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Institutt for litteratur, områdestudium og europeiske språk



8 pages

ENG1303 – British Literature, an Introduction

Duration: 4 hours Monday, 3 June

You are allowed to use an English –English dictionary.

The questions must be answered in English.

You must submit your answers on copy-sheets only.


Answer any EIGHT of the following questions:

1. Who is Hephaestos, and in which work on the syllabus do we encounter this figure?

2. Who was Lord Byron, and what role does he play in Arcadia?

3. What happens to Mrs Joe?

4. What is a dramatic monologue? Which works on the syllabus can be considered dramatic monologues?

5. Give a brief account of the conflict of political principles between Julius Caesar and the conspirators against him.

6. Seamus Heaney’s ‘Punishment’ describes the body of a girl preserved in a bog for two thousand years, but the poem also draws comparisons with a contemporary situation. Identify and briefly describe the contemporary situation.

7. When is Mrs Dalloway set? (Identify the historical time at which the fictional events take place.) Briefly mention some of the thematic implications of the novel’s temporal setting.

8. Why do Gabriel Conroy and Molly Ivors quarrel?

9. What is a sonnet?

10. What is iambic pentameter?

Part 2 (75%)

Answer ONE question. The relevant texts are provided below.

1. In which ways does John Donne’s ‘The Sun Rising’ (text provided) reveal what may be said to be special about Donne as a poet, as well as what makes the Renaissance distinctive as a literary period? Your discussion should be supported and illustrated by frequent references to the poem.


2 Write an essay on the ways in which William Shakespeare reveals his characters’ distinctive traits and motivational qualities in the excerpt from Julius Caesar (text provided).


3 Write an essay in which you analyze the ways in which Charles Dickens develops several of his novel’s main themes in the excerpt from Great Expectations, chapter 9 (text provided). Your argument should be supported by frequent illustrations from the novel, but you should take care to avoid mere plot summary.

Text 1: John Donne,  The Sun Rising

1          Busy old fool, unruly sun,

2         Why dost thou thus,
3   Through windows and through curtains call on us?
4   Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run?
5         Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
6         Late schoolboys and sour prentices,
7      Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,
8      Call country ants to harvest offices;
9   Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
10   Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

11         Thy beams, so reverend and strong

12         Why shouldst thou think?
13   I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
14   But that I would not lose her sight so long;
15         If her eyes have not blinded thine,
16         Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
17      Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
18      Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
19   Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
20   And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.
21         She is all States, and all princes I,
22         Nothing else is.
23   Princes do but play us, compared to this,
24   All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
25         Thou, sun, art half as happy as we
26         In that the world's contracted thus;
27      Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
28      To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
29   Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
30   This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.

Text 2: from Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 1.2

Bru.  [Marcus Brutus]
[84]  What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
[85]  Choose Cæsar for their king.

Cas.  [Cassius]
[86]                                           Ay, do you fear it?
[87]  Then must I think you would not have it so.

Bru.  [Marcus Brutus]
[88]  I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well.
[89]  But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
[90]  What is it that you would impart to me?
[91]  If it be aught toward the general good,
[92]  Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
[93]  And I will look on both indifferently,
[94]  For let the gods so speed me as I love
[95]  The name of honour more than I fear death.

Cas.  [Cassius]
[96]  I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
[97]  As well as I do know your outward favour.
[98]  Well, honour is the subject of my story.
[99]  I cannot tell what you and other men
[100]  Think of this life, but, for my single self,
[101]  I had as lief not be as live to be
[102]  In awe of such a thing as I myself.
[103]  I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
[104]  We both have fed as well, and we can both
[105]  Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
[106]  For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
[107]  The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
[108]  Cæsar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, now
[109]  Leap in with me into this angry flood,
[110]  And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,
[111]  Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
[112]  And bade him follow: so indeed he did.
[113]  The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
[114]  With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
[115]  And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
[116]  But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
[117]  Cæsar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'
[118]  I, as Æneas our great ancestor
[119]  Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
[120]  The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
[121]  Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man
[122]  Is now become a god, and Cassius is
[123]  A wretched creature, and must bend his body
[124]  If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
[125]  He had a fever when he was in Spain,
[126]  And when the fit was on him, I did mark
[127]  How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
[128]  His coward lips did from their colour fly,
[129]  And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
[130]  Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
[131]  Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
[132]  Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
[133]  Alas, it cried, 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
[134]  As a sick girl. Ye gods! it doth amaze me
[135]  A man of such a feeble temper should
[136]  So get the start of the majestic world
[137]  And bear the palm alone.
                                         [Shout. Flourish.

Bru.  [Marcus Brutus]
[138]  Another general shout!
[139]  I do believe that these applauses are
[140]  For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.

Cas.  [Cassius]
[141]  Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
[142]  Like a Colossus, and we petty men
[143]  Walk under his huge legs and peep about
[144]  To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
[145]  Men at some time are masters of their fates:
[146]  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
[147]  But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
[148]  Brutus, and Cæsar: what should be in that Cæsar?
[149]  Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
[150]  Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
[151]  Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
[152]  Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
[153]  Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
[154]  Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
[155]  Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
[156]  That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
[157]  Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
[158]  When went there by an age, since the great flood,
[159]  But it was famed with more than with one man?
[160]  When could they say till now that talk'd of Rome
[161]  That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
[162]  Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
[163]  When there is in it but one only man.
[164]  O, you and I have heard our fathers say
[165]  There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
[166]  The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
[167]  As easily as a king.

Bru.  [Marcus Brutus]
[168]  That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
[169]  What you would work me to, I have some aim:
[170]  How I have thought of this and of these times,
[171]  I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
[172]  I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
[173]  Be any further moved. What you have said
[174]  I will consider; what you have to say
[175]  I will with patience hear, and find a time
[176]  Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
[177]  Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
[178]  Brutus had rather be a villager
[179]  Than to repute himself a son of Rome
[180]  Under these hard conditions as this time
[181]  Is like to lay upon us.

Cas.  [Cassius]
[182]  I am glad that my weak words
[183]  Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

Bru.  [Marcus Brutus]
[184]  The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.

Text 3: from Dickens, Great Expectations, chapter 9

"Joe," said I, taking hold of his rolled-up shirt-sleeve, and twisting it between my finger and thumb, "you remember all that about Miss Havisham's?"

"Remember?" said Joe. "I believe you! Wonderful!"

"It's a terrible thing, Joe; it ain't true."

"What are you telling of, Pip?" cried Joe, falling back in the greatest amazement. "You don't mean to say it's ---"

"Yes I do; it's lies, Joe."

"But not all of it? Why sure you don't mean to say, Pip, that there was no black welwet co---eh?" For, I stood shaking my head. "But at least there was dogs, Pip. Come, Pip," said Joe, persuasively, "if there warn't no weal-cutlets, at least there was dogs?"

"No, Joe."

" A dog?" said Joe. "A puppy? Come?"

"No, Joe, there was nothing at all of the kind."

As I fixed my eyes hopelessly on Joe, Joe contemplated me in dismay. "Pip, old chap! This won't do, old fellow! I say! Where do you expect to go to?"

"It's terrible, Joe; an't it?"

"Terrible?" cried Joe. "Awful! What possessed you?"

"I don't know what possessed me, Joe," I replied, letting his shirt sleeve go, and sitting down in the ashes at his feet, hanging my head; "but I wish you hadn't taught me to call Knaves at cards, Jacks; and I wish my boots weren't so thick nor my hands so coarse."

And then I told Joe that I felt very miserable, and that I hadn't been able to explain myself to Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook who were so rude to me, and that there had been a beautiful young lady at Miss Havisham's who was dreadfully proud, and that she had said I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn't know how.

This was a case of metaphysics, at least as difficult for Joe to deal with, as for me. But Joe took the case altogether out of the region of metaphysics, and by that means vanquished it.

"There's one thing you may be sure of, Pip," said Joe, after some rumination, "namely, that lies is lies. Howsever they come, they didn't ought to come, and they come from the father of lies, and work round to the same. Don't you tell no more of 'em, Pip. That ain't the way to get out of being common, old chap. And as to being common, I don't make it out at all clear. You are oncommon in some things. You're oncommon small. Likewise you're a oncommon scholar."

"No, I am ignorant and backward, Joe."

"Why, see what a letter you wrote last night. Wrote in print even! I've seen letters - Ah! and from gentlefolks! - that I'll swear weren't wrote in print," said Joe.

"I have learnt next to nothing, Joe. You think much of me. It's only that."

"Well, Pip," said Joe, "be it so or be it son't, you must be a common scholar afore you can be a oncommon one, I should hope! The king upon his throne, with his crown upon his ed, can't sit and write his acts of Parliament in print, without having begun, when he were a unpromoted Prince, with the alphabet - Ah!" added Joe, with a shake of the head that was full of meaning, "and begun at A too, and worked his way to Z. And I know what that is to do, though I can't say I've exactly done it."

There was some hope in this piece of wisdom, and it rather encouraged me.

"Whether common ones as to callings and earnings," pursued Joe, reflectively "mightn't be the better of continuing fur to keep company with common ones, instead of going out to play with oncommon ones - which reminds me to hope that there were a flag, perhaps?"

"No, Joe."

"(I'm sorry there weren't a flag, Pip.) Whether that might be or mightn't be, is a thing as can't be looked into now, without putting your sister on the Rampage; and that's a thing not to be thought of, as being done intentional. Lookee here, Pip, at what is said to you by a true friend. Which this to you the true friend say. If you can't get to be oncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked. So don't tell no more on 'em, Pip, and live well and die happy."

"You are not angry with me, Joe?"

"No, old chap. But bearing in mind that them were which I meantersay of a stunning and outdacious sort - alluding to them which bordered on weal-cutlets and dog-fighting - a sincere wellwisher would adwise, Pip, their being dropped into your meditations, when you go up-stairs to bed. That's all, old chap, and don't never do it no more."

When I got up to my little room and said my prayers, I did not forget Joe's recommendation, and yet my young mind was in that disturbed and unthankful state, that I thought long after I laid me down, how common Estella would consider Joe, a mere blacksmith: how thick his boots, and how coarse his hands. I thought how Joe and my sister were then sitting in the kitchen, and how I had come up to bed from the kitchen, and how Miss Havisham and Estella never sat in a kitchen, but were far above the level of such common doings. I fell asleep recalling what I "used to do" when I was at Miss Havisham's; as though I had been there weeks or months, instead of hours; and as though it were quite an old subject of remembrance, instead of one that had arisen only that day.

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

The grades will be published within 3 weeks at StudentWeb.

Explanation: For an explanation of the mark obtained, please contact the exam coordinator, Kristin Berstad (k.m.berstad@ilos.uio.no) within one week after the exam results have been published in StudentWeb. Remember to include your name and candidate number. The examiner will decide whether to give a written or oral explanation.

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