Questions tagged [meaning]

For questions regarding the meaning of certain terms of phrases used in a work of literature. If your question concerns the symbolic significance of something whose surface meaning is clear, use the [symbolism] tag instead.

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3
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2answers
199 views

What is Robert frost 'owning' in these lines?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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1answer
381 views

How did “they make them sleep all day” in A Roadside Stand?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
2
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2answers
248 views

What does the word 'Avernus' mean in Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu?

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, Chapter 7: The first change I experienced was rather agreeable. It was very near the turning point from which began the descent of Avernus. On Wikipedia it says ...
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What are the 'N' and 'S' signs in the 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost. I am confused by the reference to "N" and "S" signs in tree poem. What do those signs refer to? The little old house was out with a little new ...
3
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1answer
181 views

What does “in the arms of Murphy” mean?

From E. Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle, Chapter V, when Gerald is telling the policeman Johnson about the burglary he witnessed: "Was it you give the warning, and they sent for the police?" Johnson ...
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Why did “the human race became a small committee surrounded by affectionate animals” for Sartre in the Words?

What is Sartre's metaphor meaning in the Words when saying : "The human race became a small committee surrounded by affectionate animals." The context is when he begins to become familiar ...
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1answer
50 views

What does “contention-tost” mean?

In Matthew Arnold's 'Thyrsis: A Monody, to Commemorate the Author's Friend, Arthur Hugh Clough' we read: What though the music of thy rustic flute Kept not for long its happy, country tone; ...
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1answer
777 views

What does it mean to ask 'what is the subject of this poem'?

I read a poem called "Vigil strange I kept on the field one night" by Walt Whitman (reproduced below). One question I was asked about this poem is 'what is the subject of this poem?' For my ...
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What sort of bookshops sell The Works of Aristotle?

In the beginning of The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis' narrator states: However far I went I found only dingy lodging houses, small tobacconists, hoardings from which posters hung in rags, windowless ...
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What are the “mind-forged manacles”?

From "London", a short poem in William Blake's Songs of Experience collection (free to read online): In every cry of every man, In every infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, ...
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1answer
366 views

What does “I'll be D.D. before I have done!” mean?

I was reading Jude the Obscure, and I came across this line in Part First, VI: "...I must save money, and I will; and one of those colleges shall open its doors to me—shall welcome whom now ...
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What does “chartered” mean in Blake's poem “London”?

William Blake's short poem "London", from his Songs of Experience collection (which you can read online), starts as follows: I wander through each chartered street, Near where the chartered ...
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What is the meaning of “hearth” in Charles Reade's work The Cloister and the Hearth?

I haven't read the book. The author of the article I'm translating mentions him and his novel, I need to include the exact translation of the title but I'm not sure what he meant. Is it a home, a ...
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176 views

What does “Wireless-men” mean?

In All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator says, In the meantime we receive visitors, a couple of wireless-men, who are generously invited to the feed. They sit in the living-room where there ...
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1answer
210 views

Does “Natural Lord” in Frankenstein mean “Father” or something to that effect?

From chapter 10 of the Project Gutenberg ebook - or Volume 2, Chapter 3, Page 102 of Penguin Classics edition (emphasis mine): My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all the ...
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What does “pre-Miracle” mean in this extract from the book “The fault in our stars”?

'Do you have a Wish?' he asked, referring to this organization, The Genie Foundation, which is in the business of granting sick kids one wish. 'No' I said. 'I used my Wish pre-Miracle.' 'What'd ...
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1answer
83 views

What does “Choice is a subtle form of disease” mean?

Choice is a subtle form of disease. - Don DeLillo, Running Dog What does this quote mean? Can someone explain it, please? I googled a lot but didn't get any proper explanation. And if this kind of ...
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1answer
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Interpretation of Martin Luther King's essay

Martin Luther King, Jr. said: The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Can anyone ...
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1answer
74 views

Meaning of “was given to her favorite, and now bore his” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: While this high post of honour's in abeyance, For one or two days, reader, we request You'll mount with our young hero the conveyance Which wafted him from ...
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98 views

Meaning of “and those things which for an instant clip enjoyment's wings” in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 10, stanza 5, from Byron's Don Juan: We left our hero, Juan, in the bloom     Of favouritism, but not yet in the blush; And far be it from my Muses to presume     (For I have more ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “all game and bottom” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd -- His second son was levell'd by a shot; His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd Of all the ...
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1answer
77 views

Meaning of “With Ismail's storm to soften it the more” in Byron's “Don Juan”

Canto 8, stanza 68, from Byron's Don Juan: So much for Nature: -- by way of variety, Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation! And the sweet consequence of large society, War, pestilence, ...
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546 views

What is the meaning of this sentence from A Retrieved Reformation?

This is a line from O. Henry's A Retrieved Reformation. The detective Ben Price is confident that Jimmy, now out on parole, has been to crack safes and: He'll do his bit next time without any ...
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1answer
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Where is the object in this clause in Byron's Don Juan?

From Byron's Don Juan: But those who scaled, found out that their advance Was favour'd by an accident or blunder: The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance Had palisado'd in a way you'd ...
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1answer
72 views

Meaning of “which some months the same still is” in Byron's 'Don Juan'

From Byron's Don Juan: By Jove! he was a noble fellow, Johnson, And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles, Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon We shall not see his ...
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Meaning of “Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: The troops, already disembark'd, push'd on To take a battery on the right; the others, Who landed lower down, their landing done, Had set to work as briskly as ...
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1answer
117 views

Meaning of “pig who sees the wind” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet, Are things immortal to immortal man, As purple to the Babylonian harlot: An uniform to boys is like a fan To women; ...
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1answer
138 views

Meaning of a stanza in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 6, stanza 52, from Byron's Don Juan: Dudù, as has been said, was a sweet creature, Not very dashing, but extremely winning, With the most regulated charms of feature, Which ...
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597 views

What is a “fetish man” in African tribal culture?

I'm translating Robert E. Howard's short story "The Hyena". It was published in 1927. There is a character called Senecoza and Howard (and the protagonist) always refer to him as "the fetish man". And ...
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1answer
76 views

Meaning of “'T was the boy's ”mite,“ and, like the ”widow's,“ may Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now”

From Byron's Don Juan: 'T was the boy's "mite," and, like the "widow's," may Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now; But whether such things do or do not weigh, All who have loved,...
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1answer
161 views

Why is a cuckolded husband “fit for heaven” in Byron's Don Juan?

Canto 5, stanza 154, from Byron's Don Juan: His majesty saluted his fourth spouse      With all the ceremonies of his rank, Who clear'd her sparkling eyes and smooth'd her brows,      As ...
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1answer
126 views

Meaning of “but no one dreams of ever being short” in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 5, stanza 48, from Byron's Don Juan: Some talk of an appeal unto some passion,      Some to men's feelings, others to their reason; The last of these was never much the fashion,      ...
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2answers
71 views

Meaning of “from crowns to kicks” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Just now a black old neutral personage Of the third sex stept up, and peering over The captives, seem'd to mark their looks and age, And capabilities, as to discover ...
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1answer
32 views

Meaning of “such as had not staid long with her destiny” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: Thus lived -- thus died she; never more on her Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder ...
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1answer
106 views

Meaning of “The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: It has a strange quick jar upon the ear, That cocking of a pistol, when you know A moment more will bring the sight to bear Upon your person, twelve yards off,...
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1answer
68 views

Meaning of “Whose husband only knows her not a whore”

From Byron's Don Juan: Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful But theirs was love in which the mind delights To lose itself when the old world grows dull, And we are sick of its hack ...
3
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1answer
81 views

Meaning of “Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Their poet, a sad trimmer, but no less In company a very pleasant fellow, Had been the favourite of full many a mess Of men, and made them speeches when half ...
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1answer
263 views

What does “kettle at the heel” mean in this Yeats poem, “The Tower”?

What shall I do with this absurdity — O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature, Decrepit age that has been tied to me As to a dog's tail? Never had I more Excited, passionate, ...
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1answer
410 views

What do these lines mean in the opening paragraph of Peel My Love Like an Onion?

What does Ana Castillo mean by these lines in Peel My Love Like an Onion? Yes, he was dark. He still is except that it is not easy to think of him as still existing, and everywhere my gaze turns he ...
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What is the meaning of Izquierdo's ending statement?

In the very end (Act III, Scene 11) of Emmanuel Roblès's play Montserrat, Izquierdo replies to Father Coronil's, after asking if he had regretted his decision: ENGLISH: No. He only talked to ...
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1answer
115 views

Meaning of “So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole, as vibrates my fond heart to my fixed soul”

From Byron's Don Juan: "My breast has been all weakness, is so yet; But still I think I can collect my mind; My blood still rushes where my spirit's set, As roll the waves before ...
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1answer
43 views

Meaning of “As roll the waves before the settled wind” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: "My breast has been all weakness, is so yet; But still I think I can collect my mind; My blood still rushes where my spirit's set, As roll the waves before ...
3
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1answer
88 views

Meaning of “a lady with apologies abounds” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Julia, in fact, had tolerable grounds,— Alfonso's loves with Inez were well known, But whether 't was that one's own guilt confounds— But that can't be, as has been ...
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1answer
46 views

Meaning of “faithful to the tomb, so there were quarrels” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused; Antonia bustled round the ransack'd room, And, turning up her nose, with looks abused Her master and his myrmidons, of ...
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1answer
233 views

What are “smoking-room stories”?

I recently started reading C.S. Lewis's book That Hideous Strength, the third in his Space Trilogy (and I'm devouring it - what a story!) The following passage, from when Mark first meets Miss "Fairy" ...
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1answer
53 views

Meaning of “Israelites” in Byron's Don Juan: “That all the Israelites are fit to mob its next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits”

From Byron's Don Juan: Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady Or gentleman of seventy years complete, Who've made "us youth" wait too—too long already ...
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What's the meaning of the text in the scroll that the Prince of Arragon finds in the silver casket in Act 2, Scene 9 of The Merchant of Venice?

This is the exact text (The Merchant of Venice, Act 2 Scene 9): Arragon: The fire seven times tried this, Seven times tried that judgment is, That did never choose amiss. Some ...
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1answer
93 views

Meaning of “but beg security will bolt the door”

From Don Juan by Byron: LXXXVIII "Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this, Where transport and security entwine, Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss, And here thou art a god ...
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71 views

Meaning of “Where juries cast up what a wife is worth”?

From Byron's Don Juan: Happy the nations of the moral North! Where all is virtue, and the winter season Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth ('T was snow that brought St. ...
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1answer
71 views

Meaning of “Produced her Don more heirs at love than law”

From Don Juan: This heathenish cross restored the breed again, Ruin'd its blood, but much improved its flesh; For from a root the ugliest in Old Spain Sprung up a branch as ...