Tamil Nadu 12th Standard English Book Answers | The Castle

12th English : The Castle

12th Standard English Book Unit 1.2 The Castle Book Back Answers

Unit 1.2 > The Castle

Warm Up

a) What thoughts come to your mind when you think about a castle? Add your ideas to the list.

Moat, huge buildings, soldiers, weapons, strong gates, high walls.

b) Have you ever visited a fort or a castle?

Yes, I have visited a few forts and castles.

c) Fill the following empty boxes.

Name Location
Fort St. George Chennai
Ginjee Fort Ginjee
Golconda fort Hyderabad
Red Fort Delhi

Glossary

  • turret wall – a small tower on top of a castle
  • mowers – people who trim grass and level the lawns
  • provender – food
  • towering battlements – tall towers with openings to shoot the enemies
  • tier – one above the other
  • friendly allies – helpful or supporting nations or armed forces advantageous
  • foothold – position
  • quick – alive
  • bait – something intended to entice someone to do something
  • wicked – evil or morally wrong
  • wicket gate – a small gate
  • wizened warder – an aged or old guard
  • maze – a winding, intricate confusing path
  • treacherous – disloyal
  • groan – lament, cry
  • citadel – a safe and strong fort
  • overthrown – conquered, defeated
  • maintain – believe

1. Based on your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions in one or two sentences each.

a) Who is the narrator in the poem?

One of the soldiers is the narrator in the poem.

b) How long had the soldiers been in the castle?

The soldiers had been in the castle throughout the summer.

c) Why were the soldiers in the castle fearless?

The soldiers were fearless because their gates and walls were strong. Their captain was brave and the soldiers were true to their profession.

d) Where were the enemies?

Their enemies were standing half a mile away but their actual enemy was gold.

e) Why does the narrator say that the enemy was no threat at all?

The narrator was confident that no one could trick them to enter the castle. So the narrator says that there was no threat at all.

f) Did the soldiers fight with the enemies face to face?

No, they did not fight with the enemies face to face.

g) Who had let the enemies in?

A wizened warder had let the enemies in.

h) How did the enemies enter the castle?

The wizened warder after getting bribery opened the gate. The enemies entered through the tunnels.

i) Why were the secret galleries bare?

As the gate was opened to the enemies by the warder, the strong and secret galleries were bare and open to the enemies.

j) What was the ‘shameful act’? 

The wizened warder’s act of opening the gate to the enemies was the shameful act.

k) Why didn’t the narrator want to tell the tale to anybody?

The narrator did not want to tell the tale to anybody because it would spoil the name of all the soldiers.

l) Why did the narrator feel helpless?

As the gate was opened to the enemies, the soldiers did not have time to stop them. So the narrator felt that they were helpless.

m) Who was the real enemy?

The real enemy was gold.

2. Read the poem again and complete the summary using the words given in box.

Stanza 1-3

‘The Castle’ by Edwin Muir is a moving poem on the (1) capture of a well-guarded (2) castle. Thesoldiers of the castle were totally stress-free and relaxed. They were (3) confident of their castle’s physical strength. Through the turrets they were able to watch the mowers and no enemy was found up to the distance of (4) half-a-mile and so they seemed no threat to the castle. They had (5) plenty of weapons to protect them and a large quantity of (6) ration in stock to take care of the well-being of the soldiers inside the castle. The soldiers stood one above the other on the towering battlements (7) watching, to shoot enemies at sight. They believed that the castle was absolutely safe because their captain was (8) brave and the soldiers were loyal.

half-a-mile castle ration plenty
watching brave capture confident

Stanza 4-6

Even by a trick no one but the birds could enter. The enemy could not use a (9) bait for their entry inside the castle. But there was a wicket gate guarded by a (10) wicked-guard. He (11) let in the enemies inside the famous citadel that had been known for its secret gallery and intricate path. The strong castle became (12) weak and thin because of the greedy disloyal warder. The (13) citadel was captured by the enemies for (14) gold. The narrator (15) lamented over the (16) disloyalty of the useless warder and also decided not to disclose this (17) shameful story to anyone. He was (18) helpless and wondered how he would keep this truth to himself. He regretted not finding any (19) weapon to fight with the (20) enemy called ‘gold’.

lamented wicked-guard let weapon
weak helpless shameful bait
gold citadel disloyalty enemy

3. Read the poem and answer the following in a short paragraph of 8-10 sentences each.

a) How safe was the castle? How was it conquered?

Poem The Castle
Poet Edwin Muir
Theme Money makes many things

Our gates were strong, our walls were thick,
So smooth and high, no man could win
A foothold there,

Edwin Muir, in his poem ‘The Castle’, describes the confidence of the soldiers in the beginning and the treacherous act of one warder which led to the fall of the castle. It is written in the form of monologue. The whole narration is done by a soldier. They had enough quantity of ration and more arms and other amenities. Moreover their allies were coming to help them. Their gates were very strong and their walls were very thick so no one could enter the castle. Only a bird could fly over the wall and reach the castle. The soldier was confident that no one could bribe them to open the gates because he thought that the captain was brave and the soldiers were true to their profession. But they were cheated by a warder who opened the gate for the enemy to enter the castle. The soldiers did not have any time to fight with the enemies. The famous castle was overthrown. No one can narrate this tale without shame. They could do nothing as they were sold out to the enemy. Their only enemy was gold and they had no weapon to fight against gold.

Our only enemy was gold,
And we had no arms to fight it with.

b) Bring out the contrasting picture of the castle as depicted in stanza 3 and 5.

Poem The Castle
Poet Edwin Muir
Theme Money makes many things

No clever trick
Could take us dead or quick,
Only a bird could have got in.

Edwin Muir, in his poem ‘The Castle’ describes the confidence of the soldiers in the beginning and the treacherous act of one warder which led to the fall of the castle. It is written in the form of monologue. The whole narration is done by a soldier. In the III stanza the poet describes the strength of the castle. Their gates were very strong and their walls were very thick so no one could enter the castle. Only a bird could fly over the wall and reach the castle. The soldier was confident that no one could bribe them to open the gates because he thought that the captain was brave and the soldiers were true to their profession. In the second part of the IV stanza the poet gives a totally different picture. In the first part the poet asks who could give them a bait. The mood changes in the second part. But they were cheated by a warder who opened the gate for the enemy to enter the castle.

The famous citadel overthrown,
And all its secret galleries bare.

c) Human greed led to the mighty fall of the citadel. Explain.

Poem The Castle
Poet Edwin Muir
Theme Money makes many things

We watched the mowers in the hay
And the enemy half a mile away

They seemed no threat to us at all. Edwin Muir, in his poem ‘The Castle’ describes the confidence of the soldiers in the beginning and the treacherous act of one warder which led to the fall of the castle. It is written in the form of monologue. The whole narration is done by a soldier. The castle was strong and no one could enter it. They had enough and more arms and provisions to take care of the soldiers. The narrator was confident that no could attack them. But a wizard warder had become a prey to greed. So it was easy for the enemies to bribe him with gold. The castle had a very complicated way to reach the castle. But everything became useless because of the greed of the warder. He opened the gate to the enemies and they could use all the secret ways to reach the castle. This is an example to say that human greed will lead to the fall of mighty citadel.

The cause was lost without a groan,
The famous citadel overthrown,
And all its secret galleries bare.

4. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow in a line or two.

a) “All through the summer at ease we lay,
And daily from the turret wall
We watched the mowers in the hay”

i. Who does ‘we’ refer to?

‘We’ refers to the soldiers.

ii. How did the soldiers spend the summer days?

The soldiers spent the summer days watching the mowers and the enemies.

iii. What could they watch from the turret wall?

They could watch from the turret wall mowers in the hay and the enemies who were half a mile away.

b) “Our gates were strong, our walls were thick, 
So smooth and high, no man could win”.

i. How safe was the castle?

The castle was very safe as its gates were strong and the walls were very thick. The walls were so smooth and tall that no one could climb them.

ii. What was the firm belief of the soldiers?

The firm belief of the soldiers was that no one could win them.

c) “A foothold there, no clever trick
Could take us dead or quick,
Only a bird could have got in”.

i. What was challenging?

The wall was challenging.

ii. Which aspect of the castle’s strength is conveyed by the above line?

The strength of the wall is conveyed in the above line.

d) “Oh then our maze of tunneled stone
Grew thin and treacherous as air.
The castle was lost without a groan,
The famous citadel overthrown”,

i. Bring out the contrast in the first two lines.

The way to the castle was very strong. It was a maze of tunneled stone. But it became very weak and thin because of the treachery of the warder.

ii. What is the rhyme scheme of the given stanza?

Ans: abaa

e) “We could do nothing, being sold”.

i. Why couldn’t they do anything?

As they were sold out for gold they could not do anything.

ii. Why did they feel helpless?

They felt helpless because they had to surrender without fighting.

5. Explain the following with reference to the context in about 20-30 words each.

a) Our gates were strong, our walls were thick,

Reference:-

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

The poet wants to express the soldier’s view on the strength of the castle.

Explanation:-

The soldiers of the castle were totally stress-free and relaxed. They were confident of their castle’s physical strength. The gates were very strong and the walls were thick. Enemies could never break open either the gate or the wall.

b) Our captain was brave and we were true…

Reference :

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

After expressing the physical strength of the castle, the poet wants to express the strength of the army.

Explanation:-

The soldiers of the castle were totally stress-free and relaxed. They believed that the castle was absolutely safe because their captain was brave and the soldiers were loyal to him.

c) They seemed no threat to us at all.

Reference :

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

The poet says these words to express that the castle was very safe.

Explanation:-

The soldiers were watching from the turret wall. They could see the mowers in the hay and the enemies half a mile away. Their castle had a strong gates and the walls were thick and tall. So the enemies seemed no threat to them.

d) How can this shameful tale be told?

Reference :

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

The poet says these words at the end to emphasis that it was a shameful story.

Explanation:-

The soldiers were very confident that the enemies could not enter their castle because they had very strong gates and thick and tall walls. But all their strength was lost due to the treacherous act of a wizard warder. He received bribery and opened the gates for the enemies. This tale of shame cannot be told to others.

e) I will maintain until my death.

Reference:-

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

The poet utters these words at the last part of the poem when he feels ashamed of being a soldier

Explanation:-

The soldiers were very confident that the enemies could not enter their castle because they had very strong gates and thick and tall walls. But all their strength was lost due to the treacherous act of a wizard warder. He received bribery and opened the gates for the enemies. This tale of shame cannot be told to others. He has decided not to reveal this to anyone till his death.

f) Our only enemy was gold

Reference:-

This line is taken from ‘The Castle’ written by Edwin Muir.

Context:-

The poet says this to explain that they lost the battle because of avarice for gold.

Explanation:-

The soldiers were very confident that the enemies could not enter their castle because they had very strong gates and thick and tall walls. Moreover they had enough and more amenities and provisions for the soldiers. They thought the enemies could never win over them. But a wizard warder after receiving gold from the enemies opened the gate to the enemies so the castle fell to the hands of the enemies. Their enemy was not human but gold. So they could not fight.

6. Read the poem and complete the table with suitable rhyming words.

lay hay bait gate wall all
true through fear tier stone groan
load road air bare thick quick
told sold win in death with

7. Underline the alliterated words in the following lines.

a) With our arms and provender, load on load.

b) A little wicked wicket gate.

c) The wizened warder let them through.

8. Identify the figure of speech used in the following lines.

a) A little wicked wicket gate.

Alliteration

b) Oh then our maze of tunneled stone

Imagery

c) Grew thin and treacherous as air.

Personification

d) How can this shameful tale be told?

Rhetorical Question

e) Our only enemy was gold,

Personification

9. Can you call ‘The Castle’ an allegorical poem? Discuss.

An allegory is a complete narrative that involves characters and events that stand for an abstract idea or event. In other words, a story, poem, or picture can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. As per the definition of allegory the poem ‘The Castle’ can be called an allegorical poem. It is a narrative poem with many characters. The narrator, other soldiers, mowers, enemy and wizard warder are the characters depicted in this poem. It clearly says that if one in a big team is willing to cheat others the whole team will fall. The moral of the poem is human greed will lead to the fall of a mighty army.

Listening

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

– Rupert Brooke

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