Shelley’s To a Skylark: 15 Important Questions and Answers

To a Skylark: 15 Important Questions and Answers

To a Skylark Questions and Answers

  1. To Which objects does Shelley compare the Skylark and its Song?

Ans. Shelley is known as a perfect master of imagery user in the corpus of English poetry. His “To a Skylark” is replete with 90 many similes and metaphors which are undoubtedly unique. Shelley has compared the skylark to a cloud of fire, ‘unbodied joy’, star of heaven, a poet, with a highborn maiden glow worm, a rose etc. As a result of using these imageries Shelley’s Skylark gets a different dimension. Its song is compared to vernal showers and moon beams and love etc. Truly speaking, except Shelley, perhaps none has used so many images to indicate a bird and its song

  1. Why does Shelley say “bird thou never wert”?

Ans. Though the Skylark is a bird of flesh and blood of this mortal world, to Shelley, it gets a special significance. To him, it symbolizes a heavenly mysterious spirit and it represents absolute joy and happiness. To Shelley, the bird is an ideal of all the human beings, which can lead us to s world free from fatigue, sorrows and sufferings. To Shelley, the Skylark is an abstract idea which can give birth to a better and new world.

  1. Why is Skylark compared to a star of heaven?

Ans. This comparison is fully justified. A star of heaven is glorious in the nightly sky. Through all the night, is attracts the heart of all of us. But when the day approaches, those stars in spite of their existence in the sky, gradually become invisible to us. So also the Skylark comes down on earth at night. Throughout the night, its song overflows the earth. But before dawn, it starts its upward journey and it is not Visible on earth. As both the skylark and a star of heaven are perceptible at night only and during daytime both of them disappear, this comparison is apt.

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  1. Why does Shelley say “What thou art we know not;”?

Ans. Generally a creature of earth can’t sing so beautiful a song like skylark. Actually this skylark is not a common bird. It is a spirit which has the power to reform our old dated world. As it stands for perfect joy and happiness and is free from all the earthly qualities like langour, fatigue etc., it is really beyond the perception of common human beings.

  1. How is skylark compared to a poet?

Ans. Generally a poet. keeps himself free from common affairs and remaining absorbed in the depth of thought, goes on writing poetry. Nothing of this earth can divert his mentality: Primarily, he is not appreciated by the universe. But at last a situation comes when he is respected by all. Likewise the skylark also with its flight in the sky goes on producing sweet melody for the common men to enjoy. Shelley thinks that a skylark is probably a poet because without deep thought like a poet how can a skylark sing continuously Moreover, the songs are produced like a poet’s poetry: irrespective of the matter that whether anyone pays heed for it or not.

  1. How is the Skylark compared to a highborn maiden?

Ans. A highborn maiden who has suffered the pangs of love keeps herself closed within a chamber in a palace tower. Then at the dead hours of night, she produces some sweet music to soothe her love-laden heart. But the result is that the surrounding atmosphere is overflowed with that music. A skylark also throughout the all night produces charming music while flying in the sky. This music is too sweet to win anybody’s heart. The nightly earth gets overflowed with that song of the skylark. So this comparison is undeniably true.

  1. How is the skylark compared to a glow-worm?

Ans. A glow worm in the evening hides itself in the bushes of flowers and its leaves. So it is invisible to us. But its light is scattered everywhere. Though the insect itself is able to screen itself, it can’t conceal its attractive yellowish light. A skylark also generally very rare to our eyes. But the song which it sings comes to our ears and makes us happy like the golden light of the glow worm. So this comparison used by Shelley is not without justification.

  1. How does Shelley explain the skylark’s song?

Ans. Shelley has compared the song of the skylark to moonbeams and vernal showers. But what is striking is that the skylark’s song in spite of being an earthly creation is not subjected to death, decay and destruction. It is free from the fever and the fret of the world. It is perfect, immortal and infinite in essence. Therefore, Shelley opines that a skylark’s music surpasses all that ever was joyous, dear and beautiful.

  1. Why does Shelley hesitate to call the skylark a spirit or as a bird?

Ans. Though it is skylark yet it is not skylark in the imaginative sense. To Shelley, a skylark which is born on earth cannot be free from mundane qualities and must be forced to undergo physical decay. Yet he sees that a skylark is singing a loving, romantic song free from the touch of earth. It also seems to him that this bird could change his self and could bring a new millennium for the old society where we live. So, how he will interpret the skylark whether as a spirit or as a bird. But it is clear to us that he regards it more and more as a spirit than a bird.

  1. Explain “Chorus Hymenial” and “triumphal” chant”.-what is the hidden one in them?

Ans. Being a mundane creature man never can sing a perfectly happy song. They always hanker after that but never attain that. The marriage song and the victory song are probably the most perfect in human life. But as they are associated with earth, these songs are not fully free from the touches of pathos and tragedy That’s why, Shelley says that we find nothing but these marriage song and victory song to be the happiest but at the same time he also opines that they are not fully divine or perfect. They are mixed with some sorrow or like that.

  1. What are sources of skylark’s song?

Ans. Shelley clearly describes that we, the mortal Creatures cannot think of the source of skylark’s heavenly music. Actually its song is free from all kinds of pains and sufferings. That’s why it is able to sing such perfect and attractive song. But he proposes that some fields or waves or mountains or sky or plain might be the source of its song. But he is sure that freedom from earthly chain is the main source of skylark’s song.

  1. Why does Shelley say that a skylark does not know love’s sad satiety?

Ans. The skylark sings in y free and happy mood. Without loving the world equally none can sing such a perfect song like skylark. Anyone, free from jealousy can only sing each type of song. But satiety is the counter part of love. Anyone who loves is forced to feel the pangs associated with it. That’s why, we, the mortal beings can’t sing spontaneously because it is interrupted by love’s sad satiety. But the skylark never know the meaning of satiety being free from the clutches of mortality. For this reason only the skylark loves, sings hut never feels its counterpart that is its sad satiety.

  1. “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought”–Explain.

Ans. The human life by nature is engulfed in the ocean of sorrow. Here from no escape is possible. We always hanker after the best but in vain. As we are controlled by the mortal law’s, generally our hearts have a natural tendency towards the tragic view of life. Most of us are drowning in the sea of trouble. All our attempts to be free from it are in vain. Sweetest songs are very rare. Only marriage song and victory song are available. So, sweetest songs are covered up by the saddest thoughts. So if anyone is asked to sing a sweet song, he starts singing tragic song finding nothing.

  1. What appeal does Shelley make to the skylark?

Ans. Shelley, a lover of mankind wanted to bring welfare in our old, decayed society with some new ideals. But he was misinterpreted and severely criticized by all. It was a great shock to Shelley. What did he want and what did he get? There was none to share his feelings. But when he heard the song of the skylark he was spell bound. So he earnestly requested the skylark to teach himself its brain because in that ease he would be able to utter a charming verse and the world would listen to him as he was listening to the bird.

  1. Why is skylark called the scorner of the ground?

Ans. Naturally a skylark is invisible in the surroundings of mortal plain though it is born here. It spends much of the time in the sky. Rarely it comes down on earth. Though it is an earthly creature, yet it sings heavenly songs and is free from fatigue, fever, fret, langour and diseases of the earth. Again it knows the key of life, of death probably. As the skylark has more association with heaven and almost no relation with earth, it is truly called the scorner of the ground.

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