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“the tyrant said," This is the author himself speaking. What is the feeling here? First we must refer to our United Aim. This decrees that the poet intends to exhibit sympathy for Tell. Then the feeling will be one of indignation. By this is shown our opinion of the tyrant in placing the boy's life in peril. We manifest sympathy for Tell and hatred of Gesler.
"Fix me the apple on his head.” The feeling here, the state dominating Gesler, is one of command:
"Ha! rebel, now!" This is Gesler to Tell. The words "ha" and "now" tell us of what? Exultation. Gesler says here in reality, "At last, you expert shooter, I've a chance to take the pride out of you."
"rebel” Plainly this is spoken with contempt.
“There's a fair mark for your shaft;" Here Gesler does not mean what he says. He knows the mark is not fair but most unfair. Irony is the state, colored with taunting
"To yonder shining apple waft an arrow." This is evidently delivered in a tone of command.
And the tyrant laughed. Here we must think a moment. Does the author intend that we shall utter these words with the feeling accompanying ordinary explanation, or does he desire something more? Does he ask us to suggest on “laughed” the sarcastic, tantalizing way in which Gesler laughed, or, again, does he wish us to show indignation at the fact of the laughing, or, yet again, does he desire to convey to the listener amazement
that Gesler could actually exhibit glee at his devilish scheme, or, still again, does he intend indignation to accompany delivery of “the tyrant” and amazement on "laughed”?
Here is a variety of possibilities; how shall we decide? We have agreed that the poet intends as part of his United Aim, sympathy for Tell, hatred of Gesler. Would not the feeling here be indignation, and also amazement bordering on horror, that a man commands a father to shoot a son and laughs at it? The words might be paraphrased colloquially thus, “And would you believe it, the wretch actually had the fiendishness to laugh.” Applying this to the author's words, we have “And the tyrant” given with indignation, “laughed” with amazement. It may be argued that this analysis is too subtle, that one state only would underlie these words; but if a story-teller is intense, deeply in earnest, this variety of emotion will be warranted and natural. It is asked would not "laughed” take a tone suggestive of Gesler's particular taunting way, and the answer is that Gesler's fiendish proceeding would surely focus the attention more upon the awfulness than upon the manner.
With quivering brow
Their quivering breath.
Is this the ordinary calm description ? No, for the situation is too unusual, too intense for that. The feeling here is deep
“Ha, doth he blanch ?” Here we have fierce exultation.
fierce Gesler cried.
Here, explanation tinged with indignation at Gesler.
“I've conquered," Fiendish exultation.
“slave," Contempt here.
“Thy soul of pride." Here, exultation and contempt. No voice to that stern taunt replied
All mute as death.
Is this calm narration? or sympathy? or awe? The occasion, surely, is too vital to tell it colloquially. Pity might creep in, but the stronger drives out the weaker, the mind is above all swayed with the atmosphere of hush, stillness and concern that envelops the occasion. Plainly the feeling is one of awe.
“And what the meed ?” Tell is struggling to control himself. Agony has given place to indignation, but he is trying hard to master himself. His interrogation would show suppressed indignation.
At length Tell asked.
“Bold fool, when slaves like thee are tasked, Contempt.
It is my will. Authority.
Here the analysis must stop. Let the student complete it for himself. Sufficient has been given to show not only the method of tone analysis but to demonstrate its value in securing accuracy and completeness in the conception of the feeling in literature.
Note.—Before toning the remainder of the poem, the student is expected to have thoroughly familiarized himself with the Tone Drills. In analysis, when in doubt as to the name of a feeling, consult the Tone Drills. Where, however, a student finds a phrase that will more effectively call up the tone than those given in the table, let him use it. Also he may sometimes find more than one word necessary to describe some of the mingled emotions. In such cases phrase freely.
5. Exercises in Toning.- Proceeding from the easy to the hard, let the student take representative selections and set down as accurately as he can the states or tones demanded.
6. Interpretative Conception.—For actual delivery the student must realize that the simple setting down of the tones demanded by a selection is not sufficient. A student has not a true and complete interpretative conception of the feeling in a piece of literature until he has likened it in some way to his own experience, to something he has seen, or heard, or done, or felt, or said. Thus, in William Tell, an effective conception of the feeling accompanying the words "Place there the boy” is not realized by merely saying the state is one of command. He must know command. In effect he must say to himself, “The state is about like my own when I have told some person I have control over to do as I bid you,' or 'put that down,' or 'go there at once,” and the words
" ' “the tyrant said” (if indignation be the state decided upon) are not conceived interpretatively until the student, consciously or unconsciously, shall have said, “That's like my own feeling when I have seen some outrageous act—a woman struck, or the like—and have burst out, that's a shame,' 'that's an outrage,' 'you cur.'” This process of likening may not necessarily be a conscious one, but, conscious or unconscious, an effective conception demands it. If it be contended that this is debasing or cheapening literature the answer is that such contention is based on the absurd notion that everyday experiences are necessarily vulgar. It is surely not degrading literature to arrive at an interpretation of
Hamlet's love for his father by going into our own experience and realizing our love for our own father.
✓ Aids to Interpretative Conception.—Interpretative conception is aided to a marked degree by the practice upon the Tone Drills. In most cases these examples cause in the student just such a process as we have demanded, leading him at once into his experience and enabling him vividly and responsively to know the desired emotion and its tone,