Sunday, 23 August 2015

Worksheet: Dr. Faustus: A Play by Christopher Marlowe

(Draft of the post)
Doctor Faustus: Christopher Marlowe

Tasks:
1) The play directed by Matthew Dunster for Globe theatre ends with this scene (see the image of Lucifer). What does it signify?
Last Scene: Lucifer with wide wings
2) Is God present in the play? If yes, where and how? If No, why?
3) What reading and interpretation can be given to this image (see the image of Daedalus and Icarus) with reference to central theme of the play Dr. Faustus?
Father Daedalus and Son Icarus
You can take help of below given reading resources.

1) View presentation on contribution of Christopher Marlowe to English Drama:









Sunday, 16 August 2015

Students' Fight for Academic Freedom

There are two interesting poems (Tagore's Where the mind is without fear' and A Mysterious Marriage by Freedom Nyamubaya - Zimbabwe) on the idea of 'Freedom'. As and when we celebrate 'The Independence Day', these poems ring the bells of our conscience. These ringing chimes pierce the soul when we read the stories of life of young students on University campuses. 


Once upon a time
there was a boy and a girl
forced to leave their home
by armed robbers.
The boy was Independence
The girl was Freedom.
While fighting back, they got married.
After the big war they went back home.
Everybody prepared for the wedding
...
Even the disabled felt able.
The whole village gathered waiting
Freedom and Independence
...
Independence came
But Freedom was not there.
An old woman saw Freedom’s shadow passing,
Walking through the crowd, Freedom to the gate.
..
Independence is now a senior bachelor
A lot still say it was a fake marriage.
You can’t be a husband without a wife.
Fruitless and barren Independence staggers to old
Age,
Since her shadow, Freedom, hasn’t come."

And our deep cravings for what Rabindranath Tagore said in this poem flares up, once agian:

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

We can't escape from our memory of W B Yeats's these lines from 'The Second Coming'
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

And the journey which we began as a Nation on 15th August 1947 with the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who used to keep Robert Frost's  famous poem (Stopping by woods on a snowy evening) always before his eyes, sees no destination in near future:
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep

It is the truth universally acknowledged that no nations can have FREEDOM, if their academia is not free. Any form of social equity, idea of equal opportunity, liberty or brotherhood must first be practiced (yes, PRACTICED, not merely PREACHED) on the University campuses. Then and only then, we can imagine these virtues to percolate in society and we can think of materializing Tagore's idea of Freedom. 

There is interesting movement for Academic Freedom


Its statement reads:

‘We, the undersigned, believe the following two principles to be the foundation of academic freedom:
(1) that academics, both inside and outside the classroom, have unrestricted liberty to question and test received wisdom and to put forward controversial and unpopular opinions, whether or not these are deemed offensive, and
(2) that academic institutions have no right to curb the exercise of this freedom by members of their staff, or to use it as grounds for disciplinary action or dismissal.’
Click http://www.afaf.org.uk/ to read more.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Universal Human Laws in 'The Waste Land'

Universal Human Laws in the modern epic 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot.

The connection between epic and myth is that of an egg and the chicken. Just as the famous riddle by Sphinx ("What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?"), whether the egg came first or the chicken is the riddle which puzzled many for centuries. Is myth the product of an epic or does epic sprout from the myth? The sphinx riddle was answered by Oedipus ("Human Being") and the 'egg-chicken' one by scientists ("Researchers found that the formation of egg shells relies on a protein found only in a chicken's ovaries. Therefore, an egg can exist only if it has been inside a chicken"). Similarly, we can say that myth pre-exist the epic. In fact, epic poet legitimizes myth as history or truth. The epic is the daughter of the mother, Myth/s. Thus, an epic can be studied as myth. The tools and theories to study myth can easily be applied to epic.  
Are myths / epic subtle codes that contain some universal truth? Are they a window on the deep recesses of a particular culture? Or are they just entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? Functionalism explains human society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions, and institutions. A functionalist reading of myths/epic might extract the universal human laws.
Have a look at this presentation with various Universal Human Laws in 'The Waste Land'.


Universal Human Laws in The Waste Land (T.S. Eliot) from Dilip Barad

Task:
After studying these Universal Human Laws, would you like to give priority to the UHLs which you find more Universal than the other? Click this link to open an online form and give your priority:


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Worksheet: Aristotle's Poetics (Short Video Lectures, Quiz and Questions)

Worksheet
Aristotle's Poetics
On this worksheet you will find Short Video Lectures, Quiz and Questions on Aristotle's Poetics
Plato and Aristotle
Download Ingram Bywater's translation of 'Poetics'

Download S H Butcher's translation of 'Poetics'

Download Sophocles's Oedipus, the Rex

View these Short Video Lectures and respond to the questions given below. Give your responses as ‘Comment’ below this blog. Please attempt the quiz also. The link of the quiz is given below embedded videos.

















Quiz on Aristotle's Poetics











Questions to Respond: (Give your responses in Comment below this blog)

1.  How far do you agree with Plato’s objection to freedom of expression and artistic liberty enjoyed by creative writers? Name the texts (novels, plays, poems, movies, TV soaps etc which can be rightfully objected and banned with reference to Plato’s objections)
2.  With reference to the literary texts you have studied during B.A. programme, write brief note on the texts which followed Aristotelian literary tradition (i.e. his concept of tragedy, catharsis, tragic hero with hamartia etc)
3.  With reference to the literary texts you have studies during B.A. programme, write brief note on the texts which did NOT follow Aristotelian literary tradition. (i.e. his concept of tragedy, catharsis, tragic hero with hamartia etc.)
4.  Have you studied any tragedies during B.A. programme? Who was/were the tragic protagonist/s in those tragedies? What was their ‘hamartia’?
5. Did the ‘Plot’ of those tragedies follow necessary rules and regulations proposed by Aristotle? (Like chain of cause and effect, principle of probability and necessity, harmonious arrangement of incidents, complete, certain magnitude, unity of action etc)