A Handbook of the Study of Literature

Studies in 

Literary Forms, Literary Movements & Practical Criticism

Manindranath Sinha

ISBN 81-7977-182-2
pp. : 320 + xvi
Price : RS. 125.00 (for students)
         : RS. 250.00 (for institutes and libraries)

Also useful for Uttar Pradesh PSC, Assistant Teacher (Trained Graduate Grade Men/Women Branch) Examination 2018

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List of Contents:


What is Literature? Methods of Sdudying Literature.

The Study of Poetry

What is Poetry ? 
Subjective and Objective Poetry. 
The Lyric : (A) What is the Lyric? Main Features of the Lyric, Range of Lyric, (B) Fusion of the Personal and the Universal Elements in Lyrics
The Ode: Main Features of the Ode-The Forms of the Ode
The Elegy : Essential Qualities of an Elegy as a Poetic Form—the Pastoral Elegy
The Sonnet
The Ballad : Distinguishing Features—Types of Ballad
The Epic : The Qualities of an Epic—The conventions of the Epic—Kinds of Epic- Mock Epic. 
Dramatic Monologue. 
Stanza Forms : (A) Heroic Couplet, (B) The Spenserian Stanza (C) The Chaucerian Stanza, (D) The Terza Rima, (E) The Ottava Rima, (F) Ballad Stanza, (G) Sextain
Metre : Its Place and Use in Poetry—Kinds of Metre : (A) Disyllabic Metre, (B) Trisyllabic Metre.

The Study of Drama

The Novel and the Drama
The Dependence of the Drama upon the Stage
The Structure of a Play
Parallelism and Contrast
Concealment and Surprise
Soliloquy and Aside
The Three Unities.

The Study of Tragedy

Tragedy Defined : (A) Introduction, (B) The Functions of Tragedy : (a) Excitation of Pity and Fear, (b) Katharsis, (C) The Presentation of a Vision of Grandeur and Greatness (d) Social Significance. 
The Role of Fate in Tragedy
Character is Destiny
Conflict in Tragedy
The Supernatural in Tragedy
The Tragic Hero
Relative Importance of Plot and Character in Tragedy
Tragic Relief (Tragic Pleasure)
Universality in Tragedy
Dramatic Irony
The Chorus
More Important Types of Tragic Drama : (A) Greek Tragedy, (B) Romantic Tragedy, (C) Domestic Tragedy, XIII. Difference between Romantic Tragedy and Neo-classical Tragedy.

The Study of Comedy

Comedy Defined : (a) Essential Features of Comedy, (b) The Sources of the Comic, (c) Drama and Comedy
The Relative importance of plot and Character in Comedy
Important Types of Comedy: (A) The Romantic Comedy, (b) The Comedy of Humours (Comedy of Satire)
Difference between Classical Comedy and Romantic Comedy
Some Other Dramatic Types : (A) Tragi-Comedy, (B) Farce, (C) Melodrama, (D) The Masque, (E) The problem play.

Origin and Development of English Drama

The Study of Shakespeare

Shakespearean Comedy
Shakespearean Tragedy
The Last plays of Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Historical Plays : (A) English Historical plays, (B) The Roman Plays.

The Study fo Novel

Novel Defined
The Story-telling Aspect of the Novel
The Principle of Fidelity in a Novel
Plot : (a) Loose and Organic, (b) Simple and Compound. 
Relative Importance of plot and Character
Dialogue in a Novel
Interpretation or Criticism of Life
Some important Types of the Novel : (A) The picaresque Novel, (B) The Historical Novel, (C) The Autobiographical Novel, (D) The Psychological Novel. (E) The Stream of Consciousness Novel.

The English Novel

Its Beginnings
The English Novel in the 18th century.

Other Literary Forms

The Criticism
The Satire
The Short Story
The One-Act play
The Essay
Poetic Drama
Style-Definition—Style as the Index of personality.

The Renaissance

The Renaissance-its definition and its impact on society
Impact of the Renaissance on English Literature : Influence on poetry, Impact on Drama, Impact on prose. 
Renaissance & English poetry : (A) Elizabethan Sonnets & Sonneteers,(B) Elizabethan Songs and Lyrics, (C) Renaissance and Epic poetry : Edmund Spenser, (D) Long, Narrative poetry of the Elizabethan Age (Erotic Poetry).
University Wits-their Contribution to Drama
Individual Contribution of the University Wits: (1) John Lyly (2) Robert Greene (3) Thomas Kyd (4) Marlowe (5) George Peele. 
Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy
Elizabethan Prose : (A) Prose Fiction, (B) Philosophical Prose.

The Metaphysical Poetry


Neo-Classicism : (A) Introduction, (B) Distinctive Features of Neo-Classical Literature 
Characteristics of Neo-Classical poetry
Dryden : (A) Dryden as a Neo-Classicist. (B) Dryden as a Satirist.
The Comedy of Manners
The Sentimental Comedy
Heroic Drama
Verse-Satirists of the Neo-Classical Period : (1) Verse-Satirists of the Restoration period, (2) Verse Satirists in the 18th Century. 
Periodical Essay in the 18th Century : (A) Reasons for the popularity, (B) The periodical Essay of the 18th century.

The Romanticism

Preparation for the Romantic Movement
Romanticism as a revolt
Romanticism as Renascence of Wonder
Romanticism as a “Return to Nature”.
Medievalism in Romantic poetry
The French Revolution and Romanticism
Some Characteristics of Romantic poetry.

The Pre-Raphaelite Poetry

Practical Criticism

Critical Evaluation/ Appreciation of passages in Verse/Prose]. I. Introduction. II. Critical Evaluation of Verse-passages. III. Critical Evaluation of prose passages. Exercise.

Solved University Questions

1. “A story of exceptional calamity leading to the death of a man in high state”. Can this definition be applied to modern tragedy? Give reasons for your answer. 
2. In what sense can a tragedy be said to be “true to life”? 
3. "Tragedy is to say a certain story/Of him that stood in great prosperity/And is fallen out of high degree/Into misery and endeth wretchedly" Is this an adequate definition of tragedy? 
4. “The tragic hero’s destiny or choice is to go down fighting rather than submit and thus to pluck a moral victory from a physical defeat.” Discuss with appropriate examples. 
5. What is tragic pity? Explain with illustrations from the plays you have read.
6. Why do we enjoy reading tragedy which is basically a spectacle of human suffering? or why does tragedy please? 
7. Discuss the nature of the tragic effect. 
8. Comment on the interplay between Freewill and predestination in Tragedy. 
9. What, in your view, is more important in Tragedy--plot or character? Discuss with reference to some typical tragedies. 
10. Consider the terms “Romantic” and “Classical” in relation to Tragedy. 
11. How is modern tragedy different from Elizabethan tragedy? Discuss with illustrative references. 
12. How is Elizabethan tragedy different from Greek tragedy?
13. What do you understand by (I) tragic flaw, (II) dramatic irony, (III) comic relief. 
14. Write a note on the tragic hero. 
15. What is Dramatic Irony and what is its use in tragic drama ? 
16. Elizabethan tragedy sharply differs from Classical tragedy. Do you agree? 
17. “Tragedy would not be tragedy if it were not a painful mystery.” How far can tragic experience be explained in terms of pain and mystery. 
18. In what ways are comedy of Humours and Comedy of Manners apart? 
19. Do you agree with the view that laughter is the ultimate aim of comedy? Justify your answer. 
20. “Incongruity is the very soul of comedy.” Discuss.

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