Sunday, October 2, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. IV

Noddy: Character in a children’s book invented by Enid Blyton in 1949 after she had seen a sketch by the Dutch artist Harmsen van der Beek. Noddy books, featuring such characters as big-ears the Brownie and Mr Pold the Police man, have been best sellers ever since. But they have also been attacked for racism.

Old English: Germanic language with genders and cases, also called Anglo- Saxon, which was spoken and written from 700Ad to 1150. At least four dialects were used Northumbrian, Mercian, Kentish and West Saxon. The best known Old English poetry, including BEOWULF, is contained in four manuscripts from the late 10th and early 11th centuries. The earliest known works is the Hymn of Creation, composed in the late 7th century by Caedmon, an illiterate Northumbrian cowherd.

Peter Pan: Play by the Scottish writer J.M.BARRIE, first performed in 1904. The title character is a little boy who lives in a place called Never Never Land where children never grow up. Peter Pan, accompanied by the fairy Tinker bell, persuades Wendy and her two brothers to leave their parents, the Darlings, and their faithful Canine nurse, Nana, and fly from their Kensington home to Never Never Land. There they have various adventures and finally vanquish the pirates and their leader, evil Captain Hook.

‘To be or not to be’: opening line of one of the most celebrated speeches in English literature. It comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, and occurs in a Soliloquy in which the prince considers suicide as a way out of his dilemma. Ultimately, he rejects it because of fears about ‘what dreams may come’- that is, the possibility of damnation and eternal torment- and concludes, ‘Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all’

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