A Thing of Beauty – English Notes – Class XII

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Stanza – -1) ‘A thing————- breathing’-

1) A beautiful object gives joy forever. Its charm increases with the passage of time. It will never go waste or unnoticed. Rather it leaves an everlasting imprint on our minds. We re-live the joyful experience whenever we think about it.

2) The impression of beauty keeps lurking in our mind & it makes life beautiful, fragrant & secure like a bower.

3) ‘sleep——- dreams’- The joy beauty gives is similar to the joy of a blissful sleep full of pleasant dreams. Beauty also relieves our mind from tensions, giving it a soothing effect & ultimately provides a relaxed state of sleep with sweet dreams.

4) ‘quiet breathing’- Sense of peace & serenity that one experiences on seeing beautiful things. Beautiful sights act like nutrition for a healthy mind & refreshes & relaxes us by driving away aggression & restlessness.

Stanza – -2) ‘Therefore——- our searching’

1) So every morning / passing day we prepare a wreath of flowers to bind / attach us to this earth or strengthen our earthly life. The above mentioned things of beauty produce beautiful thoughts & memories which bind us to the earth & without them life would be painful. In spite of difficulties in life, beauty triumphs over all & makes life worth living.

2) ‘spite of despondence’- sufferings & hopelessness of man which he experiences in life due to anger, hatred & greed. The poet sees life as a struggle where man often suffers pain & loss of hope.

3) ‘of inhuman—– natures’- inhuman shortage of good qualities in people. Man is selfish & self-centred by nature. There are very few who rise above petty differences & show generosity.

4) ‘gloomy days’- We suffer from the pain of defeat & hopelessness which makes life sad & hateful. Life is a struggle for success & our path towards it gets obstructed by the selfishness & deceit of our colleagues.

5) ‘unhealthy—— searching’-The trials & tribulations one encounters in his journey of life used to get success may be evil. Life is a long dark tunnel with a light at the end & to reach the light & cross the darkness we search for ways & means which may be evil.

Stanza – -3) ‘Yes, inspite——- live in’

1) In spite of all these sad things, some beautiful objects remove the cover of sad feelings from our hearts.

2) ‘all’ refers to all the negative thoughts & objects that obstruct our path to happiness. Beauty in any form drives away the sadness from the dark recesses of our spirit.

3) ‘such—— live in’- The poet here refers to the images of beauty on earth like the sun, moon, old & young trees, sheep, green pastures, daffodils, streams, musk rose flowers scattered in mid forest thick growth of fern. He sees beauty at its best through various objects in nature & appreciates their simple & serene beauty. He tells us that beauty doesn’t exist only in grand objects like sun or moon but also in simple natural things like daffodils.

4) ‘Trees—– boon’- The poet celebrates the beauty of nature i.e. trees by calling them as a boon for humanity & symbol of protection as they give us shade & protection from heat & light of sun & rain.

5) ‘simple sheep’- symbolize innocent beauty. Jesus Christ is considered a shepherd surrounded by his flock of sheep, his followers. The shepherd & sheep imagery from the Bible has been used where sheep symbolize divine beauty & innocence like mankind for whom the objects of nature are a boon.

6) ‘with the green—– live in’- Man finds true happiness in the lap of nature whose beauty is at its best in lush green meadows & pastures providing life support to plants & animals. Beautiful objects cast an everlasting spell & the beauty of daffodils growing in pastures gives a cooling experience in contrast to the warmth of the hot season.

Stanza – -4) ‘and clear rills—— mighty dead’

1) Small streams with transparent water make a cool shelter of bushes to protect themselves from the hot season & also give us a cool & pleasant experience.

2) ‘the mid—– blooms’- The poet enjoys the magic spell of nature’s beauty in the musk-rose flowers in the thick forest undergrowth.

3) ‘grandeur—–dooms’- The poet sees beauty in the growth & decay of creations of nature & hence are two vital aspects of life which march hand in hand. Beauty is experienced in the deaths of people who sacrificed their lives for others’ happiness & will attain more greatness on doomsday. Contrasting aspects of life i.e. beauty in life & death are presented in the stanza. Life is a contrasting blend of warmth & coolness, growth & decay, birth & death & each has its own charm.

Stanza – -5) ‘All lovely—– brink’

1) The tales of such grand deaths which we have heard or read are like the endless fountain of immortal drink elixir for us as they get recorded in the pages of history leaving a lasting imprint on us. They serve as an everlasting source of motivation to those who read or hear about such great men who achieved glory in death.

2)‘endless—– drink’-Beauty whether in growth or death remains an endless source of inspiration like an elixir.

3)‘pouring—– brink’-Beauty is the greatest gift of God to man which has been showered upon man from heaven. Beauty is eternal & everlasting in whose glory men on earth derive an endless source of happiness.

4) The poet thus proves that he is a worshipper of beauty which he considers as the moving spirit of life & art. Love of beauty is the dominant theme of this poem. He believes that beauty stays with a person to get him through hard times.

Important Question & Key Points

1) Rhyme scheme- aabbcc, consistent rhyme. Shepherd & sheep imagery from Bible used.

2) A metaphor used to compare tales of the mighty dead to elixir.

3) How does the poem highlight the poet’s yearning for ideal beauty & immense faith in the divine? Mention the philosophy of life, message / central idea of the poem.

A) Love of ideal beauty is dominant in the poem. The poet is a worshipper of beauty & considers it as the moving spirit of life & art. Beauty plays a larger role as it stays with a person to get him through difficult times making life worth living. It can be seen in birth & death, growth & decay & is the greatest gift of God to man. Beauty is eternal & everlasting in whose glory man derives an endless source of happiness like an elixir from heaven. It is a gift like the trees which are a boon for us.

4) What image does the poet use to describe the beautiful bounty of the earth?

A) Beautiful bounty is described through the beautiful images of beauty on the earth like the beauty of the sun, moon, old & young trees, daffodils, green meadows, clear rills passing through bushy covers, musk roses scattered in a thick mass of fern in forests & the beauty of the mighty dead which is like the never ending fountain from heaven.

5) What makes the poet believe that a thing of beauty can never pass into nothingness?

A) Beauty can’t pass into nothingness as it leaves an impression on the mind forever in the form of relaxation in gloomy days, sleep with sweet dreams, feelings of security & serenity, positive breathing with the relaxation of a turbulent mind & a good health.

6) List the things that cause pain & sufferings. What makes a man love life inspite of this?

A) Sufferings due to disappointments, inhuman lack of people with noble nature, gloomy days & of the trials & tribulations one encounters by using unhealthy & evil ways in the journey of life to achieve success. But the beauty of nature produces beautiful thoughts & memories which bind us to the earth & inspires us to survive inspite of difficulties.

You can grab notes for other chapters from here.

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One Reply to “A Thing of Beauty – English Notes – Class XII”

  1. Sir, there are some chapters which are not given in youtube in your channel. Sir, please upload the videos for those chapters. Your lectures are really awesome.

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