Monday, May 20, 2013

THE MOON by Percy Bysshe Shelley: Sample Questions & Answers

1. Answer the following questions ( each in about 50 words ): 5 marks each
(i) Discuss The Moon as a nature myth. Or, Show how, in the poem The Moon, Shelley has created myth out of a natural phenomenon.
Ans. Myth is an imaginative mechanism to present a natural phenomenon as a living being. Shelley(1792-1822), renowned for his myth-making power, personifies the moon, a natural object in the poem The Moon.
In the first stanza, the moon appears to be a weak, pale lady. She is thin and white. She cannot think or move steadily. The second stanza depicts the moon as a maiden suffering from weariness. She is in desperate search of a worthy companion. (76 words)

(ii) How does Shelley personify the moon in the poem ? Or, describe how Shelley has personified natural phenomenon in the poem The Moon.
Ans. Shelley has personified the moon by imagining it to be a person in both the stanzas. In the first stanza, the moon .......................of a worthy companion. (from broad type question no.i) (61 words)

(iii) “The moon arose up in the murky east.” – How does Shelley describe the rising of the moon in his poem The Moon ? (H.S. ’07)
Ans. The moon rises in the gloomy eastern sky. Under the layer of thin clouds, it appears whitish and shapeless. It looks like a dying lady lean, pale and confused, with a soft transparent covering on the face. Like this lady tottering out of her bedroom led by the insane and bewildered thoughts of her weak brain, the dull moon rises in the sky. (63 words)

(iv) Describe how the moon is compared to a dying lady ?
Ans. Shelley has compared the moon to a dying lady in the first stanza of the poem. The moon rises in the gloomy ................... in the sky. (from broad type question no.iii ) (79 words)

(v) “And ever changing, like a joyless eye / That finds no object worth its constancy.” – Bring out the significance/meaning of the lines. Or, who has ‘a joyless eye’ and why ? (H.S. ’12)
Ans. Here the moon has been compared to the eyes of a depressed maiden who does not find anybody worthy of her love. The moon slowly changes its shape from a complete round to a semi-circular as it proceeds towards the new moon phase. Just as the eyes of a sad maiden droop, so also the moon loses its round figure and looks pale and drooping. (65 words)

2. Answer the following questions ( each in about 30 words ) : 3 marks each

(i) What is the moon compared to in the first section of Shelley’s poem ? (HS sample question) Or, how is the moon compared to ‘a dying lady’ ?

Ans. In the first section of Shelley’s poem, the moon is compared to ‘a dying lady’. She is thin and pale. She totters out of her bedroom. Her face is covered with a thin layer of gauze. She seems to suffer from memory loss. (43 words)

(ii) What does Shelley mean when he says that the moon is ‘wrapped in a gauzy veil’ ?
Ans. The term ‘gauzy veil’ means a thin transparent piece of cloth that is used to cover a woman’s face from the sun, dust etc. Here a thin layer of cloud floating over the face of the moon appears to be a gauzy veil to the poet. ( 46 words)

(iii) “Art thou pale for weariness ?” – What, according to the poet, is the cause of the moon’s weariness ? Or, What reasons are given by Shelley for the moon’s ‘weariness’ ?
Ans. The poet P. B. Shelley imagines that the moon labours hard in moving about lonely in the sky and gazing eagerly for hours on the earth in search of a worthy companion. This makes her look weary and pale. (39 words)

(iv) “And feeble wanderings of her fading brain” – What is meant by ‘fading brain’ ?
Ans. ‘Fading brain’ is a brain that is losing its power, particularly the power to memorize. The poet says this while comparing the moon to a dying lady. Old age and illness have made her brain inactive. She fails to remember anything. (42 words)

(v) What scientific truth is referred to when Shelley says about the moon ‘wandering companionless’ ?
Ans. P. B. Shelley says that the moon wanders companionless. This is based on the scientific fact that the moon is the only satellite of the earth, i.e. it has its origin from the earth. There is no other celestial body having the same origin. That is why the moon is said to be companionless. (54 words)