LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. How is Time personified in the poem? What purpose does it serve?
Ans : Time is a great leveller. It destroys everything like the monuments or statues. All the magnificent structures of the world will be razed to the ground. Then ‘time is personified as a slut which is an unfavourable comparison. Just as a slut’s beauty changes with time, similarly, time also changes everything. A slut’s physical beauty does not last, nor does her attractions. Similarly time changes all relations or equations that one forges in life.
Q2. What is the poet’s message in sonnet 55?
Ans : The poet wishes to communicate that Love is beyond all barriers, whether materialistic or physical. All the other things are doomed for destruction but love will stand the test of time. Since there is no end to love, it will exist forever. Time’s cruel knife cuts everything, changes all relations but not love. So the poet’s love for his friend will continue strongly even in the face of death and dispassionate enmity. It will live forever in the eyes of the lovers. So the theme is love and the power of love that outlives all.
Q3. Discuss the use of literary devices in the poem.
Ans : The poet has resorted to the excessive use of personification in this poem. Shakespeare personified gilded monuments by giving them life spans. ‘Posterity’ is bestowed with the human quality of ‘sight’, war is given the title of ‘Mars’ and time is also called a ‘slut’, who changes too often. The poet also indulges in hyperbole, when he claims that no amount of time or change can obliterate the words he writes, shall make his readers understand the awesome power he wields as a poet. Then literary embellishments heighten the critical value of the poem and make it more effective.
Q4. You were extremely impressed to read the poem, 'Not Marble, Nor the Gilded Monuments'. Write a letter to a friend telling her about the poem and your new found interest in poetry. Sign yourself as Amit / Amita of 39, D-Block, Model Town, Delhi.
[C.B.S.E., 2011 (T-1)]
Surprised to see one more letter in succession! Yes, but I could not resist myself from telling you something about my new-found love. Do not guess it wrong–It is poetry.
Mamta, you know I never liked to read poetry, as you do, although you always asked me to do so. It was only yesterday that I met a friend of mine who is a diehard fan of Shakespeare's poetry. There I got a chance to read Shakespeare's poem, 'Not Marble, Nor the Gilded Monuments.' At first it just went over my head but when my friend explained the poem and the theme i.e. love, in her own words, I was totally engrossed. The way the poet has eternalised love, stating that it is beyond all barriers, all other things are doomed, but love will stand the test of time, is simply marvellous. I couldn't restrain myself and read the poem on my own.
You will be surprised to know that I immediately went to her library and borrowed poetry books from her to read. I kept on reading the books till late at night. I am eagerly waiting for the day when you will come to my place and we both will sit together and read the poemsfrom different poets. My regards to everyone at your end.