TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS (SOLVED)
7. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) Why do you think the rich and the powerful people get monuments and statues erected in their memory?
What, according to the poet, do the rich and powerful long for? [C.B.S.E., 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. The rich and the powerful people erect monuments to not only show their wealth and power but as living reminders of those people. They want the future generations to know and remember them. They are extremely vain people.
(b) Describe how the monuments and statues brave the ravages of time?
Ans. Whether the monuments are gold-plated or otherwise, all the monuments crumble with time or they are destroyed by war. Climatic reasons, manual desperation or otherwise all crumble and break with time.
(c) Why does the poet refer to Time as being sluttish?
Ans. A slut loses her charm and beauty with time. Similarly time also changes fast as the charms of a prostitute. Time keeps changing, so does the beauty of such an inferior female.
(d) The poet says that neither forces of nature nor wars can destroy his poetry. In fact, even godly powers of Mars will not have a devastating effect on his rhyme. What quality of the poet is revealed through these lines?
[C.B.S.E., 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. The poet believes that his subject will be honoured forever in his verses and they will never face extinction or destruction by the powers of nature and time. The poet’s extreme optimism and deep faith in the power of love is revealed in these lines.
8. Shakespeare’s sonnet has been divided into three quatrains of 4 lines each followed by a rhyming couplet. Each quatrain is a unit of meaning. Read the poem carefully and complete the following table on the structure of the poem.
Comparison between poetry and monuments.
Ravages of time on monuments contrasted with living record of the beloved.
The recorded memory of beloved will continue till posterity
Poetry immortalises friend
SOME OTHER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
Q1. What is the theme of sonnet 55?
Ans. Shakespeare believes that love is eternal and everlasting. It cannot be destroyed or controlled by materialistic things that are made to stand forever, but in the end all are doomed to destruction like the gilded monuments. Not even the sword of Mars or wars can destroy love, Shakespeare’s true idea of love is that love will exist till the end of time. Since there is no end to love it will exist forever.
This sonnet shares this theme with other sonnets which oppose the power of verse to death and Time’s cruel knife and promise immortality to the beloved. The concluding couplet seems to curiously satisfy the curiosity as to who is being referred to. It is enough that it lives in ‘the lover’s eyes for all the mysteries will be comprehended on the last day of judgement. What distinguishes Shakespeare from others is that he values the identity of the beloved, he recognises that the beloved has his own personal immortality, that is no way dependent upon his poetry. So the poet’s verse will continue strongly even in the face of death and dispassionate enmity. It will always live in poetry and in the eyes of the lovers who will read this. So the theme is love and the power of love that outlives all.