Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 12th as Per CBSE Syllabus
Chapter-4 English Language and Literature
Lesson Name- A Thing of Beauty
About the Author
John Keats – A Short Biography
John Keats was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His work included Endymion, Isabella, Lamia, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. He died at a very early age of twenty-five of tuberculosis after leaving an indelible mark on English poetry.
Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of A Thing of Beauty
A thing of beauty is a source of constant joy. Beauty can be found everywhere. It is something that has the ability to transform lives. It also highlights the fact that beauty has a therapeutic quality, i.e. the ability to remove negativity. It can be any object, nature, tales or even noble deeds of our ancestors.
`A Thing of Beauty’ belongs to the Romantic genre. The poem is written in rhyming couplets and the rhyme scheme is AABB.
‘A Thing of Beauty’ is an excerpt from his poem, `Endymion: A Poetic Romance’ which was first published in 1818. It begins with the line “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Endymion is written in rhyming couplets also known as heroic couplets. The theme of Endymion is love, beauty and youth and it reflects the poet’s attitude towards beauty.
Moral/ Message of the lesson – A Thing of Beauty
The poem conveys the message that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. It transcends time. It will never fade away. Beauty has the power to remove darkness and negativity and helps us survive when there is a ‘dearth of noble nature’ or when one is surrounded by evil. It has a positive impact on one’s health. It helps one get sound sleep. Moreover, it highlights the fact that beauty is not only physical but also spiritual and seems to flow down from heaven as an ‘immortal drink’ made for man.
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– A Thing of Beauty/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – A Thing of Beauty
According to the poet, John Keats, a thing of beauty is a source of constant joy. Its beauty goes on increasing. It never fades away i.e. it never passes into nothingness. A beautiful thing is as comforting as a bower which is a peaceful and pleasant place in the shade of a tree, providing shelter and protection from the hot rays of the sun, giving us sound sleep, full of pleasant dreams, health and peaceful breathing.
As a result of this, every morning we are weaving a flowery wreath to bind us to the beauties of the earth despite our feelings of sadness and depression. We all possess negative attributes of hatred and disappointment. We suffer from a lack of noble qualities and follow unhealthy, evil ways. In spite of all this a beautiful thing helps us to remove the cover of gloom or darkness from our lives. It makes us love life despite the things that make us sad and dampen our spirits.
Here are a number of beautiful things that have the power to uplift our spirits like the sun, the moon and old and young trees. The trees sprout and spread their branches to provide shelter within their green covering (shade) for the simple sheep (humans). Similarly, the sight of daffodils blooming within their green surroundings, the clear and small streams of water which make a cooling shelter for themselves against the hot season, the thick mass of ferns looking grand with their beautiful musk roses are all things of beauty that makes us feel happy.
The mighty dead people whose achievements have made them great and powerful inspire us through their sagas of noble works. Their legends and stories enthuse us and we imagine their magnificence. A beautiful thing is also a source of joy just as the lovely tales we have heard or read give us profound happiness. It is like a fountain of immortality gushing out from nature’s endless fountain pours its sacred and immortal drink into the heart and soul of man and is a source of immense joy for us.
- ‘bower quiet’-refers to a quiet shady part in the garden
- ‘sweet dreams’-happy dreams
- ‘wreathing a flowery band’-connecting to nature
- `pall’-a covering like a shroud
- ‘endless fountain of immortal drink’- refers to the deeds of great men and women that have made them a source of inspiration for people of all times
- The list of beautiful things is metaphors and symbols of nature.
- `noble natures’
- ‘cooling covert’
- ‘band to bind’
- ‘flowery bands’
- ‘shady boon’
- ‘clear rills’
- ‘daffodils in green world’
- ‘grandeur of dooms’
- ‘cooling covert’
- ‘endless fountain of eternal drink’
- ‘simple sheep’ — refers to mankind as Christ is considered the shepherd who leads human souls out of the dark world of sins and temptations
- ‘gloomy days’ • ‘unhealthy and o’er darkened ways’
- ‘mighty dead’
- Things of beauty have an embalming effect.
- They help us cope with negativity.
- They make life more meaningful.
- God has blessed us with objects of beauty.
- We need to bond with them.
List of things of beauty
- Sun, moon, deep forests
- Sheep grazing in open pastures
- Daffodils, rivulets, musk roses
- Tombs built to honour heroes.
- Legends, tales from classics and scriptures
These things of beauty are like blessings from heaven, they sweeten our bitter lives.
Qualities of a thing of beauty
- 1. Gives everlasting joy.
- Never goes waste
- Shelters and protects like a bower.
- Relaxes, comforts, invigorates us.
Things that cause pain
- Ill health, gloomy days, depression
- Lack of goodness in human beings
- In sad moments things of beauty come to our rescue, remove the gloom from our lives.
Following is the complete question bank for – A Thing of Beauty
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
- According to the poet, a thing of beauty is
(a) never joyful (b) creates sadness
(c) a joy forever (d) horrible to look at
- The beauty of lovely things
(a) increases (b) decreases
(c) gets divided (d) always is short-lived
- Beautiful things never ‘pass into nothingness’ means that they
(a) never increase (b) never fade away
(c) always bring unhappiness (d) create unpleasantness between friends
- Will keep a bower quiet for us’ means
(a) will give us peace and calm (b) will stop unpleasant sounds
(c) will make our beds fit to sleep (d) reduce noise pollution
- ‘Full of sweet dreams’ means
(a) pleasant and peaceful sleep (b) disturbed sleep
(c) nightmares (d) wishes coming true
- According to the poet, a thing of beauty keeps us
(a) angry (b) naughty
(c) healthy and peaceful (d) depressed
- Every morning, we all are
(a) brushing our teeth (b) having breakfast
(c) wreathing a flowery band (d) getting ready to go to work
- The flowery band, according to the poet helps to
(a) bind us to the earth (b) make us look beautiful
(c) give a present of flowers to friends (d) to make a band covered with flowers
- ‘Spite of despondency’ refers to
(a) sadness and depression (b) health and well-being
(c) suffering and pain (d) hatred and greed
- ‘inhuman dearth’ according to the poet, is a reference to
(a) lack or shortage of beauty
(b) lack of energy
(c) lack or shortage of human beings with good values
(d) lack of resources
- ‘Of all the unhealthy’ means
(a) ill-health (b) pain
(c) neglect (d) suffering
- What moves the ‘pall from our lives’?
(a) some strong winds (b) strong bonds
(c) strong friendships (d) some shape of beauty
- From our dark spirits’ is a reference to
(a) our dampened and demoralized spirits
(b) dark coloured ghosts
(c) unhappy moments
(d) the happy side of our personality
- The sun, moon, trees old and young are the things that
(a) depress us (b) remove the pall of gloom from our lives
(c) make us laugh (d) give us oxygen
- What is ‘sprout a shady boon for sheep’?
(a) human beings (b) creepers
(c) trees new and young (d) trees old and young
- Daffodils are
(a) white coloured flowers (b) red fruit of a tree
(c) name of a bird (d) name of an insect
- ‘Sheep’ could also be a reference to
(a) mountainous animals (b) human beings
(c) harmless creatures (d) animals of prey
- By ‘green world they live in’ means
(a) daffodils’ green surroundings (b) greenhouse effect
(c) green walls of the house (d) green forests
- ‘Clear rills’ are the
(a) clean windows (b) streams of clear water
(c) clear thoughts (d) clear solutions
- ‘Cooling covert’ means
(a) cool shelter of thickets (b) cooling effect of A.C
(c) a cold drink (d) cooling clothes
- What makes for itself a cooling covert against the hot season?
(a) the sheep (b) the daffodils
(c) the dogs (d) the clear rills
- The thick bushes in the mid-forest have abundant growth of
(a) watermelons (b) muskmelons
(c) musk roses (d) musk shells
- The poet talks about ‘grandeur’. Whose grandeur is he talking about?
(a) dooms of mighty dead (b) tombs of our ancestors
(c) grand palaces (d) grand towers
- ‘Mighty dead’ refers to
(a) great royal ancestors (b) big dead animals
(c) broken buildings (d) grand canals and rivers
- What are the things that are read or heard by us?
(a) plays and classical music (b) novels and songs
(c) lovely tales (d) poetry and western music
- The ‘endless fountain’ is an image created by the poet to
(a) denote the everlasting joy given by beautiful objects
(b) the continuous flow of water
(c) fountain of blood
(d) clear waterfall
- ‘Immortal drink’ of the endless fountain is a reference to
(a) the continuous flow of sacred or holy water
(b) water of Ganges
(c) water from the Yamuna
(d) water from the tap
- The ‘immortal drink’ pours on
(a) human beings (b) animals
(c) insects (d) birds
- The ‘endless fountain’ gets its immortal drink from
(a) the river banks (b) the tap
(c) the waterfall (d) heaven’s brink
1.(c) a joy forever
2. (a) increases
3.(b) never fade away
4. (a) will give us peace and calm
5.(a) pleasant and peaceful sleep
6. (c) healthy and peaceful
7.(c) wreathing a flowery band
8. (a) bind us to the earth
9.(a) sadness and depression
10.(c) lack or shortage of human beings with good values
12. (d) some shape of beauty
13. (a) our dampened and demoralized spirits
14.(b) remove the pall of gloom from our lives
15.(d) trees old and young
16. (a) white coloured flowers
17.(b) human beings
18. (a) daffodils’ green surroundings
19. (b) streams of clear water
20. (a) cool shelter of thickets
21.(d) the clear rills
22. (c) musk roses
23. (a) dooms of mighty dead
24. (a) great royal ancestors
25.(c) lovely tales
26. (a) denote the everlasting joy given by beautiful objects
27. (a) continuous flow of sacred or holy water
28. (a) human beings
29. (d) heaven’s brink
Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness, but will keep
A bower quiet for us, and asleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
(A)Name the poem and the poet.
Ans. The poem is ‘A Thing of Beauty’ and the poet is John Keats.
(B)How is a thing of beauty a joy forever?
Ans. A thing of beauty provides everlasting joy. Its beauty never decreases but continues to increase with the passage of time. It never fades away.
(C)What do you understand by a `bower’?
Ans. ‘Bower’ is the shelter under the shade of trees. It provides protection from the harsh rays of the sun.
(d) What kind of a sleep does it provide?
Ans. It provides a sound sleep, full of sweet dreams, health and peaceful breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
(a)What are we doing every day?
Ans. Every morning, we are weaving a flowery wreath which binds us to the beauties of the earth or we are collecting things of beauty that connects us to other things of beauty and keeps us grounded.
(b)Which evil things do we possess and suffer from?
Ans. Human beings possess qualities of malice, hatred and disappointment. There is a shortage of noble qualities and men continue to be evil and unhealthy.
(C)Explain ‘in spite of all’.
Ans. In spite of all the negative qualities and evils mentioned by the poet, a thing of beauty can infuse us with positivity and joy.
(D)Find words from the passage which mean (i) malice (ii) disappointment
Ans. (i) spite (ii) despondence
Some shape of beauty moves away from the pall
From our dark spirits.
Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon.
For simple sheep;
(A)What removes the pall From our dark spirits?
Ans. A thing of beauty removes the pall or cover of unhappiness from our dark spirits.
(B)What sprouts a shady boon for sheep and how?
Ans. The old and young trees sprout branches to provide shade and shelter to the sheep. It is a blessing for the sheep against the harsh sun.
(C)Find words from the passage that mean (i) covering (ii) blessing
Ans. (i) pall (ii) boon
(d) Name the poem and the poet.
Ans. The poem is ‘A Thing of Beauty’ and the poet is ‘John Keats’.
…and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
`Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms;
(a)How do ‘daffodils’ and ‘rills’ enrich the environment?
Ans. The daffodils bloom and are surrounding by the green world. The clear stream& of water create a cooling shelter for themselves against the heat of the sun.
(b)What makes the mid forest brake rich?
Ans. The beautiful musk-roses help to make the beautiful forest rich in beauty.
(c)Find words in the passage which mean: (i) small streams (ii) shelter of thickets
Ans. (i) clear ‘rills’ (ii) covert
(d)Cooling covert is a (i) simile (ii) metaphor (iii) personification (iv) alliteration
And the sun too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink
(a)Explain ‘the grandeur of the doom’.
Ans. The magnificence that we associate with our ancestors and the beautiful things created by them.
(b)What is implied by ‘all lovely tales that we have heard or read’?
Ans. All the beautiful stories that have been read or heard by us are also things of beauty as they leave a positive impact.
(c)What is the source of the ‘endless fountain of immortal drink’?
Ans. The source of the endless fountain of immortal drink is ‘the brink of heaven’.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. List the things of beauty mentioned in the poem.
Ans. The things of beauty are the sun, the moon, old and new trees, sheep, daffodils, green world, clear streams, musk roses that bloom among the thick forest ferns, deeds of our noble ancestors’ tales that we have heard or read.
- List the things the cause suffering and pain.
Ans. The things that cause suffering and pain are dark phases of our life like depression, disappointment, adverse circumstances, gloomy days, the death of noble people and ill health.
- What does the line ‘Therefore are we wreathing a flowery band to bind us to earth’ suggest?
Ans. Every morning we connect to nature, to the beauties of the earth despite all the sadness that we experience. This is a result of all the beautiful things around us.
- What makes human beings love life in spite of all troubles?
Ans. In spite of all the sufferings, a thing of beauty helps us to remove the cover of gloom or darkness from our lives.
- Why is grandeur associated with the ‘mighty dead’?
Ans. Grandeur is associated with the ‘mighty dead’ because great men will always be remembered for their noble and splendid deeds and creations. They have left behind a legacy for us to enjoy.
- Do we experience things of beauty only for a short time?
Ans. No, these things of beauty have a lasting impression on us. Its impact never passes away.
- What image does the poet use to describe the beautiful bounty of the earth?
Ans. The poet creates the image of ‘an endless fountain of immortal drink’ that pours joys on to us from the edge of heaven. These are the beautiful things in nature or man-made objects that he calls ‘immortal drink’.
- What is the cause of our ‘gloomy days’ and ‘dark spirits’?
Ans. Our own acts of unkindness, cruelty and malice towards others, make our days sad and gloomy. We also get disappointed due to the lack of human values and nobility around us.
- How does a thing of beauty provide us shelter and comfort?
Ans. Nature bestows us with things of rare beauty. It has created the shade of trees to make us feel comfortable and peaceful in it so that we are able to enjoy sound sleep, sweet dreams and good health. Similarly, beautiful things like the sun and moon have the power to lift our spirits.
- What spreads the pall of despondency over our dark spirits? How is it removed?
Ans. Man makes his life miserable and full of suffering because of his own actions. The pall of despondency is the sadness that is a result of what he does. A thing of beauty works wonders by removing the cover of gloom that engulfs man.
- What is the message of the ‘A Thing of Beauty’?
Ans. Keats, an ardent lover of nature, in his poem refers to the powers of nature. He urges man to realize that these powers make life enjoyable and worth living. He tells us how a thing of beauty provides joy.
- How do the ‘daffodils’ and ‘clear rills’ enrich our environment?
Ans. Daffodils are lovely yellow, orange or white flowers that bloom in green surroundings. The ‘clear rills’ or clear streams of water create a ‘cooling comfort’ or a passage for themselves as they pass through the thick bushes to ward away the heat of the sun.
- What is the ‘grandeur’ of the ‘dooms’ and ‘endless fountain of immortal drink’?
Ans. The ‘grandeur of the dooms’ is a reference to our mighty and dead ancestors who have created beautiful objects for us. The ‘endless fountain’ is the everlasting joy provided to us by the bounties of nature as if in the form of nectar pouring on us from heaven.
- What makes human beings love life in spite of troubles and sufferings?
Ans. Human beings love life because nature is the best healer and it brings beauty and joy to our lives. The memory of beautiful experiences helps us to bear our sorrows.
- Keats feels that Nature binds us to the Earth. How does he justify this?
Ans. Keats feels that man has a strong bond with nature. Despite the gloom and suffering, man is connected to the earth. A flowery band ties us to the earth. This band is a thing of beauty and metaphorically made of flowers and brings joy. There is an affinity between things of beauty in nature and in man.
- A row can ‘mighty dead’ be things of beauty? [Delhi 2017]
Ans.`Mighty dead’ refers to the great and inspiring people about whom grand stories were written. These are read and admired even today and are a source of beauty and relaxation to man.
- In the hot season, how do man and beast get comfort? [Delhi 2017]
Ans.A thing of beauty reserves a bower, quiet place in our heart. When we are tired, tensed, troubled or disappointed, the thing of beauty heals our sorrows and restores happiness for us again.
- What rich bounty has the heaven given us? [Delhi 2017]
Ans. John Keats sees beauty in all the natural things. According to him, everything of nature is a source of beauty. In the poem we can see, the sun, the moon, the trees, daffodils, green forests, clear rills, masses of ferns, blooming musk-rose, lovely tales, etc. These beautiful sources provide pleasure and joy to mankind. So do the many beautiful stories created by man.
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value based questions-
Q1. How do things of beauty enrich us? (6 Marks Each)
Ans. Our desire to live on this earth is to a great extent due to the presence of beautiful things that are a constant source of joy for us. Without beauty, the earth is full of gloom and sadness. There is cruelty, selfishness and mean behaviour all around and lack of good-natured people. It is this beauty, a creation of God which removes the sadness and darkness from our minds and souls. As we get wrapped up in the beautiful flowery band or this strong connection with nature we get a reason to live further. The sun, the moon, trees old and young are all sources of happiness for us. The trees sprout and spread their branches to provide shelter within their shade for the simple sheep. The Daffodils bloom within the green surroundings in which they grow. The clear and small streams of water make a cooling shelter for themselves against the hot season. The thick mass of ferns looks grand with their beautiful musk roses. All these things enrich our lives to an extent that it is not possible to live without them.