. You might enjoy guessing where each weekly installment began and ended. If so, don't look at the chart that follows. Here are how the chapters were divided into weekly "numbers."
Installment Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Chapters Book the First I-III IV-V VI VII-VIII IX-X XI-XII XIII-XIV XV-XVI I II-III IV-V VI VII VIII IX-X XI-XII I-II III-IV V-VI VII-IX

Book the Second

Book the Third


_____ 1. Stephen's promise not to join the union A. is made in front of several witnesses B. is never fully explained in the novel C. was one made by many factory workers _____ 2. Mr. Jupe's dog Merrylegs represents A. love and loyalty that defies understanding B. the sick and the aged C. animal instinct _____ 3. Stephen's dreams A. convinces him to try to kill his wife B. foreshadows his own death C. takes place while he is lying in the abandoned mine _____ 4. Mrs. Pegler returns to Coketown each year to A. haunt Gradgrind B. find out how Bounderby is doing C. take revenge on her son _____ 5. Tom is eager to see Louisa marry Bounderby because A. he knows how much she loves him B. life will be easier for him C. Gradgrind urges him to support the marriage _____ 6. Sissy's father abandons her because he A. feels that she could manage on her own B. doesn't want her to see him age C. has an offer from another circus _____ 7. Mrs. Sparsit's Staircase I. symbolizes Louisa's descent into adultery II. is an indication of Mrs. Sparsit's obsessive interest in Louisa III. leads to a secret room at the bank A. I and III only B. I and II only C. II and III only _____ 8. Bitzer shows himself to be a prize graduate of the Gradgrind school when he I. correctly defines a horse II. says that a heart is good for circulation III. refuses to take money from Gradgrind for Tom's release A. I and II only B. I and III only C. I, II, and III _____ 9. Stephen's phrase "It's a muddle"

A. refers to Louisa's marriage B. describes his life in Coketown C. is repeated often by Bounderby _____ 10. Louisa's calm exterior A. hides emotions that she rarely releases B. is inherited from her mother C. reminds Rachael of Stephen's wife's face 11. Compare the characters of Josiah Bounderby and Thomas Gradgrind, Sr. 12. What is the function of Sleary's "Horse-riding" in Hard Times? 13. Discuss the symbolism of the star seen by Stephen Blackpool? 14. Why is Sissy Jupe important to the novel? 15. In what ways is Hard Times an allegory?

_____ 1. The workers of Coketown read A. every newspaper account of Stephen Blackpool's death B. Bounderby's newspaper column C. more books of fiction than books of science _____ 2. Harthouse comes to Coketown because he I. has been asked by the Gradgrind political party II. is bored III. met Louisa in London A. I only B. I and II only C. II and III only _____ 3. Dickens considers Coketown A. a jungle B. superior to most factory towns C. to be improving every year _____ 4. Rachael and Sissy fear that Stephen may be in danger when A. Mrs. Pegler has a dream about him B. they find his hat in the country C. Bitzer acts suspiciously

_____ 5. Stephen leaves town A. because he can't find work in Coketown B. when he learns the bank has been robbed C. to search for his wife _____ 6. Mrs. Sparsit is convinced that Louisa and Harthouse are lovers A. when she sees them talking in the garden B. because she hears Louisa accept his proposal of marriage C. when Bounderby tells her of the letter he found _____ 7. "People mutht be amuthed" is spoken by A. Slackbridge B. Rachael C. Sleary _____ 8. A "whelp" is I. the offspring of an animal II. Harthouse's nickname for Tom III. Mrs. Pegler's pet name for Bounderby A. I and III only B. I and II only C. II and III only _____ 9. A driving rainstorm creates tension in what scene? A. Stephen's departure from Coketown B. Mrs. Sparsit's pursuit of Louisa C. Sissy's discovery of her father's departure _____ 10. Sissy is kept from leaving the Gradgrind household A. when Gradgrind locks her in her room B. by her hope that her father will return C. by her deep love for Mrs. Gradgrind 11. Readers often find Stephen unrealistic. Discuss. 12. Discuss the significance of the titles of the three books of Hard Times: "Sowing," "Reaping," "Garnering." 13. Explain the significance of "turtle soup and venison with a gold spoon." 14. Discuss how Louisa is identified with fire in the novel. 15. Discuss the relationship of Mrs. Sparsit and Bounderby.

1. B 2. A 3. B 4. B 5. B 6. B 7. B 8. C 9. B 10. A 11. Dickens at first seems to suggest that Bounderby and Gradgrind come from the same mold. They are good friends, and they agree in theory on matters of education, politics, and the workers of Coketown. But as the novel unfolds, it becomes clear that the men are basically different. Bounderby is essentially a capitalist, concerned with his own greed at the expense of the factory workers. Gradgrind is a politician and philosopher who believes that his ideas are promoting "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." Trying to do good, Gradgrind has become blinded and oppressive, but his intentions are decent. Gradgrind is capable of learning from his mistakes. Bounderby is not. When Gradgrind is made aware of Louisa's unhappiness, he undergoes a major change of attitude; he grows from the experience. When Bounderby is made aware of Louisa's misery, and when he is exposed as a liar and a fraud, he undergoes no change. He is as selfish and pompous as ever. In short, Gradgrind is a more rounded, complex character than Bounderby, who retains the same postures and prejudices from beginning to end. 12. The "Horse-riding" first represents all that is harmful and dangerous in the Bounderby/Gradgrind world. Because the circus exists only for the purposes of entertainment- "fancy"- it is seen as a threat to the pursuit of fact that Gradgrind regards as the basis of education. Tom and Louisa's interest in the troupe of performers suggests their eventual rebellion from the dictates of their father. By the end of the novel, the "horse-riding" is seen as necessary to the well-being of the citizens of Coketown, as important as learning and work. People must be amused, says Sleary, and he speaks to man's need to escape from his world to the world of imagination. Citizens deprived of such escape end up emotionally repressed or possibly criminal, as evidenced by the characters of Louisa and Tom.

The horse-riding also serves a symbolic plot device. Tom, fleeing from the law, ends up in hiding there as a clown. And it is Sleary who provides him not only with a hiding place but with a means to escape from the country. The troupe that Gradgrind once treated with sneering disdain has saved his son from arrest. "Fancy" has, in one sense, become Gradgrind's salvation as well. 13. Stephen first sees the star as he's lying in the pit of the abandoned mine. He tells Rachael as he's dying that the star made him think of her and that it helped clear away some of the "muddle" from his mind. For Stephen, the "muddle" represents the whole confused tangle of his life- from his disastrous marriage to the unhappy plight of the working man. The star that brings some clarity to this "muddle" suggests both Rachael, who was the only bright light in his existence, and the heavenly rest that he will soon enjoy. As the villagers carry Stephen's body toward that star, we are told that it leads to "the god of the poor." Because Stephen symbolizes all of the oppressed workers that Dickens champions in this book, the star symbolizes the reward that Dickens feels waits for them at their death, a reward they would never enjoy in this life. 14. Sissy Jupe is the one character who is wholly good. Though at first she is scorned by Gradgrind and Bounderby for being a performer's daughter, and then is removed from school because she cannot learn the Gradgrind way, Sissy slowly exerts a moral force of goodness on many of the characters. After a period of time in the Gradgrind household, she makes her mark on the younger children and even on Mrs. Gradgrind, providing a "spirit" that even Gradgrind notices (but cannot identify). The "Wisdom of the Heart" that Sissy represents (and which Dickens implies is the true wisdom, superior to that of the head) is felt by Louisa, Rachael, and even Harthouse. Without her, the novel would have no standard by which to judge the other characters and their moral flaws. Of all the characters, only Sissy will go on to know the pleasures of a family. As a product of the world of "fancy" (the "horse-riding"), Sissy underscores the coldhearted and destructive influences of the world of fact. 15. In answering this question, you should first define "allegory." (An allegory is a story in which characters represent concepts or abstractions, usually to underline a moral principle.) Then you should choose the characters you feel are most allegorical and talk about what they represent. For example, Gradgrind represents the philosophy of Utilitarianism, a leading political movement that believes in "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." Bounderby stands for the greed and insensitivity of capitalism, more concerned with profit than with the welfare of his workers. Stephen is the "martyred" working man, oppressed and exploited by both management and the organizers and leaders of the union. Mrs. Sparsit and Harthouse stand for the aristocracy: she clings to past snobbery and false superiority; he is bored, cynical, rootless, and amoral. Through Sleary's circus we see the kindhearted and generous

vagabonds who bring pleasure through entertainment and provide "fancy" to a starving populace fed only on fact. And Sissy Jupe, the product of that environment, is a symbol of moral good that eventually conquers much of what is self-interested and harmful in the world.

1. C 2. B 3. A 4. B 5. A 6. A 7. C 8. B 9. B 10. B 11. Stephen is considered unrealistic for two basic reasons. First, some readers charge that he has been burdened with an unbelievable number of obstacles- drunken wife, his inability to get a divorce, his rejection by both the union and Bounderby, his implication in the bank robbery- followed by his eventual accidental death in the pit of an abandoned mine. It is suggested that, by creating a character so oppressed by circumstance, Dickens strains the reader's credibility and weakens the social criticism implied by the character. Second, Stephen is made the spokesperson for the factory worker, particularly in two scenes in Bounderby's house. His speeches are often considered unrealistic because they seem less like the words of a typical factory worker and more like Dickens's own sentiments. It is here, some charge, that Dickens the reformer overwhelms Dickens the writer of social realism. 12. "Sowing" suggests the seeds planted by the Bounderby/Gradgrind philosophy, particularly as seen through Louisa and Tom. They are raised as products of this strict philosophy and grow according to its dictates. By the end of the first book, Gradgrind has no reason to feel that his "crop" will be anything but successful: Louisa is about to make a profitable marriage, and Tom will begin a job at the bank. Stephen, too, is the product of this sowing. In "Reaping," however, this harvest reveals itself to be a bitter one. Louisa's marriage is unhappy, and she nearly runs off with another man. Tom turns out to be a gambler, liar, and thief, and Gradgrind's philosophy brutally explodes in his own face. Stephen is rejected by his fellow workers and loses his job. In

"Garnering," the results of the harvest are gathered up and taken home. Gradgrind experiences the pain of an ungrateful and unrepentant son. Louisa faces a future without a family of her own. Tom must leave the country. And Stephen is dead. All three titles have Biblical implications. The first two suggest the text, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). "Garnering" suggests the story of Ruth, who garnered corn in the fields of Boaz.

13. This is the phrase used often by Bounderby to signify what he believes to be the typical request of a Coketown factory worker. Such an opinion typifies Bounderby's awesome insensitivity to his worker's needs. He feels they are lazy, enjoy easy jobs, spend too much time at play, and live in healthful surroundings. Dickens goes to great pains in the novel to suggest how wrong Bounderby is, and how he is typical of what is wrong with a society that permits such stupidity and greed to prevail. 14. When we first see Louisa, she is compared to "a fire with nothing to burn," suggesting her "starved imagination" that has only fed on the thin diet of facts her father has given her. Later, Louisa is seen gazing into the fire as her marriage to Bounderby seems more and more inevitable. The fading embers are compared to her own concept of her future as hopeless and short. Most importantly, she refers to fire when Gradgrind tells her of Bounderby's proposal. Louisa's response is to mention the chimneys of Coketown, which seem to spew only languid and monotonous smoke until suddenly- a burst of flame! Louisa refers to her own passion for life that lurks beneath her cool exterior, hoping that her father will understand that a marriage to Bounderby will never unleash those passions. But Gradgrind is too insensitive to his daughter's hidden meaning, and the "burst of flame" (heralded by lightning) comes after her marriage and through her friendship with Harthouse. 15. Mrs. Sparsit is Bounderby's housekeeper, and at the beginning of the novel, she seems content with her role as Bounderby's chief source of pride. Because of her aristocratic heritage, Bounderby loves to point to her as an example of how far he has come in the world. Mrs. Sparsit is only too happy to listen to his praise. When Bounderby marries Louisa, the relationship between him and Mrs. Sparsit becomes more ambiguous. She is clearly jealous of Louisa, but whether she wants to be Mrs. Bounderby or simply his housekeeper again is uncertain. She is obsessed with proving Louisa to be an adulteress, but at times it seems that she wants to prove to Bounderby that he's the "noodle" she calls him behind his back. Their "friendship" ends when she unwittingly reveals him as a fraud by bringing Mrs. Pegler out in the open. Mrs.

Sparsit's contempt for him is evident when he fires her from his employ, but whether the contempt is borne of love or hatred is never fully explained.


Sir Walter Scott

KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING The setting of Ivanhoe is medieval England, sometime in the late twelfth century. The scenes take place in some of England's finest cities and countrysides around York and Sheffield. The principal events take place at Ashby and Coningsburgh (actual places), and at Rotherwood, Torquilstone, and Templestowe, (imaginary places). Events and people move from woods and forests to castles and country mansions.

The historical atmosphere in which this novel takes place is one of rapid change and tumultuous politics. Saxon England has been conquered by the Norman French for over a century, but the plunder of England's finest homes and land is still going forward at full speed. The Normans in power are taking full advantage of their position as conquerors. Additionally, at the onset of the novel, society's finest knights are traveling to or have just returned from The Crusades abroad. Throughout the book, there is a great deal of social and political change, a poorly focused Norman leadership, and an entire country full of displaced and resentful Saxons. In short, the timing of the novel finds England in one of her most vulnerable eras; she is a country divided by enormous social and political differences, nearing the limits of peace. Anything can happen LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters

Cedric - Saxon nobleman, father of Ivanhoe. He hates the Normans and wishes to restore the Saxon monarchy. Ivanhoe - Son of Cedric. Although named Wilfred, he is called Ivanhoe because he has been given a great manor called Ivanhoe. He is a Crusader and a loyal follower of the Norman King Richard I. Athelstane - Lord of Coningsburgh. He is a weak and inert character, descended from Saxon nobility. He is Cedric's last great hope for Saxon restoration to the throne. Rowena - Cedric's ward. Her descent can be traced to Alfred the Great. She is beautiful and well bred, and Ivanhoe is in love with her. Brian de Bois-Guilbert - Knight of the Order of the Knights Templar. Like Ivanhoe, he is recently returned from the Crusades in Jerusalem. Front-de-Boeuf - Norman owner of Torquilstone Castle, companion of de BoisGuilbert. Richard Plantagenet - Rightful king of England and called the Lion-Hearted. He has been kidnapped on his way back from the Crusades. John Plantagenet - Richard's brother. He spends most of his time plotting to keep his brother from coming back to England, since he wants to inherit the throne. Waldemar Fitzurse - John's advisor, a wily man who thinks of nothing but his own rise to power if John succeeds in supplanting Richard.

Isaac - Jewish moneylender of York. He is rich but miserly and much disliked by both Saxons and Normans. Rebecca - A beautiful young Jewess, daughter of Isaac of York. Unlike her father, she is generous and kind-hearted. As well, she is a healer. Maurice De Bracy - Knight attached to Prince John's dubious court. CONFLICT Protagonist: Wilfred of Ivanhoe is the protagonist of the novel. He is the strongwilled son of Cedric, who is disinherited for two reasons. First, he feels some acceptance for the Norman king, Richard, despite his father's obvious hatred for all

Normans. Ivanhoe believes that Norman rule is in England to stay and decides to accept it, in sharp contrast to his father, who stubbornly clings to his hope for a new Saxon line to the throne. Ivanhoe's second offense is that he has fallen in love with his father's ward, a beautiful young woman named Rowena. His father already has political plans to marry Rowena to a Saxon knight as part of his insistent scheming. Prior to the onset of action, Ivanhoe has been absent from England, taking part in the Crusades. When he returns, he disguises himself, first at Cedric's court as a Palmer, then as the Disinherited Knight, the brave challenger at the tournament of Ashby-dela-Zouche. Ivanhoe proves that he is courageous, loyal, and honest, the opposite of the shallow Norman Knights against whom he often competes. King Richard is the protagonist of the sub-plot. Like Ivanhoe, he has been displaced, for he has been kidnapped and is held captive in a foreign land. He has been a popular Norman king, even among many Saxons, for he is known for being fair and considerably more respectful of the Saxons than other Norman leaders. He must fight to regain his power from his unscrupulous brother, Prince John. Antagonist: Ivanhoe's antagonist is the group of people that oppose him, including his own father, Cedric and the wicked Norman lords, especially Brian de BoisGuilbert. Ivanhoe must nobly fight against the Norman Knights in order to help King Richard regain his power and to prove his own bravery and nobility. Ivanhoe must convince his father that he is worthy of respect and winning the hand of Rowena in marriage. Richard's antagonist in the sub-plot is his brother John, who has usurped his power and rules with injustice. He is everything wicked and evil, the embodiment of division and conquest. He encourages the total appropriation of Saxon land and goods, fanning the already strong hatred and dislike between the two groups. He conspires to keep his fair and popular brother from returning to power. Richard must displace him to regain his rightful place as King of England.

Both sets of antagonists embody the conflict between conqueror and conquered, the political divisions among family, and the brutal and gritty nature of power politics. The struggle is between ruler and ruled, fairness and injustice. In the end, both the plot and the sub-plot seem to be a battle of good versus evil. Climax: The moment of climax occurs when Ivanhoe defeats the forces of evil in his fight to save Rebecca from being burned at the stake. He fights nobly, killing the wicked Bois-Guilbert and saving Rebecca. He also reconciles with his father and marries Rowena. At the end of the novel, he is a happy and honored hero.

The moment of climax in the sub-plot is at the battle of Torquilstone, when Prince John and the evil knights are defeated. As a result, Richard is able to regain the throne. Simultaneously, Cedric moderates his extreme beliefs and accepts the changing face of his country, giving up hope for a Saxon king and pledging loyalty to Richard. In short, the two sides of an extremely volatile conflict learn to moderate their beliefs and exist in a little more stable world. All of the good and noble characters, especially Richard, come out to be winners. Outcome: The novel ends as a comedy with lots of happiness to spread around. Ivanhoe defeats Bois-Guilbert and saves Rebecca, proving that nobility is better than wickedness. He also reconciles with his father and marries Rowena, who loves him dearly. King Richard is restored to the throne, bringing an era of peace to England. Cedric has accepted that the Saxons are not ready to again rule and is finally at peace with the rulers of his country. Even Prince John is spared by his kind brother, who scolds him and sends him home to his mother. In true romantic fashion, the good characters emerge victorious, while the defeated bad characters enjoy some mercy at the hands of the victors. PLOT (Synopsis) Ivanhoe is set in England during the reign of King Richard I, also known as the LionHearted. The time is a little over a hundred years after the decisive battle of Hastings, at which Harold, the Saxon claimant to the English throne, was killed by William, Duke of Normandy. The outcome of this battle is that the Saxons, who had owned and cultivated their lands since the early years of the first century, are now subjected to the rule of the foreign French Normans. The French language has overshadowed the old Anglo- Saxon, while French rituals and courtly manners mock the simple and homely Saxon way of life. The few Saxon nobles left alive are resentful when their lands are either threatened or seized by the Norman lords. The common people are terrified of the cruel and unjust methods used to subdue them. The gap between the two races has widened because neither William of Normandy nor his successors care to blend with the people, or to even learn their language or their ways. When Richard I comes to the throne, he spends almost all of his reign fighting the Saracens (Moslems) in the Holy Land. He is a good and fair man, but as he is hardly in England, his greedy and corrupt brother, John, finds it easy to take over. John encourages the Norman lords to squeeze the Saxons of whatever wealth and lands they possess. The country is, in fact, in a chaotic state.

It is against this background that Sir Walter Scott sets his narrative. Wilfred of Ivanhoe has been disinherited by his father, Cedric the Saxon. Ivanhoe has earned his father's displeasure by showing tolerance and loyalty to the Norman King Richard. Ivanhoe has also fallen in love with Rowena, Cedric's ward and a direct descendant of Alfred the Great. Being politically ambitious, Cedric has intended that Rowena marry Athelstane, who also has royal Saxon blood. Such an alliance would produce a powerful Saxon claim to the English throne.

At the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Ivanhoe turns up in disguise as the Disinherited Knight. With the help of the mysterious Black Knight, he wins the tournament on both days. As the victor, he crowns Rowena his Queen of beauty and love. Having suffered some severe wounds, he faints at Rowena's feet. Ivanhoe is looked after by Rebecca, the beautiful Jewess daughter of Isaac of York. Cedric and Athelstane join in a grand banquet at Ashby Castle, hosted by Prince John. Here they are insulted by the Norman knights who mock their manners. After the banquet they travel through the forest towards York. On the way, they meet up with and join Rebecca's party, unaware that the invalid with her is Ivanhoe. A little later, they are attacked by De Bracy and his men, disguised as yeomen outlaws. De Bracy has fallen in love with Rowena and wishes to persuade her to marry him. The prisoners are taken to Torquilstone Castle, now the property of Front-de- Boeuf. Wamba, Cedric's jester, is the only one who escapes. He decides to rescue his master by disguising himself as a priest come to give absolution to the Saxon prisoners who have been condemned to death. Rebecca, also imprisoned, is being courted by Brian de Bois-Guilbert. Cedric escapes and makes contact with Robin of Locksley (Robin Hood) and his outlaws. They are joined by King Richard, still disguised as the Black Knight. Together, they attack the castle and free the prisoners with the help of Urfried, an old hag who is also a victim of Front-de-Boeuf. As the battle rages, Urfried sets fire to the castle, and both she and Front-de-Boeuf perish in the flames. De BoisGuilbert manages to escape, taking Rebecca with him. They reach Templestowe, where Rebecca is accused of witchcraft and condemned to be burned at the stake. Ivanhoe follows and champions her in a trial by combat against de Bois-Guilbert. The latter is killed, and Rebecca is set free. The novel ends with Ivanhoe marrying Rowena. It is also revealed that the Black Knight is actually Richard, King of England. Cedric realizes that the Saxons may never reclaim the throne, but decides it is possible to tolerate and even admire some Norman rulers; he pledges his loyalty to Richard. Rebecca and her father leave England.

THEMES Major Themes The major theme is centered on the chaos that politics can cause. There is a smoldering hatred between the Saxons and the Normans caused by Norman arrogance, superior feelings, cruelty, and injustice. The King's absence and indifference to his country encourages social chaos and a volatile climate where anything can happen. Civil unrest has spread. The forests are infested with robbers and outlaws. The common people are discontented and oppressed; the stability of the nation is questionable. Dispossession is another recurring thematic concern with many of the main characters being displaced. Richard has been supplanted by his brother. Ivanhoe has been disinherited. Robin of Locksley has lost his lands. Isaac and Rebecca, being Jews, have lost their own country, land, and hope. Minor Themes The importance of honor is another theme in the novel. Honor is supposedly the guiding principle of knighthood, but Sir Walter Scott shows how the knights often act dishonorably; in fact, some of the thieves in the book act with more honor. Those whose lands have been seized unjustly now roam the forests stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Even with their "criminal" acts, many of these outlaws are more noble than the greatest of the honored knights. The injustice of anti-Semitism is another theme of the novel. Unfair practice toward the Jews is seen in the treatment of Rebecca and her father. In spite of the discrimination that she feels, Rebecca shows herself to be a stellar example of human goodness, and even her greedy father Isaac has more regard for his family than do Prince John and Cedric. Isaac would give up everything to keep his daughter near him.

MOOD The predominant mood of the novel is exciting. Scott very skillfully creates the explosive temper of the Middle Ages by using history, chivalry, and antiquity in the novel. His mastery of description creates colorful excitement in each tournament scene, and brings battle scenes to the front of the readers' imagination. His most significant achievement, however, is the creation of a believable narrative atmosphere

in which the tension between the Normans and the Saxons is very real. Amidst the conflict, there are sweepingly heroic moments and frighteningly violent ones. The novel, like life in the Middle Ages, is unpredictable, dangerous, satisfying, and in the end, wonderfully romantic, for the tension is resolved and the characters are safe. Pageantry and spectacle add to the exciting mood of the novel. The best examples of this are to be found in the splendid description of the siege of Torquilstone Castle and the pageantry of the Ashby tournament. The enormous cast of characters he employs adds to the spectacle. The antiquarian details, including descriptions of dress, armor, and weapons, help to create a rich, multicolored tapestry. The enormous weight of custom and tradition are also palpable forces in this exciting novel of heritage and history.

The Invisible Man


England in the 1890's. Iping and the surrounding area Much of the action initially occurs around or in a couple of pubs and an inn, thus taking advantage of the natural opportunity for people to spread rumors, speculate on mysterious issues, and expand on each others stories.

CHARACTER LIST Major Characters

Griffin The Invisible Man. He is an albino college student who had changed his area of study from medicine to physics and had become interested in refractive indexes of tissue. During his studies he stumbled across formulas that would render tissue invisible. Eventually he tries the formula on himself, thinking of all the things he could do if he were invisible. Unfortunately, the conveniences are far outweighed by the disadvantages; Griffin turns to crime as a means of survival. Mr. Marvel The first character whom Griffin tries to use as an accomplice. Mr. Marvel is short, fat, and a loner. He is the area tramp. Griffin perhaps also thinks that he is a little stupid and will thus

not be able to resist and will not be believed if he tries to tell anyone about his predicament. Dr. Kemp A former associate of Griffins in his college days. Griffin had been a student and knew Kemp to be interested in bizarre, and idiosyncratic aspects of science. It is to Kemps house that Griffin goes in his final attempt to find an accomplice and live a more normal life. Kemp, however, has no particular sense of loyalty to a former student and is not prepared to participate in Griffins grand schemes. He is also more deceitful than Griffin knows and betrays the invisible man even while pretending to accept his confidences.

Minor Characters
The Halls Proprietors of the Coach & Horses. Mrs. Hall is the one who is primarily in charge. She is happy enough to leave Griffin alone so long as her money is coming in on time. Her husband is more suspicious but does not interfere until Griffins behavior starts to become obvious. Teddy Henfrey A clock repairman who happens to visit the inn for a cup of tea. Mrs. Hall takes advantage of him to try to find out about her strange guest. Because the stranger will not talk, Teddy convinces himself that the man is someone of a suspicious nature. Teddy begins the rumors about the man being wanted by the police and merely wrapping himself up to conceal his identity. Fearenside A cartman who delivers luggage from the station whenever he is needed. He notices darkness through a torn pant leg where there should be pink flesh and starts the stories of Griffin being either a black man or a piebald. Cuss A general practitioner who attempts to get an interview with Griffin. He is the first to realize he actually see emptiness where there should be flesh and bone. He also tells an outrageous story to his companions in town after Griffin terrifies him by pinching his nose with an invisible hand. Mr. And Mrs. Bunting Bunting is the vicar. Cuss takes his story to Bunting. The next evening Bunting and his wife hear noise in their house after they have gone to bed. They are able to hear someone sneeze, and their money disappears right before their eyes. Other people in the town who appear briefly in the story but have no particular characterization. Huxter; Wadgers The blacksmith

Jaffers The village constable The mariner; Colonel Adye

CONFLICT Protagonist / Antagonist

The story contains both external and internal conflict. In either case, both the protagonist and the antagonist is Griffin himself as he has made himself his own worst enemy. The external conflicts that Griffin causes are between Griffin and various members of the town as his invisibility is gradually discovered. People react with fear and then with terror as Griffin aggravates the situation by lashing out against people as soon as they figure him out. The people accept his existence with surprising lack of suspicion about the possibility of such an occurrence, which may be a lack on the author's part. Once they believe that he exists, the primary goal is to apprehend and imprison him. Although motives are not elaborated upon, it would seem that different people in the town have different notions of what they might do when and if they could capture the man. Griffin also ultimately sees Kemp as an enemy although he had at first believed that Kemp would be both sympathetic and cooperative.

The most important conflict is internal as Griffin himself struggles to live with his situation. He rationalizes his crimes rather than making any sane attempt to get people to understand his predicament. He uses force to get people to help him and goes from bad to worse in his attempts to replenish his research materials for experiments in reversing the process that rendered him invisible. There is no real depth of character. Griffin simply runs from place to place trying to survive by increasingly decadent methods.

The climax occurs when Griffin returns to Kemp's house intending to make an example of Kemp for having betrayed him. Kemp escapes out the window but is soon followed by Griffin who can see him although he can't see Griffin. The entire town is soon involved in the chase.

The resolution is the death of Griffin. Once Kemp realizes what is happening he slows down and allows Griffin to catch him. Although Kemp is buffeted about a good bit for his efforts, Griffin is weaker than usual due to his injuries. Some of the men of the town are able to grasp invisible wrists and ankles and hold him down until the effort is no longer necessary.


The plot is simple and straightforward. Griffin, having rendered himself invisible with an earlier experiment, enters a town and sets up a lab in an inn where he works night and day

to come up with a formula that will reverse his invisibility. When he slips up and accidentally reveals himself, he engages in immature and violent actions until he is forced to run and find a new hiding place. As more people become aware of his existence, his situation becomes more perilous. Finally, he stumbles into the home of a former college professor whom he assumes will be interested in his experiments and willing to help him. The doctor, Mr. Kemp, however, reads newspaper accounts of Griffins insane actions against people in the town and betrays his trust. Griffin is hunted down, caught and killed, whereupon he becomes visible again. The little, inconspicuous victim of some of Griffins behavior is left with the stolen money and the documents that explain Griffins experiments. The story closes with the suggestion that Marvel himself might try the experiments if only he could figure them out.

Corruption of morals in the absence of social restriction Science without humanity (Note: see additional theme analysis in Overall Analysis section.)

The mood is generally distant as that of a newspaper reporting telling about a strange event. In the sections where Griffin is telling his own story, the tone is one of selfjustification, lack of conscience, and even a certain amount of arrogance.

Born September 21, 1866, Herbert George Wells has been called the Father of Science Fiction. His best-known stories are The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, but he wrote over 100 books, among them nearly 50 novels.

Wells had humble origins; he was the son of domestic servants who had become shop keepers. At the age of 17 he left a hated apprentice position and became a pupil/teacher in a small country school. He won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, but never obtained his degree. Subsequently, he held the poorest paying teaching positions. He tried his hand at a novel, but the first one was not well accepted. When a hemorrhage threatened his life, Wells abandoned his unsuccessful marriage as well as his poor paying job and ran off with one of his students whom he later married. Out of necessity, he turned to journalism and short story writing. Within a year he wrote The Time Machine, a novel that has been described as a resounding success. A few years later he wrote The War of the Worlds (1897), his most famous work. He was soon able to give up journalism and devote himself to becoming a full time novelist.

In 1901, Wells turned to advocating social ideals and became involved with the Fabians. Association and quarrels with such individuals as George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb who thought he was trying to take over the Fabian Society led to the creation of Ann Veronica and The New Machiaveli. One of his most famous non-fiction works is The Outline of History, a tome of more than 1,000,000 words in which he tries to awaken the world leaders to the instability of the world order. These were followed with The Science of Life, and The Work, Wealth and Happpiness of Mankind. Throughout the 30's he was at the storm center of every event that seemed to be propelling civilization toward suicide. He interviewed Stalin and Roosevelt in an attempt to find a peaceful solution between the ideologies represented by the two leaders. In the 1930s, he became president of the International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists. (Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition and The Life of H.G. Wells, by Gregory Benford, novel forward)

The Divine Comedy The Inferno Dante's Inferno



Dante Alighieri
LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Dante the Pilgrim Dante the Pilgrimis the literary invention of Dante the Poet. The Pilgrim is the main protagonist of The Divine Comedy. The entire action revolves around his plight and his experiences. When Virgil comes to his rescue in the dark woods, he (Pilgrim) is a confused novice, full of fear and doubts. But as Inferno progresses he learns to put his full faith in his guide, Virgil. He also grows spiritually and hardens his heart against sin. He learns to look dispassionately upon unrepentant sinners. He starts understanding the nature of sin. He further learns how important despising the sin is, rather than despising any particular sinner.

Virgil Virgil is a shade from the Limbo. He comes to guide the Pilgrim at the behest of Beatrice. Virgil is the personification of human reasonin the poem. And thus it is his task to teach the Pilgrim about Hell, sin, and punishment in order to direct his spiritual growth in the right direction. He is a strict teacher and loses all patience with the Pilgrims uncontrolled pity for sinners. Nevertheless he encourages the latter and reinforces him with ample praise, when the pilgrim treads on the right path. Minor Characters Alessio Interminei A Florentine, who was known for his flattery skills, and who lived in the eighth circle of Hell called Bolgia. Ali He was the first of Mohammeds followers and married the prophet's daughter Fatima. Ali became the Caliph in 656 AD. He is punished in the Ninth Bolgia with sowers of scandal and schism. Antaeus Son of Neptune and Gaea and one of the Titans. He did not join the other Titans in their rebellion against the gods. Archbishop Ruggieri He was the Archbishop of Lisa and an associate of Count Ugolino. He deceived Ugolino and imprisoned him along with his family and caused them to starve to death. Branca D Oria A prominent resident of Geno, he murdered his father-in-law, Miche Lanche, after having invited him to dinner. Brutus

Marcus Junius (85-42 B.C.) He sided with Pompey in the civil war of 49 B.C. After the battle of Pharsalia in 48 B.C. Julius Caesar pardoned him and raised him to high favor, making him governor of Cisalpine Gaul in 46 B.C. Persuaded by Cassius, he took part in the conspiracy to murder Caesar in hope of re- establishing the Republic. Bocca Degli Abati A Ghibelline who pretended to support the Florentine Guelfs. And by cutting the hand of the Guelf standard bearer caused their defeat in the battle of Montaperti. Bertran De Born He was lord of Altaforte and a soldier and a troubadour. He caused the rebellion of Prince Henry against his father, Henry II, King of England. Bertran lies punished in Inferno for this sin in the ninth Bolgia. Brunetto Latini Florenine politician and man of learning. He wrote the 'Tresor' and 'Tesoretto' works that greatly influenced Dante's own life and work. Latini is punished in the seventh circle for Sadomif. Beatrice She was a noble Florentine woman of outstanding grace and beauty. She was the daughter of Eolco Portinari and later became the wife of the banker Simone dei Bardi. Dante's life and writings were influenced by his acquaintance with her. Dante gathered all the poems he wrote to her in a book called "Vita Nuova" or the New life, where he added a commentary on the meaning and occasion of each. Charon The boatman of River Acheron. He ferries the souls of the sinners across Acheron, from the vestibule of Hell, into Hell proper. Cerberus Cerberus is the three headed, dog-like beast who guards the Gluttons in the Third Circle of Inferno. Ciacco

A Florentine punished in the third circle of Gluttons. He makes a prophecy concerning the political future of Florence. Cavalcante De Cavalcanti A Florentine nobleman and father of Guido Cavalcanti. Guido was a poet and friend of Dante's. Both Guido and his father were reckoned Epicureans. And Cavalcanti lies in the sixth circle, punished for having being an Epicurean heretic. Centaurs Half-horse, half-man creatures who guard the first division of the seventh circle, where the murderess and tyrants are punished. Chiron The chief of the Centaurs. Capaneus One of the seven Kings who fought against Thebes. While scaling the walls of Thebes he blasphemed against God, who then struck him a thunderbolt. In Inferno he represents the blasphemers. Catalano De Malavoltin He is in the sixth Bolgia where hypocrites are punished. A Jovial Friar from Bologna. He was elected jointly to the office of mayor in Florence with Loderingo Degli Andalo. Caiaphas He was the high priest of Jews who decided to sacrifice Jesus to save the Hebrew nation. He lies crucified and transfixed to the ground in the sixth bolgia of hypocrites. Capocchio A sinner sitting back to back with Griffolino da Arezho in the tenth Bolgia of the eighth circle. Count Ugolino

Belonged to a noble Tuscan family whose political affiliations were Ghibelline. He cheated his party by supporting the Guelfs. Cassius Caius Cassius Longinus, Roman statesman and general. He was pardoned by Caesar and made praetor and promised the governorship of Syria. Cassius, however, repaid this generosity by heading a conspiracy to murder Caesar and persuading Marcus Brutus to join it. Diomed He was the king of Argos and a major Greek figure in the Trojan War and was frequently associated with Ulysses in his exploits. In Inferno both Ulysses and Diomed are punished in one burning flame. Ephialtes Son of Neptune and Jphimedia. He was a giant. He tried to climb to Heaven to make war on the gods. Friar Alberigo A Jovia Friar and native of Eaenza. He invited his relative Manfred and his son to dinner and then had them killed. Filippo Argenti A Florentine, member of the Adimari family. He lies in the Styx where the wrathful are punished. Farinata Farinata Degli Uberti, Ghibelline leader of Florence. He is punished in the sixth circle for being an Epicurean heretic. Francesca Da Rimini and Paolo Francesco was the wife of Gianciotto de Verruchio and Paolo was his brother. Francesca was her brother-in-law Paolo's lover. When he discovers this love affair, Gianciotto kills both of them. Giacomo Da Sant Andrea

A native of a Padua, he was an incorrigible self-vandalizer who wasted most of his riches. Guido Guerra A Florentine nobleman and grandson of "good Gualdrada". He is in the seventh circle with other warriors. Guido Da Montefeltro A famous deceiver, he was a soldier who became a friar in his old age to repent for his sins. But he was untrue to his vows when, at the urging o Pope Boniface VIII, he counseled the use of fraud in the Pope's campaign against the Colonna family. Geri Del Bello He was the first cousin of Dante's father. He was murdered by one of the Sacchetti family. Geri lies in the ninth bolgia of the eight circle. Griffolino Da Arezzo Lies in the tenth of bolgia of falsifiers. He is in Hell for living a practitioner of alchemy. CONFLICT Protagonist The protagonist of this epic poem is Dante the Pilgrim. Dante the Pilgrim is the creation of the historical figure Dante the poet. The former moves in a world of the poet's invention. The ride of the Pilgrim is that of a fragile and inexperienced soul. The Pilgrim is lost in a dark wood (worldly life of sin) and trapped there by fierce beasts. He is rescued by Virgil, who tells him that the only way out is through Hell. Virgil discloses the fact that he has come to the Pilgrim's aid at the behest of Beatrice. This along with Virgil's encouraging words led the Pilgrim to follow Virgin to hell. Antagonist Since "The Divine Comedy" is a spiritual book, the antagonist that opposes Dante the Pilgrim is anything that is of a sinful or impure nature. Thus all varieties of sin, ignorance, temptations fall into this category. The protagonist's own weakness or fear also acts as antagonistic forces, hindering his journey (both spiritual and material) forward. The sinners that he meets who try to misled him by engaging his pity can

also be seen as antagonistic forces because they ask him to blind his reason and sympathize with those who have willingly sinned.

Climax The Inferno is a description of the various circles of Hell. Beginning with the Limbo onwards, as one goes along, increasing degrees of sin are punished. The sin and its accompanying punishment increase in severity as one goes further into Hell. It is like the building of a crescendo, and it reaches its climax at the center of Inferno, where the figure of Dis (Lucifer) is transfixed in eternal domination. Outcome In spite of his tremendous fear at the sight of Lucifer the Pilgrim follows Virgil and they make their way down Lucifer's hairy body. The pass the center of the earth and climb out of Hell through a rock tunnel. They reach the end of the tunnel where they come across an opening from which they can see the sky again. Thus they emerge safe from the Inferno. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) The entire action of " Divine Comedy" takes place in one week's time. It is on the night of April 17, 1300, the Thursday before Good Friday, that Dante the Pilgrim comes to his senses in the dark wood (the worldly life of sin). All of the following day he spends trying to find his way out of the place; he attempts to climb a sunlit mountain and is forced back down by three beasts - leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf, that block his ascent. Then, suddenly, the shade of a man (ghost) appears on the scene. The figure is the shade of Virgil, who offers to lead the Pilgrim out of the dark wood by another way. Virgil has been sent to guide the Pilgrim to safety by; the blessed Beatrice. The only way to escape from the dark wood is to descend into hell.

At sunset on the eve of Good Friday, Virgil and Pilgrim enter the Gates of Hell, and all that night and the next day they descend, circling always to the left, until they reach the gigantic figure of Lucifer. Before they reach Lucifer they pass through the three divisions of "Inferno" (Hell). The pilgrim takes careful notice of each region, the

type of sin punished, the sinners and the nature of the punishment. Virgil acts as his guide and clears his doubts about all that they come across. Once they reach Lucifer, they climb down his hairy sides and in a matter of minutes they are in the opposite hemisphere, the midpoint of which is Purgatory. Once the travelers pass the Center of the earth they gain twelve hours. All of that new Sunday as well as the next night they use in climbing up the long passageway leading to the other side of the earth. This ascent is as long as the descent was from the dark wood, all the way down to Lucifer's navel. THEMES Main Theme The main theme of The Divine Comedy is the spiritual journey of man through life. In this journey he learns about the nature of sin and its consequences. And comes to abhor it (sin) after understanding its nature and how it corrupts the soul and draws man away from God. The subject of the whole work, taken literally, is the condition of souls after death. But if the work is taken allegorically, the subject is man, how by actions of merit or demerit, through freedom of will, he justly deserves to be rewarded or punishment. It is the story of man's pilgrimage to God.

Minor Themes The political theme running through the poem forms an important minor theme. Political strife had rent Florence into two bitter halves - the Guelf and the Ghibellines. Dante's family was affiliated with the Guelf party. Eventually, because of political reasons Dante was permanently exiled from Florence. Dantes conception of Hell is partly the product of medieval theology and the violence and misery of constant wars. Some of it, however, is the result of his own inextinguishable bitterness for the long years of impoverished exile, living on the charity of noblemen. While he could have been an honored man in Florence. MOOD The poem starts with the Pilgrim's fear and confusion as he finds himself lost and confined in the dark woods. Virgil's appearance on the scene infuses energy and hope in him. Although Inferno, as the name suggests is mostly about sin and punishment,

the mood of the poem is not just morbid and sober. The education Dante received each step of the way is an affirmation of life and goodness. So the Inferno imports a lot of energy to its readers. Another dimension of the Inferno is that of wonder and breathless anticipation as new sinners and their punishments unfold. The final Canto reveals, and Dis (Lucifer) is the point where all eagerness and fear crystallize and the final effect is of victory because one sees evil trapped, defeated and punished.

The Iliad Homer

800 B.C. THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES Homer's Iliad originated at the beginnings of Western civilization. Its power is so timeless that it has been read continuously for more than 2500 years. Yet its origin lies shrouded in mystery, tangled in mythology, religion, and ancient tribal history. Aside from these elements, the real excitement of the Iliad lies in its brilliant poetry, which is sustained for more than 15,000 lines, bringing an age of heroes and their exploits to life with clarity, complexity, and depth of feeling. Homer has been known since classical Greek times as the author of the Odyssey and the Iliad- and that is about all that can be said for certain about him. The ancients regarded him as practically a god, equal to the muses (who were the divine inspiration for all arts). Facts about Homer the man have long been the subject of hot debate among scholars. Perhaps Homer also wrote a group of long poems, still called the Homeric Hymns. Perhaps Homer didn't actually write the two great epic poems but merely pieced together small sections written by many different poets over centuries. Perhaps there was no Homer at all, and the poems were a kind of oral history, written and recited by numerous poets and much later collected into the books we now know. Each of these theories has been offered as true, and each remains unproven. What is certain is that the ancient Greek scholars and commentators were convinced that Homer was real and lived in the 9th or 8th century B.C. Modern scholars generally agree that the Iliad was composed around 725 B.C. (the earliest written versions we have are hundreds of years later than that, so there's plenty of room for conjecture). But though we don't have the earliest texts, the ancient Greeks did, and Homer was written about, discussed, and analyzed throughout the classical Greek period.

One of the key controversies among Homeric critics is whether Homer composed his poems orally or whether he actually wrote them down. We do know that Homer's poems were recited in later days, at festivals and ceremonial occasions, by professional singers called rhapsodes, who beat out the measure with rhythm staffs. (There is a similar poet/singer in the Odyssey who sings a poem about the Trojan War. He is an old man, and blind; that may be the source behind the legend that Homer himself was blind.) Whether or not Homer actually wrote down his poems, it now seems certain that the Iliad and the Odyssey are part of an ancient literary tradition of oral composition. The stories on which they are based had probably been sung aloud for hundreds of years, and recited and memorized by one generation of poets after another before Homer took them in hand. After all, in Homer's time, writing was used mostly for inventories and business transactions. Recitation was the accepted means of relating myth and history. The Iliad was part of a group of ancient poems known as the Epic Cycle, which dealt with the history of the Trojan War and the events surrounding it. Homer probably had at his fingertips most of these stories and characters, ready-made. His genius lay in choosing to focus on the story of Achilleus and in bringing a tragic depth to the story of the battle for Troy. Homer was writing about events that took place four or five hundred years before his own time, events already enlarged by the glamor of the past. However tall Achilleus and Hektor actually were, by Homer's time their size was legendary, rather like that of comic book superheroes. For the Greeks, these heroes represented the ideals on which their civilization was based. At the same time, they symbolized elements of the human psyche, with its yearning for nobility and honor. The world of the Iliad is based on history but grows into metaphor: we must look beneath the facts to its deeper meaning. Archaeologists have indeed discovered the remains of a supposed Troy on the coast of Turkey and the majestic ruins of palaces and tombs in Mykenai on the plains of Greece. Through the lines of the Iliad, however, the Greeks and Trojans still live for us, echoing in the human imagination. THE POEM A COMPARISON OF TRANSLATIONS Over the centuries there have been many translations of Homer's two great epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. While the translations of course differ, none is more accurate than another. Each translator's understanding of Homer is influenced by his own personality and the time in which he lived. Some translations are in verse, others in prose. The quotations in this guide are from Richmond Lattimore's prose version of the Iliad (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951). This translation is easy for modern readers to understand and comes close to what Homer was saying.

It is interesting to compare the various translations. Here are four versions of some lines from Book II. Say, Virgins, seated round the Throne Divine, All-knowing Goddesses! Immortal Nine! Since Earth's wide Regions, Heav'n's unmeasur'd Height, And Hell's Abyss hide nothing from your sight, (We, wretched Mortals! lost in Doubts below, But guess by Rumour, and but boast we know) Oh say what Heroes, fir'd by Thirst of Fame, Or urg'd by Wrongs, to Troy's Destruction Came? To count them all, demands a thousand Tongues, A Throat of Brass, and Adamantine Lungs. Daughters of Jove assist! inspir'd by You The mighty labour dauntless I pursue: What crowded Armies, from what Climes they bring, Their Names, their Numbers, and their Chiefs I sing. Alexander Pope Tell me now, ye Muses that dwell in the mansions of Olympus- seeing that ye are goddesses and are at hand and know all things, but we hear only a rumour and know not anything- who were the captains of the Danaans and their lords. But the common sort could I not number nor name, nay, not if ten tongues were mine and ten mouths, and a voice unwearied, and my heart of bronze within me, did not the Muses of Olympus, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, put into my mind all that came to Ilios. So will I tell the captains of the ships and all the ships in order. Lang, Leaf, and Myers Tell me now, Muses, dwelling on Olympos, as you are heavenly, and are everywhere, and everything is known to you- while we can only hear the tales and never knowwho were the Danaan lords and officers? The rank and file I shall not name; I could not, if I were gifted with ten tongues and voices unfaltering, and a brazen heart within me, unless the Muses, daughters of Olympian Zeus beyond the stormcloud,

could recall all those who sailed for the campaign at Troy. Let me name only the captains of contingents and number all the ships. Robert Fitzgerald Tell me now, you Muses who have your homes on Olympos. For you, who are goddesses, are there, and you know all things, and we have heard only the rumour of it and know nothing. Who then of those were the chief men and the lords of the Danaans? I could not tell over the multitude of them nor name them, not if I had ten tongues and ten mouths, not if I had a voice never to be broken and a heart of bronze within me, not unless the Muses of Olympia, daughters of Zeus of the aegis, remembered all those who came beneath Ilion. I will tell the lords of the ships, and the ships numbers. Richard Lattimore THE PLOT For nine years the Achaians have besieged Troy. During one of their raids on a nearby town they take as captives two women: Chryseis, daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo, and Briseis. Chryseis is given to King Agamemnon as a war prize; Briseis is allotted to Achilleus. When Chryses the priest comes to the Argive camp seeking to ransom his daughter, Agamemnon refuses. At Chryses' behest Apollo sends a plague on the Achaians. Achilleus calls an assembly of the army, and the soothsayer Kalchas explains the anger of the god. He says that to appease Apollo, Agamemnon must return Chryseis to her father. A violent quarrel ensues, and Agamemnon says if he is forced to give up his prize he will take someone else's to replace her. When Achilleus expresses outrage at this demand, Agamemnon takes Briseis from him. Furious at the public insult, Achilleus vows to refrain from fighting until he feels he is once again properly valued. To effect this, he prays to his mother, Thetis, to plead his case before Zeus so that the Trojans will have victories, showing how sorely Achilleus is missed. Zeus assents to the plan. All the Achaian army is marshaled before us in its splendor, but to little avail. Things go badly for them in battle. A long day of fighting seesaws between the Trojans and the Argives. Hektor returns briefly to Troy and speaks to Helen and Paris, to his mother Hekabe, and to his wife Andromache, who brings along their child, Astyanax.

After more inconclusive fighting a truce is proposed, during which time the Achaians build up their defenses with a large ditch and a fortified wall. The next day the Trojans press the Argives, camping on the plain of Troy within striking distance of the Argive ships. Sensing defeat, Agamemnon admits his mistakes and offers to return Briseis to Achilleus, along with numerous other gifts. An embassy is sent to Achilleus with the proposal, but Achilleus refuses. The depth of his anger and shame forces him to hold out. Diomedes and Odysseus carry out a nighttime spying expedition, during which the unfortunate Trojan Dolon is captured and made to talk. The two warriors then raid the outskirts of the Trojan camp. Though Agamemnon in particular fights bravely, he and all the other major Achaians except Aias are wounded and forced to retire temporarily from battle. They are vulnerable to attack, and Hektor leads the Trojans crashing through the wall to reach the ships and burn them. But Achilleus is watching as the ships are torched. Neither he nor his comrade Patroklos can endure the defeat. Patroklos dons Achilleus' armor to fight against the Trojans, hoping they will mistake him for Achilleus and be demoralized. Patroklos rouses the Achaian army, and the Trojans are swept back to their city walls. Finally Hektor meets Patroklos face to face. Unarmed and shaken by Apollo, Patroklos is an easy victim for Hektor's spear. A furious battle over the body of the dead Patroklos follows. The fierce fighting swings back and forth. Though Hektor seizes the armor, the Achaians are able to rescue the body. Pressed hard by Hektor and his forces, the Achaians retreat to their ships. By then Achilleus has been brought the terrible news of the death of his friend. Enraged and brokenhearted, Achilleus turns his anger from Agamemnon to Hektor. Though Achilleus has no armor, his mere appearance on the battlefield sends the Trojans fleeing in terror. Hephaistos crafts a stupendous set of armor for him, and after calling an assembly in which he and Agamemnon make their peace, Achilleus dons his new armor and rages into battle. Virtually all the Trojans are slaughtered. Achilleus brings Hektor down, ties him to his chariot, and drags him through the dust back to the ships. The Achaians solemnly and elaborately bury Patroklos, while Achilleus laments and continues to brutalize the corpse of Hektor. The gods decide it is time to end this situation, and through Zeus' efforts Priam is sent to the Achaian camp to ransom the body of his son. Achilleus and Priam weep together over their mutual losses; then Priam returns to Troy with the body of Hektor.

Within the city walls the Trojans formally mourn their slain hero. Andromache, Hekabe, and Helen lament his passing. Hektor is buried. [The Iliad Contents]


ACHILLEUS (ACHILLES) Achilleus, the son of Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis, is the leader of the Myrmidon contingent in the Trojan War. He is clearly the greatest of the Achaian warriors, in the judgment of both friend and enemy. The very sight of him on the battlefield is enough to send the Trojans fleeing in terror. Part of this power comes from his divine connections (his mother, Thetis, is a goddess), part from divine favor (at crucial points Hera and Athene look out for him and help him). This may also be a way of telling us of the enormous personal resources Achilleus has at his command. Achilleus' vast emotional and physical powers are not always at the service of clearheadedness. Though his initial anger at Agamemnon is based on a sense of moral justice, his rage transcends his sense of morality. His emotions motivate him more than his thoughts, for he holds onto his fury even after Agamemnon offers to return Briseis with an apology. At that point he is no longer operating for a principle of fairness but is playing out his anger and punishing his enemies. Unfortunately, his comrades must pay the price of his passions. Not until his friend Patroklos has been sacrificed does Achilleus realize he has held his position too long. Yet he is a complex, vital man. There is little doubt that he is right in taking a stand against Agamemnon's arbitrary decisions. He is one of those people who will fight to the death for what they believe in. Though his anger is fierce and relentless, there is nevertheless something noble in it. His sheer intensity demands respect. Because he is the one character actually to undergo change, the Iliad is really his poem. He loses much along the way but finally tempers his anger and reaches out in a gesture of compassion and peace toward Priam. Achilleus is first in the line of great Greek tragic heroes: his power makes him a hero, and his human blindness makes him tragic.

AGAMEMNON Although many of the Greek commanders are kings in their own right, Agamemnon as commander- in-chief is king of them all, the "lord of men." We don't know whether he was given this position by virtue of the size or wealth of his home city, Mykenai, or because he is the powerful brother of the wronged Menelaos, or if he was voted as leader by all the other Achaians. Agamemnon's position, however, is the key to his character. Behind his actions in his quarrel with Achilleus lies a need to protect the trappings of his office, his rank. Quite simply, the king cannot have less than his subjects; respect must be shown. Yet Agamemnon, too, is rash, and there is pride in his actions as much as in Achilleus'. Though in battle he proves himself a strong fighter, he seems to be less sure as a leader. Several times he suggests that the Achaians give up their struggle, and an uncertainty about his position may make him too quick to jump at Achilleus. He is fast to recognize his wrong and make an apology (within the limits of his sense of rank), and shows a tender care for his brother, Menelaos. He seems to have genuine concern for his army; yet his judgment is none too sharp and he waffles. For all his kingliness, he is somewhat more bureaucratic than noble. His arbitrariness with Achilleus brings the heroic code into question.

AIAS (AJAX) Son of Telamon (hence called Telemonian Aias), he is, after Achilleus, the most imposing of the Argive warriors. He is frequently compared to a wall, and, in fact, as the last hero on the field after all the others have been wounded, he practically single-handedly defends the ships, roaming the fortified wall and then fighting from the prow of a boat. In a way, he is the Achaian defensive wall personified. He rarely speaks in council. What he does is defend his comrades to the end by sheer bulk and human will, and he does not give up until, the last man left, his very spear is hacked from his hands.

DIOMEDES Diomedes is one of the great fighters for the Achaians. A true warrior, he supports Agamemnon when he feels the commander-in-chief is right and criticizes him when he is wrong. He is aided by Athene and is also responsible for wounding both Aphrodite and Ares- a remarkable feat for a mortal (although it is accomplished with the aid of Athene). He does not have Odysseus' spark of insight, but he speaks seriously, if haltingly. This may be because he is the youngest of the Achaian commanders. At times he seems too eager for battle, and his killing of Dolon has a touch of ruthlessness about it.

MENELAOS (MENELAUS) The original husband of Helen, brother of Agamemnon, and king of Sparta, Menelaos has the unlucky distinction of being the person on whose behalf the war is being fought. He is dogged but not quite illustrious. He fights hard, though not particularly skillfully, and seems at times to be protected by Agamemnon. He is willing to bear the burden of responsibility but is not quite up to the challenge.

NESTOR Nestor, the aged king of Pylos, is one of the most elaborately conceived characters in the Iliad. He has not only a consistent set of ideas, but a consistent way of talking. He is forever long-winded and rambling. His characterization is due largely to his age: he is the oldest of the warriors at Troy. His wayward speeches are the product of a mind not quite as quick as it used to be, and also filled with a bit of blustery memory to pad the way. Yet he always has a point to make, and his age is not ridiculed. His experience gives him the justification to draw forth moral examples. That these examples come mostly from his own life shows a kind of fond respect for him on the part of Homer. Though no longer able to fight the way he used to, he is eager to aid the cause in whatever way he can.

ODYSSEUS Odysseus, king of Ithaca, is seen in many ways as the counterpart to Achilleus. He is the hero of the other epic by Homer, the Odyssey. Where Achilleus is passionate, Odysseus is resourceful. Achilleus is often seen as archaic man, the idealist, while Odysseus is viewed as modern man, the pragmatic survivor. In the Iliad he seems to have the quickest mind of all and is able to interrupt arguments with just the right measure of understanding and criticism. He always tries to keep things in order so that the matter at hand- the battle for Troy- can move forward. He is a great fighter and can be ruthless as well as tricky. He is also a true friend, the kind that does not mince words but tells you honestly (but with tact) what is the matter.

PATROKLOS (PATROCLUS) Companion to Achilleus and son of Menoitios, Patroklos is the most sympathetic character in the Iliad. He is shown more often in friendship than in battle, and he is spoken of in the kindest terms by Achilleus and Briseis, both of whom he befriended. Though faithful to Achilleus, he can't endure the sight of

his comrades being slaughtered, and if he can't rouse Achilleus to fight, he begs to be able to fight in Achilleus' place. The enormity of Achilleus' affection for him and the funeral rites held for his sake make him seem particularly noble. THE TROJANS

ANDROMACHE Andromache, wife of Hektor, is the most emotionally up-front character in the Iliad. Her speeches to Hektor are filled with passion and intensity. She is a devoted wife and mother and also shows her knowledge of the pleasure of emotional intimacy. Her grief is so directly communicated that she seems to stand for all Trojan women who have lost husbands and sons in the war. Her devotion and immediacy make us feel how much is wasted by the conflict at Troy, and add to our appreciation of Hektor.

HEKABE (HECABE) Wife of Priam and mother of Hektor, Hekabe incorporates the wisdom of women who understand intuitively the value of life. In urging Hektor not to go back into battle she reminds us of all the positive social aspects of existence. Her response to Priam's mission of recondition is similarly a primal concern: she has seen too much loveliness destroyed to trust anymore in the vicious war and its participants. She has a mother's instinctual protectiveness and rage, and says she would devour the liver of the hated Achilleus if she could- but her fury is born of grief and desperation.

HEKTOR (HECTOR) Son of Priam and Hekabe, and husband to Andromache, Hektor is the most beloved and greatest fighter for the Trojans. Because the war is being fought at Troy, and Homer presents a picture of life within the city walls, we have a sense of Hektor as a domestic man as well as a fighter, which is unique in the Iliad. Though at times his fame as a fighter seems to outstrip his actual combat ability, he often single-handedly inspires the Trojan successes. By the time he crashes through the Achaian defensive wall, you could say he stands for the Trojan army. He can be impetuous and almost deluded in his fighting frenzy; he misreads omens and doesn't follow the advice of his comrades even when it's eminently worthwhile. Like Achilleus, he pursues his destiny with a singleminded force.

We sense that Hektor is not fighting a war he particularly believes in. He is quick to criticize Paris but is staking his life on defending Paris' actions. Hektor is the upholder of the heroic code par excellence. He understands that his city must stand or fall as one man. He defends its interests to the end for honor. In his family relations Hektor exhibits sensitivity and sanity, a sharp contrast to his furious warring. He is courteous to Helen and devoted to Andromache. Though he tells his wife he must fight for the honor of the city, he also admits to her that her safety is his greatest worry- he would rather die than endure the sight of her made captive. He is tender and playful with his son, Astyanax, kissing him and actually laughing out loud- a rare occurrence in the Iliad! While Achilleus seems somehow to stand above the Achaian cause and infuses the poem with his own tragic dimension, Hektor's tragedy is the tragedy of Troy. Though the gods admit he has always dutifully made his sacrifices to them, he gets embroiled in a web of fate that goes beyond his personal life. He is the "defender," and when he falls Troy falls. The burial of Hektor is the final act of the poem.

HELEN Even more so than Paris, Helen is the unwitting agent of Aphrodite. In her one important scene with the goddess she is literally forced to go to Paris against her wishes. Helen has a mysterious quality throughout the poem- as she will throughout Greek history- and her descent from Zeus (and Leda) may give her a special divine aura. Renowned for her beauty, she appears in the poem in flowing, sheer robes that only intensify her spectral quality. She frequently regrets her abduction by Paris and sometimes longingly thinks of her past with Menelaos. She furiously rebukes Paris for his cowardice, even expressing a wish that he die in battle so that she won't have to be with him any longer. By recognizing that Aphrodite has misled and used her, she also recognizes her own mistake. In the Iliad, Helen is a love goddess against her will.

PARIS (ALEXANDROS) Pampered, beautiful, and slightly scandalous, Paris is the actual cause of the Trojan War- he stole Helen from his host, Menelaos. He is chided by Hektor for his womanizing and his prettiness, and even Helen seems to be fed up with his shamelessness and lack of modesty. He is an adequate fighter, but clearly his heart is somewhere else. While others are busying themselves with the gruesome realities of war, Paris is making love to Helen. Helen expresses regret but Paris never apologizes for bringing war down on his people and making

them defend his rather indefensible actions. It is important to note that he achieves what he does through the aid and insistence of Aphrodite. He both benefits from and is used by her power.

POULYDAMAS (POLYDAMAS) Poulydamas, comrade of Hektor, embodies some of the spirit of both Patroklos and Odysseus, and fulfills a similar role as they do to Achilleus. He is the confidant of Hektor, and they seem to have had a long-standing relationship, but he is also clear-sighted when Hektor is impetuous, and the advice he givesthough not always followed- is careful and cleverly reasoned.

PRIAM Priam is the Trojan counterpart to Nestor, the elder statesman and ruler with a dynasty. He is gentle and wise with his people, and is a fond (and prolific) father. Though his temper flares momentarily after the death of his son, Hektor, he treats even Helen respectfully. In his nighttime voyage to the Achaian camp he shows extreme courage. He is a man who cherishes his family and is able to reach out to Achilleus on this basis of human connections.

THE IMMORTALS Just who or what the gods and goddesses are is one of the Iliad's most intriguing questions. Sometimes they are religious figures, sometimes allegorical, sometimes psychological. Their relation to humans is extremely complex. One way of looking at the gods is as a way of explaining how or why an event took place. Thus, if a warrior throws a spear at another warrior and misses, Homer might say that Athene caused the spear to overshoot its target. Similar to this approach is a psychological reading of the gods. When Helen is arguing with Aphrodite about going to Paris in Book III, we could say that's another way of Helen talking to herself and trying to figure out her true desire. Sometimes the immortals in the Iliad can be seen as abstracted powers. Ares, for instance, is sometimes conceived of as war itself, not as a character. When the ground springs into bloom beneath Hera and Zeus in Book XIV, we could say that these two immortals themselves are possessed of the abstracted power of Aphrodite or, simply, love and fertility. It is also clear that the gods and goddesses are characters in the Iliad, and as such display individuality and will in their actions. They are used as comic relief from the

war, mimicking and mocking mortals. They are even parodies of humanity, and since they are supposedly so powerful (they're quite literally "above it all" on Olympos), their squabbles and tricks seem foolish in comparison. As characters, Homer uses the immortals skillfully to further his plot. They can intervene, favor one side or another, and force mortals to do things against their will. Though they can manipulate human lives, it is not at all clear that they can change human destiny. Thus, all their machinations may just be another way of saying this or that event took place. Comic or terrifying, they have this distinction in the poem- they are entirely creatures of the imagination. Unless, of course, they are real!...

APHRODITE Goddess of love, Aphrodite fights in support of the Trojans, backing Paris in his judgment among the goddesses. She is not particularly successful in the battle and is wounded by Diomedes. She is not, however, all free and easy. She ruthlessly threatens Helen to do her bidding, and in a way the Trojan War is due to her manipulation. The power of love she governs is able to bring men to battle.

APOLLO The far-shooting god who causes the initial plague against the Achaians, Apollo is a defender of Troy and supporter of Hektor in battle.

ARES Ares is the cold-blooded and bloodthirsty god of war. He aids the Trojan side and is sometimes pictured, allegorically, as war itself. Those who fight well are said to be "dear to Ares."

ATHENE (ATHENA) Athene, in league with Hera against the Trojans- and for the same reason- is nevertheless more closely allied to Achilleus. Their relationship seems to be one of mutually powerful warriors. Athene, with her aegis that she shares with Zeus, is the most powerful war force of all. She is unflinching in combat, but her warrior stance is mediated by wisdom. She is the fiercest possible ally and is there for Achilleus at his most crucial moments.


The lame god of the blacksmith's art (and its fire), Hephaistos fashions in his smithy a stupendous set of armor for Achilleus. Hephaistos can make himself a jester to amuse the other immortals but can also bring a fiercer power to bear. He sends a raging firestorm against the river Xanthos to aid Achilleus.

HERA Hera, wife of Zeus, is one of the great troublemakers in the Iliad. Her anger and trickery keep things moving any time they threaten to go slack. She resents Zeus and his power as much as she may love him, but she has found ways of circumventing his will. She supports Achilleus chiefly because she loathes the Trojans- evidently because Paris insulted her by choosing Aphrodite as the loveliest of the immortals. She lies to both Zeus and Aphrodite to get her way, and her eye is that of a relentless housewife who does not miss a thing.

POSEIDON Poseidon is the god of the sea and is also known as the shaker-of-the-earth. He sides with the Achaians and bristles under the authority of his older brother, Zeus. He is extremely powerful, and when he commits himself to battle it feels as if the earth were coming apart.

THETIS Divine mother of Achilleus, Thetis is emotional and devoted to her son. She pleads his case before Zeus and is ever-watchful from her domain in the sea. She knows of Achilleus' fated death and mourns him before he has actually died. As fiercely protective of her son as Hekabe is of Hektor, she arranges for Hephaistos to craft divine armor for Achilleus. In her sea caves she is surrounded by the company of the Nereids, the sporting sea nymphs.

ZEUS Zeus, the most powerful god of all- and quick to let everyone know it- is, in a way, the author of the poem. His plan to bring about the redemption of Achilleus really creates the plot structure. Zeus is the great sky god, one of the powerful second generation of Greek deities who took over the world from its primal forces. His father was Kronos, and his brothers are Poseidon and Hades. Among the immortals, his will is absolute; not absolute enough, however, to prevent him from being tricked by his wife Hera when she sets her mind to it. He has a fierce and merciless vengeance, and his will is crossed only at great peril. The face he shows to mortals is usually one of thunder and lightning,

though he can also communicate via bird omens, usually in the form of an eagle. He tolerates the squabbles and feuds of the other gods and goddesses as if they were all his children. He demands- and rewards- absolute respect. He may or may not be able to influence fate, but he certainly has the scales in his TESTS AND ANSWERS TEST 1 _____ 1. The Iliad starts with A. a description of the Trojan horse B. an invocation to the muse of poetry C. the quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaos _____ 2. Agamemnon's camp suffered a plague because of A. Achilleus' jealousy B. Apollo's anger C. Poseidon's interference _____ 3. Homer opens his poem A. with a detailed background of the Trojan War B. with Thetis' visit to Zeus on Mount Olympos C. in the ninth year of the Trojan War _____ 4. One thing apparent about Homer's gods was that A. they were all equally powerful B. they possessed exaggerated human characteristics C. they were always treated seriously in poetry _____ 5. In Book II the army's desertion was halted through the efforts of I. Athene II. Zeus III. Odysseus

A. I and II only B. I and III only C. II and III only _____ 6. The Book II survey of the Achaian host is generally referred to as A. "The Shield of the Brave" B. "The High and the Mighty" C. "The Catalog of Ships" _____ 7. Achilleus' flaw was A. in his heels B. his passionate pride C. his inability to think strategically _____ 8. Paris agreed to a duel with Menelaos after A. he saw Helen's face B. a lecture from Hektor C. Aphrodite's intervention _____ 9. Homer's technique with the beautiful Helen was to A. describe her face in loving detail B. refrain from detailed description C. convert its one blemish into an asset _____ 10. The destruction of Troy could be traced to A. the ill will of Hera, queen of the gods B. Agamemnon's breaking of the truce C. Pandaros' failed attempt on Agamemnon's life 11. What is the cause of Achilleus' wrath? Describe the event and the reasoning behind his reactions. (See Book I and Book IX.) 12. What are Homeric epithets? Describe their use. (See the Introduction.) 13. Who is the real hero of the Iliad?

TEST 2 _____ 1. Book V, which describes the furious battles, has been called A. the Aeneid B. the Diomedeia C. the Achaian Epic _____ 2. When lots were cast to find an opponent for Hector, the winner was A. Telemonian Aias B. Odysseus C. Idomeneus _____ 3. Odysseus attempts to reconcile Achilleus by A. promising eternal fealty to the hero B. offering him the ship he had admired C. revising Agamemnon's message _____ 4. The bad omen identified by Polydoros was A. the eagle with the serpent in its claws B. the raven beneath the coat of mail C. the albatross perched on the wall _____ 5. Achilleus' fatal decision was to A. allow Patroklos to wear his armor B. defy Zeus in front of the other gods C. disguise himself as a Myrmidon _____ 6. Achilleus' imminent death was prophesied by A. a horse B. a blind seer C. the weeping Briseis _____ 7. Homer offers a symbolic episode in

A. the wailing of Priam and Hekabe B. the battle between Achilleus and the river god C. Poseidon's assistance of the Argives _____ 8. Before his classic battle with Achilleus, Hektor A. prayed to Athene B. fled in fear C. asked his mother's blessing _____ 9. The beginning and end of this epic poem A. shed light on Achilleus' development B. show the lighter side of the gods on Mount Olympos C. reveal Homer's concern for justice _____ 10. The Iliad concludes with A. an elaborate funeral banquet B. the somber predictions of the gods C. the plans for the Trojan horse 11. Describe the use and range of similes in the Iliad. (See the Introduction.) 12. Describe the character of Nestor. What makes his speeches so special? (See Major Characters, Book XI, The Critics.) 13. Would you say the Iliad is a prowar or antiwar poem? ANSWERS TEST 1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. B B C B B C B B

9. B 10. A 11. Because of a plague sent by Apollo, Agamemnon is forced to return a girl, Chryseis, he had taken as a war prize. To compensate for this loss- and the accompanying loss of face- Agamemnon takes Achilleus' prize, Briseis, away from him. Achilleus feels this is an attack on the code of honor by which warriors fight. They take great risk to prove themselves courageous in battle, and the prizes they receive are one indication of how nobly they perform. He is also shamed at being singled out among the Achaians for this stripping and is embarrassed that it is done in front of everyone. He reasons that the war is being fought over a woman who was taken from one man by another (Paris ran away with Helen, who was married to Menelaos) and feels his situation ought to be accorded the same respect. After all, what is the value of the heroic code if it can be subverted by one man's spur-of-themoment decision? 12. Epithets are short characteristic phrases that describe a quality or skill or position of someone. Some examples are "the lord of men" (Agamemnon); "good at the war cry" (Diomedes); and "swift-footed" (Achilleus). Epithets may be remnants of a previous oral tradition handed down intact to Homer. They are used partially to fill out the meter of the poem and sometimes are given to characters because they fit the metrical pattern of their names. They add a heroic dimension to the characters they describe, and the repetition of these qualities enlarges them over the course of the poem. 13. a. The true hero of the poem is Achilleus. He is the most important warrior, and the whole plot hinges on his anger and its consequences. Although he doesn't appear in most of the poem, his influence is felt throughout it. He is the one character actually to undergo change, and that is the theme of the Iliad. After he is finally made to recognize that his pride has gone too far, he tempers his anger by reaching out to Priam in peace. b. Hektor is the hero of the Iliad. The noblest and purest of the characters, he fights for a cause he doesn't really believe in, because he is defending his home. He is a great warrior but also a peace-loving, domestic man, as shown by his love for his parents, wife, and children. c. Homer believes Achilleus and Hektor are both heroes. They perform gloriously, and each represents the power of his respective army. But both are also human: Achilleus' grief transforms him and shows his emotional depth; Hektor's love of family shows his humane side.

TEST 2 1. B 2. A 3. C 4. A 5. A 6. A 7. B 8. B 9. A 10. A 11. Similes are a poetic means by which Homer can take us out of the war at hand and bring in other aspects of life to expand his canvas. Often the scenes come from peaceful and domestic activities back home, reminding us of the virtues war is fighting for and providing a kind of encyclopedia of information on Greek life. Often the similes compare warriors to animals on the hunt, and this exposes the underside of brutality and inhumanness that war brings out in people. Also, similes frequently refer to natural powers like storms and tidal waves. This makes the stakes of the battles seem larger, as if two warriors fighting represented elemental battles of the universe. 12. Nestor is portrayed as the elder statesman of the Achaians. Even though he can no longer fight the way he used to, he certainly can tell us about the way he used to fight. His speeches are long-winded and he tends to wander a bit because of age, but his elaborate tales always have a purpose. By drawing on either his own past exploits or those of legendary heroes, he seeks to provide moral examples to his friends. The past serves as a model for present behavior. 13. a. The Iliad clearly shows the horror of war. On the battlefield we see mutilation of bodies graphically presented again and again. The pictures of life at Troy are filled with lamentation and grief over the fallen Trojan heroes. Great heroes on both sides die- Patroklos for the Achaians and Hektor for the Trojans. Both losses are felt strongly by Achilleus and the house of Priam, respectively. The cause of the war is not described with approval, and in the end the slaughter seems needless. b. The Iliad, in spite of its graphic battle descriptions, glorifies war. Achilleus and Hektor, the greatest fighters for either side, are presented as heroes with almost divine power. They are noble warriors fighting for a code of honor, upholding their social traditions. By and large the warriors are depicted as great and glorious men, performing fantastic and heroic feats. Though they die, they die for their ideals.

The Importance of Being Earnest


Oscar Wilde
SETTING Setting is a key element in this play because it offers a guise for the main characters alias. This adds to the hilarity that develops from misunderstandings both intended and accidental. The primary settings are in the city: London, England, and in the country: Hertfordshire, England. Act I: Algernon Moncrieffs flat in Half-Moon Street Act II: The Garden at the Manor House, Woolton Act III: Drawing room of the Manor House, Woolton. The time period is the 1890s. CHARACTERS Major Character John Worthing, J.P. Known as Jack in the country, Ernest in the city. He escapes country life by pretending to have a brother, Ernest, who continuously gets into trouble in the city and requires his assistance. He is the guardian of Cecily and wants to marry Gwendolen, but is not allowed to because her mother does not approve of his being found as an infant in Victoria Station.

Minor Characters Algernon Moncrieff

Algernon in the city, Ernest in the country. Algernon is the cousin of Gwendolen and wants to marry Cecily. He claims to have an ill friend, Bunbury, whom he visits in the country when he wants to escape the city. Rev. Canon Chasuble D.D. Chasuble is the pedantic reverend who resides in the country near Jack. He is in love with Miss Prism. Merriman Jacks butler. Lane Algernons manservant Lady Bracknell Gwendolens mother and Algernons aunt. She refuses to allow the marriage of Gwendolen and Jack. Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax Daughter of Lady Bracknell. She wishes to marry Jack, whom she believes is Ernest. Cecily Cardew Ward of Jack. She wishes to marry Algernon, whom she believes is Jacks younger brother Ernest. Miss Prism The governess of Cecily. She once wrote a novel, but never published it. She is involved in a very important mishap. CONFLICT The major conflict in this play is that Jack wants to marry Gwendolen, who believes his name is really Ernest-and loves him for that, and that he cannot because Lady Bracknell does not approve of Jacks background.

Protagonist The protagonist is the main character of the story, and the one around whom most of the action revolves. In this story, the protagonist is Jack Worthing. He is the protagonist because the plot revolves around his attempt to marry Gwendolen.

Antagonist The antagonist is the principle character that opposes the protagonist. This story is a bit unusual, as it is more rooted in satire than anything else, in that its antagonist is Lady Bracknell. This is because she opposes the main intentions of the protagonist. Her refusal to allow her daughter to marry the main character is from where much of the plot stems. Climax The climactic moment (moment when the plot reaches a high point in its action after which everything leads toward resolution) is when the two main female characters, Gwendolen and Cecily, confront Jack and Algernon, who have both been pretending to be Ernest. This moment is a result of Jack wanting to marry Gwendolen and not being allowed to do so and the resultant trip of Algernon to Jacks home, where he, too, pretends to be Ernest. The major conflict is resolved, ironically, when Jack discovers his true identity is his false identity: he was really named Ernest when he was born. Furthermore, he is from a reputable background PLOT (Synopsis) The play opens in Algernon Moncrieffs home in London. Algernon and his manservant are discussing marriage. After Lane exits, Algernon remarks that it is the job of the lower classes to set an example. Algernons friend, Ernest Worthing, whose real name is Jack, stops in for a visit. It becomes apparent that Jack wants to marry Algernons cousin Gwendolen. Algernon refuses to give consent because he has found a cigarette case that Jack previously left behind. The inscription reveals it is from a lady named Cecily to her Uncle Jack. Jack admits that he goes by the name Ernest in the city and Jack in the country. Cecily is his ward. To escape country life, he pretends that he has a brother, named Ernest,

whom gets into trouble and needs his assistance. Algernon admits that he has the same habit, and he refers to it as Bunburying. He pretends to have an ill friend named Bunbury, whom he must visit, when he wishes to escape the country. Lady Bracknell and her daughter Gwendolen arrive. Jack proposes to Gwendolen and she accepts, claiming also that she could not love him if his name were not Ernest, which she still believes it to be. However, upon questioning Jack, Lady Bracknell learns that he was found as an infant, abandoned at Victoria Station. She does not approve of this and will not consent to the marriage. The remainder of the play takes place at Jacks house in the country. Act II commences with Miss Prism and Cecily doing lessons in the garden. They discuss Johns poor, miserable, younger brother Ernest and wonder if he will visit. The lessons are interrupted when Dr. Chasuble, the reverend, takes Miss Prism for a walkit becomes apparent that they admire one another. In the meantime, Algernon, claiming to be Jacks younger brother, arrives and meets Cecily. They banter back and forth and become fond of one another. They enter the house in search of something for Algernon to eat. Miss Prism and Dr. Chasuble enter the garden. Jack unexpectedly appears (he was supposed to be out of town until Monday) and claims that his brother Ernest has died. He then asks if Dr, Chasuble will baptize him that afternoon and he agrees. Cecily enters the garden and tells Jack that his brother has arrived for an unexpected visit. Jack claims not to have a brother, which Cecily mistakes as his anger at Ernests troublesome ways and defends him by saying that he has promised to change, which he has promised her earlier. Algernon enters; Cecily, Miss Prism, and Dr. Chasuble exit. Algernon and Jack argue; Jack tells the butler, Merriman, to order Algernon a dog-cart so that he can leave immediately. Later, while alone, Algernon and Cecily profess their love for one another, and Algernon asks her to marry him. She agrees, and tells him that she has been writing about their engagement for three months in her diary. She tells him that she could not love him if his name were not Ernest. He leaves to make plans to be baptized.

Gwendolen appears, and Cecily sits with her for tea. After talking for a bit they realize that they are both engaged to Ernest Worthing and become hostile. The men return and clear up the matter. However, they must reveal their identities. The women reconcile and exit the garden, angry.

Jack and Algernon finally go after Gwendolen and Cecily. They tell their loves that they only faked their identities so that they would be able to see them more. The women love this idea, but are still upset about the mens names. The men tell them that they have arranged to both be baptized as Ernest that very afternoon. Everyone reconciles. All is well until Lady Bracknell arrives; she has gotten the address from Gwendolens maid. She asks Algernon if this is the residence of Bunbury. He tells her that Bunbury has died. Lady Gwendolen still will not allow the marriage of Gwendolen to Jack. Jack says that if she will not allow their marriage then he, as Cecilys guardian, will not allow the marriage of Cecily to Algernon. Dr. Chasuble arrives for the christenings. Jack tells Chasuble that his services are no longer necessary. Dr. Chasuble mentions that he is returning to Miss Prism, and Lady Bracknell, recognizing her name and subsequent description, demands to see her. Miss Prism arrives and it is revealed that twenty-eight years ago she was in charge of the son of Lady Bracknells sister-Mrs. Moncrieff, Algernons mother. Miss Prism accidentally placed the baby in her hand-bag and a novel she had written in the carriage. She lost the baby in Victoria Station. Jack is delighted to hear this and retrieves the bag that he was left in twenty eight years ago in Victoria Station-it is the same one. He is Algernons older brother. After reviewing army records they discover that his fathers name, therefore as oldest son, his name, was Ernest John Worthing. He has been, the whole time, inadvertently, living the truth. He is now able to marry Gwendolen and gives consent for Algernon to marry Cecily. All ends well. THEMES Major Theme The major theme of this play is the triviality of the upper class. This is expressed in the nature of the writing, which is satirical. By examining the language and interaction of the characters, one can see that they are simply absurd. Minor Themes Triviality of Marriage This is perhaps the most obvious theme, and a subset of the triviality theme. This theme exposes the aristocracy as shallow and absurd. Wildes characters consistently refer to marriage in a poor light, yet, continuing with their absurdity, each seek to be married.

Victorian Manners This theme also seeks to support the theme of the triviality of the upper class. The way in which they interact with one another is based on a social code; this is also an example of sentimentality. For instance, Lady Bracknell is kind to Jack until she discovers his background. Gwendolen and Cecily are overly kind to one another until they find something upon which to disagree. Lady Bracknell is kind to Cecily when she discovers she has money. Importance of Wealth/ Life of Leisure This theme supports the presentation of Victorian society as shallow. Lady Bracknell, who is representative of the aristocratic class, concerns herself primarily with the wealth of others. Even more apparent, is the life of leisure in which everyone partakes. No real action occurs. This is primarily a play of language, of conversation. MOOD The mood of the Importance of Being Earnest is largely satirical. This is because Wilde is seeking to mock the triviality of the upper class society of London. Wildes satire is characterized by wit and is, throughout, lighthearted. He often portrays lines that characters deliver as quite normal e.g., when Gwendolen tells Ernest that she loves him because of his name. This, however, is quite ridiculous-making Gwendolen appear so by association. Wilde is also writing from an aesthetic perspective. This movement in literature saw that art be celebrated for arts sake, and not concern itself with the political issues of the outside world. Therefore, much of what Wilde writes is, simply, humorous.

Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare


Julius Caesar is largely set in Rome, in February of the year 44 B.C. In later scenes, the action moves to Sardis and the battlefield at Philippi. The setting of Julius Caesar is vital to the understanding of the play. The Roman society presented is sophisticated, marked by a rich cultural heritage and a political tradition of democracy. The physical landmarks of ancient Rome, such as the Tiber River, the Capitol, and the house of the Senate, are referred to with great frequency. The Forum is also the setting for an important scene. Roman political institutions and officials, such as tribunes, Senators, Patricians, and priests, are always present. Many traditional Roman customs of the time are also mentioned, adding to the cultural setting; for instance, in the opening scenes there is a reference to the Feast of Lupercal. In actuality, Rome dominates the play and everything revolves around it, at times making it seem like a character in and of itself. CHARACTERS Major Characters Julius Caesar The protagonist of the play. He is the leader of Rome who hopes to be crowned head of the entire Roman Empire. He is enjoying popularity among the people because he has recently returned from a victorious battle against the sons of Pompey the Great; however, his susceptibility to flattery and his false sense of infallibility lead to his tragic assassination. The entire play revolves around this event and the attempts of his close friend Antony to avenge his death and restore order to Rome. Late in the play, Caesar's ghost briefly appears as a character. Octavius Caesar Julius Caesar's heir. After Caesar's assassination, Octavius makes a pact with Mark Antony and Aemilius Lepidus to seize control of the Roman Empire. Mark Antony Julius Caesar's trusted companion. After Caesar's assassination, Antony turns the crowds against the conspirators. He then enters into a pact with Octavius Caesar and Aemilius Lepidus to form a triumvirate to rule Rome. He instigates mob riots and subtly encourages the burning of the houses of the conspirators. Along with Octavius and Lepidus, Antony leads an attack against Cassius and Brutus (and their army of conspirators) and defeats them at Philippi.

Marcus Brutus A supposed good friend of Julius Caesar. He is an idealistic man, motivated by nobility and principles rather than by personal relationships. He agrees to the plot to assassinate his friend because he believes it is for the good of Rome. Ultimately, his misguided sense of nobility and his poor judgement lead to his downfall. Cassius The chief architect of the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar. He is the opposite of Brutus in that his participation in the conspiracy is neither noble nor based on ideas. He is envious of Caesar and wants to achieve power for himself. He is a shrewd manipulator of people, easily able to understand their motivations and intents. Minor Characters Casca The first conspirator to stab Caesar. Cassius manipulates Casca's simplicity and persuades him that the storm and other unnatural phenomena are omens about the fate of Rome if Caesar becomes the king. After the assassination Casca vanishes from the play. Calphurnia Julius Caesar's wife. She tries to prevent Caesar from going to the Senate because of her prophetic nightmare that foreshadows the assassination, but he does not listen to her. Portia Brutus' wife. She is devoted to her husband and is concerned for his safety above all else. When the tide turns against the conspirators, she commits suicide by swallowing hot coals rather than facing her husband's dishonor. M. Aemilius Lepidus The third member of the Second Triumvirate that rules Rome after Caesar's assassination. He considers himself equal to Antony and Octavius, but in his absence, Antony says he is weak and should only be a tool toward ruling, rather than a leader.

Artemidorus A Greek teacher of rhetoric who tries to give Caesar a letter warning him of the conspiracy just before the assassination. Cinna, the poet An unfortunate man who is torn to pieces by an angry mob simply because he bears the name of one of the conspirators and because he writes bad poetry. Soothsayer The prophet who foresees Caesar's assassination and warns him to "Beware the Ides of March!" during the feast of Lupercal. Cicero A distinguished barrister and politician. He is an excellent orator and a fanatical conservative opposed to Caesar's overthrow of tradition. In the play, he is a minor figure in the action and is not asked to join the conspiracy. Publius A Senator who witnesses Caesar's assassination. Brutus sends him out of the Senate House to calm the citizens and to assure them that nobody else will be harmed. Popilius Lena A Senator. Trebonius One of the minor conspirators whose task is to divert Antony so that Caesar can be killed without interference. Consequently, he is the sole conspirator who does not stab Caesar. He is also the first conspirator to support Brutus' decision that Antony should be spared. Caius Ligarius One of the conspirators whose hatred of Caesar gives him the strength to overcome his illness and take part in the plot. Decius Brutus

The conspirator whose favorable interpretation of Calphurnia's fateful dream tempts Caesar to the Senate. Metellus Cimber The conspirator whose request to Caesar to repeal his brother's exile is the cue for the others to gather around Caesar with knives and proceed to kill him. Cinna The conspirator who advises Cassius to win Brutus' support for the conspiracy and places the forged letters in Brutus' house. Flavius and Marullus Tribunes of the people who are put to death for removing scarves from Caesar's statues. Lucilius A close friend of Brutus and an officer in his army. He is a valiant soldier who pretends to be Brutus in order to deceive the enemy soldiers when he is captured in the battle at Philippi. Antony appreciates Lucilius' loyalty to Brutus and spares his life in the hope that he will serve him as loyally. Titinius A friend of Cassius who commits suicide on hearing of his death. He stands guard at the tent, when Cassius and Brutus quarrel at Sardis. Messala A soldier and friend of Brutus and Cassius. Young Cato Brutus' brother-in-law who valiantly rushes headlong toward the enemy and dies a glorious death during the second battle at Philippi. Volumnius A soldier and a friend of Brutus and Cassius. He refuses to help Brutus commit suicide on the basis of their friendship.

Clitus Brutus' slave. He also refuses to help Brutus commit suicide. Varro and Claudius Brutus' servants. Strato Brutus' loyal slave. He is willing to hold the sword while his master runs through it, committing suicide. Lucius Brutus' servant. He is a gentle, mild mannered boy who sings for Brutus. Dardanius Brutus' slave.Pindarus Cassius' slave. He mistakenly tells Cassius that Titinius has been taken captive by the enemy forces. This causes Cassius to despair and kill himself. In truth, Titinius has not been captured at all. CONFLICT There has been much critical discussion about who is the real protagonist of the play. Most critics argue that Julius Caesar is the protagonist of the play, pointing out that he is the title character and the cause of all the action in the play. Even in scenes in which he is absent, he is the focus of the discussion and the reason for the revenge. After his death, his ghost roams the landscape of the play, further spurring the action. His character definitely holds the dramatic structure of the play together. Other critics argue that Caesar is a static character; undergoing no psychological change in the play; they also point out that he is murdered halfway through the drama. These critics believe that Marcus Brutus is the protagonist, claiming he is the complex character of the play whose psyche is explored in depth. They argue that his tragic flaw is very obvious; it is his immutable sense of principle and nobility. Because of his flaw, he makes many mistakes and suffers for them; as a result, he changes dramatically in the play. He first appears as Caesar's faithful friend; he then becomes a member of a conspiracy; he next serves as the misguided leader of a not-so-civil war; and finally he is seen as a man who has lost everything he once held dear, including his principles. In this analysis, Julius Caesar will be viewed as the protagonist of the main plot, and Marcus Brutus will be considered as the protagonist of the very important subplot.

MAIN PLOT Protagonist Julius Caesar is an arrogant soldier and ambitious politician, who believes that he is infallible. After his great victory over the sons of Pompey, he believes that he is worthy of more power than just being the head of Rome; he wants to be crowned the leader of the entire Roman Empire. Antagonists Caesar's antagonists are Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators who do not want him to become the head of the Roman Empire. They plot to overthrow Caesar and assassinate him outside the Capitol; he is an easy target because of his fatal flaw - his extreme "hubris" or pride. Many times, Caesar is nearly saved by omens and warnings, but he disregards them, thinking himself infallible. He is so proud that he is easily flattered, leading him to think less strategically and placing himself in grave danger.

Climax The tragic plot rises to its climax in the third act when Caesar is assassinated. It is an intensely dramatic scene in which Caesar's supposed friends converge on him and jointly stab him. This act of sacrilegious murder of the head of the state unleashes revolutionary forces headed by Brutus and Cassius against Antony and Octavius, giving rise to the subplot that centers on Brutus. Outcome The play clearly ends in tragedy. Caesar is overcome and assassinated by a group of conspirators. His death, which was supposed to prevent tyranny and dictatorship, gives rise to a massive and brutal civil war. Cassius, the key conspirator, kills himself; and Brutus runs on his own sword to commit suicide. A truly dictatorial triumvirate, composed of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, becomes the new leadership for Rome; the new government probably inflicts more harm than Julius Caesar would have done. SUBPLOT Protagonist

Marcus Brutus is the protagonist of the subplot of the play. He is a noble man who believes in his principles above all else, even when they are misguided. Believing that Rome will be better without Julius Caesar, he joins in the conspiracy to assassinate the Roman leader. After Caesar is killed, he is drawn into a bloody civil war in which he and Cassius must fight Antony and Octavius. Antagonist The key antagonist for Brutus is his own misguided sense of principle. He is certain that he is joining in the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar for the good of Rome. His tragic flaw is his idealism. He makes the fatal mistake of acting on his perceived public duty, to save Rome from Caesar, in direct conflict with the direction of his heart. Brutus is easily goaded on by Cassius, a master manipulator who is filled with envy and hungry for power. Brutus is so caught up in fulfilling his public destiny that he does not realize he has been manipulated into sacrificing his honor for a less-thanhonorable cause. During the civil war that follows Caesar's death, Brutus fools himself into believing that that Rome will still be a better place without the leadership of Caesar. When he realizes that the new Roman Triumvirate, composed of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, will be more dictatorial and tyrannous than Caesar, he realizes his own folly. He decides to end his own life by running on to his own sword. Climax Brutus' climax occurs when he realizes the futility of his actions, caused by his misguided principles. Personally shamed and defeated and horrified at what has happened to Rome, he decides in the fifth act to commit suicide. Outcome The subplot ends as a tragedy, like the main plot. Brutus is defeated by his own principles and takes his own life, ending the tragedy that began with the death of Caesar. Note: There is one small ray of hope in the tragic play. Despite all the deaths and bloodshed, at least order has been restored to Rome by the end of the play. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) In February, 44 BC, Julius Caesar returns to Rome in triumph, having defeated the sons of his archenemy, Pompey the Great. The pomp and splendor of his victory is

evident on all the streets, and most citizens are ready to proclaim him King of the entire Roman State. Only one person, the Soothsayer, speaks publicly of the possibility of trouble. He warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March." Caesar ignores him and proceeds to enjoy his triumph. Cassius and a few others, known collectively as the conspirators, are envious of Caesar's popularity and have begun to plot against him. They hope to give their cause respectability by enlisting Caesar's good friend, Marcus Brutus, as a member of their group. Brutus, a noble man, is an idealist who stands on principle above all else. The conspirators believe he can easily be swayed to join them by convincing him that Caesar is a threat to the good of Rome. Cassius, a shrewd man and the key conspirator, begins to slowly plant the seeds of doubt and anxiety in Brutus. He forges letters from concerned citizens and has them delivered to Brutus. Further, he tells Brutus stories that portray Caesar as weak and vulnerable. Brutus is torn between friendship and politics. He is afraid that Cassius may be right and that Caesar, his good friend, may be unfit to rule; worried that Caesar may become a tyrant, Brutus feels he has a moral and ancestral obligation to protect Rome against such leadership. After much deliberation, Brutus decides it would be in the best interests of Rome if Caesar were to be killed before problems have time to develop. The conspirators meet with him and they plot their moves carefully. Brutus make a huge mistake when he convinces the assassins that it is not necessary to kill Mark Antony, Caesar's close friend; he erroneously argues that Antony is harmless to their cause. After the meeting ends and the conspirators depart, Brutus' wife Portia urges him to tell her what is happening and he only promises to tell her everything soon. On the night before the assassination, Caesar's wife, Calphurnia, has nightmares about his death, a clear foreshadowing of things to come; she sees smiling Romans dipping their hands in her husband's blood. Because she sees the dream as an omen, she begs Caesar not to leave the house that day to go the Capitol. The priests also tell him to stay at home, alarmed that a sacrificial animal offered for Caesar was found to have no heart. Caesar scoffs at the fearful ones who surround him; he decides to humor them by staying home. When Caesar does not arrive at the Capitol, Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators, comes to Caesar's home. When told about the dream, Decius Brutus gives it a favorable interpretation and convinces Caesar to go to the Capitol, agreeing to escort him there. Caesar departs with the conspirator. At the Capitol, a teacher of rhetoric tries to convince Caesar that there are conspirators plotting to kill him. The vain Caesar refuses to listen, believing himself to be invulnerable. He proceeds to the Senate House, where his "friends" surround him and stab him to death. Brutus delivers the final blow. When he is recognized by his dying

friend, Caesar utters in total disbelief the famous phrase, "Et tu, Brute?" (And you too, Brutus?)

As the onlookers flee the murderous scene in panic, the assassins bathe their hands in Caesar's blood, just like in Calphurnia's dream. Antony, recovering from the initial shock over his friend's death, states peacefully that he will come to terms with the conspirators. When he is alone with the mutilated corpse, Antony reveals his true emotions and vows to take revenge on the conspirators, declaring that "domestic fury and fierce civil strife" will ravage all of the Roman Empire. His attitude of cooperation with and acceptance of the conspirators has obviously been an act to mask his vengeful spirit. At Caesar's funeral, Brutus first tells the citizens that Caesar has been killed because his ambition was a threat to their liberties. Brutus is pleased with the approving reaction of the crowd to his speech and makes way for Antony to give his eulogy. Antony subtly incites the crowd to turn against the conspirators, reminding them of Caesar's goodness and telling them Caesar left them each a sizeable inheritance. By the end of his speech, Antony manipulates the citizens to turn against Brutus and Cassius. The small army of conspirators has to flee the city in order to escape the wrath of the mob. Antony allies himself with Caesar's heir, Octavius, and with Aemilius Lepidus. The three men declare themselves the Second Triumvirate of Rome and propose to jointly rule in the wake of Caesar's reign. Almost immediately, they try to out-maneuver one another to gain more power. They also declare a civil war against Brutus, Cassius, and the conspirators. Brutus, quarreling with Cassius, begins to think that he has allied himself with a less than honorable partner. When the fighting begins, things at first go well for Brutus and his soldiers. Then Cassius, hard pressed by Antony's soldiers, sends Titinius to learn the identity of some nearby troops. When Cassius' slave, Pindarus, mistakenly reports that Titinius has been captured, Cassius loses all hope of victory. He kills himself order to escape the ignominy of defeat. Titinius laments Cassius' death and then kills himself. Brutus continues to fight until his troops are defeated in another part of the battlefield. Brutus despairs and asks his servants Clitus and Volumnius to kill him, but they refuse. At last, Strato agrees to hold the sword while Brutus runs on it. Upon finding the body, Antony expresses his admiration for the fallen patrician, who was guided solely by his concern for the welfare of Rome rather than by greed or envy. Octavius orders that

Brutus be buried with full military honors. Caesar's murder has been avenged and order is restored. THEMES Major Theme The major theme of Julius Caesar is that misused power is a corruptive force. This is seen in the fact that Caesar is a dictator suspected of being tyrannous, that Cassius is so power hungry that he assassinates Caesar, hoping to become more powerful himself, and that Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus become a dictatorial and tyrannical Triumvirate, worse than Caesar ever hinted at being. Minor Themes There are several minor themes that are developed throughout the entire play. These include the themes of the goodness of loyalty, honor, and friendship; the evil of pride, conspiracy, and anarchy; the logic of political order; and the viability of republicanism as a form of government.

MOOD The mood of Julius Caesar is one of impending doom and catastrophe. From the beginning, danger lurks in every corner. Friends can no longer be trusted, as they turn to manipulation and conspiracy and plot their next moves. Images of violence, blood, and death dominate the visual texture of the play. The weighty political intrigue is always present throughout the drama. The latter half of the play even assumes an eerie mood with the appearance of Caesar's ghost, returning to seek revenge. The closing phase of the play is dominated by the sinister image of the sword as Cassius, Titinius, and Brutus all commit suicide by it.

Jude the Obscure


Thomas Hardy

1895 JUDE THE OBSCURE - FREE STUDY GUIDE KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING The novel is set in Wessex, England, but unlike Hardy's other the Wessex novels, does not have a highly developed landscape as a background for the novel. In The Return of the Native, the heath provides a compelling atmosphere and in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the country scenes and background are an integral part of the story. But in Jude the Obscure Wessex is only a stage for tragic action. The description of everyday rural life is secondary to the tragic interplay of characters. The nearest Hardy comes to integrating his story with his background is in Part I in Marygreen. The Brown House on the old ridge-track is the place from where Jude first gazes in fascination at Christminster. Near it is a milestone on which Jude inscribes his initials and the words "Thither," pointing to Christminster and indicating his aspirations of one-day reaching the city. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Jude Fawley The hero of the novel. A young stonemason of ordinary working-class origins. He is idealistic and imaginative, with ambitions of becoming a student at Christminster University. Sue Bridehead Jude's cousin, an intelligent, sensitive, refined and rather unconventional young woman with whom Jude is in love. She marries Phillotson, leaves him to live with Jude and later remarries Phillotson. Richard Phillotson

A kindly schoolmaster with academic ambitions. He keeps Sue as a pupil-teacher under his training and later marries her.

Arabella Donn A coarse, sensual young woman who works on her father's pig-farm and also as a barmaid. She marries Jude, then divorces him and marries Cartlett. After Cartlett dies, she remarries Jude. Minor Characters Little Father Time Jude and Arabella's son. He is a solemn, rather anxious, pessimistic child with a prematurely aged appearance. Aunt Drusilla Fawley Jude's great-aunt with whom he lives in Marygreen as a boy after he is orphaned. Mrs. Edlin An elderly, kindly widow who is a companion to Aunt Drusilla. George Gillingham A friend of Phillotson's, he is also a schoolmaster. He tries to give Phillotson advice on his domestic difficulties. Physician Vilbert A quack doctor who practices in and around Marygreen. Mr. Donn Arabella's father. Anny A childhood friend of Arabella's. She is as coarse and cunning as Arabella.

Cartlett Arabella's second husband whom she marries in Australia, although she is still married to Jude at the time. A coarse, red-faced man, he keeps a tavern. Uncle Joe and Tinker Taylor Drinking companions of Jude's in Christminster. CONFLICT Protagonist Jude is the protagonist of the story. Hardy presents the individual pitted against a rigid and conservative social system. Jude, a working-class boy, pursues his ideal of a university education. His meeting with Arabella and subsequent marriage is a major setback. The marriage fails, and Jude moves to Christminster and attempts to enter the university. Despite his hard work and earnest effort, his dream is never realized. He falls in love with his cousin, Sue. But Sue knows that Jude is not free to marry, so she gets engaged to Phillotson and later marries him. Sue's marriage does not last, and she returns to live with Jude. Both Jude and Sue get their divorces and are free to marry, but they delay and are never able to unite. Antagonist There is no single character who consistently fits the role of antagonist. Jude and Sue are seen struggling against an unjust and snobbish society which punishes those who do not conform to its rules, and thus society itself may be viewed as the antagonist of this novel. Fate, also, can be said to function as a sort of antagonist. Climax Jude and Sue begin to face financial difficulties. They are forced to lead a wandering life due to the gossip and criticism which they face everywhere because of their unmarried state. Jude's illness and Sue's pregnancy add further to their misfortunes. They begin to wonder if the path they have chosen is really worth pursuing. Against this backdrop, the suicide of Little Father Time and the death of the two children in Christminster is a turning point in the novel. Sue is overcome with grief and shock, and her child is stillborn. Outcome

Events now move rapidly to an unhappy ending. The tragedy leaves Sue scarred and broken. Tormented by guilt, she now turns to religion, becoming fanatical and obsessed. She returns to Phillotson and remarries him. Jude, who is now past caring, allows himself to be cornered into a second marriage with Arabella. Both marriages result in greater misery and suffering, and Jude, broken physically and emotionally, finally dies. The novel ends in tragedy, with the death of Jude. SHORT PLOT / CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) The story begins with a young boy, Jude Fawley, who is an eleven- year-old orphan. He lives with his aunt, Drusilla Fawley, in the village of Marygreen. The village schoolmaster, Richard Phillotson, is leaving the village and going to Christminster University to get a degree and eventually to be ordained. Jude, inspired by the schoolmaster's example, also wants to go to Christminster to become a scholar and a famous clergyman. While helping his aunt in the bakery, Jude studies on his own in his spare time, reading Greek and Latin classics. Jude is poor, but intelligent and hardworking and he manages to make considerable progress in his studies even though he is without a teacher. As he grows up, he realizes he needs a trade to support himself when he gets to Christminster. He gets apprenticed to a stonemason in Alfredston and learns the basics of free-stone working and restoring churches. At the age of nineteen, he meets and falls in love with Arabella Donn, whose father is a pigfarmer. Arabella traps Jude into marriage by claiming to be pregnant. But soon they realize that they do not have much in common. After frequent quarrels, the marriage ends, and Arabella leaves Jude and moves off to Australia.

Jude is now free to pursue his old ambition of going to Christminster. On reaching the city he earns his living by doing ecclesiastical stonework, repairing the masonry of churches and colleges. In Christminster Jude meets his pretty young cousin, Sue Bridehead. Almost immediately he falls in love with her. She is a contrast to Arabella: she is delicate and refined, with intellectual interests. Jude introduces Sue to Phillotson, his teacher, who is still a schoolmaster, having given up his plan of getting a degree. Very soon Sue becomes an apprentice teacher under Phillotson. Jude is extremely upset when he finds out that Phillotson is interested in Sue. Jude himself is in love with Sue, and the fact that he is still legally married to Arabella does not permit him to pursue his cousin. Meanwhile, Jude is refused entrance to any of the colleges in Christminster and is extremely disheartened. He decides to give up his dream of pursuing academic and theological studies. Sue by now has enrolled at a teachers' training college in

Melchester and has promised to marry Phillotson when she gets her certificate in two years. Sue and Jude go out on an excursion, and they are delayed when they miss their train. Sue is punished by the college authorities for staying out all night with Jude. She impulsively leaves the college and rushes to Jude for assistance. Although he is warm towards her, Jude does not receive any demonstrations of affection from Sue. This leaves him thoroughly confused. Sue goes to Shaston to stay with a friend when she learns that the training college has expelled her and will not take her back. Jude meets Sue and tells her of his earlier marriage to Arabella. Sue is very surprised at the news, and impulsively gets married to Phillotson, even asking Jude to give her away at the church. Jude is terribly depressed after the wedding and tries to drown his sorrows in drink. In the bar he runs into Arabella again. She has returned from Australia and has entered into a bigamous marriage with a man called Cartlett. Jude and Sue keep in touch with each other. It is obvious that Sue's marriage to Phillotson is a disaster, and she admits to Jude that she is unhappy. When Aunt Drusilla dies, Sue comes to the funeral in Marygreen. When they part, Sue and Jude exchange a kiss, which makes Jude realize that his continuing passion for Sue is incompatible with his aspirations for a church career. Sue returns to Shaston but asks Phillotson to let her live separately from him in the house. However, though he is a considerate husband, Sue finds his company increasingly distasteful and begs him for her freedom. Phillotson, realizing her aversion to him, allows her to go, even though his friend, Gillingham, advises him against it. As a result of the scandal, Phillotson's professional life is ruined, and he is later forced to resign from his teaching post. Sue and Jude go off together, living as companions (at Sue's insistence), and not as lovers. After some time both their divorces come through. When Arabella returns, Sue becomes insecure about Jude's attachment to herself. It is under such circumstances that she consents to a more intimate relationship with him. Jude and Sue continue living in Aldbrickham, and though now both are free to remarry, they never do so, always postponing the decision. Arabella, now free of Jude, marries Cartlett and writes to Jude, claiming she has a son by him. She writes that he was born eight months after their marriage, when she was in Australia. She sends the child, Little Father Time, to Jude and Sue. Both of them agree to accept him and extend their care to him. The child is a strange, anxious and withdrawn boy with a morose temperament. Although Jude and Sue again plan to marry for the sake of Little Father Time, the wedding is put off.

Sue and Jude are now expecting a child of their own, but because of their unmarried status, they are tormented by gossip. Jude loses a job and is forced to resign from a local artisans' committee. Ultimately they decide to leave Aldbrickham. They lead a nomadic life for over two years, stopping at small towns and villages wherever work is available. Jude's health begins to fail due to the demands of his trade, until the couple is finally reduced to baking and selling cakes. By now they have two children of their own and a third is expected. One day Arabella sees Sue in the town of Kennetbridge, and being a widow now, her interest in Jude is renewed. Jude meanwhile is not well, and so Jude and Sue decide to return to Christminster. It is Remembrance Day and Jude is depressed and bitter. They find it difficult to secure accommodations, partly because of Sue's condition. Sue's despairing words make a deep impact on Little Father Time, who kills himself along with the other two children. This event is a turning point for Sue, who blames herself for the tragedy. She loses her unborn child and begins to be tormented by feelings of guilt. She considers the deaths of her children as a punishment and finally decides to remarry Phillotson as an act of atonement. She returns to Marygreen, and she and Phillotson are once again married. Jude is desolate and ill and takes to drinking, and Arabella tricks him into marrying her again. Jude's health begins to deteriorate severely, and he goes to Marygreen to pay Sue a last visit. Sue, though astonished at Jude's visit, confesses that she still loves him, but she asks him to leave. As an act of mortification, from that day onwards she begins to share Phillotson's bed. Jude's condition worsens steadily, and finally he hears from Arabella that Sue and Phillotson are now living as husband and wife. It is Remembrance Day and also the anniversary of the deaths of his children. While Arabella is out enjoying the festival, Jude dies, alone and unattended. THEMES Hardy presents the classic problem of the modern literary hero; that of the individual engaged in a conflict with society. Both Jude and Sue, because of their freedom of thought and defiance of social conventions, are alienated from society. This modern spirit leads them to question and reject old institutions and values and to seek new ones. Jude and Sue attempt to create a code of ethics, or an interpretation of reality, to suit themselves, having abandoned the old conventions presented by religion and the state. Throughout the novel there is much discussion of marriage, social class, religion and the university system. In his Preface, Hardy calls Jude the Obscure a "tragedy of unfulfilled aims." In the first part he presents the theme of a working-class boy attempting to pursue his goal of a university education and failing. But as the novel unravels, the second important

theme, that of marriage and sexual relationships acquires prominence, with Jude attempting to find fulfillment in love and again failing. Jude comes close to the Greek tragic hero. He has extraordinary abilities and potential, as well as self-knowledge, but he is doomed to face defeat and frustration due to external factors. The theme of Christminster as Jude's guiding light is never entirely dropped. In Part VI of the novel the hero returns to the city of his dreams to spend his last days there. MOOD Since the story is one of shattered illusions and crushed aspirations, Hardy tries to inject a note of inevitable doom. There are small but significant signs that Hardy introduces to foreshadow coming events. For instance, Aunt Drusilla repeatedly tells Jude that the Fawleys have been unlucky in marriage. Later, Jude learns that his parents had separated on a hill by the Brown House near the gallows, and that his mother had subsequently drowned herself. Sue's parents also had differences and had separated. The gallows on Brown House Hill is introduced into the story again in Part V, where Mrs. Edlin narrates how a Fawley ancestor was hanged there after separating from his wife, and that the wife later went mad. The effect on Sue's sensitive nerves is immediate, and she remarks that a tragic doom, like that of the House of Atreus, hangs over the family. Hardy is preparing the reader for the tragedy that is to overtake the principal characters.

Again, in Part VI on Remembrance Day, the atmosphere in Christminster is one of impending disaster. The city is threatened with stormy weather. The mood is one of gloom; Little Father Time remarks that it seems like Judgment Day. The gathering storm is a portent of the crisis that is about to break. When Sue leaves Jude (in Part VI), there is a fog hanging over Christminster. Jude, disheartened and dejected, wanders about in the damp fog. The day Sue and Phillotson remarry in Marygreen, there is a damp fog shrouding the countryside (Part VI, Chapter 5). The damp, dismal weather on their wedding day mirrors the misery this mockery of a marriage will bring. When Jude visits Sue for the last time, it is raining and extremely cold. AUTHOR INFORMATION - BIOGRAPHY THOMAS HARDY

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2nd, 1840 in the village of Upper Backhampton in Dorchester. His father was a mason. He developed a love for music from his father and a love for reading from his mother. The impressions of his childhood became the subject matter of his "Wessex" novels. In fact, the town of Casterbridge has been modeled after Dorchester. Hardy first studied at a village school and then in Dorchester. In 1856 he was apprenticed to John Hicks, an ecclesiastical architect in Dorchester. After work he would study advanced Latin and would teach himself Greek. In 1862 he went to London and became the assistant to A.W. Blomfield, an architect. He had also started writing verse and essays in 1857. He returned to Dorchester in 1867 and began to devote more time to writing. From 1867-1895 he started writing novels and poems. However, he devoted more time to the novels until 1895. His major novels are: Desperate Remedies (1871) Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) The Hand of Ethelberta (1876) The Return of the Native (1878) The Trumpet Mayor (1880) A Laodrecan (1881) Two On A Tower (1882) The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) The Woodlanders (1887) Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) The Well-Beloved (1892) Jude the Obscure (1895) From 1895 to 1928 he devoted himself to poetry. He wrote over 800 poems and a long epic drama, The Dynasts (1903-1908). Hardy married twice. In 1874 he married Emma Lavinia Crifford. It was not a happy marriage. Emma died in 1912. In 1914 he married Florence Emily Dugdale. Hardy became the undisputed holder of the title of greatest living man of letters. His house, Max Gate, became a place of pilgrimage for young writers like Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon. In 1910 he was awarded the Order of Merit. He died at the age of 87 on January 11, 1928. PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS

The novel is divided into six parts; each is centered on a particular town or village. At the beginning of each of the six parts is an epigraph or quotation, which is meant to throw light on the events that follow. They also have an interpretative function. Part I is set in Marygreen where Jude is seen as a young boy with a passion for a university education. But as he grows up his studies are interrupted by a hasty and disastrous marriage to Arabella. The marriage breaks up and Arabella leaves for Australia. Part II is set in Christminster. Recovering from his first setback and a failed marriage, Jude makes his way to Christminster, where he works as a stone-mason while pursuing his studies. He meets his cousin Sue and is attracted to her, but he knows he is still legally bound to Arabella. He finds that entry into the university is impossible for one of his status. Part III is centered in Melchester. Jude gives up his ideas of attending the university and now aims to study for the church, hoping to enter a theological college. Sue goes to a teacher-training college, and Jude follows her there. Jude is deeply in love with Sue, but Sue gets engaged to Phillotson and marries him. Jude is dejected at Sue's marriage. Arabella returns from Australia. Part IV is set in Shaston. Sue's and Phillotson's marriage is in trouble. She asks Phillotson for her freedom and goes back to Jude. Part V is staged in Aldbrickham. Sue finally agrees to live with Jude on intimate terms. They are both divorced now and are free to marry, but they do not. Little Father Time makes his appearance, and Sue looks after him. They are forced to leave, moving from one town to another, because of gossip and social disapproval. Part VI is the return to Christminster. Little Father Time hangs himself and the two children in despair. Sue, overcome by grief and guilt, returns to Phillotson and remarries him. In utter despair Jude is trapped into remarrying Arabella. However, ill and desolate, he meets an early death. It will be noticed that in the first two parts of the book the focus is on Jude, with his brave and persistent efforts to educate himself. Arabella is an obstacle at first, but she is taken care of. But with Part III, when Jude abandons his dream of entering Christminster, the focus now shifts to Sue. The plot revolves around her, and the Themes of love, marriage, sexual relationships and freedom replace the earlier theme of education.

With his training as an architect, Hardy was very conscious of structure. The plot is based on a symmetrical pattern of marriage, desertion, divorce and final remarriage. Jude marries Arabella, Sue marries Phillotson, and both leave their mates and live with each other. They both obtain divorces and are free to marry each other but neglect to do so. Ultimately, they each remarry their former partners, but this step only brings greater misery and suffering. The structure can also be interpreted as a reversal in beliefs for both Jude and Sue. Sue, at the beginning of the novel, is rational in temper and rather irreverent about traditional religion, but by the end of the book, she is plagued by guilt and remorse. She has reverted to conventional religion. Jude, who at the beginning was the traditionalist, holding conventional Christian views, has become skeptical and embittered by the end of the novel. AUTHOR'S STYLE Hardy's style has often been described as rather heavy and ponderous with awkward rhythms and a tendency towards circumlocution. For instance, Jude and Sue's reaction to the arrival of Little Father Time (in Part V, Chapter 5) provides a good example of Hardy's style: "To be sure, with such pleasing anxious beings as they were, the boy's coming also brought with it much thought for the future, particularly as he seemed at present to be singularly deficient in all the usual hopes of childhood. But the pair tried to dismiss, for a while at least, a too strenuously forward view." In the same chapter they take Little Father Time to the Agricultural show, "Not regretful of themselves alone, they had taken care to bring Father Time to try every means of making him kindle and laugh like other boys, though he was to some extent a hindrance to the delightfully unreserved intercourse in their pilgrimages which they so much enjoyed." The language at times seems stilted and deliberately pompous. In this novel Hardy consciously tries to avoid too much authorial comment, but as a result his protagonists tend to lecture each other at length. There are long, erudite speeches on marriage, divorce and religion (Part IV, Chapter 3). Many of the conversations between Jude and Sue, and sometimes Phillotson, lack a true conversational tone. Hardy is far more successful at catching the conversational tones of rustic characters and country folk, such as Aunt Drusilla (Part II, Chapter 6), who gives the reader glimpses of Sue as a child. Some of his earlier chapters, too, of Jude trying to combine study with work while driving his baker's wagon combine realism with humor (Part I). The same can also be said of the account of Jude's entrapment by Arabella.

Hardy's style, despite its few faults, is quite distinctive. His very clumsiness and roughness give his writing a striking individuality and charm. Unfortunately, unlike his other novels, Jude the Obscure does not offer the reader many descriptions of the Wessex countryside. In Tess of the D'Urbervilles and in The Woodlanders Hardy reaches a peak of excellence in using landscape to create atmosphere and to recreate varied pictures of rural life.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

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SETTING Chapters 1 to 4 are set at Gateshead Hall where Jane Eyre, as an orphan, leads an unhappy life under the care of her aunt, Mrs. Sarah Reed. Chapters 5 to 10 are set at Lowood School where she spends a wretched childhood and is educated. Chapters 11 to 20 and 22 to 28 describe her life as a governess at Thornfield Hall (in chapter 21 the setting temporarily shifts back to Gateshead Hall, where Jane visits her ill aunt). Chapters 29 to 35 are set at Marsh End, where Jane lives with, and then near, St. John Rivers and his two sisters, Diana and Mary. Chapter 36 reverts to the ruins of Thornfield Hall. Chapters 37 and 38 are set at Ferndean, where Jane is reunited with Mr. Rochester and settles down to lead a contented married life. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Jane Eyre

An orphan who spends her unhappy childhood under the care of her unsympathetic aunt, Sarah Gibson Reed. Although Jane is a neglected child, she is very resourceful. She is sent away to Lowood for her education and later becomes a teacher there. At Thornfield Hall, where she serves as a governess, she forms an attachment to Mr. Rochester, the wealthy owner of the estate. The relationship is a troubled one, and Jane finally leaves Rochester. After Jane seeks and finds "family," she slowly forms, through deprivation and poverty, a semblance of self-awareness and identity. She triumphs over various difficulties eventually returns to Mr. Rochester, who is then blind and disfigured, and they enjoy a quiet and happy married life. Edward Fairfax Rochester The second son of a wealthy landowner. He has a gruff, self-important manner. He has lived an interesting life, filled with travel and adventure. He appears quite worldly, especially to the inexperienced Jane. His attitude towards Jane is at first vague and questionable. He then grows affectionate with her; finally, he treats her with the honor she deserves. Mr. Rochester is married to Bertha Mason, an insane woman whom he hides in the attic of Thornfield Hall. Since Jane does not know about Bertha, she accepts Mr. Rochester's proposal of marriage. After his wife's death and his own disfigurement, he is quite humbled, and when he marries Jane, he is a changed man.

St. John Rivers A young minister at Morton who lives at Marsh End. He saves Jane from starvation after she runs away from Thornfield Hall. He is self-important and somewhat cold and demanding. He has a generous impulse towards the poor, but Jane suspects that he does not perform his work with much real feeling. He wants to marry Jane, but she rejects him. Minor Characters Sarah Gibson Reed The widow of Jane Eyre's uncle. She treats Jane badly, preferring to indulge her own children. Jane resents her. John Reed

The pampered son of Sarah Reed. He is a source of anxiety for his mother and enjoys tormenting Jane. After life of carousing, he suffers a violent death at a young age. Eliza Reed The elder daughter of Sarah Reed. She is cold and indifferent to her dying mother. She becomes a nun and attains the position of mother superior. Georgiana Reed A "full-blown, very plump damsel" and the second daughter of Sarah Reed. She is easily carried away by glamour, entertainment and flattery and marries a wealthy man in London. Miss Temple The superintendent of Lowood. She is one of the few adults in Jane's childhood who treats her with anything like affection. Jane truly loves Miss Temple, and when Miss Temple marries, Jane feels abandoned. Mr. Brocklehurst A hypocritical clergyman who oversees Lowood School and is cruel to Jane. He is the son of the school's founder, Naomi Brocklehurst. Helen An ill, motherless girl at Lowood School. With her tender, ethereal qualities, she becomes Jane's friend and first confidante. Many years after Helen's death, Jane erects a gray marble tablet over her grave, in fond remembrance of her friend. Cline Varens A French performer who was Mr. Rochester's mistress during his time in Paris. The relationship between the two ends when she deceives him. Bertha Antoinetta Mason The beautiful woman Mr. Rochester married in the West Indies. She is imprisoned in the attic of Thornfield Hall because she has lost her mind and can be violent. She kills herself after setting fire to the house. Adle

The daughter of Cline Varens. She is Mr. Rochester's ward. She is portrayed as coquettish beyond her years. She becomes very attached to Jane and grows into a proper young woman. Blanche Ingram A beauty known for her charm and ease in social situations. She wants to marry Edward Rochester for his wealth and social status, a desire that reveals her base and undeserving nature. Mrs. Fairfax The kindly housekeeper of Thornfield Hall. She treats Jane very well. CONFLICT Protagonist The protagonist of the novel is Jane Eyre. The novel charts her miserable life and her rise from her poor beginnings. Jane has a strong heart, and when she overcomes a series of misfortunes, she is finally rewarded with a reasonable, prosperous, and quiet married life. Antagonist Jane's antagonist is the difficulty of life with its many challenges and various problems, including Jane's aunt and cousins, the administration and inmates of Lowood, Bertha, a dishonest Mr. Rochester, and a demanding St. John. Generally, Jane faces a life of obstacles, in the form of vicious and cold people, whom she must fight to overcome.

Climax The climax of the novel occurs with the Thornfield fire and Bertha's suicide, events that pave the way for the reunion and subsequent marriage of Jane and Mr. Rochester. Outcome

Despite the many obstacles that Jane must face in the course of the book, her story ends in satisfaction and joy (comedy), for she overcomes her problems, matures into a responsible and intelligent young lady, and is eventually happily married. SHORT PLOT SUMMARY (Synopsis) Young Jane Eyre is an orphan in the care of her aunt, Mrs. Sarah Reed. She is treated harshly and unsympathetically, even locked up at times. This arouses her defiant spirit. Her fear and unhappiness cause Mr. Lloyd, the apothecary, to advise Mrs. Reed to send Jane away to school. Jane is sent to Lowood, where she spends a wretched girlhood in appalling conditions. The severity of the regime is compensated for by the kindness of the superintendent, Miss Maria Temple, and a fellow orphan, Helen Burns, who dies of consumption in Jane's arms. Jane does get an education at Lowood and eventually teaches there. When Miss Temple gets married, Jane obtains a post as governess at Thornfield Hall. Her student is Adle, the ward of Edward Rochester, a man with a stormy disposition. During Jane's first visit she is greeted by Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper, and Adle. Jane learns that Mr. Rochester is seldom at home. Jane's first months at Thornfield Hall are quiet and uneventful. However, she is puzzled by a mysterious laugh which seems to come from upstairs at night. When Edward Rochester is home, Thornfield is enlivened. Jane is a plain girl without pretensions to charm, but she is endowed with a lively spirit and brilliant wit. Although Mr. Rochester can be very moody and harsh, he is naturally drawn to the young governess. Soon Jane learns to like him and look upon him as a friend. Hence, when Mr. Rochester goes away for a time, Jane feels lonely and unhappy. One day, Mr. Rochester returns to Thornfield, accompanied by a party of guests. Among the guests is a very beautiful and accomplished woman, Blanche Ingram. It is rumored that Mr. Rochester is going to marry her. But Blanche does not truly love him; she wants to marry him for his wealth and status. Mr. Rochester, disguised as a gypsy, tells Blanche that Rochester is planning to marry a poor girl.

Jane is called to Gateshead where her aunt, Sarah Reed, is dying. After a month she returns to Thornfield. She feels that she will not be able to stay there for much longer if Mr. Rochester marries Blanche. Mr. Rochester tells Jane that he has no intention of marrying anyone except her. He proposes to her and she accepts him.

The day of the wedding arrives. The marriage ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of Edward Rochester's brother-in-law and a solicitor. Mr. Rochester is accused of bigamy. He admits the charge and takes those present to see Bertha, his insane wife who is kept hidden on the third story of the house. The monstrous Bertha is the source of the mysterious laugh that Jane heard when she arrived at Thornfield Hall. Later, Mr. Rochester pleads with Jane to stay withhim. Jane, however, leaves Thornfield. After nearly perishing on the moors, Jane is rescued by St. John Rivers and his sisters, Diana and Mary. Jane later discovers that they are her cousins. Jane eventually inherits a legacy from Sir John Eyre, her uncle in Madeira. She has also worked hard as a schoolmistress for poor children. Under pressure from the dedicated St. John Rivers, Jane almost consents to marry him and share his missionary vocation in India. However, she is prevented by a "telepathic" appeal from Mr. Rochester. She rushes to Thornfield Hall, only to see it in ruins. Jane finds Mr. Rochester; he has been disfigured and blinded in the fire that almost destroyed the mansion. Jane marries him, and in the last chapter the readers learn that his sight is partially recovered and that thecouple has been blessed with a son. THEMES Major Themes The value of enduring love is the main theme of the novel. Jane Eyre falls in love with and plans to marry Edward Rochester, a man almost twice her age; she then finds out on her wedding day that he is already married. Crushed by the news, she flees from him. After a period of time, Jane realizes she is still concerned for Mr. Rochester and returns to Thornfield. She finds him blind and disfigured. Since his wife is now dead, Jane marries him and lovingly nurses him back to better health. Her love for him is pure and enduring, and with him she finds greater happiness than she has ever known.

Minor Themes The importance of a woman's standing up for herself and her beliefs is a minor theme in the novel. Jane has to serve Mr. Rochester, who is a demanding employer; sometimes he is brutal and cruel. She deals with him quietly but firmly. In so doing, she positively influences Mr. Rochester to such a degree that he falls in love with her. Jane dreams of the excitement of a new life with Mr. Rochester, but on her wedding day, her dreams are shattered. She is forced to leave him, since he is married to another woman, but Jane still cares for him. She refuses St. John Rivers' marriage

proposal because she does not love him. Instead, she waits until the obstacles are removed between herself and Mr. Rochester; she then marries him and lives a life of happiness. Because she is willing to stand up for her beliefs, Jane is rewarded in the end of the novel. MOOD For the most part, the mood of the novel is sad and depressing. Jane needs to rise above one hardship after another. Since the novel is related in the first person, everything is colored by Jane's gloomy point of view. Early in the novel, Jane shows a certain spunk, and the mood brightens accordingly. As the novel progresses and the hardships increase, the mood sometimes darkens to somberness and despair. Throughout the novel Jane gradually acquires mature confidence. At the end, Jane is triumphant in her quest for love and the mood, for the first time, is that of peace and contentment. ard | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes AUTHOR'S STYLE Thackeray (the nineteenth-century novelist and the author of Vanity Fair) described Charlotte Bront's writing as "noble English." In Jane Eyre she writes in a style which expresses precisely what she wishes to convey. She dislikes ornamentation and the use of too many words. Her style is plain and straightforward. Mrs. Gaskell (the biographer) remarked that her "care makes her style present the finish of a piece of mosaic." Because of this "care," the pictures she draws of both people and scenes are unforgettable. Charlotte Bront's style at its best is vivid and powerful. For example, the moor lands over which Jane wanders, Hay Lane (where she first meets Mr. Rochester) and the candle-lit room at Moor House into which the homeless Jane gazes, are all described so vividly that they are difficult to forget.

At the same time it is true that Charlotte Bront's style sometimes resorts to words and turns of expression that are not those of actual speech. For example, she describes John Reed's "spacious visage." What she really means is fat face. At another place she has used the expression, "evacuating the refectory" for "leaving the dining room."

SYMBOLISM There are many poetic symbols in Jane Eyre. Fire is the most dominant symbol in the novel. Fire can be destructive, as seen in Bertha's burning of Thornfield Hall. The domestic fire is associated with human vitality, while cold and damp are associated with death. A great deal of narration is spent on the fire in Miss Temple's room. The stress is not only on the physical comfort of fire, but also on fire as a symbol of kindness, friendship and acceptance. The chestnut tree stuck by lightning into two halves symbolizes the fact that Jane and Mr. Rochester are to separate. The incident in which Bertha rips apart the wedding veil symbolizes Mr. Rochester's betrayal of his wife and also that of his now beloved Jane. The fire becomes a symbol at times for a life of sacrifice and self- abnegation. St. John suppresses his passion for the charming Rosamond because of his call to the missionary life. It is almost as if his "heart is already laid on a sacred altar: the fire is arranged around it." The moon is a symbol of deception. In the scene of Mr. Rochester's proposal to Jane, Jane is a victim of deception. Mr. Rochester asks Jane if she would be his beloved. Jane wants to see him, and so she asks him to turn to the moonlight because she wants to read his face. The moonlight becomes here a symbol of deception, mystery and evil. The repetition of certain symbols in the novel contributes to its poetic quality. The novelist's persistent return to these symbols enriches the novel's meaning, poetic beauty and sense of unity.

King Lear
William Shakespeare

SETTING The play opens in Lear's castle. After a time, there is a shift in the setting to Gloucester Castle and later to the castles of Regan and Goneril. The play rotates

between the latter three castles until the Third Act when Shakespeare switches the setting to a storm raging outside. The dramatic significance of the storm scene is symbolic of the inner storm within Lear. The play's last act occurs primarily in the French and British camps at Dover. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters King Lear The ruler of pre-Christian Britain. He is a man of stubborn will and imperious temper. Lear acts like a despot, filled with anger and pride. Though he is generous, openhanded and unsuspicious, his extraordinary misjudgment leads to his downfall. Ultimately he is redeemed, but at a huge price. Goneril and Regan The elder daughters of King Lear. They are inherently cruel, cold, selfish and callous. Their hypocrisy and cunning differentiate them from their sister, Cordelia. They manage to gain complete control of the kingdom and have Cordelia cast off for her apparent impudence. Goneril is more aggressive and strong-willed than Regan; Regan is more spiteful, but less forceful than Goneril. Wicked, venomous and destructive, the two sisters are the personification of evil. The Earl of Gloucester A Duke in Lear's kingdom. Although he is bit pompous and vain, he is a simple, good-natured man. His main characteristic is his gullibility. Similar to Lear, he lacks shrewdness and perception. The blinded and betrayed Gloucester undergoes a moral and spiritual awakening and draws courage from Lear's terrible sufferings. The gift of self-knowledge leads him to peace and resignation.

The Earl of Kent An Earl in Lear's kingdom. Shrewd and courteous, he possesses a dry sense of humor. Kent is intensely loyal to Lear and deeply attached to Cordelia. When Lear banishes him, he accepts his punishment with dignity. He returns in the guise of an indigent, for he is a devoted, vigilant servant who intends to lead his master away from danger.

The Fool A jester in the court of Lear. The Fool not only relieves the tragic tension of the drama, but also underscores the sadness of the king's situation, for he plays the part of Lear's conscience. He is loyal to the King, but unafraid to speak his mind. Edmund The illegitimate son of Gloucester. He is an outcast because of his background. Edmund uses his sharp intelligence to take his revenge on a world that considers him inferior. As a result, he becomes an irredeemable and ruthless villain. His laudable qualities are his clarity of thinking, his objective detachment, and his strategic skill. Cordelia The youngest daughter of King Lear who loves her father deeply. Within her is a strong will that makes her stubbornly cling to what she considers the truth. During the play, she is forced into exile. She accepts her destiny without complaint since her own integrity is strong. Her main characteristics are her love for truth and her sense of duty. Edgar The legitimate elder son of the Duke of Gloucester. He plays the part of the philosopher in the play. With a clear vision of the problems of life, his own attitude is one based on patience and courage. Edgar's greatest trait is his ability to feel sympathy and offer love. Minor Characters Oswald The steward of Goneril. He plays an important role in all of Goneril's schemes. Lacking scruples, he does not hesitate to take advantage of anything to gain favor. His loyalty to his mistress is his only redeeming trait. The Duke of Burgundy One of Cordelia's suitors. Burgundy wants to wed her for her dowry and is unable to value Cordelia for herself. He proves himself to be base and ungallant. The King of France

Cordelia's other suitor. He is a gallant and romantic man, and his understanding of Cordelia allows him to correctly assess her true worth. Albany The inoffensive and peace-loving husband of Goneril. Too weak for Goneril's aggressive nature, he pretends to be ignorant of his wife's machinations. Goneril has only contempt for him. Later, he shows a resolute strength of character as he takes charge of the tumultuous events in the play. Cornwall Regan's husband. He is a violent and vindictive man who takes pleasure in humiliating Lear and blinding Gloucester. CONFLICT OF THE BASIC PLOT On the most basic level, the plot centers on King Lear, who allows himself to be overcome by his evil daughters, Goneril and Regan. Protagonist The protagonist and central figure of the play is King Lear, a stubborn and proud man. Because of his lack of good judgment, Lear loses his power and is humiliated by two of his daughters, whom he had trusted. Antagonist Lear's antagonist is himself. His pride, stubbornness and lack of judgement allow Goneril and Regan, his two greedy and ambitious elder daughters, to manipulate their father and cast him out. Climax The climax occurs when Lear recognizes his lack of power and his inability to rule as king. Outside the castle during a fierce storm, he attempts to call down a curse on his two faithless daughters. He is unsuccessful because he lacks power to carry out his threats and slips into insanity.


The play ends in tragedy. Lear allows himself to be destroyed by Goneril and Regan. Although Lear has come to a deeper understanding of humanity, he is driven to death, and all three of his daughters perish as well. SYMBOLIC CONFLICT On a larger level, the play is really a tale of good versus evil. Protagonist The symbolic protagonist of the play is the force of good, seen in characteristics such as love, kindness, respect, purity, helpfulness, truthfulness, humility, forgiveness and nobility and represented by Cordelia, Edgar, Lear (later in the play), and Gloucester (later in the play). Antagonist Throughout the play the forces of evil, such as pride, greed, deceit, disrespect, jealousy and chaos, fight against the forces of good and are seen in a variety of characters, including Edmund, Goneril, Regan, Lear (early in the play), and Gloucester (early in the play). Climax The climax occurs in the final scene of the play when the forces of evil overcome the forces of good. Because of Edmund, Goneril and Regan, most of the good characters (Cordelia, Lear, and Gloucester) are defeated and die. Outcome The symbolic plot is clearly a tragedy, for the key forces of good have been overcome. Fortunately, however, the evil characters are also all destroyed with the deaths of Regan, Goneril, and Edmund. As a result, there is a hope at the end of the play. The worthy Edgar has been made the new ruler of England, which indicates that good will ultimately triumph, and order will be restored to the kingdom. SHORT PLOT/SCENE SUMMARY (Synopsis) Lear, the father of three daughters, is a powerful king in pre- Christian Britain. Believing that he is getting old, Lear wants to pass the responsibilities of his government to his three daughters and their spouses. Goneril is married to the Duke of Albany; Regan is married to the Duke of Cornwall; and Cordelia, the youngest and

Lear's favorite, is being courted by the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy. Lear envisions himself spending the remainder of his life visiting each of them in turn. Lear's intention is to divide his kingdom into three parts, each to be ruled by one of the daughters. Before dividing his kingdom and giving it to his three girls, Lear, at a public ceremony, asks his daughters how much they love him. Goneril and Regan are adept at flattery and easily convince their father of their limitless love for him; they even claim their love for him leaves no room for them to love their husbands. Lear is pleased by their devotion. Cordelia says that she loves Lear as her father and as the ruler of the country, but she honestly says that she will love her husband too. Her unembellished answer angers Lear. Judging Cornelia to be impudent, he disinherits and disowns her. As a result, the kingdom is divided into two parts, instead of three. The Earl of Kent, who understands the purity of Cordelia's filial love, tries to persuade Lear to reconsider his decision; Lear flies into a rage at the suggestion and banishes Kent from Britain. He later returns in the disguise of a menial servant in order to protect the king. Without a dowry, Cornelia is no longer pursued by the Duke of Burgundy. She marries the King of France, who realizes her true worth, and becomes the Queen of France. Another scene of disinheritance occurs at Gloucester Castle. Edmund, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester, plots to oust Edgar, his half-brother, from his position as heir to the Earl's fortune. He shows Gloucester a false letter stating that Edgar wants to kill his father. Edmund then persuades Edgar to flee from the castle. In his absence, Gloucester declares Edgar to be an outlaw and makes Edmund the heir to his title and property.

Having granted his land and power to Goneril and Regan, Lear begins to make his visits to them. During his first stay at the castle of Goneril and her husband, the Duke of Albany, Lear is made to feel unwelcome. Goneril believes her father's temperament is unpleasant and his knights irritating. She directs her steward, Oswald, to pick a quarrel with Lear's knights; she will then use the incident to deprive her father of his men, disempowering him. Goneril succeeds in upbraiding her father about the behavior of his knights. She refuses to pay for the maintenance of one hundred of them and reduces the number to fifty. A disgusted Lear curses her and leaves with his remaining knights. Lear heads for the castle of Regan and her husband, the Duke of Cornwall. Goneril has sent her sister a message to tell her about the quarrel with Lear and his impending visit to her. Regan and her husband ride to the castle of the Duke of Gloucester to

avoid receiving her father. Not finding Regan at her castle, Lear sends Kent to Gloucester to announce the imminent arrival of the king. Outside the castle walls, Kent meets Goneril's steward, Oswald. The two of them quarrel, creating a racket. Cornwall, Regan, and Gloucester rush out and are unable to understand Kent's outrageous behavior. Cornwall orders Kent to be put in stocks. Lear arrives and is shocked to find his messenger treated in such an insulting manner. An argument between Regan and Lear follows. Just then Goneril and her husband arrive. Goneril's complicity with Regan is apparent. The two sisters work in tandem to humiliate their father and deprive him of his remaining knights. A tormented Lear now regrets his treatment of Cordelia. He rushes out into a stormy night, with Kent and the Fool following him. Anguished by the treatment he has received from his elder daughters and helpless in the fury of the storm, Lear loses his grip on sanity. His companions lead him to the shelter of a hovel, only to find it occupied. Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, is hiding from his father's anger over his supposed betrayal. Meanwhile, Gloucester learns of Lear's pathetic condition and plans to seek his whereabouts. He confides in Edmund his intention to aid Lear and then departs. Gloucester finds the King in the hovel and takes him to a farmhouse, along with Poor Tom, Kent, and the Fool. He then goes to find some food. In the farmhouse, Lear attempts to rectify the wrongs he has suffered by bringing Goneril and Regan to trial. In his absence, Edmund betrays his father to Cornwall and Regan. As a result, Gloucester is arrested and then cruelly blinded by Cornwall. In turn, Cornwall is mortally wounded by his servant. When rumors abound that the French Army is arriving on the shores of Dover, Regan abandons the blind Gloucester, saying he can "smell his way to Dover." Now that Regan is widowed, she becomes interested in Edmund; he is even made general of Regan's forces. Ironically, Goneril also desires to wed Edmund who has declared his love for her. She plots to have her husband, Albany, killed in battle so that she can be with Edmund. Kent leads a raving Lear to Cordelia's camp in Dover. Under his youngest daughter's care, the King recovers his senses. Since matters at home require the presence of the King of France, Cordelia's husband departs. Cordelia takes over since the French army in England is leaderless. Albany declares that he does not want to fight against Cordelia. His only purposes will be to repel a French invasion and to restore Lear to his throne. The French army is easily routed, and Lear and Cordelia are captured by Edmund, who imprisons them and secretly orders their death. Edgar encounters his blinded father being guided by an old man and leads him to safety. After killing Oswald, Edgar gives Goneril's love letter addressed to Edmund to Albany. When Albany reads Goneril's letter, he resolves to punish her. Regan then

announces her engagement to Edmund, but Albany accuses Edmund and Goneril of treason. Edmund accepts the duel offered him to redeem his honor. He is fatally wounded by the challenger, who is Edgar in disguise. A dying Edmund confesses that he ordered the deaths of Lear and Cordelia. The bodies of Goneril and Regan are brought in. Regan poisoned Goneril, for she thought her sister was a rival for Edmund's love; Goneril then stabbed herself to escape shame. Soon after, Lear comes in with the dead Cordelia in his arms. She had been executed as per Edmund's orders. Edmund's confession had been too late to save her. A broken- hearted Lear dies over the body of his youngest daughter. THEMES Major Themes The main theme of the play is filial ingratitude, shown primarily by the attitudes of Goneril and Regan. The play revolves around the helplessness of King Lear after he gives his kingdom to these two elder daughters. They are ungrateful to their father and treat him cruelly, stripping him of all his power and dignity. Their ingratitude is contrasted with the compassion and love shown by Cordelia, his youngest daughter; ironically, King Lear had disinherited her for telling the truth. Within this theme of filial ingratitude, the theme of good vs. evil is clearly depicted. The two older daughters are the personification of evil. They destroy their father, cause the death of Cordelia and even perish themselves because of their greedy and evil ways. In contrast, Cordelia is the personification of goodness. Even though she is rejected by her father, she continues to love him and tries to help him. Because of her goodness, Lear sees the error of his judgement, but it comes too late to save himself or his daughters.

Minor Themes One of the minor Themes; the tragic disrespect of authority and age, is closely related to the major theme of filial ingratitude. Goneril and Regan clearly show and voice their disrespect to their father, the King of the country. Edmund also disrespects his father and treats him poorly. The rude behavior of these characters is seen throughout the play Another minor theme is the pain of misjudgment. Both Lear and Gloucester misjudge their offspring, giving favors to the wrong children. Cordelia and Edgar, the children

whom they reject as worthless, are really representatives of all that is good and loyal in the world. Before they realize their errors, both fathers undergo great personal suffering. In spite of the treatment they receive, both Cordelia and Edgar stand by their fathers and forgive them for the injustices they have suffered. MOOD The mood of the play is tragic and bleak. Although the drama opens in celebration, King Lear manages to quickly destroy the festivities because of his foolishness and rage. The dark atmosphere that he creates through his behavior in the beginning scene worsens as the plot develops. By the middle of the play Lear has lost touch with reality; appropriately, a raging storm outside reflects the storm in Lear's own mind. Through the bleakness of the mood in the early acts of the play, Shakespeare prepares the audience (and the reader) for the horrendous scenes of tragedy that occur at the end of the play.

Robert Louis Stevenson

1886 SETTING The novel is set in the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland. David Balfour is born and brought up in Essendean, in the Lowlands. However, not much is seen of Essendean, for the hero is shown leaving his birthplace when the novel opens. David's father has died, and he leaves for Edinburgh in search of his uncle. He spends a few days in the company of his uncle in Cramond before they leave for Queensferry, where David is kidnapped. David spends a number of days on the high seas on the 'Covenant', where he meets Alan Breck Stewart. When he is thrown overboard during a dangerous crossing, he swims to a small island near the Isle of Mull. Then he enters the Scottish Highlands and travels from one place to another until he reaches Appin to meet Alan. In the company of his friend, he makes a flight through the Highlands to reach Queensferry

and then to Edinburgh to claim his inheritance from his uncle. The novel, therefore, ends where it begins, in the Lowlands.

LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters David Balfour A sixteen year-old orphan who has many adventures before establishing his identity in the world. Ebenezer Balfour David's uncle and master of the House of Shaws. He is miserly and ruthless. Alan Breck Stewart A brave Jacobite rebel (sympathizer of James II and the Stuarts) who befriends David and remains loyal to him to the end. Minor Characters Elias Hoseason The cunning Captain of the "Covenant". He is Ebenezer Balfour's friend and David's kidnapper. Mr. Campbell The kind minister of Essendean. He delivers Alexander Balfour's letter to David and directs the boy to the House of Shaws. Ransom An innocent cabin boy aboard the "Covenant". He works for the first mate, Shuan, in the round-house and becomes a victim of his violence. Shuan

An expert seaman and a moody officer aboard the "Covenant". He is responsible for the death of Ransom. Mr. Riach The second mate in the "Covenant". He attends to David during his sickness and provides him company in the ship. Mr. Rankeillor - a benevolent man and a shrewd lawyer. He helps David in securing his rightful place in society. Ardshiel A respected and exiled captain and member of Alan's clan. James Stewart Ardshiel's half-brother. He helps David and Alan make their flight from the Highlands. Colin Campbell The leader of the Campbells. He is referred to as the `Red Fox'. Duncan Mackiegh The dishonest, blind catechist (a person who brought Christianity to the more remote parts of the Highlands) who directs David to Torosay. Henderland The kind and generous catechist who provides shelter to David for a night and puts him on the boat to Appin. Neil Roy Macrob The skipper of the ferry that travels between Torosay and Kinlochaline. John Breck Maccoll A friend of Alan's. He carries his message to James Stewart's wife. Cluny Macpherson

A rebel in the uprising of 1745. He gives shelter to Alan and David in his cave for five days. Duncan Dhu Maclaren Alan's devoted friend. He acts as a good host and takes care of David at his home for a month. Robin Oig The son of the notorious Rob Roy. He comes to the house of Duncan and extends a hand of friendship to David and Alan. Torrance The servant of Mr. Rankeillor. He accompanies the lawyer, Alan, and David to the House of Shaws to trap Ebenezer. CONFLICT Protagonist David, the protagonist of the novel, becomes an orphan at the age of sixteen. He goes in search of his uncle in the hopes that he will provide for him. Instead, his uncle plots against him to have him kidnapped by Hoseason, the Captain of the "Covenant". The novel relates his adventures and his struggle to re-establish his identity and regain his inheritance. Antagonist Mr. Ebenezer Balfour is David's antagonist. In the past he had illegally established his right over the estate of the Shaws. He resents David's intrusion into his life, fearing that his nephew will successfully assert his right over his property. He, therefore, schemes with his friend, Captain Hoseason, to kidnap David and take him on board the "Covenant", which will transport him to America, where he will be sold as a slave. Ebenezer creates the crisis in David's life and is responsible for his plight.


The climax occurs in the House of Shaws near Edinburgh after David returns from his adventures in the Highlands. After seeking the advice of Mr. Rankeillor, David lays a trap for his uncle. Alan is made to talk to Ebenezer and to elicit information from him about the kidnapping of David. Mr. Balfour falls into the trap and confesses his guilt. Mr. Rankeillor and David then force him to meet their terms. Outcome When Ebenezer becomes aware that he cannot play games with David, he agrees to pay "two clear thirds of the yearly income of Shaws" to his nephew. The novel, therefore, ends in comedy with David succeeding in regaining his fortune and his status in society. SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis) David Balfour starts relating the story of his adventures from 1751, when he was a youth of sixteen. Shortly after the death of his father, he decides to leave his birthplace in search of fortune. Mr. Campbell, the clergyman of Essendean, gives him a letter from his father, which asks him to go to Edinburgh to meet his uncle. Mr. Ebenezer Balfour is not very happy to see his nephew but allows him to stay with him all the same. Disliking the intrusion into his privacy and afraid of losing his property, he plots to kill David by sending him to the tower of the house on a dark night. When his attempts fail to trap David, he has the boy kidnapped and taken on board the "Covenant" with the help of his friend, Hoseason. After the initial seasickness, David adjusts to the life on the ship and makes friends with its crew. When the ship heads towards the southwest of Scotland, it hits another boat, whose sole survivor, a Jacobite rebel, boards the ship. The captain and his mates plot to kill Alan Breck, but David reveals their evil plan to him beforehand. Together David and Alan defeat the crew and show their superior strength to the captain. Shortly afterwards, as the ship sails through a dangerous route, David falls overboard into the sea and is separated from Alan. He reaches the Isle of Mull and meets people who direct him to Appin. However, on the way he meets Colin Campbell and becomes a witness to his murder. The followers of Colin Campbell (the Red Fox) suspect David of being an accomplice in the murder and pursue him. David finds Alan, and with the help of James of Glen, they make their escape into the wilds of the Highlands. After a long and strenuous journey, they finally reach the Lowlands.

David hires a lawyer, and they devise a plan to make his uncle confess his crime. When Mr. Ebenezer realizes he has been discovered, he agrees to pay two-thirds of the income from the estate to his nephew. As a result, David succeeds in recovering his money and establishing his identity in the world. THEMES Major Theme The main theme of Kidnapped is good conquers evil. While Ebenezer tries his best to harm his nephew and keep all the wealth for himself, David bravely fights against his antagonist and succeeds in exposing his uncle, regaining his identity, and acquiring the wealth due to him. Minor Themes There are two minor Themes in the novel. The first one is in the struggle for existence, the fit will survive. David must fight all kinds of odds to survive and return to Scotland to expose his uncle and his cruel plot. A second minor theme is that no one character is completely good or evil. Even the wicked Ebenezer shows some decency at the end of the novel. MOOD The prevailing mood of the novel is serious. Stevenson, however, offsets the somber mood by maintaining action and suspense throughout the plot and by creating eccentric characters who are entertaining. The clergyman Campbell's emotional farewell, Alan's pompous talk, and Mr. Rankeillor's pretended forgetfulness also lighten the novel's atmosphere. Kidnapped becomes a delightful adventure story OVERALL ANALYSES AUTHOR'S STYLE Stevenson's Kidnapped is the story of an orphan in search of his fortune, who becomes involved with and saved by an outlaw suspected of murdering the Red Fox, Colin Campbell. The tale of David Balfour, his relationship with his uncle, his kidnapping, his flight into the Highlands, and his return to his hometown to claim his fortune, is fictional. The story of Alan Breck Stewart is based on Scottish history. Alan is a staunch follower of the Stuarts and a devoted Jacobite leader. He is an admirer of Prince Charles, a friend of James of the Glens and Cluny Macpherson, and the enemy of Red Fox. The stories of David and Alan intertwine throughout the plot,

making the novel both an adventure tale and a historical novel, suited for both children and adults.

In the book, Stevenson creates a stage full of characters that excite and entertain the reader. Kidnapped is peopled by interesting characters like the youthful David, the chivalrous Alan, the imposing Cluny Macpherson, and the eccentric Mr. Rankeillor. Stevenson creates his two main characters as total contrasts; David Balfour and Alan Breck are opposites in their beliefs, temperaments, and views, but they complement and depend on each other. David, the upright, nave, idealistic youth from the Lowlands, is on the side of the Whigs; Alan, who is boastful, courageous, and practical, is a Jacobite from the Highlands. Each is symbolic of a part of Scotland, and each is helpless without the other, proving that the Highlands and Lowlands must also be co-dependent in spite of their vast differences. Critics have aptly termed Stevenson a Romantic writer. From the book, it is obvious that the author was attracted by the romance surrounding the Jacobite movement and the legend of Bonnie Prince Charles. He cleverly interweaves this history with the romantic adventures of David Balfour. But there is also realism inKidnapped. Stevenson vividly and realistically recreates the action scenes which charge the entire atmosphere of the novel with liveliness. The characters, too, are presented with earthly emotions and use a language that rings true to life. Stevenson also shows himself to be a master of precision, clarity, and craft in Kidnapped. He is able to compress much information into a few well-chosen, appropriate words, which produce the desired effect of exciting the reader. He also effectively evokes the spirit of the moment through graphic detail and description. The novel, filled with pages of excitement, thrill, and suspense, has become a true classic tale of adventure.

Love's Labour's Lost

William Shakespeare


The Kingdom of Navarre, which is the setting of the play, was a real historical place. In the fifteenth century, Navarre was a Kingdom located along the Pyrenees mountain range in Northeast Spain and Southwest France. The setting is an appropriate one for romantic and/or political meetings between members of opposing kingdoms. While the general setting is the Kingdom of Navarre, the main action develops in two locations: the court of Navarre and the park outside palace grounds, where the Princess and her entourage are made to camp.

LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Ferdinand, King of Navarre - Ferdinand is an ambitious, youthful king, driven toward converting his court into 'a little Academe'. He swears an oath that he will remain a celibate scholar for three years and that he and his men will cloister themselves within the court. He institutes stringent rules against the admission of women to the court or any discourse at all with the opposite sex. Throughout the play, he must face the folly of his own actions and the vow that precipitated them Biron - Described by the ladies as being prone to "jest", Biron, one of the attendants to the king, comes across as realistic in his reservations about the proposed plan; he states that "these are barren tasks, too hard to keep". It is this initial reluctance that renders him less of a hypocrite than his friends. Biron is a skilled speaker and writer, generally presenting himself as a wise man with greater perception than his companions. Longaville and Dumain - Two other attendants to the King of Navarre, who pledge their allegiance to the plan without any hesitation, for "tis but a three years' fast". They, however, predictably break their vows much sooner than three years, revealing their own foolish hypocrisy. Princess of France - The princess arrives in Navarre on a diplomatic mission, as her father's envoy, to have the King of Navarre "surrender-up" Aquitaine land that belongs to her father. Along with her three friends, she also serves the purpose of exposing 'the little Academe' as absurd in its rejection of natural human emotions. She is also quick to point out the lack of gentility among the members of the academe. Rosaline, Maria and Katherine - These three attendant ladies to the Princess of France join her in falling in love with the foolish and extreme men. The four women, as a group, come across as wiser than the King of Navarre and his lords, for they have

a much more realistic viewpoint. They are the forces that will expose the folly of the men's decision. In the end, they are also strong enough in their own wills to impose a waiting period accompanied with various tasks to their wooers, to teach them a lesson for their impertinence against human nature. CONFLICT The play does not have clearly demarcated protagonists and antagonists, in the conventional sense. Both groups of characters, the men with their silly notions and the women who oppose them, are likable -- heroes in the romantic sense. There are no villains, no wicked characters. Instead, there are pleasant and entertaining characters that need to be taught valuable lessons. The source of the conflict, then, comes not from a character but from ideas. It is a battle of the "heart" over the "head". Protagonist: The protagonist of the play is the concept of love and humanity, as symbolized in the women in the play. They become representatives of the "heart". Antagonist: The antagonist of the play is pride and vanity, as symbolized in the men who think they can achieve immortality through abstinence and learning. They become representatives of the "head", although theirs is a false and pretentious allegiance to the mind, reason, and learning. Climax: The last scene of the Fourth Act is the first climax of the plot, for it is in this scene that the men reveal that their hearts have overcome their heads. Each of the young lords surrenders to love, unaware that others are witnessing their ultimate acts of learning. While each character believes himself to be alone, and hence reads aloud his profession of love in the form of eloquent verse, the others stand aside watching. One by one the characters come out of their hiding to expose each other. In a sense, the protagonist (the heart) has here proclaimed victory over the antagonist (the head). The men have been unable to make their hearts submit to their intellect or reason. They, however, are still proud and do not want to face the ladies and publicly admit they have broken their vows. As a result they plan a masque, where they will disguise themselves as Russians and woo their loves. The ladies, however, hear of the plan before the masque and trick the men into revealing their true selves. When Biron apologizes for all the men for their foolish behavior, the final moment of climax is reached as the men acknowledge to all that the heart has defeated the head.

Outcome: The play ends in comedy, for the protagonist (the heart) overcomes the antagonist (the head). The result is that natural order of things is restored, for though the men must prove their love by fulfilling the tasks set for them, there is a promise of reward by way of future marriage. The men and the women come together, and love does not go unrequited. The notion of greatness through abstinence is recognized as both unnatural and unreasonable, and love and romance prevail. PLOT (Synopsis) Love's Labour's Lost opens on a grandiose note, as Ferdinand, King of Navarre, informs the audience that he and his companion lords, Biron, Longaville and Dumain, have sworn to abstinence and the pursuit of knowledge. They are to lock themselves away in court to study for three years, and visits by females will be very limited. When the King instructs his lords to sign an oath to the plan, both Longaville and Dumain quickly comply, claiming that a three-year period of fasting and celibacy can easily be endured for the sake of knowledge. Biron, however, initially finds the plan unreasonable and is hesitant to sign the oath. His initial skepticism is soon overcome, and he makes his pledge along with the others. As Biron signs, however, he reminds the King of the impending visit from the Princess of France, which threatens the proclamations of the agreement, since she will have to be entertained for the sake of "gentility". The conversation is interrupted by Constable Dull, who brings with him a letter concerning the crime committed by Costard, who is in tow. The letter is from Don Armado, the Spanish "child of fancy", who accuses Costard of having broken the law by flirting with a country girl. Costard is given a punishment, and Don Armado is put in charge of enforcing it. He is happy to do this since the country girl is someone to whom he is attracted. While this matter is sorted out, the Princess of France arrives at the gates of Navarre and is shocked by the lack of hospitality shown towards herself and her ladies, due to the King's oath. The King and his men finally enter, and a debate over the land the Princess has come to claim follows. The king's lords immediately show an interest in ladies of the princess. After they exit with the king, they quickly return to be with them. Dumain reveals a curiosity for Katherine, Longaville shows an interest in Maria, and Biron comes in to confirm whether or not Rosaline is married. The third act reveals the parallel development in both the main plot and the comic sub-plot. Biron accosts Costard, the clown and, having tipped him generously, asks him to take to the lady Rosaline a letter confessing his love for her. Costard agrees, just as he has earlier agreed to take a similar letter to Jaquenetta from Don Armado. Costard

faithfully hands over the letter to the Princess while she occupies herself with shooting. However, Costard has mixed up the letters, and hands over the Princess the letter intended for Jaquenetta rather than the one for Rosaline. Nevertheless, the Princess insists it be read aloud. After being amused at the letter, she proceeds to the shoot, while Rosaline and Boyet take part in a witty dialogue.

The next scene opens with a highly artificial intellectual conversation between Holofernes and Nathaniel, whose extremely literate remarks stand in direct contrast to the rather plain language of Anthony Dull, the constable. They argue about whether the Princess killed a 'pricket', a 'sore', or a 'sorel', a futile argument, for all three words mean a deer and only differentiate the age of the deer (a pricket being two years old, a sorel being three, and a sore being four). Jaquenetta and Costard arrive on the scene. Jaquenetta wishes that the curate read to her the letter she has just received from Costard, and Nathaniel obliges. Holofernes, however, informs Jaquenetta that the letter is not addressed to her and that she must take it to the King post-haste, for it is written by Biron, "one of the votaries with the King". THEMES Major Theme Love's Labour's Lost is based on the conflict between the idealistic and the practical the head vs. the heart. The King and his lords, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, vow to reject real life for a scholarly and celibate existence for a period of three years. The four men have the arrogant belief that they can master their own humanity and achieve some kind of immortal fame by this intense pursuit of intelligence and reason. Through the play, Shakespeare shows that the men are destined to fail and that matters of the heart will prevail over matters of the mind. Minor Theme Drawing from the primary theme, Shakespeare, in a secondary theme, flouts pretension and praises acceptance of what one really is. Some of the characters, ignoring reality, believe themselves to be what they are not. In order to prove this, they cloister themselves away to pursue knowledge (the King and his lords) and resort to flowery and high-flown speech (Holofernes, Armado). Shakespeare shows the foolishness of each of them in the course of the play. By contrast to the men, the four

women, although somewhat nave, are infinitely wiser, more practical and more realistic about themselves.

MOOD The play, though it begins on the king's solemn note of proclamation, loses its seriousness in the very first scene. It quickly becomes clear that the solemn vows are foolish and destined to fail. Beyond that, the tone becomes lighthearted, anticipatory, and delightful. The frivolity of the play, coupled with confusion, sarcasm, and a great deal of come-uppance, reaches its peak in Act IV as disguises are donned, mistresses are mistaken, and love vows are made to the wrong people. In short, the play is consumed throughout by a spirit of good-hearted fun until the last scene. The shocking announcement of King of France's death is a sober note that at first seems out of place and unanticipated. In the end, however, the dry humor of the Princess's reaction to her father's death (a year of pronounced mourning) and the effect of her grief on the silly men with all their scheming, has its own special humor.

William Shakespeare

SETTING Mainly set in Scotland in the 11th century, mostly in Macbeth's castle and the king's palace at Forres. Also in military camps and open fields near the battleground, and at King Edward's palace in England. LIST OF CHARACTERS Major Characters Macbeth

The evil King of Scotland who stole the throne from Duncan by murdering him and who sinks into a state of chaos because of his greed and guilt; his evil acts lead to his ruin, and rebel forces lead an attack against him, and Macduff, in a personal battle, beheads him. Lady Macbeth The wife of Macbeth, who is even more driven by greed and power than her husband and who is the manipulative force behind the murder Duncan. Like her husband, fear and remorse cause her ruin; she goes mad and kills herself. Malcolm King Duncan's oldest son, rightful heir to the throne of Scotland, who flees to England after his father's murder and later returns to lead a successful attack against Macb