ACC00132-2017-2 Taxation Major Assignment
Due Date: Friday 8 September 2017 11.00pm
Weighting: 40%
Your client Stefan comes to see you in August 2017, asking to prepare his income tax return for the year ended 30 June 2017. His shoebox of receipts, invoices and other paperwork reveals the following information;
• Stefan had a PAYG Payment Summary showing he received gross wages of $49,000, with PAYG withholdings of $8,450. There was also a tool allowance of $450 shown on this summary. Stefan is a chef, so uses the tool allowance to purchase knives and other kitchen equipment.
• Stefan sold on 14 February 2017 his 2,440 shares in Telstra for $12,740. Of these shares, 2,000 were originally acquired in September 1995 at a cost of $3.60 per share. There was a 1 for 10 bonus share offer in March 2008, which were issued from the company’s share capital account (not a dividend). The remaining 240 of his Telstra shares were acquired in January 2009 for $8.00 per share.
• A dividend statement from Telstra shows a fully franked dividend of $378.20 was received on 24 August 2016. As Stefan sold his Telstra shares in February 2017 there was no dividend received in March 2017.
• Stefan has an 8 year old son and receives Family Tax Benefit for him, as he is a single parent. The amount received during 2017 was $5,500.
• He is studying at TAFE to be a fully qualified chef, so has spent $2,775 on selfeducation expenses (stationery $150, internet $240, course fees $2,385).
• He uses his 1.6litre Corolla for travelling between work, TAFE and home each week and travelled 4,800 km for this purpose during the year, of which he estimates 1,000km was for travel between home and work. His total running costs for the year were $13,050 (including decline in value) and he has maintained a log book which shows 20% work-related use.
• He has receipts totalling $280 for work clothes and shoes.
• He also has receipts for the purchase of knives and other chef utensils which add up to a total of $650. • As he is a responsible parent, he has Income protection insurance and paid a premium of $320 during the year.
• He has recently purchased a home to live in and includes his loan statements showing interest paid for the year of $7,400.
• He paid tax agent fees of $180 for the preparation of his 2016 income tax return.
• He also made a superannuation contribution of $1,500 to his own superannuation fund.
• Stefan does not have any private health insurance as he and his son are very healthy.
1. Explain the tax implications of the sale of the Telstra shares. Calculate the assessable gain, if any, preparing all appropriate work papers. (4 marks)
2. Explain the assessability and deductibility of all the other items listed in the information and then calculate Stefan’s taxable income for the year ended 30 June 2017, preparing all relevant work papers. (17 marks)
3. Calculate the tax payable/ (refundable) for Stefan for the year ended 30 June 2017, including all additional levies and tax offsets that could potentially apply to him. Prepare relevant work papers. (6 marks)
4. Using the HandiTax software (which you will download from the link on Blackboard), prepare the income tax return for Stefan for the year ended 30 June 2017. (11 marks)
You will include a covering letter to Stefan to accompany his tax return and work papers.
Stefan is an astute taxpayer and questions every piece of tax advice given to him. To ensure Stefan is satisfied, you will need to provide adequate (but concise) explanations about the income tax treatment of all these items above in your work papers.
As such, you will need to support all your discussion and interpretation with reference to legislation, cases or rulings. Referencing the Master Tax Guide will not be appropriate as this is not the authority, but rather assists your understanding of the legislation, cases and rulings. Also, copying entire sections of legislation, cases or rulings will not be acceptable as that will not demonstrate your understanding of how the law applies for each item.
You are preparing Stefan’s income tax return and supporting work papers, so you are not writing an essay. Remember, quantity does not always equate to quality, so be concise in your response. A total of 2 marks (i.e. 5% of the marks available for the assignment) will be allocated to these areas of referencing, formatting and presentation, so make sure you earn these marks as well.

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LAWS19033 – Taxation Law and Practice A
TERM 2, 2017
Marks: 40% of the overall assessment for the course
Submission: Online via Moodle
Format: One file in .doc or .docx (MSWord) format.
Submissions in any other file format (e.g. .zip) will be treated as a non-submission.
Word limit: 2500-3000 words
Due date extended: Week 9 Wednesday (13-September -2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return to students: Week 11 Friday (29-September-2017)
Extensions policy:
The university policy on extensions of time will be strictly enforced. Extensions will usually only be considered if made via the online system and based on medical or compassionate grounds. Any extension application should be made before the due date for submission. Medical conditions should be supported by a medical certificate, and, since students are expected to start the assignment early, temporary or last-minute conditions are usually not grounds for an extension. Professionals are expected to manage their time to meet their obligations, so work or personal commitments are insufficient grounds for an extension.
The university’s plagiarism policy will also be strictly enforced. If plagiarism is found, a minimum penalty is likely to be zero marks for the assessment. It could be worse.
This assignment is the only assignment for this course, and it carries a weighting of 40% of the total assessment for the course.
While the assignment is largely based on material covered, you are free to research and seek advice as widely as you find necessary—there are no limitations as to sources. However, you must make sure that sources are appropriately referenced.
This assessment item links to the course objectives as stated in the Course Profile.
This assignment is to be submitted in one (1) Word document only. This assignment is to be submitted online via Moodle by the due date stated. It is suggested that where necessary you put your calculations into columns or tables to improve readability in the assignment document.
Naming protocol for your assignment submission is as follows: student surname_student number_LAWS19033_assignment
The method of referencing to be used in this assignment is the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing method. Additional information regarding this method is available through the library and the Academic Learning Centre. When making a reference, cite the original source or authority in preference to a secondary source such as the textbook, especially when you are discussing various sections of legislation. This means you should make reference to legislation, cases and Tax Rulings as a priority to back up any arguments that you make in your assignment.

Students must complete all Parts of the Assignment.
To support the analysis in your answers refer where appropriate to the ITAA 1936, ITAA 1997, Tax Rulings and/or case law.
Part A: 10 marks (estimated 750 words). Each question is worth 1 mark. Use complete sentences.
You have just started a new job as a graduate accountant. Your managing partner has to do a media interview and he asks you to provide answers to some questions that will be asked. He has given you a list of questions that he has to address in his interview and he needs you to provide him with short answers to these questions and provide references so that he can check the answer if required.
1. Where is the primary source of the Commonwealth Parliament’s taxation power found?
2. What are the primary sources of tax law?
3. Explain what topic Taxation Ruling TR 98/17 discusses?
4. How is the Medicare levy calculated?
5. Which Division of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 denies a company that has been fined under Commonwealth consumer legislation for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct from deducting the costs of the fine?
6. Explain how Section 25-45 ITAA97 relates to specific deductions?
7. Explain the significance of the High Court case, W Thomas & Co Pty Ltd v FC of T (1965) 115 CLR 58, in the topic of deductions?
8. Explain the three ways that a taxpayer can choose to value each item of stock on hand at the end of the income year.
9. What is the applicable tax rate for a taxpayer who has $45,000 taxable income in 2016/17?
10. Explain the PAYG tax collection system?
Part B: case study 5 marks (estimated 350 words). Use complete sentences in the answer.
During the financial year Ram paid his tax agent $1,000 to complete the previous year’s income tax return. He also paid his solicitor $2,000 to draft an objection to an ATO assessment that he received two years ago. Ram also paid $50,000 in income tax.
Explain with supported reasons which of the three costs are deductible.
To support the analysis in your answers refer where appropriate to the ITAA 1936, ITAA 1997, Tax Rulings and/or case law.
Part C: case study 5 marks (estimated 350 words). Use complete sentences in the answer.
On November 11 Tina a twenty year old international student arrives in Brisbane to study at university. She works part time in a local supermarket to help with living expenses and study fees. Her earnings to 30 June are $12,000. Regrettably she does not do well in the assignments and exams and fails all subjects. With deep regret she returns to her home country.
Did the student become an Australian resident?
To support the analysis in your answers refer where appropriate to the ITAA 1936, ITAA 1997, Tax Rulings and/or case law.
Part D: case study 10 marks (estimated 750 words). Use complete sentences in the answer.
Jimmy is an Australian single full-time university student who works part time in a restaurant. During the year he has receipts as follows:
(a) Income from working in the restaurant $27,000;
(b) Tips from customers $750 cash;
(c) At Christmas time, a regular and satisfied customer gives Jimmy an expensive bottle of Scotch alcohol, worth $250. Jimmy does not drink and gives the bottle to his friend, Eva;
(d) Also at Christmas time, Jimmy’s parents give him as a gift $15,000;and
(e) Each month his employer at the restaurant takes all staff including Jimmy out for dinner and the total expense of the food that Jimmy eats on these nights is $645.
What is Jimmy’s assessable income for the year? To support the analysis in your answers refer where appropriate to the ITAA 1936, ITAA 1997, Tax Rulings and/or case law.
Part E: case study 10 marks (estimated 750 words). Use complete sentences in the answer.
Josie is a single Australian mortgage broker who obtains loans for her clients from various banks. She earns commission from the banks when she introduces a successful loan application to any of the banks.
Usually she works from home and at times she also visits her clients at their homes to arrange the documents for the applications. At times she visits the branches of the banks to drop in hard copies of the paperwork.
Her home office is where she does most of the work with these applications, stores client information and keeps hard copies of the various client applications.
Her home office occupies 15% of the total space in her home. Her outgoings in relation to her home for the current financial year are as follows:
(a) Council rates $4,900
(b) Interest on her home loan $18,900
(c) Electricity and heating costs $6,800
(d) Cleaning lady $3,400
(e) Home telephone (60% of which is for business use ) $2,700
(f) Mobile telephone bill (90% of which is for business use) $7,200
Calculate how much of the above outgoings are a deductible expense for Josie?
To support the analysis in your answers refer where appropriate to the ITAA 1936,
ITAA 1997, Tax Rulings and/or case law.
Assessment criteria
Evaluation Criteria
These criteria are a general guide as to the standard expected at the various levels. Characteristics indicative of the respective levels of achievement in the assignment are as follows. It is not necessarily the case that all these criteria will be met at a particular standard as there may be a superior performance on one of the criteria and not so satisfactory performance on another.
High distinction standard
• The answer is very well written and clearly expressed
• There is a demonstrated appreciation and understanding of the issues involved
• The answer is well structured and logically organised
• Demonstrated mastery of referencing system
• There is evidence of a comprehensive analysis of the issues
• Conclusions are backed by well-reasoned arguments demonstrating a detailed insight and analysis of issues
• Comprehensive coverage of all relevant issues
• References are made to the appropriated legislation for particular issues
• Statutory provisions are analysed and interpreted correctly
• The legislation is applied to the particular fact situation in a competent manner
• Consideration is given to the operation of the common law
• There may be consideration of issues not raised in the tutorials and answer guides
Distinction standard
• The answer is well written and expressed
• The answer is structured and logical
• The issues have been reasonably well identified and appreciated
• There is correct use of referencing
• Issues have been analysed
• Reference is made to all appropriate legislation, although the analysis and interpretation is not as detailed and reasoned as for the high distinction standard
• The effect of the common law is considered
• There is a comprehensive coverage of the issues
• Occasional errors of law and legal reasoning may still be present
Credit standard
• The answer is generally well written and expressed
• The answer is structured and sequential
• Referencing is satisfactory
• Issues are identified and addressed
• There has been an attempt to analyse some of the issues
• The coverage of issues is reasonably comprehensive often with a good treatment and analysis of particular points
• Errors of law and incorrect reasoning may sometimes be present
• Statutory interpretation may require improvement
• Depth of treatment is often lacking in some of the issues
• Pass standard
• The answer is able to be followed and understood
• The answer could perhaps be better organised and structured
• The referencing may need improvement
• Issues may need to be identified and addressed in more depth
• Analysis when present may be incorrect
• Some familiarity with the legislation and its application is demonstrated
• Sometimes the conclusions reached are simple
• There may be several errors of law
• There may be quantities of material of marginal relevance included in the answer
Fail standard
• The answer may be significantly short of the required length
• The written expression is poor and difficult to understand
• The answer is poorly organised
• There has been a failure to identify and address the issues in the question
• Referencing is generally inadequate
• There is a lack of familiarity with the legislation and its appropriate application
• The reasoning and application demonstrated is poor
• Frequently there is much irrelevant material
All parts of the assignment will be marked in accordance with the university’s Grades procedure (which can be accessed via the Course Profile). The following marking rubric incorporates that procedure.

HD 85%+ Demonstrates imagination, originality or flair, based on proficiency in all the learning outcomes of the unit; work is interesting or surprisingly exciting, challenging, well read or scholarly.
COMMENT: Here, the student will have done everything well, provided some original insights, and formulated their answer in a tight, efficient, thoroughly professional manner. Their explanations and arguments will have a strong logical flow and be convincing. Their research will be thorough.
D 75-84% Demonstrates awareness and understanding of deeper and less obvious aspects of the unit, such as ability to identify and debate critical issues or problems, ability to solve non-routine problems, ability to adapt and apply ideas to new situations, and ability to invent and evaluate new ideas.
COMMENT: The student will demonstrate this by achieving all the outcomes for a Credit, but also some of the imagination, originality or flair required for a High Distinction.
C 65-74% Demonstrates ability to use and apply fundamental concepts and skills of the unit, going beyond mere replication of content knowledge or skill to show understanding of key ideas, awareness of their relevance, some use of analytical skills, and some originality or insight.
COMMENT: Learning involves not only knowing principles or concepts but also the ability to apply them to a real-life situation.
P 50-64% Demonstrates the learning outcomes of the unit, such as knowledge of fundamental concepts and performance of basic skills; demonstrates sufficient quality of performance to be considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit.
COMMENT: Students who get a mark in this range usually demonstrate some knowledge of principles and concepts, but do not explain or apply them accurately. Answers often look like little more than a summary of what someone else has written.
F 40-49% Fails to demonstrate the learning outcomes of the unit.
COMMENT: Students in this range usually make some effort to perform the assignment task but fail to achieve what is prescribed for a Pass.
Low F 40% COMMENT: Students in this range usually fail to properly carry out the instructions or fully perform the tasks specified in the assessment.

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GSBS6040 Human Resource Management
Ethical and Professional HRM
On one end of the political spectrum, proponents of the importance of protecting the welfare of employees at work argue that:
companies which are run with a view to the long-term interests of their key stakeholders are more likely to prosper than those which take a short term
“shareholder first” approach … Put simply, companies need to listen, to process and to respond constructively to the values and needs of their stakeholders, most especially their employees, customers and investors. Failure to do this will reduce long-term commercial viability and increase the risk of corporate demise (Sillanpaa and Jackson, 2000: 227).
Conservative advocates at the other end of the political spectrum agree:
The business that treats its customers contemptuously, or its staff unjustly, or its suppliers dishonestly, will often find them hard to retain. In a free market, the most productive staff, the finest suppliers and the cheapest and most flexible sources of finance can do better than to stay with a business that cheats or treats them unfairly … In the long run, unethical business is less likely to succeed (Sternberg, 2000:19).
Lafer finds it notable that both sides “share this central conviction: that the drive to maximize long-term profits naturally overlaps with the imperative to treat employees justly. It is, in fact, more than striking. It is a fact that begs for explanation, because the shared conviction is so palpably at odds with evidence from the business world” (Lafer 2005:288).
Can the interest of employees and the interests of business really coincide? What happens when they are in conflict? And what role should HR managers take when they do?
Lafer, Gordon (2005) The critical failure of workplace ethics, in Budd, J and Scoville, J (eds), The Ethics of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, Illinois, Labor and Employment Relations Association, pp. 273-297
Sillanpaa, M and Jackson, C (2000) Conducting a Social Audit: Lessons from the Body Shop
Experience, in Winstanley, D and Woodall, J (eds) Ethical Issues in Contemporary Human Resource Management, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 227-49
Sternberg, E (2000) Just Business: Business Ethics in Action, 2nd edition, New York, Oxford
University Press
1. Find an example of a situation in which you believe that the interests of senior management/owners are clearly in conflict with the interests of some or all of their employees. NB. Chose an example described in the public domain. When you submit your paper, append key article/s or any lengthy descriptive information.
NB. If your example is not current, you may need to nominate a specific point in time for your analysis.
2. What are three options available to an HRM professional in this situation? Which option would you chose and why? Defend your choice in relation to what constitutes ethical and professional behaviour.

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A true society has distinct individuals, a colorful culture, and ideas and traits that encourage differences, not a load of ignorant fools who hate books with a passion. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents a society that holds the deadly qualities of ignorance and selfishness, qualities that Ray Bradbury warns so much about. In this society people fear change, act for personal pleasure, and only care for themselves. Characters like Mildred cheerfully burn books to avoid their problems, while characters in position to make change, like Faber, are too fearful and selfish to share their knowledge. Ray Bradbury purposefully puts certain characters and events in the story to warn that if society adapts the deadly traits of ignorance, and selfishness, the same consequences of Montag’s society will follow, leading present day society to its’ downfall.

By illustrating the ignorant and carefree attitude of Montag’s society, Bradbury warns that if present day culture adapts the quality of ignorance, it will become a controlled, repressed, and drone-like society. After Montag finishes his talk with Faber, Mildred’s friends treat him to a conversation pertaining to the presidential candidates that recently ran for office: “I laid it on the line for President Noble. I think he is one of the nicest looking men ever became president… Even their name helped. Compare Winston Noble to Hubert Hoag for ten seconds and you can almost figure the results” (Bradbury 97). Ray Bradbury strategically puts this quote in the book to show us the effect that ignorance has on society. In both present day society, and the society of Montag’s, every person is given the right to vote. What people choose to do with this privilege is a choice that people make for themselves. In the novel Bradbury portrays Mildred’s friend as a complete reflection of the society that she lives in. She cares only about herself. When it comes to electing presidents, she chooses the one with the coolest name, and the nicest face, rather than electing the man best fit to govern her nation with responsibility. Bradbury warns his readers that if they choose the same path as the friends of Mildred, society will also tumble at the dictator’s whim, quickly to destruction. Even as ignorant as Mildred’s friends are, after Guy reveals his books to Mildred, she proves much more of an opposition to change than any other person in Bradbury’s society: “He could hear her breathing rapidly and her face was paled out and her eyes fastened wide. She said his name over, twice, three times. Then moaning she ran forward seized a book, and ran towards the kitchen incinerator…” (66). Mildred proves herself as a person who is ignorant of learning, change, and progression as a society. When Guy brings books, or life changing factors that make have the potential to make society progress, Mildred quickly shuns them, trying to burn them before she even has the chance to learn. These actions can also be related to present day society, Bradbury warns us that when people like Mildred become to afraid to change, or progress as a culture, society will stop in its’ tracks, regressing to the point where it is unidentifiable.

By using characters that reflect society’s traits, Bradbury skillfully demonstrates that selfish and fearful individuals add up to create a repressive culture and society. This is first proved when Faber admits his own fear of spreading truth and knowledge: “I can sit comfortably at home, warming my frightened bones, and hear and analyze the fireman’s world, find its’ weaknesses without danger” (91). Bradbury creates Faber in order to represent a knowledgeable intellectual who knows the truth about society in the present day world. Bradbury places him inside the story to represent the hope and change that can bring reform to Montag’s culture. But Faber has one fatal quality. He does not talk to others about faults within the government and society. This is because he is fearful of the consequences that would occur if he brought change forth. Faber had vast array of knowledge in the story, just how teachers have so much knowledge in present day society. But like an unused talent, the knowledge that Faber has simply sits locked away in a safe where nobody could gain access to it. When Bradbury establishes this concept to his readers, he proves that in striving to become a better culture and society, people must always work at spreading new knowledge and ideas. Even as fearful as Faber is, a selfish fool like Mildred proves no match to Faber on how much a person can work to prevent change from being introduced. In the latter part of the story, Mildred can no longer handle the pressure of having books in her house, so she simply calls the firemen and turns in Montag: “She shoved the valise in the waiting beetle, climbed in, and sat mumbling , ‘Poor family, poor family, oh everything gone, everything, everything gone now…’” (pg114). Mildred reports Guy to the firemen because he is in possession of the books. Bradbury establishes Mildred as the typical friend to Guy, just like how anyone else in this world can be a typical friend to another. Except Mildred is given one fatal flaw, she has fear. The fear that Mildred has of books drove her mad, and out of fear of society’s punishments, she turns own her husband in to the firemen. Bradbury makes Mildred very relatable to a present day person; they both watch T.V, socialize, drive cars, vote, and have friends. With this relation he warns that people are not too many steps away from filling Mildred’s shoes in present day society. Bradbury warns that if people do not keep a watchful eye on each other, the time will soon be too late for realization and individuality will succumb to government control

If present day society is not taught, and does not learn to accept, read, and learn the truth, people will begin to turn on each other, acting in the name of selfishness and fear. By using characters that have these fatal qualities Bradbury forcefully warns that if society does not change, progress, and learn as a culture then it will be no better than the society of Montag’s. If people selfishly decide, and cease to care about the world around them, the bright points of humanity that are so treasured and loved in the world today will dissipate. Culture’s beloved art, ideals, legacies will become a fading memory, forever leaving a scar on the headstone of humanity.

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T. S. Eliot was one of the greatest poets, play writers, and literary critics of all time. Not only did he manage to compose numerous volumes of ingenious poetry, but Eliot also wrote a myriad of plays towards the latter end of his life. His poems, however, were some of his best work. It is no surprised that T. S. Eliot was immersed in English literature from the very start of his life. He was born in St. Louis of Missouri in September 26, 1888, as the last of six children. His parents, Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte C. Eliot, were very encouraging of Eliot’s education. Eliot’s mother particularly was a strong supporter of English literature: Charlotte was an English teacher from Baltimore who retired once she married Eliot’s father. While caring for six children, Charlotte also wrote a biography for her father-in-law, William Greenleaf Eliot, who too was a poet that founded the first Unitarian church in St. Louis. In addition, he established George Washington University and the Smith Academy for Girls. Thus, T. S. Eliot inherently grew up in a well educated, bourgeois environment.

When T. S. Eliot graduated from secondary school at Smith Academy, he chose to study at Harvard in 1906. Eliot at the time wanted to major in philosophy, but always had a keen interest in poetry as well. In fact, at the age of fourteen, Eliot stumbled upon Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, a famous Muslim work that was translated by Edward Fitzgerald. The beautiful and intricate poetry inspired Eliot not only to write lyrical poetry, but also to study linguistics, which represented his appreciation for diverse and vibrant cultures. After a brief one-year break to the school of Sorbonne in Paris, Eliot returned to Harvard to attain a master’s degree in philosophy. In 1914, Eliot transferred to the University of Marsburg in Germany as a graduate student. In Europe, Eliot appreciated the culture and sophistication of both its people and history. When World War I broke out, Eliot moved to Oxford instead of returning home, disregarding his parents’ wishes. However, after a year in Oxford, Eliot left the school because he was disgusted with the campus. Despite this, in June 26, 1915, T. S. Eliot made his stay in Europe permanent by marrying Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Vivienne, an English woman, initially caught Eliot’s attention with her beauty and dancing grace; as time passed on, the marriage lost its magic. Eliot’s disillusionment with marriage could be seen through his attitude and writing. He wrote to friends that while his marriage began with excitement, his mental, emotional, and physical being withered after years of hostility and tension. Finally, after eighteen years of countless arguments and possibly numerous affairs, Eliot and Vivienne separated. Soon after, Vivienne died in a mental hospital, to the indifference of Eliot. In fact, Eliot was so unaffected by Vivienne’s death that he remarried in 1957 to a woman named Esme Valerie Fletcher. The relationship could be seen as scandalous: Esme was thirty seven years his junior. However, Eliot was content with the relationship, stating that for once, he “felt happier than [he] had been for years.” (Miller 218) They had no children together, but Esme stayed by Eliot’s side until his death. After seventy-seven years, Eliot died in January 4, 1965 due to emphysema, a result from his heavy smoking. On that day, the whole world mourned T. S. Eliot’s death, for he was one of the greatest writers of all time.

Social Context

T. S. Eliot was greatly affected by his surroundings. As a young boy, he grew up in an era that experienced tensions between the different classes. Although his family was very well off, Eliot saw distinct differences between various communities. He knew that while the upper class lived in wealthy conditions and the lower class in poor circumstances, they both had their similarities in problems and predicaments. Eliot was also very sensitive toward women, due to the caring and tender nature of his mother, Charlotte C. Eliot. Charlotte not only influenced him as a poet, but also taught him to recognize that women faced unfair inequalities. In addition, Eliot was exposed to the effects of war in 1914. Originally, Eliot had wanted to attend the University of Marsburg in Germany; but when World War I broke out, he was forced to change plans and study at Oxford in England. During this time period, Eliot experienced first-hand the life of the urban city, which inspired him to write The Wasteland, one of the greatest poems of his career. However, the biggest influence toward Eliot and his writing was his conversion to the Church of England. His love for his newly found home, England, could be found in the deep, religious themes of his poems written toward the end of his life. All these social factors in T. S. Eliot’s environment affected his entire being.

Literary Career

T. S. Eliot has written a variety of works, including both poems and plays. His collections include “Prufrock and Other Observations,” “Four Quartets,” “The Faber Book of Modern Verse,” “The Hollow Men,” and “The Wasteland.” Some of his more outstanding poems include “Ash Wednesday,” and “The Wasteland.” In addition to poems, T. S. Eliot also composed plays, such as Murder in the Cathedral, and The Cocktail Party. However, Eliot’s poems are the more significant accomplishments of his career.

Writing Style

T. S. Eliot writes with a variety of approaches. He mostly uses a complex prose or verse style, with simple yet penetrating phrases that give a whole new meaning to the context. Eliot’s free verse is especially very interesting, because they seem to have no definite pattern to them. Yet, when comparing all of his poems together, Eliot seems to have left a definite trademark of his writing in his works. For example, his words give certain imagery to them, one that is neither vague nor extremely apparent. Usually, Eliot focuses his writing on urban tawdriness, social malaise, and unease with women. There is also a trend that can be seen between the events of his life and his writing. For example, in his young age, Eliot addressed his severe disappointment in civilization, probably as a cause of World War I. Many of his poems, including his famous “The Wasteland,” mention the belief that society would self-destruct on its own due to a spiritual void of anxiety and boredom. Later in Eliot’s life, however, his writing style changed. His method became more freely associated with ideas and feelings, giving way to a vulnerable side that no one had ever seen of Eliot. Converting to the Anglican Church was probably the key factor in this, as Eliot’s “Ash Wednesday” strongly reflected his strong commitment to Christian orthodoxy. Summarily, Eliot wrote ingenious poetry that showed off his expertise of rhythm and cadence. He indirectly reflected his own life’s experiences in his poetry, despite denying of doing such things. Literary critic Richard Ellmann stated that “Eliot was addicted to the portrayal of characters who had missed their chances, become old before they had really been young” (Epstein 222). Eliot’s writing style, thus, is very distinguishable due to its free verse, simple yet effective vocabulary, and similar themes concerning despair in emotion-less society and complicated relationships with women.

Thesis Paragraph

“Is it perfume from a dress/ That makes me so digress? / Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl./ And should I then presume? / And how should I begin?” (Eliot 277). As it can be seen in this sample of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T. S. Eliot usually writes of apprehension and anxiety towards women in his poetry. As a result of his upbringing by his mother, Eliot has a deep respect for women. However, in his poems Eliot usually writes with unease about women relationships. Specifically, he attacks the false ideals that most of society has with respect to love. Many of his poems refute traditional ideas of blissful love by turning the situation around to present actual situations that happened commonly in the era of his time. Thus, T. S. Eliot exemplifies the disillusionments of love with his poems.

Literary Criticism


During his early years, T. S. Eliot represented his ridicule of melodramatic romances with “Nocturne.” The poem, a petrarchan sonnet, alludes in both form and subject to the Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. In “Nocturne,” Eliot jests at Shakespearean fans for glorifying these examples of meaningless love, which he feels is a poor representation of reality and life’s true relationships. Eliot modifies the poem by adding satirical humor. For example, he starts off the poem with “Of love, beneath a bored but courteous moon;/ The conversation failing, strikes some tune” (Eliot “Nocturne” 23. 2-3). The personification of the moon gives an image to the reader of a plain, dull moon that is only present to give the dreamy effect that all romanticists love. During this particular part in “Nocturne,” Eliot is setting the scene, although his slightly mocking tone forebodes of humorous mishaps to come. The words “failing” and “bored” relate to Eliot’s theme because it derides the passionate feelings that usually come out of romantic works. Eliot thus immediately portrays his opinions in the beginning of the poem.

In the middle of “Nocturne,” Eliot twists the plot by changing the suicide of Juliet into a murder, directed by the narrator himself. Eliot writes “Behind the wall I have some servant wait,/ stab, and the lady sinks into a swoon” (Eliot “Nocturne” 23. 6-7). Eliot’s knowledge of poetic devices shows, as portrayed in his numerous uses of alliteration within two lines. He suddenly changes the tone of the poem by bringing in abrupt violence into the piece. This unexpected distortion in the poem subtly pokes fun at the rash and impulsive decisions that romantic characters make. While the death of Juliet creates a dramatic scene, it has almost entirely nothing to do with the original storyline, and does not achieve a single productive result. Hence, “Nocturne” thus ridicules the melodramatics of Shakespearean, or general, romances for their rash yet foolish actions.

In the end of the poem, Eliot finishes “Nocturne” by directly addressing the exaggerated emotions of romanticists. After the death of Juliet, Eliot continues with “(No need of ‘Love forever?’-‘Love next week?’)/ While female readers all in tears are drowned” (Eliot “Nocturne” 23. 12-13). Essentially, Eliot parodies the senseless goriness with which readers entertain themselves. He finds it humorous that in most love stories, “true love” can arrive instantaneously yet disappear as swiftly as it had come. Eliot’s ironic combination of the phrases “love forever” and “love next week” exemplifies the theme that he is attempts to portray throughout the poem. In addition, “Nocturne” ridicules the ardent fervor of romantic devotees by describing their emotions with the hyperbole, “all in tears are drowned.” Certainly, by the end of “Nocturne,” the reader can discern that Eliot believes that people should be more reasonable and not fall for such fallacies.

Although “Nocturne” was written by a very young T. S. Eliot, it undoubtedly captures the attitude of Eliot that portrays in numerous other writings for years to come. From the start of his writing career, Eliot warns the public not to be deluded by the countless romances that over-dramatize love and its nature. Thus, by alluding to the famous Romeo and Juliet, Eliot illustrates his belief in “Nocturne” that one should look at love with a realistic, and not idealistic, point of view.

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

In addition, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” portrays T. S. Eliot’s belief that the idealistic paradigm of love contrasts with the reality of relationships. Eliot wrote “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” along with his compilation of “Prufrock and Other Collections” in 1910. Eliot further developed his writing style during this time period, creating his well known signature odes that can be seen in this poem. “Prufrock” describes the complicated relationship between a man and his long-time friend. The lover is a balding man, who although is assured that he and his friend have known each other long enough, cannot bring himself to propose to his friend, for fear of rejection. In the end, he grows old and lonely, having never confessed his love. The poem starts out calmly, leaving the reader to assume that the lady accompanying the narrator is his lover. However, by line 45, when Eliot writes “Do I dare/ Disturb the universe?/ In a minute there is time/ For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse,” the reader can assume that the relationship is much more complicated than what it appears to be (Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” 5. 45-48). This is a significant verse from the poem because it portrays the narrator’s hesitation to confess his love. His uncertainty fully embodies one of Eliot’s main themes, which is regret and wistfulness. While the author yearns to express his love, he is fearful that his actions will end things horribly, something that he cannot endure. The regret and anxiety that the narrator feels goes along with Eliot’s opinion that love in reality is troublesome and never perfect.

Another instance that exemplifies T. S. Eliot’s pessimistic convictions regarding love is when he writes that the narrator is in agony later in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” During this period, Alfred Prufrock continues to lament about his misfortune, for he is torn between declaring his love and suppressing his true feelings forever. For example, he thoughtfully contemplates why he is so attracted to women:

Is it perfume from a dress

That makes me so digress?

Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.

And should I presume?

And how should I begin?

(Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” 6. 65-69)

The palpable longing in Prufrock’s words appeals to the reader’s sympathy. In addition, Eliot expertly rhymes “dress” and “digress” to create a rhythm and cadence within the poem, thus further appealing to the reader’s senses. With these combinations combined, Eliot presents a realistic view of how love acts in reality: Instead of being simple and effortless, the true nature of relationships tare stressful and even cause emotional pain. Thus, by using the agony of Prufrock as an ethos, T. S. Eliot demonstrates that love is disillusioned in society.

Finally, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” finishes off with a tone of complete nostalgia and regret. While the beginning of the poem started off in a pleasant, soothing manner, by the end Prufrock has a voice of defeat and sorrow. He becomes very wistful, wondering whether it would have been worth confessing after all. Eliot writes:

And would it have been worth it all, after all,

Would it have been worth awhile,

After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,

After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail

Along the floor-

And this, and so much more? –

(Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” 9. 97-103)

The poignant tone of Alfred’s voice once more appeals to the reader’s sympathy, which further emphasizes Eliot’s belief that love is not uncomplicated. It should also be noted that Eliot only rhymes the last two lines, which not only gives the poem cadence but is also a common characteristic throughout the entire work. The statement essentially portrays the narrator’s regret of never confessing his love. Although he is content enough with the blissful memories, he questions whether it would have been better to profess and lift the burden that burdens him now. Eliot ends his poem with this question hanging in mind, so as to show that the misery of Alfred Prufrock will never end until he dies. Thus, love in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is not as easy as depicted in stereotypical romances, according to T. S. Eliot.

To summarize, T. S. Eliot portrays a more realistic tragic love story in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” compared to “Nocturne.” His writing style is more fully developed at this point, which in this case is characterized by odes and free verse. T. S. Eliot once more displays his discontent in erroneous views of love and shows that relationships usually are imperfect and heartbreaking. Thus, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” exemplifies Eliot’s opinion about the flaws of idealistic love.

“Portrait of a Lady”

As a final point, T. S. Eliot proves that love is disillusioned in society by writing “Portrait of a Lady.” The poem, which was written in 1925, is very similar to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in that they both are composed of lyrics with complex stanza forms. The poem makes numerous allusions in both French and classical music: for example, the famous Preludes by Frederic Chopin are mentioned. The combination of romance languages and sophisticated melodic compositions create an effect of classiness and elegance, despite the theme that the poem presents. Within “Portrait of a Lady,” Eliot discusses the abstruse relationship between a man and an older woman. The man, who must separate from his older beau, seems trapped because the woman wishes to still correspond. Most likely, the relationship formed on false pretenses for the advantage of the man, because one can tell that the woman is very well off. For example, in line 15, the narrator initiates the poem with a description of the woman’s house:

Among velleities and carefully caught regrets

Through attenuated tones of violins

Mingled with remote cornets

And begins.

(Eliot “Portrait of a Lady” 55. 15-18)

The very delicate nature that the poem takes on in the beginning sets a scene of tranquil elegance. However, T. S. Eliot cleverly introduces a foreboding of conflict with the words “velleities” and “regrets.” The reader can discern from such a verse that “Portrait of a Lady” will be slightly obscure, because the tone does not noticeably match up with the issue presented. When further analyzed, one can also tell that the conflict at hand represents complications, a point that Eliot made about relationships. Thus, within the beginning, “Portrait of a Lady” already demonstrates the realities and difficulties of relationships.

Furthermore, T. S. Eliot goes on to describe the hardships of life and its regrets in “Portrait of a Lady.” A common theme that can be found in Eliot’s poems is the nostalgia and regret that is reflected upon in old age. Drawing from the perspective of the man, Eliot incorporates dialogue into the poem to make the wistfulness all the more realistic. For example, in one scene, the woman speaks to teach the man the importance of life:

‘Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know

What life is, you who hold it in your hands’;

(Slowly twisting the lilac stalks)

‘You let it flow from you, you let it flow…’

(Eliot “Portrait of a Lady” 56. 44-47)

From this verse, the reader can tell that the woman has had much experience in her life about the meaning of friendship. Her wisdom derives from her old age, which makes her seem the more superior and sophisticated one out of the relationship between her and her beau. Such a relationship was exactly the type of contrast that Eliot wanted to achieve with romantic archetypes; during Eliot’s era it was more common that men dominated relationships and provided most of the wealth. The poem thus reflects Eliot’s belief that love is a complicated and adverse matter.

Lastly, “Portrait of a Lady” deliberates over the complications of relationships, specifically through the age difference between the narrator and his older love. Eliot emphasizes his point that relationships in actuality are complex and contain certain motives, unlike the innocence and happiness they are credited for in stereotypical romances. With “Portrait of a Lady,” the man must separate from his beau, although the woman believes that she is near her end anyways. She tells the narrator:

But what have I, but what have I, my friend,

To give you, what can you receive from me?

Only the friendship and the sympathy

Of one about to reach her journey’s end

(Eliot “Portrait of a Lady” 58. 64-67)

The sadness yet knowing tone of the woman gives a sense of an inevitable end to the relationship between the man and woman. Although later in the poem, the narrator shows that this is what he wanted all along, the statement still does justice by displaying the complications of relationships. Along with refuting generalized ideas of love, Eliot too gives the message that personal friendships should not be based upon false pretenses.

To conclude, in “Portrait of a Lady” T. S. Eliot teaches the reader the complexity of love and refutes stereotypical paradigms.


The styles and themes of T. S. Eliot’s poetry brought him up to achieve the fame and esteem that he has now. Eliot’s poetry was not only well constructed, but it consistently had thought provoking material that was open to various interpretations. Specifically, throughout many of his poems, Eliot concentrated on attacking the erroneous and stereotypical based beliefs of love and its nature. He believed that love itself was a complicated affair, which he described intensely and effectively in his poetry. These certain poems include “Nocturne,” which he wrote at a young age; “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which portrayed not only Eliot’s opinions but also demonstrated the potential of his writing; and lastly “Portrait of a Lady,” which included the most inextricable motives out of all three. All these works tie in to state Eliot’s frustration with society’s conviction that relationships and friendships are a simple affair: in fact, they are based on ever-changing motives and cause tension socially. As T. S. Eliot once said, “poetry…is the ideal medium for expressing intense and universal emotions of spiritual states” (“T. S. Eliot” CD-ROM). Certainly, T. S. Eliot effusively reveals his message of the disillusionments of love with his poems and spectacular writing style, making him one of the best poets of all time.

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Billy told them that Nichole had witnessed the accident; that she was sitting in the bus up front next to Dolores, and that Dolores had been speeding. Now everyone in town would hear this and take it for the truth because this girl in a wheelchair had spoken it and the town would be able to start recovering. Dolores felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from her. She had been carrying it around with her for eight months and it was suddenly gone. It was odd that she did not feel unjustly accused or righteously angry but she did not. This defined Dolores as a hero for her peers.

Concept – If Nichole was the heroine for the town, Dolores is the heroine of the spirit. She has conducted herself with great dignity during the aftermath of the bus accident, taking care to show sympathy but not asserting herself in any way. She had considered the people of Sam Dent to be her family and, like all families, she assumed that this would pass over and she would be invited back into the fold. However, the night of the Demolition Derby changed all that. It was clear that the people did not receive her well as she struggled with Abbott’s wheelchair. She could manage that. What she could not abide is what Billy Ansel had told her; that Nichole had saved the town from multiple lawsuits by saying that Dolores had been speeding. Yet she is not angry. She is in a different place from these people now. She has suffered much. Each family grieved the loss of its own child but Dolores grieves for them all.

Connection – Dolores was a symbol of integrity and grit in a time of serious pain and suffering that the whole town had to endure. She was the wall that stood when every other wall had crumbled around her. She served as a model for the type of person that should be able to lead a community through times of pain, and she did exactly that.

Literary Work – The Sweet Hereafter

Term – Symbol

Definition – In literature, symbolism is used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being described. The plot and action that take place in a story can be thought of as one level, while the symbolism of certain things in the writing act on another level to enhance the story.


Context – Dolores was shaken out of her reverie when Abbott raised his left arm and pointed to the infield; there was old Boomer ready to do battle in the derby. The flag was dropped and the cars started to smash into it, repeatedly. Boomer was being hit from all directions, but it still escaped each crash to go back again. Boomer was still alive. Now the drivers were even ganging up on the car, but Boomer hung in. Finally, there were only three cars left that were still running. That is when the crowd started clapping, just as they had when Nichole had entered the grandstand. Eventually, Jimbo was able to steer Boomer out of the path of the other two cars, did lots of fancy steering and Boomer won the heat. The crowd went wild. Dolores was pleased that her old car was victorious over the other ones, but it was time to go.

Concept – The symbolism of Dolores’s old car getting banged up at the Demolition Derby seems appropriate in a way, as that is the last time the town will have a chance to put any more dents in her or anything connected to her. She will not let them hurt her anymore. She will bear the injustice that is for sure. She will also notice that people look at her a bit warily from now on, just like those forest creatures waiting for her to pass them in the night.

Connection – The car was a symbol of the pain that she had to endure as a product of the community’s animosity. The car getting banged shows the amount of injustice that was portrayed towards her as a human being. That injustice drove her away, she wanted to leave the town with no connection, for good.

Literary Work – The Sweet Hereafter

Term – Allegory

Definition – is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than the literal. Allegory teaches a lesson through symbolism. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation. Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric.


Context – If not for the effects of the failing national economy, the tentacles of mass media and the upscale vacationers who drive north from the city, the small, upstate New York town of Sam Dent, setting of The Sweet Hereafter, would otherwise remain isolated in its own particular late-twentieth-century solitude. On a recent winter morning a schoolbus skids off the road, tumbles down an embankment and into a water-filled sand pit. Fourteen of the town’s children are killed.

Concept – The fabric of order in Sam Dent is suddenly torn apart. The novel does not present this in public acts of mourning or violence; there are few overt acts of vengeance or compensation. Rather, we experience the horror, the uncontainable pain, in the voices of the novel’s four narrators, who in the aftermath of the accident present to us not only themselves and the facts as they know them; they also present to us the mysterious and inevitable continuance of their lives. This was in accordance to life of the American people at the time. Banks is representing the views and pains of the American people into his text.

Connection – The book was published in 1991 during an economic time that was abysmal. The style of writing with the theme of death and tragedy being prevalent in the novel seems as though he is trying to bring the outcry of the American people out of their houses into the public.

Literary Work – The Sweet Hereafter

Term – Diction and Genre

Definition – Diction has multiple concerns; register – words being either formal or informal in social context – is foremost. Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax. Genre is a loose set of criteria for a category of composition; the term is often used to categorize literature and speech, but is also used for any other form of art or utterance.


Context – As readers, caught up in the life of the novel, we make a leap from our burdened and mysterious real lives to something we perceive in the heart of its characters. We seek, and perhaps find, a kind of communion with something larger. Yet since a character is, after all, simply a construct of crafted language, most of what we find there, as in a dream, has to have been ours in the first place. What we seek is ourselves. Yet the life we live and the lives we read about in so many contemporary novels seem to have less and less in common.

Concept – In explaining why the storyteller has become a thing of the past, Walter Benjamin told us, “One reason for this phenomenon is obvious: experience has fallen in value.” Since he wrote this, the trend has accelerated. Even the complex technologies of fiction we’ve been steadily evolving since Chekhov cannot keep apace of this devaluation. I see in much of Banks’s work a refusal to find this acceptable. Whether vast or local in scope, the foundation for his fiction is experience in its most familiar and simultaneously mysterious circumstance: as we know it, be it, before it is crafted into the larger, rarefied context of fictional narrative. We can find it there.

Connection – This realism exemplified by Russell Banks is both old-fashioned and new. New because his characters feel as if he first discovered them outside of fiction, not from pre-existing literary or cultural models.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the most renowned poems of ancient times. It is a collection of many different poems and legends among other literary works however they are based on the story of an individual man who goes by the name of Gilgamesh. The Epic is believed to be based on the heroic acts of this king of ancient times. The originality of the poem is believed to be from Sumerian legends and poems based on the king. They however were compiled into one longer Akkadian poem which ended up being regarded as the complete version of the poem.

Gilgamesh according to the poem was a king in the ancient times of the Sumerian dynasty and was believed to be demigod king who possessed superhuman strength and ability. Believed to be two part god and one part human, he had a human father who went by the name of Lugalbanda and a goddess mother known as Ninsun also referred to in some texts as Rimat Ninsun.

Gilgamesh in the poem is a king who was originally a tyrant if you will, he caused a lot of injustice to his people by doing as he deemed fit not considering the feelings of his people by doing such acts such as raping the women, it did not matter if they were just getting married or if they already were, overworking his people when it came to the effort of building the city wall of Uruk which was 6 miles long and 18 ft thick. (Fidel, 2001, 2002)

However the building of the wall succeeded in giving him fame in the long run as he was able to protect his people from invasion and external attacks.

In the poem Gilgamesh has a partner or a close friend who was so much like Gilgamesh in physique and behaviour but however he had a softer side to him. Scholars can assume that probably this friend who was known as Enkidu probably could have been Gilgamesh’s conscience. In the poems Enkidu was a man brought up by animals and later moves into Gilgamesh’s turf to try and help the people from the tyranny of the king. However instead of using force as you would expect in such attempts Enkidu befriends Gilgamesh softening him. Eventually Enkidu dies after he and Gilgamesh invade the Cedar forest and kill the guardian demon, Humbaba, even though it was against the wishes of the gods.

In the poem Gilgamesh after losing his friend Enkidu goes into a depression as we would say today, he reflects on his own life and the loss of his friend. He develops a fear of death and thus ends up travelling to the ends of the world in search of immortality. Here he is in search of the secrets of life and death. In a way this aspect of the poem approaches a question that has been questioned ever since the beginnings of time both by philosophers and people of religion. Through the Epic of Gilgamesh we can safely assume that the poem addressed this issue of immortality in the medieval times influencing later stories which were to have immortality issues involved.

Because of his friends death Gilgamesh reflects on the way he rules his people and so serves as a guide to helping him become a better version of himself. The story plays a role in future literary works of having a moral lesson involved. The roles of moral stories tend to make the readers reflect on the different ways they lead their lives and they tend to influence people to become better.

The original epic was crafted by the Sumerians but reworked and edited by the later cultures of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The earliest recorded version of the epic was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni and was found in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh.

It was written originally in the Sumerian language with cuneiform characters on 12 tablets.

In modern times the epic of Gilgamesh is widely known and has played a great role and influence on modern literally works.

In a nutshell what the story talks about is of a king who is oppressing his people and as punishment is sent a mirror image Enkidu. They together kill the giant Humbaba defying the gods’ warnings, cutting down the forest and killing the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu has bad dreams of the destiny of tyrants and how they suffer in the after life in the House of Death. Enkidu tries to guide Gilgamesh trying to convince him to change his ways but eventually dies of an illness imposed on him by the gods. Gilgamesh scared of death goes to a man by the name Utnapishtim a man favoured by the gods due to his devotion and loyalty to them. He puts Gilgamesh to several tests which he fails and eventually is sent away by Utnapishtim who assures him that he cannot escape death. Humbled by the experience Gilgamesh returns back home and asks that his story to be inscribed in stone probably so as to teach others the valuable lessons he had learnt on his quest and on his life.

Utnapishtim who was loved by the gods was saved by the gods in the poem from a great flood which has so much likeness like in the story of the biblical Noah who was ordered to build the ark. The stories have so much likeness that scholars perceive that there is the likelihood that the epic poem may have had an influence on the writing of the Noah story.

The use of cuneiform of writing which is the earliest known method of writing using reed markings on wet clay tablets gives us an insight into early forms of writing. Also the works are the earliest possible known literature works ever found.

The epic also has played a role in showing that the Sumerians lived together in peace with the Akkadians who were from Syria from around 3,000 BC. The few times that the use of law to govern the people has been mentioned in the works goes on to suggest that this may have been the first law book, laws of Ur-Nammu King of Ur. It also provides us with information that Gilgamesh was the 5th king of Uruk.

The moral aspect of the poem guides us by telling us of the dangers of tyranny oppression and what ambition can do to a man instead it helps guide us on concentrating on the simpler things in life like having a simple life, resting enjoying a good relationship with others as well as enjoying love food and drink. The poem also has a conservationist angle to it urging people to take care of the environment when it depicts the issue of the cutting down of the forest so it can be assumed to be pro nature.

The epic also goes on to show that we all mankind are responsible for the actions that we commit and therefore should accept the consequences that come with them, if we lead a bad life being violent, proud, etc we should expect retribution or punishment for our actions.

Basically what I have deduced from the poem is that the poem has a central theme of seizing the day as it comes. Live for today and enjoy every moment of it.

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The economic globalization leads to the linguistic globalization. The variables which make the language globalized are the number of languages, migration of people, foreign language learning, tourism, internet languages, and international scientific publications. Because of the dominant cultural status of the UK and the USA, English has been developed as a lingua franca. The reasons to form global English are its geographical-historical and socio-cultural origins, and it is also the people’s natural needs of their real social life, whose comprehensive forces formed from the history and practice make the spread of English unstoppable in the world. 

Nowadays, because of the impact of globalization and modernization, minority or indigenous languages worldwide are endangered or the gradual disappearance has become a universal phenomenon. The survival of the world’s linguistic diversity is also facing a severe threat. Concerned about the harm to the world’s linguistic and cultural diversity, the trend of globalization of English, and as soon as possible to take countermeasures, how to protect the human linguistic diversity has aroused great concern.


Only half a century ago, any notion of English as a true global language was but a dim, shadowy, theoretical possibility, surrounded by the political, social and economical uncertainties of that time, and lacking any clear definition or sense of direction. Fifty years on, the situation of English has become peculiar in that perhaps no other language has ever been so important on a global scale. Now no one would ever argue that English is the common language of our world.

In today’s world, global language is a phrase that repeats itself at such a high frequency that few others can outmatch. One may bear in his or her mind the question of what are the properties that could justify a language with such a title. Why a language becomes a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak it. It has much more to do with who those speakers are. They must have huge power in economy, military, politics, etc.

The globalization of English swallows and replaces the languages of the weak and small nations of the world, and the languages and cultures of the weak nations are faced with the possible destruction and the threat. People should protect the long-term human accumulation and living treasures of the languages and cultures, and to build a better multi-language and multi-cultural harmonious international environment. 


The rise of English as a global language has much to do with, besides its own traits, Britain’s language expansion policies over British colonial period, the rise of America and other English-speaking countries in the 20th century and the acceleration of globalization, etc. (Xu 1-2) English has become an important communication tool for people around the world. Meanwhile, the hegemony of English has serious consequences, among other things; it has speed up the loss of traditional cultures for non-English-speaking countries and become a threat to world’s cultural diversity and language ecology.


Some writers (e.g.Phillpson, Skuttnab-Kangeas) claim that with the world-wide spread and the establishment of dominant status, English is regarded as a ‘killer language’, (Skuttnab-Kangeas 1996:33), which endangers other languages and disrupts language ecology.

The English gradual globalization brings the following several questions:

First, People maybe forget the conventions, to be Westernized or Americanized. The massive English words and expressions, the expressional ways invade other countries, so that the chastity of languages comes under the influence. What’s more, people’s thoughts have been seriously twisted.

Second, following the English coming, western culture in the foundation of the western value system invades the world, and affects the national culture’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

Third, regarding the special emphasis on the English study, it has the influence to the mother tongue study, simultaneously creates the people mother tongue’s loyalty drop. Therefore, it poses a serious threat to indigenous people and languages.

Fourth, the only English movement encroaches on the education of mother language. The child English education outset age ahead of time. English education expense is huge. In Beijing, 240,000 the only0-6 year-old cities child cost as high as 140,000,000 to 280 million Yuan for English study every year.

In view of the appearance of the present phenomena, the “English invasion” will be able to create our country’s the language crisis and the cultural crisis. This is a new colonialism. The language is the carrier of culture. The maintenance of language chastity and the independence, regarding maintains cultural system of our country, safeguards development of the countries play the extremely vital role.


However, some people hold different opinions. They think that:

Compared to most other European languages, such as German or French, English has a minimal grammar, which can be easily used and learned by non-English speakers. However, according to Spain and Smith, it may be objected that any European language will be difficult for speakers of oriental languages, but this is not necessarily true. The Japanese, for instance, do not experience such problems with Italian and Spanish pronunciation. These examples include that the native speakers of the world’s only other major wide-spread language (Spanish, with around 360 million speakers), all find English pronunciation problematic to at least some extent.(36)

Also, in some key areas of global communication, the English is working language. Since English is the most widely spoken language, it also serves as the official language in some organizations, such as the U.N., the Olympic Games, the General Assembly, or other significant international settings. Besides, although English is not spoken by the largest number of people, it’s used in communication in the most widely spread areas. Thus, more and more people have to use language at work, for examples, the Chinese people in Singapore, Malaysia, etc. English enables China, as a member of this village, to share the achievements of civilizations the world over, but the spread of English in China also brings with it linguistic imperialism. (Liu, Yunfei. Lei, Qing 3-4) All in all, it is just a trend toward globalization, which can not avoid or eradicate.

Certainly, as an official and the most popular language, English has been used everywhere by numerous people. However, it cannot be neglected it’s damaging the diversity of languages and causing cultural crisis all over the world. Many people have to speak English at work which means that English proficiency has become the entail condition of employment the promotion and this situation forces people to learn English at all cost. In some important international situations, people use English to communicate or have a conference. However, actually not English can be an official language, French or even Chinese can also help to make the conferences or events finish successfully.

People all over the world start to learn English is also a big reason for the wide usage of English. China, for example, with a huge population, has too much emphasized the foreign language teaching. The population of the study English increases year by year, some experts forecast that again several years later in China the population of English study will surpass the total population number in English mother tongue country. Besides, the bilingual education causes English substitution Chinese to become the teaching terminology.

If things continue this way, the national language authority and the national sovereignty will be in danger. The national sovereignty does not allow vacillating; otherwise it will be able to pose the threat to the national security. Maintenance of nation’s characteristic cultural system is the basis of nation’s development. The maintenance of language chastity and independence can strengthen the national emotion, and national cohesive force, to realize the reunification of the motherland vital role.


On the basis of the above analysis, the conclusion is that to some extent. English does affect language diversity, which manifests in different forms according to different context. In the core English-speaking countries, it severely leads to the endangerment of many indigenous languages. In some periphery-English countries, English deprives those state languages of the right of intellectualization. Certainly, we are unable to avoid English globalization, but we should also see English invasion will be able to create a series of social crisis. First, “English hot” causes the people’s mother tongue loyalty drop; Second, the English vigorously promotion massively invades individual study energy and the national education resources; Third, English invasion leads to the legal status, the social position gliding down; Fourth is more serious that “English hot” threaten security of country culture, leads to the sovereignty losing of national language culture . Given this situation, people can adopt some methods: first, comprehensively analyze the threat of “English invasion”, analysis status of English and other languages in international society and the future development tendency; second on the basis of realistic situation and the forecast result we should adopt the strategy suits each country’s development.

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Languages are changing as the world is constantly changing. After the Second World War, English neologisms emerged in a remarkable way. New vocabulary came into existence due to new technologies and new discoveries such as ; computing, internet , cell phones and the like. People’s daily activities like dancing, looking and many others, renewed their popularity giving birth to new lexicon. In deed, new words are invented rapidly and are developed quickly thanks to mass communication. They appear and fall into disuse when they have served their momentary purpose ( Bernhart 54).Only a few of them will get recorded in glossaries of neologisms of general dictionaries.

The matter of neologism becomes a new hot spot of research owing to its practical and prevailing use in reality. The study of neologisms evoked a whole cluster of questions:

-What are the reasons beyond the rise of new lexicon?

-Why are some new words just a flash in a pan?

-Why are other words successful?

-What are the qualities that make a word successful?

-Are Neologisms markers of changes in societies?

Part 01: Literature Review

1.Definition of a Neologism

The term neologism originates from Greek: neos means ‘new’, logos means ‘word’, i. e. a neologism is – literally – a new word.

“Neologism is the creation of a new lexical item as a response to changed circumstances in the external world, which achieves some currency within a speech community”(qtd. in Chrystal 1992: 264) at a particular time.

In linguistics, a neologism is a newly invented word or phrase. It can be an old word or phrase used with a new meaning. The word “neologism” is a neologism itself, it was coined in 1800.

l. 2. Background of English Neologisms

The collection of dictionaries that contain neologisms started in 1604.The early Neologisms dictionarieswere: Table Alphabeticall (1604, Robert Cawdrey), English Expositor (1616, John Bullokar), and The English Dictionarie (1623, Henry Cockeram).Those dictionaries had some features of neologisms dictionaries but the true study of neologisms began in the 20 century, some 200 years later.

The first neologisms book is Word-Coinage, being an Inquiry

Into Recent Neologisms, also a Brief Study of Literary Style, Slang, and

Provincialisms by Leon Mead in 1902.It was not a real dictionaries, it contained a set of articles about new words.

In 1920, there was a remarkable progress in the research of new words with the book of C.Alphonso Smith entitled New Words included 420 new words with examples.He wrote some articles entitled Words and Meanings, New.

. From 1937 to 1940, Dwight Bolinger ( Famous American Scholar) invented a column ,The Living Language, in the newspaper, Words.Later, it was changed into Among the New Words.In 1944, Professor I. Willis Russell became the editor of this column .

World War II was a major reason of the birth of new words .In 1944, Majorie Taylor collected the new words created during the War in a word-list entitled The Language of World War II: Abbreviation, captions, Quotations, Slogans, Titles and Other Terms and Phrases.At the same time, Clarence Barnhart printed his Dictionary of U.S. Army Terms.

After the World War II, science and technology development had greatly

effected the society. A lot of scientific and technical words were brought into language. A lot of neologism dictionaries about words in those fields were published. Two of them are mostly welcomed: An Explaining and Pronouncing Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Words by W. E. Flood & Michael West and Words of Sciences and the History Blind Them by Isaac Asimov.

From 1970s on, the study of English neologism drew great attention from

western scholars, many of them established special column to introduce new words in English, such as William Safire who was well known for his On Language in New York Times weekly and Anne H. Soukhanow who was the chief-editor of Word Watch.

In Safire’s column, he provided a considerably clear explanation of new words by citing typical examples, exploring their origins and performing their current usage.

The digital revolution in 1990s is the radical reshaping and restructuring of

social patterns. “Because of the wild spread of internet, America is speaking a whole new language”, said Shawn Holley in his The New Word Revolution. Lots of neologisms that have a historical significance by reason of the influence they exerted on the language field are brought into existence. According to the statistics, more than 20 neologism dictionaries have been compiled, among which some put emphasis on the academic field and some are distinctive by their popularity. Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and Barhart Dictionary of New English are the ones with the highest academic value.

New words are numerous. Sometimes it seems as if a new word has about as

much chance of developing into a permanent addition to our vocabulary. Only few of them will remain as serious candidates for the dictionary. Books especially about new words are abundant. However, only a few scholars have ventured to propose factors that make for the success of new words. One is Goran Kjellmer, whose article “Potential Words” in the journal Word for August 2000 also reviews previous proposals. The other is the executive secretary of American Dialect Society, Allan Metcalf who proposed the FUDGE scale. The two reached different conclusions.

Along with books and periodicals, there is the Internet. In particular, it makes my extensive searches for examples of how words are actually used today possible. Here the author has searched thousands of pages indexed by countless times to find current uses of words under discussion.

A jump of several decades has showed us more researches on the neologisms.

Language reflects our life, and the research on the neologisms has never been stopped.

By collecting new words or phrases occurring in languages, the previous researches have provided precious materials for the further exploration in this field. Therefore, a careful look at the research background of neologisms carries an essential academic significance.

In china, the study of neologism began from 1980s. Most of the specific works

and papers are mere introduction of theories from abroad lacking of much original study. To keep up with the latest English vocabulary is really difficult, thus a thorough and systematic analysis about English new words is of practical significance both in learning and teaching of English as a foreign language.

Part 02: Factors for the Rise of English Neologisms

The resaons beyond the rise of new words are numouroes, some are internal causes or linguistic (phonological, morpho-syntactic, lexical or semantic) , others are external which , we will see in this part.

Mcmahon M.S (1994: 179-182) discusses causes of semantic change and describes the following:

Linguistic causes

Historical causes (subdivided into “ideas” and “scientific concepts”)

Social causes

Psychological causes (subdivided into “emotive factors” and “taboo”)

Foreign influence

The need for a new name

2.1. Sociolcultural Changes:

2.1.1. New ideas in Society and Culture.

Changes in social outlook and manners of behavior call for new terms such as beatnik, peacenik, and hippie. Even new culinary arrangements demand new labels and in English they have some forth in the form of cheeseburger, chiliburger, mushroomburger, etc.

(Anderson, 1973) Brian Foster presents us a striking example of how fast English vocabulary changes. In the year 1914, a young girl named Monica Baldwin entered a convent, remaining secluded there until 1941. When she returned to the outer world, she found herself in a totally different world: the conditions of everyday life altered by technical developments and social changes were beyond recognition. What’s more puzzling to her was the language people speaking. During a railway journey, the term “luggage in advance” meant nothing to her. Reading the daily newspapers made her feel idiotic in the extreme, because words like jazz, Gin, Hollywood, Cool, noshing and Isolationism were completely incomprehensible to her. Not to mention how bewildered she was at hearing friends say, “It’s your funeral” or “believe it or not”. (Brian Foster, 1981)

2.1.2. Disguising Language, “Misnomers”

Misnomers are words that replace taboo words or banned words.In order not to deceive the hearer, the taboo words are replaced to disguise their unpleaseant meaning.Examples: E. friendly fire instead of bombardment by own troops.

2.1.3.Prestige, Fashion

The superiority of a group or politics leads people to use some linguistic elements (words, morphemes, morphs, sounds) from the prestigious group.

Example: English, for instance, borrowed from French during the ME. period because the upper social classes were made up of French people:e.g. garment, flower, rose, face, prince, hour, question, dance, fork, royal, loyal, fine, zero are all Gallicisms. An other vivid example is English which is now the most prestigious language in many parts of the world.

2.1.4.Social, or Demographic, Reasons

Here, it means the contact between different social groups. As a result of this contact, new lexical items appear. In the history of the English language, the two prominent instances of exchanges between two social groups were the one with the Vikings in the 8th to 11th centuries and the one with the French in the 11th to 15th centuries.Examples: The inherited ey is replaced by Scandinavian egg, the inherited nimen is replaced by Scandinavian taken except for theform benumb, throwen is supplemented by Scandinavian casten; early French loans are army, carpenter, catch.

2.1.5.Culture-Induced Salience of a Concept (“Cultural Salience”)

The salience or the importance of concepts change with change of culture.

Example: In the US, a lot of metaphors in general language have been taken from the field of baseball, e.g. to be off base ‘to be completely wrong’, to hit a home run ‘to be highly successful’ and from the field of entrepreneurship.


The category of word play includes humor, irony and puns. Although word-play often goes hand in hand with other factors (such as taboo, prestige or anthropological salience), it can also trigger lexical change on its own. Example: to take French leave ‘to leave secretly (without paying)’, to cool ‘look’ (< look pronounced backwards, so-called back slang).

2.2 Technological Changes

New science leads to new words. Aristotle and Newton were neologists.They used new lexicon and new defintions to explain the theory of dynamics

Thus, there is no new knowledge without new terms or concepts.Generally a new invention or discovery holds the name of the inventor.

Sometimes some technical new words can be found in linguistics such as hypercorrection, allomorph, etc.

The word software for example, that computer term was invented by John

W. Tukey, a statistician at Princeton University. As long ago as 1958, he used the word in the American Mathematical Monthly. Today the “software” comprising the carefully planned interpretive routines, compilers, and other aspects of automotive programming are at least as important to the modern electronic calculator as its “hardware” of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes and the like. Tukey was already known for inventing another now- famous computer term.

2.3 Economic Changes

Economic field has a great impact on language.We are in a competition age.This leads to new brand names that want to find a place in the economy market.The success of the product causes the suceesss of its name.The owner of the product has to spend too much money to make the prdut well-known.This is done via advertisemnts to convice peole tp but it and name it as it was advertised.Its name will be a new word in the society.

The example of Coca-Cola Company is a good example.due to the geat success of Coke, people can ask for a coke yet they will be satisfied if they are given pepsi , i.e. the word Coke nowadays refers to a soft drink like a coke.

Some technical and medical brands find their way in general vocabulary.


ô€º€ Aspirin: a name for acetylsalicylic acid, trademarked by the Bayer Company of Germany at the start of the twentieth century.

ô€º€ Elevator and escalator: both originally trademarks of the Otis Elevator Company.

ô€º€ Zipper: a name given to a “separable fastener” by the B.F. Goodrich Company many years after it was invented. The new name helped the zipper attain popularity in the 1930s.

ô€º€ Loafer: for a moccasin-like shoe.

ô€º€ Cellophane: for a transparent wrap made of cellulose.

ô€º€ Granola: a trademark registered in 1886 by W K. Kellogg, now used for a

“natural” kind of breakfast cereal.

ô€º€ Ping-pong: for table tennis, a trademark registered by Parker Brothers in 1901.

ô€º€ Xerox: for photocopier.

ô€º€ Kleenex: for facial tissue.

ô€º€ Band-Aid: for adhesive bandage.

ô€º€ Tupperware: for storage container.

ô€º€ Scotch tape: for transparent adhesive tape.

ô€º€ Jazzercise: for exercise to jazz music.

2.4. Political Changes.

Some important political changes infulence vocabulary and give birth to new words and concepts. For instance, when Mr. Bill Clinton was elected as the president of the US. His name has been associated with many political words. His policy is Clintonian, he is carrying out the Clintionism, his economics policy is Clintonomics, and his supporters were called Clintonites, he ultimately wanted to realize his Clintonization.

Another recent political event that took place on Septembet the eleventh has brought a neologism in the American society.Because of the striking coincidence that 911 is the telephone number to call for help in an emergency, that numerical designation of this event has been a success. The events of that day have resulted in a new term: ground zero, for the place of impact, the center of destruction in New York City where the World Trade Towers once stood. That phrase has succeeded because it is not really new; it’s an old term for the location on the ground directly under a vast atomic explosion, corresponding to air zero, the location in the air above the ground where the bomb goes off. No one knows who first said ground zero in reference to the site where the World Trade Towers were attacked and collapsed, but the term immediately caught on because of its familiarity and emotional power.

Part 03: Success of English Neologisms

In the previous section, we have seen the reasons of the rise of the new words and how they become part of language.In this part; we will tackle the reasons that make a word successful or the reasons that make a word part of general language dictionary.

3.1 The occurrences

The frequency of the new word in a society makes it successful.If the neologisms appears in many various sources such newspapers, magazines and books, it will be included in general dictionaries and becomes a familiar word and no more neologism.This mean the the word becomes popular if it is cited in many sources

3.2 Variety among sources

A neologism in its first appearance is common for only a special field .Thus, it is found in technical dictionaries .Consequently , general dictioanries exclude technical terms .But there are some exceptions and some technical words find their place in general dictionaries due to their range in many sources.Example , the phrase intellectual property was limited to some branches .Nowadays, it is widely spead thanks to the new technologies and inventions in each field .

3.3 Cruciality in a given field

Sheidlower defines cruciality as “the need for a word to exist” (35). Let’s take the example of the acronym AIDS invented in 1982.This acronym is still the given name to this killing disease.It will hold the same name even if a cure is invented for this disease because of the importance and cruciality of this sickness, “its referent is a crucial matter in society” (qtd. in Sheidlower 35).

The word whirlpooling, though it is the only word used to describe such a behaviour, it is not included in a general dictionary because the phenomenon is rare and unusual , “rare and unusual phenomenon” (qtd. in Sheidlower 36).

3.4 Durability or Endurance ( Existance)

Each new word appears in a specific period of time.But if it has suffiecient evidence such as frequency of occurrences, range among sources, cruciality in a given field, it may be included in a general dictionary. New Deal is a good example here.So some neologisms refer to their time period, culture, policies and the like.


If a word wants to ‘stay alive’, it has to be admitted widely in public speech and used by mass media, and/or personalities, such as politicians, authors etc. (Barnhart 56). Depending on the editor and on what kind of dictionary a coinage should enter, one factor might be more of a value than another. Of the many thousands new words created each year, about 200 new words fulfill the above-mentioned conditions and make their way into a standard dictionary. Authors, TV, radio and news reporters use these new terms on a large scale, and thus they become vogue words for a certain period of time or even forever (Barnhart 56). But then the struggle of a new word is not over yet. If it is not used anymore or lost its importance, it will be deleted in the end (Sheidlower 38).

Practical considerations play their part in the march of a word into a dictionary. Chief among these is the scope of the dictionary and its physical limitations. Because general lexicography is a commercial art form, dictionaries reflect the judgment of their makers and the needs of their publishers. Consequently, no dictionary is complete.

There is a considerable difference between general dictionaries and ‘Among the New Words’. The dictionaries’ aim is to supplement the existing English vocabulary, whereas ‘Among the New Words’ aims to chronicle the development of the English language (Barnhart 59). For this reason, these criteria stated above (2.4.1 to 2.4.4) hardly apply to ‘Among the New Words’.

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Reading Shakespeare’s language can be a problem indeed for many people today. Untangling unusual sentence structures and recognizing and understanding poetic compression and wordplay is totally needed in order to be drenched in Shakespearean language. Obsolete words and many complex sentence structures lead many modern readers to think that they are reading Old or Middle English. In fact, both King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare belong to the late phase of Early Modern English. [3][4]

As we are going to deal with Shakespeare’s language, we need to know that he invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, adding prefixes and suffixes, connecting words never before used together and so on. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the language used in Shakespeare’s poems are so difficult to undestand.[7]

Next, we are going to put an eye on Shakespeare’s work Hamlet. Really, what is going to be done is a study of the way characters manage to be undestood in the 17th century society, taking into account Shakespeare’s historical moment and his characteristic language to embellish texts. In addition, the role of people in general, customs, religion, the linguistic variety and so on will be a key point to make work better understanding.

2. Studying Hamlet in context

As it was said, our everyday speech is full of words and phrases invented by Shakespeare. He was able to do that because English was changing as people modernised it in their normal workday speech. As an example of this in Hamlet (1,3,7), (2,1,10) and (3,2,191) we point out three examples of Shakespearean coinages, among others.[2]

English was being set free to go where writers wanted to take it in their poetry. And so did Shakespeare. He took it where he liked throughout all his texts, transforming the English language into what he really wanted.[8] He liked playing with words. In the play Hamlet we find many examples of how he did it by supporting words with suffixes ending in ‘-ment’ (1,2,93) or in ‘-es’ (2,2,21), by using words indifferently (5,2,8), introducing rare words (3,2,65), changing adjectives into adverbs (1,1,174) and, what’s more, he was used to use the singular form of a word where modern usage would dictate the plural (1,3,101) and (5,2,2).[2]

He is known for his wordplays. In (1,2,205-206) we find a sentence structure which is inverted with the object This and the adverbial phrase ‘to me/ In dreadful secrecy’ both preceding the verb and subject impart they did. Apart from wordplays he also use notoriously difficult phrases (1,1,62) and even obscure phrases as in (1,1,93), (3,2,130) or obsolete and colloquial word (1,1,102) and (5,1,263), respectively.[2]

It is undeniably true that not everyone in the Elizabethan Period had the same access to education. Education, actually would begin at home, where children were taught the basic etiquette of proper manners and respecting others. It was necessary for boys to attend grammar school, but girls were rarely allowed to education, unless they belonged to a wealthy family.[12][2]

So, as we can imagine, Shakespeare did not give the same skill and the same knowledge of language to a servant or to a soldier i.e. Reynaldo and Francisco, that to a person belonging to the ruling class i.e. Claudius and Hamlet. Cladius’s speech is rich with rhetorical figures — as is Hamlet’s. In (1,2,1-5) we can see the King’s opening speech which has often been admired as a demonstration of his political skill. He is certainly masterly in his deployment of second person pronouns — our, us, we — which slide from the royal ‘we’ to include the whole Court in his discourse and to resonate with Greek polical speeches. While the language of Horatio, the guards and the gravediggers is simpler. Lots of examples of metaphors delivered by the King are founded, such as in (1,2,20) or (3,1,165).[2][6]

Hamlet is the most skilled of all at rhetoric. His language is considered courtly, that means, an elaborated and witty discourse as recommended by Baldassare Castiglione’s 1528 guide The Courtier. In this work we find specifically advises royal retainers to amuse their masters with inventive language. And that is what Osric and Polonius exactly do.[1][2]

Hamlet uses highly developed metaphors. Also, when occasion demands, he is precise and straightforward, as when he explains his inward emotion to his mother. At times, he relies heavily on puns to express his true thoughts while simultaneously concealing them.[9] As an example of the different figures of speech used throughout the play , we have identified the following: analogy (2,2,352); asyndeton (1,2,77); irony (1,1,136); oxymoron (2,2,274); metaphor (1,1,30), among others.[2]

Further to the variety of English linguistics, we must not confuse. Actually, Old English range from the 5th century to the middle of the 11th century and it is really closer to the Germanic mother tongue of the Anglo-Saxons. With the arrival of the French-speaking Normans in 1066, Old English underwent dramatic changes and by 1350 it had evolved into Middle English which is easier but still looks like a foreign language. By about 1450, Middle English was replaced with Early Modern English which is almost identical to contemporary English.[3][2][5]

During Shakespeare’s lifetime, the former plural form ‘you’ was usurping many of the functions of the singular ‘thou’ and the distinctions between the two forms were not always marked, either by Shakespeare or by his printers (1,3,4). By contrast, ‘thou’ and ‘thee’ were used by people of higher rank to those beneath them, and by lower classes to each other (1,2,42-45); also, strangely enough, in addressing God, and in talking to witches, ghosts and other supernatural beings. As a refection of the higher status of males in the male/female context a husband might address his wife as ‘thou’ and she might replay respectfully with ‘you’.[8][2]

The use of ‘thou’ and ‘you’ also had an emotional dimension. ‘Thou’ commonly expressed special intimacy or affection; ‘you’ , formality, politeness, and distance. ‘Thou’ might also be used by an inferior to a superior, to express such feelings as anger and contempt or to be insulting and this is one of the areas where Shakespeare is able to get extra levels of meaning by showing disrespect by one character for another’s status. The use of ‘thou’ to a person of equal rank could be used as an insult. Shakespeare was acutely aware of the way the Early Modern English language that he grew up with was changing and it is yet another way that he was able to create the levels of meaning that made him such an enduring writer. When students take the trouble to understand the use of the thees and thous they are able to appreciate the additional meaning rather than seeing them as a difficulty.[8][2]

The period in which he lived was called the Elizabethan Period. Was filled with magic and sometimes terror. Pagan influence was present in literature and many of the superstitions outlasted the century and still exist today.[10] Elizabeth’s religious policy shaped the future of the Anglican Church as a blend of Roman Catholicism and Genevan Protestantism (Calvinism). However, Elizabeth strove to be even-handed in dealing with infringements upon the law by either extreme, whether Puritan or Catholic, but allowed freedom of belief as long as it did not openly flout the law or promote sedition.[11][2]

Hamlet was actually written at a time of religious upheaval. The play is alternately Catholic (or piously medieval) and Protestan (or concsiously modern). The Ghost describes himself as being in purgatory and as dying without last rites. This and Ophelia’s burial ceremony, which is characteristically Catholic, make up most of the play’s Catholic connection. Even revenge tragedies are known to be taken from traditionally Catholic countries, nevertheless according to the Catholic doctrine the strongest duty is to God and family and that may explain Hamlet’s conundrum: whether to revenge his father and kill Claudius or to leave the vengance to God, as his religion requires.[9] If we pay serious attention to the work, we will realize that there are many references to Catholicism and Protestantism. In (1,1,151) Shakespeare indicates that the characters are Christians, a mixture of classical and Christian allusions was common at the time.[2]

Much of the play’s Protestantism derives from its location in Denmark- predominantly Protestant country. The play does mention Wittenberg in (1,2,113), where Hamlet, Horatio, and Rosencrantz and Guildenster attend university, also where Martin Luther first proposed his 95 theses in 1517.[9][2]

Finally, continuing with the Elizabethan era, Shakespeare does mention keywords that next are interpreted and put into context:[2]

In (1,2,147) Shakespeare mentioned the Queen’s shoes which were made of cloth or perhaps very fine leather, as worn by Elizabethan Court ladies. Also in (2,1,75) Shakespeares talked about his characters as being dressed as in English Elizabethan people.

In (1,2,176) the word ‘studient’ is used in the same Elizabethan spelling.

In (1,3,36) an Elizabethan Court lady would also masked her face and hands from the sun.

In (1,5,11) Shakesperare named a traditional punishment in purgatory. Since punishments were thought, as in the classical Hades to fit the sins or crimes.

In (1,5,39), as in the Elizabethan belief, the tongue was the source of a snake’s poison rather than the teeth.

In (1,5,149) the space under the theatre was associated with hell as in the Elizabethan era.

3. Conclusion

4. Sources

[1]Castiglione, Baldassare. (1528). The Courtier, Venice: Aldine Press.

[2]Taylor, Neil et Thompson, Ann. (2006). The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, London: AS.

4.1. Internet Sources











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