Maharashtra Board Text books

Maharashtra Board Class 11 Solution English Chapter 2.5 Nose Versus Eyes

Textbook Questions and Answers

Question (i)
Complete the web with the help of adjectives used to describe eyes and nose in all respects.

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Question (ii)
Given below are some words from legal terminology used in court affairs. Discuss and complete the table accordingly.

Legal TerminologyDescription
AffidavitA written document confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as evidence in court.
ArgumentA series of reasons given for or against a matter under discussion intended to convince the listener.
ConsentVoluntarily agree to the proposal.
CounselA person who gives advice on legal matters.
JudgementDecision of the court to solve a controversy and determination of the rights and obligations of the parties concerned.
TrialA judicial examination and determination of facts and legal issues arising between the parties to a civil or criminal action.
VerdictThe formal decision issued by a jury on matters submitted to the jury by the judge.
Contempt of CourtOffense of being disobedient or disrespectful to a court of law.
NoticeInformation, usually in writing in all legal proceedings.
Stay OrderThe act of temporarily stopping a judicial proceeding through the order of court.

Question (iii)
Name the five sensory organs and provide phrases / idioms / proverbs related to them.

The five sensory organs are: eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue.
The five senses are: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.

Phrases / Idioms / Proverbs:
(a) To turn a deaf ear (refuse to listen) / Lend an ear (to listen to)
(b) Beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder, (different people have different opinion)
(c) Pay through your nose (pay a lot of money) / Under the nose (directly in front of someone)
(d) Tongue in cheek (not serious) / Bite your tongue (to take back something that you have said.)
(e) Hand in glove (working together, often to do something dishonest) / Put your finger on something (to find out something correctly) / A thick skin (ability to ignore criticism)


(i) State whether the following statements are true or false. Correct the false statements.

Question (a)
Nose can use spectacles.

False. Nose cannot use the spectacles, the spectacles uses the Nose to hold them in place.

Question (b)
Eyes have to be shut when the Nose wears/puts on spectacles.

False. Though this is the verdict of the judge, but this defeats the basic purpose of the existence of the Eyes.

Question (c)
The Ear was appointed as a judge.


Question (d)
Eyes cannot use spectacles.

False. Spectacles are meant for the Eyes for providing ability to see since it is a sensory organ.

Question (ii)
Match the following expressions given in Column ‘A’ with their interpretations in Column ‘B’

Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
1. While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the law.(a) Eyes are refrained from using the spectacles.
2. They are made with straddle as wide as the ridge of the Nose is(b) The responsibility of giving verdict rested on the shoulders of the hearing organ.
3. That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on, by daylight or candlelight – Eyes shoul*d be shut(c) Spectacles are meant for none other than the Nose.
4. So his lordship decreed with a grave solemn tone, decisive and clear, without one if or but(d) The judge delivered a firm verdict without any doubt.


Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
1. While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the law.(b) The responsibility of giving verdict rested on the shoulders of the hearing organ.
2. They are made with straddle as wide as the ridge of the Nose is(c) Spectacles are meant for none other than the Nose.
3. That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on, by daylight or candlelight – Eyes shoul*d be shut(a) Eyes are refrained from using the spectacles.
4. So his lordship decreed with a grave solemn tone, decisive and clear, without one if or but(d) The judge delivered a firm verdict without any doubt.


Question (i)
The tongue justifies the possession of the spectacles on behalf of the nose. Pick up the expressions from the poem that argue in favour of the Nose and complete the following web diagram.

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Question (ii)
Comment on the following characters depicted in the poem, in a sentence or phrase.

On the NoseOn the Eyes
(a) Nose strongly put his point to be the owner of the spectacles.(a) Eyes could not convince the lawyer to present his case and make him the winner.
(b) He could present his case to the lawyer convincingly so that the lawyer can confidently fight his case.(b) Eyes accepted the verdict against him Meekly.

Question (iii)
‘Lend thy ears to all but few thy tongue …’ is a famous quote by William Shakespeare. Justify.

If one wants to appear intelligent, one should develop the habit of listening carefully without speaking much. One should listen attentively to all but needs to decide who should one talk to and where to stop. It is better to receive all the information before expressing an opinion. Then the decision will be considerate and thoughtful and not a hasty one.


Question 1.
Pick out examples of Inversion from the poem.

1. Inversion:

1. ‘Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose’.
The order of words are changed for poetic effect.
The proper order is ‘A strange contest arose between Nose and Eyes’.
2. ‘But what were his arguments few people know’
The proper order is : ‘Few people know what were his arguments’.
3. That the visage or countenance had not a Nose, Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?’
The proper order is: Tray that then?’

2. Simile

1. ‘Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle’.
Direct comparison between the spectacles and the saddle.
2. ‘For the court did not think they were equally wise’.
Direct comparison between the two argument of the lawyer.

3. Alliteration

1. To which the said spectacles ought to belong-’ sound of ‘s’ is repeated.
2. ‘Eyes should be shut’. – sound of ‘s’ is repeated.

4. Metonymy

1. ‘and a wig full of learning’

Change of name, ‘wig full of learning’ is actually ‘head full of learning’. The two things are separable and their connection is external.

5. Interrogation

‘Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?’
It is a question where no answer is expected by the speaker.

6. Metaphor
‘While Chief Baron Eat sat to balance the laws’.
Indirect comparison between a powerful person like Baron with Ear.

7. Anticlimax
That the visage or countenance had not a Nose pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?’
Ideas are arranged in the descending order of importance.

8. Oxymoron
‘By daylight or candlelight’ – two opposite words are placed side by side to enhance the effect.


Question (i)
Justify the verdict delivered in the poem.

I can support my answer with the help of the following suitable arguments:
1. It is a well-known fact for years that the Nose holds the spectacles.
2. The spectacles are designed in such a way that it can sit on the Nose perfectly. The sections of the Nose and
the parts of the spectacles to fit on them, are in absolute harmony.
3. A face without a nose will never be able to wear the spectacles.

Question (ii)
Compose a poem of two lines of your own on any sensory organ.

Eyes that see everything and ears that hear,
Need to have the patience and strength to bear.

Question (iii)
Imagine that you are a lawyer defending the case of the Eyes in court. Present your counter statement in support of your client.

My Lord, my points in support of my client Eyes are:

  1. Eyes are given by the God Almighty for seeing and the basic purpose of the spectacles is to give a clear vision.
  2. Nose is serving the secondary purpose of holding the spectacles, but the primary purpose of seeing is served by the presence of the Eyes, one of the sensory organs.
  3. I agree that without Nose, the spectacles would not have been worn or placed properly. But, without eyes, the spectacles would not have been needed.
  4. If for the sake of putting on the spectacles on the Nose, the eyes are shut, the world will be absolutely dark for the spectacle wearer.


Question (i)
Write the appreciation of the poem.

William Cowper, the English poet, well-known for composing hymns, deviated from his usual topic and presented Nose versus Eyes, an interesting and uncommon subject on a courtroom drama of a dispute between the Nose and the Eyes about the ownership of the spectacles.

The title makes no bones about the disagreement between the Nose and the Eyes by using the word ‘versus’ and directly involves the readers in the context of the poem. The poet sarcastically refers to the contest as ‘strange’ but makes it sound very obvious about the position of the spectacles.

All the formalities of the courtroom were fulfilled with quite precision. The Tongue, which is used for speaking, was assigned the job of the lawyer so that he could defend his client wisely with valid arguments. The Tongue did his job perfectly with the help of intelligent reasoning in favour of the Nose for being the legitimate owner of the spectacles. He went to the extent of saying that in absence of a Nose, there was no way one could wear the spectacles.

Here, the poet brought the surprise element of the poem by making the same lawyer change side and represent the other disputant, the Eyes. But the learned judge, the all-powerful Ear, even after being very attentive and prudent, could not make head or tail of the arguments in favour of the Eyes. So, he had to come to a decision to give the official order in favour of the Nose, in a serious tone without having any hesitation in mind.

He also pronounced a verdict for the Eyes to keep themselves shut whenever the spectacles are worn. The poem is a satire on the judicial system and the poet made his comments very obvious by using expressions like ‘a wig full of learning’. He has personified various sensory organs, which are very essential in a courtroom, to bring out how the futility of the judiciary can lead to major harm. For creating humour, he has used the language and the background of a courtroom which also has made the poem an interesting read.

Like an allegory, where a story or poem is used to reveal a hidden meaning, this poem also can be interpreted to have a moral. All the imaginary characters point out to the moral values needed for the judiciary. The same lawyer speaks in favour of both the rivals and the deliberate attempt to present vague arguments for the second client add to the element of humour but it also hints at the justice that is denied. The deliberate use of words to protect the dignity of the judge, who actually does not do justice, is the poet’s way of pointing finger at misuse of such an important service.

The first reaction of the reader will be having a good laugh while reading the poem. But the deeper meaning of the need for morality in the judicial system definitely makes the poem thought-provoking.

Question (ii)
Write the summary of the poem.

Refer Synopsis.

(A6) Project:

Read different stories about intelligent ministers of kings, whose judgements helped to bring about law and order in society. For example, Birbal, Tenalirama etc. Write 5 such stories in your notebook.

Important Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Give reasons for the dispute between the Nose and the Eyes.

The dispute arose because both the Nose and the Eyes have important roles to play for the spectacles. The eyes use the spectacles to see the things and the Nose holds the spectacles to keep them in place. But unfortunately, both of them were not ready to accept the usefulness of each other for the spectacles and each was supposed to serve its own purpose. So, the dispute arose.

Question 2.
The poem gives close resemblance to human life. The images used in the poem describe human tendencies. Find such examples/tendencies.

The human tendencies are:

  1. to create unnecessary dispute without accepting the obvious fact – ‘To which the said spectacles ought to belong.’
  2. To be unreasonable, just to prove one’s point and be a winner. One does not even need to know the validity of the argument – ‘That the Nose had spectacles always in war’.
  3. Quickly shift the side even after knowing that it can cause a big damage – ‘He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes’.
  4. To pass a judgement without considering the adverse effect it can lead to – ‘By daylight or candlelight – Eyes should be shut’.


Global Understanding:

Question 1.
Complete the web.

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Inference/ Interpretative / Analysis

Question 1.
How does the lawyer Tongue defend the case of Nose?

The lawyer Tongue feels that the Nose deserves the sole right over the ownership of the spectacles as it has been used to wear the spectacles from time immemorial. He also argues that the spectacles are made in such a way that they perfectly fit on the nose. He tries to make his argument stronger by saying that in the absence of the nose on the face, it will be impossible to wear the spectacles.

Personal Response:

Question 1.
Do you support the poet’s satire presentation of the judicial system? Explain.

To a large extent, I support the poet since the courtroom drama is a common sight in our country as well. People do not hesitate to resort to lies just to win a case and many a times the judiciary turns blind eyes and a deaf ear to all those untruths. But this cannot be generalized. There is always two sides of a coin and an honest verdict may be rare, but possible to achieve.

Poetic Device:

Question 1.
Name and explain the figure of speech in the following line.
While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the laws’.

Metaphor: Indirect comparison between a powerful person like Baron with Ear.


Question 1.
Compose the funny poem of two lines with or without a rhyme scheme, on ‘The Spectacles’.

Oh spectacles! when will you leave me?
Don’t fit on my flat nose, however useful you can be.


Question 1.
Write an appreciation of the extract with the help of the following points. (100 – 150 words)

  • About the extract
  • Theme and significance
  • Poetic style, language, poetic devices
  • Inspirational message
  • Your opinion and critical evaluation of the extract

This extract sarcastically prevents the defense of the lawyer Tongue, for his client Nose as the lawful owner of the spectacles. All the formalities of the courtroom are fulfilled carefully. The lawyer presents his arguments in favour of his client Nose with precision. He places his points in front of the judge Ear judiciously saying that the Nose has been designed to hold the spectacles properly and without the existence of the nose, wearing the spectacles will be impossible.

The poem is a satire on the judicial system and the sensory organs are personified to bring out the theme i.e., fertility of the judiciary can lead to major harm. This extract is also like an allegory where all the imaginary characters hint at the moral values needed in the judiciary system. The humorous presentation of the drama in the courtroom in order to point out an important issue like honesty in the judiciary system makes the extract interesting to me.


  1. straddle – extension on both sides
  2. ridge – a long, narrow or projected part of a body: the ridge of the nose
  3. intended – expected to be
  4. dispute – disagreement, clash
  5. spectacles – glasses used for clear vision
  6. wig – a special covering for the head made of artificial hair worn by the judges,
  7. Baron – a powerful person,
  8. discerning – showing good judgement,
  9. amounts to – becomes,
  10. straddle – extend across both sides,
  11. ridge – an edge,
  12. saddle – a low part of ridge between two high points, sit with a raised ridge,
  13. visage or countenance – face,
  14. condemn – express disapproval of,
  15. decreed – an official order that has the force of law,
  16. Solemn – formal and dignified.