IGCSE English Literature

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare is a powerful play which human emotions, love, hatred and other baser qualities finely etched out on the characters of the play. The whole play revolves around the popularity of Caesar and the so called nationalist putting an end to Caesar’s life only to be killed by the people who loved […]

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Summary The poet and her companion were walking on a pleasant autumn day when they see a black snake that speeds past, intent on catching its prey. The rest of the poem concentrates on the reactions of the poet and her companion. As they stood still taken aback by the sudden appearance of the snake […]

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Summary The poet one evening happens to see farm horses, those powerful shaggy animals working the plough and something jolts his memory and he recalls his earlier fear of these animals. As a child, Edwin Muir lived in the Orkney Islands where animals like Shetland ponies were used regularly as farm animals. As a child, […]

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Summary Allen Curnow is a poet from New Zealand who has contributed much to the recognition of poetry from New Zealand. He trained initially to be a priest like his father but later assailed by doubts turned to journalism instead. He says that his poetry deals with “questions that are always private and unanswerable” Continuum […]

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Summary The poet says in this poem, that we should be thankful to God for all the multi-coloured things that he has given us – things that are freckled, spotted, dappled and chequered. They make life colourful and are proof of God’s infinite creativity. The blue and white sky, the double coloured cow, the rainbow […]

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Summary Elizabeth Brewster’s Where I Come From talks about the place where she spent some of her life and contrasts it with the place to which she belonged. We are all shaped by the places where we have lived – not just the places we come from but also the places where we have lived. […]

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Summary Summer farm by Norman McCaig is an intensely metaphysical poem. Many of the description are not meant to be taken literally but there are hidden meanings and significance to them. Much of what is in the poem is about himself and his position in the universe. The poet is an intensely contemplative person and […]

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Summary The poem The Planners echoes the sentiments expressed in The City Planners by Margaret Atwood. While Atwood objects to the soulless uniformity, Cheng find the unchecked expansion a source of annoyance. Cheng probably wrote his poem about Singapore, one of the most densely populated cities where every square inch is built up. In the […]

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Summary Margaret Atwood finds the identical houses of suburbia offending to the eye. There is nothing to set one house apart from another. The houses look like clones of each other, even the trees are uniform and the roads are so level, they seem to be rebuking the dent on their car. The houses seem […]

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Summary This poem by Kevin Halligan is about the antics of a cockroach that crawls about the flooring in a room. Though on the face of it, the poem describes the aimlessness of the insect, it applies to humans in general and to the narrator in particular. The cockroach, circumspect at first, becomes almost giddy […]

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Summary Using simple but forceful language consisting almost entirely of monosyllables, Dante Gabriel Rossetti is able to recreate a moment of intense personal grief and contemplation. Nowhere in the poem is it mentioned why the narrator is grief stricken. He wanders aimlessly, going where the wind leads him. Finally he flops down, it is not […]

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Summary   In marked contrast to her other love poems, A Birthday by Christina Rossetti, is an exuberant poem that celebrates a fulfilled love that brings great joy. In a series of brilliant and densely beautiful comparisons, the poet says that her heart is full. It is like a singing bird, an apple bough laden […]

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