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Department of English
English Literature: Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian
Final Examination, January 31, 2011, Moed Aleph
Time allowed: 4 hours
Part I: 2 hours; no books, texts, dictionaries or notes are permitted
Part II: 2 hours: books and dictionaries are permitted; no notes
Part I (50%):
Choose four out of the five passages given below, and for each 1) name the author;
2) name the work in which the passage occurs; 3) state the date (within ten years) of
publication of the work (or give the author's dates); 4) discuss the significance of the
passage in the work as a whole; and 5) briefly discuss the features of style and theme
characteristic of the writer and his period, only as arising from the particular passage;
6) if you have time left, add other analytic comments on the passage.
1.
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath they power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O Uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
2.
Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem;
To copy Nature is to copy them.
Some beauties yet no precepts can declare,
For there's a happiness as well as care.
Music resembles poetry; in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master-hand alone can reach.
If, where the rules not far enough extend,
(Since rules were made but to promote their end)
Some lucky license answer to the full
Th’intent proposed, that license is a rule.
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common track.
Great Wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true Critics dare not mend;
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of Art,
3.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed:
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The lady of Shalott.
4.
Away! Away! For I will fly to thee,
Not charioted on Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with three! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blows
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
5.
I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the
seventh day were only a human institution, it would be the best method that could
have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of mankind. It is certain the
country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were
there not such frequent returns of a stated time, in which the whole village meet
together with their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one
another upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join
together in adoration of the Supreme Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole
week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both
the sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities
as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A country-fellow
distinguishes himself as much in the Church-yard, as a citizen does upon the Change,
the whole parish-politicks being generally discussed in that place either after sermon
or before the bell rings.
Department of English
English Literature: Enlightenment, Romantics and Victorians
Final Examination, January 31, 2011, Moed Aleph
Part II (50%): books, texts and dictionaries permitted (no class notes)
Write a well-organized essay on one of the following topics. Give line or page
references and avoid unnecessary or long quotations. Relate the issues raised in each
work discussed with its formal and genre features.
1. Whereas the narrator of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels develops a hatred of
mankind, the speaker of Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” moves through a gloomy
vision of human condition to a more hopeful idea of the future. Discuss
Swift’s treatment of Gulliver’s misanthropy and Tennyson’s representation of
the temporary despair of his speaker as they reflect the two authors’ concerns
about the age of which they are a part.
2. Compare and contrast the poetic process in either Wordsworth's "Tintern
Abbey" or Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight", as it emerges from what
Wordsworth in his "Preface to Lyrical Ballads" described as looking steadily
at his subject, with the structure of Arnold's "Dover Beach," a Victorian poetic
meditation. To what extent does the movement of the speaker’s attention in
each poem reflect the poet's poetic vision? How does this vision reflect the
concerns of the poets' respective periods?
Department of English
English Literature: Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian
Final Examination, March 10, Moed Beth
Time allowed: 4 hours
Part I: 2 hours; no books, texts, dictionaries or notes are permitted
Part II: 2 hours: books and dictionaries are permitted; no notes
Part I (50%):
Choose four out of the five passages given below, and for each 1) name the author;
2) name the work in which the passage occurs; 3) state the date (within ten years) of
publication of the work (or give the author's dates); 4) discuss the significance of the
passage in the work as a whole; and 5) briefly discuss the features of style and theme
characteristic of the writer and his period, only as arising from the particular passage;
6) if you have time left, add other analytic comments on the passage.
1.
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own mood interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.
2.
The groves of Eden, vanished now so long,
Live in description, and look green in song:
These, were my breast inspired with equal flame,
Like them in beauty, should be like in fame.
Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain,
Here earth and water, seem to strive again;
Not Chaos like together crushed and bruised,
But as the world, harmoniously confused:
Where order in variety we see,
And where, though' all things differ, all agree.
3.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
4.
Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life,
That I, considering everywhere
Her secret meaning in her deeds,
And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear,
I falter where I firmly trod . . .
5.
….Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue….
Department of English
English Literature: Enlightenment, Romantics and Victorians
Final Examination, March 10, 2011, Moed Beth
Part II (50%): books, texts and dictionaries permitted (no class notes)
Write a well-organized essay on one of the following topics. Give line or page
references and avoid unnecessary or long quotations. Relate the issues raised in each
work discussed with its formal and genre features.
1. The stories told in Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and Browning’s "My Last
Duchess" are based on real events. Discuss the ways in which each poet uses
contemporary of historical events as poetic materials to shape his poem and
explore the broader concerns of his period.
2. In both Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Tennyson's "The Lady of
Shalott" a stormy wind, a natural power, also serves to dramatize the meeting
between the poetic power of the artist and social forces. To what extent is the
treatment of natural and social forces in the two poems an expression of the
poet's individual view of the world and in what ways are they associated with
the concerns of the period?