Shakespeare Essay

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Extract 1 Others abide our question. Thou art free. We ask and ask- thou smilest and art still Out-topping all knowledge. For the loftiest hill, Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea, Making heaven of heavens his dwelling place, Spares but the cloudy border of his base To the foil’d searching of mortality; 1. Who are “Others’ referred to in the first line of the extract? What is the contrast expressed in the first line of the extract? Mathew Arnold refers to poets other than Shakespeare here and carries out a comparative evaluation of Shakespeare and other poets in the first line of the poem. Others or other poets yield themselves to the inquiry and appraisal of the readers and critics. These poets comply with the norms and traditions of the conventional writing. Shakespeare, nevertheless, abides by no such prescripts but follows his heart and very often follows the road less travelled. Thus Shakespeare stands tall among the other poets free of the customary scrutiny and criticism. Shakespeare’s poetics is beyond the customary way that the readers and critics follow. 2. Explain: We ask and ask- thou smilest and art still The readers and critics have numerous questions for Shakespeare and seek clarifications on many aspects of his poetic work and persistently pursue these doubts and enquiries. However, Shakespeare remains detached and silent and merely smiles enigmatically. The true understanding of Shakespeare seems to be beyond the grasp of all the mortals. 3. What do you understand by the phrase ’out-topping knowledge”? Out-topping = going over the limit or boundaries. The knowledge that is limitless and stretches beyond the boundaries of human comprehension. 4. Comment on the metaphor of the mountain that Arnold engages to evoke the greatness of Shakespeare. Arnold compares Shakespeare’s

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