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Raymond William

Raymond William

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M.A English Part two paper four
M.A English Part two paper four

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Published by: Iftikhar Hussain Rizvi on Mar 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Raymond Williams was a great critic, scholar and novelist of last century. He was born in Pandy, on the Welsh border. His father was a railway signalman. He got hiseducation form Abergavenny Grammar School
Trinity College, Cambridge. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War. He joined theBritish Army and worked as ananti-tank captain. After the war he worked in adult education before becoming a lecturer atCambridgeUniversity.A socialist, in the 1950s he joined forces withE. P. Thompson,Raphael Samuel,Ralph Miliband,Stuart Halland John Saville to launch two radical journals,
The New Reasoner
and the
 New Left Review
.From 1974 to 1984, he served as a Professor of Drama at Cambridge. His maininterest was culture and society, which was also the title of his highly regarded book published in 1958. Williams wrote extensively about the history of culture. Books by  Williams include Culture and Society 1780-1960 (1958), The Long Revolution (1961),Communication (1962), Second Generation (1964), Orwell (1971), The Country and theCity (1973), Television: Technology and Culture (1974), Keywords (1976), Marxism andLiterature (1977), The Volunteers (1978), Problems in Materialism and Culture (1980),Culture (1981), Writings in Society (1983) and Loyalties (1985).Raymond Williams died in 1988.
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Undoubtedly, Raymond Williams is a great critic, journalist, historian, politicalcommentator, dramatist and novelist of last century. He holds a prominent position in the field of literary criticism. His work in the field of literary criticism is very important, as it gave newdimensions to it. He had a natural instinct of observing, analyzing and interpreting, which helpedhim a lot to become a critic of first rank. As a critic he became more prominent than any otherfields. His own sense of tradition and history really contributed in making him a versatile critic andphilosopher. As far as
“Modern Tragedy” 
is concerned it is considered to be one of his best criticalworks. In it he has discussed tragedy of the past, its evolution and development, the tradition of tragedy, the modern inclinations in tragedy. Moreover, he has also discussed various authors andthe works of the 20
century and above all the effect of the concept of tragedy on the modernrevolutionary movements.Tragedy and Tradition is basically about tragedy and its hist
orical perspective. In it RaymondWilliams discusses common as well as traditional meanings of tragedy. For him tragedy is directlyrelated with culture, society and also to the experiences in life. He feels that tragedy is not simplydeath and sufferings nor even any response to it; rather it is particular kind of event and a kind of response to that event that is purely tragic. However, there are certain events and responses in lifethat generally seem tragic, while others not.According to Raymond Williams, Tragedy as a word has not changed but as dramatic form ithas gone under certain changes. He is of the view that these changes depend upon the changedperception of the people of different areas. According to him,
does not mean to acceptpast entirely rather it is analyzing and evaluating the past in the present perspective. Moreover,tragic works should be examined critically as well as historically. In short, he describes historicaldevelopment of the idea of Tragedy as follows:According to Raymond Williams, to understand
the concept of tragedy in “Classical Era”
onehas to go through Greek Tragedies. The Greek tragedies are unique and genuine tragedies. Theydid not depend on some specific doctrine; rather they are related to a network of beliefs that arecommon in that culture. Greek felt that
had become natural part of Greektragedy as well as life in general.
That’s why the suffering of the
main character symbolizes thesufferings of everyone. However, the tragedy underwent many changes during this era. Choruswhich was considered an important part of tragedy lost its meanings and worth.It is believed that in Medieval age there was no considerable development in tragedy. It wasconsidered a narrative form and story of a man who has fallen from prosperity to adversity. The

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