Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, extras, PDF of BSEM or BoSEM (Manipur Board) Class 10 Additional English poem (Chapter 1) “A Requiem” by William Shakespeare. However, the provided notes should only be treated as reference and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.
Summary: In the first lines of this epic poem, the poet tries to reassure the departed that they are at last free from all their aches and pains. By evoking images of a scorching sun and a frigid winter, we can emphasise the idea that the departed will no longer have to deal with the challenges and uncertainties of life on Earth. Nonetheless, there is a shadow of melancholy and loss because the deceased will no longer feel the full range of human emotions.
The rest of the first stanza serves as further proof that the deceased has passed on to their eternal home in heaven, where neither earthly fame nor wealth will ever again be an issue. In the second stanza, worries like political wrath, financial insecurity, and the never-ending quest for more material possessions are added to the list of things the dead no longer have to worry about. The stanza’s final lines serve as a sobering reminder that death is the final destination for everyone, regardless of influence, intelligence, or skill.
The next stanza also uses meteorological symbols to convey feelings and states of mind. Storms and flashes of lightning are often used to represent terror and surprise. Particularly poignant is the idea that the deceased will no longer feel the ups and downs of life, as expressed in the line “Thou hast finished joy and moan” Although it’s nice to think that the person won’t have to experience any more suffering, the knowledge that they’ll never feel happiness again is a bitter pill to swallow.
The tone of the poem changes in the final stanza as the speaker addresses evil spirits or magic in a firm and commanding manner, pleading with them to leave the dead person’s soul in peace and wishing them a peaceful death. This stanza makes it clear that the poem is intended to be a consoling and profound farewell to the deceased because the speaker’s emotions and the subject’s solemnity are both clearly audible.
This poem concludes with a reflection on the nature of death, the human condition, and the end of suffering. The speaker successfully conveys the idea that death is a normal and inevitable part of life while also reminding the reader that death is not the end but rather a return to a higher state of being through the use of vivid imagery, a range of emotions, and masterful language. The poem serves as a final reminder that, despite life’s ups and downs, dying is ultimately a release from suffering in this world of the dead and a path towards eternal peace.
1. Death spells freedom from all mortal fears. What are the specific fears referred to by Shakespeare in the poem?
Answer: While still on the earth, we, as humans, are constrained by many mortal fears. The specific fears mentioned in this poem include the scorching heat of the sun, the biting cold of the winter wind, the tyranny of the cruel master, the scowl or wrath of the powerful, the difficulties of eating and dressing, the fear of lightning and thunder, and all manner of criticism and scandals. However, after death triumphs, all mortal fears are banished.
2. Death is the ultimate leveller of all differences in human society .Discuss how the poem presents this idea.
Answer: Death is the great equaliser. It equalises everyone on earth, regardless of their position—rich or poor, king or servant, strong or weak. When someone passes away, everyone turns to dust, including the handsome men, the beautiful girls, and the unfortunate chimney sweepers. When death comes, everyone, including the king, a learned man, a doctor, and people from all walks of life, including modern-day young lovers, will turn to dust. Death cannot be avoided by anyone.
3. Discuss the central idea conveyed by the poem.
Answer: Shakespeare discusses death and makes an effort to find comfort after death in his poem “A Requiem” After life, the poet advises that we should approach death with confidence and calmness because, in death, one finds freedom from all of society’s ills and evils. It is the ultimate release from all human misery, sorrow, and suffering as well as a return to God and eternity’s home. After finishing his fair share while still alive on the earth level, the dead soul departs from the world and goes to his Eternal home with both success and failure. In addition, the poet suggests that regardless of one’s wealth, size, or strength, everyone is put on an equal footing by death. The altar of death will hold nothing different.
4. Do you think the title of the poem is apt? Why?
Answer: The poem’s title accurately conveys the message of the piece. The poet has spoken for the rest of the dead’s soul. According to him, once a person dies, they no longer need to worry about the various forms of oppression that exist in modern society. Death is the great equaliser of human existence, erasing all distinctions between individuals. The poem emphasises the contrast between the physical body’s finite lifespan and the spiritual self’s infinite potential for happiness and fulfilment. This poem is meant to be read at a funeral or memorial service to wish the deceased eternal rest.
a) ‘Fear no more the frown……is as the oak’
b) ‘Fear not slanders…..a ome to dust.’
Answer: a) This is the second stanza of William Shakespeare’s “The Requiem ” In this poem, the poet expresses his or her hope that the deceased soul will rest in eternal peace. There is nothing left for the soul of the deceased to be afraid of in this world, the poet assures him in the poem. Someone who has passed away no longer has to worry about the scowl and cruelty of the ruling class. After passing away, you won’t have to worry about eating or wearing anything unsuitable. Because of this, death is completely unbiased. Resting in his eternal home, the dead soul no longer cares whether he was an oak tree or a reed.
b) This is the final line of William Shakespeare’s poem “The Requiem ” A prayer for the departed’s eternal peace is encapsulated in this poem. When one dies, they no longer experience life as a member of a particular social group. Both lightning and thunder are no longer threats to him. There have been no scandals or other forms of public criticism directed at him. In death, we lose the capacity to feel the happiness and sadness that characterise our lives. We all must face death eventually. It’s not something to be sad about because everyone, from the newest of couples to the oldest of couples, must eventually bow down to the altar of death. When the time of death arrives, no living being can put it off.
1. Why does the poet say, ‘Fear no more’?
Answer: The poet says this because once we’re dead, we won’t have to worry about the intense heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter; we’ll have finished our work and be at peace in our heavenly dwelling, immune to the stresses of earthly life. Everyone, from the most well-off and healthy to the sickest and weakest, must eventually perish.
2. What picture of the world does the poet depict in the poem?
Answer: This poem is morbid in nature. Death can strike at any time, regardless of how old we are, and everything we worry about now will be meaningless in the afterlife. It’s meant to be comforting to read after you’ve passed away. The poet means to imply that once a person dies, they no longer have to worry about anything in the world. After death, there is no distinction between people.
3. Although the poet advised us not to fear, what is your feeling?
Answer: “A Requiem ” is all about assuring the departed that they have nothing to fear in God’s heavenly abode, and that they need not worry about the troubles of this world. But we mortals still have a long way to go before we can finally relax and let go of our worries and fears. In spite of our best efforts, we are unable to shake the anxious sensation. Because of this, the poet’s counsel to not be afraid is not acceptable to us mere mortals.
Extra questions and answers
Extra questions, answers, MCQs (Only for registered users)
Get notes of other boards, classes, and subjects