ISC English Literature Previous Year Question Paper 2003 Solved for Class 12
Choose three of the passages (a) to (d) and answer as briefly as possible the questions that follow :
(a) Prospero :
Hear a little further,
And then I’ll bring thee to the present business
Which now’s upon’s; without the which this story
Were most impertinent.
Wherefore did they not
That hour destroys us?
Well demanded, wench :
My tale provokes that question.
Dear, they trust not,
(i) Which “hour” is Miranda referring to?
(ii) According to Prospero why couldn’t his enemies destroy them?
(iii) What did they do to Miranda and Prospero?
(iv) What according to Prospero is the “present business which now’s upon’s ”?
(v) What was the main reason which gave Prospero courage to bear his troubles?
(b) Gonzalo :
Had I plantation of this isle, my lord—
He ’d sow’t with nettle-seed.
Or docks, or mallows.
And were the king on’t, what would I do?
‘Scape being drunk, for want of
1’ th’ commonwealth 1 would be contraries
Execute all things,
(i) Explain what Gonzalo means by “Had I plantation of this isle”? Whom does he address as “my lord”?
(ii) Mention four things which Gonzalo says he will have in his “commonwealth”.
(iii) Who are Antonio and Sebastian? What kind of attitude do they have towards Gonzalo?
(iv) Give one remark made earlier by Sebastian which shows his cold attitude.
(v) What is Gonzalo’s motive in talking about a commonwealth? Which characteristics of his stand out in this scene?
(c) Ferdinand :
This is strange. Your father’s in some passion
That works him strongly.
Never till this day
Saw I him touch’d with anger, so distemper’d
[To Ferdinand] You do look, my son, in mov’d sort,
As if you were dismay’d. Be cheerful, sir;
Our revels now are ended…
(i) Why is Prospero “touch’d with anger so distemper’d”? Explain the phrase.
(ii) What “revels” is Prospero referring to? Why were they held?
(iii) What does Prospero go on to say about human beings and life in the same speech?
(iv) What does Prospero now order Ariel to do?
(v) “At this hour Lies at my mercy all mine enemies” says Prospero at the end of this scene. Show how far this is true.
(d) Prospero :
Mark but the badges of these men, my lords,
Then say if they be true. This misshapen knave.
His mother was a witch, and one so strong
That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs,
And deal in her command without her power.
These three have robb’d me, and this demi-devil—
For he’s a bastard one-had plotted with them.
To take my life. Two of these fellows you
Must know and own; this thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine.
(i) Who are the “my lords” Prospero is ‘ addressing? Where are they?
(ii) Who are “these men ”? Why does Prospero want “my lords” to look at their “badges”?
(iii) “This misshapen knave” — to whom is Prospero referring? What does Prospero say about this person’s mother?
(iv) Describe the condition and dress of “these men”? How did they come to be in this state?
(v) How does Prospero deal with the three of them? State what you think of Prospero’s decision.
(a) (i) Miranda refers to the hour when with the help of Alonso and Sebastian, Antonio removed her and her father Prospero, from Milan.
(ii) According to Prospero, enemies could not destroy them because the people of Milan loved them very much and they would have revolted against Antonio.
(iii) Miranda and Prospero were placed on a deserted boat and were left in the midst of the ocean by the enemies to die.
(iv) The present business refers to Prospero’s wish to tell Miranda the reason for raining the storm in the sea.
(v) The smile of Miranda gave courage to Prospero to bear the troubles.
(b) (i) Gonzalo means to say that if he would be the king of this island he would do many things. Alonso, the King of Naples, is addressed as ‘my lord’.
(ii) In his commonwealth Gonzalo would :
(a) Have no magistrates.
(b) Have no occupation; men will be idle.
(c) Neither have riches nor poverty.
(d) Women will be innocent and pure.
(iii) Antonio is the brother of Prospero, who had usurped the dukedom of Milan from him. Sebastian is the brother of the King of Naples, Alonso. They are making fun of Gonzalo.
(iv) “T’was what a sweet Marriage”, was end of the remarks made earlier by Sebastian to Alonso. He spoke in an ironical manner and blamed Alonso for whatever happened to them.
(v) Gonzalo’s motive in talking about a commonwealth is just to amuse his master Alonso, who is sorry and sad to have lost his son in the storm. In this scene, Gonzalo’s characteristics like loyalty and sincerity stand out.
(c) (i) The cause of Prospero’s anger is the treachery or wicked conspiracy hatched by Caliban against him with the help of Stephano and Trinculo. The phrase means that Miranda has never seen her father in such an angry state.
(ii) By ‘revels’ he refers to the masque in which various goddesses and spirits took part. It was held to bless the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand.
(iii) Prospero says that human beings are as unreal as the dreams and their brief existence is followed by death that puts an end to that existence.
(iv) Prospero orders Ariel to bring ‘trumpery’ i.e., rich clothings, to deceive Caliban and the plotters against him.
(v) This is true to every extent as Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian are in a fit of madness, whereas Trinculo, Stephano, and Caliban are chased away by spirits in disguise of dogs and hounds.
(d) (i) The “my lords” referred here by Prospero are Alonso, Sebastian, Gonzalo, Antonio, and others. They are in front of the cell of Prospero.
(ii) ‘These men’ are Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo. He wants to point them out to look at their ‘badges’ because the clothes belonged to Prospero which ‘these men’ had stolen.
(iii) Prospero is referring to Caliban. He says about Sycorax, the mother of Caliban, that she was a witch and was so powerful that she had power over the moon and could cause the sea to ebb and flow.
(iv) “These men” are heavily drunk and are wearing the clothes they had stolen. They are in this state because of Prospero’s plan and are under the charm of his magical power.
(v) Prospero pardons them. It is a good decision as forgiveness is the keynote of the play.
Section – B
The Tempest -Shakespeare
Briefly but vividly describe the opening scene of the play “The Tempest”, bringing out clearly the impression the scene makes on your mind and its importance in’ the play.
As the title of the play itself suggests, the opening scene of ‘The Tempest’ is a vivid description of a ship caught in a storm. It dramatically tells how a ship is wrecked and how people in it come to the island. It also introduces the audience to some of the important characters of the play.
As the scene unfolds, the captain of the ship is seen ordering his boatswain to call all men to duty as the ship is in danger. The boatswain instructs the mariners to adjust the topsail as he is apprehensive Of the outcome of the storm. On board the ship are Alonso, the king of Naples, Sebastian his brother, Antonio, the duke of Milan, Alonso’s son Ferdinand, Gonzalo, an honest councillor of Alonso, and other lords. Alonso shows deep concern for the ship but the boatswain tells them impatiently to go down to their cabins as they mar the crew’s labour.
When Gonzalo asks the boatswain to be patient, the boatswain retorts that he is hindering his work. He tells Gonzalo that, the waves do not care for the name of a king. He is rude towards Gonzalo. He commands him to go to his cabin and prepare himself for any misfortune that may fall on him. Gonzalo is annoyed but hopes that this man does not die by drowning but be hanged later on.
This scene also shows Shakespeare’s profound knowledge of sea and seamanship.
The boatswain tries to keep the ship far from the seashore, but is irritated by Sebastian and Antonio who curses and speaks ill words to him. Gonzalo wanted everyone to join the king at prayers, but at the same time a confused noise comes :
“Mercy on us!-We split, we split!-Farewell, my wife and children !-Farewell, brother!-We split, we split, we split!”
The scene ends with Gonzalo saying:
The wills above be done, but I would fain die a dry death.
Though the scene is not very long yet it is very effective. The treatment of the scene compels us to think that no one on board the ship would survive. So, it can be said that the presentation of the opening scene is realistic.
Antonio is an out and out villain. With close reference to what he says and does, show how far you agree with this statement.
Antonio is the most wicked and hateful character in the play. He does evil without remorse or sense of any guilt. He does not regret his deeds towards his brother Prospero. He is loyal to none. He even plots to kill Alonso and instigates Sebastian against him. Prospero calls him “Perfidious”, a “false uncle” while narrating his tale to Miranda.
Antonio betrayed Prospero’s trust in him and usurped his dukedom. He cruelly put his brother and his three-year-old daughter in a deserted ship and left them at the mercy of the sea-god. He was not guilty or ashamed; instead boasts to Sebastian later :
“And look how well my garments sit upon me. Much feater than before.”
Antonio speaks ill about Gonzalo and calls him a talkative person. He instigates Sebastian to kill Alonso so that, he would be free from the tribute he has to pay to Alonso. He forgets all the help Alonso had extended to him in order to remove Prospero from Milan.
He laughs at Gonzalo for his loyalty and is ready to kill him and the King of Naples in their sleep. Prospero in the end remarks about Antonio—
“For you wicked Sir,
Whom to call a brother
Would even infect my mouth.”
Thus, we see that Antonio is an out and out villain.