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'Thyrsis' by Mathew Arnold; Brief-answer Questions


by Mathew Arnold

1. What type of poem is "Thyrsis"? [NU 2016]

Ans: “Thyrsis” is a pastoral elegy.

2. What is pastoral elegy?

Ans: A pastoral elegy is a kind of elegy where both the mourner and the person mourned are shepherds, and the setting is pastoral.

3. What is the central idea of the poem "Thyrsis"?

Ans: The central idea of the poem “Thyrsis” is the contrast between the transience of man made things and the permanence of natural objects.

4. Who is Thyrsis? [NU 2012]

Ans: Thyrsis is the title character of a poem written by Matthew Arnold in 1865. The character is representative of Arnold's friend Arthur Hugh Clough.

5. Whom does Thyrsis stand for in Arnold’s poem?

Ans: In Arnold’s poem, Thyrsis stands for Arnold's friend Arthur Hugh Clough.

6. Who is Arthur Clough?

Ans: Arthur Clough is an English poet, an educationalist, and the devoted assistant to Florence Nightingale.

7. Who is Clough compared to in “Thyrsis”?

Ans: Clough is compared to the cuckoo in “Thyrsis”. 

8. What is shepherd's holiday in “Thyrsis”?

Ans: In “Thyrsis”, “shepherd's holiday” means Matthew Arnold’s unproductive period from 1857 to 1866.

9. Who does Corydon stand for in Arnold’s “Thyrsis”? [NU 2015]

Ans: In Arnold's “Thyrsis” Corydon stands for Arnold himself.

10. Who was Bion?

Ans: Bion was a minor Greek bucolic poet who was born at Phlossa near Smyrna, and flourished in Sicily. 

11. Who was Orpheus?

Ans: Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth.

12. Who was Proserpine?

Ans: Proserpine was the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres. She was abducted by Pluto and became the queen of the underworld.

13. What is Enna?

Ans: Enna is a city and commune located roughly at the center of Sicily, Italy.

14. "My Pipe is lost"-what is meant by pipe? [NU 2015]

Ans: “Pipe” here means poetic inspiration.

15. What is the Signal-Tree?

Ans: The Signal-Tree is an elm tree in Oxford shire. The tree is symbolic of the Oxford spirit and recurs again and again in the poems of Arnold.

16. What is a Monody? [NU 2017]

Ans: Monody is a poem in which a single person laments another's death.