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Renaissance Themes


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162 Pages


These essays present a view of English literature and drama in a context of humane literary studies: a critical ambience harking back to the Renaissance.

Arun Kumar Das Gupta taught English literature for over 40 years, first at Presidency College, Kolkata, and then at the University of Calcutta. His interpretations of Western literature and thought, particularly of the Renaissance, shaped a whole generation of students. Some of them have produced this volume of essays in tribute to their mentor.

Two essays directly address the intellectual milieu of the European Renaissance. Sukanta Chaudhuri examines the unusual merger of modes and registers in Renaissance philosophic discourse, while Niranjan Goswami looks at a particular example of Ramist practice. The other pieces relate to English writers and works, notably Shakespeare and Milton, in a wider perspective of Renaissance concerns and general critical issues. Abhijit Sen analyses the stage and verbal imagery in Macbeth. Supriya Chaudhuri and Paromita Chakraborty take King Lear as their point of departure. Chaudhuri brings out the full conceptual implications of the Dover Cliff scene, while Chakraborty dissects the play’s sexual imagery. Swapan Chakravorty takes in a wide range of dramatic and non-dramatic texts in his survey of reading on the Early Modern stage. Amlan Das Gupta studies the Miltonic simile, specifically in Paradise Lost Book IV. Finally, Malabika Sarkar reads Samson Agonistes in a context of magic and alchemy to draw out some implications deeply relevant at the present time.

The Renaissance God as Man of Letters - SUKANTA CHAUDHURI The Union of Philosophy and Eloquence: The Ramist Legacy - NIRANJAN GOSWAMI Hypocrite lecteur: Reading on the Early Modern Stage - SWAPAN CHAKRAVORTY Vertigo - SUPRIYA CHAUDHURI Folly and Androgyny: Shakespeare’s King Lear - PAROMITA CHAKRAVARTI Fatal Visions in Macbeth - ABHIJIT SEN The Miltonic Dissimile: Language and Style in Paradise Lost, Book 4 - AMLAN DAS GUPTA ‘A Moving Grave’: Positioning Samson Agonistes - MALABIKA SARKAR



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Renaissance Themes Essays Presented to Arun Kumar Das Gupta
Arun Kumar Das Gupta. By courtesy of ABP Ltd.
Essays Presented to Arun Kumar Das Gupta
Edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri
ANTHEMPRESSAn imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in India 2009 by ANTHEM PRESS C49 Kalkaji, New Delhi 110019, India 75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA © 2009 Sukanta Chaudhuri individual chapters © individual contributors The moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication maybe reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. ISBN13: 9788190757010
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Printed at Sadhana Press Private Limited, Kolkata 200 B B Ganguly Street, Kolkata 700 012, WB, India
Prefacevii List of Contributorsix Arun Kumar Das Gupta xi The Renaissance God as Man of Letters 1 Sukanta Chaudhuri Ramist and Senecan Elements in Joseph Hall’sThe Art of Divine Meditation 17 Niranjan Goswami Hypocrite Lecteur: Reading on the Early Modern Stage 33 Swapan Chakravorty
Vertigo Supriya Chaudhuri
Folly and Androgyny: Shakespeare’s King Lear Paromita Chakravarti
‘Fatal Visions’ inMacbethAbhijit Sen
The Miltonic Dissimile: Language and Style inParadise Lost, Book 4 Amlan Das Gupta
‘A Moving Grave’: PositioningSamson AgonistesMalabika Sarkar
India’s External Relations
Arun Kumar Das Gupta exercised a singular influence on the thought, research and teaching of a generation of pupils who themselves became teachers, sometimes largely owing to his example. Still more importantly, he provided a model of learning, dedication and academic probity to his students at large. Directly and indirectly, he has been a force and an inspiration throughout Bengal – indeed elsewhere in India – for the study of European literature, art and culture. Professor Das Gupta has been critically identified with the programme of English studies evolved at Presidency College, Kolkata, above all through the efforts of Tarak Nath Sen. But more than his predecessors, he brought the fruits of that tradition to a far wider range of beneficiaries. This volume is a belated and inadequate tribute to this exceptional scholar and teacher. Practical constraints required that contributors be restricted to Professor Das Gupta’s direct pupils, and that the papers relate to his dominant interest, the Renaissance. In effect, this book is a grateful offering from a group of former pupils, all associated with Jadavpur University and most of them on its staff. Professor Das Gupta never had any formal connexion with Jadavpur: all the more reason to record his substantial impact, through his pupils teaching there, on the Jadavpur English programme, especially as regards Renaissance studies. A word about editorial practice. For major authors in general and Shakespeare in particular, we have allowed each contributor his or her choice of edition. Passages in languages other than English have, as a rule, been quoted in translation in the body of the article, with the original text in the notes. Professor Das Gupta’s daughters, Manisha and Ruchira Das Gupta, have given valuable information and advice. We are grateful to ABP Ltd for providing a photograph of Professor Das Gupta from their archives and permitting us to use it. The photograph by Richard Drew is reproduced by permission of the Associated Press.
Sukanta Chaudhuri 30 June 2008
India’s External Relations
List of Contributors
ABHIJITSENis Professor of English, Visva-Bharati.
AMLANDASGUPTAis Professor of English, Jadavpur University.
MALABIKASARKARis Professor of English, Jadavpur University.
NIRANJANGOSWAMIis Reader in English, Presidency College, Kolkata.
PAROMITACHAKRAVARTIis Senior Lecturer in English and Joint Director, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.
SUKANTACHAUDHURIis Professor of English and Director, School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University.
SUPRIYACHAUDHURIis Professor of English and Director, School of Languages, Jadavpur University. SWAPANCHAKRAVORTYis Professor of English and Joint Director, School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University.
India’s External Relations