Thursday, 14 July 2016


Character Sketch of Amanda Wingfield

     If there is a signature character type that marks Tennessee Williams's dramatic work, it is undeniably that of the faded Southern belle. Amanda Wingfield is a clear representative of this type. She is the play's most extroverted and theatrical character, and one of modern American drama's most coveted female roles. She is an excellent example of a carefully crafted, complex character whose speech and action arise from the "psychological" being created by the playwright. Amanda, a deserted wife and the mother of Laura and Tom, is the protagonist of the play. She is a frustrated, unrealistic and strong woman who loves her missing husband, children and past very much. 
1. Amanda as a Frustrated Woman
     Amanda is obviously a frustrated woman. She resents the fact that the man she still loves abandoned her, leaving her to raise two small children. She romanticizes her past life as a Southern belle, often repeating an exaggerated story of having seventeen suitors at once. She has to live in the past, because her present life is miserable. Unskilled, she is not able to find a permanent job and depends upon her son Tom to support both Laura and her. She is frustrated with her lack of ambition and refusal to take college courses, and she cannot accept the fact that Laura is a strange cripple. She is frustrated because she is unable to live in her alternate world of illusions and is forced into the pressures of everyday life. 
2. Amanda as an Unrealistic Woman
     Throughout the play, Amanda shows that she is totally unrealistic. She refuses to accept the fact that Laura is different. She does not allow either of her children to refer to her as a cripple and tries to pretend that it is not so strange that her daughter spends all of her time with her glass menagerie. She foolishly believes that Jim O'Connor will immediately be taken with Laura and want to marry her, thus providing for the girl's future. At the same time, she makes Tom promise that he will never take after her ex-husband, and yet she nags him into deserting her, just like his father before him. This is the greatest irony of the play. It is not surprising that Amanda, in spite of her determination, is destined to meet with disappointment and failure. Her dreams and illusions defeat her in the end. 
3. Amanda as a Strong Woman
     Amanda possesses strong attributes. She does devote herself to her children. Despite being a deserted wife and unskilled individual, she does possess a great determination and strength. Many women could not have survived under the same situation. When she thinks a gentleman caller is coming for Laura, she sets herself to the task of preparation with a determination that cannot be equaled in her children. Even though her attempts to marry off Laura to Jim are a terrible failure and leave her desolate, she still manages to put a brave face on things. In short, Amanda is a strong human being even though her family life as well as her own in not much one would thank for. 
4. Amanda as a Loving Wife
     Amanda is an incurable romantic. She married an irresponsible man Mr. Wingfield. After the birth of Tom and Laura, Wingfield mercilessly deserted Amanda and his children. Sixteen years have passed; Amanda still loves her missing husband. She wears his bathrobe and often looks at the portrait of her husband. She often daydreams about her husband's charms. When Jim arrives as a suitor of her daughter, Amanda dresses in the same girlish frock as she wore on the day when she met her husband. In scene four during a conversation between Amanda and Tom, Amanda confides, "I've never told you but I -- loved your father....". This reveal is an attempt by William to show the audience a more gentle side of Amanda's character in the play. 
5. Amanda as a Loving Mother
     Amanda is actually a very loving mother. She exhibits an overwhelming desire to see her children succeed in life. In trying to push them toward her ideal of success, she at times unwittingly hurts them even though she means well. Her actions often hide her intense love for her children, but it is an important driving force in her motivations. She loves them too well -- at times to a point of smothering them -- which results her attempt to push them towards all the good things she has known and away from anything that does not suit her ideal. She does not think too much about herself. She subjects herself to the humiliating drudgery of subscription sales in order to enhance Laura's marriage prospects, without uttering so much as a word of complaint. In short, her mothering is extreme. 
6. Amanda as an Escapist
     Amanda clings fervently to memories of a vanished, genteel past rather than accepting her current circumstances of poverty and abandonment. When it is convenient to her, she simply closes her eyes to the brutal, realistic world. She uses various escape mechanisms in order to endure her present position in life. When life in this tenement world becomes unbearable, she recalls the days of her youth when she lived at the Blue Mountain and had seventeen gentlemen callers in one Sunday afternoon. She likewise indulges in playful games so as to escape the drudgery of everyday living. In short, Amanda is an escapist who does not live in the past; rather, she lives in her own version of the present that she sees through the veil of memories and illusions.
     Amanda is a person who lives alternately between a world of illusion and a world of reality. This fluctuation between these two worlds is her only defense against boredom and emptiness of living. As a "psychological" being, Amanda reflects the whole of mind, emotions, and body. She is a combination of the comic and the tragic as she attempts to hold her family together, In fact, there is much to admire in Amanda as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. The safest conclusion to draw is that Amanda is not evil but is deeply flawed. These are her flaws which are centrally responsible for the tragedy, comedy, and theatrical flair her her character. 

Saturday, 9 July 2016


Role of Supernatural in "Macbeth"

     In "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare, the supernatural plays a large role in spawning an atmosphere of evil, foreshadowing future events, and defying earthly laws so that the play itself is not within the realm of what we know as common knowledge. The three manipulative witches, the goddess Hecate, the three prophetic apparitions, the floating dagger that appears before Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo, and the unnatural events are all perfect examples of how the supernatural plays an important role. These elements are key not only to the plot but also in describing the intensity of a situation as well as invoking fear, horror, mystery, evil, and even a hint of death to the viewer. 
1. The Three Witches
     The three Witches or "Weird Sisters" play a pivotal role in "Macbeth". Macbeth is obsessed with their prophecies, and repeatedly consults with them. The witches also represent a struggle between the supernatural and the natural world that is at the heart of Macbeth. On the one hand, it is Macbeth's actions that create the bloody chaos of the play. On the other, it is the witches' prophecy that first motivates him to consider the murder of king as a way to the throne. Moreover, the witches are an instrument in creating the overall tone and mood of the play, notably in the first act, when they inform the audience amid the crash of thunder that "fair is foul/foul is fair".
2. Goddess Hecate
     Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft, and one can view her as the ruler of the Three Witches. In Act 3, Scene 5, Hecate appears before the Witches and demands to know why she has been excluded from their meetings with Macbeth. She tells them Macbeth will be back to know his destiny and she proclaims he will see apparitions that will, "by the strength of their illusion" lead him to conclude that he is safe. She plays an important role in the play because of the lines she utters at the end of the scene: "And you all know, security/Is mortals' chiefest enemy". She reveals in these lines that Macbeth's belief the he in untouchable will ultimately result in his downfall.
3. The Three Apparitions
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble
     The Three Weird Sisters gather around their cauldron in a cave and conjure three ghostly apparitions that foretell the bloody fate of Macbeth. The first is an armed head, summoned to warn Macbeth that Macduff is coming back to Scotland to ruin him. The second one is a bloody child and it tells Macbeth that no man born of a woman can do him harm. This gives Macbeth great confidence. The third apparition is that of a child wearing a crown and holding a tree. It declares: "Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until/Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinance hill/Shall come against him".
4. The Floating Dagger
     When Macbeth is about to kill King Duncan, he sees the vision of a floating dagger; either in the heat of the moment or through some supernatural visitation. It is pointed towards the King's chamber and its handle is towards Macbeth. The blade of the dagger is covered with blood, which obviously means Macbeth is feeling remorse, even before committing the crime. The dagger, in fact, is a symbol of conscience. Its floating in the air is representative of those things which will happen ins the future. The King has not yet been murdered, but the dagger foreshadows his death. Macbeth has not yet committed the unthinkable, yet his conscience is already riddled with guilt. Thus the dagger symbolizes what will happen, and the darkness that will follow.
5. The Ghost of Banquo
     Macbeth holds a banquet to celebrate Banquo's coronation but as he goes to sit down in his seat, he sees Banquo's ghost sitting in his place covered with blood. This may be another case of Macbeth's hallucinations, but the play script that Shakespeare has written, he actually states "Enter Banquo's Ghost". It is said that whilst this play was acted out, an actor dressed in white came on stage as a supposed ghost. This proves that there was meant to be an actual spirit of Banquo there, meaning there was a definite supernatural element. Shakespeare included this, as he needed to set the atmosphere to a spookier environment to fit in with the withes. The appearance of Banquo's ghost at the banquet is a reminder of Macbeth's guilt and foreshadows even more death to come.
6.The Unnatural Events
     Just before the discovery of Duncan's murder, Lennox reports unusual occurrences in the night -- the weather was wild, chimneys were blown off house tops, wailing and screams of death as well as "speaking in tongues" were heard. The owl, a harbinger of death, cried out all night and took down a mighty falcon, and there was an earthquake. A few days pass, Ross and Old Man discuss more unnatural events. Ross comments on the eclipse taking place. Finally, and perhaps the most frightening, is Ross's report about the King's horse. The most noble of beasts have become wild, breaking down their stalls as if they were at "war with mankind". In short, some supernatural power is driving all these events.
     The supernatural is an integral part of the structure of the plot. Each incident in the play is led by supernatural. The supernatural provides a catalyst for action, an insight into character, and augments the impacts of many key scenes. It results quite well with the respect of the unknown. Without the witches, the goddess Hecate, the apparitions, the floating dagger, the ghost and unnatural events, "Macbeth" would have been a dull and tiresome play. In fact, these are the supernatural elements that raise this tragedy to a cosmic dimension. In short, the supernatural has been presented both in outward and inward from and incorporates with the dark and gloomy atmosphere prevailing throughout the play.

Thursday, 7 July 2016


Major Themes of "The Glass Menagerie"

1.. Escape
     Tom wishes to escape from his life, just as the magician escaped from the coffin, He is most impressed by the magician's ability to escape without destroying the box or removing a single nail, and he marvels that anyone can accomplish such a feast. Tom's goal is to likewise extricate himself from his life without damage to the coffin and his family -- Amanda and Laura make him feel buried alive -- but in the end this turns out to be impossible. Tom escapes, but he remains haunted by the memory, a bet nail forever poking at his conscience. Laura and Amanda, on the other hand, have no possibility of escape -- they are both trapped in that coffin by financial insecurity and lack of social opportunity. Ultimately, Tom realizes that escape cannot come without an internal price.
2. Responsibility to Family
     The principal tension in the Wingfield family is responsibility -- who is accountable for, and to whom. Tom struggles the most with his role as the breadwinner and caretaker of the family. Amanda also feels the strain of having a daughter that she will always have to care for, and this is the fear that motivates her desperate search for a husband on which to foist Laura. Mr. Wingfield escapes his responsibility by running away without a trace while Laura is responsible only for her little glass animals, leaving Tom and Amanda to carry the weight. Although Tom ceases to be responsible for his family when he leaves them, he never stops feeling responsible to them.
3. Abandonment
     Each member of the Wingfield family has experienced abandonment. As a unit, they were all abandoned by Mr. Wingfield when he left the family, but this especially applies to Amanda -- for her, being abandoned by her husband meant being abandoned by her childhood understanding of men and the world. Laura has been abandoned by the world at large, falling into her own quiet little rhythm outside the perimeter of everyday society. Jim, her one entrance into the real world, also deserts her, pushing her farther back into a hermetic existence. Finally, Tom fears being abandoned by his dreams and goals, and chooses instead to abandon his family the way his father did, becoming another looming absence in the Wingfield family.
4. Illusions and Reality
     Amanda is caught up in the illusion of her genteel old Southern upbringing, which has taught her that a man will support a woman and that there are certain foolproof rules of snagging one. Her experience, however, proves this to the contrary -- specifically, when her husband runs out on the family and leaves her to fend for herself, and later when Laura's shyness prevents her from normal socialization. Still, Amanda never stops believing that a gentleman will soon call upon her and make everything right. At the same time, she inflicts these illusions and reality on her children -- insisting that if Tom finds a husband for Laura, it will take care of all their problems. The idea that Tom can solve all their problems with a replacement is itself an illusion., one that's quickly eradicated by reality once he brings home a caller for Laura.
5. Memory
     "The Glass Menagerie" is a memory play, and Tom makes it clear from the beginning that we are seeing events through the lens of his memories, heightening emotions and drawing our significances as memories. We are also privy, however, to memories within memories -- the recollections of Amanda as she speaks of her girlhood, and her futile attempts to relive it. Even Jim is trapped in a cycle of memory, as he years to recapture the glory days of his high school career and becomes attached to those who remember him from that time. In the end, however, we are left with the haunting image of Tom's last memories, as he describes the figure of Laura following him through the rest of his guilt-stricken life.
6. Love
     Love is tricky. We are never really sure if love is genuine, or convenient, it it's really love, or whether it's just infatuation. The closest thing there is to genuine love occurs between Laura and Jim, and is based on a mutual understanding of each other's individuality and uniqueness. Jim's supposed love for Betty and their impending marriage is based on them 'getting along fine', and while Amanda confesses that she loved her missing husband, he abandoned her, calling into question just how mutual that love was from the start. There is also the issue of familial love, and how to reconcile the anger and frustration we may feel with family members with our innate love for them. Particularly explored here is the nature of love between brother and sister, who support each other when on rocky ground with their mother.
7. Weakness
     Weakness is linked to fragility, which comes to mean both beauty and breakability. While Laura's shyness and fragility keep her in her own little world of equally fragile glass animals, they also infuse her with a mysterious individuality, something Jim picks up on with the nickname "Blue Roses" and finds incredibly attractive. Fragility also means dependence, as Laura needs Tom precisely because of her shy and delicate demeanor. We also see the relationship between physical and metal fragility, as it seems that Laura's shyness arises from physical defect: her crippled leg. Tom's weakness is his incapability of making the choice to remove himself from his current circumstances. Jim's weakness may very well be over-confidence which, in the end, makes him into an underachiever.
8. Communication Breakdown
     When Tom and his mother discuss serious or even trivial matter, the conversation frequently erupts into argument -- usually because of Amanda's sarcasm and nitpicking and Tom's volatile temper. They can go only so far in their discussions before rising anger short-circuits their ability of communicate. As for Laura, she would rather run from a problem than talk it over with someone. Jim at first seems gifted with an ability to communicate. Within minutes, he talks Laura out of her cocoon. But Jim commits perhaps the most reprehensible act of the play when he takes liberty of kissing Laura without informing her that he is in love with another woman. After Laura's heart swells with romance, he pierces it with the revelation that he is engaged to be married.

Monday, 23 May 2016



1. When I consider how my light is spent
2. E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
3. And that one Talent which is death to hide,
4. Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
5. To serve therewith my Maker, and present
6. My true account, least he returning chide,
7. Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
8. I fondly ask: But patience to prevent
9. That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
10. Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
11. Bear this milde yoak; they serve his best, his State
12. Is Kingly, Thousands at his bidding speed
13. And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
14. They also serve who only stand and waite,

Eureka Study Aids

Friday, 20 May 2016


Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World,

Of Man's first .......... into the World,

(i) Poem: Paradise Lost
(ii) Poet: John Milton
(i) Occurrence: Book I (Lines 1-3/798)
(ii) Content: Satan lies dazed in a lake of fire that is totally dark. Next to him is Beelzebub, Satan's second-in-command. Satan speaks to him and laments their current state. Satan suggests that they should leave the burning lake and find shelter on a distant shore. Beelzebub asks Satan to summon his armies. Satan takes up his armor and calls to his legions to join him on land. He addresses his legions and commits himself to continue his fight against God. 
     In these lines the poet describes the result of Man's first disobedience. The word "of" is a generative case. It echoes how the events described in the work brought forth the rest of mankind as we know it today. The words "Man's first disobedience" foretell the theme of the poem. In the Western traditions, the very first line or even words of the poem are often used as a sort of a frame; the essence of the work, the main theme and pivot. Thus the Iliad begins with "Anger (menis) of Achilles", the Odyssey with "The ingenious (polu-tropos) man" and Dante's Divine Comedy with "Midway on the road of our life". "Forbidden Tree" is a reference, obviously, to Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden to eat the forbidden fruit. When they relished the "mortal taste" of this fruit; sin, mortality and woe entered the world, and they were cast out of Paradise. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015



1. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts,
(ii) Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.
(iii) Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World,
2. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
(ii) Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs', and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.
(iii) O fairest of creation! Last and best
Of all God's works!
3. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
(ii) Green pastures she vies in the midst of the dale,
Down which she so often has tripped with her pail;
(iii) "What occupation do you there pursue?
This is a lonesome place for one like you."
4. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) Dear God! the very house seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
(ii) MILTON! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England had need of thee: she is fen
(iii) Turn wheresoe'er I may
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
5. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) Thus ye live on high, and then
On the earth ye live again;
(ii) Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
(iii) SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
6. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) The chief's eye flashed; but presently
Softened itself, as sheaths
A film the mother eagle's eye
(ii) Sir, 'twas not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek:
(iii) O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!
7. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known:
(ii) I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
(iii) Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
8. Explain the following lines with reference to the context.
(i) We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.
(iii) Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds,
(iii) Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
The struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more
9. "Macbeth" As a Study of Evil
10. Moral Purpose of "Macbeth"
11. Murder Scene of King Duncan
12. Role of Supernatural in "Macbeth"
13. Macbeth As a Tragic Hero
14. Character Sketch of Lady Macbeth
15. Character Sketch of King Duncan
16. Characters of Banquo and Macduff
17. Major Themes of "The Glass Menagerie"
18. Stylistic Features of "The Glass Menagerie"
19. "The Glass Menagerie" As a Memory Play
20. "The Glass Menagerie" As a Sad and Grim Play
21. Tennessee Williams' Art of Characterization
22. Character Sketch of Amanda Wingfield
23. Character Sketch of Tom Wingfield
24. Character Sketch of Laura Wingfield
Notes Prepared By: Prof. Shahbaz Asghar
25. Critical Appreciation of "On His Blindness"
26. Critical Appreciation of Lines 1-26 of "Paradise Lost Book I"
27. Love of Adam for Eve in Lines 896-916 in "Paradise Lost Book IX"
28. Milton's Grand Style
29. Wordsworth's Love of Nature
30. "Tintern Abbey Revisited" As a Masterpiece of Nature Poetry
31. Critical Appreciation of "Ode on Intimation of Immorality"
32. Critical Appreciation of "The Reverie of Poor Susan"
33. Keats As a Lover of Beauty and Nature
34. Keats As a Writer of Odes
35. Critical Appreciation of "Ode to Autumn"
36. Robert Browning As a Dramatic Poet
37. Browning's Optimism
38. Critical Appreciation of "Incident of the French Camp"
39. Poetic Qualities of Robert Frost
40. Critical Appreciation of "Bereft"

Friday, 23 January 2015



1. Symbolic Significance of the kite in "The Kite"
2. Characters of Mrs. Sunbury and Betty Bevan
3. Difference Between Lisby and Her Sisters
4. Lisby Wins Over the Sympathy of the Readers
5. Critical Appreciation of "The Voice"
6. Character Sketch of the Woman Who had Imagination
7. Critical Appreciation of "Maria"
8. Character Sketch of Maria
9. Psychological Theme of "The Basement Room"
10. Characters of Mr. and Mrs. Baines
11. Character Sketch of Cec
12. Generation Gap in "Local Boy Makes Good"
13. Critical Appreciation of "On Guard"
14. Why Could Milly not Marry?
15. Critical Appreciation of "A Dream Winter"
16. Reason of Paying Twenty Thousand Pound to the Duchess by Oliver Bacon


17. "Animal Farm" As a Political Satire
18. "Animal Farm "As a Fairy Tale"
19. Characters of Snowball and Napoleon
20. Characters of Boxer and Mollie
21. Characters of Jones and Clover
22. The Role of Dogs in Suppressing the Other Animals
23. Causes of the Failure of Animals' Rebellion to Bring About an Ideal Society
24. Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely


25. "Riders to the Sea" As the Tragedy of Simple People
26. "Riders to the Sea" As a Play of Stoic Resignation
27. Character Sketch of Maurya
28. Critical Appreciation of "The Time's Visitors"
29. "Time's Visitors" As a Purpose Play
30. Importance of Time in "Time's Visitors"
31. Theme of Separation in "A Parting"
32. Role of Fate in "A Parting"
33. Characters of Juliet and Her Mother
34. "The End of the Beginning" As a Farce
35. Theme of Male Chauvinism in "The End of the Beginning"
36. Irony in "The End of the Beginning"
37. Darry as a Funny Character
38. Critical Appreciation of "An Old Friend"
39. Theme of Friendship in "An Old Friend"
40. Characters of Le Blumel and Lambrche