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Do you get any impression of parental authority in the eighteenth century?

Compare the picture of eighteenth-century England given in the play with that in Pope's The Rape of the Lock. For a further good picture of life at Bath read Burney's Evelina and Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Is the "moral" drawn in the epilogue true of most plays you have read?

Which scenes would you like to present on the stage? The Rivals is still successfully staged both in England and in America. How can you account for its success and popularity?

An interesting independent study can be easily made of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, David Garrick, and the London theatre of this day.



Picture Poseidon and Pallas as they talk in the opening scene. If you need a knowledge of the identity of the gods and legendary heroes to keep the story clear and your interest alive, look up their names in a good dictionary or a mythology.

In the Iliad Poseidon is the enemy of Troy as is Pallas. How does Euripides account for Pallas' change of sympathy? What explanations given by Homer does Euripides ignore? Analyze the character of Andromache.

Does the argument between Hecuba and Andromache over which knows the greater grief spoil the beauty of the scene between them?

Compare Andromache's last words to Astyanax as given by Euripides with those in Homer's Iliad.

As you look back over the play which incidents stand out as the most dramatic?

Does the beauty of the imagery impress you?


Compare the ending of the play with the last lines of The Song of Roland.

Euripides wrote the play as a protest against his country's action in a war. Where does he make Poseidon state his thesis?

Is it strange that none of these women committed suicide?

Wherein does the play follow the rules laid down by Aristotle in regard to the three unities? What emotions did the author seek to arouse in the audience?


What is the first difference you note between this play and Macbeth or Richelieu?

What sort of person does Nora seem to be at first? Is this consistent with her later action? What is your first impression of Helmer? Does his character change at all in the play? Is your sympathy with Nora or Helmer? What is the effect of the introduction of the Christmas party for the children, the fancy dress ball, etc.?

At what point in the play do we first sense the problem?

What moments of dramatic intensity do you find in the first act?

What external forces had great influence on Nora and her acts?

Can you trace the points in the exposition during the first act by which the plot is gradually revealed?

What saved Nora from suicide?

What is the wonderful thing that could reunite Nora and Helmer?

In what way are Nora and Helmer typical of their generation? Compare the problem with that in J. M. Barrie's The Twelve Pound Look and What Every Woman Knows or with that in Bernard Shaw's Candida.


Archer, William: Play-making. Small, Maynard and Company. Boston, 1912 Baker, George P.: Development of Shakespeare as a Dramatist. The Macmillan Company. New York, 1907

Baker, George P.: Dramatic Technique. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1915 Bates, Katharine Lee: The English Religious Drama. The Macmillan Company. New York, 1893

Besant, Walter: London. Harper & Brothers. New York, 1892

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Burton, Richard: Bernard Shaw: The Man and the Mask. Henry Holt and Company. New York, 1916

Burton, Richard: How to See a Play. The
Macmillan Company, New York, 1914
Chandler, Frank W.: The Contemporary Drama
of France. Little, Brown & Company.
Boston, 1920

Chatfield-Taylor, H. C.: Molière: A Biography.
Duffield & Co. New York, 1906
Chesterton, Gilbert K.: George Bernard Shaw.
John Lane Company. New York, 1909
Clark, Barrett H.: The British and American
Drama of To-day. Henry Holt and Com-
pany. New York, 1915

Clark, Barrett H.: The Continental Drama of
To-day. Henry Holt and Company. New
York, 1914

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor: Lectures and Notes on Shakespeare and Other English Poets. G. Bell and Sons. London, 1897

Craig, Edward Gordon: On the Art of the Theatre. Browne's Bookstore. Chicago, 1911 Decharme, Paul: Euripides and the Spirit of His Dramas. The Macmillan Company. New York, 1906

Dobson, Austin: Life of Oliver Goldsmith. Walter Scott. London, n.d.

Einstein, Lewis: Italian Renaissance in England. Columbia University Press. New York, 1902

Froude, James A.: English Seamen in the Six

teenth Century. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, 1895

Garnett, Richard: The Age of Dryden. G.
Bell and Sons. London, 1895
Gayley, Charles M.: Beaumont, the Dramatist.
The Century Co. New York, 1914
Gosse, Edmund: History of English Literature
of the 18th Century (1660–1780). The Mac-
millan Company. New York, 1898
Gregory, Lady A.: Our Irish Theatre. G. P.
Putnam's Sons. New York, 1913
Hale, Edward E., Jr.: Dramatists of To-day.
Henry Holt and Company. New York,

Harrison, William: Elizabethan England. Walter Scott. London, n.d.

Hornblow, Arthur: A History of the Theatre in America. 2 vols. J. B. Lippincott Company. Philadelphia, 1919 Irving, Washington: Oliver Goldsmith. Author's revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1903

Izumo, Takeda: The Pine Tree. Duffield & Company. New York, 1916

Jenks, Tudor: In the Days of Shakespeare. A. S. Barnes and Company. New York, 1904

Jourdain, Eleanor F.: French Classical Drama. Clarendon Press. Oxford, 1912 Lee, Sidney: Life of Shakespeare. The Macmillan Company. New York, 1917 Lee, Sidney: Shakespeare and the Modern Stage. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, 1906

Lee, Sidney: Stratford-on-Avon. Seeley and Company. London, 1907

Macgowan, Kenneth, and Jones, R. E.: Continental Stagecraft. Harcourt, Brace and Company. New York, 1922

Macgowan, Kenneth: The Theatre of Tomorrow. Boni and Liveright. New York, 1921 MacLeod, Addison: Plays and Players in Modern Italy. Being a study of the Italian stage as affected by the political and social life, manners and character of today. John Murray. London, 1912

Matthews, Brander: Playwrights on Playmaking, and Other Studies of the Stage. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, 1923 Matthews, Brander: A Study of the Drama. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York,


Moses, Montrose J.: Henrik Ibsen, the Man and His Plays. Mitchell Kennerly. New York, 1908.

Moulton, Richard G.: The Ancient Classical Drama. The Clarendon Press. Oxford, 1898

Murray, Gilbert: Euripides and His Age. Henry Holt and Company. New York, 1913 Pound, Ezra, ed.: The Classical Stage of Japan. Ernest Fenollosa's work on the Japanese "Noh." Drama. No. 18. 1915. May, 1915 Ordish, T. Fairman: Early London Theatres. Elliot Stock. London, 1899

Rolfe, William J.: Shakespeare the Boy. Harper & Brothers. New York, 1896 Saintsbury, George: Dryden. (English Men of Letters Series.) Harper & Brothers. New York, 1899

Schelling, Felix E.: English Drama. J. M. Dent & Sons. London, 1914

Scott, Walter: Kenilworth

Shaw, George B.: The Quintessence of Ibsen-
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Shelley, Henry C.: Shakespeare and Stratford.
Little, Brown and Company. Boston, 1913
Spencer, M. Lyle: Corpus Christi Pageants in
England. Baker and Taylor. New York,


Stephenson, Henry T.: Shakespeare's London. Henry Holt and Company. New York, 1906 Thorndike, Ashley H.: Shakespeare's Theatre. The Macmillan Company. New York, 1916 Thorndike, Ashley H.: Tragedy. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1908

Weygandt, Cornelius. Irish Plays and Playwrights. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1913

Winter, William: Shakespeare's England. Macmillan & Co. Limited, 1893

Witkowski, Georg: The German Drama of the Nineteenth Century. Translated from the second German edition. Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1909







See whether you can trace the various explanations of Arthur's birth. What is your impression of Arthur from this idyll?

Describe Merlin. Do you know any other character in literature like him? Read the idyll Merlin and Vivien. You will also enjoy Edward Arlington Robinson's Merlin.

What evidences of the supernatural do you find?

Note the vividness of the descriptions. What phrases stand out in your memory? Which pictures do you like best?


What is the effect of beginning the story in the middle?

Analyze the characters of Lancelot, Arthur, and Guinevere as you see them in this episode. What trait of character does Lancelot show in the story of the diamonds? Has Arthur suspected the love between Lancelot and Guinevere before this episode? Why is Lancelot called "Lancelot of the Lake"?

Can you picture Elaine on the barge? Do you sympathize with her? Why?

For another description of a joust read Scott's Ivanhoe.


Can you picture Camelot and Arthur's hall in Camelot as it is described in this idyll? Read Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot.

How is unity given to the various episodes of the idyll?

What is the theme of the idyll? In what words does Arthur state it? Do you think it expresses Arthur's philosophy of life?

Should the ascetic achieve the quest rather than the one who gives his life to the service of people? Compare Henry van Dyke's The Story of the Other Wise Man and John Ruskin's The King of the Golden River.

For interesting comparisons read Addison's The Vision of Mirza, Lowell's The Vision of Sir Launfal, and Tennyson's Galahad. See also Wagner's opera, Parsifal.


Is your sympathy with Arthur or with Guinevere?

What remarkable descriptive passages do you note?

For attitudes of other poets toward Guinevere, read Richard Hovey's The Marriage of Guinevere and William Morris' The Defence of Guinevere.

THE PASSING OF ARTHUR· Compare this idyll with Hiawatha's Depar


Analyze Arthur's character as seen in this closing incident of his life.

Note the dignity and simplicity of the closing lines.

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS What universal truths do you note in the various idylls?

Do you like the songs used in the poem? How do they compare with Shakespeare's songs?

For interesting comparisons read these same stories in Layaman's Brut and Malory's Morte d'Arthur.



A critic has said: "It is in the delineation of domestic incidents, domestic affections, and domestic jealousies that the Ramayana bases its appeal to the hearts of all India." Look for this picture of Indian life as you read the poem.

Do you know any other lovers in literature who won their brides by feats of prowess? Compare Rama's wedding with Arthur's in Idylls of the King.

Can you discover from this epic the qualities of character most admired by the Hindoos? How is the supernatural introduced?


Compare Rama's vigils with those kept by the knights in the days of chivalry and with those of the North American Indian youth.

Do you know any other great leaders who


spent a period of preparation for life work in exile?

Does Kaikeyi remind you of any Shakespearean character?

Atmosphere is furnished by the mention of what animals, flowers, musical instruments, etc.?


Compare Sita's words to Rama in the opening of this episode with the early English poem, The Nut Brown Maid.

Do you know anywhere in literature of a match for Lakshman's devotion?

Can you picture the citizens following Rama to beg his return?

An interesting study may be made of the Hindu conception of the sacredness of the Ganges River.

There are many stories about anchorites which will interest you if you will look them up. Look up the Hindu custom of perishing in the funeral pyre of a loved one.

Does the tale of the hermit throw any light on Hindu superstition?


Can you give the arguments the Princes used to persuade Rama to return with them? What do you think of Rama's answers?

Were you in any measure prepared for Bharat's action?


Can you picture Ravan's chariot drawn by the winged asses over which the vulture flew? Have you noticed anywhere else in your reading a close sympathy between nature and man similar to that shown when Sita is in danger?

What are the various emotions brought out in this section?

Do the stories of the Raksha remind you of any Irish folk tales?


Why did Rama wait "across the ocean" until after the exchange of tokens?

Compare the description of the mansion in the midst of the Asoka garden with that of the Taj Mahal.


Have you read anything else like the story of Sita and the ordeal by fire?

Can you picture Rama and Sita in the car drawn by swans?

Is there any appropriateness in having jeweled sandals as "tokens of rule and empire"? Is the ending of any other epic similar to this?


Is the Ramayana more like the Iliad or the Odyssey?

Can you trace through the epic the Hindu ideal of life?

How does Sita differ from Helen of Troy? For a picture of Hindu chivalry and heroism read the Maha-bharata.

In India the Ramayana is still a living tradition. It forms the basis of the moral instruction of a nation. For an interesting account of the present-day popularity of epics in India, read one of the best written biographies of the day-Dhan Mukerji's Caste and Outcast.

If you are interested in India, you will enjoy the writings of Rabindranath Tagore and the short stories of Rudyard Kipling.



Of the birth of Sigurd the son of Sigmund Does the description with which this book opens remind you of the last lines of the Ramayana?

How is Regin like Merlin?

What are the outstanding points of the song with which the maidens tell King Elf of Sigurd's birth?

Compare the description of Gripir's house with that of the mead-hall in Beowulf. See whether you can picture Gripir on his throne. What is the effect of the emphasis of Sigurd's eyes?

Do you know any other famous horses in history or literature like Greyfell?

Regin telleth Sigurd of his kindred, and of the Gold that was accursed from ancient days Identify Loki, Odin, and the other gods mentioned by looking them up in a Norse mythol


What were the gifts that Reidmar the Ancient gave each of his sons?

Can you relate the story of Reidmar's snare for the gods and its success?

What was the curse placed on the gold? Why does Sigurd undertake to bring Regin the gold?

Of the forging of the Sword that is
called The Wrath of Sigurd

Is the Wrath of Sigurd more wonderful than Excalibur? Was there as much magic con

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