How does this picture of the soldier describe the tragedy of war? Explain.

The soldier, lying peacefully in the midst of the sun-soaked bed of the green valley is a perfect picture of calmness and serenity. For a moment it seems that the soldier is in close harmony with nature, as he lies stretched in the heavy undergrowth, with his feet carefully cushioned by the flowers. The smile on his face is pure and innocent. The soothing rays of the sun provide him with much-needed warmth. Ironically, the poet makes us realise at the end, that it is not nature that is responsible for this condition of the young soldier, but actually, he is a casualty of war. The bullets have left behind two holes in his body which serve as a reminder that war results only in the loss of life and property, where the lives of youths are eliminated before they reach their full bloom.

Bring out the irony of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

Rimbaud, in the poem, ‘Asleep in the Valley exposes the horrors of warfare where the life of a young soldier is nipped in the bud. The poet in the octave leads us to believe that the soldier lies asleep amidst the picturesque landscape of the valley nourished by the warm rays of the sun. The soldier who lies ‘open-mouthed’ with a smile devoid of guile augments the beauty of the land. There he lies blissfully asleep, free from the cares of the world. But with an ironical twist, the sestet discloses the real nature of his ‘sleep.’ The soldier has been put to death by the bullets which cast red marks in his side. The ‘sleep’ is not the culmination of nature’s soothing effect but the reflection of the tragedy of war, whereby the life of a young man has been unnaturally put to an end. So, the soldier doesn’t lie asleep out of his will but is doomed to death by war. There lies the irony of life.

Look at the word ‘asleep’. What do we normally associate with the word? When does the reader recognise that the soldier is asleep in a different sense?

Comment on Rimbaud’s treatment of symbol and imagery in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

Nature plays an important role in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ by Arthur Rimbaud- Justify.

The poem ends a little abruptly but leaves the reader with utter surprise and shock Discuss.

The poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ rests on two contrasting pictures. Discuss the use of two contrasting pictures in the poem,

What is the occasion of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’? Give a simile used by the poet in the poem. Are there other comparisons in the poem?

Give the substance of Sonnet 18 by Shakespeare.

Discuss the central idea of the poem, ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?.

Discuss the appropriateness of the title of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”-Who makes the comparison? Who is compared to a summer’s day’? What are the blemishes of summer?

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”-Whom does the poet compare his friend to? What are the qualities that make the person superior to summer?

“Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed;” What is the figure of speech used in ‘eye of heaven’? What makes the dim? What does the poet imply in the above lines?

“And every fair from fair sometime declines”-From which poem is the line quoted? Who is the poet? Briefly explain the meaning of the quoted line. How does the poet promise to immortalize his friend’s beauty?

“By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.”-What makes Shakespeare mention ‘nature’s changing course’? Discuss.

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade / Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;” Whose ‘eternal summer’ is being referred to here? What does ‘eternal summer’ mean? What conclusion does the poet draw at the end of the poem?

“Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, / When in eternal lines to time thou grow’ st,”—Who is the poet? Who is the ‘thou’ here? What shall death not be able to brag about and why?

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