MP Board Class 12th Special English Important Questions Chapter 17 The Last Ride Together
I. Answer the following questions in about 50 – 60 words each:
What thoughts pass through the lover’s mind when he and his beloved were riding together? (M.P. 2012, Imp.)
The lover expresses the heavenly bliss which he experiences for a short while in the company of his beloved during the ride. The lady bent towards him and placed her head on his shoulder. Her body was in close contact with his own. The lover thinks that the world may end that very night and so the moment of his bliss may become eternal.
How does the speaker find his fulfilment in the present when he says. “I hoped she would love me; here we ride?”
Here the lover, as he rode by the side of his beloved, mused on the sorry lot of humanity in this world. As he rode by the side of his beloved, he felt as if his spirit was soaring high. The entire landscape seemed to wear a different look. The fields through which they rode and the cities they came across seemed to him to be bathed in divine glory.
His own joy transfigured and illuminated the entire region which rushed passed them, on both sides, as they rode forward. The poet here puts his ideals that aspirations of man are never realised. But he at least has the consolation of riding with as beloved. Others are denied even this sort of consolation.
How does the statement “We know, what’s fit for us”, reveal the speaker’s faith in fate?
Who knows, what’s fit for us, reveals the speaker’s faith in fate. None can say what may happen in future. All men make efforts in the world but some of them succeed and some of them fail. Success and failure go on with the man’s fate. At some time man becomes successful, at another time, the same man becomes unsuccessful.
There are some that succeed through life while there are others who fail throughout life. The poet, as a lover, expresses his views that success in life means failure to come in life success &failure appear after each other, as joys and woes follow each other in mans life.
Why does the speaker consider the earth a favoured place in comparison to heaven? (M.P. 2013,18)
Heaven is nothing but the realisation of our highest hopes as aspirations. It is life at its best. Man has always looked upwards and thought that heaven lies somewhere over head. But for the lover if one enjoys the company of his beloved it is the earth which is heaven. It gives him heavenly bliss.
Explain the significance of the expression “this glorygarland round my soul” in reference to the ride.
Man can’t get all his desires fulfilled. Had he reached his goal in this world and had gained the garland of victory by winning the love of his beloved he would have had nothing to look forward in the life to come. If he had achieved the heavenly happiness in this world, if he had won the love of his beloved here, no hopes of any reward in other world would have left for him.
How are the brave deeds of the soldier rewarded by the world? (M.P. 2014, Imp.)
In the poem, ‘The Last Ride Together’ the poet has compared his achievement with that of a statesman, a soldier, a poet or a musician. In reference with the above lines in the question, the brave deeds of a soldier is rewarded by the world only with a burial in the Westminster Abbey, a place where only the great and heroic passengers are hurried and a flag is hoisted over his memorial.
How does the speaker compare his soul with a scroll?
As his soul had grown wrinkled and disfigured with grief, so the poet compares it with a scroll.
What does the poet express in his verses?
In his verses the poet expresses the view that sublime ideals and beautiful things are best and men should try to achieve them.
II. Answer the following questions in about 75 – 100 words each:
The speaker considers his fate better than that of others. Why and how? (Imp.)
In this poem a lover reflects on human life. He realises that all in this world work hard to achieve their objectives. But all of them do not succeed. Man can hardly achieve his ambitions. Despite lifelong toil man can achieve very little. Actual achievement is small in comparison with much that remains undone. Aspirations of man are never realized to the fullest.
In this poem the lover aspires for his beloved’s love but fails. Still he thinks himself to be a little better in the sense that he gets a chance to enjoy his last ride together with his beloved. He experiences a heavenly bliss in her company. Others are denied, even such momentary bliss.
The speaker in the poem says to the poet “(You) sing, riding’s a joy! For me, I ride”. How does this statement contrast the fate of the two?
The lover illustrates his point by referring to the fate of a poet. A poet no doubt is more skilful than other artists. But his reward too meagre. His life is also a failure. In his poetry he expresses the view that sublime ideals and beautiful things are best and men should try to achieve them.
All this is a great achievement for a poet. But he dies in poverty even in the prime of life. He never achieves his own sublime ideals in life. A poet can only sing that riding with one’s beloved is a source of great pleasure. But he does never actually enjoy this pleasure. The lover considers himself more lucky in this respect for he is actually enjoying a ride with his beloved.
To the man of music, the speaker says “I gave my youth, but we ride, in fine.” How does he prove his achievement greater than that of this man of music?
While comparing his fate with that of other artists like a man of music, the lover finds himself in a better position. The musician is also an unsuccessful artist. He devotes all his life to his art. He grows old in composing sweet tunes. But the only praise that he gets even from his friends is that he composed great music. But then fashion and taste in music change and his achievements become outdated.
Similarly, the lover in this poem devoted his youth, the prime of his life, in courting his beloved but now he has been rejected. But he has his reward tp enjoy the pleasure of the last ride in his beloved’s company. The musician can never enjoy such a fulfilment.
Discuss ‘The last Ride together’ as a dramatic monologue. (M.P. 2010, Imp., 16)
The last Ride together is a dramatic monologue and it shows Browning at his best in the handling of this poetic form. It has also been called a dramatic lyric because it is not an expression of his own personal emotions, but that of an imagined character. It is spoken by a lover who loved his lady over a long paned of lime, and who, after making him wait for so long, finally rejected him, and turned to another lover.
The lover then prayed to her to grant two requests of his. First, that she should remember his love of her, and secondly, that she should come with him for a last ride together. To his great joy the lady consented.
The entire poem is a dramatic monologue. The lover is proving out his emotions, actually in front of none. He seems to be talking to himself in loneliness. He analyzes his own courting and persuasion of his beloved and its ultimate result. But instead of getting disheartened over his miserable failure, he finds consolation in the consent of his lady love for going on the last ride with him. The sheer imagination of proximity fills him with thrill and sense of fulfilment.
Discuss in detail Browning as a poet of love. (Imp.)
Although the poem is dominated by intellectual analysis it yet shows Browning as a singer of passionate love. The intensity of emotion characterises many of the lines in the poem. As the lover’s heart overflows with love, some of his statements become highly charged with feelings and emotions.
For instance when his beloved is considering his final request for a ride he feels it like life and death in the balance and as if the circulation of his blood has stopped. When she agrees to his proposal, he feels that the circulation of his blood has started again and he experiences a feeling of elation.
When she leans against him, he feels as if he is in heaven. There is a passionate quality in the whole of the third stanza in which he describes how a lover’s passion might draw cloud, sunset, moonrise and star shine down on himself, near and yet more near, till flesh must fade for heaven was here! The lover experiences intense joy and intense fear when the beloved leans against him and lingers.
It is a moment of ecstasy for him. When the ride actually begins he feels that his soul has smoothed itself out like a long cramped scroll freshening and fluttering in the wind.