Ode to the West Wind Analysis Quesations and Answers Marks 2
1. What is an Ode?
The word ‘Ode’ stands for a poem. The Greeks took it for any kind of poetic composition, that was writtten to be sung to music.
An ode, in the modern sense, means a rhymed (rarely unrhymed) lyric. It is often in the form of an address. It is generally dignified and exalted in tone and feeling, I is also full of deep reflections and earnest emotions.
2. What account does Shelley give of the storm, caused by the west wind.?
The west wind brings about a severe storm. It scatters all over the sky thick dark douds. These black clouds are spread all over the sky. They look like the locks of the storm. They look like the sparkling and dishevelled hair of a feamale worshipper of the Greek god Bacchus. Becchus was the god of wine in ancient Greece. On the day, kept for him, his female worshippers, who were called Maenads, drank heavily. They were filled with violent frenzies. The locks of hair on their heads were beruffled and scattered. They looked awful then. Shelley compares the condition of the sky, at the approach of the storm, raised by the west wind, to the frenzied appearance of the Maenad.
3. What does Shelley appeal to the west wind to do any why?
The mighty west wind carries away dead leaves, loose clouds and rolling waves. The poet appeals to the wind to carry him away, too.
The situation of the poet’s life is full of sorrows and frustrations. It is stifling. It is not allowing him to cherish his lofty idealism and noble missions. He is tormented terribly in the painful state of life. So he wishes to the wind to carry him away.
4. How does Shelley compare himself to the west wind?
Shelley feels a close affinity between himself and the wind. He, too, bears in him an uncontrollable, impulsive and proud spirit. But the circumstances of his life keep his spirit enchained and subdued. Let the wind inspire and energize him. Let it raise and release him from his present helpless state.
5. How does Shelley request the west wind to inspire him and why?
The poet requests the wind to inspire him in order to bring about a resurgence of the world. He hopes that the inspiration of the west wind will enable him to give out his lofty thoughts and ideas to the world. Flashes and sparks occasionally come out of a fire-place, which is not yet fully extinguished. These sparks and flashes light up even a dark room. Similarly, Shelley feels that he will enlighten the world by his own enchanting music.
The world is totally lost in the darkness of ignorance and inaction. It needs a new message of life and light. The west wind carries away dead leaves to quicken the birthof a new sping. Let it also carry away and spread the subdued visions and ideals of Shelley all over the world. Shelley appeals to the west wind to energize and vitalize him. He can then announce to the world his stirring meassage of hope and joy.
6. What is the trumpet of prophecy ?
The trumpet of prophecy is about the great future to come. The poet believes that after the dark present a bright future is certain to come. This is the trumpet of the prophecy.
7. “Destroyer and Preserver”. Who is called ‘destroyer and preserver’ and why?
The West Wind is called ‘destroyer and preserver’ . The wind is a destroyer, for it shakes and sheds dry, dead leaves and drives them away. It destroys the world of nature in autumn.
The wind preserves, too. It carries away and stores seeds during autumn and winter. A new world of nature comes out of these seeds in next spring. The wind acts here as a preserver.
8. “Pestilence stricken multitude.” Which are pestilence stricken multitudes? How do these appear ?
The pestilence-stricken multitude are dead, dry leaves. As the west wind drives them away, they appear just like the masses of people affected with some severe epidemic.
The dry, dead leaves, as driven by the wind, seem to have different colours. These are yellow, black, pale and hectic red. These are all suggestive of their decay.
9. “Of some fierce Maenad”—What do you know of the Maenad? To what this is compared?
The Maenad was the woman worshipper of Beacchus, the Greek god of wine. On the day of the festivity of the god, such women worshippers used to drink heavily and move about in a fiery manner.
The dry dark and dishevelled but bright hair of the Maenad is compared to the dark, sparkling, loose clouds floating wildly in the sky.
10. “Angels of rain and lightning”—Which are the angels of rain and lightning and why?
The clouds are called the angels of rain and lightning. This is because rain comes out of the clouds. Similarly, lightning is caused by the striking of two clouds. So these are the angels of rain and lightning.
11. “Thou dirge……..” What is a dirge ? Who does dirge, for whom and how?
A dirge is a funeral song.
The west wind dirges.
The wind dirges for the year that is dying.
The west wind begins to blow at the end of autumn. It causes a sharp sound that is likened to a dirge. As the year is about to end, the poet fancies that the wind is singing the funeral song for it.
12. How does the poet imagine the Mediterranean and the effect of the wind on it?
Shelley imagines the Mediterranean Sea as an old man, who is lulled to sleep by the coil of its transparent water by the side of a pumice isle on the bay of Baiae.
The Mediterranean sea remains quiet during summer. At the end of autumn,
the west wind blows. It gently stirs the smooth surface of the sea.
13. I fall upon the thorns of life?
Who does fall upon the thorns of life and how ?
The poet, Shelley, falls upon the thorns of life.
By ‘the thorns of life’ , the poet means the pang or agony of life from which he is suffering. Under an oppressive social order, the poet finds himself in a helpless and wretched state. So he laments for being subjected to the thorns of life.
Ode to the West Wind Analysis Quesations and Answers Marks 2
‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind ?”
Winter is a cold, cruel, biting season. It seems often long and dreadful. But it must pass away. Spring is to follow it. This is the natural cycle of the seasons in a year. Cold winter is followed by sunny, warm spring. Similarly, sorrows and sufferings are to be followed by joys and pleasures in human life. This is what Shelley means here. Shelley’s high opitmism in evident here.
15. Define terza rima with reference to Ode to the West Wind.
This refers to the verse, composed of three-line (terect) stanzas with an interlocking rhyme-scheme.
The final word of the second line of each terect rhymes with the final word of the second line of each the first line and the third of the succeeding terect.
The rhyme-scheme of the stanza is like this-
a b a, b c b, c d e, d e d.
This is th rhyme scheme followed in Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind.
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