Mid-Term Assignment (Exc. Class; 2013/2014)


Mid-Term Assignment of Literature III

(Exc. Class; 2013/2014)

Choose five out of the following eight items. Write two paragraphs for each chosen item. In the first paragraph summarize the work. In the second, show how the work is related to the sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds of the period in which it was written (you can focus on one or more background).  Write each paragraph in about 100 words. The following could be used as a sample.

The Owl and the Nightingale

The Owl and the Nightingale is a debate between a serious owl and a gay nightingale during a summer night. This poem consists of 1794 lines in octosyllabic couplets, probably written between 1186 and 1216 by an unknown author. The debate follows the rules of the scholastic disputations, as they were held in the law schools and universities. Both birds use every device of medieval rhetoric to prove that they are of the highest use to mankind. During the debate they touch upon nearly every topic of contemporary interest: hygienic habits, looks, prognostication, the proper modes of worship, music, confession, papal missions, ethics and morals, happy marriage and adultery, and so on. The nightingale stands for the joyous aspects of life, the owl for the somber; there is no clear winner.

This poem reflects rapid changes taking place in England in the beginning of the Middle English Era. The changes, mainly caused by the arrival of the Norman soon after the Norman Conquest. Many French came and lived in England. They introduced England to French, better architecture, progress in painting and music, and development in education (as indicated by the fact that not long after the Norman Conquest, the University of Cambridge and Oxford were established). Whether the English people liked it or not, the new way of life brought by the Norman affected the English people’s way of life. The owl represents those who preferred to keep the old way of life, and nightingale stands for those who welcome the new way of life.

Post your answer in the reply section below by Saturday, November 2, 2013. 

  1. Beowulf
  2. Mendelville’s Travel
  3. Sir Gawain and the Green Night
  4. The Caterbury Tales
  5. Faery Queen
  6. Dr. Faustus
  7. Romeo and Juliet
  8. Julius Caesar
  9. The Pilgrim’s Progress
  10. Paradise Lost

Good luck!

16 Comments

  1. Faerie Queen
    The Faerie Queen is an incomplete English epic poem written by Edmund Spenser for Elizabeth to read and was dedicated to her. This allegorical work aims to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline. It was written during the time of religious and political controversy – the Reformation. It includes the controversy of Elizabethan church reform within the epic. Queen Elizabeth changed the official religion of the nation to Protestantism.
    Even though it does praise Queen Elizabeth in some ways, The Fairie Queene questions Elizabeth’s ability to rule so effectively because of her gender, and also inscribes the “shortcomings” of her rule. Britomart represents married chastity. This character is told that her destiny is to be an “immortal wombe” – basically, to have children. Spenser is making a reference to Elizabeth’s unmarried state and is touching upon anxieties of the 1590s about what would happen after her death since she has no heir.

    Julius Caesar
    This is a story about the life journey of Gaius Julius Caesar. He was a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin Prose. Julius Caesar built a bridge across and conducted the first invasion of Britain. He had military power and caused civil war from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome.
    This story told us about how Julius Caesar played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation o Julian calender. Finally he was assassinated by a group of senators.Caesar is deemed to be one of the greatest military commanders in history.

    The Pilgrim’s Progress
    This is a well known Christian Allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is one of the most significant works of religious English and has been translated into more than 200 languages. The writing begun in Bunyan’s imprisonment 1660-1672. It is about the journey of Christian, the protagonist, from his hometown, the “City of Destruction”, to the “Celestial City”. It told us about how Christian tried to find deliverence from a great burden of sin, went to the Wicket Gate for Deliverance and directed to the “straight and narrow” King’s highway by the gatekeeper Good Will. Even though Christian has a rough time to reach the Celestial City, Hopeful helps him over and is welcomed into the City. The second part told us about Christian’s family. The four sons of Christian and their families do not cross over the River of Death but remain for the support of the church in that place.
    This allegory reflects on the lives and struggling of Christian people on that era. Christian represents christian people who are longed for true deliverance from God. City of Destruction represents this world, Celestial City represents Heaven.

    Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is a story written by William Shakespeare. It is about two lovers, Romeo and Juliet and their tragic love story. It told us about their efforts to be live together. They came from families who hated each other and have become enemies for along time. Romeo tried to be with Juliet and they promised to live together. Unfortunately, Juliet’s parents pushed her to marry Paris, the Governor Son. Juliet didn’t want to marry Paris. Romeo and Juliet made a plan so they can live together far away from their parents. This is a sad ending love story which ended with the death of both lovers.
    Romeo and Juliet showed the culture and life style of people who lived at that time. Parents decided with whom their children would get marry. The children neither had any choices nor rights to say no to their parents’ decisions. Romeo and Juliet represent the youngsters who rebelled the rules or parents.

    Paradise Lost
    It is an epic poem in blank verse. Written by the 17th-century English Poet John Milton in about 1658-1663. It concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man, the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The characters are: God the Father, The Son of God, Adam, Eve, Satan, Raphael and Michael.
    This poem was written during the English Civil War. People need something to relieve them from fear and to give them hope. The themes are about the marriage of Adam and Eve, and Idolatry. Milton’s Protestant views reject both the purely Chatolic Perspective and the Pagan Respective.

  2. The Pilgrim’s Progress

    The Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory written by an English author, John Buyan, and published in February, 1678. The book consists of 191 pages. It is a journey of a man named Christian from his hometown the “City of Destruction”. He is weighed down by a great big burden, the knowledge of his sin which he believed came from his reading, “the book in his hand” (the Bible). On the way, he faces many difficulties from the Giant Despair and the Slough of Despond (depth of depression) to Vanity Fair (pride). All of them question the value of the Christian faith.

    The Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the most important works of religious English literature since the content is about people’s journey in this world. They realise that they are going to perish then they are looking for the way how to cast away their sins from their life. In the middle of the journey, they find many difficulties and challenges. Until they find Jesus, it means they find a new hope of life. Once they know it, many of them come back to their own house, tell the good news to their family member and ask them to join.

    Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost is an epic poem written by an English poet, John Milton and published in 1667. The poem is the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the
    temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel, Lucifer, and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. God creates humans, Adam and Eve, and places them in the Garden of Eden. In the middle of it, there is a knowledge of goodness and wicknedness tree with a snake, that is Lucifer actually, on it. Humans are forbidden to eat the fruit of that knowledge tree. It is said that they would die once they ate it. Because of their curiousity and disobidience, they fall. God cast them away from the Garden of Eden.

    At first, John Milton did not want to have any intentions to write a bibcal epic since epics were typically written about heroic kings and queens. Milton was blind and often got ill when he was writing this poem. Through dictation and with the help of friends he could wrote this amazing poem.

    Doctor Faustus

    The Tragic History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly known as Doctor Faustus is a play written by Christopher Marlowe, the English greatest dramatist before Shakespeare between 1587-1593 and first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlove’s death. He wrote it in a classical way because of the influence of his educational background. This play was written during the Renaissance period, the beginning of the modern world in the areas of geography, science, politics, religion, society and art. When Elizabeth reigned the England’s economic condition wass getting more prosper and it advantageed for the literature development, especially drama.

    It contains one central character named Faustus whose growth in driven by his relentless ambition. Faustus is form lower class parents. He holds a lower status than kings and saints. It givess introduction to his wisdom and abilities, especially in academia, in which he excels so tremendously that he is awarded a doctorate. He says that he has done all subject perfectly. However, none can allow raising the death and immortality. Finally, he sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge.

    Beowulf

    Beowulf is a sad narrative heroic poetry. It is a classical art since its focus is about logic not feelings. No one knows who wrote this. It was composed in old English period, AD 1000. This poetry consists of 3182 lines and is written on cotton vitellius. This poetry is made to remember heroes as men who can win battles and give safety to their people over a long period of time. Bewulf is the name of the main character of the hero of the long anonymous poetry. It describes evens which are parts of the old English period’s memory: invasions and battles, some historic, some legendary.

    Beowulf is the first hero in English literature. These three thousand line story is about a brave Southern Swedish young man who helps Hrothgar, the king of Danes, who cannot defend himself of his people againts a wicked mother called Grendel. One night, he attacks Grendel hand and pulls off the arm and he also killed the mother of Grendel in the bottom of the lake. Fifty years later, in order to protect the people from the attack of the fire breathing dragon, he kills the dragon. Unfortunately, he is injurede in the fight and dies as a hero.

    Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet is the most famous tragedy of love in all literature written by William Shakespears between 1598 and 1607, the Elizabethan period. These years are ‘black’ period for Shakespear for Hamnet, Shakespears’ ten-year-old son passed away in 1596. This may have affected Shakespears’ plays concern fathers and children. It is a romantism art since the heart of the character can control their mind.

    Romeo and Juliet is a story of two lovers. Because of a gunfight between Romeo and Juliet’s families, their love does not work well. Until Juliet makes a fake death by drinking poison. Having heard that Juliet has passed away, Romeo goes to the same place where Juliet buys the poison. Romeo has no idea Juliet is alive. He enters the church where Juliet lies and utters a farewell speech. Juliet awaken just as Romeo takes the poison. After Romeo dies, Juliet takes a gun in Romes’ hand and shoots herself in the head.

  3. Mid test

    1. Paradise Lost
    This story tells us about the Fall of Adam and the loss of the Garden of Eden. It’s demonstrating the nature of the beings who created mankind also gave some views on what good and evil mean, what mankind’s relationship is with the Absolute, what man’s destiny is as an individual and as a species. Satan is often called a sympathetic character in Paradise Lost, despite being the source of all evils. We are presented with some of Satan’s frustration. Satan tells his army that they were tricked, that it wasn’t until they were at battle that God showed the true extent of his almightiness. If they had been shown this force previous;y, not only would the rebel angels not have declared war or heaven. Hell reflecting heaven and later, earth reflecting both, will be a common theme throughout the work. Satan chooses 12 close friends; all of them drawn from pagan mythology or from foreign kings in the Hebrew Bible.

    The paradise is a poem, note the structure of line 56 through 79 as God looks down his creation. God starts by seeing all the good things, including his creation of Adam and Eve. Then he pans over to hell and chaos and finally to satan himself flying toward paradise. The paragraph gives equal time to nature as pure and nature as corrupted. Sentences in the middle of these two equal parts deal with love. Therefore, the subdialogue is that love is what divides corrupted nature from pure nature.

    2. Beowulf
    Beowulf is a heroic epic poem about a hero of a Geats named Beowulf. Bravely and strongly he does his adventures and fights against the worst strengths. The story initially starts when he arrives to the kings of Danes but he is attacked by the monster Grendel. Successly he kill the monster with his hands without using any tools and guns and also the grendel’s mother using sword. Beowulf then becomes the king of geats. But it is terrorized by the dragon which has four heads. Beowulf can defeat the dragon although he is hurt. He was died and buried in burial mound by the sea.

    Beowulf is the first important work of literature in English which written using Old English. It is written as the element of religious tension quite common in Christian anglo-saxon writing with the set is concerned on Scandinavian culture before the migration. It explains about the heroic code, how the strong kings and protect their people from other tribes. Heorot in Beowulf is described as the places where the warriors would gather in the presence of their lord to drink, boast, such as church. However, at that time that place was risking as it was the dangerous time which paranoid sense of foreboding and doom that runs throughout Beowulf evidences the constant fear of invasion that plagued Scandinavian society.

    3. Doctor Faustus
    He is a talented German scholar that against the limits of human knowledge. He has learned everything he can learn, or so he thinks from the conventional academic disciplines. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. A good angle and an evil angel arrive, representing faustus’ choice between Christian conscience and the path to damnation. The former advises him to leave off this pursuit of magic, and the latter tempts him. From two fellow scholars, valdes and Cornelius, Faustus learns the fundamentals of the black arts. He entertains the duke and duchess with petty illusions, before robin the clown and his band of ruffians arrives.

    Faustus’ twenty-four years are running out, wagner tells the audience that he thinks Faustus prepares for death. Faustus opts for pleasure instead and asks mephostophilis to bring Helen of troy to him, to be his love and comfort during these last days. As the hour approaches, mephostosphilis taunts Faustus. He blames mephostosphilis for his damnation and the evil proudly takes crsdit for it.

    4. Julius Caesar

    Betrayal. Brutus places his ideals (Rome as a republic) over his friend, Julius Caesar, and is willing to kill Caesar to protect the Republic.
    Fear. Incredibly afraid of losing Rome as a republic, Brutus is willing to murder Caesar before the guy even does anything wrong. In his mind, it’s better to sacrifice an innocent ruler than risk his becoming a tyrant.
    political Turmoil. Things don’t go according to plan. The politicians are like, “the citizens are going to kiss our togas for eliminating the tyrant Caesar! Down with absolute power.” But the citizens are like, “What! You killed Caesar? We loved him.” Let’s just say that the politicians aren’t exactly tuned in to the citizens’ wants and needs.
    Reason vs. Passion. With his clear, cool logic, Brutus convinces the concerned public that Caesar was a tyrant who needed to be eliminated in order for them to be free. Then along comes Antony, with his passionate, emotional appeal, who just as easily swings the public in the other direction, turning them into an angry mob determined to avenge their beloved Caesar.
    Sacrificing Personal Morals for the “Greater Good.” Brutus is well-known for being a moral and honest guy, yet he decides to commit murder and sacrifice his morals in hopes of ensuring a better future for Rome.
    We’re sure you can find other intense issues from the play that are highly relevant to our modern world. Chew on these questions for us, and fill in the blanks about how each of these points resonates with your personal life, your experience at school, or even in the country or world as a whole.

    5. The Faerie Queene i
    It is a romantic epic, the first sustained poetic work since Geoffrey Chaucer. In this work, Spenser uses the archaic language of Chaucer as a way to pay homage to the medieval poet. Spenser saw himself as a medievalist, but cognizant of his audience, he uses the modern pronunciation of the Renaissance. Spenser uses biblical allegory to tell his story, but the poem is much more than just a religious poem. Its purpose was to educate, to turn a young man into a gentleman. There are two levels of allegory present. One level examines the moral, philosophical, and religious and is represented by the Red Cross Knight, who represents all Christians. The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, and religious, in which the Faerie Queene represents Elizabeth I. Spenser was not born to a wealthy household, as were so many of the other great Renaissance poets, such as Philip Sidney. This fact is important, since his work is colored by this lack of wealth. Spenser needed a patron to provide for his support while he worked, and patrons expect that the artists they support will write flattering words. This was certainly the case with Spenser’s work, The Faerie Queene, which is meant to celebrate Elizabeth I and, oftentimes, flatter her. In this work, Spenser presents his ideas of what constitutes an ideal England. He also thought that he could use his text as a way to recall the chivalry of a past era, and thus, inspire such actions again. Spenser influenced many of the poets who followed, including John Milton, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Lord Tennyson.

  4. Dear Mr. Parlin,
    I’m sorry for being late to submit this.
    For the mid test of Drama Class, I choose Beowulf, Fairy Queen, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Paradise Lost.

    1. Beowulf
    Beowulf is a heroic epic poem, tells about a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia named Beowulf and his battle’s memories. On the first, Beowulf came to help the king of the Danes, whose has been attack by a monster known as Grendel. Even Beowulf has won the battle, the mother of Grendel tried to attacking him back, but she failed also. The next battle was fifty years after the first when Beowulf as king of the Geats has a battle with the dragon, although the dragon has defeated, Beowulf got injured and died. This story has a part of myth and history, the man is remembered as a hero who can win the battles and give safety to his people over a long period of time. It has a sad ending but insists of heroic values.

    This poem consists of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It describes invasions and battles, some historic, and some legendary; sets around the sixth century, but dated between the eight and the early eleventh century. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages is spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and courage. The warriors follow a manifest of rules on heroism called Comitatus, which is the basis for all of the words, deeds, and actions. Beowulf is the first hero in English literature.

    2. Fairy Queen
    Fairy Queen talks about some characters, such as: “Fairy Land” as a symbolic of meaning in the real world; two knights, Redcrosse and Britomart, as the symbolic of Holiness and Purity. Redcrosse, the Holiness, in his eagerness to serve his Lord found that he was not virtuous enough. He tried to be united with Una, the Truth, to get knowledge of Christian truth. he struggled to reach it, but by help from Faith, Hope, and Charity finally he had defeated the dragon which represents all the evil in the world. In the other hand, Britomart also tried to resist lust, but she was not ready to accept the love. Redcrosse made to show us the consequences of an unholy life while Britomart made to show the destructive power of an unchaste life.

    Edmund Spenser, known as the Prince of poets in the Elizabethan age, has always been a controversial figure. Fairy Queen published in the 1590s, used a new verse form which now known as the Spenserian Stanza. It was the most important poem in English since almost 200 years before. The writer was trying to show how a virtuous man should live and showing the human failure when faced with the worst evils, which can only defeated by the Christian good. The religious conflicts of the time were related close to politics. As a purely poetic work, Fairy Queen was neither original nor always remarkable, but it has a high ranks of the greatest poetry in the English language.

    3. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story of all time. Tells about two feuding families, Capulet and Montague, where their children apparently are a pair of lovers. Lord Montague’s son, Romeo who on the first had unrequited infatuation to Lord Capulet’s niece named Rosaline finally fell in love with Juliet, Capulet’s daughter whom already requested by Count of Paris. With the help of a friar, they are secretly married. But the situation became worse because of conflicts and disputes among the family which take casualties and lead Romeo exiled from Verona. Based on it, Lord Capulet pushed Juliet to marrying Count Paris and threatened to disown her when she refuses. Juliet asked her friend for help, whom gave her a drug that will put her into a death-like coma for 42 hours and promised to send a messenger to inform Romeo. But the plan collapsed because of the messenger failed to reach Romeo and caused his suicide when he knew about Juliet’s die. The feuding families met at the tomb and found their children’s die. At the end, the families who are reconciled by their children’s deaths agreed to end their violent feud.

    William Shakespeare had produced 37 plays and can be classified into History, Tragedies, Comedy, and Romance. Romeo and Juliet is one of the tragedy stories written early in the career of William Shakespeare and most popular played during his lifetime which the main characters are represent today’s young lovers. Set on Italia, Shakespeare used his poetic dramatic structure, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. It has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the English Restoration, it was revived and revised by William Davenant.

    4. Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar is usually classified as a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, which is actually is a part of historical play contains of politic issues. It tells about a highly successful man but also an ambitious political leader of Rome named Julius Caesar and his goal to become a dictator. Caesar was warned that he must “beware the Ides of March” which had came true when Caesar was killed by his own friend, Marcus Brutus whom had decision to take part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom, plunged his country into civil war to clean up Rome from tyrant.

    Set on Verona and Mantua in Italy. The play contains many elements from Elizabethan era. The experts believed that Julius Caesar was first performed between 1600 and 1601, which in the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Julius Caesar would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play. Although the title was taken from the main character’s name, Julius Caesar did not visible enough, but Brutus did. The play showed how human ambition and weaknesses can lead them into natural disaster, and it also had struggled between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship..

    5. Paradise Lost.
    Paradise Lost poem talks about Adam and Eve from the beginning they had created until they had lost their place in the Garden of Eden called Paradise. It starts when Satan and his followers who defeated in a war against God built a palace called Pandemonium and decided to explore a new world where their revenge can be planned. Then he entranced into the Garden of Eden and found Adam and Eve. Satan is apprehended by the gate of Paradise’ Angels and banished from Eden. God sent an Angel to warn Adam and Eve about Satan. But Satan, known as Lucifer who was an Angel in heaven before he fell into the hell because of his rebellion, didn’t give up and tried to return again to earth, but this time he used a snake to fulfill the mission. Although he had succeeded, Satan and his followers turned into snakes as punishment from God. With sadness, mitigated with hope, Adam and Eve had expelled from the Garden of Paradise.

    Paradise Lost tells the same story with the first pages of Genesis in the Bible, but more complicated. John Milton, the major figure who links the Renaissance and the Restoration, made this poem into twelve books in 1667. Satan, the first major character in the poem, was deeply arrogant, albeit powerful, and charismatic. It caused controversy because the readers see the Satan as the hero. Milton also described Adam as a heroic figure, but in the same time as a greater sinner than Eve because he known that he was doing wrong. Satan was comparable in many ways to the tragic heroes of classic Greek literature. The nature of Milton’s poem had become the subject of much debate, where for some it was interpreting as a genuine Christian morality tale and for other was viewing as an ambiguous work.

  5. 1. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is tragic romance drama. The drama was set in Renaissance (fourteenth or fifteenth century). William Shakespeare has success to create the great drama, since the drama was create and until now is still happening. Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story in the English literary tradition. Hollywood has produced some movies of Romeo and Juliet with different version. There are classical movie versions with Renaissance setting and modern setting. In 2013, Romeo and Juliet are released again with modern version that proves that Romeo and Juliet is still up to date.
    We can take the theme of drama in many aspects. The essential aspect of drama is about social life which so many problems social class. Shakespeare in this drama shows about the forcefulness of love relationship or the individual versus society. The relationship between Romeo and Juliet were rejected by their family and of their society. The enmity between their families, coupled with the emphasis placed on loyalty and honor to kin, combine to create a profound conflict for Romeo and Juliet, who must rebel against their heritages. Further, the patriarchal power structure inherent in Renaissance families, wherein the father controls the action of all other family members, particularly women, places Juliet in an extremely vulnerable position.

    2. The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It is an allegory, a story whose characters and events nearly all have a specific symbolic meaning. The poem’s setting is a mythical “Faerie land,” ruled by the Faerie Queene. Spenser sets forth in the letter that this “Queene” represents his own monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
    The theme of The Faerie Queene is mostly about social life in that era which so many problems about politics and religion. The Faerie Queene is understood to be a political allegory concerning the status of Elizabethan England. Spenser explicitly stated that both the Faerie Queene and Britomart represent Queen Elizabeth I. Critics have concluded that several other female characters within the story, for example Una and Belphoebe, also stand as allegorical figures for the Queen. Specific historical events and political circumstances during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I are thus addressed through Spenser’s use of allegory. Spencer also focuses on Christianity which Christian Humanism and Protestantism versus Catholicism. While ostensibly constructing an epic devoted to theological virtues of the Christian faith, Spenser cannot resist including his beloved classical mythology and legends in the work. To Spenser, there was no contradiction between classical aesthetic values and Protestant Christianity. The Faerie Queene was set in 16th Century England which the Protestantism has been growing. There are too many overt criticisms of the Catholic Church to keep the work theologically neutral.

    3. Mendelville’s Travel
    Mendelville’s Travel Published up until 1589. Mandeville goes into great detail about the world being round, here is some info we discussed in class about the conception of the world at that time; Jerusalem was at the center of the world, the only known continents were Asia, Africa, and Europe; maps were always oriented towards the east because it was thought that Eden was at the eastern most point of the world, where the sun rises; Mandeville’s explanation of why the world is round.
    Throughout the book, Swift explores the theme of politics, making satirical commentary on British and European society. The book is filled with examples of political games, bad politicians and leaders, and faulty political decision making.
    In Lilliput, the Emperor is an incapable leader who can’t make decisions unless he knows he has support. He demands that those who want to come to power perform physical feats; much like a king would make a jester perform for his amusement. He sees value in Gulliver only while he can be of use to his own political aspirations; when Gulliver refuses to enslave the Emperor’s enemies, he is no longer any use to the Emperor and is soon declared a traitor.

    4. Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar is created by William Shakespeare and tragically historical drama. The first half explores the glory of Caesar and shows Brutus’ developing conflicting thoughts. Caesar is warned about the Ides of March by Soothsayer and this half is full of mistakes made my Caesar and dismissing this is probably his biggest. Obviously, the tragedy of this half concludes with the assassination of Caesar. Caesar himself only speaks 130 lines throughout the whole play and this infers his level of power but also exposes the weaknesses that he holds too. The mistakes he makes, like the aforementioned one, as well as ignoring his wife and the letter from Artemedius reinforce this weakness and his onstage description of being deaf and also being ill takes this idea even further.
    Through this story we can conclude that social status has no effect on personality.
    In Julius Caesar, we are able to see both the private and public sides of Caesar and Brutus. Caesar is a powerful confident man who leads great armies and effectively rules the Roman empire, yet he is not without weakness. He is highly superstitious, suffers from epilepsy, and ultimately proves to be human when murdered by his closest friends. Similarly, Brutus is strong and refuses to show weakness when in public, whether it be speaking to the plebeians or leading an army into battle.

    5. Beowulf
    Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.
    It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In 1731, the manuscript was badly damaged by a fire that swept through a building housing a collection of Medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The poem’s existence for its first seven centuries or so made no impression on writers and scholars, and besides a brief mention in a 1705 catalogue by Humfrey Wanley it was not studied until the end of the eighteenth century, and not published in its entirety until the 1815 edition prepared by the Icelandic-Danish scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin.

    Beowulf is poem that focuses on social life in that time. This involves far more than physical courage. It also means that the warrior must fulfill his obligations to the group of which he is a key member. There is a clear-cut network of social duties depicted in the poem. The king has an obligation to behave with generosity. He must reward his thanes with valuable gifts for their defense of the tribe and their success in battle. This is why King Hrothgar is known as the “ring-giver.” He behaves according to expectations of the duties of a lord when he lavishly rewards Beowulf and the other Geat warriors for ridding the Danes of Grendel’s menace.

  6. (1) Julius Caesar

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. He played a critical role that led to the rise of Roman Empire. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain. He later was eventually proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity”. Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. Much of Caesar’s life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust., his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

    Caesar is one of the top statesmen at that moment and he brings a lot of success to the Roman Empire which was a Republic at that time. His success overshadows the independence of the Senate. While the social setting of the roman citizen in general. This led to a conspiracy to stop Caesar from gaining absolute power. While the social setting of the roman citizen in general was divided between the ardent support for Caesar from the poorer class of the Roman society and the aristocrats of the time. The assassination of Caesar led to a civil wars between Marc Anthony whom is Caesar ally. Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began. Ironically the assassination of Caesar destroyed the Republic government of Rome and gave rise to Roman dictatorship and imperialism.

    (2) Romeo And Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet, another brilliant work of Shakespeare’s which in this play, he uses his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten the tension into this play. The two heirs of feuding families from Verona, meet at a party and fall in love with each other but then Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in revenge for his friend and is banished from the city. While Juliet, in order to avoid a marriage arranged by her parents, Juliet fakes her own death using forty-two hour knockout drops. Romeo, not knowing that Juliet’s death is faked, returns to Verona and commits suicide at her grave. Juliet then wakes up and finding Romeo dead, stabs herself with his knife.

    The social background of Romeo and Juliet is set in the midst of power struggle between powerful clans and political figure at the time. Major clans that controlled the trades and commerce also exert massive influence to the defector ruler of the state therefore the rivalries are bitter and fierce this is reflected in the epic in a major way it was the biggest challenge to Romeo and Juliet to overcome. The social factor brings a reason why Romeo and Juliet shouldn’t be together. It’s all because of competition, rival in business and politics and also revenge. Ironically, their parents agree to end the rivalries and hatred towards each other when they find out what happened.

    (3) Paradise lost

    Paradise Lost is n epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton about Adam and Eve. How they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It’s the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally, he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man’s downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were thrown out from the sacred place.

    This work can be view from a religious aspect where Milton mentioned about the
    story of the “Fall Of Man” which is the temptation of Adam and Eve while they are in the Garden of Eve. He believed that every mankind has their own right to choose their path. But despite these rigid views of authority, Milton believed that the social hierarchy that actually existed in his day was extremely corrupt, and he directly challenged the rule of Charles I, the king of England during his lifetime. He argued that Charles was not in fact, fit to lead his subjects because he did not possess superior faculties or virtues. Another view is that the poem marks Milton’s withdraw from politics, and that Paradise Lost is simply an exploration of religious and moral values. Perhaps this poem represent his hope for England by explaining the ways of God in a world that appears cruel and unjust.

    (4) The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales was a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. It was more written in verse rather than prose. After a long list of works written earlier in his career, the Canterbury Tales was Chaucer’s magnum opus. Chaucer describes the characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron. He outlines a day in the life of many professions such as The Knight, The Monk, The Merchant, The Shipman and many others rather than only focus in a noble person.

    This tales reflects the religious and social view during the time it is written. It shows the church corruption, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious making religion a significant theme of the work. The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. From the social aspect, it shows that The Canterbury Tales proved that English also a significant language one can use in literature at that time besides the major languages which were Latin and French during the Middle English Period. French reserved for the high status of the Nobility. English was viewed an incapable language that lacked beauty and flow and as such was suitable only for the insignificant. However, Chaucer’s writing was elegant, it was poetic, and it demonstrated just what English was capable of.

    (5) The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene was an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It was the first work written in and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It was an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of the queen. The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person each representing a particular virtue and gentle discipline.” To the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work of all time. The poem tell about several knights in an examination of several virtues. In Spenser’s “A Letter of the Authors,” he states that the entire epic poem is “cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises,” and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.”

    During the time it was written, there is a reformation of religious, social and politic controversy. He ends up showing us with the epic that all religions are unclear in some way, and that although we as humans strongly desire this clarity and how the Catholic rule was unjust. The poet is unashamed in his promotion of his beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth. He took aim at very real corruption within the Catholic Church. Based on the social aspect, it was believed that Spenser received a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem. Meanwhile in political aspect, he celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty and other noble figures during the Elizabethan period.

    (1) Julius Caesar

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. He played a critical role that led to the rise of Roman Empire. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain. He later was eventually proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity”. Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. Much of Caesar’s life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust., his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

    Caesar is one of the top statesmen at that moment and he brings a lot of success to the Roman Empire which was a Republic at that time. His success overshadows the independence of the Senate. While the social setting of the roman citizen in general. This led to a conspiracy to stop Caesar from gaining absolute power. While the social setting of the roman citizen in general was divided between the ardent support for Caesar from the poorer class of the Roman society and the aristocrats of the time. The assassination of Caesar led to a civil wars between Marc Anthony whom is Caesar ally. Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began. Ironically the assassination of Caesar destroyed the Republic government of Rome and gave rise to Roman dictatorship and imperialism.

    (2) Romeo And Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet, another brilliant work of Shakespeare’s which in this play, he uses his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten the tension into this play. The two heirs of feuding families from Verona, meet at a party and fall in love with each other but then Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in revenge for his friend and is banished from the city. While Juliet, in order to avoid a marriage arranged by her parents, Juliet fakes her own death using forty-two hour knockout drops. Romeo, not knowing that Juliet’s death is faked, returns to Verona and commits suicide at her grave. Juliet then wakes up and finding Romeo dead, stabs herself with his knife.

    The social background of Romeo and Juliet is set in the midst of power struggle between powerful clans and political figure at the time. Major clans that controlled the trades and commerce also exert massive influence to the defector ruler of the state therefore the rivalries are bitter and fierce this is reflected in the epic in a major way it was the biggest challenge to Romeo and Juliet to overcome. The social factor brings a reason why Romeo and Juliet shouldn’t be together. It’s all because of competition, rival in business and politics and also revenge. Ironically, their parents agree to end the rivalries and hatred towards each other when they find out what happened.

    (3) Paradise lost

    Paradise Lost is n epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton about Adam and Eve. How they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It’s the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally, he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man’s downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were thrown out from the sacred place.

    This work can be view from a religious aspect where Milton mentioned about the
    story of the “Fall Of Man” which is the temptation of Adam and Eve while they are in the Garden of Eve. He believed that every mankind has their own right to choose their path. But despite these rigid views of authority, Milton believed that the social hierarchy that actually existed in his day was extremely corrupt, and he directly challenged the rule of Charles I, the king of England during his lifetime. He argued that Charles was not in fact, fit to lead his subjects because he did not possess superior faculties or virtues. Another view is that the poem marks Milton’s withdraw from politics, and that Paradise Lost is simply an exploration of religious and moral values. Perhaps this poem represent his hope for England by explaining the ways of God in a world that appears cruel and unjust.

    (4) The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales was a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. It was more written in verse rather than prose. After a long list of works written earlier in his career, the Canterbury Tales was Chaucer’s magnum opus. Chaucer describes the characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron. He outlines a day in the life of many professions such as The Knight, The Monk, The Merchant, The Shipman and many others rather than only focus in a noble person.

    This tales reflects the religious and social view during the time it is written. It shows the church corruption, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious making religion a significant theme of the work. The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. From the social aspect, it shows that The Canterbury Tales proved that English also a significant language one can use in literature at that time besides the major languages which were Latin and French during the Middle English Period. French reserved for the high status of the Nobility. English was viewed an incapable language that lacked beauty and flow and as such was suitable only for the insignificant. However, Chaucer’s writing was elegant, it was poetic, and it demonstrated just what English was capable of.

    (5) The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene was an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It was the first work written in and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It was an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of the queen. The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person each representing a particular virtue and gentle discipline.” To the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work of all time. The poem tell about several knights in an examination of several virtues. In Spenser’s “A Letter of the Authors,” he states that the entire epic poem is “cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises,” and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.”

    During the time it was written, there is a reformation of religious, social and politic controversy. He ends up showing us with the epic that all religions are unclear in some way, and that although we as humans strongly desire this clarity and how the Catholic rule was unjust. The poet is unashamed in his promotion of his beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth. He took aim at very real corruption within the Catholic Church. Based on the social aspect, it was believed that Spenser received a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem. Meanwhile in political aspect, he celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty and other noble figures during the Elizabethan period. Besides his direct attitude in his poem, Spenser attempts to tackle the problem of policy toward Ireland and recreates the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots.

  7. Beowulf

    Beowulf is an old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet between the 8th and the early 11th century. This story tells about Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages is spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valour. The warriors follow a manifest of rules on heroism called comitatus, which is the basis for all of the words, deeds, and actions.

    As Beowulf is essentially a record of heroic deeds, the concept of identity of which the two principal components are ancestral heritage and individual reputation is clearly central to the poem. The opening passages introduce the reader to a world in which every male figure is known as his father’s son. Characters in the poem are unable to talk about their identity or even introduce themselves without referring to family lineage. This concern with family history is so prominent because of the poem’s emphasis on kinship bonds. Characters take pride in ancestors who have acted valiantly, and they attempt to live up to the same standards as those ancestors. The poem also highlights the code’s points of tension by recounting situations that expose its internal contradictions in values. The poem contains several stories that concern divided loyalties, situations for which the code offers no practical guidance about how to act. For example, the poet relates that the Danish Hildeburh marries the Frisian king. When, in the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish brother and her Frisian son are killed, Hildeburh is left doubly grieved. The code is also often in tension with the values of medieval Christianity. While the code maintains that honor is gained during life through deeds, Christianity asserts that glory lies in the afterlife.

    Sir Gawain and Green Knight

    Sir Gawain and Green Knight is an important poem in the romance genre, which typically involves a hero who goes on a quest that tests his prowess. It is a late 14th-century Middle English alliterative romance. There are 2,530 lines and 101 stanzas that make up Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and all of them are written in what linguists call the “Alliterative Revival” style typical of the 14th century by an unknown author. It tells a story of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious “Green Knight” who challenges any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Sir Gawain leaps up and asks to take the challenge himself. He takes hold of the axe and, in one deadly blow, cuts off the knight’s head. To the amazement of the court, the now-headless Green Knight picks up his severed head. Before riding away, the head reiterates the terms of the pact, reminding the young Gawain to seek him in a year and a day at the Green Chapel. In his struggles to keep his bargain Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving Lady Bertilak, the lady of the Green Knight’s castle. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight emerges from Welsh, Irish and English tradition and highlights the importance of honour and chivalry.

    The knight symbolizes the wildness, fertility, and death that characterize a primeval world, whereas the court symbolizes an enclave of civilization within the wilderness. But, like the court, the Green Knight strongly advocates the values of the law and justice. And though his long hair suggests an untamed, natural state, his hair is cut into the shape of a courtly garment, suggesting that part of his function is to establish a relationship between wilderness and civilization, past and present. The importance of the chivalric code is one of the governing themes of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This set of rules dictated the expected conduct of knights and included serving God, being honorable and truthful in all matters, and respecting a woman’s honor. Although Gawain knows the Green Knight may kill him, he is bound by this code to follow through on his bargain. Besides that Christian morality is also the thematically central to the work. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has religious overtones. It seems that in this story Green Knight is a Christ figure and that Lady Bercilak’s seduction of Gawain parallels Eve’s temptation of Adam with the apple in the Garden of Eden.

    The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century, during the time of the Hundred Years’ War. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story of the 29 pilgrims who are on their way to Saint Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. That evening, the Host of the Tabard Inn suggests that each member of the group tell tales on the way to and from Canterbury in order to make the time pass more pleasantly. The person who tells the best story will be awarded an elegant dinner at the end of the trip. The Host decides to accompany the party on its pilgrimage and appoints himself as the judge of the best tale. So one by one all the people in the group tell their stories till the Host turns to the last of the group, the Parson, and bids him to tell his tale. The Parson agrees and proceeds with a sermon. The Tales end with Chaucer’s retraction. However The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. There should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan but Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. Out of these, the Cook’s and the Squire’s tales are unfinished. Two tales are imperfectly attributed to the teller: the Sea captain’s tale begins as though a woman were telling it and was actually earlier meant for the Wife of Bath, while the Second Nun refers to herself as an “unworthy son of Eve”.

    “The Canterbury Tales” is a complex work with several overlapping thematic concerns. The poem represents the English society of the fourteenth century All the three fundamental strata of medieval society-the Knighthood, the spiritual clergy and the toiling agricultural classes – have ample representation in the portraits of the Knight, Parson and Plowman. The well – born gentility is represented through the Prioress and the Monk. The medieval manor is depicted through the Miller and the Reeve. The Merchant, the innkeeper Host, the Manciple, the Cook, and the five guildsmen represent the middle classes. The professional class is depicted through the Sergeant at Law and the Physician. Provincial England is also represented through the Wife of Bath and the Sea captain from Dartmouth. Another prominent theme is Chaucer’s critique of the church of medieval England. The Canterbury Tales provides the reader with a picture of a disorganized Christian society in a state of decline and obsolescence. Chaucer is aware of the corruption of the clergy and draws an ironic portrait of the Prioress and presents satiric portraitures of the Monk, the Friar, the Summoner, and the Pardoner. The ideal portrait of the Parson counterbalances the moral depravity and corruptness of the other ecclesiastics and represents what should be. Chaucer’s ironic praise of the Prioress’s affectations, classical beauty, and attachment to worldly concerns only serves to highlight her inappropriateness as the head of a religious convent. Her achievements would have been more suitable for a fashionable lady of the society. Similarly Chaucer’s approbation of the Monk’s delight in the finer things of life and passion for hunting is aimed at eliciting the reader’s disapproval as they go against his monastic vow of poverty. His frequent hunting expeditions contravene the monastic vow of leading a cloistered life and devoting oneself to studies.

    The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language. Spenser depends heavily on his Italian romantic sources (Ariosto & Tasso), as well as medieval and classical works. It tells a journey of two knights, Redcrosse and Britomart. The knight of Holiness, Redcrosse, is much like the Apostle Peter: In his eagerness to serve his Lord, he gets himself into unforeseen trouble that he is not yet virtuous enough to handle. His quest is to be united with Una, who signifies Truth–Holiness cannot be attained without knowledge of Christian truth. In his immature state, he mistakes falsehood for truth by following the deceitful witch Duessa. He pays for this mistake with suffering, but in the end, this suffering makes way for his recovery in the House of Holiness, aided by Faith, Hope, and Charity. With new found strength and the grace of God, he is able to conquer the dragon that represents all the evil in the world. In a different manner, Britomart also progresses in her virtue of chastity. She already has the strength to resist lust, but she is not ready to accept love, the love she feels when she sees a vision of her future husband in a magic mirror. She learns to incorporate chaste resistance with active love, which is what Spenser sees as true Christian love: moderation. Whereas Redcrosse made his own mistakes (to show to us the consequences of an unholy life)

    In The Faerie Queene, Spenser creates an allegory: The characters of his far-off, fanciful “Faerie Land” are meant to have a symbolic meaning in the real world.This poem is showing how a virtuous man should live. It was neither original nor always remarkable;. High on Spenser’s list of evils is the Catholic Church, and this enmity lends a political overtone to the poem, since the religious conflicts of the time were inextricably tied to politics. The poet is unashamed in his promotion of his beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth; he takes considerable historical license in connecting her line with King Arthur. Spenser took a great pride in his country and in his Protestant faith. He took aim at very real corruption within the Catholic Church; such attacks were by no means unusual in his day, but his use of them in an epic poem raised his criticism above the level of the propagandists. Britomart, one the main characters in this poem, is the ideal of chastity, yet she does not seek to remain a maiden; her quest is to find the man she has fallen in love with and marry him. Belphoebe, the virgin huntress, eventually develops a relationship with Arthur’s squire Timias. Arthur himself looks forward to the day when he will woo and win the Faerie Queene herself. Each of these strong female figures points to the real-life Queen Elizabeth, whose continued celibacy caused great concern among many of her subjects (who feared she would leave no heir to continue her glorious reign). In some ways, the entire epic is not just dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, but it also aims to change her mind and push her into accepting a suitor.

    PARADISE LOST

    Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608-1674). It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. It is considered by critics to be Milton’s “major work”, and the work helped to solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time. It tells about Adam and Eve—how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally, he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man’s downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. The story opens in hell, where Satan and his followers are recovering from defeat in a war they waged against God. The story continue when Satan gains entrance into the Garden of Eden, where he finds Adam and Eve and becomes jealous of them, he overhears them speak of God’s commandment that they should not eat the forbidden fruit. Finally, Satan with many tricks under his sleeves is able to seduce Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit which eventually make them sinful and banished from heaven.

    The first words of Paradise Lost state that the poem’s main theme will be “Man’s first Disobedience.” Milton narrates the story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, explains how and why it happens, and places the story within the larger context of Satan’s rebellion and Jesus’ resurrection. Raphael tells Adam about Satan’s disobedience in an effort to give him a firm grasp of the threat that Satan and humankind’s disobedience poses. In essence, Paradise Lost presents two moral paths that one can take after disobedience: the downward spiral of increasing sin and degradation, represented by Satan, and the road to redemption, represented by Adam and Eve. Besides that this poem does place Adam above Eve in regard to his intellectual knowledge, and in turn his relation to God, he also grants Eve the benefit of knowledge through experience, each uses the obligatory requirement as a strength in their relationship with each other. These minor discrepancies reveal the author’s view on the importance of mutuality between a husband and a wife.

  8. 1. PARADISE LOST

    Paradise Lost is the story about Adam and Eve—how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. The story opens in hell, where Satan and his followers are recovering from defeat in a war they waged against God. Satan gains entrance into the Garden of Eden, where he finds Adam and Eve and becomes jealous of them. He overhears them speak of God’s commandment that they should not eat the forbidden fruit. Finding Eve alone he induces her to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam, resigned to join in her fate, eats also. Their innocence is lost and they become aware of their nakedness. Finally, Adam and Eve are sent away from the Garden of Paradise.

    Paradise Lost, one of the greatest poems in the English language, was first published in 1667. It presents a number of Protestant Christian positions: the union of the Old and New Testaments, the unworthiness of mankind, and the importance of Christ’s love in man’s salvation. And also this sequence of battles reflect the Christian millennial view of history from before the creation of the world to the end of time. The battles comprise a series of conflicts between the forces of good and evil, although we are always aware that good will triumph in the end.

    2. ROMEO AND JULIET

    Romeo and Juliet is constantly misinterpreted as an expression of true love. It is a romantic story. It is a duel between the servants of two enemy families of Verona: the Montagues and the Capulets. Things take a turn when Romeo Montague meets Juliet Capulet, and they fall in love instantly. After they meet, each discovers the other is a member of an opposing family. In fact, the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding or fighting for many years. This discovery doesn’t stop Romeo from secretly visiting Juliet. After the dance, he leaves his friends and goes to the Capulet’s garden. There, under Juliet’s balcony, Romeo overhears Juliet confess to the stars that she loves him. For the moment, love seems to conquer, but eventually the hatred between the two families destroys the young lovers.

    The setting of this story is generally believed that the play is based on a real Italian love story from the 3rd Century. The ‘real families’ are the Capeletti and the Montecci families. Shakespeare wrote his version in 1594 which was based on Arthur Brooke’s poem of 1562. This period was ‘The Elizabethan Era’ which was also known as ‘The Renaissance’. A time of significant change in the fields of religion, politics, science, language and the arts.
    The religion of Romeo & Juliet was set during a very religious period. It was a ‘catholic’ society with a strong belief in damnation for mortal sin. Suicide and bigamy were both considered to be mortal sins. Shakespeare was writing following ‘The Reformation’. This was when England became a protestant nation, having broken away from from papal control by Henry VIII. Society became more open and less oppressed.

    3. THE FAERIE QUEENE

    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete.

    The Faerie Queene was written during a time of religious and political controversy – the Reformation. After taking the throne following the death of her half-sister Mary, Elizabeth changed the official religion of the nation to Protestantism. Spenser includes the controversy of Elizabethan church reform within the epic. Gloriana has godly English knights destroy Catholic continental power in books one and five. Spenser also embodies many of his villains with “the worst of what Protestants considered a superstitious Catholic reliance on deceptive images

    4. THE CANTERBURY TALES

    The Canterbury Tales consists of the stories related by the 29 pilgrims on their way to Saint Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. Harry Bailey, the Host, had proposed a scheme in the General Prologue whereby each pilgrim was to narrate two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more while returning. In the course of the journey the Canon and his Yeoman join the pilgrims. However The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. There should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan but Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. Out of these, the Cook’s and the Squire’s tales are unfinished. Two tales are imperfectly attributed to the teller: the Sea captain’s tale begins as though a woman were telling it and was actually earlier meant for the Wife of Bath, while the Second Nun refers to herself as an “unworthy son of Eve”.

    The Canterbury Tales is set in fourteenth-century London, one of the medieval period’s great centers of commerce and culture. In England at this time, society was still very strictly ordered, with the King and nobles having all power in things political and the Catholic Church having all authority in spiritual matters. However, trade and commerce with other nations had expanded dramatically in this century, giving rise to a new and highly vocal middle class comprised of merchants, traders, shopkeepers, and skilled craftsmen. Their newly acquired wealth, their concentration in centers of commerce, and their organization into guilds gave this newly emerging class increasing power and influence.

    5. BEOWULF

    Beowulf is a story about the battles and achievements. Beowulf, a young warrior in Geatland (southwestern Sweden), proved himself to be a hero. He would recite his achievements in battle and would explain the monsters he faced. Beowulf defeated Grendal without using any weapons. This seemed impossible because many warriors before Beowulf fought Grendal with weapons and died. When he battled with the dragon, he had trouble defeating him. He wasn’t able to survive the battle, and he needed help from Wiglaf. The reason Beowulf lost the battle was probably due to his old age, which helped the story seem more realistic.

    This story doesn’t tell much about the actual, political history, but it reveals quite a bit about the social and cultural history. Beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. Beowulf takes place in 6th century Denmark and Sweden. The Geats (Beowulf’s tribe) inhabited the southern part of Sweden and Hrothgar and his glorious mead-hall Heorot were from the Danish island, Sjaelland. Through its Old Testament allusions and the possible Christian symbolism of Beowulf’s last adventure, it reflects the recent conversion of much of England to Christianity and the conflict between the new religion and traditional paganism in some parts of the country.

  9. 5. Summary of Pilgrim’s progress.

    The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come; Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature,has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county gaol for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England. Early Bunyan scholars like John Brown believed The Pilgrim’s Progress was begun in Bunyan’s second shorter imprisonment for six months in 1675,[7] but more recent scholars like Roger Sharrock believe that it was begun during Bunyan’s initial, more lengthy imprisonment from 1660–72 right after he had written his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

    The English text comprises 108,260 words and is divided into two parts, each reading as a continuous narrative with no chapter divisions. The first part was completed in 1677 and entered into the stationers’ register on 22 December 1677. It was licensed and entered in the “Term Catalogue” on 18 February 1678, which is looked upon as the date of first publication. After the first edition of the first part in 1678, an expanded edition, with additions written after Bunyan was freed, appeared in 1679. The Second Part appeared in 1684. There were eleven editions of the first part in John Bunyan’s lifetime, published in successive years from 1678 to 1685 and in 1688, and there were two editions of the second part, published in 1684 and 1686.

    Social Background

    The Pilgrim’s Progress is the world’s most famous allegory. (An allegory is a story where people, place and object names clearly point to their representative meanings.) The allegory of Bunyan’s book, the idea of which is taken from the Bible, is a simple one: a man called Christian becomes aware of a heavy burden on his back (his sins) and so, at Evangelist’s urging, flees from the City of Destruction where he was born towards the Wicket Gate, where he will find the straight and narrow path that will lead him to the Celestial City. He faces many obstacles, hardships and dangers throughout his journey, but along the way he also receives help from others and is kept company by Faithful and then Hopeful.

  10. 4. Summary of Julius Caesar

    Marcus Brutus is Caesar’s close friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to be cajoled into joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion—implanted by Caius Cassius—that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule.

    The early scenes deal mainly with Brutus’s arguments with Cassius and his struggle with his own conscience. The growing tide of public support soon turns Brutus against Caesar (this public support was actually faked; Cassius wrote letters to Brutus in different handwritings over the next month in order to get Brutus to join the conspiracy). A soothsayer warns Caesar to “beware the Ides of March”,[3] which he ignores, culminating in his assassination at the Capitol by the conspirators that day, despite being warned by the soothsayer and Artemidorus, one of Caesar’s supporters at the entrance of the Capitol.

    Caesar’s assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play, occurring in Act 3 (the other is Marc Antony’s oration “Friends, Romans, countrymen.”) After ignoring the soothsayer as well as his wife’s own premonitions, Caesar comes to the Senate. The conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber, pleading on behalf of his banished brother. As Caesar, predictably, rejects the petition, Casca grazes Caesar in the back of his neck, and the others follow in stabbing him; Brutus is last. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line “Et tu, Brute?”And you, Brutus?”, i.e. “You too, Brutus?”). Shakespeare has him add, “Then fall, Caesar,” suggesting that Caesar did not want to survive such treachery, therefore becoming a hero.

    The conspirators make clear that they committed this act for Rome, not for their own purposes and do not attempt to flee the scene. After Caesar’s death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony, with a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar’s corpse—beginning with the much-quoted “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears deftly turns public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus’s speech, yet there is method in his rhetoric speech and gestures: he reminds them of the good Caesar had done for Rome, his sympathy with the poor, and his refusal of the crown at the Lupercal, thus questioning Brutus’ claim of Caesar’s ambition; he shows Caesar’s bloody, lifeless body to the crowd to have them shed tears and gain sympathy for their fallen hero; and he reads Caesar’s will, in which every Roman citizen would receive 75 drachmas. Antony, even as he states his intentions against it, rouses the mob to drive the conspirators from Rome. Amid the violence, the innocent poet, Cinna, is confused with the conspirator Lucius Cinna and is murdered by the mob.

    The beginning of Act Four is marked by the quarrel scene, where Brutus attacks Cassius for soiling the noble act of regicide by accepting bribes (“Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake? / What villain touch’d his body, that did stab, / And not for justice? The two are reconciled, especially after Brutus reveals that his beloved wife Portia had committed suicide under the stress of his absence from Rome; they prepare for war with Mark Antony and Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian (Shakespeare’s spelling: Octavius). That night, Caesar’s ghost appears to Brutus with a warning of defeat.At the battle, Cassius and Brutus knowing they will probably both die, smile their last smiles to each other and hold hands. During the battle, Cassius has his servant Pindarus kill him after hearing of the capture of his best friend, Titinius. After Titinius, who was not really captured, sees Cassius’s corpse, he commits suicide. However, Brutus wins that stage of the battle – but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide by running on his own sword, which is held by a soldier named Strato.

    Historical Background

    Elizabeth I had been monarch over England since 1559 but was in her mid-60s in 1599, and speculation was rife regarding a successor. She had no heir, and there was considerable worry that her death might lead to warfare such as had consumed the houses of Lancaster and York in the 15th century. Julius Caesar is a play exploring the chaos that results when a monarch dies without obvious successors. When she died in 1603, the Scottish House of Stuart took the throne with James I (James VI of Scotland) ruling.
    Julius Caesar is the one of Shakespeare’s earliest tragedies, with only Titus Andronicus (early 1590s) and Romeo and Juliet (mid 1590s) being earlier, and he wrote it mid-way through his career. Following quickly on its heels will be Hamlet, and some scholars see Brutus in Julius Caesar as a prototype or “first draft” of Hamlet. In addition, Julius Caesar is the first of Shakespeares’ three Roman plays, the others being Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Plutarch, the 1st-2nd century A.D. biographer, in a 1579 translation by North, is his major source for these plays. Thus, Shakespeare is feeling his way both in a new genre of playwriting as well as a new subject matter. The play that results, Julius Caesar, is of uneven quality: the first three Acts are among Shakespeare’s most accomplished, but the literary power of Acts IV and V is less compelling.

  11. 3. Summary of Romeo & Juliet

    Years ago there lived in the city of Verona in Italy two noble families, the Montagues and Capulets. Unfortunately, there existed much bad blood between them. Their animosity was so pronounced that they could not stand the sight of one another. Even the servants of the house carried on the animosity of their masters. The bloody feuds of the two families led the Prince to order all brawls to cease on pain of death.Romeo, son of old Montague, is a handsome young man. He fancies he is in love with Rosaline, who disdains his love. As a result, Romeo is depressed. To cure him of his love, his friend Benvolio induces him to attend a masked ball at the Capulets, where he could encounter other beauties and forget Rosaline. At the ball, Romeo is attracted by a girl who he learns is Juliet, daughter of the Capulets. They seal their love with a kiss. Juliet, on learning Romeo’s identity from a servant, confesses to herself that her only love has sprung from her only hate. Meanwhile, the fiery Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, recognizes Romeo and challenges him. Old Capulet forbids him to insult or harm any guest. Tybalt vows to settle the score with Romeo later.That night Romeo lingers in Capulet’s garden, standing in the orchard beneath Juliet’s balcony. He sees Juliet leaning over the railing, hears her calling out his name, and wishes that he were not a Montague. He reveals his presence, and they resolve, after an ardent love scene, to be married secretly. Next morning, Juliet sends her Nurse to make final arrangements for the wedding to be performed at the cell of Friar Lawrence. The Friar, who is a confessor to both the houses, feels that this union between a Montague and a Capulet will dissolve the enmity between the two houses.

    Meanwhile, Tybalt has been seeking Romeo to avenge the latter’s intrusion at the ball. He encounters Romeo returning from Friar Lawrence’s cell. Romeo, softened by his newfound love and his marriage to Juliet, refuses to be drawn into a quarrel with Tybalt, now his kinsman by marriage. Mercutio grapples with Tybalt and is slain. Aroused to fury by the death of his friend, Romeo fights with Tybalt and kills him and takes shelter in the Friar’s cell. The Prince, on hearing of the trouble, banishes Romeo. The Friar advises Romeo to spend the night with Juliet and then flee to Mantua. Meanwhile, Juliet’s parents, believing her grief to be due to her cousin Tybalt’s death, seek to alleviate her distress by planning her immediate marriage to Paris, a kinsman of the Prince.In despair, Juliet seeks Friar Lawrence’s advice. He gives her a sleeping potion, which for a time will cause her to appear dead. Thus, on the day of her supposed marriage to Paris, she will be carried to the family vault. By the time she awakens, Romeo will be summoned to the vault and take her away to Mantua.

    The Friar’s letter fails to reach Romeo. When he hears of Juliet’s death through Balthazar, Romeo procures a deadly poison from an apothecary and secretly returns to Verona to say his last farewell to his deceased wife and die by her side. In the Capulet tomb, Romeo encounters Paris, who has come to strew flowers on Juliet’s grave. Paris challenges Romeo, and in the fight that ensues, Paris is killed. Then at Juliet’s side, Romeo drinks the poison and dies. When Juliet awakens from her deep sleep, she realizes Romeo’s error and kills herself with his dagger. Summoned to the tomb by the aroused watchman, Lord Capulet and Lord Montague ring their hands in anguish. The Prince listens to Friar Lawrence’s story of the unhappy fate of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. He rebukes the Capulets and Montagues for their bloody feud. The Capulets and Montague decide to reconcile as a result of the deaths of their children.

    Social Background

    In the first place, Romeo and Juliet is not a simple love story, even if read as a piece of literature rather than a political statement. The main topic is actually uncontrolled passions, as the hatred expressed in the play is equally as violent as the love portrayed. The choices that are made by all of the characters—certainly not least by the nurse and the friar—lead to the inevitable deaths of the two young lovers. As in life, not everyone can control the fate of a nation, but each person has control over their own choices to act or not to act, to do good or to do evil. Religious persecution cannot exist without the masses condoning and even participating in the emotional and physical actions of persecution, or, as on the part of many of the Catholics, the attempts to overthrow or assassinate Elizabeth. When seen in the context of the historical and political realities of Elizabethan England, Romeo and Juliet is a true masterpiece of subtle messages.

  12. 1. Beowulf
    Beowulf, a hero from Geatland, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. One night Beowulf attacks Grendel and pull off the arm of the monster. Grendel returns to the lake where he lives, but dies there. After Grendel’s death, Grendel’s mother attacks Beowulf is then also defeated. Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.
    The poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins. The poem is only a legend was composed for entertainment. But the name of characters and events are same with what happened at that time, e.g., Healfdene, Hroðgar, Halga, Hroðulf, Eadgils and the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern. The majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real historical people from 6th-century Scandinavia. Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian personalities such as Eadgils and Hygelac. When Eadgils’ mound was excavated in 1874, the finds supported Beowulf . The mound is same with Beowulf’s mound which told in the poem. They showed that a powerful man was buried in a large barrow, on a bear skin with two dogs and rich grave offerings. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and a tafl game with Roman pawns of ivory. He was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a costly buckle. There were four cameos from the Middle East which were probably part of a casket.
    2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Sir Gawain is one of the Knights of the Round Table, from the court of King Arthur. He is expected to be brave, honest and honourable. One evening a huge green man enters the court and challenges a knight to cut his head off. But the knight must have his own head cut off one year later. Gawain accepts the challenge. A year later, Sir Gawain takes a quest in order to fulfill his covenant with The Green Knight. The quest brings him to a test on his morality as a knight. When Sir Gawain finally met the Green Knight at The Green Chapel, the knight reveal that his challenge a year before and Gawain’s quest is a serial trick which was set by The King Arthur’s sister, Morgan Le Faye to test Arthur’s Knights, and Gawain was failed. Being ashamed of failing the uncovered test, Sir Gawain backs to Camelot and wears the girdle in shame as a token of his failure. Heard the story, The Knights of The Round Table absolve Gawain’s blame and decide that henceforth all will wear a green sash in recognition of Gawain’s adventure.
    At that time, Welsh, Irish and English tradition highlights the importance of honour and chivalry. People tried to get his honour , bravery and honestly. Especially for knights, they have big burdens because they had to keep chivalry code. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we find that human also has weakness, so does a knight. All of Gawain’s friend accept Gawain’s failure because they understand that human also has a mistake and weakness.

    3. The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.
    Though it takes place in a mythical land, The Faerie Queen was intended to relate to religion. Spenser lived in post-Reformation England, which had recently replaced Roman Catholicism with Protestantism (specifically, Anglicanism) as the national religion. There were still many Catholics living in England, and, thus, religious protest was a part of Spenser’s life. A devout Protestant and a devotee of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, Spenser was particularly offended by the anti-Elizabethan propaganda that some Catholics circulated. Like most Protestants near the time of the Reformation, Spenser saw a Catholic Church full of corruption, and he determined that it was not only the wrong religion but the anti-religion. This sentiment is an important backdrop for the battles of The Faerie Queene, which often represent the “battles” between Protestantism and Catholicism.
    4. Romeo and Juliet
    A boy (Romeo) and a girl (Juliet) fall in love. But they come from families which hate each other, and know they will not be allowed to marry. They are so much in love they marry in secret instead. However, before their wedding night Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in a duel, and in the morning he is forced to leave her. If he ever returns to the city, he will be put to death. Juliet is then told she must marry Paris, who has been chosen by her parents, who do not know she is already married. She refuses – then agrees because she plans to fake her death and escape to be with Romeo. She takes a sleeping potion and appears to be dead, so her parents lay her in a tomb. However, Romeo does not know about the plan, visits her grave, finds her ‘dead’, and kills himself. Juliet finally wakes up, finds Romeo dead, and then kills herself.
    Social conflict is evident in the changing notions about marriage. Previous to the Renaissance, most marriages of the upper classes were based not on love, but on the benefit of the families via the unions of their children. In Romeo and Juliet, the pair clearly broke the trend. Although Lord Capulet has selected Paris for Juliet to marry, she has her own ideas: she does not love Paris in a romantic way; only Romeo will do.

    5. The pilgrim’s progress
    Pilgrim’s Progress is about the journey of Christian, a man who is seeking his salvation on a pilgrimage to Heaven. Along the way, Christian encounters many obstacles that test his faith as well as many characters that are useful in showing him the difference between right and wrong, from the perspective of Christian religious faith. After Christian attains his heavenly reward, his family completes a pilgrimage to join him.
    The Puritans, evangelical Christians with strict moral beliefs, had a great influence over the government and culture of England during Bunyan’s lifetime. Their growing power culminated in civil war and the installation of the Puritan Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of Britain in 1653. During Cromwell’s reign closed dancing club and theater because they think the entertainment is “immoral”. For many years, the country was in the grip of a religious fundamentalism. Religion in the seventeenth century was also highly political. Religion affected one’s career and one’s family’s prosperity, and Bunyan demonstrates this in The Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian suddenly decides to leave his family behind to seek salvation.

  13. 1. Beowulf
    Beowulf, a hero from Geatland, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. One night Beowulf attacks Grendel and pull off the arm of the monster. Grendel returns to the lake where he lives, but dies there. After Grendel’s death, Grendel’s mother attacks Beowulf is then also defeated. Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.
    The poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins. The poem is only a legend was composed for entertainment. But the name of characters and events are same with what happened at that time, e.g., Healfdene, Hroðgar, Halga, Hroðulf, Eadgils and the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern. The majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real historical people from 6th-century Scandinavia. Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian personalities such as Eadgils and Hygelac. When Eadgils’ mound was excavated in 1874, the finds supported Beowulf . The mound is same with Beowulf’s mound which told in the poem. They showed that a powerful man was buried in a large barrow, on a bear skin with two dogs and rich grave offerings. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and a tafl game with Roman pawns of ivory. He was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a costly buckle. There were four cameos from the Middle East which were probably part of a casket.
    2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Sir Gawain is one of the Knights of the Round Table, from the court of King Arthur. He is expected to be brave, honest and honourable. One evening a huge green man enters the court and challenges a knight to cut his head off. But the knight must have his own head cut off one year later. Gawain accepts the challenge. A year later, Sir Gawain takes a quest in order to fulfill his covenant with The Green Knight. The quest brings him to a test on his morality as a knight. When Sir Gawain finally met the Green Knight at The Green Chapel, the knight reveal that his challenge a year before and Gawain’s quest is a serial trick which was set by The King Arthur’s sister, Morgan Le Faye to test Arthur’s Knights, and Gawain was failed. Being ashamed of failing the uncovered test, Sir Gawain backs to Camelot and wears the girdle in shame as a token of his failure. Heard the story, The Knights of The Round Table absolve Gawain’s blame and decide that henceforth all will wear a green sash in recognition of Gawain’s adventure.
    At that time, Welsh, Irish and English tradition highlights the importance of honour and chivalry. People tried to get his honour , bravery and honestly. Especially for knights, they have big burdens because they had to keep chivalry code. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we find that human also has weakness, so does a knight. All of Gawain’s friend accept Gawain’s failure because they understand that human also has a mistake and weakness.

    3. The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.
    Though it takes place in a mythical land, The Faerie Queen was intended to relate to religion. Spenser lived in post-Reformation England, which had recently replaced Roman Catholicism with Protestantism (specifically, Anglicanism) as the national religion. There were still many Catholics living in England, and, thus, religious protest was a part of Spenser’s life. A devout Protestant and a devotee of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, Spenser was particularly offended by the anti-Elizabethan propaganda that some Catholics circulated. Like most Protestants near the time of the Reformation, Spenser saw a Catholic Church full of corruption, and he determined that it was not only the wrong religion but the anti-religion. This sentiment is an important backdrop for the battles of The Faerie Queene, which often represent the “battles” between Protestantism and Catholicism.
    4. Romeo and Juliet
    A boy (Romeo) and a girl (Juliet) fall in love. But they come from families which hate each other, and know they will not be allowed to marry. They are so much in love they marry in secret instead. However, before their wedding night Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in a duel, and in the morning he is forced to leave her. If he ever returns to the city, he will be put to death. Juliet is then told she must marry Paris, who has been chosen by her parents, who do not know she is already married. She refuses – then agrees because she plans to fake her death and escape to be with Romeo. She takes a sleeping potion and appears to be dead, so her parents lay her in a tomb. However, Romeo does not know about the plan, visits her grave, finds her ‘dead’, and kills himself. Juliet finally wakes up, finds Romeo dead, and then kills herself.
    Social conflict is evident in the changing notions about marriage. Previous to the Renaissance, most marriages of the upper classes were based not on love, but on the benefit of the families via the unions of their children. In Romeo and Juliet, the pair clearly broke the trend. Although Lord Capulet has selected Paris for Juliet to marry, she has her own ideas: she does not love Paris in a romantic way; only Romeo will do.

    5. The pilgrim’s progress
    Pilgrim’s Progress is about the journey of Christian, a man who is seeking his salvation on a pilgrimage to Heaven. Along the way, Christian encounters many obstacles that test his faith as well as many characters that are useful in showing him the difference between right and wrong, from the perspective of Christian religious faith. After Christian attains his heavenly reward, his family completes a pilgrimage to join him.
    The Puritans, evangelical Christians with strict moral beliefs, had a great influence over the government and culture of England during Bunyan’s lifetime. Their growing power culminated in civil war and the installation of the Puritan Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of Britain in 1653. During Cromwell’s reign closed dancing club and theater because they think the entertainment is “immoral”. For many years, the country was in the grip of a religious fundamentalism. Religion in the seventeenth century was also highly political. Religion affected one’s career and one’s family’s prosperity, and Bunyan demonstrates this in The Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian suddenly decides to leave his family behind to seek salvation.

  14. Summary of Faery Queen

    The Faerie Queen tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faery Queen, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete.

    Sociological Background

    The Faery Queen was written over the course of about a decade by Edmund Spenser. He published the first three books in 1590, then the next four books (plus revisions to the first three) in 1596. It was originally intended to be twelve books long, with each book detailing a specific Christian virtue in its central character. When he presented the first three books at the court of Queen Elizabeth, Spenser was looking for the prestige, political position, and monetary compensation he believed the work merited. However, he came away disappointed by the relatively small stipend (to his mind) that he received, and attributed his lack of spectacular success with Elizabeth to her advisor and Spenser’s political opposite, Lord Burghley. In Books Four through Six, Spenser seems to change the direction of the epic somewhat, possibly curtailing his ambition to reach twelve Books in total. Arthur still becomes an important figure in the epic, with his quest to reach Gloriana forming the backdrop to his interactions with the central knights of each Book, but the latter three Books are more intertwined than are the first three. Book 1 seems to be literarily perfect as a stand-along story, whereas the other books leave an increasing number of unresolved plot threads to be resolved in later sections. Nonetheless, the six books Spenser managed to complete have their own internal consistency and leave nothing for a seventh section to wrap up. Edmund Spenser died before he could complete another book of The Faery Queen

  15. Summary of Beowulf

    The main protagonist, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills Grendel with his bare hands and Grendel’s mother with a sword of a giant that he found in her lair.

    Later in his life, Beowulf is himself king of the Geats, and finds his realm terrorised by a dragon whose treasure had been stolen from his hoard in a burial mound. He attacks the dragon with the help of his thegns or servants, but they do not succeed. Beowulf decides to follow the dragon into its lair, at Earnanæs, but only his young Swedish relative Wiglaf dares join him. Beowulf finally slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded. He is buried in a tumulus or burial mound, by the sea.

    Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias res (“into the middle of affairs”) or simply, “in the middle”, which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf’s arrival, Grendel’s attacks have been an ongoing event. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages is spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valour. The warriors follow a manifest of rules on heroism called comitatus, which is the basis for all of the words, deeds, and actions.

    While earlier scholars (such as J.R.R. Tolkien in “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics”) divided the poem in two parts, the first part relating the hero’s adventures in his youth and the second his kingship and death, a view of the poem as structured in three parts is more frequently accepted by modern scholars. According to the latter view, as argued in 1980 by Jane Chance of Rice University, the fight with Grendel’s mother acquires a separate quality, as a turning point in the narrative.(The Four Funerals in Beowulf and the Structure of the Poem, Manchester UP, 2000) proposed a different division and structure: she sees the poem as punctuated and organized by four funerals. Three are well-known: the ship funeral of Scyld, the funeral pyre on which Hildeburh places her brother and her son, and the funeral mound for Beowulf; in addition, Owen-Crocker argues that the so-called “Lay of the Last Survivor”, ll. 2247–66, is also a funeral.

    Historical Background

    The events described in the poem take place in the late 5th century, after the Angles and Saxons had begun their migration to England, and before the beginning of the 7th century, a time when the Anglo-Saxon people were either newly arrived or still in close contact with their Germanic kinsmen in Northern Germany and Scandinavia. The poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins.It has been suggested that Beowulf was first composed in the 7th century at Rendlesham in East Anglia, as the Sutton Hoo ship-burial also shows close connections with Scandinavia, and also that the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffings, were descendants of the Geatish Wulfings.Others have associated this poem with the court of King Alfred, or with the court of King Canute.Ohthere’s mound

    The poem deals with legends, was composed for entertainment, and does not separate between fictional elements and real historic events, such as the raid by King Hygelac into Frisia. Scholars generally agree that many of the personalities of Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources (specific works designated in the following section).This does not only concern people (e.g., Healfdene, Hroðgar, Halga, Hroðulf, Eadgils and Ohthere), but also clans (e.g., Scyldings, Scylfings and Wulfings) and some of the events (e.g., the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern). The dating of the events in the poem has been confirmed by archaeological excavations of the barrows indicated by Snorri Sturluson and by Swedish tradition as the graves of ohthere and his son Eadgils in Uppland, Sweden.

    In Denmark, recent archaeological excavations at Lejre, where Scandinavian tradition located the seat of the Scyldings, i.e., Heorot, have revealed that a hall was built in the mid-6th century, exactly the time period of Beowulf.Three halls, each about 50 metres (164 feet) long, were found during the excavation.
    Finds from Eadgils’ mound, left, excavated in 1874 at Uppsala In Sweden supported Beowulf and the sagas. Ongenþeow’s barrow, right, has not been excavated.

    The majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real historical people from 6th-century Scandinavia.[33] Like the Finnsburg Fragment and several shorter surviving poems, Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian personalities such as Eadgils and Hygelac, and about continental Germanic personalities such as Offa, king of the continental Angles.

    19th-century archeological evidence may confirm elements of the Beowulf story. Eadgils was buried at Uppsala, according to Snorri Sturluson. When Eadgils’ mound (to the left in the photo) was excavated in 1874, the finds supported Beowulf and the sagas. They showed that a powerful man was buried in a large barrow, c 575, on a bear skin with two dogs and rich grave offerings. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and a tafl game with Roman pawns of ivory. He was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a costly buckle. There were four cameos from the Middle East which were probably part of a casket. This would have been a burial fitting a king who was famous for his wealth in Old Norse sources. Ongenþeow’s barrow (to the right in the photo) has not been excavated.

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