Cult lit 1-10

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"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale\her infinite variety"

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"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale\her infinite variety"

Line from Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" where friend of Marc Antony says that Cleopatra is overwhelmingly attractive to men not so much for her beauty but rather her fascinating unpredictability and change of moods.

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"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;\ They kill us for their sport"

Lines from the play "King Lear", by William Shakespeare, spoken by the end of Gloucester, a friend of King Lear. They express a bitter sense of the meaningless and brutality of life.

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Bard of Avon

A title given to William Shakespeare, who was born and buried in Stratford-upon-Avon , England. A bard is a poet.

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James Boswell

A Scottish author of the eighteenth century, best known for his "Life Of Samuel Johnson". Boswell has become a general term for a biographer: "James Joyce found his Boswell in Richard Ellmann".

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"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

An enduringly popular poem from the middle eighteenth century by the English poet Thomas Gray. It contains the lines "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen/And waste its sweetness on the desert air", "The paths of glory lead but to the grave", and "Far from the Madding Crowd's ignoble strife/Their sober wishes never learned to stray".

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Sherlock Holmes

A fictional English detective, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes's extraordinary powers of memory, observation, and deduction enable him to solve mysteries and identify criminals in cases that leave all other detectives baffled. His companion is Dr. Watson, who records his exploits. Holmes is often mistakenly quoted as saying, "Elementary, my dear Watson." Figuratively, any shrewd detective can be called Sherlock Holmes, or simply Sherlock.

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"The horror! The Horror!"

A sentence spoken by the dying adventurer Kurtz ("The horror! The horror!") in "Heart of Darkness", by Joseph Conrad.

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Mr. Hyde

The vicious side of the personality of Dr. Jekyll in "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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Iago

The treacherous villain in the play "Othello", by William Shakespeare. As adviser to Othello, a general of Venice, Iago lies to his master and eventually drives him to murder his wife.

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"In Flanders Fields"

A poem about World War I by the Canadian author John McCrae, describing the scene of some of the worst fighting of the war; the "speakers" of the poem are the dead. It begins: "In Flanders fields the poppies below Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place..."

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"The lady doth protest too much"

A line from the play "Hamlet", William Shakespeare, spoken by Hamlet's mother. Hamlet's mother is watching a play, and a character in it swears never to remarry if her husband dies. The play is making Hamlet's mother uncomfortable, because she herself has remarried almost immediately after the murder of her first husband.

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D. H. Lawrence

A British author of the twentieth century; two of his best-regarded works are "Sons and Lovers" and "Women in Love". Lawrence is known for his frank treatment of sex, and for the radical ideas on society and on the family that he voiced in his books. Lawrence's novel "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was banned as obscene in both Britain and the United States, the ban was appealed to the Supreme Court, which overruled it.

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Samuel Pickwick

The main character of "The Pickwick Papers", a novel by Charles Dickens. Pickwick founds a club whose members use common words in extremely quirky ways. Someone who wishes to retract or qualify a statement says that he or she was using the words "in the Pickwickian sense." In the book, "Pickwickian Sense" refers to an interpretation of an offensive remark that makes it palatable.

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"Pound of flesh"

A phrase from the play "The Merchant of Venice", by William Shakespeare. The moneylender Shylock demands the flesh of the "merchant of Venice," Antonio, under a provision in their contract. Shylock never gets the pound of flesh, however, because the character Portia discovers a point of law that overrides the contract between Shylock and Antonio: Shylock is forbidden to shed any blood in getting the flesh from Antonio's body. People who cruelly or unreasonably insist on their rights are said to be demanding their "pound of flesh."

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"There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow"

A line from the play "Hamlet", by William Shakespeare, suggesting that a divine power takes a benevolent interest in human affairs. Hamlet, the speaker, is echoing word of Jesus, that one sparrow "shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Hamlet's speech continues: "If it be now; 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all."

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Romeo and Juliet

A tragedy by William Shakespeare about two "star-crossed lovers" whose passionate love for each other ends in death because of the senseless feud between their families. The line "Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?" is well known. Figuratively, a "Romeo" is an amorous young man.

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"Alas, Poor Yorick"

Lines said by Hamlet in Shakespeare's play of the same name in which Hamlet meditates in a graveyard holding the skull of Yorick, a jester he had known and once liked.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

An English poet of the nineteenth century, and the wife of Robert Browning. Elizabeth Browning is best known for "Sonnets from the Portuguese". The most famous of these sonnets begins, "How I love thee? Let me count the ways."

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Brutus

A character in the play "Julius Caesar", by William Shakespeare; on the of assassins of Julius Caesar.

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Joseph Conrad

A British author of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. He based many of his works, including "Heart of Darkness" and "Lord Jim", on his adventures as a sailor.

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"Do not go gentle into that good night... Rage, rage against the dying of the light"

Two lines from a poem by the twentieth- century Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, addressed to his dying father.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

A novel by Robert Louis Stevenson about the good Dr. Jekyll, whose well- intentioned experiments on himself periodically turn him into a cruel and sadistic Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde provide a classic example of split personality. In addition, the two characters often serve as symbols of the good and evil sides of a single personality.

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Count Dracula

The title character of "Dracula", a novel from the late nineteenth century by the English author Bram Stoker. Count Dracula, a vampire, is from Transylvania, a region of eastern Europe now in Rumania/Romania. He takes his name from a blood-thirsty nobleman of the Middle Ages. To lay the vampire Dracula's spirit to rest, one must drive a wooden stake through his heart. Count Dracula was played in films by the Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi, whose elegant, exotic accent has become permanently associated with the character.

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"East is East, and west is West, and never the twain shall meet"

A line from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It continues, a few lines later: "But there is neither East nor West... When two strong men stand face to face."

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"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may"

The first line of the poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", from the middle of the seventeenth century, by the English poet Robert herrick. He is advising people to take the advantage of life while they are young: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying.”

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"Had we but world enough, and time/This coyness, Lady were no crime"

The first lines of "To His Coy Mistress", a poem from the seventeenth century by the English poet Andrew Marvell. The poet tells a woman whom he loves that if they had endless time and space at their disposal, then he could accept her unwillingness to go to bed with him. Life is short, however, opportunities must be seized. Other lines from the poem are: "But at my back, I always hear/TIME'S WINGED CHARIOT hurrying near", and "The grave's a fine and private place/But none, I think, do there embrace."

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"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"

Words from a poem by Robert Browning, suggesting that, to achieve anything worthwhile, a person should attempt even those things that may turn out to be impossible.

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"A Modest Proposal"

An essay by Jonathan Swift, often called a masterpiece of Irony. "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to Their Public". Swift emphasizes the terrible poverty of the eighteenth-century Ireland by ironically proposing that Irish parents earn money by selling their children as food.

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Pygmalion

A play by George Bernard Shaw, about a professor, Henry Higgins, who trains a poor, uneducated girl, Eliza Doolittle, to act and speak like a lady. Shaw based his story on a tale from Greek mythology about a sculptor who carves the statue of a woman and falls in love with it. Higgins and Eliza develop a strong bond, and he is furious when she announces her intention to marry someone else. The musical comedy "My Fair Lady" is an adaptation of "Pygmalion".

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Oscar Wilde

An Irish-born author of the late nineteenth century, who spent most of his career in England. Wilde was famous for his flamboyant wit and style of dress. His best-known works include the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the play "The Importance of Being Earnest", and the poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" (jail). He urged Art for Art's Sake. Wilde was convicted of homosexual activity and spent about two years in prison. "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" is based on his experiences there.

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Winnie-the-Pooh

A stuffed toy bear who appears in several books for children by A. A. Milne; the characters in the Pooh books are mainly stuffed animals who have come to life. Winnie-the-Pooh has many adventures with the little boy Christopher Robin, his owner.

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"All the world's a stage"

The beginning of a speech in the play "As You Like It", by William Shakespeare. It is also called "The Seven Ages of Man", since it treats that many periods in a man's life: his years as an infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, judge, foolish old man, and finally "second childishness and more oblivion." The speech begins, with this phrase then "And all the men and women merely players..."

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Beowulf

An epic in Old English, estimated as dating from as early as the eighteenth century; the earliest long work of literature in English. The critical events are the slaying of the monster Grendel and Grendel's mother by the hero who they story is named after, and his battle with a dragon, in which he is mortally wounded.

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"Brutus is an honorable man"

A statement made several times in a speech by Mark Antony in the play "Julius Caesar". The speech is Antony's funeral oration over Caesar, whom Brutus has helped kill. This phrase is ironic, since Antony is attempting to succeed in turning the Roman people against Brutus and the other assassins.

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Cheshire Cat

A cat with an enormous grin encountered by Alice in "Alice's Wonderland", by Lewis Carroll. The cat tends to disappear, leaving only its smile hanging in the air.

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

An English author of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, best known for creating the character Sherlock Holmes. His works include "A Study in Scarlet", "The Sign of the Four", and "The Hound of the Baskervilles".

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Great Expectations

A novel by Charles Dickens. Worldly ambitions lead a young boy, Pip, to abandon his true friends.

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Captain Hook

The pirate-villain in the play "Peter Pan". One of his hands has been devoured by a crocodile and replaced with a hook. He is eaten whole by the crocodile near the end of the play.

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Aldous Huxley

An English author of the twentieth century best known for "Brave New World", a Novel about the future.

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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

The first sentence of "A Tale of Two Cities", by Charles Dickens, referring to the time of the French Revolution.

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Jane Eyre

A novel by Charlotte Bronte. This title character serves as governess to the ward of the mysterious and moody Edward Rochester. He proposes to her, but she discovers that he is already married to an insane woman. Eventually this character and Edward are able to marry.

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"A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a horse!

An exclamation from the play "King Richard the Third", by William Shakespeare; the tyrannical King Richard cries out this phrase after his horse was killed in battle, leaving him at the mercy of his enemies.

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Kubla Khan

An evocative poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about an exotic emperor. It begins with these lines: "In Xanadu did ______ ______/ A stately pleasure-dome decree...."

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Othello

A tragedy by William Shakespeare. The title character, a Moor, or dark-skinned Moslem, is a general commanding the forces of Venice. The villain Iago (i-a-g-o) convinces him that Desdemona, the general's beautiful and faithful wife, has been guilty of adultery; at the end of the play, this character strangles Desdemona. A famous line from the play is the title character's description of himself as "One That Loved Not Wisely But Too Well".

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Alexander Pope

An English poet of the eighteenth-century, known for his satiric wit and insistence on the value of classicism in literature: balance, symmetry, and restraint. His best-known poems are " The Rape of the Lock", "An Essay on Criticism", and "An Essay on Man".

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"We are such stuff/As dreams are made of"

A line from the play "The Tempest", by William Shakespeare; continues, "and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep." It is spoken by the magician Prospero. He has just made a large group of spirits vanish, and is reminding his daughter and her fiancé that mortal life also ends quickly.

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William Wordsworth

An English poet of the nineteenth century; he was one of the leading figures of Romanticism. His poems include "Daffodils", which begins with the words "I wandered lonely as a cloud," "The world is too much with us," "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood", and "The Prelude".

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"Big Brother is watching you"

A warning that appears on posters throughout Oceania, the fictional dictatorship described by George Orwell in his book "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1984). The term Big Brother is used to refer to any ruler or government that invaded the privacy of its citizens.

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Agatha Christie

An English author of the twentieth century, known for her play "The Mousetrap" and many detective thrillers and murder mysteries. She helped raise the "whodunit" to a prominent place in literature. Her two most famous literary detectives are the Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (famous for deducting with his "little grey cells") and the English old lady Miss Jane Marple. Some of Christie's famous novels are "Murder on the Orient Express", "Death on the Nile", "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", and most famously perhaps "And Then There Were None".

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

An English author of the early nineteenth century. Coleridge was a leader of Romanticism; his poems included "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

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Far From the Madding Crowd

A phrase adapted from the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," by Thomas Gray; madding means "frenzied". The lines containing the phrase speak of the people buried in the churchyard: "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife/ Their sober wishes never learned to stray." In the late nineteenth century, the English author Thomas Hardy named one of his novels "Far from the Madding Crowd".

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"The female of the species is more deadly than the male"

A frequently repeated line from the poem "The Female of the Species," by Rudyard Kipling.

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"Get thee to a nunnery"

Words from the play "Hamlet", by William Shakespeare; the advice Hamlet gives to Ophelia. He bids her a life of celibacy.

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Jeeves

A servant who appears in comic novels and short stories about the English upper classes by P. G. Wodehouse, a twentieth- century American author born in England.

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Samuel Johnson

An English author of the eighteenth century, known for his wit and for his balanced and careful criticism of literature. Johnson, who is sometimes called "Dr. Johnson" (he held a doctorate from Oxford), complied an important dictionary of the English language. The story of his life is told in "The Life of Samuel Johnson", by James Boswell.

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"Let me not to marriage of true minds/Admit impediments"

The first line of a sonnet by William Shakespeare. The poet is denying that anything can come between true lovers (that is, be an impediment to their love).

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The Merchant of Venice

A comedy by William Shakespeare. The most memorable character in Shylock, a greedy moneylender who demands from the title character "a pound of flesh" as a payment for a debt.

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Poet laureate

The national poet in Britain. Historically, the poet laureate's duty has been to compose official poetry for the king's or queen's birthday and for great public occasions such as victories in war, coronation's, and births and weddings in the royal family. The poets laureate of Britain have included Geoffrey Chaucer, William Wordsworth, and Alfred , Lord Tennyson. The position of poet laureate was created in the United States in 1985, and the American author Robert Penn Warren was appointed in 1986.

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Pride and Prejudice

A comic novel by Jane Austen about the life of an upper-Middle-Class family, the Bennets, in eighteenth-century England. A complex succession of events ends with the marriages of the two eldest Bennet daughters.

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"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

The first line of a sonnet by William Shakespeare. The poet notes beautiful days and seasons do not last, but declares that his love's "eternal summer shall not fade" because his poem makes his love immortal: "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,/ So long lives this, and this gives life to thee".

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Shangri-La

A fictional land of peace and perpetual youth; the setting of the book "Lost Horizon", a novel from the 1930's by the English author James Hilton, but probably best known from the movie version. Shangri-La is supposedly in the mountains of Tibet. A "Shangri-La," by extension, is an ideal refuge from the troubles of the world.

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Tiny Tim

The handicapped son of Bob Cratchit, the employee of Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol", by Charles Dickens. He speaks the famous line "God bless us every one."

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Animal Farm

A NOVEL OF SATIRE by George Orwell. Animals take over a farm to escape human tyranny, but the pigs treat the other animals worse than the people did. A famous quotation from the book is "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS".

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Jane Austen

A British author of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; her best known works are the novels "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma". Austen is particularly famous for her witty irony and perceptive comments about people and their social relationships.

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Charlotte and Emily Bronte

Two English authors of the nineteenth century, known for their novels. Charlotte Bronte wrote "Jane Eyre"; her sister, wrote "Wuthering Heights".

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Lewis Carroll

An English writer and logician, best known as the author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass".

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"The Charge of the Light Brigade"

A poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that celebrates the heroism of a British cavalry brigade in its doomed assault on much larger forces. The poem contains the well-known lines "Theirs not a reason why/ Theirs but to do and die".

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David Copperfield

A novel by Charles Dickens, largely the story of Dickens's own life. David Copperfield is sent away to work at a very young age, and grows to manhood over the course of the book. The account of David's grim boyhood was designed to expose the cruel conditions of child labor in Britain at the time.

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Friday

A native character in Robinson Crusoe, so named by Crusoe because Crusoe found him on a Friday. Friday places himself in service to Crusoe, and helps him survive. Figuratively, a "man Friday" or "girl Friday" is a valued helper.

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John Keats

An English poet of the nineteenth century, one of the leaders of Romanticism. His poems include, "Ode On a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale", and "Endymion", which contains the famous line, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". Keats died at the age of twenty-five.

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Lilliput

The first land that Lemuel Gulliver visits in Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The inhabitants, though human in form, are only six inches tall. Something "Lilliputian" is very small. The expression is especially appropriate for a miniature version of something.

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Malaprop

A character in The Rivals, an English play from the late eighteenth century by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Mrs. Malaprop constantly mixes up words that sound similar, declaring, for instance, "He is the very pineapple of politeness", when she means pinnacle.

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A. A. Milne

An English author of the twentieth century. He is best known for his stories of Winnie-the-Pooh.

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"One that loved not wisely but too well"

In the play Othello, by William Shakespeare, the title character's description of himself after he has murdered his wife in a jealous rage.

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"Parting is such sweet sorrow"

A line from the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare; Juliet is saying good night to Romeo. Their sorrowful parting is also "sweet" because it makes them think about the next time they will see each other.

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Tarzan

A character in popular novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The son of an English nobleman, Tarzan grows up in Africa among a pack of apes, learns the ways of the jungle, and protects its inhabitants from outsiders. The first Tarzan book appeared in 1914. Tarzan has a standard portrayal in films and comic books. He swings through the trees on long, sturdy vines, and announces his arrival with a loud yodel. Tarzan's girlfriend is Jane. A famous bit of dialogue is "Me Tarzan, you Jane".

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Virginia Woolf

An English author of the twentieth century who experimented with stream-of-consciousness narrative technique. Her works include the novel "To the Lighthouse" and the essay "A Room of One's Own," which is about the problems of female artists.

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Alice's Adeventures in Wonderland

A book by Lewis Carroll. The main character, a young girl, enters Wonderland by following the White Rabbit down his hole, and has many strange adventures there. She meets the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, the grinning Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts, who shouts, "Off with her head!" when Alice makes a mistake at croquet. "THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS" is a sequel to this book.

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The Book of Common Prayer

The book used in worship by the Anglican Communion. Its early versions, from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were widely admired for the dignity and beauty of their language. This book has had a strong effect on literature in English through such expressions as "Let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace," and "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done."

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Robert Burns

A Scottish poet of the eighteenth century, known for his poems in Scottish dialect, such as "To a Mouse", "A Red, Red Rose", and "Auld Lang Syne". Many lines from his poetry have become proverbial: "The best-laid schemes of mice and men/Gang aft agley" (often go astray), "Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us/ To see oursels as others see us!" (Oh, if the good spirit would only give us the power/ to see ourselves as others see us), "A man's a man for a a' (all) that."

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"Come live with me and be my love"

The opening line of " The Passionate Shepherd to His Love", a poem by Christopher Marlowe.

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"Gunga Din"

A poem by Rudyard Kipling about the native water carrier for a British regiment in India. It ends: "Though I've belted you an' flayed you, by the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, __________!"

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Uriah Heep

A scheming blackmailer in "David Copperfield", by Charles Dickens. He continually insists that he is a "very 'umble person."

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Julius Caesar

A tragedy by William Shakespeare, dealing with the assassination of this character and its aftermath. Some famous lines from the play are "Et Tu, Brute?" "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears", "Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look", and "the Noblest Roman of Them All."

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"Justify the ways of God to men"

The declared aim of the poet John Milton in his poem "Paradise Lost". Milton tries to explain why God allowed the Fall of Man.

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Middle English

The English language from about 1150 to about 1500. During this time, following the Norman Conquest of England, the native language of England- Old English- borrowed great numbers of words from the Norman French of the conquerors. This eventually developed into Modern English.

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"the quality of mercy is not strained"

A line from the play "The Merchant of Venice", by William Shakespeare. Strained means "constrained," or "forced"; the speaker is telling Shylock that mercy must be freely given, and is inviting him to show mercy to the title character.

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Robin Hood

A character of English legend, the subject of many ballads and stories since the fourteenth century. He lived with his band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, and stole from the rich to give to the poor.

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"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"

A line from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. An officer of the palace guard says this after the ghost of the dead king appears, walking over the palace walls. This quote is used to describe corruption or a situation in which something is wrong.

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Sweetness and Light

A phrase popularized by the nineteenth century English author Matthew Arnold; it had been used earlier by Jonathan Swift. According to Arnold, these are two things that a culture should strive for. The first of these is moral righteousness, and the second is intellectual power and truth. He states that someone "who works for __________ united, works to make reason and the will of God prevail."

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"A thing of beauty is a joy forever"

The first line of the poem "Endymion" by John Keats.

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"Time's Winged Chariot"

A phrase from the seventeenth century English poem "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell. It appears in these lines: "But it my back I always hear/ _________ hurrying near."

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"The Wasteland"

A poem by T. S. Eliot, published shortly after the end of World War I. Its subject is the fragmented and sterile nature of the modern world.

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As You Like It

A comedy by William Shakespeare. Most of the action takes place in the Forest of Arden, to which several members of a duke's court have been banished. The speech " All The World's A Stage" is from "As You Like It".

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William Blake

An English author and artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Blake, a visionary, was an early leader of Romanticism. He is best known for his collections of poems "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" contains "Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright." Blake illustrated, printed, and distributed all of his books himself.

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"Death be not proud"

The first words of the Sonnet by John Donne. The poet asserts that death is a feeble enemy, and concludes with these lines: "One short sleep past, we waste eternally/ And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die."

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George Eliot

The nom de plume of Mary Ann Evans, an English author of novels in the nineteenth century. Some of her best known works are "Middlemarch", "The Mill on the Floss", and "Silas Marner".

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""Every inch a king"

A phrase used by the title character in the play "King Lear", by William Shakespeare, to describe himself to his friend, the earl of Gloucester. The situation is ironic; Lear is raving over his deprivation and is wearing weeds.

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Rudyard Kipling

An English author of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Kipling is known for his children's books such as "The Jungle Book" and "Just So Stories"; novels such as "Kim" and "The Light That Failed"; and poems such as "Gunga Din" and "The Road to Mandalay". Some well-known lines from his works are, "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" and "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."

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Nineteen-Eighty Four

A novel by George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four depicts a totalitarian society of the future, ruled by an omnipotent dictator called Big Brother. In this society, called Oceania, people's thoughts are controlled as tightly as their actions. The government maintains an organization called the "thought police" and engages in constant Propaganda. The slogan "Big Brother Is Watching You", which appears on posters throughout Oceania, is often repeated by persons who feel that their government is carrying on improper surveillance of its citizens. Orwell coined the term doublespeak to describe one kind of propaganda practiced by the state in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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