Thursday, September 29, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. I

‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’: first line of Endymion, a long verse ALLEGORY by John Keats, dealing with the quest for beauty in art and in life.

The Beggar’s opera: Satirical low life opera in ballad form by the 18th century English playwright John Gay. It tells the story of the highway man Macheath who marries Polly Peachum, the daughter of one of his criminal clients. Mr. Peachum, furious at the bad match, informs on Macheath, who is arrested and taken to Newgate prison where he falls for the Warder’s daughter Lucy.

· In the 1920s the German playwright Bertold Brecht and composer Kurt Weill collaborated on a modern version called The Three penny Opera

‘Come live with me and be my love’: Opening line of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, by the 16th century poet Christopher Marlowe. The shepherd paints a sensuous picture of rustic pleasures in order to woo his lady.

· The poet Jon Donne wrote a pastiche of Marlowe’s poem called The Bait, which exposes the snares that could lie in wait for an unwary maiden.

Great Expectations: Novel by Charles Dickens published in monthly installments from 1860 to 1861. The story concerns a young man, Pip, who develops grandiose ambitions when he starts to receive anonymous gifts of money. Pip is in love with the beautiful Estella but she has been brought up by her aunt Miss Havisham to break men’s hearts. Pip left his friends and embarked on a new life in London. However, when he discovers that the source of his money is the ex-convict Abel Magwitch Whom Pip helped many years before, Pip returns home mortified and repentant.


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