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Poems for Honors Modern Lit Midterm
Terms in this set (51)
What is the setting of the first stanza?
Dover Beach, looking at the Strait of Dover, a body of water separating England and France
Who is the speaker, and whom is he addressing?
The speaker is the author, who is addressing his lover
What do the pebbles, which wave back and forth, mean to the poet?
they represent the sadness he experiences that comes and goes as life goes on
What does he say the pebbles meant to Sophocles?
they represent human misery to Sophocles
What contrast does the speaker draw in the third stanza?
He addresses the Sea of Faith and says that it is retreating from the shore. It pulls back farther each time the waves crash on the shore. He is saying that faith is withering away
What does the speaker urge in the last stanza and why?
The speaker urges that he and his lover stay true to one another because the world does not really have joy or sadness. They are stuck in a state in which the world is in confusion because of a lack of faith and direction
What is the mood evoked by the first six lines?
calm and peaceful
How does Arnold begin to change this mood in the second half of the first stanza?
He tells about the pebbles and the roaring waves. The mood becomes more unpleasant and melancholy
How does Arnold make the speaker's mood in the second half of the first stanza seem timeless and universal?
He tells the reader to listen to the roar of the pebbles on the shore and tells the reader to acknowledge the sadness present in the world
Explain the literary allusion in the second stanza.
The allusion is of Sophocles. He is a Greek playwright who wrote tragedies. He is imagining that Sophocles heard the same sounds and felt the same thoughts and feelings when he heard the waves and pebbles on the Aegean.
Explain the metaphor and simile in lines 21-23.
The Sea of Faith represents all of the belief and faith in God of the world. It is saying that the body of faith was so large and present throughout the world, but it is pulling away
Describe the rhyme scheme and rhyme
The rhyme scheme is irregular and changes with each stanza. The length of each stanza also varies
What is the speaker's effect of the irregularity?
Irregularity helps show the confusion that the speaker feels in the world
What is the speaker's view of his world as it is presented in the last stanza?
The speaker views the world as lacking feeling. he feels that it is a place of confusion because faith has been pulled away. He believes everyone is ignorant because of the lack of faith and feelings.
What is the speaker's mood at the opening of the poem?
Gloomy and depressed
How does the speaker's mood change when Porphyria comes to him?
When Porphyria comes, the speaker changes to a happy and uplifted mood
What leads the speaker to assert that Porphyria "felt no pain"?
The speaker asserts that she wanted to be with him forever, but she could not. He believed that in killing her, he was able to give her what she wanted, therefore she felt no pain from the action
"And yet God has not said a word!" Why do you think the speaker expects God to say something?
He just killed Porphyria. He knew that his action was wrong, even though his intention was to allow her to be happy with him forever
What does the line: "And yet God has not said a word!", tell you about the speaker's character and his awareness of what he has done?
The speaker is aware that killing is wrong and is a sin. However, he ignores this knowledge because he is so set on being happy and keeping her with him forever, which she was unable to do while alive
Browning first published this poem, along with another dramatic monologue under the general title "Madhouse Cells." How does knowledge of that setting affect your response to and interpretation of the poem?
The setting allows you to se that the speaker is not necessarily in a stable mindset. The speaker is most likely insane, which adds to the understanding of why he would kill Porphyria, the woman he loves. It adds to the understanding of why he believes his actions to be justified
What do you think Browning is saying about the relationship of crime to madness or mental disability?
He is saying that crime is a great possibility when a person is mad. Even a mentally unstable person may realize that the action is wrong, but they may not understand or care why. Browning is ultimately saying that a mental illness can make it more difficult to understand the difference between what is a crime and what is not in terms of right and wrong.
How does the poet describe the setting for the ballad in Part I?
The island of Shalott, which is above Camelot. It is a beautiful and romantic place with flowers, streams, and trees. However there is a prison like castle in which the Lady of Shalott resides
What oppositions exist?
Among the beautiful flowers, trees, and scenery, there is a prison like, gray castle. The darkness of the castle contrasts with the beauty of nature that surrounds it
In Part II what is the Lady of Shalott said to do? Why?
the Lady of Shalott weaves all day and cannot look outside because she is cursed
What does the Lady see in the mirror?
She sees all of the community and the entire world through her mirror. She sees damsels, abbots, shepherd boys, pages, and knights.
What role does the mirror play?
the mirror is the way that the Lady sees and experiences the world. She weaves what she sees in the mirror
In lines 55-70, what opposites exist?
Although the Lady sees knights and other men, she herself does not have a husband. She sees the events of the town through her mirror, but she is not a part of society. Both a wedding and a funeral are also addressed. A funeral is representative of the end while the wedding is a new beginning
What is the Lady's reaction to the appearance of Sir Lancelot in Part III?
When she sees Sir Lancelot, she immediately leaves the loom and walks to the window to look at him. She looked down to Camelot
What is ironic about the situation when the Lady sees Lancelot?
The situation is ironic because the Lady risked all of her life's work and her life itself for Lancelot, a man that she does not even know. It is ironic that his appearance had such a strong effect on her, while he did not even notice her.
According to Part IV, what are the consequences of her reaction?
The mirror breaks and the Lady knows the curse is now enacted. She begins to die as she floats down the river on the boat
Explain why lines 69-72 might foreshadow the whole second half of the poem.
they foreshadow the second half because the Lady of Shalott sees a newlywed couple walking a decides that she is sick of the life is is being forced to live. In the second half, she sees Lancelot and is captivated by him- she decides to go to the window, even though she is forbidden.
What yearning does the Lady express when she says, "I am half sick of shadows."
She is saying that she is tired of seeing the world through her mirror. She wants to be able to see the world through her own eyes, rather than through something that only lets her get a glimpse of the shadows of society
What is the Lady's Curse
She is forbidden to look down on Camelot. She must stay in her castle and weave the sights she sees in her mirror without ever looking outside
Find examples of imagery used to describe Lancelot in Part III. With what is this dazzling imagery contrasted in other parts of the poem?
He is described as having a red cross on his shield, sparkling in the sun, having a jeweled bridle with bells, and having a jeweled saddle. He is wearing a decorated sash, silver armor, and a helmet with a feather on top of his black curly hair. This is contrasted with the other sights that the Lady sees through her mirror
What are the ironies in lines 145-150?
The ironies are the ways that the Lady's song is described. It is described as mournful and holy, being sung loudly and lowly. As her world becomes more colorful and lively, her eyes darken and she begins to die.
Explain how this poem could be interpreted as Tennyson's comment on the role and the life of the artist in relation to society.
it states that an artist's work is only good when the artist sees the world through his or her own eyes. Once they experience the world through the eyes of the community, their artwork is not longer good. This brings about the "death" of the artist and the artwork
In what ways does Tennyson contrast the Lady's life with the life of the village churls and of the court in Camelot
The Lady is isolated and alone in her castle, while the village churls and the court are free to do what they please.
Does Tennyson indicate a preference for either of these ways of life?
Tennyson does not indicate a preference. He acknowledges both the benefits and negative effects of both isolation and community.
Who was Ulysses?
an old king who had fought in the Trojan War
From what has he returned?
He has returned from the Trojan War in Troy to his home in Ithaca.
Why is he dissatisfied?
He is dissatisfied because he wants to have another journey. It is dully to pause and be idle.
How does he describe his past life?
His past life was enjoyable, however he has also suffered. He describes his various adventures on land and sea with people who loved him and those who did not.
What is the subject of the first progression?
Ulysses is comparing his now boring, dull, and idle life with his past life with great adventures.
What is the tone of the first progression?
Nostalgic, dissatisfaction, longing
How does he describe his wife and son?
He describes his wife as old and his son as dutiful and hardworking, yet dull.
What is the subject of the second progression?
Ulysses talks about his son, Telemachus
How does the tone of the second progression differ from the first?
The tone of the second progression is more matter of fact and straightforward with less feeling
What does Ulysses mean by saying, "I am part of all that I have met."
He means that he has left a part of himself with all of those he has encountered on his adventures in the past.
What does Ulysses mean by saying, "It is not too late to seek a newer world."
He means that it is never too late and you can never be too old to seek a new adventure and change your life
What does he mean by lines 60-61?
He will continue to seek adventure until he dies. Death is the final adventure
What does Ulysses seem to be challenging in lines 62-63?
Ulysses is challenging death. Men that strove with gods in life must not die ingloriously because of old age.
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