Ncert Class 12 Chapter 1 A Lecture Upon The Shadow Summary & Question Answers

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A Lecture Upon The Shadow Summary & Question Answers: Jolin Doune is a renowned composer of metaphysical poems. He has a mystic way explained shadow in its varied forms and in different names. 

He describes the magnitude of the morning, noon and afternoon shadows, in order to substantiate that love, is unaffected by shadows. 

In a state of love, there is no duality in shadow and everything is merged with one, an absolute and exclusive. Hence, this poem reflects the real picture of shadow.

A Lecture Upon The Shadow Summary & Question Answers

Chapter TypePoem
Chapter NameA Lecture Upon The
AuthorJohn Donne (1572-1631)
SubjectEnglish Elective  (Kaleidoscope)
Medium English
Study MaterialsVery important question to answer
Download PDFCLICK HERE- A Lecture Upon The PDF

a lecture upon the shadow summary

a lecture upon the shadow summary: Here the poet in the moments of meditation mystic way calls love within and directs it to listen to a lecture on itself (love) and as it is in view of nature study and meaning of the universe and human life viz love’s philosophy. 

Ncert Class 12 A Lecture Upon The Shadow Summary & Question Answers

He says that shadows are made by us and these run with or follow us. However, just at noon, shadows vanish. It’s also a man who can crush shadows by assuming him always under the sun’s vigilance. 

The corporeal or temporal love grows with age and it requires several pretexts and pretences to come under solar radiation because the realisation of Self (i.e. self-realisation) is met at the noon of the corporeal love. Full-fledged surrender is the nature of true love. It never cares what others say.

The shadows are formed when the man acts upon anything or anyway and the shadow of that action or action starts chasing him from the moment that act is done. viz evil sow, evil reap. 

This shadow like corporeal love is soon fainted or faded. However, love is immortal and eternal. It neither faints nor melts to death. it has no stages of development like corporeal love. Indeed, according to the poet, love is immortal.

a lecture upon the shadow summary In hindi

A lecture upon the shadow summary In hindi: चिन्तन के क्षण में कवि प्रेम को विभिन्न नाम देता है और प्रेम पर व्याख्यान सुनने को और सृष्टि और मानव जीवन (यानि प्रेम या दर्शन) का अर्थ का अध्ययन करने को कहता है । 

वह कहता है कि परछाइयाँ (छाया) हमलोगों द्वारा बनायी जाती हैं और वे हमारा अनुसरण करती है या हमारे साथ चलती हैं, फिर भी, दोपहर में छाया तुप्त हो जाती है। मनुष्य की छाया को यह समझकर दवा देता है कि वह हमेशा सूर्य की चौकसी के अधीन है। 

भौतिक और इहलौकिक प्रेम आयु के साथ बढ़ता है और सूर्य के विकिरण के अधीन आने में उसे कई महानों एवं मिथ्या दिखायों की आवश्यकता होती है क्योंकि स्वयं की अनुभूति (आत्मानुभूति) भौतिक प्रेम की दुपहरिया में ही होती है। 

पूर्ण समर्पण ही शाश्वत प्रेम की नियति है। दूसरों के कहने पर वह कर्म. परवाह नहीं करता है । परछाइयाँ मनुष्य के किसी तरह के कार्य से बनती है, छाया उस कार्य/कार्यों के प्रारंभ से ही अनुवरण करती है यानि बुरा बोते हैं, बुरा पाते हैं। 

भौतिक प्रेम के समान छाया शीघ्र ही सिमट जाती है या धीरे-धीरे लुप्त हो जाती है । फिर भी प्रेम अमर और शाश्वत है । यह न मूर्च्छित होता है न मृत्यु को प्राप्त करता है । भौतिक प्रेम की तरह इसकी विकास की अवस्थाएं नहीं है ।

a lecture upon the shadow Word Meaning

Stand Still = समाधिस्य अवस्था जिनमें शरीर की समस्त बाह्य गतिविधियां स्थिर हो जाती हैं | Lecture = व्याख्यान । To Brave = सामना करना Disguises = रूपांतरण परिवर्तन | West wardly decline = गतयीवन, प्रौढ़ावस्था ।

Geography भूगोल
Political science राजनीति विज्ञान
English SubjectResult
Hindi SubjectHistory answer keys

a lecture upon the shadow Stanza for comprehension


Read the stanza carefully and answer the questions that follow-

Stand still and I will read to thee A Lecture, Love, in loves philosophy,

These three hours that we have spent,

Walking here, Two shadowes went

Along with us, which we our selves produc’d;

But, now the Sunne is just above our head, We doe those shadowes tread; 

And to brave clearnesse all things are reduc’d.


(i) Who is I here? 

(ii) What is a lecture on love?

(iii) What is love?

(iv) What is love’s philosophy? 

(v) What are shadows here?


(i) It is the poet himself or himself in a meditative state of mind.

(ii) A true explanation with an example of love. 

(iii) Love is immortal and absolute. Here are no options, shadows or duality/

ambivalence. It is noon-like.

(iv) It is corporeal attachment or affection.


Read the stanza carefully and answer the questions that follow– 

So whilst our infant loves did grow, Disguises did, and shadowes, flow,

From us, and our cares; but now ’tis not so. That love hath not attain’d the high’st degree,

Which is still diligent lest others see.


(i) What is infant love?

(ii) What are disguises?

(iii) What does the phrase “and our cares” refer to? 

(iv) What does the word “now” imply?


(1) It’s corporeal love or the start or budding viz primary stage of corporeal love.

(ii) disguises are certain changes due to the secretion of endocrine glands and gonads that appear in the human body that demarcate of age as baby, infant, adolescent, teen, youth, adult, old etc.

(iii) It refers to the systematic development of intellect or sensual perception. (iv) It implies the wholesome state of love or the noon in terms of comparison with a day. Complete or full-fledged surrender free from duality is the wholesome state of love.


Read the stanza carefully and answer the questions that follow-

Except for our loves at this noon stay. We shall new shadows make the other way.

As the first was made to blind

Others; these hich come behind 1

Will work upon us, and blind our eyes.


(i) What state of love does imply noon stay? 

(ii) What do you understand by the words “new shadows” here?

(iii) Do you think shadows blind a man?

(iv) When do the shadows work upon us? 


(1) New shadows are meant by the stages of change post-prime i.e. at adult age in terms of corporeal affection generally, creating an illusion of its being love.

(i) Yes, the shadows of adolescence, teenage and youth mostly or at least often misdirect the individuals and they are astray. 

(iv) It happens just after the youth is declined. Whatever the acts are done in the past i.e. from childhood up to youth start purring with their results proportionately. In terms of corporeal age, individuals lose their eyesight when they become old.


Read the stanza carefully and answer the questions that follow-

If our loves faint, and westwardly decline, To me thou, falsely thine; And I to thee mine actions shall disguise. 

The morning shadows were away,

But these grow longer all the day But oh, love day is short, if love decay


(i) Explain To me throw falsely thine”.

(ii) Which love’s day is short?

(ii) What do you understand by westwardly decline?

(iv) Which kind of love does faint or fade? 


(i)It denotes a reduction in attraction between two lovers for each other and in language, they also use words revealing reluctance.

(ii) It’s canal or corporeal love that sustains for a few years of prime age. 

(iii) Westwardly is the term used for monsoon winds. These bring nationwide rain from July to September every year. This season is called prime season or rainy season. This term here has been used for the youthful days of people when the tide of corporeal passions takes place. carnal love.

(iv) It is meant by recession or reduction in the warmness


Read the stanza carefully and answer the questions that follow-

Love is a growing, or full constant light;

And his first minute, after no one, is night.


(i) How is love like a full constant light?

(ii) What does “his” imply here?

(iii) What is the first minute afternoon in respect of eternal love?


(1) True love acts like a torch bearer for lovers. It is not confined to mere carnal love that generally is fainted with the loss of youth. 

(ii) It’s love, the eternal and immortal love.

(iii) It’s a deluge or catastrophe in which the entire creation is met to an end. This is because there is dark everywhere after the noon of loe viz. growth of love is unlimited. It’s noon or complete development or climax is never seen.

a lecture upon the shadow questions and answers

Q.1. How did the shadow before noon differ from the shadows afternoon? What do the two kinds of shadow represent? 

Ans. The distinction between shadow before noon and afternoon:

(i) Morning shadows or the shadows before noon, according to the poet, are as lengthy as the shadow of the afternoon but the former is loved by people because these are created by them themselves in an environment, they receive in the form of family and community. It’s not so with the afternoon shadows- says the poet.

(i) The shadows before noon are of three types and stages Le. infancy. preadolescence and adolescence. Herein things are copied, learnt and observed while during shadows of afternoon, a mould is formed and man is compelled to live with them monotonously.

These two kinds of shadows represent the stages of development of love or man’s instinct to live with the world that starts from love and affection received from family, the peer group and that of conjugal love. These stages have been referred to by the poet as three hours. The shadow-formed afternoon bears a dismal picture of monotonous love wherein the attachment is gone.

Q.2. Love is described as light. What makes the poet talk about shadows? 

Ans. Shadows are darkness or ignorance. The poet says them as attachments, affections and mischiefs under the influence of passions and urges. He wants to tell that these are departed when the sun of self-realisation shines at noon.

Q.3. Comment on the use of the image of the shadows for the idea that the poet wants to convey.

Ans. The poet refers here to the state of attainment of enlightenment or discretion. An individual finds him able to analyze things in the most scientific ways, in this state of mental disposition. 

He, therefore, explains the shadow at dawn in the morning and that of post-morning or before/forenoon. In another way, he collects their images in the baby-hood or infant stage, pre-adolescence and of adolescence. Imagery is that of shadow or shelter of parents, the peer- group and the community including the instincts ie. 

the shadow of pre-account of deeds which are called or recognised by the society; otherwise malevolence. He also refers to the stages of love in its physical form as imagery to convey a message that adolescents should develop their all-round personalities that can analyse things in their curtainless forms. So that regret later on (i.e. the afternoon) is avoided.

Q.4. The poet seems to be addressing his beloved in the poem. What is the message he wishes to convey to her?

Ans. He seems to convey a message that true love initially starts in disguise but becomes apparent at noon. 

It is all undefeated and strong-minded because of being it a macrocephalic. Such love adopts reforms and rectitude. 

It is true that the formalities are lost at the climax because lovers address each other as thee and though. He wants to say that it’s transcendent to corporeal attachment and arrives at a sheer state of meditation (viz. Ripitita Dhyana). 

The duality is merged with the Absolute here the poet says. He categorically states “and his first minute, after noon, is weight” viz, a merger.

Q.5. Instead of ‘Lecture upon love’ the poet calls the poem ‘A lecture upon the shadow! What is the effect that this has on our reading of the poem’?

 Ans. It has raised curiosity in the poem because “love” in its literal meaning is a common term often, misunderstood as attachment, libido, eroticism or erotomania.

 It’s a shadow that brings out the “love” in its real divine form defined as disinterested love (Niskama Prema) or agape by Bertrand Russell. 

Shadow represents an icon to an idolater who gradually arrives at the state of meditation wherein worldly objects are left behind and the sun at noon shines with its full resplendence. 

It’s a primary school that leads to Degree College of the School of Love. Hence, it is the best imagery, the poet has adopted here.

a lecture upon the shadow questions and answers- Short Answer

Q. 1. What is love’s philosophy? 

Ans. It contains the disinterested or agape nature of love and its manifestation in the heart of human beings. 

Q.2. What are the three hours in this poem?

Ans. These are the dawn, morning and forenoon.

Q.3. How are the shadows made by man?

Ans. It’s the human body that comes in the way of the beams of sunlight and so obstructed part of light i.e… image of the concerned man is seen as his shadow. Thus, he can be understood as a maker of shadows. 

Q.4. How can a man tread the shadows?

Ans. It is when he becomes an enlightened citizen and attains to reasoning. all scientific way. It has been referred to as sun at noon means perfect knowledge. Here, it shows that a man treated the shadow as the viewpoint of the poet. 

Q.5. Why are the shadows formed?

Ans. It is because of ignorance and slowness. It’s like a mirage of the desert. Allured by material or corporeal pleasure for moments, the man abandons this power of discretion and thus, shadow entraps him. 

Q.6. How is the shadow after noon referred to?

Ans. The poet refers to the afternoon shadow as a reaction or response to the shadow of the day from morning up to noon. He says that in corporeal love, their old age. The warmness of youth is nowhere seen. Certain changes are an attraction for each other between lovers starts reducing when they reach at seen in talking manners and behaviour. 

Q.7. How do the morning shadows grow longer in the afternoon of corporeal life?

Ans. The poet wants here to tell that the shadows (i.e. the habits cultivated, deeds performed) of the earlier part of the day or the period from childhood upto youth, appear to the man concerned longer because he has to pay for or receive from the past deeds, the fruit or result during the age proceeding to degeneration or old age. 

If these are painful experiences, he sees as if the period of shadows is increased more than before because interest is also added to the deeds performed during the youth.

a lecture upon the shadow questions and answers- Long Answer

Q.1. Explain corporeal and sublime love.

Ans. As the poet in his meditative trance, describes, corporeal love is based on age, colour, physical aspect of health, status (social, political, financial) and it loses its lustre soon like that of a flower. It is like a good-weather friendship or a part of a strategy to live on liaison. 

It never stays afternoon and its percussions are painful more than the pleasure felt in meeting or union. 

The poet says that real love has no degrees still invented to exhibit its proportionate intensity because it is atom-undivided, absolute, omniscient and all-pervading. 

When this is the position, who with his shadow can define, comment or appreciate and assess true love? It is almighty itself. Bodies are like apparel to love.

 It’s all illumining and according to the shadow, we people create, the rest intact part not polluted or could not gather the capacity to pollute; feel and describe accordingly.

Our self-created shadow either dense or light; is actually, our ignorance. It pays for corporeal pleasure i.e. denser side of shadow hence, gears up ignorance in its varied forms like aego, nuisance, mens-rea, offensive instincts, all evocative and these cause denser, the densest. 

The sublime love, agape or disinterested love (Nisakama Prema) is omniscient and all-pervaded. It neither begins nor ends, it can be tasted but cannot be expressed which types of taste it has. It’s beyond time, location and the circumstances or shadows.

Conclusion-Corporeal and sublime love/devotion are couplets like day and night, light and shadow. One is perception while the other is a conceived state of non-duality.

Q.2 What do you understand by constant light?

Ans. It’s a light that is never extinct, an eternal and immortal light capable to use living bodies as garments or apparel.

Q.3. Can you refer to the nature of true love? 

Ans. Yes, we receive a glimpse of true love from Ramcharit Manas, wherein Goswami Tulsi Das mentions a message from Lord Rama, through Hanuman to his darling Sita.

Q. 4. Explain the phrase “still diligent lest others see”. 

Ans. It denotes the primary stage of love or devotion wherein external objects like idols, things of corporeal existence including living lovers. The poet says that such lovers in the material or devotees in a metaphysical sense are still at the stage of diligence or penance. 
In other words, these are in the learning stage of love or devotion. It’s an ambivalent state or duality in recognition state These dwell options, whim-whams, if and buts at this state because of being it’s a perception state.

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