msomi maktaba
English Study Notes Form 6 English Language Notes Msomi Maktaba All Notes



A literary work of art cannot survive or even be proper understood without a thought understanding of the language which is its medium of expression. Its use of language as not to be desired than meets the eye. The literature artist concentrates on the books that are thought worthy of preservation as literature, to be studied for their own sake rather than for their extensive value as guide books or political tracts. The language in these books is used in a peculiar way in order to entertain and educate at the same time. There is a difference therefore in the way language is used in literature as oppose to ordinary language use in at list three aspects:-

  1. Literature language may violate or deviate from the generally observed rules of the language in many different ways.
  2. A creative writer can use features of the language of past ages or even borrow features belonging to other non-literary uses of language.
  3. Literature language is well known for its troops/figures of speech like irony and metaphor and therefore is rich in devices compared to ordinary language.

        The result of the above factors is that literature work of art is not a simple object but rather a highly complex organization of a stratified character with multiple meanings or relationships.


 Scholars try to describe the two interests in art as those of beauty and significance, they identify the formal interests with desire to make and enjoy beautiful things. People studying art believe that the formal satisfaction of sheer design and the intensity of the commemorative aspect both contribute to beauty.


Beauty does not depend on usefulness; works of art such as paintings and music have little or no use apart from their value as works of art. We could use a piece of sculpture to hold the door open although its only real use is that it is the sculpture. Other objects such as cups or chairs are designed to perform special functions yet they too are sometimes considered works of art. They may even be exhibited in a museum if they produce aesthetic experiences.  


By nature, virtual arts like paintings and sculptures involve more physical manual labour than the literary arts. The sculptor or painter has generally more easily assimilated to the traditions of the skilled manual craftsmanship. The poet has tended to be associated with the realm of religious ceremonies and record keeping within or outside the various religious organizations. All in all artists have a role to educate, challenge, revolutionize, entertain and record, these are enjoyed in all sharpers of the social structure.

LITERATURE AND THE OTHER ARTS                                                     

The relationships of literature and the other arts are many and complex, sometimes poetry has used inspirations from the other arts. Likewise other works of art may use themes of poetry. The poets have used pieces of sculptures, paintings or even music more often poems have been written with the intention that music should be added and in some cases poets and composers have been one and the same. It is evident therefore that there are some relationships among the various arts types. 


 Although all arts are similar from the artistic point of view that serves both commemorative and formal interests, there are several differences between a literary and the other arts. The differences are as follows bellow:-

  1.       LANGUAGE

        Literary works of art are presented using language as there medium of presentation. The language used is not the ordinary language which is artistic therefore rich in artistic devices.

  1.       CHARACTERS

 Literary artists use characters to relay their message, the characters are artistic creation of the author or the poet and they are the mouth piece of the writer, through these the authors pass the message to the society. The characters also portray the lilies and shortcomings of the people in the society at a given time.

  1.       SETTING

¬†Setting refers to time and place. A literary work of art is set at a certain given period of time. Setting is therefore basically divided into two. First, the temporal setting which depicts the period when the period when the work of art was set (period) this interim affects the language and all the aspects of culture found in the work of art. E.g.: dark and what there. This is because if the work of art¬† depicts the 1960’s it will also depict the aspects of culture of that period and place including language, dress and music to mention just but a few aspects.

 Secondly; due the geographic setting, the author will depict the culture of the society shown in work of art to resemble that of the society were the art is set thus if the work of art is portraying the society of fisherman, this setting will dictate the dressing and all the other details found in the work to fit such a society.     


  1. Oral Literature
  2. Written Literature 

Is the type of Literature presented through the use of mouth it is the primary to the written genre ie it has been into existence long time before the invention of written form. The clement of Oral literature include Legend myth proverbs, saying, Riddles, folktales, Anecdote, fables

These are the formed stories of the past especially one may not be practically true but of historical troth and perhaps less of supernatural.

Eg:- Wangu Wa Makeri (by Bukenya)…..:
These are stories originated in ancient time esp. with focus in idea or belief about the early history of mankind encounters experience as of supernatural . Power and super being creature’s that had power more than human being. It tells the origin of life, create and the meaning of life

These are short¬† stories not based on fact often with animal’s cheater that conveys a moral message. People and inanimate objects one sometimes the central figlire. Fables have to do with supernatural or unusual incident.

These are short, interesting and amusing story about a person or errant. It is a     narrated incident based on the life of an important person and should lay elements of truth.

Are long narrative poem in an elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a arbitral heroic figure.

These are puzzling questions, statement or descriptions especially one intended to test the cleverness of those within to solve them- E.g:- my house has no door “- An egg, We are tree in our family”

These are short narration chanced down through oral tradition, they are popular stories; passed from one generation to the next. These explain / tell the things come to existence the way they are eg. The sun and the Moon (by Bukenya)

These are phrases or a statement that expresses something about life that most people believe is wise and true. This induces Idioms and prunes.

Are phrases or sentences in which their meaning is not clear from the creaming of its individual word. Thus it must be learnt as whole unit

      РHit the nail on the head ie go straight to point

     РBreaks ones back ie to over work someone

-Take French leave ie to leave without permission

– Beauty is on skin deep ie don’t judge by appearance.


Are short artistic wise. Sayings which are meant to worn or educate.

–¬† Birds of some feathers flock together

– Stitch time same nine.

– Every dog has day ie every one has/he/her success ahead

– A bird min hand is too worth in the bush.


      Comment on the status / position of Oral Literature in Tanzania today.


Is the work of art expressed through written form. It emerged after the invention of written so it is the second to Oral literature.

Written Literature has three GENRES:-

  • Novel
  • Plays/ Drama
  • Poetry

    a) THE NOVEL

    Is a long work of prose from fiction that contains character in the form of plot normally presents life basing an history and culture of the society in which it is set. It also defined as A long narratives in which characters and events are imaginary. Though events contained in Novels are fictions, they are said to have verisimilitude (realism this is due to the act that incidents that are found in the Novel have some relationship with the real life as experienced by the human being. A person who writes a novel is called, NOVELIST.

    A novel (from French Novella Italian novella new) is an extended generally fictional narrative, typically in prose, Until the 18th¬†century the word referred specifically¬† to¬† short functions of love and intrigue as opposed to romances which were epic ‚Äď length works¬† about lose and adventure. Novels are generally between 60,000 ‚Äď 200,000 words or 300 ‚Äď 1300 pages in length.

    During the 18th¬†century, the novel adopted features of the old romance and became one of the literary genres. It is today define as must by its ability to become the object of literary accusation demanding artistic merit and a specific literary style, the early novel was basically any story told for its spectacular or reveling instincts. The original environment living on with a typical frame setting ‚Äď was the entertaining conversation. Stories of grave incidence could just as well augment sermons

    Collection of examples facilitated the work of preachers in need of such illustrations. A fable could illustrate a moral conclusion; a short historical reflection could does the same.  A competition of genres developed. Tastes and social status were decisive, if one believes on the medieval collections. The working classes loved their own brands of drastic stories, stories of clever cheating, with and the ridicule leveled against hated social groups.


    –¬† Novels are presented in narrative form
    – They are written in chapters unlike plays which are Written in acts and scenes and poems which are written in stanzas and verses.

         РNavels are meant to read silently, quite contrary from plays which are meant to be performed on stage or poems to be sang.

          РA novel has a point of view ie the angle from which the story is told.

    b)     PLAY / DRAMA  

    Drama is a work of art is written for the purpose of being acted on stage. Another scholar has defined drama as story telling that uses actors / actress¬† before people‘s eyes.

    A, person who compose / writes a play is called a PLAYWRIGHT


        РWhen in scripts, drama shows its setting through stage direction which tell the readers when and where something happened. It also shows where and when characters enter and leave,
    and it shows different mood of characters

    – Drama must have dialogue. ie conversation or speech of two or more characters speaking to each other.

    – A play must have a conflict that makes it going. These conflicts passes through stages such as exposition, rising action (complication/ confrontation), Climax (point of no return ) , falling
    action, resolution (denouement / deinu: mo/

    – Most modem plays have elements of realism that means what an artist say/do related to everyday experience.

         РThe stages of a play have something that characterizes the mood of the play. Normally a song that is sung all over the play is to affect the emotional of the viewers or readers. The choice
    of tithe song will depend on the subject matter of the play.

    – Plays have many theories like novels do.

        Terms used in Drama/play

  • Scene:¬†Which can be defined as the smallest unit in a play? a scenes has one major event. Thus a play is made up of scenes which combine to form act.
  • Act¬†is a major division of a play made of Scenes sometimes you may find a play which has neither scenes nor acts.

    Each act is made up of more than one scene normally the end of one scene normally the end of one scene or act is marked by a curtain

  • Curtain:¬†When the actors/ actress leave the stage they go behind the curtain. The rising and the lowering of the entrain marks the beginning or end of the scene or act
  • Stage direction: These are words that are introduced before any action in a play with the intention of making readers imagine they are viewing the actual performance on stage. They show the setting of an act or a scene. They also show the mood of the actors/actress. Stage directions show leaving and entering of characters.

    NB: Stage directions are normally directed by using the words in italics so as to make those word unique.


    There are four types of play, as shown here under

    i) Tragedy:

           Is a play deals with a serious action. Tragedy plays present terrifying events and existence suffering. The source of tragic plays comes from royal (events presenting kings and Queens and
    great person. Also tragic plays deals with Noble person.

         It has hero / heroine who becomes engaged in a conflict, experiencing great suffering and finally dies or is defeated or punished in other words we can tell it a play that end sorrowful.

        This type of play is aimed to make people laugh. It is argued that comedy come into existence because tragedy was considered to be threatening so Viewers could not learn because they could
    concentrate in pitying the hero/heroin suffering due to tragic action.Thus they introduced comedy to make people enjoy instead of tragedy.

    Comedy achieves the purpose of laughter by employing wit (cleaver/amusing) and humor (funny usually has happy ending.
    – Comedy ridicule the weakness of human nature
    – Comedy criticize and aims to correct human conduct
    -Usually comedy is exaggeration in nature.
    -Comedy arises from improbable people placed in probable situation.

    iii) Tragic ‚Äď Comedy:-

    This is a Mixture of tragedy and comedy it is play that employs a plot like that of tragedy but ends happily the way comedy ends. In tragic comedy it is the denouement that show happiness. Thus tragic‚Äď comedy has both feature of comedy and those of tragedy only because there are aspects that appeal to laughter and those that appeal to sadness or pity.

    iv) Melo drama:

    It is kind of drama which uses musing to heighten events and it uses stock characters (characters taken from the past) .

    The major aim of melodrama is to present confrontation between god and evils. Also it aims to make human being do good things which are acceptable in the society.

          Usually in melodrama there is violence on the stage and usually the good one win.

    v)   Mixed form.

    This is a contemporary type of drama which includes all the types mentioned. This has been so due to development and changes and it is because of the freedom of form, freedom of style as well as freedom of techniques.