ISC English Literature Previous Year Question Paper 2005 Solved for Class 12
Due to change in the present syllabus, the papers from 2018 to 2006 are not given.
Section – A
(Answer one question)
Choose three of the passages (a) to (d) and answer as briefly as possible the questions that follow-:
(a) Miranda :
You have often
Begun to tell me what I am, but stopp’d
And left me to a bootless inquisition, ’
Concluding, “Stay; not yet.”
The hour’s now come;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey and be attentive…
(i) Where are Prospero and Miranda at this moment? What had Miranda seen, a little while ago, that had moved her emotionally?
(ii) What had Prospero often tried to tell her earlier?
(iii) Which ‘hour’ does Prospero refer to? What does he want Miranda to do now?
(iv) Explain the phrase— “bootless inquisition. ”
(v) What does Prospero ask Miranda immediately after he tells her to be attentive?
(b) Prospero :
I did say so,
When first I raised the tempest Say, my spirit,
How fares the king and’s followers?
Confin ’d together
In the same fashion as you gave in charge.
Just as you left them; all prisoners, sir,
In the line-grove which weather-fends
They cannot budge till your release.
(i) Where are Prospero and Ariel? What is Prospero dressed in?
(ii) What does Prospero refer to when he says “I did say so ”? Who is the “king ” referred to by Prospero?
(iii) Comment on Prospero’s use of the expression, “my spirit.”
(iv) Explain: “In the line-grove…your cell”.
(v) What reaction does Ariel expect from Prospero on seeing his prisoners’ condition?
(vi) Mention one quality of Ariel as reflected in this extract.
(c) Ferdinand :
Wherefore weep you?
At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give, and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling,
And all the more it seeks to hide itself.
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence
l am your wife, if you will marry me;
(i) Where are Ferdinand and Miranda at the present moment? Who is the third person unseen by both of them?
(ii) Why is Miranda crying? What is it that she dared not to offer?
(iii) Explain : “……………. and much less take What I shall die to want.”
(iv) What is “it” referred to in the line “And all the more it seeks to hide …………..”
(v) What does “bashful cunning ” mean? What proposal does Miranda make?
(vi) What will she do if her proposal is rejected?
(d) Sebastian :
Methinks, I do.
And how does your content
Tender your own good fortune?
You did supplant your brother Prospero.
And look how well my garments sit upon me,
Much feater than before; my brother’s servants.
Were then my fellows, now they are my men.
(i) Why does Sebastian say, “Methinks, I do ”?
(ii) What does Antonio mean by “And how does….. own good fortune ”?
(iii) What is meant by the term “supplant”? How did Antonio “supplant” his own brother?
(iv) Which “garments” does Antonio refer to? How do they fit him?
(v) Who are the “my men” referred to by Antonio? When were they his “fellows”? Comment on Antonio’s tone in this speech.
(vi) How does Sebastian comment on this speech of Antonio?
(a) (i) Prospero and Miranda are on the island at this moment. Miranda has witnessed the scene of ship-wreck which has moved her emotionally.
(ii) Prospero had tried to tell her about the events of their lives that brought them to this remote island, i.e., the story of the government by which he was overthrown and expelled from his dukedom.
(iii) Prospero refers to the maturity that Miranda has attained, i.e., she is now matured enough to understand everything that Prospero is going to narrate at this moment. He wants Miranda to pay total attention to what he is going to state and explain.
(iv) “Bootless inquisition” means an unsuccessful enquiry. Here Miranda wants to say that she has never been satisfied by her father’s answers to her queries about her past.
(v) Immediately after telling her to be attentive, Prospero asks Miranda to recall the time and incidents when she was just a child.
(i) Prospero and Ariel are at a venture on the island where Prospero’s alchemic experiments are in progress. Prospero is dressed in his magic robe.
(ii) Prospero refers to the moment for which he has been waiting since twelve years. The ‘king’ referred to by Prospero is his treacherous brother Antonio.
(iii) Prospero addresses Ariel as ‘my spirit’. The expression suggests that Prospero is in a pleasant mood and is glad at the performance of Ariel.
(iv) “In the line-grove which weather-fends your cell” means that amongst the dense grove of lime, which protects Prospero’s cell from bad weather. Here Ariel has made captive the enemies of his master Prospero.
(v) Ariel expects that Prospero will have pity on seeing his prisoners’ condition.
(vi) Ariel strictly carried out Prospero’s orders as instructed by him. Therefore, we can say that Ariel was obedient to Prospero.
(i) At the present moment Ferdinand is labouring as a slave of Prospero on the island and Miranda is there watching him. Prospero is the third person unseen by both of them.
(ii) Miranda is crying to see her love labouring as a log-man and she is quite helpless. She dares not to offer herself to Ferdinand as his wife.
(iii) The given expression shows Miranda’s innocent and selfless love for Ferdinand.
(iv) In the given part of statement ‘it’ is referred to as ‘true love’ which cannot be hidden, because the more you try to hide it the more it is exposed.
(v) “Bashful cunning” means pretence of shyness. By her innocence Miranda proposes about marriage to Ferdinand.
(vi) Miranda will die a virgin if her proposal is rejected.
(i) By saying “Methinks I do”, Sebastian says that he fully understands what Antonio suggests when he asks, “For your advance-ment! Do you understand me”?
(ii) Antonio meant that Sebastian should be inclined to look favourably on his lucky chance for his advancement.
(iii) By the term ‘supplant’ it is meant that Antonio usurped the dukedom from his brother Prospero. Antonio treacherously took hold of the administration and usurped the dukedom of Milan from Prospero and left him and his three-year-old daughter in a broken boat at the mercy of the sea.
(iv) The garments referred to are the clothes that were provided for the wedding of the King’s daughter Claribel at Tunis. The garments fit him more suitably.
(v) Men who were once the men of Prospero are referred to as “my men” by Antonio. They were his ‘fellows’ when Prospero was the duke of Milan. Antonio’s tone, here, is of self-praise and contentment.
(vi) On Antonio’s saying as above, Sebastian says, “But for your conscience”, which suggests that his tone is sarcastic and satirical.
Section – B
(Answer four questions on at least three textbooks which may include The Tempest OR Saint Joan)
With close reference to Act I, Scene II describes how Ferdinand is charmed and let to Prospero’s cave and his first meeting with Miranda.
Comment on Prospero’s apparently cruel attitude towards Ferdinand.
After the opening scene of the play, the second scene is of great importance and is an integral part of it. Ferdinand is brought on the scene by Ariel. He follows Ariel’s charming song which refers to his drowned father, and thus comes within the view of Prospero and Miranda. Prospero points him out to Miranda. On seeing the handsome young man, Miranda expresses her unfeigned admiration for him. Ferdinand too is charmed by the beauty and grace of the young lady. Prospero is glad to see that they exchange glances.
In this very first meeting with Miranda, Ferdinand is so deeply charmed by the untouched beauty of the maiden that he offers to make Miranda, the Queen of Naples, since Ferdinand is the heir of his father, who, he believes has drowned in the tempest. Prospero, however, wants to be sure about Ferdinand’s claim that he is the King of Naples, and calls him a traitor and spy and bids him to follow. On being insulted to this degree Ferdinand draws his sword, but finds himself unable to lift it.
Miranda, who has fallen in love with Ferdinand at first sight, begs her father not to be hard with him. Prospero discourages her admiration for Ferdinand and sternly bids her to keep her mouth shut. But Miranda declares that she has no ambition to see a ‘goodlier man’. Ferdinand submits to Prospero’s biddings by saying;
“Might I but through my prison once a day Behold this maid. All corners else O ’the ’ earth Let liberty make use of- space enough Have I in such a prison ”
Though Prospero apparently looks very strict while treating Ferdinand, he actually tests the strength of Ferdinand’s love for Miranda, because Prospero is also a father with a tender heart for his daughter, his “Cherubin.”
Though mischievous and playful, Ariel is most sincere in his devotion towards his master Prospero. Discuss.
Many a supernatural character has been created by Shakespeare and other playwrights, but Ariel is unmatched. Unlike most supernatural characters, Ariel possesses many human qualities like love for freedom, gratitude, sympathy, desire for praise, dedication to his master and faculty of mischief. When examined deeply, two aspects of his character makes him intriguing. These are his latent faculty of mischief and his sincere devotion towards his master Prospero.
Ariel cannot give full exercise to his faculty of mischief because he is not an independent agent like Shakespeare’s ‘Puck’ in ‘A Midsummer Nights’ Dream’. But Ariel’s playful nature with which he performs those duties enables him to practise his powers upon beings such as Stephano and Trinculo. The scene in which he successfully plants a discard among Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban is full of excellent befooling. The manner in which he gives an account of it to Prospero, shows that he enjoyed the fun of this foolery. There are many instances when Ariel successfully amuses the reader or the audience when the play is read or enacted.
Ariel is an ardent lover of freedom, yet he is bound to Prospero by a feeling of sincere devotion towards him. He performs those tasks and duties punctually and promptly which are imposed upon him by his master. Except for a single occasion, when he shows impatience with Prospero for assigning him so many tasks and postponing his liberation. Throughout the play he shows total devotion to his master Prospero which is very rarely found in supernatural.
Thus, we can say that, Ariel is most sincere in his devotion towards his master though he is quite mischievous and playful, yet he is true and not an exaggeration.