Compound Questions and Answers from We are the Music Makers by Arthur William Edagr O’Shaughnessy 

Questions and Answers from We are the Music Makers

1. (a) Analyse the poem, 'We Are the Music Makers' and expand on the appeal that the poet has made to the artists of the world. What do the lines, 'Wandering by lone sea-breakers/And sitting by desolate streams refer to?


In the poem, We Are the Music Makers', the poet emphasizes the importance of artists and the art that they create. The poet mentions the tremendous efforts required of the artists to stay true to their art while bringing out incomparable works of art. The poem makes a straightforward appeal to the artists across different realms. It calls them the music-makers', and 'dreamers of dreams'. Since it avoids mentioning a particular art form, it applies equally to all artists across the globe, across different segments and, thus has a massive appeal. The poet is directly addressing the artists telling them not to be discomforted by the difficult times and cold treatment of people meted out to them. He encourages them to keep on working and creating great pieces of art because even though they and their critics may perish, their art will live on, keeping them alive in the memory of the coming generations.

In the lines. Wandering by lone sea-breakers, and sitting by desolate streams,' the poet describes artists and their soul-searching. Artists have to separate themselves from society and live lives of loneliness and solitude in order to ponder over the truth of life in order to look at the society from the outside. This is a great sacrifice because it is not easy for a human to keep away from society. They wander alone by sea-breakers and sit by the desolate streams and other strange places. The poet tries to focus on the desolation of spirits of these artists, the emptiness in the world according to them and an ache in their hearts that actually shape up their creativity, which is worth such admiration and praise.

(b) Why does the poet think being an artist is difficult?


The poet describes how the life of an artist is difficult. The phrase 'world losers and world-forsakers' implies the difficulty of sustaining a life on art alone. Unlike artists in the Romantic era who could hypothetically find a patron for their work, or who might manage to scrape by with an inheritance, such as John Keats, or who rely on good fortune and a staggering amount of wealth, such as Lord Byron, many contemporary artists in the present age find it difficult to survive. Here, Arthur O'Shaughnessy wants to make it clear that to be an artist requires sacrifice - and, very often, that sacrifice is to live external to society. It is almost necessary to be external to human error and strive to see the beauty in human nature. Despite the fact that most artists are beyond the reach of society, Arthur O'Shaughnessy wants to make it clear that in no way does it mean that they are forgotten, or easily replaced.

Artists have a role to fulfill in the world, and that is to be the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems'. Here 'movers and shakers', implies rebellion. It implies a changing of the status quo; art, for the most part, has been outside of what was considered the norm.

(c) Artists have the ability to make society move ahead and further. Explain.


In the poem, 'We Are The Music Makers', the poet highly praises the efforts and contribution of artists throughout all realms. O'Shaughnessy goes into detail about the boon of artistry and what artists have done for society. He states the majesty and greatness of what artists manage to do – 'with wonderful deathless ditties, we built up the world's great cities, and out of a fabulous story, we fashion an empire's glory'. Thus, the poem celebrates something that is innate to creation, fantasy, and the wielding of stories to push society forward. Above all, this poem makes it very clear that artists have been the cause of society moving forward. It almost seems to imply that the artists of the modern world are to be considered as the leaders of that world, for it is myth, story, fantasy, and legend that survives after all civilization has been eaten up by tragedy. The lasting effect of art outlives in most societies. It is this, therefore, that must be celebrated and enjoyed. The poet places great emphasis on the fact that art is man's greatest achievement because nothing else created by man has lasted as long as art.

The artists, the true faces of society, help people think about the progress and betterment of society. It is artists, themselves who first raised questions about the shortcomings of society. These questions become the seed for a revolution. Long

Long Questions and Answers

1. Explain how 'diversity' as the theme of the poem makes it different. Relate your answer to the poem.


The theme of 'We are the Music makers' is diversity. There are certain similarities in every music maker - to entertain the world. O'Shaughnessy in the poem tells how similar yet different can the entertainers be. However, their motive is the same, which is to bring joy to the world but the methods of doing so are very different.

Every music maker thinks and dreams to succeed. The thought process is similar amongst all the music makers but the thoughts are different. All the entertainers have left the world inflicted with competition and have turned to something relaxing and satisfying. There is diversity in the processes and achievements of every music maker, for they work in different fields with different methods and people. The music makers are highly capable, able to achieve any milestone no matter how far it is. The music makers rule time. They live in separate times and create diversity in every time period. They have constantly affected the past, the present and the future. The music makers create and teach the world how to use what's created. Throughout the poem, O'Shaughnessy has described diversity in the music makers by addressing the similarities amongst them.

The similarities among all the music makers are a few. The music makers and the dreamers of dreams' strive to make the world a better place and achieve greatness. Deep inside the similarities lay their diverse thoughts and contributions to the world which has been able to entertain people.
O'Shaughnessy has proved his point of the music makers to be diverse with this poem. He addresses himself as a music maker and hopes that his readers also are capable of making music to someone in their life. His poem is different from the rest because he explains his views by bringing similarities together.

2. Prove that the 'music makers' depend upon their imagination to make music in the lives of people around them. You may use the points below for reference. 

• A music maker is a person who creates music of various types for
the people. 
•  They are the 'dreamers of dreams'. 
• They are the 'movers and shakers'. 
• The music makers have the ability to build and break, give life to ideas with their art, all with the help of imagination with which a new world is created. 


A music maker is one who creates music for the people around them with unique ideas. It is a known fact that people are not impressed if they continue to witness the repetitive ideas presented. O'Shaughnessy emphasizes that all the music makers, irrespective of their music type or location have unique methods which continue to improve and develop as they continue to impress people.

A music maker doesn't necessarily have to make music to please their audience. Music can be of various types but the most important fact to note is that they must be flowing like the lives of people and relate to the audiences, creating a freely-flowing environment for the audience to stress out. To create such a world, every music maker has to identify the artists in themselves and then delve into the creative world. They have to be creative in practice and depend on their vivid imaginations.

According to the poet, the music makers are those who are the dreamers of dreams and are lost in the world of imagination and creativity, unique music pieces in the process. They are the "movers and shakers of the world who keep moving from one place to another and do not let their inspirations be static. They are also responsible for making the world move by creating entertainment regularly.

The poem narrates that all the greatest events in literature are results of imagination. The music makers have the capability to control the world they create with a short, simple song. Their colorful imagination brings people together and is responsible for inspiring the readers' who continue to participate in the race of life- the race that was given up by the music makers for the sake of bringing music to the world.

The music makers, who can be found in the guise in various professions are writers, artists, musicians and fill the world with creativity. To them and their imagination powers, building cities and bringing hope to the world is a piece of cake.

In the end, O'Shaughnessy concludes with the idea that every music maker, with their art, is capable of burying an idea, which is old to the audience and giving life to a fresh, unbuilt idea with their art of imagining things.

3. Who are the music makers? How are they different from the common folk working in cities and towns?


The music makers claim themselves to be the dreamers of dreams and consider that they live in the world of imagination amongst their dreams, which they turn reality to entertain their guests.

The music makers live a lonely life, unlike the working people who live in huge cities and are surrounded by people and work. They do not live in one place and keep wandering for neither are they nor are their ideas and imagination static. They wander in the loneliest places, which are not ventured by the people working in the towns and cities. They can be found in places that reflect the mood of their music. This is what impacts their creativity and the type of music they gift to the working class. They have given up on competing and move with the flow of life, creating art and music, each so beautiful, which can be achieved only by the lonely music makers who have forsaken their city lives to experience the beauty of the world and appreciate the world of dreams.

The music makers are an inspiration for workers because they think and create on a different line. To all workers, creativity plays an important role at some stage of work. Living and staying on with static and plain ideas do not help their projects. The music makers in a way, are an inspiration for workers to gather ideas from the environment and create new and innovative products by linking and modifying old ideas.

The music makers, with their fascinating music-like art, are capable of building and breaking anything as long as they include it in their world. They are the decision-makers of dreams and lead the group of workers to witness peaceful dreams.

One could say that the music makers are capable of making prophecies with the help of their music, which they create with inspiration and without much effort.

People may consider them to be losers because they opted out of the race of life but in reality, the music makers have decided to opt-out of the race which is nothing less than a chase to pursue their dreams of changing and ruling the world by creating music like art and entertaining their tired audience.
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