ASSIGNMENT No. 2
Q.1 The Plot of a Drama has five essential parts. Explain them with reference to Shakespeare’s plays.
Plays first originated in ancient Greece. Aristotle was one of the first to write about drama and describe its three segments: beginning, middle, and end. Over time, dramas evolved, the Roman poet, Horace advocated for five acts, and many centuries later, a German playwright, Gustav Freytag, developed the five-act structure commonly used today to analyze classical and Shakespearean dramas.
The Five Act Structure
The five act structure expands the classical divisions and can be overlaid on a traditional plot diagram, as it follows the same five parts. Shakespearean plays especially are known for following this structure.
Format of a Five Act Structure
Act 1: The Exposition
Here, the audience learns the setting (Time/Place), characters are developed, and a conflict is introduced.
Act 2: Rising Action
The action of this act leads the audience to the climax. It is common for complications to arise, or for the protagonist to encounter obstacles.
Act 3: The Climax
This is the turning point of the play. The climax is characterized by the highest amount of suspense.
Act 4: Falling Action
The opposite of Rising Action, in the Falling Action the story is coming to an end, and any unknown details or plot twists are revealed and wrapped up.
Act 5: Denouement or Resolution
This is the final outcome of the drama. Here the authors tone about his or her subject matter is revealed, and sometimes a moral or lesson is learned.
Q.2 Keeping in mind the physical description, what he says, and what he thinks, analyze the character of Hamlet in the drama ‘Hamlet’.
Hamlet is an enigma. No matter how many ways critics examine him, no absolute truth emerges. Hamlet breathes with the multiple dimensions of a living human being, and everyone understands him in a personal way. Hamlet’s challenge to Guildenstern rings true for everyone who seeks to know him: “You would pluck out the heart of my mystery.” None of us ever really does.
The conundrum that is Hamlet stems from the fact that every time we look at him, he is different. In understanding literary characters, just as in understanding real people, our perceptions depend on what we bring to the investigation. Hamlet is so complete a character that, like an old friend or relative, our relationship to him changes each time we visit him, and he never ceases to surprise us. Therein lies the secret to the enduring love affair audiences have with him. They never tire of the intrigue.
The paradox of Hamlet’s nature draws people to the character. He is at once the consummate iconoclast, in self-imposed exile from Elsinore Society, while, at the same time, he is the adulated champion of Denmark — the people’s hero. He has no friends left, but Horatio loves him unconditionally. He is angry, dejected, depressed, and brooding; he is manic, elated, enthusiastic, and energetic. He is dark and suicidal, a man who loathes himself and his fate. Yet, at the same time, he is an existential thinker who accepts that he must deal with life on its own terms, that he must choose to meet it head on. “We defy augury. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow.”
Hamlet not only participates in his life, but astutely observes it as well. He recognizes the decay of the Danish society (represented by his Uncle Claudius), but also understands that he can blame no social ills on just one person. He remains aware of the ironies that constitute human endeavor, and he savors them. Though he says, “Man delights not me,” the contradictions that characterize us all intrigue him. “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!”
As astutely as he observes the world around him, Hamlet also keenly critiques himself. In his soliloquys he upbraids himself for his failure to act as well as for his propensity for words.
Hamlet is infuriatingly adept at twisting and manipulating words. He confuses his so-called friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern — whom he trusts as he “would adders fang’d” — with his dissertations on ambition, turning their observations around so that they seem to admire beggars more than their King. And he leads them on a merry chase in search of Polonius‘ body. He openly mocks the dottering Polonius with his word plays, which elude the old man’s understanding. He continually spars with Claudius, who recognizes the danger of Hamlet’s wit but is never smart enough to defend himself against it.
Words are Hamlet’s constant companions, his weapons, and his defenses. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a play that was later adapted into a film, playwright and screenplaywright Tom Stoppard imagines the various wordplays in Hamlet as games. In one scene, his characters play a set of tennis where words serve as balls and rackets. Hamlet is certainly the Pete Sampras of wordplay.
Q.3 What do you prefer to read? Tragedy or comedy? Why?
Comedy and Tragedy are two genres of literature that traces their origins back to the Ancient Greece. In simple terms, the main difference between comedy and tragedy is that the comedy is a humorous story with a happy ending while a tragedy is a serious story with a sad ending. Before moving into analyzing the difference between comedy and tragedy further, let us first look at these genres separately. A comedy can be simply defined as a story with a happy ending that makes the audience laugh. A comedy is a story that illustrates idiosyncrasies of ordinary people, has a happy ending where protagonist achieves his goal at the end. A successful comedy not only has the ability to make the audience happy and amused but can also make the audience understand serious social or individual problems. A Comedy can be categorized into various genres like Farce, Burlesques, Satire, Domestic Comedy, Comedy of Manners, Comedy of errors, etc. Some examples of famous comedies include Shakespeare’s: “As you like it”, “Much ado about nothing”, “A midsummer night’s dream” Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid”, “The Miser”
In simple terms, a tragedy is a story with a sad and depressing ending. A tragedy always deals with an extraordinary person who is led to downfall through his own weakness. A successful tragedy has the ability to evoke pity and fear in the audience. In a tragedy, the protagonist’s (who is noble and powerful) life goes from good to bad. Some famous tragedies include Hamlet (Shakespeare), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (Christopher Marlow) and Le Cid (Corneille). Tragedy is superior to comedy. This is the received view in much philosophical aesthetics, literary criticism and amongst many ordinary literary appreciators. The paper outlines three standard types of reasons (and the main variants therein) given to underwrite the conceptual nature of the superiority claim, focusing on narrative structure, audience response and moral or human significance respectively. It sketches some possible inter-relations amongst the types of reasons given and raises various methodological worries about how the argument for tragedy‟s superiority typically proceeds. The paper then outlines an original normative account of a type of literary or dramatic comedy – „high comedy‟ – which proves to be tragedy‟s equal. High comedies, it will be argued, have complex narrative structures shaping audience responses of fear and hope underwriting the moral significance of the comic mode. The received view is unjustified and appreciating why this is so casts light on the nature and value of (a certain kind of) comedy.
It is worth clarifying exactly what the nature of the superiority claim is supposed to be. There are a host of associated empirical or contingent claims that should not be conflated with the superiority claim as such. To claim that tragedy is superior to comedy is not to claim that all tragedies are better than all comedies; it seems manifestly implausible to hold that really bad tragedies are better than really good comedies. It is not the claim that an average tragedy is better than the average comedy. It is not even necessarily to claim that the greatest tragedies are better or more significant than the greatest comedies though some (such as Feagin) who hold the received view may take this to fall out of the basis for holding the received view. As a matter of fact there may well happen to be more good tragedies than comedies i.e. perhaps more tragedies rightly figure in the endless lists of greatest works or literary canons than comedies. Conversely, perhaps there are a greater number of good comedy films than tragedies. Such claims are not without interest but they do not speak directly to what is at issue. The direct responses to tragedy are held to be superior since feeling pity and fear for the characters depends on sympathy, the foundation (at least psychologically if not conceptually) of morality. Given that the direct response of ridicule is based on antipathy or indifference then comedy is to say the least not quite so morally admirable (if not downright suspect). Furthermore, it is claimed, tragedy enables a complexity of meta-response that is unsupported by comedy. There are two distinct variants here. One tradition has it that our commiseration with the suffering of the virtuous, concomitant with indignation at the prospering of the vicious, gives rise to a meta-delight in contemplating the moral rectitude of our feelings in so responding
Q.4 Look at the cover page of the novel Wuthering Heights and drama Twelfth Night and infer the following:
In the late winter months of 1801, a man named Lockwood rents a manor house called Thrushcross Grange in the isolated moor country of England. Here, he meets his dour landlord, Heathcliff, a wealthy man who lives in the ancient manor of Wuthering Heights, four miles away from the Grange. In this wild, stormy countryside, Lockwood asks his housekeeper, Nelly Dean, to tell him the story of Heathcliff and the strange denizens of Wuthering Heights. Nelly consents, and Lockwood writes down his recollections of her tale in his diary; these written recollections form the main part of Wuthering Heights.
In the kingdom of Illyria, a nobleman named Orsino lies around listening to music, pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to entertain any proposals of marriage. Meanwhile, off the coast, a storm has caused a terrible shipwreck. A young, aristocratic-born woman named Viola is swept onto the Illyrian shore. Finding herself alone in a strange land, she assumes that her twin brother, Sebastian, has been drowned in the wreck, and tries to figure out what sort of work she can do. A friendly sea captain tells her about Orsino’s courtship of Olivia, and Viola says that she wishes she could go to work in Olivia’s home. But since Lady Olivia refuses to talk with any strangers, Viola decides that she cannot look for work with her. Instead, she decides to disguise herself as a man, taking on the name of Cesario, and goes to work in the household of Duke Orsino.
Nelly remembers her childhood. As a young girl, she works as a servant at Wuthering Heights for the owner of the manor, Mr. Earnshaw, and his family. One day, Mr. Earnshaw goes to Liverpool and returns home with an orphan boy whom he will raise with his own children. At first, the Earnshaw children—a boy named Hindley and his younger sister Catherine—detest the dark-skinned Heathcliff. But Catherine quickly comes to love him, and the two soon grow inseparable, spending their days playing on the moors. After his wife’s death, Mr. Earnshaw grows to prefer Heathcliff to his own son, and when Hindley continues his cruelty to Heathcliff, Mr. Earnshaw sends Hindley away to college, keeping Heathcliff nearby.
Viola (disguised as Cesario) quickly becomes a favorite of Orsino, who makes Cesario his page. Viola finds herself falling in love with Orsino—a difficult love to pursue, as Orsino believes her to be a man. But when Orsino sends Cesario to deliver Orsino’s love messages to the disdainful Olivia, Olivia herself falls for the beautiful young Cesario, believing her to be a man. The love triangle is complete: Viola loves Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves Cesario—and everyone is miserable.
When Frances dies after giving birth to a baby boy named Hareton, Hindley descends into the depths of alcoholism, and behaves even more cruelly and abusively toward Heathcliff. Eventually, Catherine’s desire for social advancement prompts her to become engaged to Edgar Linton, despite her overpowering love for Heathcliff. Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering Heights, staying away for three years, and returning shortly after Catherine and Edgar’s marriage.
Eventually, Viola (still disguised as Cesario) and Orsino make their way to Olivia’s house, where Olivia welcomes Cesario as her new husband, thinking him to be Sebastian, whom she has just married. Orsino is furious, but then Sebastian himself appears on the scene, and all is revealed. The siblings are joyfully reunited, and Orsino realizes that he loves Viola, now that he knows she is a woman, and asks her to marry him. We discover that Sir Toby and Maria have also been married privately. Finally, someone remembers Malvolio and lets him out of the dark room. The trick is revealed in full, and the embittered Malvolio storms off, leaving the happy couples to their celebration.
Q.5 Watch an episode of your favourite drama and note down how code switching is done by mixing English and Urdu. Also discuss why they are code switching.
Code switching is the shift from one language to the other or use of more than one language during conversations or writings. The present research deals with intra-sentential (within one sentence) code switching in the language of television advertisements. To facilitate the socio-linguistic analysis, 12
advertisements of beauty and health care products have been recorded and transcribed from four television
channels. The linguistic analysis focuses on the social aspect (gender, geographical background,
socioeconomic class, and education) of code switched language in these advertisements. From the analysis
and findings, it is concluded the language of advertisements for beauty and health care products reflects a
change in linguistic practices and preferences of Pakistani consumers.
The study of code switching in Pakistan starts from the phenomena of
bilingualism. Yousaf (2004) says that there is a constant language shift in Pakistan. A Pakistani child learns
his mother tongue in home, becomes acquainted to Urdu, and as he grows older, he has to acquire the
knowledge of English language for academic and official purposes. In present scenario, English is becoming a
major part of our discourse. Whether it is a formal setting or an informal situation, English is being spoken
along with Urdu. Niazi & Khan (2003) takes a look at the practice of code switching by Teenage Bilinguals in
Private schools and reports that English is taken as a mark of high status and success. It has taken a very
important position in our society and youngsters (specifically) find it convenient to use both English and
Urdu interchangeably. For them, it not only brings facility, but also adds to their social image.
Quaglio and Biber (2006) have cited Rey (2000:31) that popular
media e.g. television is an appropriate source for the study of sociolinguistics and language trends, noting
that: “while language used in television is obviously not the same as unscripted language, it does represent
the language scriptwriters imagine that real women and men produce.”In Pakistan, English being a second
language and a language of academics is gaining great importance. The frequent usage of English language is
evident in Pakistani television and this phenomenon is opening avenues for research in this area. Abbas
(1998) is of the view that English language is frequently being used in Pakistani television especially in
advertising. This practice is observable even in Urdu newspapers. Prof. Kaleem Raza2 has also studied code
switching with relation to identity in Pakistani media i.e. Urdu newspapers and television programs in his
research on identity and code switching with reference to media. Miraj (1993) has also worked on the use of
English in Urdu Advertising in Pakistan. In trade and commerce, English is used with Urdu in a bilingual
context. The local companies and small trade generally use Urdu while the multinational enterprises use
English as medium of communication; but in advertising, the situation is bilingual and both Urdu and English
are in use. The use of English has become a mark of modernity in
advertisement development. English is considered as fashionable and it enjoys prestige because of medium of
education and development of media. Frequent use of English with Urdu is not only obvious in everyday life
but is palpable in media also. If we look at Pakistani television commercials, Saeed & Khan (2004) has observed in her research (on commercials of PTV) that English language in Urdu advertisements is employed
to channel the purchasing decisions of customer into directions determined by advertisers. People pay more
attention when the commercial is attractive and delightful. Their buying decisions are greatly affected by the
design and presentation of advertisements. Along with colourful presentation, fascinating sound, and
imaging, code switched language (which is considered to be in vogue and modern) also plays a key role in this
Q.6 Read the short story ‘Bingo’ by Tariq Rahman and identify the mood the author creates and the vocabulary he uses to do so.
Bingo is a story about the two countries represented by the two characters; Safeer and Tajassur. The tale revolves around the relationship between the West Pakistani narrator, Safeer, and his friend Tajassur, from East Pakistan. Both are in the military academy together and are posted as junior officers to Dhaka on the eve of the civil war, with tragic consequences. The title of the story is significant because it is surprising for some people as Bingo denotes a game; but Bingo here refers to a person belonging to Bangladesh and the title is just belongs the story revolves around and in Bangladesh and about a Bangladeshi; Tajassur. The story describes the condition of East and West Pakistan in which both the people of the country shared equal status; but the East Pakistan under the leadership of Mujeebur Rahman announced autonomy and independence. The writer contends that price of meaningless independence is at the cost of one’s valuable innocent lives. Pakistan as composite of East and West could have been even stronger and more productive but for the unnecessary slogan for freedom from the Bingo leadership. The story Bingo is highly symbolic of the two forces struggling to set each one of them free and ironically destroying themselves. Tajassur symbolically represents Bangladesh and Safeer symbolizes Pakistan. Both the friends undergo the military training and aspire to contribute to the protection of the state; but ironically, they are put under the trial of their consciousness whether the war they are fighting is just or wrong. Both Safeer and Tajassur think that they are right and Safeer towards the end of the story is changed into a type of beast who, though unwillingly, but still kills the family of his friend. He kills Tajassur’s sister and mother who praised for his protection. There is another ironical pattern in the story. Both the countries are Muslim states; both of them got independence under one banner; but the Bingo state (The East Pakistan separated) and what can be more ironical than the fact the two Muslim states are fighting for the same cause which each of them thinks right for himself and wrong for the other.
Tariq Rahman has employed very few characters in the story. Tajassur and Safeer tower above other characters and significantly provide a contrast to the military-trained officers who know no humanity. Tariq Rahman’s depiction of characters is real and authentic and his characters are felt by heart as we feel humans in our real life. Tariq’s main achievement in Work and Other Short Stories is the portrayal of Tajassur and Safeer in Bingo. Nowhere does he command our full attention as in Bingo which the crown of this selection in terms of characterization. Tariq Rahman’s style in Bingo has a different change in it. He did not write Bingo as he wrote other stories. He seems to have conceived the idea properly and applies his style well to the structure of the story. He has used conversation language at some places to amuse as well as to philosophize his issue. His conversational style also adds variety to this story. In short, Bingo is a well-conceived and well-structured story. Plot moves from a certain cause and effect pattern. The idea of 1971 war is really thrashing and very few Pakistani writers have chosen it to present in their literature. Tariq Rahman has not only used the topic but also given it a new orientation. Tajassur and Safeer are the central characters of the story. They are so tightly connected that one cannot discuss one without mentioning or discussing the other. They were as linked as the East and West Pakistan were and were such like separated. The death of Tajassur causes a number of questions and the shooting of Safeer at the end of the story produces questions whose answers lie in the unnecessary freedom of a nation at the expense of thousands of innocent lives.
Q.7 Who is your favourite novel writer and why?
I have read books by many authors but none of the works is as fascinating and interesting as that written by J.K. Rowling. Born as Joanne Rowling, this British author wrote under the pen name, J.K. Rowling. Many of her works were also published under the pen name Robert Galbraith. She has written many novels but my favorite is the Harry Potter Series. This series is loved worldwide and earned her immense fame.
The Harry Potter Series
I simply love Rowling’s Harry Potter series. She has done complete justice to the fantasy genre. The entire series revolves around the life of a young boy, Harry Potter who goes through different difficult situations and deals with them bravely. He uses his sharp brain and magical powers to overcome various problems. The series also includes several other interesting characters.
In the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and his friends get admission to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Potter meets Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents. He comes back to kill Potter however fails in his mission. Potter manages to escape each time Voldemort sets a trap.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in the series gives an insight into Potter’s second year at Hogwarts School. The story gets interesting as the school walls get inscribed with warning messages and pupils are attacked. Potter and his friends Hermoine and Ron try to solve the mystery.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book introduces an interesting character, Sirius Black. He is an escaped prisoner. Potter and his friends try to find out who this person is and what he wants.
In the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Potter participates in the Triwizard Tournament hosted by Hogwarts School. The Triwizard Tournament, as well as the events that follow, are quite interesting.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book in the series, shows Ron as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. It is the longest book in the series and is loaded with several twists and turns. In the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince, Potter gets ready for his final battle against Voldemort.
The final battle between Potter and Lord Voldemort is shown in the seventh book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book also unravels many past secrets.
Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire. She faced a lot of hardships as a young woman. She went through a divorce and had to nurture and support her child on her own. She faced a financial crunch and was almost in rags. However, she kept working hard. She wrote the draft of the first book in the Harry potter series but could not get it published for long. She faced rejection from several publishers.
Though disappointed, Joanne did not give up and finally, her hard work paid off. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Joanne’s first novel in the Harry Potter series was published in 1997 and it received an overwhelming response. Her life was back on track. She could now afford a good lifestyle and provide an excellent education to her child. This inspired her to write its sequel which was well received too. The success of the sequel motivated her to write more and she came up with six sequels of the Harry Potter series. The last one was published in 2007. These were all written under her pseudonym, J. K. Rowling. She has also written other books. These were written under the pen name, Robert Galbraith.
Rowling’s writings are intriguing and her life journey is inspiring. I simply love her writing and adore her for the person she is. I am particularly a fan of her undying determination and never say die spirit.