Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

Specializarea LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ Forma de învăţământ ID - semestrul III




Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature



© 2006

Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Nici o parte a acestei lucrări nu poate fi reprodusă fără acordul scris al Ministerului Educaţiei şi Cercetării

ISBN 10 973-0-04576-3; ISBN 13 978-973-0-04576-5.


Introduction 1
1.1. 1.1.1. 1.1.2. 1.1.3. 1.1.4. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.4.1. 1.4.2. 1.4.3. 1.4.4. 1.5. 1.5.1. 1

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background
Unit objectives The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading

9 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 31 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 41 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 i

2.1. 2.1.1. 2.1.2. 2.2. 2.2.1. 2.2.2. 2.2.3. 2.2.4. 2.2.5. 2.2.6. 2.2.7. 2.2.8. 2.2.9. 2.2.10. 2.2.11. 2.2.12. 2.3. 2.3.1.

The late Renaissance and the Baroque
Unit objectives The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3.1.2. 4.5. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. 3.3. 3. 2.4. 3.1.6. 3. 2. 2. 3.5.3. 3. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.3.1. 3. 3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.2.1. 2. 4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3. 3.1. 3.2. 3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.5.5. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.2.Contents 2. 4.1. 4.3.

1.4. 5.1.Contents 4.4. 5.6.4. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1.5. 4. 4.2. 4.2.2. 5. 5.4.3. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.4.5. 5.4. 5.3. 5. 5.2. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.1.2. 5.3.1. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 5.5. 5. 4. 4.2.2. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 4. 5.1.3. 4.2.1. 5. 4.3. 5. 4. 4.4. Gulliver.4.2. 5. 5. 5.3. 5. 5.

6. 6. 6.2. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.1.4. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .5. 6. 6. 6. 6.7. 6.4.4. 6.1. 6.2. 6.4. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.1.2. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.3. The Seasons William Cowper.1. 6.3.4.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.2.1. 6.

You are expected and urged to bring to the understanding of this extended literary period the knowledge acquired in your previous study. What this course is about This course is a brief introduction to English literature in the 17th and 18th centuries. Literature is always an important testimony to the evolution of this spirit. 3. but also to examine more closely particular texts by the most important authors (Shakespeare. It will thus contribute to the consolidation of your knowledge and understanding of British culture and civilisation. Course objectives As already mentioned. It will familiarise you with the defining features of the literary trends and doctrines of these two centuries. but also an intimate acquaintance with the spirit of that culture and civilisation. The double focus of the course – on general aspects of a particular period or doctrine. this course aims at enlarging your understanding of British culture and civilisation. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 1 . In this way. 2. Blake.Introduction INTRODUCTION 1. You will be able to build a general picture of the main literary achievements of this period. a carrier of values. How this course can help you The study of this course will widen your perspective on English literature and its evolution. Defoe. Swift. Milton. among others). by encouraging your response to particular texts. the study of the present course will more efficiently contribute to your professional becoming. and will highlight the contributions of their most representative literary personalities. it would be helpful if you refreshed your acquaintance with the basic historical and cultural framework of the 17th and 18th centuries. You must bear in mind that the teaching of a foreign language does not presuppose only a good command of its grammatical structures and vocabulary. such as was presented in your Cultural Studies course.” at helping you refine your perception of literary phenomena and categories. this course will give you a minimum of contextual detail. Fielding. and an “agent” in the cultural dynamics in a country. and on certain texts – will hopefully help you to overcome the relatively great temporal and cultural distance separating us from those centuries. and to the enrichment of your grasp of the English language. Before starting your study. It also aims at developing your “reading competence. Being concerned with aspects of literary history.

lIntroduction This complex aim presupposes your development of certain specific competences. the values of a particular culturalhistorical or literary age • distinguish the proportion of originality and conformity to a tradition in a particular work or a given text • specify the contribution of the studied authors and their works to the evolution of literary forms and styles • describe and compare particularities of style. you should therefore be able to: define the distinctive features. is structured around a series of tasks that you must accomplish – the self-assessing questions (the SAQs).g. Besides them. By the end of your study of this course.g. 2 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the Enlightenment • identify elements of continuity and discontinuity between these periods and movements • define the main features of an aesthetic-literary doctrine or type of literary sensibility (e. • 4. in its turn. the Baroque. the characteristic attitudes and concerns of such cultural-historical-literary movements or periods as the Renaissance. characterisation. a unit contains a series of “auxiliary” sections: a Summary. or establish what links Fielding’s novels to literary Neoclassicism. Each unit. identify the features of the baroque sensibility in Shakespeare’s tragedies. the Restoration. forming a chronological survey of the major literary developments in the 17th and 18th centuries. the Augustan Age. Neoclassicism. a Glossary. and a Gallery of personalities. in a given text. Course content and structure This course is structured in six units of study. Some of the units also contain an assignment that you have to do and send to your tutor. The solutions and suggestions for SAQs are provided in a separate section. as part of your overall assessment. preRomanticism) • identify such features in the work of a particular author or in a particular text (e. or what makes Blake a Romantic poet) • identify. thematic and formal structure in the works of various authors. a list of key words.

Fielding and L. hopefully. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. and to draw your own conclusions. • 4. as well as major representatives. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. The variety of these learning tasks will.1. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. Richardson.Introduction 4.2. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. The units of learning Unit 1 (The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background) offers a general picture of the literary scene and its intellectual-cultural context. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. • Unit 6 (English pre-Romantic poetry) introduces you to the poetry of sensibility of the 18th century as the illustration of an important literary tendency. the epic poem Paradise Lost. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. S. The SAQs encourage you to see your course work as more than a simple effort of memory (although the importance of memory in the process of learning must not be underrated). • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. and Augustan satire. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. and with the evolution of this genre. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. Defoe. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. They appeal not only to your memory. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. H. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. Sterne –.

• paraphrase a given fragment from a studied literary work. You are strongly advised to resist the temptation of consulting this section before you have actually tried to do the exercises yourself. A line in your textboxes is estimated to contain ten words on the average.lIntroduction answer questions about the theme. You are given detailed instructions about what is expected from you. after you have identified them in/after a provided short description • match a given literary fragment with a given paraphrase. You are required to solve these SAQs in the blank spaces provided for each of them in textboxes.. characterisation. fragment) • complete sentences. summarise its argument. state its theme • comment on / interpret a given fragment.3. match incomplete statements so as to reconstruct an idea or a description • identify true/false sentences. the title of a work. The estimated length of your answers will be indicated as number of words / number of lines. etc. an author’s work. Try to analyse your errors and to become aware of everything you have missed in the instructions of the SAQ. the independent intellectual effort that you are encouraged to put into your learning. 4 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . etc. etc. • A self-assessed question (SAQ) is signalled in the course text by this icon accompanying a textbox. Do not get discouraged if some of your answers should not come near the suggestions offered at the end. and. if the case may be. and you are advised to read those instructions carefully and to follow them. symbolic elements. line. in the literary text you were asked to work on. 4. with the typological definition of a work. narrative technique. You are also given instructions about how to proceed if your answers differ significantly from the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs (see below). Solutions and suggestions for SAQs You can check your answers to each SAQ by going to this section. so as to obtain synthetic reformulations or rephrasings of relevant details about a literary period. so as to re-describe certain important aspects about a literary period or a particular writer’s work • fill in blanks with the features of a certain literary movement or style. of a certain work or a provided fragment • explain the relevance or significance of a certain item (phrase. at the end of the unit. Remember that what counts most is the process of thinking that leads you to a particular answer. stylistic features.

you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names).1. but the phrase of which that word is part. Some terms may recur in several units. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information.4. if necessary or desired. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. at the end. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . not just Being. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. in Unit 1. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. for the Great Chain of Being*. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. Thus.1.3. For instance.3. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. For example. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. the term Enlightenment. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1.Introduction 4. Sometimes. other instruments meant to assist your study. with the pages where you may find relevant information. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. • Further reading. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to.

5. 5. the number of tasks. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. while SAA no. some of these texts might seem difficult to you.lIntroduction 4.2 will cover units 4 and 5. especially the poetry texts. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. The table below represents the place. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and 6. this should not take you too much time. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. In any case. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. before you start solving the task. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). difficult. try to read each fragment more than once. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. SAA no. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. As the texts are not very long. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. 5.

1 SAA no. however. 1. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). clarity. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Each assignment must be completed and sent to the tutor in the allotted study week (see Your study schedule below). theoretically.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. Most of the time. 2. 6. 1. Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. As in the case of the SAQs. 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. 2. to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . Of these hours. • the coherence. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. You may. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. 3. half of the answer is already contained in the question. If your level of proficiency is lower. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%).2 SAA no. If you have no possibility to type your assignment. your course work may take you more time. whose reading may take you some extra time.

5. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. glossary. and gallery of personalities). of the evolution of literary genres. forms and styles. together. It is structured in six units of study. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). The three assignments will count. there are SAAs. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. At the end of Units 3. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. whose content follows a chronological line. respectively. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . along the 17th and 18th centuries in England.3 3 3 8 SAA no. as 40% of the final grade. list of key words. which you must write and send to your tutor. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. representative authors. as well as a list of suggested further reading. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary.2 SAA no. and 6. A provisional study schedule may look like this: Week Unit Number of study hours Assignment Number of hours for the SAAs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Introduction Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Revision 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 28 SAA no.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. a revision of the course material. according to a pre-established schedule. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers.

1.1.5. 1.1. 1. 1.5. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .4. 1. 1.4. seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1. 1.

in the latter part of the 17th century. 1. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society. nature and divinity during the Age of Reason. philosophy. a powerful flourishing nation. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. social and economic life. attitudes and practices. dramatic and prose genres and their main representatives in their proper literary-historical context within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Unit objectives 1. mentalities. The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ define the most important tendencies in the evolution of intellectual attitudes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ♦ establish connections between the historical and intellectual context and the literary scene ♦ describe the major divisions of this long period according to historical. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . cultural and literary aspects ♦ establish elements of continuity and discontinuity along the two centuries ♦ explain the process of literary “modernisation” along these two centuries through the evolution of styles and the dynamic of genres ♦ place various poetic. Political.1. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period. at the end of this period. as well as the faith in progress. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations. religion. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. literature. The rise. The gradual achievement of political stability. science. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields.1. of the Enlightenment. as the Enlightenment is often described. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. marked the entrance into modernity. obscurantism and intolerance.1. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century.

The optimism of the Deists extended to human nature. One of the most ardent promoters of the new scientific spirit was Francis Bacon* (1561-1626). the capacity of distinguishing right from wrong. Engaging in a variety of original scientific experiments. to “overcome the mysteries of all the works of Nature” and to apply that knowledge “for the benefit of human life. endowed with a sixth sense: the moral sense. the “universal Architect. It was a highly intellectualised religious approach. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 11 .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Francis Bacon It is also during these two centuries that modern science was born. was an evidence of the creator’s good will. a religious movement which aimed at reviving the Evangelical spirit and the ideal of Christian life. in a systematic effort.” This idea will be echoed several decades later. manifest in its rationally and experimentally discernible laws. combined the traditional confidence in the divine infinite wisdom with the intellectual spirit of the age. that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers. His well-known maxim “Knowledge is Power” points to the utilitarian conception of the role of science. a reaction against mysticism and obscurantism.” God was seen as the prime cause of a harmonious universe.1. when The Royal Society “for the improving of Natural Knowledge” was founded. and which encouraged emotional effusion as a way of achieving communion with God. or Natural Religion –. The Royal Society endeavoured. working according to impersonal laws which testified to the supreme intelligence of the Creator. in 1662.” 1. had important philosophical and theological implications: the universe was now conceived as a perfect mechanism. It was a rational alternative to religious dogmatism. Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment The rationalism of the Renaissance and Enlightenment thought determined a reconsideration of the relation between Nature and Divinity and a new vision of the universe. This new faith – Deism. Deists believed that the admirable order of the universe. The moral philosophy of the Deists argued that man was innately good. which was left to develop by itself on the basis of these perfect laws. Deism attempted to give a rational foundation to religious thought. In his work Novum Organum (1620) he explicitly states that “The true and lawful goal of the sciences is simply this. The scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton*. and it was essentially optimistic. to reconcile Reason and Faith. under the patronage of Charles II.2. in particular. which could not offer spiritual comfort to the large masses of the poor and uneducated. It was to be counter-balanced by the Evangelical Revival*. initiated by Isaac Newton and John Locke*.

The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. T F 2. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. The poet Alexander Pope indicated.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth.1. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. T F 3. the central concern of the Enlightenment. T F 4. continued the project of the Renaissance. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. Circle T (true) or F (false). The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. T F 5. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1.1. but also affective and instinctual. the awareness of the complex interdependencies in a modern civilisation made it necessary to reconcile the individual pursuit of happiness and freedom with the general wellbeing.3. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. The growing spirit of individualism. the Enlightenment. 1. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 1. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. for each sentence. appropriately. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The development of modern science and the rise of philosophical empiricism are major aspects of the process of intellectual modernisation in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. to superstition and obscurantism.

but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. T F 7. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. After 1688. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste.2. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. to 1. The study and imitation of the great Latin and Greek authors and the concern with literary tradition as a reliable source of models made literature highly conventional. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. 1. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*.4.1. T F 8. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. for instance. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . in one way or another. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. read again subchapters. symmetry. The division into Elizabethan. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. It was the main focus of literary attention. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. including readers of more modest education. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. that the notion of reading public emerges now. in the orbit of the crown. at the end of the unit. regularity. and both writers and audiences were. the decrease in the power of the Crown.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. with little or no classical knowledge. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. for proportion. It is significant. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance.1. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view.1.

This reflects. Corneille. 14 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a. Molière. The comparative merit of ancient and modern standards of literary excellence and learning became a central issue of critical debate. with its highly conventional forms and rhetorical style. the “Sun King” –: Nicolas Boileau. The mid-seventeenth century was an age of transition. This led to the emergence Neoclassicism* in England. Much of Renaissance literature. The great French classical authors of the 17th century (Boileau. …… c. …on literary taste and fashions during the Renaissance. on the model of the French controversy known as the “Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. English Neoclassicism must be linked not only to the survival of the Renaissance humanism. so as to obtain complete sentences describing aspects of the general literary picture of the 17th and 18th centuries. a new consciousness of the relationship between literary tradition and modernity. but also to the influence of the French authors of the great classical century – the age of Louis XIV. Racine. …the Augustan Age. but they were resumed during the Restoration*. during the Augustan Age*. Molière)…… d. when the merits of the “Ancients” and the “Moderns” became the object of comparison. Complete each sentence in the provided space. Jean Racine. The relationship between tradition and modernity became a matter of literary consciousness during…… 1. The Court was the main source of influence…… b. 2. SAQ 2 Read the partial statements below and match them.” started in the late 17th century. England’s intellectual and literary exchanges with Catholic France had been suspended during the Civil War*. Pierre Corneille.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Augustan Age: literary Neoclassicism allusions demonstrated the author’s erudition and required from the readers familiarity with classical learning. above all. in which the declining phase of the Renaissance was characterised by a return to the classics. A significant aspect of Augustan literature is the development and importance of literary criticism.

A “metaphysical” strain exists in Shakespeare’s final period of creation. or his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). which departed from the artificiality and poetry conventionalism of most Elizabethan poetry. A remarkable poetic development in the first half of the 17th century was the metaphysical poetry (John Donne. Apart from the classical poetic forms that survived into the Restoration and the Augustan Age. or religion and politics – John Milton.3. It favoured conciseness. in a variety of poetical forms: philosophical poems. the ode*. John Dryden (in the former). They approached other themes besides love: e. by the Romantic poets. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. the verse satire emerged as a novelty at the end of the 17th century and flourished during the next – John Dryden and Alexander Pope being its unequalled masters. which are illustrative of a pre-Romantic* cross-current. the sonnet* – dominated Renaissance poetry. in its various forms – the song*. and the Puritan Andrew Marvell must also be included here. the pastoral* lyric. Alexander Pope. Thomas Gray and William Collins (in the latter). or meditative-descriptive poems like James Thomson’s The Seasons (1726-1730) or William Cowper’s The Task (1785). you need to revise subchapter 1. The most Renaissance lyric enduring poetic achievements of the early 17th century is the forms sequence of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609). 4. conveyed by means of a rich variety of rhetorical effects. original or translated epics. Robert Herrick).g. Thomas Carew. James Thomson. concentration. and it made extensive use of wit. The sonnet fell into disuse during the late Renaissance and it was revived only towards the end of the 18th century. but English poets varied the highly conventional form of this kind of poem.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 3. tight logical coherence and striking imagery. religious faith – John Donne. The common vehicle for it was the heroic couplet – two rhyming The Augustan heroic lines containing a complete statement. The chief model for The sonnet sequence Renaissance soneteers was Petrarch* and his love sonnets to Laura. Its perfect mastery is illustrated by works like Pope’s didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711). …addressed itself to learned readers. the blank verse* – on the model of Milton in his great Blank verse epic* Paradise Lost (1667) – was extensively used in the 18th century. Andrew Marvell. …influenced English literary Neoclassicism. Other lyric forms endured: the ode. continued to be used throughout the 17th and 18th centuries: John Milton. If you have failed to make the right match. combining classical restraint with force of argument and expressive clarity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 15 . George Herbert. The evolution of poetic forms The lyric. The heroic couplet was the perfect verse couplet structure of the Age of Reason. It appealed both to the intellect and to the emotions. Its name refers to a certain Metaphysical expressive strategy. at the end of the unit. for instance. acquainted with the great classical authors and works.2. In parallel.

a new appreciation of older poetic forms. the ballad) and the increasing hostility to the artificiality and conventionalism of Augustan poetic diction* heralded the shift in taste which marked the beginning of Romanticism. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In little more than half a century (1580-1642). The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). It was the only form of literature which. we shall look more closely at some of the most representative poetic works of these two centuries: the metaphysical poetry of Donne and Marvell (Unit 2). in the space left below. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. If there should be major differences between them. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. together with their most outstanding representatives.4. In the following units of this course. through its representation on stage. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). enjoyed a widely popular appeal. revise subchapter 1.3. some of them of popular origin (the song.

Unlike Senecan plays. In such plays. 1605-6). and in the 18th century it was replaced by the novel in popularity. From Senecan tragedy. On the whole. The dramatic genres popular during the Renaissance were extremely diverse: tragedy and comedy with their varieties. the fundamentally evil hero/heroine. 17 Revenge tragedy The villain in revenge tragedy Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Contemporary reconstruction of a Jacobean playhouse The play-house.4. pastoral drama. or Vittoria Corombona (1612) are among the most accomplished portrayals of the villain in drama. Masters of this genre were the Jacobean dramatists Cyril Tourneur (The Revenger’s Tragedy. with his exploration of the darkness of strange passions. 1614). etc. Of the Caroline playwrights. Jacobean and Caroline plays usually represented atrocities on stage. A particular type of protagonist became fashionable in revenge tragedies: the villain. and this “unholy alliance” between crown and stage increased the intransigence of the Puritans. sometimes he rights the wrong done to another. Milton’s Satan. play-houses were reopened. but the spirit of the great tradition was never recaptured. They were generally. murder. Thomas Middleton (Women Beware Women. exploiting excessively morbid ingredients like incest. drama witnessed a decline.1. insanity. Renaissance playwrights borrowed the five-act structure. and the rhetorical manner. when the Puritans* closed the theatres. In 1660. to accommodate the tastes of a new public. rape. sensational and macabre. the sensational plot. in Paradise Lost. is the most gifted. historical drama. but destroys himself along with his enemies. John Ford (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. fascinating through unbounded ambition. with its audience arranged according to rank. The type of the villain is the descendant of the Devil in the mediaeval Mystery plays* and a forerunner of the arch-villain in English literature. 1. where bloody deeds were only evoked through an efficient rhetoric of the dramatic discourse. 1612) and especially John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi. 1633). Jacobean tragedy One of the most widespread forms of tragedy was the revenge tragedy. They saw the theatre as a source of moral corruption through the “idle” pleasure that it offered. The great acting companies were under the patronage of the king. while others changed. tragi-comedy. daring and wit. Some dramatic forms went out of fashion. who usually appears as a ghost on the stage. masque*. with the restoration of monarchy. inspired by the plays of the Roman Stoic Seneca*. Shakespeare’s protagonist in Richard III (1592-3) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth. Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is the finest illustration of this kind of tragedy. was a miniature of the English society. The great age of English drama ended abruptly in 1642. each variety of spectator responding to the performance according to his/her education and imagination. built around the theme of revenge. as well as John Webster’s heroine in The White Devil. the wronged hero plans revenge. 1607). treachery.

in Paradise Lost. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. read the following statements. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. T F 5. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. the satirical comedy. Epicoene. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. T F 7. 1. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form.2. in miniature. though each in a different way. read again subchapters 1.4. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). centred on the theme of love. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. Milton’s Satan. with its noble characters. T F 3. If you have failed to identify the true statements. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . his comedies become darker. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. at the end of the unit. T F 2. or The Silent Woman (1609). Volpone (1606).1. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. reflecting. but. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. T F 4. identifying the four true ones. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). For each sentence. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. or at least tinged with bitterness. 1. and 1. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. T F 6. the hierarchy of English society. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. in the last period of creation. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. His best plays.4.

a stylish and sophisticated world. 1722). satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. Duke of Buckingham. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. The Conquest of Granada. 1665.g. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. 1777). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. 1769).4. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. Heroic plays. who demanded models of virtue and decency.3. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. 1669-70). 1768. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. too. The feeling that some dramatic forms were out of their time and were maintained artificially led to the emergence of a burlesque* kind of comedy. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. The School for Scandal. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e.4. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. John Gay. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The drama of sensibility – with sentimental comedy as its dominant type – emerged as a reaction to the Restoration comedy. for instance. Under the influence of French tragedies. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism.4. 1775. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). George Villiers. or The Mistakes of a Night. She Stoops to Conquer. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. Henry Fielding). but it appealed to a wide middle class public. were a passing extravagance. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. 1773).g. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . In The Rehearsal (1671). It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. The painful intensity of Renaissance tragedy did no longer move the hearts of audiences that either were too frivolous or whose mind had been subtly influenced by Puritan morality. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain.

If there should be major differences between them. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below.2. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy.4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. to 1.4.4. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . revise subchapters 1. together with their most outstanding representatives. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.

religious writings are particularly important. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). struggles and William Blake: aspirations. the universal language of the Renaissance. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. on clarity and rationality. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. in political tracts and pamphlets. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. with its trials. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. displaying a variety of styles. the essay* proved the most flexible. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. temptations. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. philosophical and theological writings. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. Gradually. a precious and highly ornate language. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. blending concision with wit. weaknesses.5. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. Later in the century. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty.5. deliberately artificial and intricate. The development of an aphoristic style*. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific.1. More and more. A different vein in religious writing is illustrated by the Puritan John Bunyan (1628-1688) and his extremely popular book The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Here. 1612. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin.

Human character as portrayed in their essays was at the same time typical and individualised. which analyses the constitution of human society. Anatomies were monuments of learning. etc. another form of prose writing which displayed divergent tendencies in style was the anatomy. in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). delighting in speculation and building the knowledge they explored into an elaborate structure. Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy. but its impressive intellectual architecture is achieved in a simple. letters. Like drama. spiritual biographies (John Bunyan. diaries (John Evelyn. unadorned style. of remarkable precision and force. 1666). “Characters” were miniature portraits of human types. In the 17th century. Samuel Purchas). This kind of approach had a considerable influence on the realistic novel. aphoristic style. A variety of other prose genres developed during the 17th century: historical and geographical accounts (Walter Raleigh. with his Life of John Donne among other works of this kind – 1670). 1644 – a famous defense of the freedom of the press). inclusive character is displayed by Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651). exhausting the subjects they dealt with. “The Religion of a Doctor. the biography as an emerging prose genre. which anticipates the prose of the Neoclassical period. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.” 1642) are the most outstanding representatives of this genre. 22 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Frontispiece to Leviathan provides another example of this prose form – this time in booklength – as a vehicle for analysis of ideas and intellectual demonstration.g. with Characters of Virtue and Vices (1608). 1632 – the most virulent Puritan attack on the theatre. pamphlets* (e. The character as a prose genre influenced Richard Steele and Joseph Addison in their periodical essays. The same encyclopaedic. biographies (Izaak Walton. whose purpose was didactic or satirical. William Prynne’s Histriomastix. executed in a witty. 1621) and Sir Thomas Browne (Religio Medici. the spiritual autobiography and the “character” were literary expressions of the growing interest in human individuality. Joseph Hall inaugurated the English tradition of this genre. with its explorations of the complexities of human mind and character. Samuel Pepys). a prose genre whose model was provided by the Greek writer Theophrastus*. Milton’s Areopagitica. the great literary achievement of the 18th century. To these must be added the character.

intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. between which there is continuity. Within these two centuries. more carefully. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries.5. obscurantism and intolerance.5. Within these two centuries. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. as well as the faith in progress. at the end of the unit. Culturally. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. roughly. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. you will learn more about the periodical essay.. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. these two centuries correspond. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 6 In what direction did English prose style tend to develop along the 17th and 18th centuries? Answer in the space below. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. and 1. modern science was born. If there should be major differences between them. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture.1. the image of the universe was changed. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . read again subchapters 1. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4.

It is. elevated style. often by means of paradox.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity. predominantly middle-class. part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits. of serious action. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public. in a caricatural spirit. a slow transition took place. From a literary point of view. Ovid. drama and prose in the 17th and 18th centuries has been meant to offer you a general idea of the literary background of this extremely diverse and dynamic period. burlesque: the exaggerated imitation. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace.D.-14 A. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man. Augustan Age: a phrase designating the period of English Neoclassicism (extending from the Restoration to the latter half of the 18th century) by analogy with the golden age of Latin literature. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Renaissance The Enlightenment The Restoration The Age of Reason The Age of Common Man The Age of Feeling The Augustan Age Neoclassicism modernity tradition change emancipation progress poetry drama prose Glossary • • aphoristic style: (from Greek aphorismos: definition) a style characterised by condensation and precision. blank verse: unrhymed verse. of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. however. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility. noble and heroic characters.C.). used to express observations of general truth. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 . which are reduced to the comically trivial.” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry.

• epic: long narrative poem celebrating the achievements of heroic personages. In a broader sense. widely used in all ages. in which personal opinions and observations are presented in a formal or informal manner. when it was restored. Voltaire. the conviction that reality is ordered according to laws that are accessible to human reason). anti-fanaticism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Caroline: (from Latin Carolus) related to the reign of Charles I Stuart (1625-1642) • Civil War (1642-1649): the pivotal event of the 17th century. and by the search for a model of society in which man’s rights and duties should be exercised in freedom. artistic and literary life of the Renaissance was defined by a revived interest in the classical culture and its ideals. The open conflict between king and Parliament set the whole nation to war. and contributed to the intellectual preparation of the French Revolution (1789). natural law.): “Man is the measure of all things”. This return to the Ancients is the foundation of Renaissance humanism. Rousseau. social and moral thought. the humanism of the Renaissance refers to a view of life which we find summarised in the maxim of the Greek philosopher Protagoras (480-410 B. The subjects and heroes are taken either from myth. illustrating the close link between religion and politics in English history. reconciling a materialist account of reality with a rationalist attitude (i. the folk tradition. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable prose forms. • Elizabethan: related to the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The founder of the revival of classical learning was Petrarch (see note below). anti-obscurantism. • empiricism: a philosophical orientation which established the primacy of experience in the process of knowledge. • Evangelical Revival: a trend which started within the Anglican Church (the official. John Locke. worth and capacity for self-accomplishment. Thomas Paine (the United States) are among the great representatives of this movement. or from history. pragmatism. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes. rejection of arbitrary authority and of absolutism are some of the characteristic attitudes of this age. until 1660. state church) as a reaction against the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 25 • . • Enlightenment: ideological and cultural movement in the 18th century in Europe and America. Tolerance. David Hume (Britain). social contract.C. legend. individual liberty. civil rights. by the promotion of intellectual emancipation and the belief in social and moral progress. Concepts like human rights. • essay: a prose composition of varying length. Diderot (France). The founders of English empiricism were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704). separation of powers were central to Enlightenment political.e. which began as an educational programme (the humanities – humaniora) propagating those values in Greek and Latin culture which could be harmonised with Christian values. The victory of the Parliamentary forces led to the abolition of monarchy in 1649. humanism. Montesquieu. characterised by anti-dogmatism and the cult of reason as the supreme guiding principle in human action. it evokes an attitude to life which stresses the individual’s dignity. • classical revival: the intellectual. Thomas Jefferson.

) and the Latin poet Horace (658 B. to its need for clarity and its aspiration to universality. The actors used masks and personified pastoral or mythological figures. was forced to leave the throne and fled to France. and corresponded to the rationalistic spirit of the 18th century. masque: courtly entertainment in dramatic form.C. The most famous author of masques in the 17th century (when the genre flourished) was Ben Jonson. The accession of William III (of Orange) and his wife Mary (James’s Protestant daughter) marked the beginning of constitutional monarchy in England (monarchic power was limited and the Parliament’s prerogatives increased). the Neoclassic period is taken to cover almost a century (16601780). singing and dancing. It was used in order to make a trivial subject seem dignified and impressive. but also in Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 26 . uncorrupted life. The basis of this kind of faith was the Gospel (the New Testament) and its revealed truth. decorative art. in harmony with nature.) are the great ancient models for English writers. a person or an object. The term also refers to the form in which such a work was published: a booklet with paper covers. an idea. expressing lofty sentiments and thoughts regarding an event. and soon developed into a distinct religious orientation. It addressed itself to the poor. In English literature. In architecture. idealising shepherd life and creating a nostalgic image of a peaceful. sumptuous costumes and settings. The origins of pastoral are in the work of the Greek poet Theocritus (316-260 B. solemn style. Its conventions may be found not only in lyric poetry. This religious orientation developed into a church: the Methodist Church. Neoclassicism flourished in the latter half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. with an elaborate stanza structure and a dignified. encouraging a personal experience of conversion. from the Creation to the Ascension. pastoral: a literary composition on a rural theme. simple. spectacular scenic effects. mystery plays: early popular forms of English drama (13th to 16th century) developed out of the Liturgy of the Church and enacting biblical events. Neoclassicism: an aesthetic doctrine inspired from classical Antiquity (especially Latin). involving elaborate dialogue. pamphlet: a short prose work on a subject (often political or religious) that the author defends polemically.). mock-heroic style: a style mocking the serious grandeur of the epic. ode: an extended lyric poem. who collaborated with the equally famous architect and stage designer Inigo Jones. Neoclassicism meant a return to the purity. the marginal sections of society. painting and sculpture. of spiritual regeneration by grace. founded by John Wesley in the 1740s. and harmony of classical art. Glorious Revolution: in 1688. James II Stuart.C. who was a Catholic.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • • • excessive rationalism in matters of faith. whose authors were deeply revered and were recommended as models. Jacobean: (from Latin Jacobus) related to the reign of James I Stuart (1603-1625). restraint.C. and it was often a device of parody and of burlesque. often of an allegorical nature. The Greek poet Pindar (522-442 B.

of the rebirth of learning. thus. Pico della Mirandola. They propagated a doctrine of spiritual equality and cultivated a stern morality. by Columbus. Leonardo da Vinci. It placed emphasis on the individual’s spiritual autonomy and creative potential. It refers to the particular kind of language – vocabulary. “The poetry of sensibility” is another generic term for these pre-Romantic tendencies. Renaissance: cultural movement which started in Italy in the 14th century and spread to Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. industry. Duke of Buckingham. It is the period of transition from the Middle Ages and the feudal order to early capitalism. romance or the novel. Francis Bacon (England). The Puritans insisted on man’s duty of actively serving God and on his responsibility towards his own conscience. Their beliefs and convictions. who rejected the authority of the English Church because. Philip Sidney. in the 16th and 17th centuries. and brilliant accomplishments in scholarship and science. Edmund Spenser. The most outstanding of the Restoration Wits (or Court Wits) were George Villiers. it overlaps with the Augustan Age. of the expansion of education. Thomas More. favoured the growth of individualism.g. 1492). and they continued to be used in the 18th century. the sense of purpose. which was the ultimate authority in the interpretation of God’s word in the Holy Scriptures. its limits are less well defined. Boccaccio. Desiderius Erasmus (Holland). It is sometimes seen as extending to the end of the 17th century. Shakespeare. Raphael. it had not fully reformed itself. William Wycherley. Romantic: the Romantic Age in England is usually considered to extend from the end of the 18th century to the 1830s. of America. effort.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • drama. on the enlargement of his knowledge of himself and of nature. for the Neoclassic writers. Cervantes (Spain). Puritans: members of a Protestant religious group. in their view. 27 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Prominent figures of the Renaissance are Petrarch. Lope de Vega. it was the period of Charles II’s reign (1660-1685). Restoration: historically. Sir Charles Sedley. tone. Tasso (Italy). The Renaissance was the age of the great geographical discoveries (e. Sir George Etherege. Restoration Wits: the generic name for the Restoration dramatists. pre-Romantic: the term is sometimes used to refer to the literary tendencies which accompanied the rise of the cult of Feeling in the 18th century. and of the awakening of the reformist spirit. It was characterised by a remarkable flourishing of arts and literature. Ariosto. implied the idea that the language of poetry is different in quality from ordinary language. John Vanbrugh. centred on integrity. poetic diction: a term that. style – used by a poet. “Wit” designates here the person who displays liveliness and brilliance of spirit. From a literary point of view. consisting in a tremendous development and transformation in all spheres. which was to play an essential role in the rise of capitalism. Machiavelli. especially their work ethics. when monarchy was re-established in England after the Puritan rule (1649-1660). which opened the modern era. selected according to genre and subject.

choleric and melancholic – were seen as the result of the dominance of one of these humours. yellow bile – or choler. philosopher and writer. orator. the promoter of the new scientific spirit. poet and scholar. and a writer. it meant intelligence or wisdom. The tradition survived into the 18th century. the founder of modern rationalist materialism. independently of circumstances. wit: intellectual brilliance and ingenuity.e. His famous political speeches and writings Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 28 . 1591-1595). The sonnet sequence/cycle was frequently used during the Renaissance (Sir Philip Sidney. with Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Every Man Out of His Humour (1599). the capacity or talent of making unexpected. Astrophil and Stella. in which the characters act. Sometimes.): Roman statesman. with various rhyme patterns. phlegmatic. During the Renaissance. In mediaeval and Renaissance physiology and pathology. surprising associations. the quality of a writing that displays this capacity. and a firm believer in man’s creative potential. with or without musical accompaniment. in which he anticipates many of the later conquests of modern science. Ben (1572-1637): dramatist. in the 17th century it came to mean fancy or liveliness of thought and imagination. one of the most influential literary voices of his age. The New Atlantis (published in 1627). Francis (1561-1626): the most influential thinker of the English Renaissance. Amoretti. His literary work includes a series of essays on a wide variety of subjects. The assertion of the self. the four “humours” (i. the belief in the spiritual correspondence between man and nature.C. as well as an unfinished utopia. phlegm. song: a poem composed for singing. This theory had a great influence on the conception of character in the 16th and 17th century comedy. and with the French Revolution (1789). which emerged in Britain in the context of the sympathy with the struggle of the American colonies for independence from British domination (1775-1781). two fine examples of comedy of humours. the emphasis on the spontaneity of poetic inspiration are also among distinctive features of Romanticism. He started his literary career as a playwright. Edmund Spenser. Cicero. The Romantic spirit is usually associated with the championship of progressive social and political causes. Gallery of personalities • Bacon.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • Romanticism is a European cultural and literary movement. Marcus Tullius (106-43 B. sonnet: a poem consisting of 14 lines. fluids) of the body (blood. Renaissance dramatists used songs in their plays to create a particular atmosphere. Romanticism reacted against the rationalist empiricism of the Enlightenment by an intense idealism and the cult of Imagination as man’s supreme faculty of the mind. 1591. He was also an eminent statesman. Jonson. according to a dominating inclination or passion. The four traditional temperaments – sanguine. and black bile – or melancholy) were believed to determine a person’s disposition and character.

Tacitus.D. economics. must guarantee man’s natural right to liberty and life. Locke. politics.D. Man. Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651). humanity in the state of nature is driven by aggressive competition. Publius Cornelius (55-120 A. Both Hobbes and Locke can be seen as the initiators of the “social contract” theory.-65 A. that determines man to surrender part of his natural rights to the authority of a civil government. greatly influenced by Hobbes. unlike that of Hobbes. which was central to Enlightenment thought. Locke insists on the mutual obligations of the individual and the instituted authority. Seneca. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 29 . Hobbes. Lucius Annaeus (4 B.): Roman philosopher. or the Matter. insists on man’s perfect freedom in the state of nature.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • on rhetoric and style provided a model of eloquence in prose. Isaac (1642-1727): English physicist. It is fear of death. the “body politic” created in perfect analogy with the “body natural” of “that rational and most excellent work of nature. Theophrastus (372-287 B.): Greek philosopher and naturalist. and man’s agreement to submit to a governing authority is an expression of that freedom.): Roman historian and statesman. Petrarch: Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374). whose concise and trenchant style inspired 17th century English prose writers. the laws and regulations of human society imitate the laws of nature: the “great Leviathan” is the State. in a kind of social contract. Form and Power of a Commonwealth. According to him. author. the instinct of self-preservation.” A fundamental problem for Hobbes is that of the foundation of the social and political order. and Hobbes describes this generalised state of war by the famous formula “homo homini lupus” (“man is wolf to man”). of the first treatise of ancient philosophy. astronomer and philosopher. the initiator of the revival of the study of ancient Greek and Latin literature. writer and statesman. Locke was a firm supporter of the Glorious Revolution and of constitutional monarchy. Italian poet and humanist. Locke studied medicine. but he was interested in a variety of intellectual fields: philosophy. for instance. made important discoveries in the field of optics. religion. Hobbes applies rationalist-materialist principles to the explanation of human nature and society. ethics. studied the mechanics of planetary motion and formulated the law of gravitation. the latter.C. Thomas (1588-1679): materialist philosopher. Newton. For Hobbes. and his political doctrine inspired the American constitution. chief figure of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. He laid the foundations of the differential calculus. His political philosophy. mathematician. John (1632-1704): considered the “father” of English empiricism. besides the Characters.C. In his work of moral and political philosophy Leviathan. whose conceptions were profoundly influenced by the development of physics and mathematics.

1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. precision. Milton the pastoral: Milton.T. 2003 (pp. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 1983 (pp. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate.4.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Sir George Sedley. 6. 4. The English Eighteenth Century. Carew. Thomson. 7-49) 3.2. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . William Wycherley. 2003 (pp. Pope. Marvell satire: Dryden. 5. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. 4. d. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Milton.F. English Literature and Civilisation. Herrick. Cornelia. Sir George Etherege. John Gay Further reading 1. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. b. Turcu. 2.T. Fielding.F. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Collins.T. 9-32) 2. 6. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.). The Novel in Its Beginnings. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. 5. 2. 8. Ioan-Aurel (ed. Donne. Dryden.T. c. 3.3.T. Luminiţa Elena. . artificial. Dryden. Macsiniuc. The Literature of the Beginnings. Goldsmith.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Preda. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Duke of Buckingham. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Cowley. Marvell. Goldsmith. Pope. 7. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. John Vanbrugh).T.T.F.F. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. 3. Blake the ode: Marvell. there was a tendency towards simplicity.T SAQ 2 a.T. Herbert. 2.3. 2.3.1. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 . 2.8.3. 2.2. 2.2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. 2.6. 2.2. 2.6. 2.2.1. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.3.2. 2.1. 2. 2.3. 2.2.3. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2.3.3. 2.10. 2. 2. 2. 2.3.

with its sense of confidence and optimism.The late Renaissance and the Baroque By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ define the characteristic aspects of the baroque sensibility ♦ compare the Renaissance and the baroque visions on man and the universe ♦ compare aspects of Renaissance and baroque literary taste in the 17th century ♦ explain the baroque character of the main themes and motifs in Shakespeare’s tragedies ♦ identify patterns of symbolism and imagery in the studied plays by Shakespeare ♦ describe the main features of metaphysical poetry ♦ explain what a metaphysical conceit is ♦ analyse the use of conceits in poems by John Donne and Andrew Marvell ♦ point out the elements of baroque sensibility in the poetry of Donne and Marvell Unit objectives 2. to the perception of man as a bundle of contradictions and the view of the universe as threatened by instability. Philip Sydney*. this spirit declined under the pressure of certain historical events* and cultural tendencies. In the late Renaissance. The emergence of the baroque sensibility The early and high Renaissance* in England developed under the Tudor monarchs*. Elizabethan England also witnessed an explosion of creative energies in the field of letters and arts. during whose reign England developed into a strong. idealism and confidence gave way to a growing sense of disorder and violence. The Elizabethan age: the English high Renaissance Features of the high Renaissance spirit 32 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Christopher Marlowe*. anxiety and even pessimism. The vision of a harmonious. The spirit that dominated this age was typical of the Renaissance. well-ordered universe. High Renaissance English literature has its most accomplished expression in Shakespeare’s work. Increasingly prosperous and powerful owing to colonial expansion and economic progress. The former expansiveness.1. the sense of tradition as a guarantee for order. the enormous vitality nourished by the trust in man’s powers – these are general features of the high Renaissance spirit that found their expression in literature as well. Renaissance England reached the climax in its flourishing. but the outstanding achievements of writers like Thomas Kyd*. stable and modern state. to scepticism. and Edmund Spenser* complete the literary picture of the glorious Elizabethan Age. Under Queen Elizabeth I.

with the tendency of breaking proportions. but his great tragedies belong not only chronologically to the Jacobean age: as embodiments of the baroque spirit. the concentration of expression in their poems stand in contrast with the Elizabethan smooth and orderly patterns of versification. reason and superstition. and not properly forming a “school. The Renaissance celebrated Nature and life with its joys.2. sensualism and mysticism. to the macabre.” these poets distinguish themselves by the ingenuity with which they force the limits of language. irony and ambiguity. and Christopher Marlowe’s characters.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. of confusing or transgressing limits. Although very diverse. both in its themes and motifs. proportion and symmetry. The unexpected. The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility The baroque* sensibility that emerged during the late Renaissance registered with particular acuteness the conflicts and turbulences in man’s existence. striking imagery. and in its dramatic conception. life and death. the tragic divisions in man’s soul. the extensive use of paradox. The Baroque displays attraction to obscurity and melancholy. destroyed by the monstrous excess of their ambition. capable of rendering its 33 Revenge tragedy Metaphysical poetry Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ornamental rhetoric and preference for convention and artifice. Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry The essence of the baroque sensibility is conflict and tension. The baroque vision of experience of the Metaphysical Poets required a new kind of poetic language. wisdom and madness. but also to pomp. the Baroque displayed a sharp consciousness of life’s ephemerality. or the world as stage. on which the “show” of life must end. refinement and cruelty. In lyric poetry. the difficult – often irregular – rhythms. with its abundance of bloody deaths. the spectacular and the sumptuous. the paradoxes and contrasts which make up man’s mixed nature. The Renaissance cult of rational order.1. of man’s limitations and the inevitability of death. grandeur. they are the supreme dramatic achievement of late Renaissance. for excess. Characteristic baroque themes were those of life as dream and life as theatre.1.1. The best examples are Thomas Kyd’s revenge tragedy. Even the Elizabethan dramatists cultivated elements which announced the Baroque. a tendency commonly associated with the baroque is represented by the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th century. Paul’s Cathedral in London (16751708): an example of baroque architecture 2. nothing reflects better its emergence than drama. splendour. and. Characteristic of the baroque spirit are the sense of ethical relativism and the exploration of the borderline between truth and illusion. Shakespeare’s early comedies and history plays* are Elizabethan in spirit. St. The Jacobean and Caroline drama* is essentially baroque. in literature. contrasts with the baroque taste for the extravagant. its sense of form.

sense of form B: 4. and it is appealing simultaneously to the sensibility and the intellect of the reader. Othello and Macbeth) and his last romance play. R: celebration of life’s joys B: 3. complicated feeling and analytical detachment. SAQ 1 Fill in the spaces left below with those features of the Baroque (B) which contrast with the following features of the high Renaissance (R): 1. The Tempest. classical balance. R: cult for order and symmetry. King Lear. 34 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with the two most relevant accomplishments of the late Renaissance English literature: William Shakespeare’s great tragedies (Hamlet. If there should be major differences. read again the preceding subchapters. optimism. R: vision of the world as harmonious and well-ordered B: 2. you will be acquainted. respectively. In the following two subchapters. at the end of this unit. exuberance B: Compare your answers to those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. R: confidence.The late Renaissance and the Baroque complexities. Metaphysical poetry blends passion and reason. as well as some of the metaphysical poems of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. as expressions of the baroque spirit of the age.

King Lear and Macbeth (1605). and a culmination of its literary art. motifs and imagery. moral attitudes. when his artistic maturity and depth of vision produced his four monumental tragedies: Hamlet (1601). all mastered with supreme art. hate. in which every character – major or minor – has a consistent individuality and is animated by passions. A wide range of feelings. envy. Shakespeare’s whole work is a synthesis of the concerns and convictions of the Renaissance. among other features. Shakespeare had a natural instinct for the stage. aspirations and interests. friendship. sometimes even trivial. and French. and a perfect adequacy of the language to the character’s moral nature and to the dramatised experience or emotion. in plain. to the prose speech of simple folk. Shakespeare seems to propose an alternative to the stormy and bloody worlds of his great 35 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Language in Shakespeare’s plays The second period of creation: the great tragedies Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which brought him enormous success during his lifetime. search for truth. His characters emerge from the dramatic situation with an unsurpassed force of conviction. from the variety of his work. irrespective of the register in which they are conceived – tragic or comic. Shakespeare modulates the language in each play. romantic or trivial. According to the dramatic necessity. struggle for power.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. conflicts. craftsmen or servants.” Shakespeare’s work is conventionally divided into several phases. His later plays Shakespeare’s greatness as a dramatist comes. devotion. or periods of creation. In his last period of creation (1608-1611). loyalty and betrayal. so that it displays a similar variety. and the range of his subjects is extremely diverse. Italian. The beginning of the 17th century is also the beginning of his second phase (1600-1608). A whole human universe inhabits Shakespeare’s plays. language. his deep understanding of humanity. sublime or burlesque. Shakespeare’s genius. etc. where the lyrical and dramatic elements are in perfect fusion. and experiences are given dramatic shape in his plays: love. but his enduring preeminence has been insured by his extraordinary insight into human nature. These plays may be seen as strongly influenced by the emerging baroque sensibility in their themes. in the great blank verse* soliloquies*. transcending the artistic hierarchy of his age and consecrating him as always “our contemporary. states of mind. medieval and contemporary sources – English. The richness and profundity of his comprehensive creation establish him as a universal genius. He was not original in the use of his subjects: with a few exceptions. Othello (1604).2. In Shakespeare’s whole work. gratitude and ingratitude. jealousy. all of them are re-workings and adaptations of subjects taken from a variety of ancient. but in the creation of characters and the exploration of their mind and heart. as well as in the tragic grandeur of the inner conflicts that they portray. His inventiveness and imagination were invested not in the intrigues. It ranges from the sublime accents of pure poetry. He was a master of every contemporary dramatic form. They are always credible. there is an astonishing variety of styles and registers. rendered accurately in their poetic truth.

What does Shakespeare’s greatness consist in. between truth and falsehood. with the human endeavour to understand if suffering is part of the 36 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with innocence and vitality triumphing over evil and death. as far as his approach to character is concerned? 2. 2. the downfall of the tragic hero is accompanied by the destruction of a natural order. with the consequences of imperfect knowledge and self-blindness.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The last period: the romance plays tragedies. How does Shakespeare’s dramatic vision in his last plays differ from that of the tragedies of his second period of creation? Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. His romance plays. but they deal. at the end of the unit. read again the preceding subchapter. in no more than 4 lines / 40 words each: 1. The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s tragedies Shakespeare’s tragedies preserve the pattern of the “fall of princes”*. common in the Renaissance. are also tributary to the spirit of the Baroque.1. If they should differ significantly. The issues that are explored dramatically in Shakespeare’s later tragedies reflect the spirit of uncertainty and increasing scepticism of a baroque age. basically. In these plays. by the chaos arising from the corruption and collapse of values. with the effects of evil on innocence. with the restoration of order. SAQ 2 Answer the following questions.2. of which The Tempest (1611) is the crowning achievement. He is concerned here with the paradoxes in the relationship between reality and appearance. but he adds to it philosophical and ethical implications of the deepest significance. with the sense of hope overcoming spiritual desolation.

bringing in the prospect of renewal and of the restoration of order. and continually delays the act of revenge. the first in this series of masterpieces. the masterful treatment of highly complex characters. accepts Claudius’s treacherous plan of killing Hamlet during a duel. Her brother. when Fortinbras. has drowned herself. that he had actually been poisoned by his brother. as he now sees in her only another embodiment of woman’s frailty. Shakespeare deals with his great tragic themes in the frame of a revenge tragedy. all the main protagonists find their death.2. In spite of this bloody outcome. and with the immense burden of revenge. who was now the new king and who had married Gertrude. old king Hamlet. Upon his return to Denmark from his university studies. young prince Hamlet learns from the ghost of his recently dead father. Claudius’s guilty conscience betrays him. which represents a similar scene of murder. His Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 37 . who suspects him of aspiring to take his throne. 2. but refrains from doing it as the latter was in prayer. Back to the castle. Sir Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) 2. the play ends on a note of hope. Hamlet learns that Ophelia. brave. mistaking him for Claudius. rejected by Hamlet in spite of their mutual affection.3. takes over the rule of Denmark.2. sensitive and idealistic.The late Renaissance and the Baroque natural order of things or if it betrays the indifference of Nature – or God – towards man. the Norwegian prince and glorious military hero. Young Hamlet is thus confronted with the horrors of fratricide and incest. Confronted with the moral corruption around him. Hamlet arranges a play to be performed at court. Claudius. generous and brilliantly intelligent. Hamlet feels all his certainties destroyed. in the confusions of the final scene. Polonius is the father of beautiful Ophelia. It is in these four great tragedies that Shakespeare gives the full proof of his artistic genius. absorbed more and more by his consciousness of the paradoxes of his difficult task of exposing the truth. Laertes. Hamlet hides his terrible grief behind the mask of madness. Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility Hamlet has been seen as the embodiment of the ideal Renaissance prince – refined and cultivated. Hamlet escapes a criminal plot set up by Claudius. Hamlet: a revenge play In Hamlet. the widow queen. Sent on a diplomatic mission to England. but the plot escapes their control and. a courtier. In another scene. he kills Polonius. required by his dead father. the intensity of poetic expression – especially in the soliloquies – are features that rank these plays highest in the whole history of the genre. who had really gone mad.2. At one point. In order to find confirmation for the ghost’s story. During the play. he has the occasion to kill Claudius. The enlargement of meaning through consistent patterns of imagery running throughout each play. with a poisoned sword.

in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. 2. If they should differ significantly.1. which is only partly dissimulated. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. at the end of the unit.4.2. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as well as the indicated fragment. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. SAQ 3 Text 2. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. read again the preceding subchapter.

Lear’s own madness. marks in fact a growth in his moral understanding. both of them prove to be the loyal. and the Fool’s comments. like Lear’s daughter Cordelia. The storm scenes in the play contain the highest symbolic concentration. as his father has been deceived by his other son Edmund. Edgar. like that of blindness. Hamlet feels overwhelmed by the real task that he is called to fulfil. of setting right again the “time” which is “out of joint. there is madness in nature itself. another “fall of princes” tragedy. The motif of madness. Lear becomes the victim of the ingratitude of his two elder daughters. and he is thus reunited with his son without knowing it. which hide much wisdom under the appearance of playful nonsense. Maddened with grief. whom he disinherits. in reality. after his eyes have been put out for having helped Lear.” 2. he is wondering: “Is there a cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?” Edgar’s disguised madness. questioning side is exacerbated by the irruption of evil in a universe that he had thought well-ordered. unconditionally loving ones. These explorations become more important than the technical matter of revenge. which is that of restoring a lost order.5. Tragically. of truth and illusion. who is disguised as a lunatic beggar. His intellectual energies are now concentrated in his search for the meaning of the ultimate questions of life and death.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The delay of Hamlet’s revenge his incapacity to act. which helps him endure his suffering. to believe him a traitor and usurper. a bastard.2. is also an exile from his own family. as in Hamlet. if there is a purpose for its existence in the world of man. an outburst of violence which evokes to Lear the cruelty of his daughters. to the themes of knowledge and self-knowledge. which has been interpreted in innumerable ways. is the victim of a staged play of appearances. and. Edgar. The earl of Gloucester joins them. Shakespeare develops the theme of evil by contrasting the natural order of the moral universe with the chaos produced by the 39 Storm and madness Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of human suffering. Hamlet’s introspective. who deprive him of all prerogatives and turn him out of their castles. is closely linked. are skilfully brought together and create a new ironic dimension in the play. Cordelia. He is also accompanied by the faithful Earl of Kent in disguise and by the Court Fool. Goneril and Reagan. which would not undo the past. The storm outside matches the storm in Lear’s hurt soul. Lear strives to understand the roots of evil. the Earl of Gloucester. starts with a folk tale motif: old Lear plans to leave his kingdom to his three daughters if he is pleased with their declarations of love. King Lear: the madness of tragic grief King Lear. the quest for higher meanings. exiled Lear wanders in a terrible storm in the company of Edgar. through paradox. on the other hand. son of Lear’s loyal supporter. Disappointed by the reticence of his youngest daughter.

unfaithful.6. is led by Iago to believe his wife. Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down. Desdemona. 2. In Othello. and its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. In Othello. Othello. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic. the bond of a love marriage is the frame in which Shakespeare explores the theme of evil in connection with that of appearance vs. and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. Evil is that which destroys Nature. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. essence. innocence/guilt. faithfulness/betrayal.2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order. acting against it. The noble protagonist. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. Scene from Othello. To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption. Shakespeare gives a special intensity to this theme by dealing with evil in the context of the most natural of human relationships: kinship (relations by blood or by marriage). As a result of Iago’s manipulations.

innocence and corruption.7. Macbeth. paradoxically. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s).2. If any of your solutions should not correspond. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him.2. 1. illusion and truth. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. who has a trusting nature. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. The protagonist. at the end of the unit. to 2. ____________________ 5. underlining the theme of knowledge. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. ____________________ 4. / It weeps. but. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. disorder. 2. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. one of Duncan’s sons.2. you need to revise subchapters 2. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. he multiples his crimes. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke.2. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. kinsman and guest. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. at the instigation of his wife.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 Each of the following sentences refers to one or several of the three tragedies mentioned so far. ____________________ 2. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . The baroque motif of madness is. ____________________ 3.6. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. it bleeds. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations.

Text 2. / Macbeth does murder sleep. from which the ultimate relief is suicide.The late Renaissance and the Baroque burden of sin. Macbeth joins his wife after he has killed Duncan. extracted from this scene. from the Reader. reveals how soon the abominable crime has begun to work on his spirit. in which he fights to the end with the same determination that had brought him the glory of a hero at the beginning of the play. scene 2. read the fragment once more. Shakespeare’s shortest and most poetic tragedy reveals the incalculable effects of the darkness with which destiny may cloud the moral conscience of a noble hero. His words to Lady Macbeth render his first thoughts after the murder. and he meets his punishment in the final battle. 42 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. How can we interpret Macbeth’s hallucination about the voice crying “Sleep no more. SAQ 5 In Act II.” heard immediately after he has committed the murder? What does sleep represent for Macbeth here? Answer in the space left below. who ends up by losing the belief in any meaning of life. If there should be significant differences. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. Macbeth’s heroic strength of will enables him to survive the terrible inner torments. in no more than 120 words / 12 lines. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

Alonzo. of exile and return). has turned him into a slave. the master of an island. The Winter’s Tale. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan. and Sebastian. involving the shipwrecked characters. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. while for physical labour he uses Caliban. In its opening scene. owing to the improbability of the action. the sense of a benevolent providential design. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. He had long studied the arts of magic. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism. After the tragedies. separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. myth. Alonzo. They mix serious and comic action. duke of Milan. who. 2. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. magic. the jester. the long journey. the fairy-tale atmosphere. They may also be described as romance plays. the choice of a remote setting. as well as other passengers.2. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. king of Naples. the shipwreck. and certain themes and motifs (e. the pronounced elements of the supernatural. who instantly fall in love with each other. to take his throne. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. Three lines of action develop. Cymbeline. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .9. respectively –. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. the theme of loss and recovery. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. on which he lives alone with his daughter. by his powers.g. marvelous. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. Miranda.8.2. his faithful spiritservant. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. is considered the finest. The Tempest (1611). His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Trinculo. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. a drunken servant.

Ariel. for the emergence of a regenerated world. Prospero. one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating creations. Major themes An important theme in The Tempest is that of the nature of power. 2. He forgives his treacherous brother and those involved in his usurpation. or of the wickedness of the servant turning against his master. represents pure spirit. Ariel is commanded to bring all the characters before Prospero. he has a change of heart and sees in the union of the lovers a possibility of reconciliation and of a new beginning. more importantly. the scholar-magician. who now repent.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Prospero’s initial plan had been revenge. but. a “thing of darkness. evil Elizabeth Green – Ariel: The Tempest (1922) 44 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . While Caliban and the plotting courtiers and servants demonstrate that both nature and society are capable of corruption. His act of forgiveness is the highest demonstration of princely power.” he had also failed to see his brother’s true character. whose youth and innocence are the premises for the undoing of the wrongs of the past. On the island. The theme of power Ariel vs. who reveals himself to them as “the wronged duke of Milan. Prospero’s project acquires a wider dimension through the union of Ferdinand and Miranda.” “on whose nature / Nurture [i. In the final act.” who can be controlled only by the art of magic.2. he regains his authority and learns again the arts of power.” claiming his throne. the personification of Prospero’s imagination. Caliban Innocence vs.e. Prospero plans a safe return to Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. “neglecting worldly ends. to master himself. The power of innocence to redeem evil and restore order and the values of humanity is another important theme.10. and then to Milan. At the opposite pole. influenced by Ariel. now. Evil is not absent in The Tempest: there are echoes of Shakespeare’s previous plays in the motif of the usurping brother planning murder. he learns. education] can never stick. assumes a certain responsibility for his own dethronement: absorbed in his studies. and to return to the world in his full humanity. the control of intelligence over nature. in Ferdinand and Miranda civilisation and nature are united in their most innocent forms. at the end. and it is significant that this act is accompanied by his decision to abandon his magic. The grossest instincts of human nature and a fundamental viciousness are symbolically embodied in the grotesque figure of Caliban. to break his staff (symbol of supernatural power) and to drown his book (symbol of supernatural knowledge).

for instance. more carefully. scene 2. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences.. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. Here.4. of the role of language in acquiring knowledge. or in developing self-identity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 45 . What implications can you find in their exchange of replies? You may think. Full of resentment. Prospero reminds Caliban that he did his best to raise him from his animal condition. by teaching him to speak. Act I. extracted from The Tempest. read the fragment again. Caliban answers that the only benefit of being able to speak is that he can now curse Prospero.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 6 Read Text 2. Formulate your answer in 150 words / 15 lines.

and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel.2. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or to impose upon it. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. which “delight and hurt not. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants.2. It is through the perfection of Ariel’s art that Prospero re-establishes the moral law in the world to which he can now return. The playmetaphor. order and harmony. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead.12. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. a profound spiritual transformation and growth. then at least man should strive to discern in it. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending. sublimating its primitive energies. Another pervading symbol is that of music.” The sea-journey Music 2. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show.11. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement. whose magic art controls every incident. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. of performance. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle.

2. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. T F 6. T F 4. but each of them. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 .2. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. You must find them among the following statements. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. 1. If any of your choices should be wrong.3. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. T F 7.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. at the end of the unit. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. except that of terrifying him. T F 3. T F 2. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Their styles are different. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical.9 to 2.12. in his own way. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. revise subchapters2. T F 5. Prospero had lost his power as the duke of Milan because his studies distanced him from the immediate world which he was supposed to rule. was first intended to bring discredit on them. 2. of which three are false.

argumentative quality. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. a cold intellectual exercise. In spite of its logical. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing. from a most ordinary circumstance. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. united] by violence together.1. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. “More matter and less words” 2. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling.3.3. writers had to face a new exigency. but also his reason. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience.e.e. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. which starts from a comparison. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . as “a combination of dissimilar images. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. a metaphor or an analogy. or discovery of occult [i. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. linked. and the emotions involved. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling. Dr.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought.2. The impression is that this experience. As extended comparisons. This is an elaborate figurative device. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. By means of conceits. a demand for “more matter and less words. hidden.” A new kind of poetry emerged. which helps the poet to develop his subject. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. is contemplated from a certain distance. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. regardless of the subject of the poem. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render.

at the end of the unit. If they should differ considerably.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features.2. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. and a highly original one.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . and 2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. 2.3.1. and the same realistic force. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.3. In the following subchapters. Use the space left below. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. revise subchapters 2. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry .3. its decorative use of classical mythology. and allegory. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. pastoral* conventions. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. In the treatment of both themes. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

dealing with profound personal feeling and emotion from the distance of intellectual argument. sometimes speaking frankly of his erotic desire. Another powerful example of Donne’s use of logical argument in a poem about love is The Flea.” He tries to persuade his mistress not to kill the flea. and he seems to amuse himself. carrying the lover’s witty arguments to their logical extremes. but. their love being so great and “refined. Donne’s love poems In his love poems. though greater.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. are however harmless to man.” “tear-floods”). Chaste. shocking the reader by the unexpected analogy developed in the central conceit (the flea as symbolic marriage bed). in which the speaker brings all his argumentative skill in support of his attempt to convince the woman to accept physical intimacy. The poem celebrates the stability and comfort of a secure relationship. Donne is highly playful in this poem. may afford an experience of the transcendental. These are conceits which illustrate the preference of the metaphysical poets for analogies between the macrocosm and the (human) microcosm. Donne adopts a wide range of tones and attitudes. Donne’s rejection of the Petrarchan tradition A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Flea: seduction and wit 50 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . unattainable lady and enjoy the pleasures of sensuality. and often emphasising the need for mutual love.4. from cynicism and playfulness to passionate sincerity and the celebration of both physical love and spiritual union. Crying over their separation would bring to mind an analogy with earthly disasters (“sigh-tempests. which.” In fact. The various comparisons and analogies by which he describes their love function as arguments in his plea. in which their blood is now mixed. His love poetry is revolutionary in its rejection of the Petrarchan* conventions of courtly love*. he pleads that she should abandon the intransigence of the chaste. when accompanied by genuine feeling. His approach of the theme of love is more “realistic”: he often glorifies sexuality and the body as important aspects in the experience of love. Mingling the trivial with the mystical sublime. as this would be a triple “sin. in which the lover tries to persuade his mistress not to cry at his imminent departure. sometimes presenting woman as inconstant and unfaithful. beautiful. A famous poem celebrating shared love is A Valediction*: Forbidding Mourning.3. Donne changes this conventional vision of love. according to which woman was always an unattainable ideal. He also suggests sometimes that physical union. and all that the faithful lover could hope for were symbolic rewards and favours for his constancy and humble submission. superior – woman was an object of never fulfilled desire. This is a seduction poem.” their separation must be seen in analogy with cosmic disturbances (“the trepidation of the spheres”). he resorts to the extravagant identification of a flea that has bitten both of them with their “marriage bed” and a “marriage temple. Their superior love is founded on spiritual union and is not dependent on physical presence for its survival.

as well.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. Formulate your answer in the space left below.2. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love. paying special attention to the last three stanzas. at the end of the unit.6.. Here. you need to revise subchapter 2. If they should differ significantly. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. in the Reader). in no more than 18 lines / 180 words.3. Read the poem again. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 . he develops one of his most famous conceits. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

He fights against his own sense of sin and guilt. Donne’s religious poems often develop an analogy between sexual love and divine love. in which the poet’s desire to abandon himself to God’s love is rendered through paradoxical images. Donne’s religious poems Donne’s baroque sensibility is evident in his love poems in the tension between conflicting.3. Satan. of loyalty and betrayal. In his religious meditations in verse. paradoxical aspects of the experience of love. in his religious poems the mystery of faith is often explored in erotic terms. If love is often a holy mystery for Donne. Donne’s focus is on his deep sense of sin. which makes him a prisoner of God’s enemy. between idealised passion and erotic desire.5. Actually. The insistence on violence and struggle. These poems usually display contrary impulses. in the exercise of reason. resurrection and salvation. on death. this need is expressed by means of several conceits. one of Donne’s nineteen Holy Sonnets. as if suggesting that the experience of erotic union is the only way of understanding our relationship with God. between the need for permanence and the need for variety. in which the poet expresses his deep need for a close relationship with God. In Batter My Heart. for the divine saving grace. on the paradoxes of freedom and captivity. gives this sonnet a particular dramatic intensity. clashes with the poet’s scepticism that the mystery of faith can be penetrated intellectually. The most eloquent example is the sonnet Batter My Heart. which parallel those in his love poetry. comparable to that of Shakespeare. Batter My Heart Portrait of John Donne (1572-1631) (author unknown) 52 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which the delight in witty logical argumentation. divine judgement. Tension and paradox are also explored in his religious poems.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2.

Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. according to some critics.6. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. and love of country.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2.3. Marvell left.5. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. nature. 2.7. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Donne suggests his contradictory. from the Reader. and read the poem again. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. revise subchapter 2. As a Puritan* patriot.3. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. If there should be significant differences. In the last six lines. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love.

and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. in this respect. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship.8. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths.e. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. Victorious Cromwell is admirable for his fiery spirit and the courage with which he assumed the task to “cast the kingdoms old / Into another mould” (i. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. pictured with remarkable precision. On a Drop of Dew 2. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. shyness] and accept his passionate love.3. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. Marvell often sees.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. 2. however. lest it grow [i. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. to change the form of ruling power). The most illustrative poem. in which both of them act according to a divine order.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) Its classical perfection manages to hold in balance the ambivalence of attitude and the complication of thought characteristic of the metaphysical trend. He showed a deep love for the countryside. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. It is a seduction poem. for fear that it might grow] impure. aspiring to union with almighty God.e. On the other hand. on the scaffold.7.e. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry.3. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. in contrasting colours. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. is On a Drop of Dew. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. A natural detail. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. King Charles I Stuart. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history.

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 .The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment. in the Reader).8. which has the structure If…. read the poem again. in its sexual fulfillment. Love. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. then (therefore)…. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. at the end of the unit. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure.3. paying attention to the logic of the argument. but…. What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below. more carefully. If the difference is considerable. after revising subchapter 2. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2.8.

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

This unit has introduced you to an important aspect of the English Renaissance: the development, in the early 17th century, of the Baroque as a structure of sensibility different from that of the Elizabethan age (corresponding to the high Renaissance). Subchapter 2.1 focuses on the contrast between the optimism, confidence, exuberance, sense of order, harmony and balance characterising the high Renaissance spirit, and the baroque vision with its emphasis on disorder, conflict, tension and confusion, scepticism and anxiety. Paradox and irony are favourite devices for the exploration of the relationship between contraries, such as truth and illusion, wisdom and madness, life and death, body and spirit, action and contemplation, etc. A taste for the obscure, for melancholy, for the macabre often defines the Baroque, but it may also display an attraction to the spectacular, to extravagance and excess. Subchapters 2.2 and 2.3 focus, respectively, on Shakespeare and on two great metaphysical poets, John Donne and Andrew Marvell, who best illustrate this spirit of the late Renaissance. Subchapter 2.2 deals with Shakespeare’s four great plays of his second period of creation – Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. The themes they explore (the nature of evil, the meaning of human suffering, the paradoxes of innocence and knowledge, truth and falsehood, etc.(reflect the baroque sensibility of the age). This subchapter includes also a discussion of Shakespeare’s last major dramatic creation, The Tempest, a romance play in which his tone changes into a more affirmative one and the central thematic concern is the possibility of moral regeneration, of the restoration of order. Subchapter 2.3 aims to acquaint you with some of the basic features of metaphysical poetry, insisting on its use of conceits, on its argumentative structure, on its mixture of intense feeling and intellectual detachment. Both John Donne and Andrew Marvell display a baroque sensibility in their attraction to paradox and ambiguity, and they are both great masters of metaphysical wit, skillfully controlling lyrical effusion by subtle and precise logical argument.

Key words
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Renaissance Baroque paradox scepticism tragedy romance play play-metaphor metaphysical poetry conceit discordia concors


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

• Baroque: the term comes from the Portuguese barroco and the Spanish barrueco, meaning a rough or imperfectly shaped pearl. It describes a style in architecture and the visual arts, music and literature, which dominated the 17th century, and which was characterised by sumptuous ornamentation and by the search for effect. Its meaning is often extended to a certain type of sensibility, not necessarily restricted to the historical period in which the baroque style flourished. In art, the Baroque is opposed to Classicism and Neoclassicism. blank verse: see the Glossary in Unit 1. carpe diem: literally, “seize the day” in Latin; a phrase from one of Horace’s Odes, meaning “enjoy yourself while you can.” The carpe diem motif is associated with the theme of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death. Civil War: see the Glossary in Unit 1. courtly love: a concept developed during the Middle Ages, in literary and aristocratic/courtly circles, which was closely linked to the feudal concept of vassalage and the cult of the Virgin Mary. discordia concors: (Latin) literally: harmonious discord; combination of apparently discordant images or ideas, the joining of opposites in such a way that a paradoxical sense of harmony is created. fall of princes: the traditional theme of a tragedy, as established by Aristotle (see the Gallery of personalities below), in his treatise on Poetics. According to him, tragedy was supposed to deal with the downfall of a noble character, enjoying “reputation and prosperity.” The disaster is brought on him not by vice and depravity, but by “some error of judgement,” and its representation is meant to arouse pity and fear. far-fetched: literally: carried too far; improbable, unlikely. history plays (or chronicle plays): a form of drama invented by the Elizabethans, which dramatises a certain historical period, starting from historical record rather than from myth and legend. Shakespeare’s chronicle plays include a sequence of four plays on the War of the Roses (the three parts of Henry VI, and Richard III – 1590-1592), and another series, consisting in Richard II, King John, the two parts of Henry IV, and Henry V, written between 1595-1599. These plays are mainly inspired from the 16th century chronicles of Raphael Holinshed, and they were highly influential in the shaping of a national consciousness. They scrutinise the national past, underlining the importance of a centralised authority which should put an end to the dangers of anarchy, inherent in the feudal struggles for power. Horatian Ode: an ode (see the Glossary in Unit 1) written in a highly formal, regular pattern, on the model of the ancient Latin poet Horace (65-8 B.C.). hyperbole: a rhetorical figure consisting in deliberate exaggeration, for the purpose of emphasis. imagery: basically, language appealing to the senses. Imagery represents the coherent system of mental images evoked by 57

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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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figurative language, to which certain patterns of feeling are associated, and which direct the reader’s reaction. For instance, in Macbeth, the recurrent imagery of clothes sitting ill on their owner intensifies our perception of the protagonist as a usurper, and the dominant imagery of darkness contributes to the suggestion of the proportions of the moral evil. In King Lear, frequent images connected with bodily pain and torture and with animals of prey strengthen our sense of the extraordinary power of evil, of a humanity that has become a toy in the hands of indifferent gods. Jacobean and Caroline drama: see again subchapter 1.4.1 in Unit 1. masque: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Metaphysical Poets: see again subchapter 1.3 in Unit 1. oxymoron: a rhetorical figure in which apparently contradictory terms are used in conjunction (as in “beautiful tyrant”). pastoral: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Petrarchan: related to or modelled on Petrarch (see again the Gallery of personalities in Unit 1). Puritan: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Renaissance: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. revenge tragedy: see again subchapter 1.4.1 in Unit 1. sea-change: this phrase from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, used by Ariel in one of his songs, is used to refer to a complete change in the nature or character of something, a change which seems almost magical. soliloquy: from Latin solus, i.e. alone, and loqui, i.e. to speak; a widely accepted dramatic convention, by which a character, speaking alone on the stage, reveals to the audience his thoughts, feelings, motives and intentions. In Shakespeare’s plays, the soliloquies mark the moments of the characters’ most profound insight, in which some important revelation is reached, or in which the character discloses the full complexity of his motives and reveals the depths of his consciousness. valediction: a farewell speech (from Latin vale: farewell, and dicere: to say). wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.

Gallery of personalities
• • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.): Greek philosopher, author of works on logic, ethics, politics, poetics, rhetoric, metaphysics. Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784): the most influential critic of the 18th century, author of the impressive critical-biographical work Lives of the Poets (1779-1781), editor of Shakespeare’s work (1765). He compiled the first important Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Kyd, Thomas (1557-1595): one of the most popular Elizabethan dramatists, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, the prototype of the Renaissance revenge tragedy, modelled on the plays of Seneca (se again subchapter 1.3.2 in Unit 1). Marlowe, Christopher (1564-1593): Elizabethan dramatist, the
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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

most important and influential of Shakespeare’s precursors. His tragedies (Tamburlane the Great, Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta) depict titanic heroes, whose extraordinary will power and ambition set them on a risky quest (for absolute power, knowledge and wealth, respectively). Sidney, Philip (1554-1586): important poet of the Elizabethan age, best known through his sequence of love sonnets Astrophil and Stella. He is also the author of a prose romance, Arcadia, and of a critical prose essay, An Apology [i.e. defense] of Poetry, which played a major role in the definition of English Renaissance literary aesthetics. Spenser, Edmund (1552-1599): one of the greatest English poets, whose influence on later poets is comparable to that of Shakespeare and Milton. Like Sidney (see below), Spenser wrote a sonnet sequence, Amoretti, which enjoyed great popularity. His masterpiece is the allegorical poem The Fairie Queen, a culmination of Renaissance poetic art, which glorifies Queen Elizabeth. Tudor monarchs: Henry VII (1485-1509), who established national order and unity after a long period of feudal war; Henry VIII (1509-1547), Elizabeth I (1558-1603).

Solutions and suggestions for SAQs
SAQ 1 1. emphasis on disorder, violence, conflict, instability 2. emphasis on life’s shortness and insubstantiality (life as dream), on the macabre and the morbid, on melancholy 3. taste for extravagance, excess, breaking of limits and proportions, ambiguity 4. scepticism, anxiety, tension SAQ 2 1. Shakespeare shows a deep understanding of human nature in its extraordinary variety; he portrays a wide range of feelings, emotions, attitudes and moral features; he achieves perfectly convincing characters, in a variety of dramatic registers. 2. The last plays are characterised by a vision of hope and of order restored; here, innocence is victorious over evil, by contrast with the former tragic vision of the universe and of man as torn by inner conflicts. SAQ 3 The fragment contrasts the confidence and exuberance of the Renaissance with the scepticism and melancholy characteristic of the baroque spirit. Hamlet as a Renaissance man glorifies the beauty and majesty of the universe, and praises man as the masterpiece of creation, close to angels and God in his power of understanding and the infinity of his creative potential. On the other hand, to his tragic consciousness the world appears as irremediably corrupt and infested with evil, and man as a creature limited by his mortal condition (“quintessence of dust”).
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guided by rational will. T SAQ 8 1. Prospero seemed also to think that Caliban could be socialised through speech. SAQ 7 1. King Lear. of his own sense of self. etc. Othello.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 1. and the horrible crime has immediate effects on his conscience. 2. complicated line of argument. even if physically the lovers must be apart. 7. 6. led to his awareness of his condition as a slave. to blend contraries (e. passion and reason. this hallucination proves Macbeth’s strong imagination. the development of conscience. From Prospero’s point of view. This instrument. he chose to raise Caliban to the condition of a rational creature. Hamlet. of a clean mind. As “chief nourisher in life’s feast. T. endowed with speech. unable to find peace once it has been corrupted by evil. concise expression and density of meaning 2. through language (knowing his “own meaning”). analytical detachment from emotion 4. Macbeth’s feeling that he has lost this privilege of nature reflects his awareness that his “unnatural” deed is a violation of moral law (which is “natural”). innocent conscience) is part of the natural order of man’s existence. Othello. the abstract and the concrete. 3. “The innocent sleep” is the symbol of moral integrity. surprising associations) 3. “Sleep no more” anticipates the torments of Macbeth’s conscience. He thus expected Caliban to overcome his primitive impulses and to develop more civilised tendencies (“purposes”). 5. make his purposes known through words).e. King Lear SAQ 5 In the first place. he failed in his effort to enlighten Caliban. use of conceits (extended comparisons. King Lear. T. F. which remain perfectly united. SAQ 6 Prospero might have better controlled Caliban in his “brutish” state. Perfect circles (symbolising perfect love) may be traced by means of the compasses. 5. He is not a cold-blooded killer. 3. 4. As a truly superior being. is a suitable emblem for their souls.g. by keeping one foot fixed and moving the other round this centre. which would have enabled him to communicate (e. unexpected. because the latter’s nature was hopelessly evil.) SAQ 9 The poet associates mutual love with the way in which a pair of compasses works. F. 4.g. which he resents. Hamlet. From Caliban’s point of view. however. Hamlet. 2. usually between highly dissimilar elements. which organises and “manages” intense feeling and emotion. By 60 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . F. T. attempt to reconcile contradictory or discordant experiences. made of two moving legs articulated at one end.” sleep (i.

Paradoxically. 1983 (pp.” which only God can effect. The only way out of his loveless “marriage” to sin is a “divorce. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. however. A Critical History of English Literature. which would restore the purity of his faith (being “chaste”). Boris (ed. vol.. 97-105. Further reading 1. God would set him free for a complete experience of religious devotion. and which would resemble rape. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. your beauty will fade and my songs of praise will have no object when you lie in your grave. your virginity will then be worth nothing.. 302-305) 3. because your charms deserve such praise. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Preda. David. so let us devour Time with the intensity of our desire. SAQ 11 If we had time enough and the world were all ours. as the moving leg will “come home” and join its “twin. in the absence of joy. 273-287) 2. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Your own passion “transpires” in the blush of your skin. The speaker tries thus to persuade his mistress of his own constancy of feeling. 267-283. 34-40. Taking him by force – by the force of the divine grace –. 3. the inclination of the fixed leg may vary – it seems to “lean after” the moving leg.The late Renaissance and the Baroque analogy.). Therefore let us enjoy each other while we are still young and you are beautiful. waiting for her departed lover. 130-140) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 61 . just as the mistress. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.). But. but the implication is that his will and reason are too weak to defend his faith. the poet’s love depends on the certainty of his mistress’s faithfulness and constancy: “Thy firmness makes my circle just. 1991 (pp. vol. English Literature and Civilisation. Daiches. But I know time is merciless. instead of letting it devour us slowly. while rape presupposes the violation of one’s will. consent and legality. Penguin Books Ltd. 246-249. will long for him. Ioan-Aurel (coord. He loves God.” so there is always the certainty of reunion for the lovers. since only worms will “enjoy” it. 1969 (pp. in fact.” Depending on the distance from the centre to the circumference. I would spend ages in praising every part of your body. Ford. SAQ 10 Marriage is associated with love. the metaphor of the speaker’s “marriage” to God’s enemy suggests his sense of sin.

3. 3. 3. 3.4. 3.1. 3. 3.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3.1.4. 3. 3.4. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.4.1.4. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.4. 3.2.3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3. 3.

family. After that. he continued to read intensively. as a publicist. written in English and in Latin. etc. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. theology.). and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. as well as his moral inflexibility.g. Milton. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. religion. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. such as education. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . religious and civil debates of his age. rhetoric and the great works of the classics. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. etc. At Cambridge (1625-1629). Greek and Hebrew. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. the greatest epic poem in English literature. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. he went on a trip to Italy. the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. politics. the freedom of the press. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist.The works of John Milton By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ situate Milton’s literary activity in the historical context ♦ explain what features of Milton’s work define him as a Christian humanist ♦ identify themes. he approached a diversity of subjects. music. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. geography. motifs and concerns in Milton’s earlier poems ♦ describe the kind of sonnet structure used by Milton ♦ analyse the way in which Milton develops imaginatively and interprets biblical events in Paradise Lost ♦ state and explain the theme of Paradise Lost ♦ summarise the argument that enables Milton to “justify the ways of God to men” in his epic poem ♦ define the main features of the character of Milton’s Satan ♦ describe Milton’s treatment of the characters of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost Unit objectives 3. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. mathematics. he studied Latin. baroque* vision. Paradise Lost. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started. In 1638. His enormous learning.1. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country.

his political hopes ended. On the other hand. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. In the Sixth elegy. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. like a priest. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. In some of them. Virgil*.2.2. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. for instance.).1. With the Restoration*. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. However. etc. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. but Milton did not complete his plan. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration. Ovid*. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. is in touch with divine secrets. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. As a poet. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. However. As in other poems. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. who. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. with its pastoral delights. 3. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man.

he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. In each poem. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. b. In Il Penseroso. the crowing of the cock. c. and on the happiness of rural life.” contemplative mood. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 . the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive. If your choices should be wrong. The secular* pleasures of common life. b. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a.2. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. 3. and 3. with its simple pleasures. at the end of the unit.e. In the latter. 1. 2. in L’Allegro. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. revise subchapters 3. to master a variety of styles. in his poetic work. c. of classical erudition with biblical themes. polyphonic sounds of the organ. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. In both poems. gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. there is a strong emphasis on music. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme.The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. c. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power. in Il Penseroso. but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark.1. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin. the integration. b. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i. Milton’s literary ambition was a. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep.

” Lycidas shows Milton again preoccupied by his own becoming a poet. preparing himself seriously for becoming a priest. personal manner. Milton adds a contemporary Christian relevance to the classical pastoral convention when he reflects on the corruption of the church. The elegy Lycidas. Lycidas – a pastoral elegy In the same year with L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1637). which had known a period of decline since the Elizabethan age*. He asks himself if there is any sense in preparing oneself for poetic fame and giving up the pleasures of life when death may so unexpectedly put an end to all endeavour. The death of the dedicated young man. Confronted with the tragic inevitability of death. the shepherdpoet’s consolation is in his own sense of purpose.2. He wrote sonnets intermittently throughout his life. may appear unjust in a world in which corrupt priests prosper and accede to high offices. to fresh woods and pastures new. not on earth. and the end of the elegy brings in a note of personal confidence. If in other poems of Milton’s early career this thought is expressed more obliquely. Milton’s sonnets demonstrate a remarkable flexibility. in a heavenly pastoral world. Milton’s sonnets Milton revived the tradition of the sonnet*. The early death of his Cambridge mate was an occasion for meditating on the possibility of his own death before having accomplished the great work for which he had been preparing himself for so long. representing both himself and his dead mate as shepherds. This fear was accompanied by the paradoxical feeling that his genius was not ripe enough for the poetic task for which he felt he was destined. and they were either testimonies of personal experience and feeling. Milton composed another poem in which. in two of his sonnets he reveals these anxieties in a direct.2. uses again the pastoral frame. The answer to such questions enlarges the frame of the pastoral elegy: the true reward for both merit and vice is in heaven. in his determination to carry on with his task and do each day’s work: “Tomorrow.3. again. Irrespective of their nature. Milton’s concern with his poetic fulfilment 3. 66 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . variety and originality in the use of this poetic form. The death of a promising young man makes the poet meditate on existential problems.The works of John Milton 3. The lamenting poet finds comfort in the thought that the soul of the dead friend is now with God. written at the death of a fellow-student at Cambridge. or occasional and complimentary compositions. he defines his poetic ambition in terms which are both Christian and classical-humanist.

other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. that. Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work. he admits. The final six lines of the sonnet change this tone of lamentation to one of self-comfort at the thought that heaven has already decided his “lot. in 1652. angels). that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time.2. He has reached the age of twenty four. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise.” “mean or high” as it may be. When he wrote Sonet XVII. but also by Christian humility. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness.” By this time. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. patiently. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour. since.The works of John Milton 3.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII). who carry out the divine his daughters will. he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits. but of God’s eternal will. with a certain sadness. In Sonnet XVII. at his age. i. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”).1. To prevent such a complaint. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. light denied?”). In the first part of the sonnet. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. confessing his temptation to ask.3. written in 1631. Milton meditates on his loss of sight. Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). as King of Heaven. As a Christian poet.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. and confronts the evidence of a “late spring.e. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. he must admit.” that they are “timely happy spirits”.

3.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. when he was already blind. at the end of the unit. and the two sonnets. and 3. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. Dante* –. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure.2. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . respectively.4.3. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. in the Reader). made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). read again subchapter 3.2.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet.1. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. If there should be significant differences. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. Virgil. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. and he worked at it over several years. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same.

and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation.” full of the bitterness of defeat. over the years. is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. in theme a daring. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him. He interprets poetically the biblical events. 3. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. the creation of the world and of man. in fact. in which man’s fall. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. etc. accumulated throughout his life. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. original epic scenario. His work is encyclopaedic. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. man’s temptation and fall into sin. (divine) love and (Satanic) hatred. The The belief in poem’s doctrinal foundation is the idea that God’s infinite knowledge free will and power do not exclude man’s freedom of action and choice. “to justify the ways of God to men. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse. Milton’s ambition was. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 . but his erudition. brought about by his disobedience. of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. Milton had thought. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso. knowledge and ignorance/innocence. as he stated in the opening Invocation. Starting from the dualism good/evil.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven. happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven. The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action.” forever deprived of the glory. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny. which is never ornamental. and his loss of Paradise.1. obedience and rebellion.The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths.e. Finally. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels. of Lucifer* from Heaven. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs.4. are gathered to listen to Satan. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. predestination*. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i. The “lost Archangel.

the overwhelming discord of the elements of a yet uncreated world. and their discussions are rendered in Book II. set him free from sin. to seek the newly created Earth. Chaos and Chance. cunning]. and so “Heavenly love shall outdo [i. surpass] hellish hate. by virtue of his leading position.” He thus anticipates the moment of the Temptation. Satan. the “wild abyss” governed by Night. in which his success was due to deceit and dissimulation.” Meanwhile. whose setting is in Heaven. Satan has reached the Garden of Eden.e. i. The corruption of God’s creation was thought better than any kind of revenge.” God anticipates the event of His Son’s incarnation. and the only way to satisfy divine justice is a sacrificial death that would redeem man. Milton displays here at his best his gift of evoking vast spaces and general chaos. God’s Son offers to pay this price for the reconciliation of man to his heavenly Father. knowing in advance that Satan will be successful in his attempt to “pervert” man. is rendered in one of the most highly poetic passages in the poem.e. 3. whose splendour is described more effectively through Satan’s jealous eyes.” and to make them transgress God’s interdiction of tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.The works of John Milton The council of the fallen angels “fraud or guile [i. explains to His Son the reason for his allowing this to happen. and plans to “excite their minds / With more desire to know. concentrates the doctrinal argument of the poem. assumes the danger of trying to break free from the formidable prison of Hell. death and resurrection.e. He contemplates with envy the beauty and the innocent happiness of Adam and Eve. His voyage through the great gulf separating Hell from Heaven. the ascension from darkness to the light of his “native seat” – now forbidden to him –. The accepted solution is to reach the new world created by God. Man’s sin of disobedience must be punished justly. The fallen angels are all called to a council in Satan’s infernal palace. Satan also tells his companions of a prophecy according to which a new world and a new kind of creature were to be brought into being by God. and he flies away. Divine justice and mercy Book IV: Satan’s arrival in the Garden of Eden 70 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Book III. and He commands His angels to adore and celebrate man’s Saviour and “universal king. Pandemonium*. to find the weakness of man and to seduce him to join their party. God. Satan is prevented from carrying out his design by the angels guarding Paradise.4.2.

in the Reader. and what are its implications? Answer in no more than 15 lines/150 words.4. at the end of the unit. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. more carefully. What is God’s argument. read again the text. If there should be major differences. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 .The works of John Milton SAQ 3 Read Text 3.

visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. after the defeat of the rebel angels.4. and.” to fill in the “vacant room [i. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven.” Man himself was created as a “better race. the angel Raphael. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels.” for the evocation of the making of the world. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. In Milton’s interpretation. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. and fear to transgress!” 3. King Anointed*”.4.The works of John Milton 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . in Book VII. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. in Milton’s poem. Satan. that cannot change]. God entrusted His Son with the act of Creation and the latter’s “powerful Word / And Spirit” gave life and order to “unformed” matter and turned chaos into cosmos. The story of the “deep fall / Of those too high aspiring who rebel angels (1808) rebelled / With Satan” is given by Raphael as a “terrible example” of the reward for disobedience. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power.e. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil.” and that this happiness depends on his free will.e. It is interesting that. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created.3. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. sweetness. as this diminished W. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve. the “divine historian.4. innocence and “virgin modesty. Adam is grateful to Raphael. not immutable [i. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. Adam admits that. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. instigated by Lucifer. space]” left by the fallen angels. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. not before repeating his warning. sent by God. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. In Book VIII.” Raphael leaves them.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision. so that he may know more about his enemy. in order to prolong his guest’s visit.

The works of John Milton SAQ 4 Text 3. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. more carefully.7. Blake: Urizen as the creator of the material world (from the poem Europe. in no more than 10 lines/100 words. What does Milton suggest by the image of God using his “golden compasses”? Answer in the space below. at the end of the unit. W. 1794) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 73 . A Prophecy. and the “Spirit of God” infusing life into the primal ocean. If your answer should differ significantly from the offered suggestions. in the Reader presents. read the fragment again. the first moments in the creation of the world: the making of heavens and skies. through Raphael’s words.

5. discord” – which make reason and will helpless. Credulous Eve tastes from the forbidden fruit and tries to convince Adam that its effect is not to open the way to “evil unknown. since the “link of nature” is so strong between them that he cannot imagine living without her. Adam is chilled with horror at Eve’s irresponsible mistake but decides to share her fate. and.” Back to guarded Paradise in this disguise. and all The effects of Nature is in pain. Adam and Eve have a difference of opinion: Eve insists that they should divide their daily labour and work in different places.The works of John Milton 3. Eve is amazed at the miracle of a beast capable of speech and. W. most subtle*] beast of all the field. The seduction of Eve Book IX presents the great scene of Eve’s seduction by Satan. At last. flattered by his praise of her “celestial beauty. The “calm region” of their state of mind. their inward the fall on Nature peace. the thundering skies weep. Satan gives voice again to his torments and to his ambition of destroying God’s creation. for a moment. whose spirit has entered the body of a serpent. certain that the proud tempter will not be successful. the “subtlest [i. her argument wins: she is willing to put her innocence to trial. Book IX: Eve and the Serpent (illustration by John Martin.” but to “open eyes” and bring those who taste closer to the condition of a god. is now troubled by the “higher winds” of negative passions – “anger. while Adam tries to convince her that together they would be more safe from harm. The disaster of the original sin shakes the foundations of the natural order: Earth trembles. hate / Mistrust.e.4. Meanwhile.” she is finally seduced by his promise of higher knowledge and by his assurance that there is no sin in such aspiration. Their former innocent sensuality is now replaced by guilty lust and the feeling of shame. but he regains the strength of his hate and appears to Eve (1808) her in the splendid shape of the Serpent. he is disarmed by her Satan with Adam and angelic grace. suspicion. Blake: Satan finds Eve alone. 1827) 74 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and all harmony between them is destroyed by bitter reciprocal accusations.

but. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. hoping to arouse her pride. 3. they taste its fruit. _______ e. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. He denigrates God.” is the one who will. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat.4. which will bring her close to the condition of God. or fragments. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3. Satan’s victory seems complete. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity. _______ c. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. a. at last. _______ b. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. but he also adds symbolic episodes. in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX. annihilate Sin and Death. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis. If any of your matches should be wrong. in the middle of this speech. This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge.6. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. at the end of the unit. in which these moves are illustrated. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan. as God himself predicts: His Son. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. _______ d. Match these sentences with the fragment. on a separate sheet.” _______ g.8. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. He flatters Eve. The world after the Fall In the next books. _______ f. He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. at the end of each sentence. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

from Heaven Before they leave Paradise. In Book XI. The vision is replaced by Michael’s narrative in Book XII. The certainty that. evil will finally be turned to good makes Adam and Eve’s exile from Paradise more tolerable. In Book X. pride. combining thus justice with mercy. The promise of where the central episode is the promised birth of God’s Son. and He sends the archangel Michael to God decides Adam and Eve’s expulsion show them out. Moments of the biblical history are unfolded before Adam’s eyes.” founded on love. resurrection and ascension to the coming of Heaven. etc. faith and good deeds. and offering to pay the price of His own death for the peace between God and mankind. who can see the “many shapes of Death” and the many ways that lead to it. death. his suffering. and the poem closes not on a note of despair. Book XII: Adam and Eve leaving Paradise (illustration by John Martin. changed drastically after Adam’s fall. intemperance. through Christ.The works of John Milton After the story of man’s fall. asking God to accept their prayers and sincere repentance. redemption*: Jesus. an anticipation of the effects of the original sin on the following generations. but Michael comforts him. – to the hostility of Nature. God consents. but of sadness. the emphasis on the presence and role of the Son of God increases. the Son of God acts as a mediator between the sinful humans and His Father. Michael shows Adam a vision of the future. Adam suffers deeply for the loss of his native place and of God’s proximity. but He decides that Adam and Eve may no longer live in Paradise. 1827) 76 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . from man’s own vices – violence. This comforting story gives Adam peace of mind and Christ the hope that man is able to build – in Michael’s words – “a paradise within. God sends Him to communicate the divine punishment to Adam and Eve.

more carefully.5. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. at the end of the unit. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. If they should differ in major points. It may be argued. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . 3. read the fragment again. which they fully assume.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. however. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. How do these lines present Adam and Eve at the moment of their exile into the world? Your answer should not exceed 12 lines /120 words. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero.9.

Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom. he is envious of God’s omnipotence.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power. Before his fall. and that Milton gave the full measure of his literary genius in the character of Satan because he instinctively supported the idea of freedom. he naturally assumes the role of a leader. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment. He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. In Hell. but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. One of the most powerful illustrations of this feeling which consumes Satan is the scene in which he sees Adam and Eve for the first time. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression. This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he had been the first Archangel. From the beginning of the poem. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free.e. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. and his longing for the delights of his former existence torments him like an inner hell. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan. which is itself a paradise.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition. unwilling to serve a power that he considered tyrannical. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers. and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire. Over a century after the poem’s publication. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels. “Imparadised in one another’s arms” – i. and his great ambition is “to reign.The works of John Milton 3. where there is “neither joy nor love. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation.1.5. made happy in their innocent love.” He instigates the other angels to rebellion in the name of freedom from servitude.

It is with “high words.” which actually lacked substance that he manages to revive the courage of the depressed fallen angels. Awakening in man the impulse to question.” He is “the author of all ill. He is determined “to do ill” – which is “the contrary to his high will” – or to pervert the good done by God. he is the promoter of suspicion and doubt. It is also with “persuasive* words. and his power of seduction comes from the mastery of a very efficient rhetoric.” in whose destruction he finds complete satisfaction for his hurt pride. but the epic poet insistently underlines their manipulative intentions.2. As God’s absolute antagonist. Satan can assert his freedom of action only in the sphere of evil.The works of John Milton 3. The temptation of Eve is in fact the repetition of the earlier act of persuading the angels to join him in his rebellion. the destroyer of faith. Satan is The Tempter. Satan represents the negation of the creative power of the divine Word: his revenge is accomplished not by force.” and the “Enemy of Mankind. and “out of good still to find means of evil. The negative power of rhetoric: Satan the Tempter Gustave Doré: Satan (1870) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 79 . Satan.5. Milton insists on the fact that they abandoned “the eternal splendours of Heaven” and followed Satan seduced by his promises of freedom and greatness.” seeming reasonable and true. His “immortal hate” makes revenge his only aim. the “author of all ill” The only way in which Satan can define himself as an equal to the power that he refuses to serve is to become its irreconcilable opponent. but by the evil subtlety of his mind and the corrupting power of his word. that he determines Eve to break the divine interdiction. Satan’s speeches have an impressive convincing force. and he invests all his titanic energies in his destructive plan. Satan’s greatness as a character comes from the sublime intensity of his negative passions.

Read the whole fragment carefully.. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.2.1. at the end of the unit. revise subchapters 3.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. in Hell. and 3.) B. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.5. and read the indicated fragment again.3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.5. If there are significant differences. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. “and “The mind is its own place.

He is now more aware of his freedom and his potentiality. Adam’s enlarged understanding emerges in perfect fusion with his strengthened faith. of understanding and accepting his limits. There is a tragic combination of greatness and weakness in their portrayal. the titanic dimension of his suffering. precursor].3.” but also “our credulous mother.” “Our great Progenitor [i. The way in which Milton refers to Adam and Eve throughout the poem points out his reverence to the original pair.” Eve is the “Mother of Mankind. the sorrow of the fallen humans at their own weakness and their final recognition of their fault entitles them to God’s mercy.” “mother of human race. Milton is the heir of the Renaissance in his glorification of man and his virtues. there is not any doubt left about his fundamental evil. Both Adam and Eve display a certain Satanic fascination with the possibility of overcoming their condition through knowledge. deprived of worth. as well as his identification with them in their condition of creatures that have fallen.” “our general mother. But it is an evidence of Milton’s genius that. the protagonists of Milton’s ambitious epic leave it not in hopeless disgrace. He has the revelation of the grandeur of God’s plan and of the “goodness infinite” of the Creator. As a Christian. in Book XII. Satan’s torments in Hell.” “Patriarch of Mankind. As a humanist. and Milton expresses both admiration and compassion for them. Fallen man is not a hateful creature. Although Paradise has become a forbidden place for them.The works of John Milton 3. gifted with reason – a divine Eden 1808) attribute –. Adam is called Sire* of Men. but armed with the wisdom of faith. Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Poetically.e. In his last conversation with Michael. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 81 .” “Our Author.5. the character of Satan is Milton’s greatest achievement in Paradise Lost. but who can hope for redemption*. he justifies “the ways of God to men” by showing the necessity of the divine grace. in spite of the fascination and seductive power with which he is invested. man has paid a terrible price for the wisdom of not imitating Satan.” The insistent use of the adjective “our” suggests Milton’s invitation to the reader to join him in his identification. The consequences of their fall are great because their virtues – so tragically tested – are great. of their wrong use of the freedom given by God. are set against Adam and Eve’s lamentations after the fall. Milton depicts Adam and Eve’s fall not as the result of depravity. ancestor. but W. Created in God’s image. but as a consequence of their wrong choices. of turning all evil into good by the supreme act of divine grace: the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for man. While Satan’s pain is always accompanied by the proud defiance of God. Blake: The expulsion from Milton deals with it as one of the central paradoxes of the human condition. He is now able to understand God’s final purpose.

a necessary part of His design.5.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3. one of the greatest English poets. Subchapter 3. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. at the end of the unit. the Nativity Ode. Summary In this unit. The same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. in no more than 8 lines/80 words.2. If there should be major differences. presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies. Read this fragment and summarise its argument. in the Reader. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. His work is that of a Christian humanist: his astonishing classical erudition and his aspiration to the formal perfection of his classical models combine with his interest in religious themes. the pastoral elegy Lycidas. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century. in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso. you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text. he prepared himself for it during long years.

The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. his love of freedom. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. which are. the creation of the world and of man. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. but also in which man may. Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Christian humanism elegy sonnet epic the Fall of Man the original sin free will Lucifer / Satan Felix culpa Glossary • • • • anointed: from to anoint: to apply oil on someone in a religious ceremony. Undoubtedly. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell.5. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels. his courage and majesty.3. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. Subchapter 3. Subchapter 3.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. at any time. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. however. presented in subchapter 3. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision. put in the service of evil. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues.4.

Homer: Greek poet (c. clever in using tricks. to a place of wild confusion. noise and chaos. to whom are attributed the great epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey.The works of John Milton • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • elegy: a meditative poem lamenting the death of someone. guided by Virgil and his idealised love Beatrice. or some tragic event.). Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 84 . author of La Divina Commedia. foreknowledge: knowledge of something before it happens. In classical literature.). benevolent care or protection of his creatures. the range of subjects in an elegy was wider. difficult to detect (or analyse).D. Providence: God’s kindness. to cause to believe). secular: related to worldly things (as opposed to sacred). the act by which God determines in advance the events and their course. subtle: not immediately evident. persuasive: having the power or ability to persuade (i. pamphlet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. whose works include the poem on love Ars Amatoria and the poem on myths Metamorphoses. by extension. Sire: a respectful term of address. Man’s sin/fault was “happy” because its reward was Christ. not concerned with or related to religion. formerly used when speaking to a king. humanism: see classical revival in the Glossary in Unit 1. redemption: the deliverance (the rescuing) of man from sin through the incarnation.-17 A.C. felix culpa: this phrase comes from a line in the Latin version of the Catholic religious service held on Easter Sunday. Puritans: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. It may also mean cunning. predestination: from a theological point of view. Pandemonium: a word coined by Milton (from Greek pan: all. he is called Satan. Lucifer: the name of the archangel who led the rebel angels. the allegorical account of the poet’s journey through Hell. Gallery of personalities • Dante: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321).e. Italian poet.” After the fall from Heaven. the “great and good redeemer” (i.C. the one who sets man free from sin). to convince. It means “the carrier of light.e. Purgatory and Paradise. pastoral: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Restorer of Mankind: Christ as the one who will return (restore) man to God’s grace and to his original condition. every. and daimon: demon) – the place where all demons gathered. The word may refer. sonnet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Roman poet. ode: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. epic: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Ovid: Publius Ovidius Nasso (43 B. suffering and death of Christ. 800 B.

3.C.2. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.1. At the beginning of Book IV. 1. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 . A revision of subchapter 3. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. before the final battle. Texts 2. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. at the end of the play. 2.5. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. one of the greatest Roman poets.2. Send-away assignment no.1. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer. • Read attentively this fragment.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. and 2. romantic in The Tempest –... You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. You may also consider it useful to pay attention to the following aspects when reading the text: • Satan’s present misery set in opposition with the memories of his former condition. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words.4. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).).6. God’s creation. in Milton’s Paradise Lost.2. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. Text 3. and thus of destroying man. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. In both of them. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. in which he explores his inner hell. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. and the last paragraph of 2.

SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. responsible for his choices. his blindness. not God. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come.a. is that one may choose right or wrong. 2. SAA no. or reason. is thus not attributable to God. The fall of man. rational spirit of the Creator (he refers to Him elsewhere as “the great 86 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free.. God cannot use His infinite power and knowledge to prevent the errors of those who are free to choose. comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. and reason makes man. in grading your paper. • the coherence. Milton emphasises the geometrical. both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time.. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1.The works of John Milton • • himself before God his determination to turn his suffering into satisfaction his impressive self-knowledge The weight of this task in this SAA is 50%. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment. but the consequence of evil influence. The poet places his trust in Providence. SAQ 4 The image of God using His divine instrument (the “golden compasses”) to draw the “just circumference” of the world implies the idea of perfection and rationality. like that of the angels.c. The paradox of freedom. Remember that. SAQ 2 In the first section (the octave). however. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour).b. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all. i. 3. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will. clarity. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence.” In the case of man.” man shared the perfection of the angels (“the Ethereal Powers and Spirits”) and their complete freedom of will and judgment.e. The implication is that God gave man conscience. Created “just and right. the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will.

the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. If Hell is a space of freedom. Daiches. Ioan-Aurel (coord. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice.3. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. vol. with passive virtue. SAQ 5 a. unless he exercises his will and reason. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”).).The works of John Milton Architect”). London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. The Literature of the Beginnings. 2. 2. under the guidance of Providence. Further reading 1. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. d. 2003 (pp. Man is not a free creature. to be dictated by Reason.e. 153-163) 3. 1. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. e. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period.e. 1. they soon master the sadness of their loss and confront the wide world as a place in which they are expected to exercise judiciously their free will. as God has made him. 3.. b. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). Forced to look ahead. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). f. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. Incapable of obedience to God. Paradise is now a forbidden place. of human solidarity. 2. unless he is put in the situation of making choices.4. David. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. 1969 (pp. SAQ 7 1. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. If God leaves man’s loyalty. Editura Universităţii Suceava. c. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. English Literature and Civilisation. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit.4. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. g. 2. i. Preda. 435-449) 2. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). faith and love untested. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 1983 (pp. A Critical History of English Literature. and the image of the terrible gates. i. Turcu. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. Luminiţa Elena.

2. 4. 4.3. 4.5. 4.1. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.1.1. 4. 4. 4.3.4. 4.3.2. 4. 4.2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.2.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1.4. 4. Gulliver. 4. 4.7.4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4.3. 4. 4.4.

addressing itself to an inclusive public. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. 4. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste.1. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Unit objectives 4. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. clarity and elegant restraint. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. under the influence of French theatres. it was a period of transition as well. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. the cast of actors included women. ♦ define the purposes and literary strategies of the periodical essay as an instrument of cultural enlightenment ♦ explain the remarkable development of satire in the Augustan Age.1. and. and of considerable diversity. and Jonathan Swift. From a literary point of view. and their re-opening in 1660. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change. the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted. under the patronage of king Charles II. Human nature. drama holds a place apart. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age. One of the most important aspects of this literary age is the shift from the baroque* sensibility of the late Renaissance to the Neoclassic ideal of order. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –.1. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. Nature. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration.The Restoration and the Augustan Age By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify the favourite themes and the typical characters of Restoration drama. Alexander Pope. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies.

Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. Gallantry. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. A certain coarseness of feeling. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. sumptuous costumes. fashionable manners. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. The action was usually set in remote. or Court Wits. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . adultery. although each in its own way and for different reasons. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines.3. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. It made fun of the people from the countryside. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication.1. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. magnificent settings. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. jealousy. inflated conception of heroism – these were the ingredients of a dramatic genre whose spirit was in sharp contrast with the unheroic age of the Restoration. above all. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. were essential for the true man of the world. lust. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. and absolute villains. Sensational turns of situation. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. wit*. an artificial.2. on the other. on the one hand.1. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. 4.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. Conquest and seduction. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. exotic places. refinement and sophistication. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. the cynicism. and. both of them highly conventional forms. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains.

but whose affectation* became the object of irony and satire. and the trusting husband as dupe. the plot of Restoration comedy was usually highly complicated. usually an unprincipled and heartless married woman. with several subplots and with action developing at a fast pace. the ingénue. or fool. etc. Another frequent type was the fop*. more concerned for his reputation as a wit than for honour. one of the first actresses and the mistress of Charles II William Hogarth* Detail from The Rake’s Progresss (1735) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 91 . cynical. the scheming valet. aspiring to the perfect adventure. Contrasting types were the coquette. whose simplicity and ingenuousness made her a perfect prey to the sophisticated seducer. the country squire*. pleasure-seeking. If characters were usually static. the lusty widow. selfish and manipulative. Other common character types in Restoration comedy were the country girl. despising marriage. whose generosity and kindness are satirised as weaknesses. lacking complexity. who tried to imitate fashionable manners. young or old. deliberately superficial in construction.The Restoration and the Augustan Age “young-man-about-town. Nell Gwynn (1650-1687).” without scruples.

It displays typical Restoration characters. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. T F 5. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. T F 2. read again subchapters 4. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. by doing the exercise that follows.3. frivolity.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama.1. refinement and sophistication.1. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. T F 9. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false).1. Restoration comedy praised wit. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. at the end of the unit. elegance. T F 3. 1. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). such as the impoverished gallant. T F 6. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. to 4. T F 8. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. simple action. hedonism and amorality at Court.1. William Congreve. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. T F 4. T F 7. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity.4. 4. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age.

as these were remote from their experience.The Restoration and the Augustan Age William Congreve (1679-1723) his creditors. The new audience in the theatres. He gave grace to the conventions of a highly artificial form of drama. with a rare concern for the accuracy and elegance of expression and for the balance of sentences. A shift in taste was taking place in the context of social change – the rise of a prosperous class of merchants. the ambivalent motivations and feelings (ranging from love. when Augustan* England was seeking for social stability and cohesion. etc. restore his fortunes and win the love of his mistress. increasingly middle class. Drama was changing under the pressure of middle class taste. the pair of witty lovers. and were not interested in the rituals and games of fashionable life or in the sparkling wit duels.5. and friendship to jealousy. The situation. Towards the end of the 17 th century. is extremely complex. and it had to take into account the general concern for the improvement of manners that developed in the late 17th century. mixed marriages between aristocracy and the newly rich. bringing it to perfection. He is the most gifted of the Restoration dramatists. perfectly aware of each other’s faults and playing various games which keep them on the border between independence and surrender. but they were now clearly intended for a middle class audience. 4. half-amused. which reminds of some of Shakespeare’s comedies. affection. half-sad.1. involving a multitude of characters. consistent characters. admiration. Congreve’s merit is to have turned stereotypical characters into credible. psychologically subtle and complex. the witty and resourceful servant. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 93 . The indecencies and blasphemous spirit of earlier Restoration comedy became the object of severe condemnation by public opinion. disapproved of the licentiousness of Restoration comedy. Congreve’s finest comedy is The Way of the World (1700). and the shifting relationships and alliances. The rise of sentimental comedy* Congreve belongs to a period of transition in the evolution of comedy. adopting a moralising tone and recommending virtue and sensibility above refinement and wit. It has a sophisticated plot containing several strands of action and centering on the relation between Mirabell and beautiful Millamant. the dramatic productions still preserved characteristic farcical elements and something of the brilliant artificiality of Restoration comedy. hate and disgust) give this play an equivocal tone. the awkward country-girl.

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Millamant is also in love.1. they establish and agree on the terms of a "contract. under the appearance of frivolity.1. Mirabell is a reformed rake. 94 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . However. Read Text 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 2 In Congreve's play The Way of the World. at the end of the unit. If there should be significant differences. in no more than 15 lines / 150 words.4. but she accepts Mirabell's marriage proposal on certain conditions. read again subchapter 4.. who is sincerely in love with Millamant and wishes to marry her. In a witty dialogue. which presents Millamant's demands. they seem to be playing a game." Presenting their expectations from each other in a half-joking way.. as well as the indicated fragment. What is the idea of marriage that her conditions suggest? Answer in the space below. their agreement has serious implications. in Act IV.

Besides Dryden and Pope. Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*.1. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th .2. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. The dialogue form of this essay allows Dryden to avoid being dogmatic and to look with healthy scepticism at a wide range of critical issues. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. John Dryden (1631-1700) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 95 .2. The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Two great writers constituted the main influence in the development of the Neoclassic literary doctrine in England: John Dryden in the 17 th century. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). Joseph Addison*. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. The return to the ancient models of the classical era was accompanied by the sense of an analogy between the present of England and the Roman times of Caesar Augustus*. 4. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity. elegance. in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. and harmony extended beyond literature. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. balance. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. In both cases. or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. In it.

The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*. A poet’s innate talent needed training. i. yet achieve great beauty. for instance. was expected to use a common. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. The most eloquent example. skill.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. was Shakespeare. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. The rule of decorum 4.2. It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. since it dealt with noble characters and actions. for the Augustans. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety]. required an elevated style. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour.2. to make form and substance adequate to each other. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. comedy. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. on the other hand. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. a dignified diction. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience.e. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. the most valuable store of literary experience. and to those patterns of behaviour.e. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. humble style. and the poet might disregard them. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide. This was the case of the genius. the emphasis on discipline in art. lacking ornament. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning.2. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. Epic and tragedy. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. in satirical or burlesque* works.3.. skilful transgression. of infinite variety. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. i. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging.

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). or art*. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. What are the main ideas in this fragment. to those of Nicolas Boileau*. read again subchapter 4.g.2. but also to imported French ideas – e.3. SAQ 3 Text 4. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason.3. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. and the indicated fragment. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. a combination achieved through reason. at the end of the unit. If there should be significant differences.

and of the increase and diversification of the reading public.2. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. unnecessary ornament. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. its effects were considerable on prose. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. of critical debate in every field. In the context of general progress. too. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. where nothing seems to be studied. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . precision and clarity. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities.3. refinement with wisdom. Ostentation.” Augustan wit 4. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled.5. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. The marked didactic tendency of much of the literature of this period reflects the Augustans’ pride in the conquests of their civilisation and their determination to assume responsibility for the defence of its achievements. but to be a functional part of the community. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature.2. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. “grace and strength united. or. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. manners and taste. 4. The writer's art was a form of social communication. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). of quick accumulation of information. eloquence with restraint.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The Neoclassic concern with standards of good writing must be seen in connection with an important feature of Augustan literature: its integration with social life. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity.4. affectation were rejected. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*.

the periodical essayists aimed at broadening the intellectual horizon of their readers. th Edward Lloyd’s coffee house. for a clientele of ships' captains. Essay periodicals were usually the work of a single author. Journalism and coffee houses* were the main instruments by which people’s curiosity was satisfied. Some writers felt that this popular avidity for political news might inflame partisanship and favour a spirit of social discord. the middle class readers. meant to provide guidance in matters of manners and morals. the enlightenment and the improvement of taste of its widest section. they created an alternative kind of periodical publication. with Alexander Pope. or to the discussion of literary matters. and to offer intellectual enlightenment to a wide audience. merchants and ship owners 17th century coffee house in Covent Garden Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 99 . opened in 1688. consisting in essays on a variety of topics. The reflections on both modern and ancient works. In order to counterbalance this tendency. at cultivating their minds. at a time when political tension in the country and the events of war on the Continent engaged public attention to a high degree. that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. as a reaction to the ever greater demand for political news and gossip. dominantly middle class. The periodical essay constituted a chronicle of contemporary manners and an effective instrument of moral and social criticism.” that ignorance is a source of evil.The Restoration and the Augustan Age It developed in the late 17 and early 18th centuries. and they were published with varying regularity. They believed. contributing significantly to the “polite” education. the debate on a variety of critical and aesthetic issues made the latter familiar to the public. Many periodical essays were dedicated to the dissemination of philosophical and scientific notions. some of them being issued daily. At the same time.

think again and try to do the exercise once more. and by far the most popular ones. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop. Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714).e. 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists. The Tatler and The Spectator. To increase the efficiency of their undertaking.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays. only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Like other writers. If they are significantly different. on a separate sheet. Think of present relevance of this remark. at the end of the unit.3.1. in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. collected in book form. Steele and Addison assumed the mission of public educators and proceeded to rescue their audience from what they perceived as “that desperate state of vice and folly into which the age is fallen” (Steele). whose essays were published several times in the century.

” He thus embodies the Augustan humanist view that true knowledge of human nature comes from a combination of first hand experience and learning. taciturn and with “no interest in this world. generous and cheerful. steady effort] makes more lasting acquisitions than valour [i. modest and commonsensical person. in which they collaborated. • Will Honeycomb. an embodiment of its energies and enterprising spirit. a rich London merchant.” of wide learning. no longer as repulsively materialistic and greedy. wit and understanding. instead of pursuing the career of a lawyer. a competent justice of the peace*. He is a pleasant company for his acquaintances in town. Sir Andrew Freeport’s convictions are those of an enlightened middle class. rather than a merit. a middle-aged squire. a model of honesty. but their good breeding qualifies them both for the same society of gentlemen.” He is a worthy representative of the middle class. idleness] has ruined more nations than the sword.” or that “diligence [i. otherwise harmless and a well-bred gentleman. for instance. • Sir Andrew Freeport. bravery in battle]. His wisdom and gravity are set against the frivolous interests of Will Honeycombe.e. “a person of indefatigable industry*. The six members of The Spectator’s Club were: • Sir Roger de Coverley. a man of the world. skills] and industry. for true power is to be got by arts [i. Now. actions and writings of the ancients makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him in the world. a gallant. interested in his appearance and displaying a certain affectation in behaviour. He believes. Steele and Addison invented The Spectator’s Club.e. • A gentleman who. who had spent a turbulent youth in the company of the Restoration Wits. manners. and his harmless eccentricities are accompanied by a natural benevolence that endears him to everybody. His character is the first notable literary representation of the merchant class in a serious and dignified way. He is a man of “great probity. ready to take responsibility for the progress of the nation. and sloth [i. “a very philosophic man.” • Captain Sentry.e. He is the prototype for the character of the country squire in many 18th century novels. 101 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a group of six fictional characters “engaged in different ways of life” and representing various social and human types. and the reflections of “Mr. for The Spectator. an expert in fashion and gossip.” and “his familiarity with the customs. and great experience. Spectator” on their opinions and behaviour in a variety of circumstances constituted real lessons in manners and morals.” but whose life constitutes an eloquent example of moral integrity. that “it is stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms. who had to quit the military profession because his strict honesty proved to be an obstacle to the advancement of his career. a courageous. as his father had intended for him. strong reason. • A clergyman. laziness. Many essays presented little stories about incidents in their daily lives. hard work and skill. in his county.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Joseph Addison (1672-1719) For example. turned to the study of literature. he is a somewhat old-fashioned gentleman.e.

and write them in the indicated spaces below. 6. read again subchapter 4. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. 4. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. cheerful disposition. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. 2. 3.1. at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. Identify at least eight such features. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. 1. common sense. 7.3. If there should be major discrepancies. 8. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 5. more carefully.

and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. 4. 4.4. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. often touched by ironic humour. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. are mingled: the evil conspirator. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. admiration and condemnation. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son.4. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682).4. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence.1. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. Political and religious dissensions. 1743). with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. Pope. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. hypocrisy. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. brave and fearless man. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. made king by the Goddess Dulness* in a realm turned to complete confusion by the vain ambitions of the Dunces – the multitude of bad writers and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 103 . Bayes*. its cult of reason and common sense. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. genuinely gifted for leadership. to religious debates and literary practices. disloyal and excessively ambitious. greed. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. contradictions and dark aspects. struggle for power and profit. king David. folly. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. appears also as a stormy spirit. intrigues. and satire became their formidable weapon. selfishness. the Duke of Monmouth. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. a passionate. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time.2. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. Samuel. 15-18). from political and social life. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart.

and the satire ends with the apocalyptic extinction of the enemies of Dulness: Fancy (i. more attentively. in a paragraph not exceeding 12 lines / 120 words. he reflects on the art of the satirist. SAQ 6 Text 4. and revise subchapter 4. Philosophy. Its implications. imaginative inventiveness. imagination).The Restoration and the Augustan Age Alexander Pope (1688-1744) critics who aspire to undeserved fame. as it betrays Pope’s fear that civilisation and its conquests are vulnerable to unreason. Religion.2. and Morality. Explain this analogy.4. Science. Here. however. Art. Truth. concerning satire. Compare your answer with the suggestions provided at the end of the unit. pointing out the Augustan conception of satire. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Pope’s satirical allegory displays unequalled comic virtuosity and wit. and skill in the use of parody and the burlesque. read the fragment again. The empire of Dulness finally extends to the whole universe of the spirit. that the corruption of the spirit (which follows from the corruption of the word) leads to the crumbling of all order. are more disturbing than entertaining. in the Reader represents a fragment from one of John Dryden’s essays.e. 104 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The final triumph of this “great Anarch*” is rendered by a parodic allusion to the biblical Genesis: the “uncreated word*” of Dulness restores the primordial chaos. drawing an analogy between satire and a public execution. If it should be significantly different.

Luggnagg and Japan IV. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. In it. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. the flying island.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726.4. Laputa. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. Back in England. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. an uncompromising defender of truth. social and intellectual realities. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. Balnibarbi.A Voyage to Laputa. Glubbdubdrib. In Luggnagg. curious and resourceful. the Yahoos. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4.A Voyage to Lilliput II. It is an allegorical satirical travel book. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.3. Jonathan Swift. he learns about the Struldbruggs. with a sharp sense of observation. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and literary. or softening marble to make pincushions. a hater of pedantry and pretence. building houses starting from the roof. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation.4. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. In Balnibarbi. justice and freedom. respectively. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. religious. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Gulliver is finally expelled. and where human creatures. intelligent speaking horses. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason. philosophical. economic.4. Like many of his contemporaries. bigger than himself. In his last voyage. From this last country. in his potential as a rational creature.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.A Voyage to Brodingnag III.

and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. Find. 4. SAQ 7 Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm master tries to understand human nature by analysing the behaviour of the Yahoos (since he perceives Gulliver to be one). 1. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he prefers now the company of horses. His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. in Text 4. 2. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. from the Reader.5. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. 3. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. read the fragment carefully once more. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. at the end of the unit.

he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. In the Yahoos. vain. his vulnerability increases. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. etc. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. from which he chooses to leave.5. he sees ideal creatures. in his last adventure. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. ambitious. issues or figures. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection.4. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. cruel and hypocritical. means de-humanisation. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. In the Houyhnhnms. by dancing on a rope. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. Gulliver is confronted. The fourth voyage. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature.4.6. etc. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. jumping over or creeping under a stick. of the capacity for affection. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. governed only by reason. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. Dissenters and Catholics. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. In Brobdingnag. The latter is shocked at the moral abjection and contempt for reason that he discerns under the gilded surface of Gulliver’s patriotic description of his country. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. ruled by an enlightened monarch.). Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. and they constitute a miniature picture of England. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. Gulliver. However. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason.

while the Houyhnhms would represent man who has escaped the consequences of the original sin. unteachable and ungovernable. and he ultimately becomes the target of Swift’s irony. the Yahoos embodied Swift’s own vision of mankind as hopelessly degraded. Houyhnhnm and Yahoo . The Houyhnhms and the Yahoos have also been seen as allegorical representations of Reason and Instinct. The last book of Gulliver’s Travels has been given a multitude of interpretations. Illustration from an early nineteenth century abridged editions (for children): Gulliver entertaining and being entertained by the tiny Lilliputians.illustration from a 1947 edition of Gulliver’s Travels 108 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . makes him a frustrated idealist. filthy. the Yahoos would stand for the essentially corrupt nature of man.The Restoration and the Augustan Age reason with feeling and instinct. For many readers. an image which earned Swift the reputation of a misanthrope. In a “theological” perspective. or as opposite caricatural views of man in the state of nature.

6. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. For Gulliver. find anti-utopian elements in it. however. you need to read the fragment again.4. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4. more carefully. from the Reader. The careful reader will.6. If there should be major differences. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. and to revise subchapter 4.

Its flourishing in the Augustan Age reflects the integration of literature with social life. reason was not to be taken for granted: man was only a creature capable of reason. For Swift. on expressive restraint and skilfully controlled wit. placing wit above virtue.7.). Congreve. and his brilliant wit make Gulliver’s Travels not only a landmark in Augustan literature. Dryden. on the rule of decorum. on Reason and common sense in aesthetic choice. Dryden). A representative literary genre for this age is the comedy of manners (Etherege. arrogant ignorance and unfounded pride in his reason. was another characteristic genre. Summary The Restoration is a historical and a literary period. Gradually.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. He intended to “vex the world” in order to “mend” it. generally. While heroic drama sustained an impossible. comedy was licentious and cynical. and recommended as a model the literary wisdom of the Ancients.g. inflated ideal of heroism and virtue. a masterpiece of irony which places under scrutiny many of the myths of the Enlightenment. the pressure of the taste of the rising middle class replaced it with sentimental comedy. Dryden. Addison. Steele. his learning and sense of literary tradition. therefore also capable of error. both in verse (Dryden. caricature. Steele). Satire. It was a chronicle of manners and an instrument of social and moral criticism. dominantly middle class. and by means of it. One of the literary forms that developed during this period was the periodical essay (Addison. The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Gulliver’s Travels is the expression of Swift’s indignation and anger at man’s foolishness. etc.4. 110 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Pope) and in prose (Swift). the belief in progress and improvement in an age which was also that of the Enlightenment. when literary Neoclassicism developed. Like heroic tragedy (e. Swift. which contributed greatly to the development of a modern prose style. Goldsmith. parody. and he used every weapon in the satirist’s arsenal to awaken man from his selfcomplacency: biting irony. narrow-sightedness. accommodating a diversity of literary forms and traditions – old and new. The period of the Restoration overlaps with the emerging Augustan Age. grotesque. was enlightened in matters of literary taste and intellectual achievements. Swift’s allegorical satire Gulliver’s Travels is the most accomplished exploration of the contradictions of the Age of Reason. Swift’s extraordinary inventiveness and narrative gift. but also an enduring achievement of the enlightened spirit. this highly artificial and conventional form was an expression of the taste of the Court aristocracy. including that of Reason itself. The latter’s eminently rationalist poetics placed emphasis on clarity and elegance in style and composition. the writers’ sense of responsibility towards the values of their civilisation. It cultivated the idea of the “marriage” of Art and Nature. Pope. Johnson are central figures of the Augustan Age. It is an age of transition. and. a wide public.

Anarch: a personification of anarchy. his craftsmanship. affectation: a manner of speech. but is intended to impress others. achieved by training and practice. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. baroque: see again subchapter 2. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. profession or interest. or escort. admirer.1. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. In her empire of darkness and confusion. dress or behaviour which is not natural.” where Dryden would come regularly. the acquired competence of the writer. political or religious orientation. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. and the Glossary in Unit 2. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Key words • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Restoration The Augustan Age heroic tragedy comedy of manners Neoclassicism rationalist poetics Nature/Human Nature art wit to delight and instruct periodical essay The Spectator’s Club satire allegory utopia irony Glossary • • • Achitophel: the story of Absalom and Achitophel is told in The Old Testament. it may also refer to a woman’s lover. art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. well-dressed man. which designated a fashionable.1. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature). coffee houses: since the 1650s. greatly concerned with appearances. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. For instance. In Pope’s satire. “Will’s Coffee House. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. Art may generally refer to the work of man.

” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1. stupidity. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture. landscape. It derives from “bay. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. referring not only to external nature.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 1. unexciting. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr. dulness: in a strict sense. from dunce. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity.” Nature: an inclusive concept. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . but to the whole of created reality. “Mr. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive. i. inclination. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. a strictly ordered hierarchical system.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama). fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance.4.” another word for “laurel”. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. to deceive). trait . Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad. heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. Bayes.” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. slowness in thinking and learning. In Pope’s satire. Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century. boring. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible. In this kind of comedy. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. or “humour. Mr. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. and distinction. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour.e. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. “Dull” also means uninteresting. honour. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate.

author of poems. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. for the notion of sentimentalism.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. Dryden. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. founder of literary journalism. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop.1. elegant. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. of taste or skill. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” from Greek u = not. Among the latter. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. essays and dramatic works. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. especially the main landowner in a village. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. Boileau. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. polished). he translated from ancient authors. squire: a country gentleman. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. of imagination and originality.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners.3 in Unit 5. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. i. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form.4. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516).4.4 in Unit 1. perfect society (literally: “no place. and topos = place). or literature in general. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. He excelled in all literary genres of his time.e. or who chats or talks idly. making literature “dull.

an unequalled master of irony and wit. and A Modest Proposal (1729). George (1634-1691): a member of the group of Restoration Wits. author of odes. Richard (1672-1725): Augustan essayist and dramatist (he established sentimental comedy on the English stage). Among various other works. Virgil. Alexander (1688-1744): the most illustrious representative of English literary Neoclassicism. which contains an allegorical satire on the division of the Christian Church. of Irish origin.C. William (1640-1716): one of the Restoration Wits. as well as to the forging of a polished literary prose style. Like his friend. Sprat. a masterpiece of 18th century fiction. He was a friend of the novelist Henry Fielding. or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676).” Horace: Quintus Horatius Flavius (65-8 B. Swift. member of the Royal Society. Wycherley.). Oliver (1728-1774): upholder of the Neoclassic standards of style and composition. he argues for the superiority of the Ancients over modern authors. political and moral vices. and a major representative of English sentimentalism. Goldsmith. as well as the mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock (1712).The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • Etherege. Pope. Samuel: see the Gallery of personalities in Unit 2. he endeavoured to lift Latin literature to the level of Greek literature. Thomas (1635-1713): mathematician and writer. Hogarth. William (1697-1764): painter and engraver. preoccupied by the cultivation of an English style that should be simple. satires and epistles. extremely popular owing to his “modern moral subjects” – a series of paintings or engravings which tell a story and constitute a comment on social. concise and flexible. Latin poet of the time of Caesar Augustus. His comedies The Country Wife (1675) and The Plain Dealer (1676) satirise the discrepancies between the social surface of respectability and the unscrupulous selfishness that may hide behind it. and of the influential critical work Ars Poetica. in which he is the optimistic spokesman of the Age of Reason. clear. His best comedies are She Would If She Could (1668). Besides his famous Gulliver’s Travels. he is the author of the novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766). His works include the philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). a bitter satire in defense of the Irish people. In the mock-heroic allegory The Battle of the Books (1704). his works include A Tale of a Tub (1704). Steele. Together with Addison. Jonathan (1667-1745): the greatest English satirist. he contributed to the spreading of Enlightenment ideas. who called him a “comic history-painter. Johnson. and The Man of Mode. 114 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

opinions and tastes. Dryden makes an analogy between the sharp blade of the executioner’s sword and the sharp irony and wit of the satirist. 4.e. regardless of their particular condition.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. SAQ 3 The pleasure of contemplating representations of “general nature” – i. In marriage. a way of protecting their intimacy and their feelings. open-mindedness. Culture is thus seen as an improvement of nature.T. for sophisticated Millamant. She wishes for a sincere and authentic relationship. and she proposes to reject the social rituals and fashions that would require them to wear masks. which may be cultivated or left to “lie fallow. and. abdicating from reason. 8.e. and should not try to impose his/her habits on the other.F. and she rejects the idea of the wife’s subordination. 9. wild plants growing where they are not wanted) will invade an uncultivated field. 7.F. sense of responsibility. 5. Civilised reserve in society. SAQ 6 Satire is the art of pointing at people’s faults without resorting to insult or calumny. because he succeeded in rendering the general “truths” of human nature. good judgment. is. of those features which are universal. the refusal to make a public show of their affection. in an analogous sense. SAQ 4 Addison builds an analogy between the human mind and a field. so the mind which is not assiduously and constantly cultivated – i.” Shakespeare will appeal to readers across the ages. by the standards of her social environment. Johnson implies that an author’s greatness depend on his insight into Human Nature. each partner should accept and respect the other’s wishes.T. or judgment. modesty. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 115 . benevolence. Her desire to preserve an area of privacy in her domestic life reflects the fact that she does not conceive love and marriage as incompatible with one’s independence.F SAQ 2 Millamant has an unconventional view of marriage. diligence.T. His characters embody the fundamental human passions which will always move mankind.T. good sense. Addison’s observation reflects the faith in man’s intellectual and moral perfectibility through responsible education – an attitude characteristic of the Enlightenment. SAQ 5 honesty. reasonableness. industry.” Just as weeds (i. furnished with ideas. common to all humanity – is greater than the pleasure of “sudden wonder” procured by the depiction of “particular manners” and by “fanciful invention. 3. integrity.e. good breeding. 2.T.F. She also refuses to see marriage as a limitation of the woman’s freedom. common sense. of Human nature. educated to think – will employ itself with trifles. 6.

the “fineness. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. Daiches. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. only the species counts. The tendency to idleness. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation. and no personal choice in the matter of marriage. the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. 5. which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. the exclusion of opinion. A Critical History of English Literature. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. which makes social progress inconceivable. Preda. The irrational greed and avarice. 1969 (pp. Macsiniuc. 1983 (pp. which is meant only for procreation. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. which breeds imaginary ills. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). English Literature and Civilisation. 180-187) 3. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. 2003 (pp. 537-550) 2. The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. Cornelia. The spirit of competition. The incapacity of choosing a ruler according to real merit. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason. Further reading 1. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence.” the subtlety of his accusations. 4. The English Eighteenth Century.” SAQ 7 1. David. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. Ioan-Aurel (coord. They practice population control. The Novel in Its Beginnings. the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship. the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation. The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance. Editura Universităţii Suceava.). the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Just as the executioner will implacably carry out the capital punishment. vol. The individual is of no importance. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. ultimately of imagination. In the absence of affective attachment. 2. 3..33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . conflict and self-interest.

1. 5.2.3. 5. 5.4. 5. 5. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 .3. 5.2.4. 5.4.3. 5.7. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.6. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.2. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5. 5. 5.1. 5.4.

of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. more inclusive reading public. in the early years of the 18 th century. and generally about women. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity. and the development of the novel. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. natural rights.1. values and attitudes characteristic of the Age of the Enlightenment ♦ describe typological features of the studied novels ♦ compare the studied novelists from the point of view of their approach to character and plot ♦ delineate a character from one of the novels under discussion. the rise of the middle classes. in the light of the author’s aesthetic principles ♦ describe the peculiarities of the narrative technique and style used by the studied authors ♦ define the concept of metafiction and describe metafictional strategies in Sterne’s novel Unit objectives 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class. and there is a connection between.1. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty.1. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. whose vast majority was middle-class. 5. tolerance. whose action was often set in remote. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. mostly imitations of French models. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. exotic settings. Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels.

Characters are no longer idealised. or previous literature. The ordinary aspects of life. The novel reflects. The novelist no longer drew his plots from mythology. By contrast. history. its normality. The knights and princesses of romances were replaced. socially and materially dependent on men.1. its endeavour to propagate a certain moral and social code. the novel’s aspiration was to fulfil the double mission of all Augustan literature: to entertain (to divert) and to instruct (to edify). whose province was the spectacular and the extraordinary. In spite of the great diversity of novels in the 18th century. the novel reflected the general critical spirit of the Age of the Enlightenment and participated in its project of emancipation through education. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 119 . Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Whereas the basic aim of romance was to entertain. truth to Nature – is what primarily distinguished the novel from romance. the province of the novel was the familiar. realised with an unprecedented wealth of social. moral or psychological detail. to their relevance for the reader’s aspirations and possibilities. legend. with entertainment frequently subordinated to the instructive aim. because the depicted experience and universe were more or less familiar to them. their common denominator was the attempt to convey an impression of authentic experience. its determination to participate in the general Augustan quest for an ideal of social harmony. the novel’s didactic vocation. its emphasis on individual experience is the literary expression of the spirit of individualism associated with the growing importance of the middle classes.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel domestic universe. shows its assumed responsibility towards contemporary civilisation. a reality that was close to the average reader’s experience became a source of imaginative interest. 5. For most women. in Augustan terms. but from contemporary life.2. The readers of novels could identify themselves with the characters. On the one hand. Thus. The popularity of the novel and the success of its didactic mission owed greatly to its endeavour of convincing the reader of the lifelikeness* of the represented characters and actions. but distinct individualities. romances were therefore literature of escape. Realism – or. vague and abstract figures. It attempted to correct morals and educate manners by censuring vice and folly. The represented experience was meant to engage the reader’s interest both because it was familiar and because of its uniqueness. it recommended patterns of behaviour and models of success that were relevant to the condition of middle class readers. The novel proposed norms of moral conduct and standards of social integration. in its concerns. in the novel. by common people. a double tendency of the Age of the Enlightenment. On the other hand.

SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. and public/social norms and conventions.1. The rise of the middle classes … 2. at the end of the unit. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5.1. on the other. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . … 4. on the one hand.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.1. Women were … 3. read again subchapters 5. 1. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. If there should be major differences. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.2. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. and 5.

from which it borrowed devices. On the other hand. confusion. since this kind of fiction subverts the prestige of older genres (the epic. and which emphasised the importance of feeling and its close connection with moral virtue. for the author. but also in poetry and in drama. Sentimentalism became a literary fashion.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.e. inclusive. forms of expression. patterns and motifs. The motif of the travel is central. belonging to several categories at once. This makes the 18th century novel rather difficult to classify. The sentimental hero/heroine unites a remarkably acute sensibility with spotless virtue and a deep sense of honour. and extremely diverse. Instead. The characteristic comic plot presupposes the passage from disorder. repetitious. Many novels cut across divisions. and the world represented in such novels is open. The most popular kinds of novels in the 18th century were: Adventure novels share with romances an emphasis on action. their distance from the every day experience of common readers. romance is trivialised through parody*. Typology of the novel in the 18th century The novel as a genre had no authoritative.3. classic models to follow.g. in imitation of the descriptive accuracy of travel literature. but they differ from romances in their attention to realistic detail. and the hero’s various encounters are. • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 121 . the romance). misfortune to the solution of all conflicts and the integration of the protagonist in a social structure. They invariably contain the motif of the journey. and its beginnings are defined by a tendency to “sponge” on other literary forms. therefore an ally to realism. popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. in which the action is episodic. but to literature as well. Fielding). • • The novel of manners submits to the reader’s judgements various types of social behaviour. a wide variety of influences went into its making. • The sentimental novel is the literary manifestation of that cross-current within the Age of the Enlightenment which placed value in emotional response rather than in reason.g. an opportunity for comprehensive social criticism. which claim the reader’s attention more than the characters do. i. The comic novel is an opportunity for writers to display a critical attitude not only to reality. • Picaresque* novels may be considered a special case of adventure novels. loosely structured. It may either offer a comprehensive mirror of the social diversity of the age (e. the comic vision is always in the service of social and moral criticism. The analysis of sentimental response was meant to elicit from the reader an empathic understanding.1. displayed not only in fiction. or explore personal conflicts which involve different sets of values (e. irony and burlesque*. The comic novel in the 18th century is inscribed in a long tradition of deflation of romance. examining the conflicts between private morality and public expectation. Richardson). on events. exposing their irrelevance and unreality.

usually with supernatural ingredients. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in their confrontation with moral choice.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel of education (the Bildungsroman*) is concerned with the formation of character through the accumulation of experience. at the end of the unit. after each sentence. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. trivial subjects. ________________________ 8. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. ________________________ 7. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. ________________________ 4. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. read again subchapter 5.3. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line.1. 3.. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. ________________________ 6. ________________________ 2. in an atmosphere of gloom. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. ________________________ 5.

Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. in circumstantial details. in the next years. They were all stories of success. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. This confers vividness to their narratives. when the writer was almost sixty. their social insertion. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . dynamic and versatile. published in 1719.2. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. Puritan* background. cast in a picaresque form. to the influence.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. on his fiction. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival.2. but also on the Continent. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. several adventure novels. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. They are pragmatic. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. Mariner. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). They share a middle class. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. in actions. 5.1. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality.

2. to buy slaves. Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Robinson Crusoe is recommended as “a just history of fact. such an experience became an archetypal one. prudent and calculating mature man. he turns from a reckless. Robinson displays from a young age the romantic inclination of wandering.” as he came to call his novels – the attempt to inculcate religion and morality through a gripping story which has the appearance of authenticity. where he has established a colony. Illustration to the first edition (1719) Robinson on the beach (illustration by N. The only survivor.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. and the book ends with his promise of further accounts of his island. Robinson becomes engaged in a heroic struggle for survival. In the 28 years of solitary life. has three children. he learns that his prospering business in Brazil has made him a rich man. Under Defoe’s pen. On his return to England. C. names him Friday and turns him into his loyal servant and receptive pupil.” and leaves home on board a ship. Robinson settles in Brazil where he becomes a relatively prosperous plantation owner.” He disregards his father’s advice of continuing the family trade and keeping within the limits of his “middle station in life. romantic youth into a realistic. in fact. After several misadventures at sea. In the hope of increasing his wealth.1920) 124 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . not only physical but also spiritual. struggling to impose on an alien space his middle class idea of order. Son of a successful German merchant settled in England. as well by the more recent case of a sailor who had lived in complete solitude for five years on an uninhabited island.” It is. Wyeth . of his moral strength to carry on against all obstacles. He marries. he rescues a savage from his fellow cannibals.” without “any appearance of fiction in it. in soon left a widower. After 26 years. a celebration of man’s power of spiritual endurance in adversity. Providence helps him finally leave the island. the desire for adventure and for “seeing the world. he starts a voyage to Africa. one of Defoe’s “honest cheats. The subject is inspired by 17th century stories of castaways on desert islands. but during a terrible storm he is shipwrecked on a desert island.

It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. at the end of the unit.1. as a political or economic utopia. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. to the awakening of religious conscience. If it should differ considerably. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .3. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s novel lends itself to a variety of interpretations: as an allegory of man’s evolution from the state of nature to civilisation and its institutions. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word.2. Gradually. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. and 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words.” 5. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. read again subchapters 5. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father).2.. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. In this light. In his initial struggle with despair.

its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. Enumerate. as a self-reliant individual. Changed in his “notion of things. or by a sentence (e. which will serve his instinct for independence. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise.2. g. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 4 Read Text 5. 2. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. morally autonomous.. at the end of the unit. 1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. 3. perspicacity. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as well as the fragment in the Reader. subchapter 5. ingenuity). the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise.” However. In this connection. or the felix culpa*. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. inventiveness. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. He takes pleasure in his work).2. perseverance. Like Adam. You may render these features either by a single noun (e.” desires and “delights.g. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction.. in the space below.3. It has its spiritual rewards.2. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. 4..

rendered in a simple. he paid little attention to matters of form. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. His linear. on a separate sheet. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. whose reality is difficult to doubt. at the same time. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative.4. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. solid world. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. 1. 3. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. Defoe is the first major fiction writer whose narrative realism conveyed such a powerful impression of authenticity and completeness in the representation of the interaction of the individual with the environment. clear language. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. His simple. the frequent enumerations and inventories. which. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. with unmatched vividness. 4. concreteness. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the promise of symbolic meanings. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style.2. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist.4 once more and do the exercise again. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. clarity.2. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. of familiar detail. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . containing.2. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. 2. at the end of the unit. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. the most common objects and actions in their particularity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. The richness of concrete detail. read the fragment and subchapter 5.

his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. Faced with her resistance. B’s relatives and friends. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. sensibility and morality. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. In her new state. recording the details of her ordeal. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. Upon the death of her mistress. B_’s hands. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. cruel and greedy relatives. not only in England but also on the Continent. Mr. of the struggle between virtue and vice. unanimously loved and admired.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. B_. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela.2. In Pamela. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. the latter’s son. In Clarissa. Pamela continues a diary. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. B_’s sister. There. The plot of Pamela.5. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel Richardson is the first to combine a sense of social reality with the interest in individual psychology. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. As the first great sentimental novelist. as well as for his didactic purpose. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence. in Bedfordshire. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. His influence was considerable. whose affection she finally gains. hoping that she will give in. Mr. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. At the same time. Mr. Both are written in the epistolary manner*.6. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr.

The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. as a traditionally dominant class.2. the rights of the individual. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. Through its subject and theme. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant.7. the freedoms that he takes with her. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. B_. F. to set moral standards to the nation. a complete novelty in fiction. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. Richardson’s implicit radical message. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership. is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. She sees social hierarchy as “natural.

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination.2.8. though in quality [i. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. and 5.6. between hate and admiration.”? Answer in the space left below.e. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be significant differences. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts.2. as a servant. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.7. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. Richardson’s mastery consists in the subtlety with which he suggests the gradual surfacing of unconscious feeling and with which he traces the heroine’s slow process of self-knowledge. at the end of the unit. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. to obey Mr.2. read again attentively subchapters 5. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. 5. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.

The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling.2. excerpted from Pamela. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. 1. in the Reader). 2. What counts. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. her sentimental response to them.. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. In Pamela’s letters and diary. which are captured in the process of their emergence. at the end of the unit. and his developing love. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness.3.9.. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. and considering also Text 5. on the one hand. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. on the other. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”.4. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. read again subchapter 5. however. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. B_ follows a similar evolution. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 .

Booby. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. burlesque and comic satire. the author asserts himself. 1790) 132 . Cervantes. Mr. above all. At this point. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. All important characters meet here. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal.3. B_’s aunt. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. to his native village. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. but also by the maid. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. Through the omniscient* narrator. Slipslop. performed by means of comic satiric devices. The multitude of incidents during their journey acquaints the reader with the most diverse aspects of English countryside life and with an impressive variety of human types.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. relationships and actions. they mirror a wide range of human types. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. author of Don Quixote” (1742). Mrs. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. started as a parody. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. priggish* upstart.3. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. Fielding was a master of parody. including Pamela and her husband. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. Abraham Adams. irony. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. Mr. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. so that he sets out for home. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. but a snobbish. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5. modest and gentle creature. whose servant he was. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. as well as their inclusiveness.” Mr. but a voice external to the story. and. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. Pope.1. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. Fielding abandons parody. Joseph’s sweetheart. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. in London. His acknowledged literary models were Swift.

Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. is an ingredient of romantic plots. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. at the end of the unit. Mr. which closes the plot. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. T F 8. for true or false) for each of them. T F 5. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. which turns out to be gentle*. read the text once more. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. T F 6. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. T F 3. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. 1. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. T F 2. whom they had met during their journey. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. Read Text 5. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. alluding thus to the older genre. Cervantes. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. For instance. T F 4. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel disclosures bring about the final clarification and the great reversal of the plot: Joseph turns out to be the son of a gentleman.3. 5. carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . in the spirit of comedy. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions.5. Wilson. T F 7.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. Fielding likes to play with genres. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master.

In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. Every social class. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning.3. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. active goodness. both honest and hypocrite priests. but good deeds and charity.3. in spite of the many instances of greed. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams.3. he describes “not men. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. as he himself says. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. etc. often making him appear ridiculous. masters. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. cruelty. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. For the author. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. in Fielding. but manners. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). above all. Joseph emerges as morally mature. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. as for Richardson. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. not an individual.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. but they placed their main interest in the individual. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. By means of techniques of contrast. but also moral instruction. In other words. At the same time. doctors. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews The way in which Fielding conceives his characters in his novels is of great importance for his didactic purpose.4. etc. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. there are both good and bad innkeepers. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. which often create comic effects. Along the novel. which must give substance to faith. Like his literary ancestor. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. In the beginning. lawyers. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5.

3. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language.2. drawing short comparisons.. 5. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. 1. and he believes. provide the first theory of the novel. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 .5.3. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. unaffected. At the same time. incorporated in the substance of his works. at the end of the unit.4. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. 5.. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.8. 5. Explain them.. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. If they should differ substantially. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. like many Augustan writers.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. 2. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. through its moral and temperamental types. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. read again subchapters 5.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. Fielding is the most “Augustan. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.3. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition.2.4. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.. and 5.2. He is a moralist. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 3.

i. corporal Trim. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. as well as of Parson Yorick. Fielding had demonstrated.” in every sense. he seems to have. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). is an erudite philosopher. Walter Shandy. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. in Joseph Andrews. that. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. does not manage to give a shape to his story.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. 5. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.4. the narrator. at the age of five. With Sterne. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. unpredictable narrative.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. the relation between life and literature. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. that he was. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction.e. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. at every point.1. moulds reality into a literary pattern. by accident. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the priest who baptised Tristram. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. Walter. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. His father. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. However.2. He digresses continually.4. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. Tristram. we are drawn into an extremely irregular.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. In spite of his promises. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. other interesting things to relate. which isolates each of them in his mental universe.4. the history of a private life. and his long. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. of his uncle.

There are many eccentric characters in 18th century fiction.3. good-humoured. but the uniqueness of each individual mind. Understandably. Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The characters’ obsessions and idiosyncrasies are an intellectual barrier in their communication. Tristram Shandy displays a unique combination of sentimentalism and comedy. “My uncle Toby” is the most memorable character in the book.” forgetting (1760) everything in pursuit of his obsession. Its approach to the frustrations of life is called by Tristram “true Shandeism. the early accidents in his son’s life cause him great distress. gathering “almost as many books on military frontispiece to vol. representing there the main battles as they William Hogarth. Shandean* book” that Tristram is trying to write is meant to do good to the reader’s both heart and head. but they can enter a dialogue of the hearts. and this is made obvious in their endless conversations recorded in the novel. pitiful creature. He transforms his bowling green into a miniature military field. and it is either dealt with sentimentally or revealed in its comic absurdity. On the other hand. which influences all his thoughts and actions. absorbed in this activity. amiability. uncle Toby continues to live the reality of war through a substitute. gentleness. doomed to pass from sorrow to sorrow. were being fought on the continent.4. Suffering is a permanence in Tristram’s world. the members of the Shandy family reach mutual understanding on the affective level. there are his “system of noses” – his conviction that the quality of a person’s nose determines his character – and the hypothesis concerning Christian names.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Among his most eccentric theories. Sterne places emphasis on the sentimental nature of his heroes as an aspect of their “moral character. Wounded in Flanders. uniqueness is achieved in extreme. therefore. during the War of the Spanish Succession*. which were expected to influence a man’s conduct. character and destiny. but in Sterne’s novel all characters are eccentrics. Characterisation by hobby-horse is a negation of conventional means of realistic character delineation. a quixotic figure forming an eccentric couple with corporal Trim. The “nonsensical. Tristram calls such obsessions hobby-horses. He becomes completely Tristram Shandy. It is not type (social. The narrator sees laughter as the ultimate defense of the sensitive soul against life’s miseries and limitations. where compassion and empathy bridge the gap created by their singularity. 5. However. His narrative emphasises a tragi-comic vision of life. moral or psychological) that interests Sterne.1 architecture as Don Quixote was found to have of chivalry. generosity. modesty and. as comic eccentricity.” Toby Shandy is Sterne’s best accomplished sentimental character – the narrator continually praises his uncle’s good nature. which becomes almost a parody of human individuality. and discharged from the army.” defined as the capacity to mock at the blows of fate. to preserve good humour in the middle of trouble. with man as a vulnerable. above all. to 137 The Shandean view of life Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ironic terms. They cannot share their thoughts.

read again subchapter 5. see again the fall of princes. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. SAQ 10 In Vol.. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life.4. Read this short chapter (Text 5. at the end of the unit. If the difference is considerable. Write the answer in the space left below. To remember the features of the tragic hero. Ch. as well as the fragment from the Reader. I. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit.6.3. in the Glossary to Unit 2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. V. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

makes the reader aware of them. the book is a comic oddity. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. for instance. Sterne defamiliarises them.5.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot.4. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. It is. to a certain view of writing. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. so different from Fielding’s tight. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament.4. in Sterne’s novel. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. but also as an author. with its multitude of dashes. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. asterisks. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight.4. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language.” Not only as a man.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. For example. The structure of the book is equally odd.e. Sterne’s rambling narrative. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. drawings and graphs. but also to how it is told. there are several dedications scattered through the book. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. coherent plots. i. 5. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. Typographically. points of suspension. the “imperfections of words. by exploiting them in a parodic way. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. etc. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. does not seem to move towards any climax. The zigzagging narrative. and gives the impression of stagnation. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. watched as if by a slow motion camera. The same “Shandean” view applies to writing: Tristram counteracts the frustrations of the author who aims at perfect communication by putting on the mask of the literary jester* and mocking at the conventions of the genre. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. and he takes great delight in digressions.

The unpredictable. the narrated time and the time of reading. It is a half-amused. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction. metafiction is fiction about fiction. however. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. which is connected.” with their digressions. as it explores – halfseriously. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In volume VI. The meaning of metafiction depends. works which call attention to their own devices. The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. of life as pure chance.6. Basically.4. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. i. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. ultimately. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. the process of its own writing. in the first four volumes. As metafiction. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness. Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –. on the author’s vision of life. Sterne’s literary treatment of the notion of duration makes him a precursor of 20th century modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. Metafictionally. i.e. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive. formless reality. makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. Its extravagant. also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality.e. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality. at the structural level.

7. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. 1. at the end of the unit. In this way. If they differ significantly. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.4.4. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . and read the fragment attentively once more. Write them in the spaces indicated below. go again through subchapters 5.. 3. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.6. Instead of continuing the story. 2. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel.5. and 5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. which he discusses in the very text of the work.

We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer. Fielding. Samuel Richardson. on the other hand. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. At the beginning of the 18th century. Henry Fielding. in his novels of manners. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Summary The birth of the novel is a literary phenomenon that must be seen as part of the process of modernisation defining the Age of the Enlightenment in England. Since its settlement on the literary scene. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental. which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. However. You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. looks for the permanences in human nature and investigates the border area in which the individual’s aspirations and pursuits are submitted to the pressure of social demand. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • realism romance character to divert and instruct parody comic novel of manners sentimental novel narrative technique metafiction convention 142 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects. and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene. Sterne. the novel was a minor form. Lastly. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. and Laurence Sterne. completely ignored by Augustan poetics. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance.

Cinderella: an old fairy story. omniscient: describes the perspective of a narrator who appears to know all about the characters and their action. persecuted by her stepmother and ugly stepsisters. booby: silly or stupid person. and he seeks social integration. to the lower ranks of society. The hero – the picaro (i. happiness. literally: novel of formation. mimetic: the adjective derived from mimesis (Greek: imitation). rogue) – belongs. hobby horse: a favourite topic or an obsessive.e. literacy: the ability to read and write. lifelikeness: closeness to life. a Fool. metafiction: literally. played like a piano. in which its form becomes explicitly its subject. gentle: of good breeding. which became popular in England through translation and imitation. consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse’s head at one end.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Glossary • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Augustanism: the features of style and the aesthetic views of a writer belonging to the Augustan Age (for the latter. exact representation of life. ends up by marrying Prince Charming. a term designating the contemporary mode of fiction – postmodern fiction – which is essentially self-reflexive. epistolary manner: in a novel. parson: an Anglican priest in charge of a local church. “beyond fiction”.3 and the Glossary in Unit 3. minuteness: exactness in the rendering of small detail. mirth: laughter. belonging to a high social class (as in gentleman). tone. but producing a different sound. Cinderella is the prototype of the obscure and neglected young person. see again the Glossary in Unit 1). gaiety. fun. the way of telling the story through a character’s letters or through an exchange of letters. It was Aristotle who articulated this theory. fixed idea. attitude and subject are deliberately distorted so as to make them appear ridiculous. The letter (epistle) as a literary species was widely used in the 18th century.e. who achieves success owing to beauty and virtue. harpsichord: an old musical instrument. parody: the satirical imitation of a serious work. Bildungsroman: German term. a hobbyhorse is a toy. or education. jester: a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman. Concretely. characteristically. picaresque: the origin of English picaresque novels is in the Spanish picaresque fiction of the 16th century. felix culpa: see subchapter 3. He is forced to 143 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. which dominated Western aesthetics until the end of the 18th century. a term associated with the aesthetic view according to which the work of art is an imitation – a representation – of reality. in which the poor heroine. or “narcissistic” – i. whose style.

Don Quixote is an implicit debate on the relation between fiction and reality.e. Gallery of personalities • Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra): Spanish writer (1547-1616). honest and brave hidalgo (i. Trismegistus: Hermes Trismegistos (thrice-greatest) is the Greek name given to the Egyptian god Thoth as supposed author of various works of mysticism and magic.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel • • • • • • find his way in a hostile world by means of his resourcefulness and ingenuity. The high aspirations of this generous. War of the Spanish Succession: 1702-1713. Britain joined Austria. like a knight-errant of former times. Stimulated by the numberless stories of romantic heroism that he has read. Prussia and the Netherlands against France. “quixotic” indicates an unrealistically optimistic and impractically idealistic approach to life. the famous satirical romance in which the hero’s sense of reality is altered by his obsession with the romantic chivalric ideal. which stands in an ironic contrast with the successive triumphs of the noble hero of romance). having often to go through the experience of humiliation and frustration. on a quest that is both admirable and ridiculous. 1615). Shandean: the adjective that Tristram derives from his family name. Don Quixote starts. Spain and Bavaria in this war fought over the disputed succession to the Spanish throne. squire) appear as madness in a world whose reality is obscured to him by the idealism of the old romances. priggish: describes a person who is strict about rules and correct behaviour and thinks him/herself morally superior to others. Romantic: see Romanticism in the Glossary in Unit 1. Puritan: see the Glossary in Unit 1. quixotic: the word describes a character moulded after Cervantes’s Don Quixote. • 144 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . author of Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605.

Horrified.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. therefore. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government.4. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels.. Text 4. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. SAA no. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. In order to win the good graces of the king. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. and 5.2. in grading your paper.1. Remember that. • the coherence.4. 1. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. 2.1. the king rejects this tribute. 3. clarity.. with special attention to subchapter 4.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. to revise the preceding unit. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. You will have. Text 5. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. as illustrated by this fragment.

2. all souls are equal. The rise of the middle classes … coincides with the emergence of the novel as a literary genre. Women were … a consistent part of the novel’s reading public. 2. sharp sense of observation. rationality. 6. vividness. In the social order. minuteness SAQ 6 Pamela’s assertion points to her conviction that the right to defend the moral integrity of one’s self is independent of social status. inventiveness. but this is a way of accomplishing more efficiently his honest intention of conveying a moral message. industriousness. realistic account. patience. He thus “cheats” the reader with the illusion of truth. 5. 3. 4. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … the attempt to reconcile the growing spirit of individualism with the aspiration to social harmony. plainness. She will accept humbly her social inferiority. but she lives with the deep conviction that in the spiritual order of a Christian world. she may be deprived of the privilege of class and fortune. resilience. 3. pragmatism. … novels focused on the ordinary and the familiar aspects of life. 4. which is given an air of authenticity by the meticulous. the capacity for learning from mistakes. on contemporary social reality and on the experience of the common individual. optimism.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 5. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … offering the middle class readers models of moral and ethical conduct and of social success. He delights the reader with an extraordinary adventure and a story of success. SAQ 3 Defoe’s own phrase refers to the purpose of his novels: to entertain and to instruct. and by the form of autobiographical record. concreteness. and also authors of novels. but she denies any human being the right to control her moral 146 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural the novel of adventure the sentimental novel the picaresque novel the Bildungsroman the novel of manners the comic novel . SAQ 2 1. immediacy. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. SAQ 4 Tenacity. SAQ 5 factuality.

T.F. Digressions keep the reader’s curiosity awake. The conception of character: he is interested not in the uniqueness of individuals. it enables the author to give greater psychological complexity to the characters. Her statement reflects the strength of her sense of individual worth. since the letters usually record moments of crisis in the character’s experience.T. It allows a more profound insight into the character’s mind. Fielding displays the elegance and refinement of the Augustan ideal of style. 3. he is concerned with human types. which makes her sensitive to any form of power abuse. 4. they create a sort of suspense. forbidding the reading “appetite” to fail and bringing in variety.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel will. that is. SAQ 11 1. 2.” but in “pitiful misadventures. but in the way in which the individual embodies general traits of human nature. The reader is made witness to the most private thoughts of the character. This technique may thus give a dramatic quality to the narrative. SAQ 7 1. 3. 3F. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 147 . who write in the first person. 8. 2. He is always a prominent figure. This is not Tristram’s case. In this way.T. He is a “small HERO” because the misfortunes of his life do not consist in some “great or signal evil. Fielding finds the omniscient point of view more suitable to his intentions. you should think first of the features of a tragic hero. SAQ 8 1.T. It creates a greater sense of suspense and anticipation. His style: while the style of Defoe and Richardson is closer to the plainness of common speech. The use of digressions is meant to show Tristram’s narrative skill and constitutes a mark of his originality. It prevents the writing from ending – it allows the writer to go on indefinitely. 5. 3. as well as a paradoxical combination of social conformity and rebelliousness. 2.F SAQ 9 1. enjoying title.e unfavourable] accidents” is in comic contrast with the ideas of tragic disaster and the fall of the great. 6. The narrative manner: unlike Defoe and Richardson. wealth and power. living and the act of writing overlap each other.T. 2.” The image of the “ungracious Duchess” – Fortune – pelting him with a series of “cross [i. his gifts and virtues set him above common people. SAQ 10 In formulating your answer. 7. and this impression of unmediaded communication strengthens his belief in the character’s sincerity.

The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. Penguin Books Limited. 43-46. 143-163. 76-80) 2.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). Macsiniuc. Cornelia. Walter. 53-59. 598-602. The English Novel. 1991 (pp. Editura Universităţii Suceava. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Allen. 731-736) 3. 701-704. vol. 217-231. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 2003 (pp. 116127. David. 179-195. Daiches. 712-718. A Critical History of English Literature. 1969 (pp. 37-42.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1.

4. 6. 6.1.2. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. 6. 6.4. 6.4.3. 6.1. 6.3. 6. 6.1. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.3. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.1.1.4. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.7. 6. 6. 6.1.

One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts. and cultivated its public relevance. discipline. to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. The sentimental novel* (e. The concern with personal. with its emphasis on order. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest.g. which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. Neoclassicism*. and Fielding). Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. harmony. This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. and for night as a setting. led to an increasing attention to emotional response. the century of the Enlightenment*. Like any modern age. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. regarded art as the product of civilisation.1. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. however. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century. elegance and decorum*. Addison. The interest in individual psychology.English pre-Romantic poetry By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ explain the shift in literary taste that occurred in the latter half of the 18th century ♦ define the main interests and tendencies in pre-Romantic poetry ♦ point out elements of continuity and discontinuity between pre-Romantic poetry and Augustan literature ♦ compare the representation of the rural universe in the works of 18th century poets ♦ describe the pre-Romantic approach to the theme of nature ♦ specify pre-Romantic and Romantic features of William Blake’s work ♦ analyse Blake’s notions of Innocence and Experience in the context of particular poems ♦ describe the contrasting visions in poems by Blake Unit objectives 6. was eminently the Age of Reason. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling 150 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. Swift. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. Pope. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine. For instance. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling.

Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. known as the Graveyard School of poetry.2.D. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. which leads the poet to a sad meditation on “the short and simple annals* of the poor” – the joys and sorrows of the country-folk. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. wild. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. and misty. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. His long poem in nine books.1. In 1765. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads.1. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. death and immortality. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. and folk literature in general. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. sublime landscapes. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard.1. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.

… Chatterton is also the author of a literary “fraud. … a. The publication. When his literary fraud was exposed. SAQ 1 Read the partial statements below and match them. regarding him as a martyr. of Thomas Percy’s collection of ballads. aspiring to poetic fame. d. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 152 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . … as well as Gothic fiction. These poems displayed lyric grace and the promise of talent. with its taste for the macabre and the supernatural. The coming generation of Romantic poets turned by Henry Wallis him into a legend. reflected… 4. is a pre-Romantic reaction against Neoclassic literary decorum. young Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770). Like James Macpherson. Write the correct sequel in the space provided for each sentence. read again the previous subchapters. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. with its gloomy atmosphere.English pre-Romantic poetry In 1770. but they proved to be (like the Ossianic poems) entirely the product of Chatterton’s inflamed Death of Chatterton. The melancholy poetry of the Graveyard School. 1. c. the victim of an (1856) insensitive and hostile world. b. in 1765. … for the pre-Romantic poetry of melancholy meditation. The completed sentences will describe aspects of the emergence of a pre-Romantic current in 18th century poetry. If you have failed to make the right match for every sentence. … the pre-Romantic interest in the Middle Ages and popular poetry. published a volume of poems presented as belonging to the mediaeval poet-monk Thomas Rowley. at the end of the unit.” presenting his own poems as authentic mediaeval verse. Chatterton committed suicide. who claimed to have translated an ancient Celtic epic poem by the legendary Ossian. imagination. The churchyard was a favourite setting … 2. … 3.

and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic. The great novelists (e. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. The return to blank verse 6. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry. but also literary forms. such as the song and the ballad. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century.g. characteristic of the Enlightenment. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness.3. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . The emphasis on sentimental response. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom.English pre-Romantic poetry 6.Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long. The pre. we shall look more closely at two important pre-Romantic aspects of 18 th century poetry: the development of a sentimental interest in rural life. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. the inspiration from folk myths and legends.1. the interest in the local and national past. busy life of the city with moral confusion. In the latter part of the century. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects.2. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. In the following subchapters. Towards the end of the century. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. Samuel Taylor Coleridge). The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. the state of nature began to be idealised. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue.

English pre-Romantic poetry

6.2.1. The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith
An idyllic view of the countryside is present in the poem The Deserted Village (1770), by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774). Goldsmith’s literary preferences were Neoclassic, but his remarkable achievement is to have combined a sentimental theme with the elegant, balanced form of the Augustan couplet. The poem is Goldsmith’s reaction to a social and economic reality: the enclosure* of land, a capitalist process which changed radically the life of the traditional village. Goldsmith sets in contrast the former happiness of Auburn (an idealised version of his native village, in Ireland) with the desolation of the present, when the land is concentrated in the hand of “one only The Deserted Village master.” He remembers the days gone by, with their “humble illustration by happiness” spent in the middle of a hard-working but cheerful and W. Lee Hankey warm-hearted community. Their life was measured then by the cycles (1900 edition) of agricultural labour, alternating with the simple “sports” (i.e. amusements) and pleasures of the moments of well-deserved leisure. Goldsmith gives an idyllic picture of a rural paradise, in which man lives in harmony with nature and enjoys “health and plenty,” “innocence and ease,” and in which toil becomes a pleasure. This sentimental image of the “loveliest village of the plain” is only a memory, and the poet constantly moves between the happy past and the sorrowful present. His evocation of the past charms of “sweet Auburn” has an elegiac tone, and he laments the disintegration of the traditional, stable rural civilisation. Goldsmith blames the decay of the former way of country life on the increasing greed of man, on the excessive concern with accumulation of wealth, and on the vice of “luxury.” His village was an idyllic microcosm, a small but organic universe sustained by temperance and virtue, but incapable to resist the pressure of the new economic tendencies.

6.2.2. Character sketch in The Deserted Village
The Deserted Village illustrates not only Goldsmith’s sharp sense of observation in the description of natural beauty and of the human scene, but also his art of character sketch. His remembrance of the old days in Auburn focuses now and then on some member of the community, whom he evokes in short, precise and vivid features. Among his notable miniature portraits is that of the village schoolmaster, whose small eccentricities are captured with affectionate humour. A memorable sentimental description is that of the village preacher. Goldsmith emphasises the decency, moderation and humility of his simple life, “remote from towns,” his complete lack of ambition and vanity, and his strong attachment to the place and community which he serves. Firm in his moral guidance and a severe judge of human “wanderings,” Goldsmith’s parson is, however, a truly charitable soul, “to all the country dear.”


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English pre-Romantic poetry

SAQ 2 The portrait of the preacher in The Deserted Village completes the idyllic picture of Auburn in the old days. Below, there are several features of this character. Read Text 6.1., containing a fragment from Goldsmith’s poem, and identify those lines which illustrate or suggest these features. Write these lines down in the provided spaces, after each mentioned feature. 1. moderation (1 line): 2. strong attachment to the humble community that he served (2 lines):

3. complete lack of worldly ambition or vanity ( 2 lines):

4. selflessness and sincere concern for the fate and spirit of those in pitiful circumstances (1 line): 5. hospitality to the poor (2 lines):

6. severity in his judgement of human error, but unconditional charity (1 line):

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs, at the end of the unit. If they should differ significantly, read the fragment from Goldsmith again.

6.2.3. The realistic approach: George Crabbe
Goldsmith’s idealisation of rural life received a sharply realistic reply from a poet who also continues the Augustan tradition: George Crabbe (1754-1832). His poem in rhymed couplets The Village (1783) is an attack on those poetic conventions which created the illusion of the innocence and happiness of country life. Crabbe’s medical practice afforded him a first hand observation of the rural world, and the sentimental cult of its idyllic charm had little to do with the realities that he encountered. His poem aims to paint village life “as Truth will paint it and as bards will not”. Instead of the cheerful ease, the innocent pleasures and the rewarding toil described in Goldsmith’s Deserted Village,
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English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

Crabbe presents a sordid reality. For him, the sad truth of village life is the people’s hopeless poverty, their many vices, their struggle with an unfriendly nature for the daily bread. Despised and neglected by the rich, they lead a bitter existence, whose miseries never end. Crabbe denounces the unreality and artificiality of pastoral poetry, whose Muse knows nothing of the real pains and cares of the peasants. The moralist in him could not accept to disguise their deplorable fortune “in tinsel trappings [i.e. glittering ornaments] of poetic pride.” The classical image of the happy shepherd playing his pipe in the fields is out of place in the contemporary world, only a “mechanic echo” of other literary times. To prolong this convention, painting everything in “fair colours,” means to deviate from “Truth and Nature.” Crabbe pleads for a change in the poets’ attitude towards the subject of country life, in the belief that its realistic reflection will at least awaken curiosity and sympathy in the reader. The superficial praise of an idealised, conventional world serves only the poet’s vanity. The peasant, “overcome by labour” and consumed with many cares, would not get any comfort from such praise. Crabbe’s poem is completely unromantic, removing the veil of poetic illusion from a subject that was already a conventional one. However, his realism and critical spirit did not exclude genuine compassion. His sympathetic interest in the life of humble people anticipates the radical attitude of the first great English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth.

6.2.4. Robert Burns and the popular tradition
At about the same time, the Scottish peasant-poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) was opening a path towards the Romantic revolution in poetry. Written in his native tongue, the collected poems he published in 1786 were the authentic expression of a passionate nature, whose experiences were fundamentally linked to the universe of rural life. These poems are greatly indebted to the popular tradition of poetic forms (songs, ballads, etc.) and they display either delicate sentimental lyricism or vigorous realism, spirit and humour. Their intensely personal tone and their vividness and warmth in the description of the natural scene contrasted sharply with the formal rigidity and didacticism of much late 18th century poetry. Burns’s success as a poet confirmed the early Romantic belief in the close connection between nature, spontaneity of feeling, and poetic imagination. It was Burns who provided the lyrics for the song Auld Lang Syne, whose title means “old times” or “times past”. They were partly Burns’s composition, partly his transcription, as he said, “from an old man’s singing.”


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English pre-Romantic poetry

SAQ 3 Text 6.2. in the Reader contains a fragment from The Village, in which Crabbe invites those who idealise the countryside in “smooth” verse to take a closer look at its realities. Read the fragment and point out that the image he offers is an antithesis to the idyllic picture of “rural ease.” How does Crabbe’s description contradict the nostalgic image in Goldsmith’s poem? You might find it helpful to read again subchapter 6.2.1. for a better perception of the contrast. Answer in the space below, in no more than 15 lines / 150 words.

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs, at the end of the unit. If they should differ significantly, read the fragment from Crabbe again, making sure you have understood it correctly. Read again the paragraphs referring to Goldsmith in the preceding subchapter, as well.

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with a remarkable attention to detail and precision of notation. and the moral sentiment.” Thomson confesses that he knows “of no other subject more elevating. and the apparent cruelty of winter. 6. the philosophical reflection.3. It contains reflections on the natural and social condition of man and on Nature as the manifestation of the divine ordering mind. Each of the four parts of the poem describes seasonal aspects of nature and rural life.” The Seasons marked an important moment in 18th century poetry. Thomson is also famous for the patriotic lyrics that he wrote for the song Rule. the splendour of summer.” Thomson’s ambitious poem in blank verse is remarkably inclusive: its descriptions of nature occasion indeed frequent meditations on a variety of contemporary ideas and interests. James Thomson. than the works of Nature. With James Thomson (1700-1748) and his long poem The Seasons (1726-1730). Samuel Johnson said. praise of friends. His poem educated. It appealed both to the Augustans and to the Romantics. Thomson practically inaugurated the trend of descriptive-meditative poetry.” inspired many other poets along the 18th century. James Thomson (1700-1748) 158 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . more amusing. Britannia. patriotic enthusiasm. The Augustans were interested in nature only to the extent that it helped them emphasise the conquests of civilization. “The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him. Pre-Romantic nature poetry One of the most significant shifts in poetic sensibility was the new attitude to nature. etc. As Dr. in many generations of readers. becomes an object of interest in itself. an expression of national pride. the peace of autumn – bringer of “Philosophic Melancholy” –. The Seasons has a unity ensured by the recurrent themes and motifs related to the observable natural universe. more ready to awake the poetical enthusiasm. manifest as early as the 1730s. political comments. “Winter. Thomson evokes the glory and joy of reviving nature in spring. but also the feeling for it. and that he never yet has felt what Thomson impresses. nature. in its magnificence and diversity. poetic renderings of current notions of natural history. His praise of nature and of the countryside. as well as his glorification of “retirement in solitude” as the best state in which to “sing the works of nature.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. in which the descriptive detail was often used in order to create a certain mood. exerting a considerable influence on both of them. In spite of its eclectic nature. not only the perception of nature. The conventional Augustan “local” poem (or “topographical” poem*) looked at nature from the perspective of historical or classical mythological associations.1. The Seasons In the Preface to the fourth part of The Seasons.3.

He preferred the classical form of the ode*. “Autumn. William Collins 6. more carefully. records his observations and reflections. He was interested in the mediaeval past. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic.2. Like Thomson and Collins. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. which actually inspired Thomson). The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*.3. unrhymed stanzas. at the end of the unit. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. read text C again. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. Passages of moral and political commentary. in popular superstitions and the supernatural. but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. social satire. The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography. If there should be major differences. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746). from the third part. with its short.” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759). religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature..3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . William Cowper. living in retirement from the city.

represents one of the most memorable statements. but the joy of communion with friends. 160 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Rural “domestic happiness” seems to him “the only bliss. The contemplation of nature has a healing effect on Cowper. the peace and quiet of village life. and his expressions of gratitude for the spiritual comfort and superior joys that it offers anticipated the first generation of English Romantics (W. Read this fragment and explain why Cowper finds the countryside superior to the urban world. He praises the simple pleasures.e. Wordsworth. T. and of simple. with its vices and follies. As a poet of nature. Cowper displays a remarkable eye for detail and a landscape-painter’s sense of perspective. Cowper’s love of nature is closely linked to his love of the countryside. in the 18th century. like gardening. domestic activities. indicate an affectionate observer. in which he can find shelter against depression and anxiety. His meticulous descriptions of countryside scenery and animal life. / Paradise that has survived the fall. S. which he opposes to the civilisation of the city.4. fearing that “The town has tinged [i. extracted from Cowper’s The Task. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. he becomes aware of the instability of this last retreat from the confusions and corruption of modern urban civilisation. of the seasonal diversity of natural aspects. 1856 The Task.” Sometimes. in the Reader. SAQ 5 Text 6. at the end of the unit. Retirement to the countryside does not mean for him idle solitude – it is not isolation that he seeks in rural nature. however.English pre-Romantic poetry illustration by Birket Foster. affected] the country. concerning the opposition country/town. Read again the fragment if you answer is significantly different. Coleridge). Your answer should not exceed 10 lines / 100 words.

our sense of a common fate for all humanity. and being regarded as an eccentric artist. and he rejected the classical standards of style. Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form.4. He was not only a poet. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. and Macpherson. he turns his attention to the rural world. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns. which was accompanied by drawings and decorations.1. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters. Milton. the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature. Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. Apart from a volume of early verse. the rural setting. In his first great illuminated work. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. and recognised as one of the most original creators. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. Like other pre-Romantic poets. and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. but also a gifted painter and engraver. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. Each copy was then coloured by hand. The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature .4. In Blake. The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings. The combination of calligraphic text. He was an admirer of Shakespeare. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). Gray. to the special way in which he produced his work. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . William Blake. A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. widening the range of meanings. whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. Blake’s late fame is due. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper).civilisation. to a large extent. William Blake (1757-1827) 6. Thomson.

He insisted on the visionary and inspired quality of his writings – he asserted. He distrusted all systems of thought and institutions that restrained man’s freedom and imagination. is one of the most powerful assertions of Romantic creativity. which oppresses man in the name of Reason and Progress. Jerusalem: “I must create a system. unpremeditated act. original and strange. Los*. in which Blake creates a mythology of his own. in a way. the Romantic visionary Blake is also frequently assimilated to the first generation of Romantic poets. owing to the intensity with which he proclaimed the primacy of the Imagination over Reason and his deep conviction that the poet was a seer. or be enslaved by another man’s. for instance: “I copy Imagination. in Blake’s last poem. / I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” or “I write when commanded by spirits. His rebellion against the “systems” which limit the energies of the Imagination takes a literary form in his Prophetic Books*. Plate from the poem Jerusalem (1805-1820). 6. a prophet. and he opposed to them the “Daughters of Inspiration. and he denounces the evils of civilisation.” Blake worshipped Imagination as the only true way to spiritual freedom. by William Blake 162 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Like the other English Romantics.English pre-Romantic poetry innocence of man in his condition before the Fall – the “childhood” of humanity –. and his whole work. One of Blake’s mythological creatures in these poems. The classical Muses were for him the “Daughters of Memory”*. whom Blake (like the other Romantics) venerated. says. a tribute to Milton. Blake.” asserting that ”Imagination has nothing to do with Memory.” This is Blake’s own creed.” He is a true Romantic in his belief that poetic creation is a spontaneous. Blake was a rebel.2. and whom he saw as the embodiment of the revolutionary impulse.4. They are.

Laughing Song. T F 3. Spring. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –.3.4. and its origin was visionary experience. The Echoing Green. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. T F 4. at the end of the unit. As a poet. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. T F 5. that is. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. their clarity of expression and their musicality. enjoy] to hear. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood.e. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. T F 6. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. 1. T F 7. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. T F 2.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. revise the whole subchapter. and the three statements that are false. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . For Blake. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. The Blossom. The Shepherd. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. If you have made mistaken choices. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. innocent delights. 6. Poems like Infant Joy.

The world of Innocence is the paradise of freedom. In The Echoing Green.e. does not mean ignorance. According to him. Blake rejected the praise of Reason as man’s supreme faculty and proclaimed instead the importance of man’s “Poetic Genius. The innocence associated with childhood is for him the equivalent of the original state of paradisal innocence. is a biblical allusion. and absence of frustration or inhibition.English pre-Romantic poetry Nurse’s Song (in Songs of Innocence) The theme of childhood emerged in late 18th century poetry in the context of the rising cult of Feeling. the shepherd. The nurse. in his natural tendency to virtue. the guardian angel. Infant Joy (Songs of Innocence) 164 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Innocence. childhood represents the unfallen state of man. meadow]”. For Blake. and every child is a manifestation of the Divine Imagination in the world. allows the children more time to play “on the green [i. in Nurse’s Song.” Throughout his work. Besides the children themselves. which a proper education should develop. The pastoral figure of the shepherd receives in Blake a Christian connotation. associated with childhood. Blake filtered these ideas through his own intense idealism and his unconventional religious beliefs. suggesting the child’s closeness to a protective divinity. love. The pastoral setting symbolises the closeness of man to a benevolent nature and the bliss enjoyed by man in Paradise. and the perception of childhood was greatly influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas. with which Blake was acquainted. “Old John. or even Jesus. the Songs of Innocence display protective figures like the caring mother or nurse. The adult figures represented in these poems share the child’s freshness of perception and capacity for joy. the pressure of civilisation and an education which cultivates the intellect at the expense of the soul are likely to destroy in man the natural state of grace. taking care of his flock of innocent lambs.” as the happiness of the children playing around him and the animation of nature in Spring enable him to recreate his own joys of childhood. It is a world in which evil has not penetrated and in which there is no suffering.” can “laugh away care. because she has the empathic understanding of the children’s need for freedom. who express their candid feelings of piety and uninhibited joy. Blake identifies Jesus with the Imagination. with white hair. In these poems. gratified desire. although the sun has set. The good shepherd. The child has a kind of wisdom which comes from the freshness and freedom of his imagination. Rousseau believed in the original innocence of man.

revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. which reproduces Blake’s poem The Lamb.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 7 Read Text 6. Focus on the way in which the child imagines the creator of the lamb. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.5. in the Reader. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 165 . and in which he represents to himself its “making. in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. If there should be a significant difference between them.” Answer in the space below. What makes this poem a Song of Innocence? Start from the idea that The Lamb may be read as the vision of Innocence on the act of Creation. at the end of the unit.

a gloomy reality makes itself felt sometimes. The poet attacks the tyranny exercised on the individual by the church and state. which deny man his freedom. hate. Like the chimney sweeper. of “stony laws*”. but. the ethical and social implications are more obvious. i. disease. the thirst for war. in which man’s lot is hard work.4. Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence Blake’s graceful Songs of Innocence may appear to be simple and transparent. The Clod and the Pebble Songs of Experience contrasts selfless with selfish love. In The Chimney Sweeper*. nature. 6. In The Little Black Boy – an anti-slavery poem –. the child has a wonderful vision of all souls freed from their “clouds” of flesh – black or white –. but the child in the poem is comforted by the vision of the Angel. The world is seen through the eyes of an angry observer. In London. poverty and oppression.4. or the mind of others. of the prejudices and constraints with which man “enchains” his own mind. Beyond the children’s innocent visions of happiness and harmony. in the poems that he added in 1794: the Songs of Experience. A poem like A Poison Tree points out Title page of the murderous effects of secret hate. society and divinity.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. However. In the fallen state of Experience. Blake’s speakers in these poems are often bitter and ironic. the little black boy is “protected” by his imagination and finds the same comfort for the present sorrows in the Christian promise of a happy afterlife. for instance.e. envy and deceit. In Songs of Experience. protesting against the evils of his time. often. it is suggested that human suffering and oppression is the result of “mind-forged manacles*”. The complete work offered now a set of contrary symbolic visions of man. full of indignation and anger. The fall from the paradise of Innocence to Experience is the entrance in a world of rules and constraints. The serene and peaceful pastoral setting of the world of Innocence is set in opposition with the sombre world of Experience. 166 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. when this life ends. and Nurse’s Song shows the (1794) jealousy consuming an adult who has lost the vision of Innocence. the reader cannot help noticing paradoxes and contradictions. love and joy have been replaced by fear. the greed of the powerful and their indifference to the sufferings caused by social injustice. the reader cannot miss the implicit reference to the social reality of children’s exploitation and cruel treatment. The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Blake developed such implications into open statements. for instance.5. even sarcastic. which is a promise of divine mercy. standing equal before God. The source of corruption in the world of Experience and the impediments to happiness are as much in the systems regulating social life as in the individual heart and mind. the ironic implication in the poem is that the English colonisers “taught” Christianity to the natives only to be able to exert better control over them.

This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. Read this poem – Text 6. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. with no explicit answer. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. by ambiguity and even obscurity. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. in Songs of Experience.6. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. who made thee [i. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. you]?) and his own answer. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience.e.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. innocent question (“Little Lamb.4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.6. at the end of the unit. dangerous tiger. If it should differ in major respects. The counterpart of The Lamb in Songs of Experience is The Tyger* and this pair of poems illustrates very well the contrastive vision in Blake’s work. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . provoking more anxiety than certainty. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced.

Contraries are essential to progression. One of the targets of Blake’s critical attacks is the Church.” In the counterpart poem. a stern. in Songs of Experience. A deeply religious person. which are thus strengthening their own power. This is the God of the world of Experience. but he seems to be fully aware of his condition in an unjust world.” Such corresponding poems illustrate the fact that Innocence and Experience are not necessarily to be associated with ages in man’s life. The two poems entitled Holy Thursday* deal with the hypocrisy of the church. The Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience is bitterly ironic about the way in which “God. in Blake’s view: “Attraction and Repulsion. compared with “flowers” and “Thames’ waters. “contrary states of the human soul. The former is represented in Blake’s work (the Prophetic Books included) as an “angry” God. like that of Hell as a punishment for sin. was responsible.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. as Blake indicated in the subtitle. In the poem of Innocence. 168 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . bearing even the same titles. in Blake’s view. Blake made in fact a distinction between the God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament.” Blake’s Songs suggest that Innocence and Experience are not only inevitable stages in human growth. The double vision in Blake’s Songs Several other poems in Songs of Experience have a counterpart in Songs of Experience. a double awareness of his own innocence and of the hypocritical and cruel world around him. served by the institutionalised churches. which allows the rich and powerful of this world to ease their conscience and “buy” Heaven by occasional and festive acts of charity.7. indeed. this sad reality is shadowed by the speaker’s idyllic description of the poor children of London.” The angry speaker protests against the duplicity of a society that feeds its poor “with cold and usurous* hand. seeing it as an instrument of oppression and a source of corruption.4.” The idea of Heaven as a reward of happiness for earthly misery. Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence. with its “mysteries”*. in fact. He sees nothing “holy” in the beautiful picture. and King” “make up a Heaven of our misery. He displays.” which lead to contrary visions. was seen by Blake as an instrument by which the church kept men in a state of obedience. but also complementary aspects of man’s imagination. but with ways of seeing and feeling. imposing constraints and inflicting punishment. and His Priest. for keeping man at a distance from God. since those are “babes reduced to misery. tyrannical figure. Reason and Energy*.” in a country that is “rich and fruitful. and he is also a child. There is a Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience as well. The church.” or with a “multitude of lambs. Blake hated nevertheless the church as an institution. the spectator to the same scene has a quite different vision. They reveal.

The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . except as an act of remembering. to regain the vision of Innocence. If there should be major differences between them.. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast.4. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. and read the poem again more carefully. to 6. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.1. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but he is no longer able to do that.2.7. revise subchapters 6. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.4.

The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste. now threatened by the march of Progress. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. The other feature is primitivism. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. nature-civilisation. 6. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson.3. Subchapter 6. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. imagination and feelings. In subchapter 6. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. g. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant. The “Graveyard” poets (e. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience.2. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. The last subchapter. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall.. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist.. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town. the interest in early poetry.

putting fences round) common land. Celtic: related to the Celts. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. Ireland and Wales.e. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. decorum: see subchapter 4. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. graveyards. or Erse. Haunted castles. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Their father was Zeus. and horror. Gray is sadly ironic. Initially. goddess of Memory. which has survived in parts of Scotland.2. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology. favour melancholy or morbid themes.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. for instance. for the sake of more profitable farming. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. For the small farmers. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. the enclosures meant ruin. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys.2. ruins. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. as the next subchapter will show. in Unit 4. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. which they could climb more easily. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Energy: for Blake. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. Sometimes. passion. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. Imagination was free Energy. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts.

Paul’s Cathedral. on which the Ten Commandments were written. etc. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. Among the most important of them are America. 2 in Unit 4. The Four Zoas.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. A Prophecy. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. in Unit 1. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms.3. The Book of Los. the 39th day after Easter. etc.1. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. in Unit 3. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. Jerusalem. or of gold or silver paint. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. The Book of Urizen. in Unit 5. as well as against the sophistication. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. philosophical and political convictions.3. wild landscapes. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear.1.. Milton. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Pity. with His laws formulated as interdictions.2. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. See also subchapter 4. to attend the religious service. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. The custom in London was to bring the poor. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. belonging to the beginnings. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. primitive: original. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. the Passions. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain.

gardens or estates. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. 6. Remember that. in grading your paper.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. 6. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%).11. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. The Chimney Sweeper. He is the precursor of Romanticism by his belief in the primacy of feeling over reason and in the necessity of the return to nature – a principle which he defended in his treatise on education Émile (1762).13. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.9. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power.8. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.” usurous: from usury. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words.10... meant to win a patron’s favour. with his law of love. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.). the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. • Read them and show that Blake’s treatment of the theme of childhood depends on the contrast between the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience on the same reality. Send-away assignment no. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.12. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.. SAA no. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. and 6. 6. 6. • the coherence.. clarity. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.

“More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise” 4. to enable him to bear more easily the burden of life. and love of man. “Remote from towns he ran his godly race. love of nature. disease and poverty.” “expiring” fire suggest overwork. d. the vagants’] wanderings. Meditation leads to illumination. but relieved their pain” 6. and on his thoughts. 174 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a. Crabbe also gives a reply to those who idealise rural nature: instead of the pleasing “smooth stream” sung in such poetry. all intensified. the “feeble. or seek for power. the “drooping weary” father. the place where “health and virtue” can be found abounding.e. SAQ 4 The personified Philosophic Melancholy exerts “his” influence on man’s imagination.English pre-Romantic poetry Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. b. he focuses sharply on the withered tree. Its bare. “His house was known to all the vagrant train” “The long-remembered beggar was his guest” 2. By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour” 5. c SAQ 2 1. the country is therefore morally superior to the city. SAQ 5 The first line of the fragment contains the implication that everything made by God is perfect. on his soul. Nor e’er had changed. broken branches are a “sad emblem” of the unrewarding existence of the poor in the countryside. 3. 2. There is a general sense of decay and exhaustion in the humble scene in the cottage: the “pale” mother. whereas what man makes is inevitably deficient. This heightened understanding is accompanied by “correspondent passions”: love of God. Their hard life has no room for illusions about the comforts of old age. “Unpractised he to fawn. the mind can see beyond the “dim” surface of things. 4. these gifts are “threatened” – the life of pleasure and luxury with which the city tempts man may corrupt his moral fiber. The country is thus a substitute for Eden. nor wished to change his place” 3. “passing rich with forty pounds a year” SAQ 3 In contrast with Goldsmith’s idealised image of rural happiness and ease. Crabbe’s descriptin of the old man’s weakness and of the pains of old age is meant to contradict the pastoral emphasis on the “health and plenty. in which everything seems to be in decline. “He chid their [i. For Cowper. In the city.” vitality and cheerfulness of the idyllic village life. Crabbe presents a desolate picture. Health and virtue are God’s “gifts” to man.

“Struggling in my father’s hands / Striving against my swaddling bands” – The new born infant is practically a “prisoner” from his first moments in the world. in Blake’s vision. 5. the child identifies himself and the lamb with Jesus. SAQ 8 Examples: 1. in the state of Experience. This is also suggested by the gloomy figure of the priests. F. The interdiction “Thou shall not” on the door of the chapel suggests repression and limitation. Experience brings about inhibition and constraint. The shut gates of the chapel symbolise the estrangement of man from God. no longer able – or permitted – to relate to God “naturally” and directly. being thus a source of oppression. 4. the “Lamb of God. which he has lost. and. the lamb is God’s gift to the child: it is a “delight” to look at and to touch. the few elements of the natural setting (stream. it controls man’s relationship with Divinity.” The child imagines the making of the lamb as the act of love of a generous and protective creator – “making” and “giving” are made somehow equivalent in the first stanza. “My mother groaned. In the simple economy of the poem. The vision of Experience reveals to him the perspective of death: the garden turns out to be a graveyard. my father wept” – In the vision of Experience. 7. a child’s birth is no cause for joy. the God of Love. If the child’s play suggests the freedom and pleasure enjoyed in the state of Innocence. T. and his “tender voice” fills all nature with joy. T. His swaddling bands and his father’s arms do not suggest care and protection. incarnated in a child and having the Lamb as a symbol. against which man. and is itself one more care in the family. confinement and oppressive authority. and the beauty of the “sweet flowers” – symbols of life – is replaced by the grim image of the tombstones.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 1. T. T. 6. The mother “groans” with the pains of delivery. struggles in vain.” that is. The pain and sorrow accompanying birth are symbolic anticipations of the suffering. but are symbols of limitation. In the second stanza. It is the intuition of Innocence that dictates the confident answer to the child: the Creator is Jesus. F SAQ 7 The child cannot imagine the Creator of the lovely and tender creature otherwise than “meek and mild. F. 2. vales) emphasise the close connection between Innocence and Nature. 3. The church as an institution belongs to the world of Experience. At the same time. disappointments and frustrations that await man in the world of Experience. 2. gentle and humble like the lamb itself. Nature and Divinity form a harmonious whole. meadow. “walking their rounds” like soldiers guarding a Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 175 . SAQ 9 The “garden” where he “used to play” – the Eden of childhood – is the symbol of the state of Innocence. Man. In a vision of Innocence. therefore. and the father weeps perhaps because his new baby comes into a world of trouble and cares.

Boris (ed. A Critical History of English Literature. Penguin Books Ltd. vol. 1991 (pp. 1969 (pp.).5 (“From Blake to Byron”). 671-684.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”). and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. 652-658. vol. Boris (ed.English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. Ford. 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Further reading 1. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Ford. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”)..). 84-94) 3.. Penguin Books Ltd. Daiches. vol. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.. David. 1991 (pp. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 692-699) 2.

Reader READER in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 177 .

încât acest frumos tărâm. – but wherefore* I know not. pământul. cât de asemenea unui înger în puterea sa de înţelegere. William Shakespeare. the sky) brave minunat. foregone* all custom of exercises. foregone: to give up goodly pleasant or satisfying in appearance frame form. strălucitor overhanging hanging over firmament (archaic. ability to understand paragon a model of excellence Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi and Dan Duţescu) Hamlet: În ultima vreme – de ce. această boltă falnică împodobită cu scântei de aur. văzduhul. pildă a vieţuitoarelor.excelent. forewent. in moving. alcătuirile şi mişcările. pentru mine.1. vedeţi. Hamlet (Act II. in apprehension* how like a god!! The beauty of the world! The paragon* of animals! And yet. ce înseamnă această chintesenţă a ţărânii? Omul nu mă desfată (…). îmi pare un promontoriu sterp. nu ştiu – mi-am pierdut toată voioşia. acest preaminunat baldachin. shape canopy a large or wide covering (e. m-am lăsat de toate obişnuitele exerciţii. look you. Ce minunată lucrare e omul. sufletul îmi este atât de apăsat. what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not (…). for what reason mirth happiness and laughter foregone to forego. this brave* overhanging* firmament*. and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly* frame*. this majestical roof fretted* with golden fire. şi. the earth. of late recently wherefore why. seems to me a sterile promontory. Scene II) Hamlet: (…) I have of late*. acest mândru firmament ce senalţă deasupra noastră. şi totuşi. to me. într-adevăr. it appears no other thing to me but a foul* and pestilent congregation of vapours.g.Reader UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE TEXT 2. this most excellent canopy*. cum să spun. 178 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . cât de nobilă îi este inteligenţa. – lost all my mirth*. nu-mi pare alta decât un vălmăşag odios şi infect de miasme. What a piece of work is man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculty! In form. ce fără de număr îi sunt facultăţile. how express and admirable! In action how like an angel. the air. cât de chibzuit şi de admirabil e în faptele sale. cât de asemenea unui zeu: frumuseţea lumii. literary) the sky fretted decorated foul very bad or unpleasant apprehension understanding.

a se frământa) sound zgomot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 179 . El. a înnoda ravelled destrămat. iar la ospăţul vieţii Cel mai de seamă fel. Chief* nourisher* in life’s feast* (…). Macbeth (Act V. Creeps* in this petty* pace from day to day. to creep. a poor player. semeţ. crept to move quiety and slowly (a se târî. to be in a state of anxiety and agitation (a se agita. cel ce desface Fuiorul încâlcit al grijii – somnul: El. scene V) Macbeth: Tomorrow. cu un aer important to fret to be distressed.” the innocent sleep. desfirat. it is a tale Told by an idiot. scalda grelei trude şi balsamul Durerii sufleteşti. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. isprăveşte (stinge-te) brief short in duration candle lumânare to strut a umbla/păşi/călca mândru. TEXT 2. brief* candle*! Life’s but a walking shadow. scene II) Macbeth: Methought* I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. full of sound* and fury.Reader TEXT 2. and tomorrow. principal nourisher that which gives (someone) what is needed to grow. live or stay healthy feast ospăţ Romanian translation (by Ion Vinea) Macbeth: Mi s-a părut c-aud un glas strigând: “Nu mai dormi! Macbeth ucide somnul” Nevinovatul somn. şi-a doua mană A marii firi. moartea vieţii fiecărei zile. out. To the last syllable of recorded time. That struts* and frets* his hour upon the stage. desfăcut sleeve mânecă sore causing grief or sorrow (dureros. Sleep that knits up* the ravelled* sleeve* of care. and tomorrow. Out*. And then is heard no more. methought past tense from methinks (archaic): it seems to me to knit up a împleti. The death of each day’s life. trivial.3.2. ţanţoş. Macbeth (Act II. a se furişa) petty inessential. sore* labour’s bath. Signifying nothing. chinuitor) course fel de mâncare chief most important. William Shakespeare. neînsemnat) out (interjection) termină. William Shakespeare. trifling (mărunt. Balm of hurt minds. great nature’s second course*.

scene II) Prospero: Abhorred* slave. Din vorbe-alcătuită şi din zbucium Şi nensemnând nimic. therefore* wast thou* Deservedly* confined* into this rock Who hadst deserved more than a prison. tagmă thou didst learn you did learn to abide a răbda. had that in it which good natures Could not abide* to be with.Reader Romanian translation (by Ion Vinea) Macbeth: Dar mâine şi iar mâine. savage. redus. E o poveste spusă de-un nătâng. stupid (necioplit. Caliban: You taught me language. tot mereu. Took pains to make thee speak. ticălos) race neam. Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee*. sălbatic. Though thou didst learn*. for that reason wast thou were you deservedly rightly learning teaching vile 180 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known: but thy vile* race*. a suporta therefore as a result. mărginit) shameful and evil. mârşav. abject. TEXT 2. nasty (josnic. a bâigui) brutish coarse. taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not*. For learning* me your language! abhorred detested vehemently print mark made on a surface thee you thou didst not you did not thine / thy your wouldst would gabble to utter words rapidly and indistinctly (a bolborosi. but wouldst* gabble* like A thing most brutish*. Spre cel din urmă semn din cartea vremii. Which any print* of goodness will not take. Un biet actor. The Tempest (Act I.4. netrebnic. Cu pas mărunt se-alungă zi de zi. William Shakespeare. ce-n ceasul lui pe scenă Se grozăveşte şi se tot frământă Şi-n urmă nu mai este auzit. lumânare de o clipă! Ni-e viaţa doar o umbră călătoare. Te stinge. Şi fiecare “ieri” a luminat Nebunilor pe-al morţii drum de colb. cruel. Know thine* own meaning. and my profit on it Is I know how to curse: the red plague rid you.

temelie) fabric building. ţi-am arătat Al vorbei meşteşug. We are such stuff As dreams are made on. Biserici maiestoase. foretold: a anunţa. toţi. Scoteai doar mugete. fiară. afară doar De-un dram de bunătate! Mi-a fost milă. colour. cu singurul folos Că ştiu acum să-njur – dea ciuma-n tine Şi-n limba ce m-ai învăţat. were all spirits and Are melted* into air. rack a floating cloud Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Serbarea noastră s-a sfârşit. Nici spulber n-au să lase-n urma lor. all which it inherit. dar proasta-ţi fire. etc. As I foretold* you. like the baseless* fabric* of this vision. framework (clădire. ca-nchipuită scena-aceasta. a spune dinainte melted to melt: a se topi. Caliban: M-ai învăţat vorbi. TEXT 2. duşi. structure. The cloud-capped towers*. Leave not a rack* behind. scene I) Prospero: Our revels* are now ended. indeed pageant splendid public show or ceremony faded to fade: to lose brightness. like this insubstantial pageant* faded*. chiar pământul. These our actors. Cu tot ce-a moştenit. dar. când tu. the great globe itself. consistency. au fost. literary) truly. Te-am surghiunit aici. Deşi-ai fost dăscălit. turnuri Cu turlele în nori. Yea*. revels festivitate teatrală pentru curteni foretold to foretell. the gorgeous palaces. The solemn temples. În stare de orice. William Shakespeare. Te-am învăţat de toate. şi-n văzduh S-au destrămat cu toţii. a se dizolva baseless unfounded (fără bază. and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. M-am străduit sa te deprind cu graiul.Reader Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Slugoi scârbavnic. când meritai Mai mult decât o temniţă. avea ceva Ce bunul simţ nu rabdă. into thin air: And. pe drept. Actorii Ţi-am spus. nepricepând Nici tu ce bălmăjeşti.5. palate mândre. se vor topi Şi. alcătuire) cloud-capped towers towers whose tops are capped (covered) by clouds yea (archaic. shall dissolve And. Şi întocmai Ca funigeii viziunii. duhuri. Plămadă suntem precum cea din care Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 181 . The Tempest (Act IV.

because it doth* remove* Those things which elemented* it. they are two so As stiff* twin* compasses are two. but doth. And makes me end. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning As virtuous men pass mildly* away*. where I begun. But trepidation of the spheres. Men reckon* what it did and meant. Dull* sublunary* lovers’ love (Whose soul is sense*) cannot admit Absence. Moving of the earth* brings harms and fears. But we by a love so much refined. Care less eyes. if the other do. Such wilt* thou* be to me. and make no noise. but an expansion. And whisper* to their souls. TEXT 2. Like the other foot. which are one. Thy firmness makes my circle just*. who must. and hearkens* after it. Thy* soul the fixed foot. And though it in centre sit. That our selves know not what it is.6. lips. makes no show To move. şi scurta viaţă Împrejmuită ni-e de somn. It leans*. to go. Our two souls therefore. ‘Twere* profanation of our joys To tell the laity* our love. endure* not yet A breach*. John Donne. 182 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . nor sigh-tempests* move. Yet when the other far doth roam*. The breath goes now. Inter-assured of the mind*. Whilst* some of their sad friends do say.Reader Făcute-s visele. If they be two. No tear-floods. And grows erect*. and hands to miss. no: So let us melt*. as that comes home. Though I must go. Though greater far. and some say. Like gold to aery thinness beat. obliquely run. is innocent.

fig. Labour* to admit you. gladly betrothed unto logodit cu to untie a dezlega. softly to whisper a şopti whilst while to melt a-şi înmuia firea. breathe. Nor ever chaste. me should defend. blow. and seek to mend. leant a se apleca. o’erthrow me*. precis. except you ravish* me. apply your force due cuvenit. furtuni de suspine) these are Petrarchan conceits – see the Glossary) ‘twere it were (it would be) the laity those who do not know how strong their love is (from lay: profan. a elibera to enthrall a supune. Divorce me. to no end*.: inflexibil. rupture stiff rigid. datorat to labour to work hard. a se înclina to hearken a asculta. with no result viceroy governor of a territory who acts for and rules in the name of his sovereign (Reason is the viceroy of God in man) untrue disloyal fain (archaic) willingly. I. to make disappear which elemented it which constituted/founded it inter-assured of the mind we are both assured that our love is primarily the union of our minds to endure to suffer. sigh-tempests şuvoaie/potop de lacrimi. a presupune dull not intense sublunary: beneath the moon. and stand. exact Text 2. untie*. Reason your viceroy* in me. to another due*. imprison me. a fi supus (the speaker urges his beloved to face the separation calmly and quietly) tear-floods. But am betrothed* unto your enemy.7. a lua cu sila. overthrown: a nimici. That I may* rise. batter to hit or beat someone heavily three-personed God the Trinity as yet până acum that I may in order that I may o’erthrow to overthrow. a rătăci to lean. and proves weak or untrue*.Reader pass away to die mildly gently. ferm. a subjuga to ravish a răpi. to undergo breach break. hotărât twin îngemănat thy your to roam a hoinări. or break that knot again. a înrobi. But is captived. a silui Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 183 . a ajunge în poziţie verticală wilt will thou you just corect. shine. therefore subject to change whose soul is sense in which physical presence is essential doth does to remove to take away. and would be loved fain*. a fi atent la (here: to seek to join. to struggle to no end vainly. John Donne. Take me to you. three-personed God*. Batter My Heart Batter* my heart. mirean) moving of the earth earthquake to reckon a gândi. Yet dearly I love you. to break. but oh. a înfrânge bend your force concentrate. overthrew. and make me new. never shall be free. burn. for I Except your enthrall* me. and bend Your force*. like an usurped town. to long for) to grow erect a se îndrepta. you As yet* but knock. for.

and think which way To talk. An age at least to every part. Lady. refuse Till the conversion of the Jews*. Two hundred to adore each breast. To His Coy Mistress Had we but* world enough. For. then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity. And you should. But none. And now. yet we will make him run. And the last age should show your heart. We would sit down. I by the tide Of Humber* would complain. Thou* by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst* rubies* find. And into ashes all my lust*: The grave*’s a fine and private place. And yonder* all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. were no crime. if you please. 184 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .8. and pass our long love’s day. though we cannot make our sun Stand still. And while thy willing* soul transpires At every pore with instant fires*. do there embrace.Reader TEXT 2. in thy marble vault*. like amorous birds of prey. and on thy* forehead gaze. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball. Lady. I think. Nor. Rather at once our devour Than languish* in his slow-chapt power*. And tear* our pleasure with rough strife* Thorough* the iron gates of life. Thy beauty shall no more be found. while the youthful* hue* Sits on thy skin like morning dew*. and time. shall sound My echoing song. Now let us sport* while we may. My vegetable* love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow. you deserve this state*. And your quaint* honor turn to dust. Thus. Nor would I love at lower rate. An hundred years should go to praise Thine* eyes. But at my back I always hear Time’s winged* chariot* hurrying near. I would Love you ten years before the Flood*. But thirty thousand to the rest. Andrew Marvell. Now therefore. This coyness*.

groapă youthful de tinereţe. in spite of her coyness. tineresc hue culoare.Reader had we but… if only we had coyness timiditate. a se plictisi slow-chapt power the power of its slowly devouring jaws to tear (tore. peculiar.: swift. a se veseli to languish a se ofili. sfială. a lua cu de-a sila strife violent struggle thorough through Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 185 . a lâncezi. inappropriate (nefiresc) ashes cenuşă lust strong sexual desire (dorinţă. inclined instant fires the flush in her face. which. nuanţă. tentă dew rouă willing favourably disposed. torn) a smulge. fast chariot ceremonial carriage (car) yonder (poetic) over there vault burial chamber (cavou) quaint odd. modestie thou you shouldst should ruby rubin Humber an estuary in the north-east of England the Flood Potopul the conversion of the Jews considered to be one of the events at the end of history vegetable growing slowly as a plant thine. indicates her “willing soul” to sport a petrece. fig. patimă) grave mormânt. thy your state ceremonial treatment winged having wings.

But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune. appears [in me] much less – i. destiny mean humble. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*. Yet be it less or more. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. rush bud mugur. John Milton. Toward which time leads me. hath has subtle difficult to perceive or describe because fine or delicate my three and twentieth year my twenty-third year career swift movement ahead. however mean* or high. obscure. and present My true account. if I have grace to use it so. the subtle* thief of youth. chide*. but Patience. lest he. Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. a strict overseer TEXT 3. opportune happy fortunate. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. John Milton. his state Is kingly – thousands at his bidding* speed* And post* o'er land and ocean without rest*: They also serve who only stand and wait. boboc showeth shows (My late spring shows no bud or blossom) semblance outward appearance to deceive to mislead (a înşela) manhood bărbăţie. Ere* half my days. light denied*?” I fondly* ask. to prevent That murmur*.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3.1. lucky endueth endues. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. or soon or slow. speed. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear. returning. they serve him best. and the will of heaven.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness. '”Doth God exact* day-labour. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. As ever* in my great task-master's* eye. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment. though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. All is. soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. in this dark world and wide. who best Bear his mild yoke*.2.

light eyesight spent used up, exhausted (When I think that my eyesight is gone, before I have even reached the middle of my lifetime… I fondly ask…) ere (poetic) before talent an allusion to the biblical parable of the talents in Matthew (25: 14-30 – parabola talanţilor). Its moral is that a gift from God must not be stored and left unused, but must be multiplied. Milton felt that his “talent” – his gift for poetry – lay useless in darkness, as he had not begun the great epic poem he intended to write. lodged with me useless [talantul/talentul] mi-a fost încredinţat în zadar bent to bend, bent: to incline therewith with that lest he… chide să nu mă dojenească to exact to demand as a right light denied if he denies me (deprives me of) eyesight fondly foolishly (cu naivitate) murmur complaint who…bear his mild yoke cei care-I îndură jugul blând (allusion to Matthew, 11: 30) at his bidding la porunca sa to speed (sped) to hurry, to hasten to post to travel with speed o’er over rest odihnă, repaus

TEXT 3.3. John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book I)
Farewell, happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells! Hail*, horrors! hail, Infernal World! And thou, profoundest Hell, Receive thy* new possessor – one who brings A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath* made greater? Here at least We shall be free; the Almighty* hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive* us hence*; Here we may reign* secure*, and, in my choice, To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
hail an exclamation of greeting thy your hath has the Almighty Atotputernicul hence (archaic) from here; away (will not drive us hence: nu ne va alunga de aici) to reign a domni, a stăpâni secure liniştit, în siguranţă

TEXT 3.4. John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book III)
[God is speaking to His Son, foreseeing man’s fall] Whose fault? Whose but his own? Ingrate, he [i.e. man] had of me All he could have; I made him just and right, Sufficient to have stood*, though free to fall. Such I created all the Ethereal* Powers And Spirits, both them who stood and them who failed; Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. …. I formed them free, and free they must remain Till* they enthrall* themselves: I else* must change Their nature, and revoke the high decree
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Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained* Their freedom; they themselves ordained their fall. The first sort* by their own suggestion fell, Self-tempted, self-depraved; Man falls, deceived By the other first: Man, therefore, shall find grace, The other none; in mercy and justice both, Through Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory excel*, But mercy, first and last, shall brightest shine.
stood to stand, stood: a rămâne, a rezista, a se menţine într-o anumită poziţie ethereal celestial, spiritual til until to enthrall to enslave else altfel, altminteri ordained to ordain: to order, to establish, to predestine irrevocably the first sort the angels who had fallen to excel to increase

TEXT 3.5. John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book III)
Not free, what proof could they have given sincere Of true allegiance*, constant faith, or love, Where only what they needs must* do appeared, Not what they would*? What praise could they receive, What pleasure I, from such obedience paid, When Will and Reason (Reason is also Choice), Useless and vain, of freedom both despoiled, Made passive both, had served Necessity, Not me?
allegiance loyalty needs must trebuie neapărat not what they would nu ceea ce ar vrea / ar voi despoiled (of freedom) lipsit (de libertate)

TEXT 3.6. John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book IV)
Sometimes towards Eden which now in his view Lay pleasant, his grieved* look he fixes sad, Sometimes towards heaven and the full-blazing* sun, Which now sat high in his meridian* tower. Then much revolving*, thus in sighs* began: 'O thou that with surpassing glory crowned Look'st* from thy sole dominion like the god Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams* That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down Warring* in heaven against heaven's matchless* king. Ah wherefore*? He deserved no such return* 188
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From me, whom he created what I was In that bright eminence*, and with his good Upbraided* none; nor was his service* hard. What could be less than to afford him praise*, The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks, How due*! Yet all his good proved ill in me, And wrought but malice*; lifted up so high I ‘sdained subjection*, and thought one step higher Would set me highest, and in a moment quit* The debt immense of endless gratitude. ………. O had his powerful destiny ordained Me some inferior angel, I had stood* Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised Ambition. Yet why not? Some other power As great might have aspired, and me though mean Drawn to his part; but other powers as great Fell not, but stand unshaken*, from within Or from without, to all temptations armed. ………. Me miserable*! which way shall I fly Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still threatening to devour me opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven. O then at last relent*: is there no place Left for repentance*, none for pardon* left? None left but by submission*; and that word Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced With other promises and other vaunts* Than to submit, boasting* I could subdue* The omnipotent*. Ay me*, they little know How dearly I abide* that boast so vain, Under what torments inwardly I groan*; While they adore* me on the throne of hell, With diadem and scepter high advanced, The lower still I fall, only supreme In misery; such joy ambition finds. But say* I could repent and could obtain By act of grace my former state; how soon Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay What feigned* submission swore: ease would recant* Vows* made in pain, as violent and void*. For never can true reconcilement grow Where sounds of deadly hate have pierced* so deep; Which would but lead me to a worse relapse* And heavier fall: ………. So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost; Evil, be thou* my good; by thee* at least
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Divided empire* with heaven's king I hold By thee, and more than half perhaps will govern; As man ere long, and this new world shall know.
grieved mâhnit, întristat full-blazing în plină strălucire/splendoare meridian the peak, zenith; noon much revolving with many thoughts revolving in his mind sighs suspine nd look’st look (2 person sg.) beams rays of light warring…against războindu-se/purtând război cu…, matchless unequalled, incomparable wherefore why return recompensă, răsplată eminence position of superiority, distinction, high rank upbraided to upbraid: a mustra, a dojeni his service serving him (i.e. God) to afford him praise a-i aduce/oferi laudă due cuvenit, datorat wrought but malice worked/produced only evil intent, the desire to do harm I ‘sdained [disdained] subjection: am dispreţuit supunerea to quit a părăsi, a abandona I had stood I would have stood unshaken neclintit miserable unhappy, depressed (nenorocit, nefericit) to relent to show pity, to become less severe or cruel repentance căinţă, părere de rău pardon iertare sumbission supunere (to submit: a se supune) vaunt laudă, preamărire de sine boasting to boast: a se lăuda to subdue to defeat and gain control (a supune, a subjuga) ay me (archaic) an expression of unhappiness (vai mie!) to abide a suporta (consecinţele) to groan a geme, a se văita, a suspina, a ofta to adore to worship (a preamări, a se închina la) say să zicem; închipuindu-mi că feigned prefăcut, simulat to recant a retracta, a se dezice de, a se lepăda de vow jurământ, legământ, făgăduială void empty pierced to pierce: a pătrunde relapse recădere thou you by thee by you empire stăpânire, putere

TEXT 3.7. John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book VII)
In his hand He took his golden compasses, prepared In God’s eternal store, to circumscribe This Universe, and all created things. One foot he centred and the other turned Round through the vast profundity obscure, And said, “Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds*; This be thy just circumference, O World.” Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth, Matter unformed and void. Darkness profound Covered the abyss, but on the watery calm His brooding* wings the Spirit of God outspread*, And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth, Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purged* The black, tartareous*, cold, infernal dregs*, Adverse to life; then founded, then conglobed* Like* things to like, the rest to several* place Disparted*, and between spun* out the air, And Earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung.
bounds limits, margins brooding covering perfectly to outspread a întinde, a desfăşura to purge a curăţi, a limpezi, a spăla, a purifica tartareous of the underworld, infernal (from Tartarus: Hades) dregs impurităţi, drojdii, rămăşiţe conglobed formed into a ball or a globe like asemănător; de aceeaşi natură several mai mulţi/multe; diferiţi, diferite to dispart a distribui spun to spin, spun: a ţese, a urzi


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if all be his? Or is it envy? and can envy dwell In heavenly breasts? These. by venturing* higher than my lot. your eyes. Why. Knowing both good and evil. and that advantage use On our belief. that seem so clear Yet are but dim*. was this forbid*? Why but to awe? Why but to keep ye low* and ignorant. then. reach* then. and freely taste.8. What can your knowledge hurt him. ye* shall not die. Them nothing. by the Threatener? look on me. And what are Gods. for this fair* Earth I see. participating* godlike* food? The Gods are first. Goddess humane. How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life To knowledge. modest thereof din ace(a)sta. 4. a apuca Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 191 . and ye shall be like Gods. Me who have touched and tasted. a se încumeta forbid forbidden low humble.) venturing to venture: a îndrăzni. I question it. 3. shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared. yet both live And life more perfect have attained than Fate Meant me. John Milton. Queen of the Universe.Reader TEXT 3. Paradise Lost (Book IX) 1. to emerge fair beautiful to import a însemna to reach a întinde mâna. that all from them proceeds*. din el/ea (eat from the Tree of Knowledge) dim having weak or indistinct vision participating sharing godlike divine to proceed (from) to originate. His worshippers? He knows that. in the day Ye eat thereof*. that Man may not become As they. as they know. producing every kind. Warmed by the Sun. these and many more Causes import* your need of this fair fruit. or this tree Impart against his will. do not believe Those rigid threats of death. ye you (pl. Shall that be shut to Man which to the beast Is open? 2.

with wandering steps and slow. care arde natural firesc 192 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . John Milton.9. beheld to behold. sălaş flaming brand sabia de foc/flăcări thronged (with dreadful faces) plină (de chipuri de temut) fiery în flăcări. so late* their happy seat*. Waved over by that flaming brand*. where to choose Their place of rest. looking back. Through Eden took their solitary way. but wiped them soon. They. literary): to look at so late până nu demult seat locaş. and Providence their guide. The world was all before them. beheld (archaic. Paradise Lost (Book XII) They. hand in hand. all the eastern side beheld* Of Paradise.Reader TEXT 3. the gate With dreadful faces thronged* and fiery* arms: Some natural* tears they dropped.

The Way of the World Millamant: (…) Good Mirabell. William Congreve. To have my closet* inviolate*. manierat.1. And lastly. and as well bred as if we were not married at all. because they may be your relations*. so far trifle fleac. let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while*. wherever I am. like my Lady Faddler and Sir Francis. and then never be seen there together again. to provoke eyes and whispers*. without giving a reason. nor go to a play together. and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste. to wear what I please. to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits* that I don’t like. and ashamed of one another ever after. to be sole* empress of my tea table. tender folks people chariot trăsură to provoke eyes and whispers to attract attention and provoke gossip (bârfă) strange distant. the only oneto presume to dare (a îndrăzni) to ask leave to ask permission Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 193 . because they are your acquaintance. bagatelă to pay…visits a face vizite wry faces grimase (to make wry faces: a strâmba din nas) wit a person who has the ability to say things that are both clever and amusing relation relative (rudă) out of humour prost dispus. Come to dinner when I please. or to be intimate with fools. nor kiss before folks*. reserved well-bred binecrescut. Millamant: Trifles* – as liberty to pay and receive visits* to and from whom I please. don’t let us be familiar or fond*. dine in my dressing room when I’m out of humour*. abătut closet a small private room inviolate in which nobody intrudes sole only.Reader UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE TEXT 4. you shall always knock at the door before you come in. (…) fond affectionate. nor go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot*. without interrogatories or wry faces* on your part. politicos a great while a long time hitherto until this time. Mirabell: Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto* your demands are pretty reasonable. as if we were proud of one another the first week. Let us never visit together. but let us be very strange* and well bred*. which you must never presume* to approach without first asking leave*. to write and receive letters.

unpractised by the rest of the world. a livra. The Preface to Shakespeare Nothing can please many. His persons act and speak by the influence of those general passions and principles by which all minds are agitated and the whole system of life is continued in motion. ticălos. escroc. and leaves it standing in its place. rogue pungaş. and therefore few only can judge how nearly* they are copied. măcelărire fineness eleganţă. nemernic opprobrious insulting betwixt between slovenly neglijent butchering căsăpire. perfecţiune stroke lovitură TEXT 4. manners moravuri nearly faithfully. potlogar villain nemernic. pungaş.Reader TEXT 4. a furniza 194 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual: in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species. John Dryden. or by the accidents of transient* fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny* of common humanity. and that wittily*! But how hard to make a man appear a fool. at least above all modern writers. descendenţi to supply a oferi. such as the world will always supply* and observation will always find. cap sec knave escroc. and please long. dobitoc. Shakespeare is. but just representations of general nature. the poet of nature. Particular manners* may be known to few. Samuel Johnson. which can operate but* upon small numbers. fantezist awhile for a short period satiety the state of being too much filled or satisfied peculiarity particularitate but only transient temporary.3. the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire How easy is it to call rogue* and villain*. above all writers. The irregular* combinations of fanciful* invention may delight awhile* by that novelty of which the common satiety* of life sends us all in quest. secătură. successfully irregular neuniform. by the peculiarities* of studies or professions. transitory (trecător) progeny urmaşi. or a knave* without using any of those opprobrious* terms! (…) There is (…) a vast difference betwixt* the slovenly* butchering* of a man.2. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places. a blockhead*. lichea wittily in a witty manner (cu mult spirit) blockhead nătâng. variabil fanciful capricios. but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted. and the fineness* of a stroke* that separates the head from the body. and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth.

consisting only in morality. with some other obvious topics* which are not worth considering. And he gave it for his opinion that whoever could make two ears of corn* or two blades of grass* to grow upon a spot of ground* where only one grew before would deserve better of mankind and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together. and transcendentals*. But the last of these is wholly applied to what may be useful in life. love. yet he would rather lose half his kingdom than be privy* to such a secret (…). The learning of this people is very defective. He could not tell what I meant by secrets of state. so that among us would be little esteemed. when I happened to say there were several thousand books among us written upon the art of government. great wisdom.4. history. and esteem. entities. he protested* that although few things delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature. I could never drive* the least conception into their heads. let slip* an opportunity put into his hands that would have made him absolute master of the lives. to justice and lenity*. (…) I take* this defect among them to have risen from their ignorance. He confined* the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds*: to common sense and reason. He was amazed how so impotent and grovelling* an insect as I (these were his expressions) could entertain* such inhuman ideas. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 195 . For I remember very well. chapter VII) The King was struck with horror* at the description I had given of those terrible engines* and the proposal I had made. of strong parts. and profound learning. it gave him (directly contrary to my intention) a very mean opinion* of our understandings.Reader TEXT 4. in a discourse one day with the King. and almost adored by his subjects. either in a prince or a minister. And as to ideas. endued* with admirable talents for government. whereof* in Europe we can have no conception. as the more acute wits* of Europe have done. where an enemy or some rival nation were not in case. A strange effect of narrow principles and short views*! that a prince possessed of every quality which procures veneration. abstractions. He professed both to abominate* and despise all mystery*. and the fortunes of his people. the liberties. wherein* they must be allowed to excel. they not having hitherto reduced politics into a science. should from a nice*. to the improvement of agriculture and all mechanical arts*. and in so familiar a manner as to appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation which I had painted as the common effects of those destructive machines (…) As for himself. poetry. Jonathan Swift. unnecessary scruple. refinement and intrigue. and mathematics. to the speedy* determination* of civil and criminal causes. Gulliver’s Travels (Book II.

government. a fi iniţiat în. if (said he) you throw among five Yahoos as much food as would be sufficient for fifty. subiect ear of corn spic de grâu blade of grass fir de iarbă spot of ground petec de pământ wherein in which mechanical arts meşteşuguri transcendentals categorii metafizice to drive (drove. and the reason usually assigned* was the odiousness* of their own shapes. so. Ch. and when part of these stones are fixed in the earth. and activity. Jonathan Swift. but not in themselves. For he only meant to observe what parity* there was in our natures. arts. fall together by ears*. boundary (hotar) lenity tolerance (îngăduinţă) speedy quick. in some fields of his country. but still looking round with great caution. and carry them away. manufactures*.5. and hide them by heaps* in their kennels*. my master confessed he could find little or no resemblance between the Yahoos of that country and those in ours. from the representation I had given him of our lives. I suppose acute wits spirite luminate (acute: pătrunzător. they will dig with their claws for whole days to get them out. excessively particular about details (pretenţios.Reader struck with horror cuprins de groază engines maşini (piese de artilerie) grovelling to grovel: to crawl. a scăpa din mână (o ocazie) I take I think. for fear their comrades should find out their treasure. for which he was known and then rewarded with a piece of ass’s flesh*. This favorite is hated by the whole herd. and mischievous* in disposition. Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV. and some other particulars* where Nature had no part*. That this leader had usually a favorite as like himself as he could get. than any of the rest. For. greu de mulţumit) whereof of which to let slip (an opportunity) a lăsa să-i scape.g. a face să priceapă TEXT 4. un secret) short views concepţii înguste endued înzestrat nice fastidious. (…) That. as I had described them. they will instead of eating peaceably. încheiere (a unei cauze juridice) topic temă. speed. and that the dissensions of those brutes in his country were owing to the same cause with ours. to dislike intensely mystery urzeli tainice to confine to limit. and therefore* to protect himself. He said the Yahoos were known to hate one another more than they did any different species of animals. driven) an idea into one’s head a băga în cap. He had heard indeed some curious Houyhnhnms observe that in most herds* there was a sort of ruling* Yahoo (as among us there is generally some leading or principal stag* in a park*) who was always more deformed in body. keeps always near the 196 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to restrict bound limit. our manners. as sometimes happens. a asigura. a i se încredinţa (e. the shortness of my claws*. whereof the Yahoos are violently fond*. without delay determination rezolvare. and drive the female Yahoos to his kennel. VII) He observed that I agreed* in every feature of my body with other Yahoos. each single one impatient* to have all to itself. and our actions. he found as near a resemblance in the disposition* of our minds. which all could see in the rest. (…) As to learning. except where it was to my real disadvantage in point of* strength. and the like. (…) But he now found he had been mistaken. whose employment was to lick* his masters feet and posteriors. perspicace) mean opinion părere nefavorabilă to abominate to detest. there are certain shining stones of several colors. as in fear or humility (a se târî) to entertain (an idea) a nutri (o idee) to protest a declara. a încredinţa to be privy to a fi făcut părtaş la.


person of his leader. (…) But how far this might be applicable to our courts and favorites, and ministers of state, my master said I could best determine. (…) My master likewise* mentioned another quality, which his servants had discovered in several Yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable*. He said, a fancy* would sometimes take a Yahoo, to retire into a corner, to lie down and howl*, and groan*, and spurn* away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, and wanted* neither food nor water; nor did the servants imagine what could possibly ail* him. And the only remedy they found was to set* him to hard work*, after which he would infallibly* come to himself*. To this I was silent out of partiality* to my own kind*; yet here I could plainly discover the true seeds* of spleen*, which only seizes on* the lazy, the luxurious, and the rich (…). His Honor had farther observed, that a female Yahoo would often stand behind a bank* or a bush*, to gaze* on the young males passing by, and then appear, and hide, using many antic* gestures and grimaces; at which time it was observed, that she had a most offensive* smell; and when any of the males advanced, would slowly retire, looking back, and with a counterfeit* show of fear, run off into some convenient place where she knew the male would follow her. At other times, if a female stranger came along them, three or four of her own sex would get about her, and stare* and chatter*, and grin*, and smell her all over; and then turn off with gestures that seemed to express contempt and disdain.
I agreed I corresponded in point of în ceea ce priveşte claws gheare particulars details no part no role, no contribution near close disposition predispoziţie, înclinare to assign (a reason) to give, to attribute (a reason) odiousness hidoşenie they will fall together by ears se vor lua la bătaie impatient zorit, grăbit whereof of which to be fond of a fi amator, a-i plăcea mult by heaps în grămezi kennel culcuş, vizuină manufacture meşteşuguri parity corespondenţă, asemănare, analogie herd cireadă ruling dominant, conducător stag cerb park parc cinegetic mischievous răutăcios, rău intenţionat, pus pe rele to lick a linge ass’s flesh carne de măgar therefore that is why likewise also unaccountable inexplicable a fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo din când în când i se năzare câte unui Yahoo to howl a urla to groan a geme to spurn (away) a îndepărta, a refuza, a alunga to want a duce lipsă de to ail a durea, a deranja to set (somebody) to work a pune la muncă infallibly negreşit he would come to himself îşi revenea, îşi venea în fire partiality părtinire, slăbiciune, înclinaţie my own kind cei de-un neam cu mine seeds seminţe (fig.: izvor, cauză) spleen ipohondrie, melancolie seizes on se abate asupra, îi cuprinde pe bank movilă bush tufiş to gaze to look long and fixedly antic grotesque offensive unpleasant, disgusting counterfeit simulated; a counterfeit show of fear: prefăcânduse că îi este teamă to stare a se holba to chatter a flecări to grin a rânji

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TEXT 4.6. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV, chapter VIII)
As these noble Houyhnhnms are endowed by Nature with a general disposition to all virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rational creature; so their grand* maxim is to cultivate reason, and to be wholly governed by it. (…) Friendship and benevolence are the two principal virtues among the Houyhnhnms; and these not confined to particular objects, but universal to the whole race. For a stranger from the remotest* part is equally treated with the nearest neighbour, and wherever he goes, looks upon himself* as at home. They preserve decency and civility* in the highest degrees, but are altogether ignorant of ceremony*. They have no fondness* for their colts or foals*; but the care they take in educating them proceeds* entirely from the dictates of reason. And I observed my master to show the same affection to his neighbour’s issue* that he had for his own. They will have that* Nature teaches them to love the whole species, and it is reason only that makes a distinction of persons, where there is a superior degree of virtue. When the matron* Houyhnhnms have produced one of each sex, they no longer accompany* with their consorts, except they lose one of their issue by some casualty*, which very seldom* happens; but in such a case they meet again; or when the like accident* befalls* a person whose wife is past bearing*, some other couple bestows* on him one of their own colts, and then go together* a second time, until the mother be pregnant*. This caution* is necessary to prevent the country from being overburdened with numbers*. But the race of inferior Houyhnhnms bred up to be servants is not so strictly limited upon this article*; these are allowed to produce* three of each sex, to be domestics* in the noble families. Courtship, love, presents*, jointures*, settlements*, have no place in their thoughts, or terms whereby* to express them in their language. The young couple meet and are joined, merely because it is the determination* of their parents and friends; it is what they see done every day; and they look upon it as one of necessary actions in a reasonable being. But the violation* of marriage, or any other unchastity* was never heard of; and the married pair pass their lives with the same friendship and mutual benevolence that they bear to all others of the same species who come in their way, without jealousy, fondness, quarreling*, or discontent*. Temperance*, industry*, exercise*, and cleanliness* are the lessons equally enjoined* to the young ones of both sexes; and my master thought it monstrous in us to give the females a different kind of education from the males, except in some articles of domestic management (…).


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grand principal, capital, supreme remote distant, far away looks upon himself considers himself civility amabilitate, curtenie, politeţe, bună creştere ceremony protocol, etichetă fondness duioşie, afecţiune, dragoste colt, foal mânz to proceed (from) to come from, to originate in (a izvorî) issue odrasle, progenituri, urmaşi they will have that they say that matron mamă de familie to acompany (with) a se împreuna casualty accident, nenorocire, năpastă seldom rarely the like accident o năpastă de felul acesta to befall (befell, befallen) a se abate asupra is past bearing nu mai poate zămisli to bestow to give, to offer they go together se împreunează pregnant grea, însărcinată caution măsură de prevedere overburdened with numbers overpopulated upon this article în această privinţă, la acest capitol to produce a zămisli domestic servitor present dar, cadou jointure averea cuvenită soţiei după moartea soţului settlement contract whereby by which determination decision violation necinstire unchastity infidelitate quarreling ceartă discontent nemulţumire temperance cumpătare industry hărnicie exercise exerciţii fizice cleanliness curăţenie enjoined imposed, prescribed

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TEXT 5.1. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
It was now that I began sensibly* to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked*, cursed*, abominable* life I led all the past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered*, my affections changed their gusts*, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past. Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the country, the anguish* of my soul at my condition would break out* upon me on a sudden*, and my very heart would die within me to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner locked up with the eternal bars* and bolts* of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption*. In the midst* of the greatest composures* of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring* my hands like a child. (…). But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts* of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words: “I will never, never leave thee*, nor forsake* thee.” Immediately it occurred* to me that these words were to me. Why else* should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition as one forsaken of* God and Man? (…) From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should have ever been I any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.
sensibly în mod apreciabil, destul de mult wicked păcătos cursed nelegiuit, ticălos abominable odios to alter to change gust răbufnire, explozie, izbucnire anguish pain, misery, agony to break out a se dezlănţui, a izbucni on a sudden suddenly, abruptly bars gratii, zăbrele bolt zăvor redemption mântuire, izbăvire, salvare midst middle composure linişte, calm, cumpăt, stăpânire de sine to wring (wrung) a frânge; to wring one’s hands: a-şi frânge mâinile de durere comfort mângâiere, consolare, încurajare thee you to forsake (forsook, forsaken) to abandon to occur (to someone) a-i veni în minte, a-i trece prin gând why else? altfel de ce? forsaken of forsaken by


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and I had hardly patience to stay till they were cold before I set one upon the fire again with some water in it to boil me some meat. (…) Though I miscarried* so much in my design* for large pots*. ugly things I made. and observed that they did not crack at all*. such as the potters* burn in. how many of them fell in*. the clay* not being stiff* enough to bear its own weight*. misshapen*. I had no notion of a kiln*. Robinson Crusoe It would make the reader pity* me. and how many fell out*. to tell how many awkward* ways I took to raise this paste*. but I placed three large pipkins and two or three pots in a pile. which it did admirably well. with a great heap of embers* under them. I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours(…).. It happened after some time. which none of these could do. de pământ jar oală. a se desprinde clay lut. In the morning I had three very good – I will not say handsome* – pipkins and two other earthen pots as hard burned as could be desired (…). anevoios. and red as a tile*. a prelucra above more than earthen de lut. vas to miscarry a da greş design intenţie pot vas. one upon another. what odd. and said to myself that certainly they might be made to burn whole if they would burn broken. so as to make it burn me some pots. and bear* the fire. Daniel Defoe. when I went to put it out* after I had done with it. dug a săpa to temper a amesteca. though I had some lead to do it with. and placed my firewood* all round it. This set me to studying how to order* my fire. and how many fell in pieces with only removing* as well before as after they were dried. or glazing* them with lead*. or rather laugh at me. fallen) out: a se desface. (fell. yet I made several smaller things with better success – such as little round pots. I was agreeably surprised to see it. making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat. I plied the fire* with fresh fuel round the outside and upon the top till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through*. oală Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 201 . being set out too hastily*. after having laboured hard to find the clay. dificil paste cocă misshapen diform fell in to fall. to temper* it. and the heat of the sun baked* them strangely hard*. But all this would not answer my end*. and pipkins*. No joy at a thing of so mean a nature* was ever equal to mine when I found I had made an earthen pot that would bear the fire. I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels* in the fire burned as hard as a stone. to pity a căina awkward incomod. to bring it home and work it. to dig* it. When I saw them clear red. in a word how. a cădea fell out to fall. and any things my hand turned to*. and. pitchers*. argilă stiff tare weight to bear its own weight: să reziste la propria greutate to crack a crăpa set out too hastily expuse prea devreme with only removing doar ce le-am mişcat to dig.Reader TEXT 5. fallen) in: a se prăbuşi. flat dishes*. a frământa.2. how many cracked* by the over-violent heat of the sun. (fell. which was to get an earthen pot to hold what was liquid. I could not make above* two large earthen* ugly things – I cannot call them jars* – in about two months’ labour.

a învinge. plin de viaţă) height culme. in which he confesses his affection for her. nenorocire pangs mâhnire. and of so much honour too. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. that I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. born) a rezista. dubious uncertain. O my unguarded* youth. has greatly affected me. B_. I imagine. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . so much affection. and tender years*. and so it is: but love. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. […] O my dear parents. like a thief. but now.Reader dish blid. apogeu distress nefericire. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings. when I expected some new plot*. to find him capable of so much openness. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. I must own* to you. did I say! […] I know not how it came. […] Forgive. chinuri womb pântece. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5.4.3. nor when it began. and before I knew what was the matter. intenţie to bear (bore. before. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). But to be sure*. forgive me! but I found. it looked like love. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă. For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. than the dry*. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*. I had no reason to expect.] This letter. punct culminant. Samuel Richardson. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. however. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. durere. to my grief*. scop. Samuel Richardson. is not a voluntary thing – Love. narrative. I am quite overcome*. Preface to Clarissa All the letters are written while the hearts of the writers must be supposed to be wholly engaged in their subjects (the events at the time dubious*): so that they abound not only with critical situations. my dear father. placă de ceramică how to order the fire cum să potrivesc focul kiln cuptor potter olar to glaze a smălţui lead plumb firewood lemn de foc embers jăratec I plied the fire am întreţinut focul quite through cu totul. that my heart was too partial* in his favour. can be. This was a good fortune. crept. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. but it has crept*. I beseech* you. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. nay*. upon me. a depăşi) TEXT 5.

mâhnit severe trial încercare grea unguarded imprudent tender years vârstă fragedă ye you (pl. Joseph Andrews (Preface) Now. a comic romance* is a comic epic poem* in prose. îndrăzneală crept to creep (crept): a se strecura. în mod clar rigorous aspru. In the diction. when I get home. in this.) couldst thou could you serve how couldst thou serve me thus? Cum ai putut să te porţi astfel? notice to give notice: a preveni. a înştiinţa mischief neajuns. in its sentiments and diction*. necaz wert were inconsiderately (în mod) nesocotit. nicidecum traitor trădător (noun) deservest well …deservest thou to smart: you [i. în consecinţă to tear (tore. a se furişa to beseech (besought) a ruga cu stăruinţă. and when likewise* thou hadst* so well maintained thy post* against the most violent and avowed*. I heart] fully deserve to suffer summons chemare. by preserving the ludicrous* instead of the sublime. nechibzuit thyself yourself thy poor mistress biata ta stăpână (not) in the least câtuşi de puţin. perfidious traitor*! deservest* thou to smart. without ever consulting thy poor mistress* in the least*! But thy punishment will be the first and the greatest: and well. we have carefully excluded it from our sentiments and characters.] plot uneltire. that as in the one these are grave and solemn. of which many instances will occur in these works […]. who had used me so hardly. for giving up so weakly. whereas the grave romance sets the highest* before us: lastly. a copleşi to be sure cu siguranţă to own a mărturisi presumption cutezanţă. and the benefits of your good lesson and examples. thy whole self. so in the other they are light* and ridiculous: it differs in its characters by introducing persons of inferior rank. Yet. însemnare TEXT 5. I hope. a implora grieved amărât. treacherous heart! How couldst thou serve* me thus! And give no notice* to me of the mischiefs* thou wert* about to bring upon me! How couldst thou thus inconsiderately* give thyself* up to the proud invader. of inferior manners. and consequently.5. differing from comedy. unless* in writings of the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 203 . întristat. It differs from the serious romance in its fable* and action.e. [Memorandum*. mai mult chiar to overcome a depăşi. and to one too. and therefore*. mâhnire partial to având o slăbiciune pentru nay (literary) ba mai mult. O my treacherous*. as the serious epic from tragedy: its action being more extended and comprehensive*. will enable me to get over this heavy trial. before summons* came. torn) out a smulge. to consider of this. intrigă plainly în mod deschis. burlesque itself may be sometimes admitted. Henry Fielding. and resignation to the Divine Will.) treacherous trădător (adj. and introducing a greater variety of characters. only dangerous attacks! After all. a rupe memorandum notă. I must either not show you this confession of my weakness. containing a much larger circle of incidents. as I thought.Reader measure excuse me? I never before knew. for there it is never properly introduced. sever grief durere. or tear* it out of my writing. But though we have sometimes admitted this in our diction. I could have no notion of what it was to be so affected! But prayer. avertizare likewise de asemenea hadst (you) had thou hadst so well maintained thy post you put up resistance successfully avowed făţiş therefore aşadar.

for though the vain man is not what he would appear. vanity or hypocrisy: for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters*. than when from vanity. that. therefore. or hath not the virtue he affects. as it hath not that violent repugnancy* of nature to struggle with. yet. and the Ridiculous to describe than paint. as in the former the painter seems to have the advantage. […] The only source of the true Ridiculous (as it appears to me) is affectation. yet it sits less awkwardly* on him than on the avaricious man. where we shall find the true excellence of the former to consist in the exactest copying of nature. and all distortions and exaggerations whatever are within its proper province*. who is the very reverse of what he would seem to be. so they are as clearly distinct in their operations: for indeed. From the discovery of this affectation arises the Ridiculous. that affectation doth* not imply an absolute negation of those qualities which are affected. yet when it comes from vanity only. it partakes* of the nature of ostentation: for instance. and. […] Let us examine the works of a comic history painter. so it is in the latter infinitely on the side of the writer. and where our delight. And here I shall observe. what Caricatura is in painting. 204 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in so much that a judicious eye instantly rejects anything outré*. in order to purchase* applause. though. It may be likewise noted. for to discover any one to be the exact reverse of what he affects. Indeed. Burlesque is in writing. And though these two causes are often confounded (for there is some difficulty in distinguishing them). and consequently more ridiculous. to the degree he would be thought to have it. the affectation which arises from vanity is nearer to truth than the other. not men. than to find him a little deficient in the quality he desires the reputation of. if we examine it. whereas in the Caricatura we allow all licence* – its aim is to exhibit monsters. is more surprising. for the Monstrous is much easier to paint than describe. from the just* imitation of which will flow all the pleasure we can this way convey to a sensible* reader. the affectation of liberality* in a vain* man differs visibly from the same affectation in the avaricious. or e converso*. affectation proceeds from one of these two causes. any liberty which the painter hath* taken with the features of that alma mater*. when it proceeds from hypocrisy.Reader burlesque kind. arises from the surprising absurdity. Now. and that in a higher and stronger degree when the affectation arises from hypocrisy. so in the former we should ever confine* ourselves strictly to nature. which this is not intended to be. which always strikes* the reader with surprise and pleasure. and in the same manner the comic writer and painter correlate to each other. […] Now. as they proceed* from very different motives. for as the latter is ever* the exhibition* of what is monstrous and unnatural. so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure*. by concealing* our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues. which that of the hypocrite hath. no two species of writing can differ more widely than the comic and the burlesque. with those performances which the Italians call Caricatura. as in appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest*. it be nearly allied to deceit*.

exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată. tend* only to raise our mirth*. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. But for not being what they would be thought*. contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu. sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 . but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous. smaller faults. dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. of our pity. it sits less awkwardly on him than: îi şade mai puţin rău decât strikes the reader with surprise and pleasure îi oferă cititorului plăcerea surprizei applause when ugliness aims at the applause of beauty: când urâtul/urâţenia aspiră la aplauzele meritate de frumuseţe lameness şchiopătare.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. intrigă light uşor highest sets the highest before us aduce în faţa ochilor pe cei de rang superior diction stil ludicrous grotesc unless except ever always exhibition display (expunere) appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest atribuirea obiceiurilor din lumea bună unor oameni din popor e converso (Italian)and viceversa to confine oneself to a se limita la just faithful.: the primary source licence liberty province domeniu. putting on a flattering mask to purchase to obtain censure so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure tot astfel ipocrizia ne îndeamnă/ne face să ne străduim a evita critica to conceal to hide to proceed from to come/to emerge from repugnancy incompatibility. face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. fig. which at first moved our compassion. şchiopătat to display to show to tend a tinde mirth laughter thought the lines quoted by Fielding are from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1711): “Nimeni nu este vinovat de a fi ceea ce e. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. cu stângăcie.

1718 […] was I Tristram Shandy. or in any of the planets […] than in this vile*. răspundere publică employment slujbă sport jucărie weight greutate. but because it is an excellence seldom* looked for. Tristram Shandy (Vol. Laurence Sterne. the ungracious* Duchess has pelted* me with a set of as pitiful* misadventures* and cross* accidents as ever small HERO sustained. in a digression. been overlooked* by my reader. provided a man could be born in it to a great title* or to a great estate*. not for want of penetration* in him. the merit of which has all along. I wish I had been born in the Moon. to annoy ungracious răutăcios. I can truly say that from the first hour I drew my breath into it […] I have been the continual sport* of what the world calls Fortune. a reuşi public charges însărcinare.Reader TEXT 5. povară signal însemnat. remarcabil good temper voie bună turn cotitură to get at (somebody) to irritate. Chapter V) On the fifth day of November. or expected indeed. […] 206 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . that my main business does not stand still in my absence. as far and as often too as any writer in Great-Britain. I take to be made up of the shreds* and clippings* of the rest. a asalta pitiful jalnic misadventure nenorocire cross potrivnic. yet with all the good temper* in the world I affirm it of her that in every stage of my life. – and it is this: That though my digressions are all fair*. dirty planet of ours. I fear. as in my all digressions (one only excepted) there is a master-stroke* of digressive skill. brought forth* into this scurvy* and disastrous world of ours. lipsit de cordialitate/amabilitate to pelt a bombarda. and though I will not wrong her by saying she has ever made me feel the weight* of any great or signal* evil.I. my work is digressive. and it is progressive too. with reverence be it spoken*. which were thought to be at variance* with each other. – not but the planet is well enough*.7. yet I constantly take care to order affairs so. which. […] The machinery* of my work is of a species by itself. – and at the same time. Gentleman. Laurence Sterne. as you observe. and at every turn* and corner where she could get* fairly at me. on my conscience. abject vile ticălos with reverence be it spoken fie spus cu tot respectul shreds zdrenţe clippings resturi. brought forth born scurvy păcătos. and that I fly off* from what I am about. a izbuti.6. two contrary motions are introduced into it. Chapter XXII) For in this long digression which I was accidentally led into. rămăşiţe not but the planet is well enough nu că n-ar fi bună planeta provided a man could be born to a great title cu condiţia să te naşti cu un titlu însemnat estate avere to contrive a o brodi. or could any how contrive* to be called up to public charges* and employments* of dignity or power – but that is not my case […]. and reconciled. nefericit TEXT 5. Tristram Shandy (Vol I. In a word.

a sta pe loc vile work ticăloasă treabă adventitious întâmplător to involve a încurca. one wheel within another*. bidden) a ura all hail trăiască!. cum trebuie. and have so complicated and involved* the digressive and progressive movements. I have constructed the main work and the adventitious* parts of it with such intersections. a trece cu vederea for want of penetration din pricina lipsei de pătrundere/înţelegere seldom arareori fair fără cusur. For which reason. – one cold eternal winter would reign* in every page of it. his whole work stands stock-still*. are the sunshine. and if he goes on with his main work. but also of the author. artă culinară distress stare jalnică pitiable vrednic de milă to stand stock-still a încremeni. what’s more. is truly pitiable*: For. în contradicţie to reign a domni to step forth a păşi bridegroom mire to bid (bade. he steps forth* like a bridegroom*. you might as well take the book along with them. if he begins a digression. in general. This is vile work*. that the whole machine. from the beginning of this.Reader Digressions. All the dexterity* is in the good cookery* and management of them. and forbids the appetite to fail. it shall be kept a-going these forty years. – they are the life. the soul of reading. master-stroke mişcare măiestrită skill meşteşug to overlook a-i scăpa. in this matter. from that moment. whose distress*. brings in variety. you see. slavă! dexterity îndemânare cookery gătit. – and. restore them to the writer. has been kept agoing. a încâlci one wheel within another cu rotiţele îmbucându-se una întralta good spirits voie bună Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 207 . I observe. bids* All hail*. incontestably. if it pleases the fountain of health to bless me so long with life and good spirits*. then there is an end of his digression. so as to be not only for the advantage of the reader. – take them out of this book for instance. sadea to fly off a-şi lua zborul machinery mecanism at variance potrivnic.

the matron* pale. Oliver Goldsmith.2. Unpracticed he to fawn*. Go! if the peaceful cot* your praises share. looks up to see The bare arms* broken from the withering* tree On which. croit to prize a preţui. or seek for power. a boy. More skilled to raise the wretched* than to rise. modelat. cortegiu şir chid to chide. hoinar. propped* on that rude* staff*. George Crabbe. Or theirs. but relieved* their pain: The long-remembered beggar was his guest. and ask if peace be there. chid: to rebuke. 208 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Far other aims his heart had learned to prize*. Then his first joy. passing rich trecând drept bogat. to scold (a dojeni. He chid* their wanderings*. cerşetor train alai. Or hers. If peace be his – that drooping* weary* sire*. fiind considerat bogat pound liră remote far away. Whom the smooth* stream and smoother sonnet please. His house was known to all the vagrant* train*. And passing rich* with forty pounds* a year. By doctrines fashioned* to the varying hour. but his sad emblem now. a alina. a linguşi) fashioned potrivit. The Deserted Village A man he was. Nor e’er* had changed. distant godly pious. a aprecia the wretched cei sărmani/nenorociţi vagrant vagabond. devout (evlavios. nor wished to change his place. look within. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast. a mângâia) TEXT 6. Go. cucernic) e’er ever to fawn to seek attention and admiration by flattering (a se ploconi. The Village Ye* gentle* souls who dream of rural ease*. he climbed the loftiest bough*. a mustra) wandering rătăcire to relieve to bring alleviation (a uşura.1. to all the country dear. Who. Remote* from towns he ran his godly* race.Reader UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY TEXT 6. that offspring* round their feeble* fire. whose age Can with no cares except his own engage. whose trembling hand Turns on the wretched* hearth* the expiring* brand*! (…) (…) yonder* see that hoary swain*.

and. lacking adornments staff toiag bare arms ramurile/crengile desfrunzite withering decaying. slab matron mamă de familie wretched biet. sorbitură grove crâng. încovoiat weary exhausted (istovit) sire (poetic) tată. and man made the town. James Thomson. the large ambitious wish To make them blest. jalnic. pace smooth calm. disdain (dispreţ) tyrant pride the arrogance of arbitrary or unjust power the social offspring of the heart the community. gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught* That life holds to all. părinte offspring vlăstar. through the breast Infuses every tenderness. urmaş feeble plăpând. chief*. ales. linişte. (…) The sympathies of love and friendship dear. to stimulate. cămin expiring dying (care se stinge) brand tăciune yonder (poetic) there hoary swain săteanul cărunt/nins/venerabil propped proptit. ecstatic joy unconfined unlimited chief most important suffering worth men of merit and virtue who suffer scorn contempt. With all the social offspring of the heart*. As varied. generos ease tihnă. whom the heart feels as a family TEXT 6. raised To rapture* and divine astonishment. o’er over to exalt to raise. unconfined*. losing vitality (care se usucă) loftiest bough ramura cea mai înaltă TEXT 6. (…) As fast the correspondent passions rise. the noble scorn* Of tyrant pride*. The love of Nature. Of human race. and as high: Devotion. The Seasons (from Autumn) He comes! he comes! in every breeze the Power Of Philosophic Melancholy comes! (…) O’er* all the soul his sacred influence breathes. sprijinit. should most abound And least be threatened in the fields and groves*? draught înghiţitură.3. to elevate.) gentle nobil. and far Beyond dim earth exalts* the swelling* thought. William Cowper. What wonder then that health and virtue. to excite swelling expanding rapture ecstasy. nenorocit hearth vatră. simple. Inflames imagination.Reader ye you (pl. rezemat rude rudimentary. The Task (1785) God made the country. coarse. the sigh for suffering worth* Lost in obscurity. liniştit cot căsuţă drooping aplecat. dumbravă Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 209 .4.

piping* loud. He became a little child: I a child and thou a lamb. who made thee who made you dost thou know do you know bid thee feed ţi-a oferit hrană. We are called by his name. God bless thee. God bless thee. a fi supărat/îmbufnat 210 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he is mild*. Helpless. Into the dangerous world I leapt*. a închide weary tired. leapt: a sări.6. a ţâşni. Striving against my swaddling bands*. îngăduitor) TEXT 6. cuminte. a înlănţui. For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek*. By the stream and o’er* the mead*. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb.Reader TEXT 6. Gave thee clothing of delight. William Blake. Making all the vales rejoice*! Little Lamb. Gave thee such a tender voice. Little Lamb. wooly* bright. a se arunca piping to pipe: to utter something in a high and thin voice fiend demon hid hidden swaddling bands scutece bound to bind. not violent (blajin. Infant Sorrow (from Songs of Experience) My mother groaned*. a suspina wept to weep (wept): a plânge leapt to leap. I’ll tell thee: He is called by thy* name. I’ll tell thee. te-a poftit să te hrăneşti o’er over mead meadow (pajişte. gentle and uncomplaining (blând. to groan a geme. exhausted to sulk to be silent and resentful a se bosumfla. I thought best To sulk* upon my mother’s breast. luncă) wooly made of or feeling like wool (lânos) to rejoice to feel or show great joy thy your meek very quiet. Little Lamb. Struggling in my father’s hands.5.The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) Little Lamb who made thee*? Dost thou know* who made thee? Gave thee life. and bid thee feed*. naked. Softest clothing. Little Lamb. William Blake. my father wept*. bound: a lega strâns. Bound* and weary*. supus) mild gentle. Like a fiend* hid* in a cloud.

no. bound: to tie briar a wild bush with branches that have thorns (măceş. tranquil. Come. And laughing is heard on the hill. “Then come home my children.” The little ones leaped* and shouted and laughed And all the hills echoed*. And ‘Thou shalt not’* writ* over the door.” “Well. And every thing else is still. borne: to give birth to grave mormânt tomb-stone piatră funerară gown mantie. in the sky the little birds fly. go and play till the light fades away*. well. midst middle ‘Thou shalt not’ ‘You shall not’ (the interdictory formula beginning the ten commandments in the Bible) writ written bore to bear. And we cannot go to sleep. That so many sweet flowers bore*. and let us away* Till the morning appears in the skies.8. Where I used to play on the green. at ease dew rouă let us away să megrem to fade away to die. Besides. bore. And I saw it was filled with graves*. And binding* with briars* my joys and desires. green pajişte verde at rest calm. William Blake.Reader TEXT 6. My heart is at rest* within my breast. for it is yet day. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Innocence) When the voices of children are heard on the green*. a sălta.7. a ţopăi to echo a răsuna Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 211 . iarbă neagră) TEXT 6. And tomb-stones* where flowers should be. come leave off play. to disappear to leap (leaped/leapt) a sări. robă walking their rounds făcându-şi rondul binding to bind. the sun is gone down. And then go home to bed. William Blake. And the hills are all covered with sheep.” “No. The Garden of Love (from Songs of Experience) I went to the Garden of Love. And the gates of the Chapel were shut. And the dews* of night arise. So I turned to the Garden of Love. And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst*. let us play. And Priests in black gowns* were walking their rounds*.

and we rose* in the dark. never mind it. they run. Then come home. Then naked and white. all their bags left behind.” And so he was quiet. laughing. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Experience) When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisperings* are in the dale*. They rise upon clouds. and that very night. The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind. a irosi TEXT 6. if he'd be a good boy. weep. and sport* in the wind. And wash in a river. foşnet. And your winter and night in disguise. Dick.Reader TEXT 6. Tom. weep!” So your chimneys I sweep. So if all do their duty. Your spring and your day are wasted* in play. 212 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . for when your head's bare. he had such a sight*!– That thousands of sweepers. and in soot* I sleep. the sun is gone down. You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. And he opened the coffins and set them all free. Were all of them locked up in coffins* of black. There’s little Tom Dacre. My face turns green* and pale. And the dews of night arise. whisperings şoapte. He'd have God for his father and never want* joy. And by* came an Angel who had a bright key. William Blake. Tom was happy and warm. Then down a green plain leaping.10. And the Angel told Tom. vâlcea my face turns green as in “green with envy” to waste a pierde. The Chimney Sweeper* (from Songs of Innocence) When my mother died I was very young. As Tom was a-sleeping. And my father sold* me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry “weep*. they need not fear harm. And got with our bags and our brushes to work. my children. freamăt dale vale. Ned and Jack. was shaved: so I said “Hush*.9. who cried when his head That curled* like a lamb’s back. weep. Though the morning was cold. And so Tom awoke. Joe. William Blake. and shine in the Sun.

their innocent faces clean. They clothed me in the clothes of death. Beneath them sit the aged men. William Blake. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 213 . And smiled among the winter’s snow. Or like harmonious thunderings* the seats* of heaven among. potoleşte-te. în preajmă to sport a zburda. but multitudes of lambs. The children walking two and two in red and blue and green. Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.11. a se juca to want to feel the need or longing for something. it is ironic that “sweep” becomes “weep” (a plânge) soot funingine to curl a se încreţi/cârlionţa hush taci. nedreptate misery intense unhappiness or suffering TEXT 6.Reader chimney sweeper coşar. They think they have done me no injury*. Crying “weep*. O what a multitude they seemed. hornar sold to sell. Grey-headed beadles* walked before. The hum* of multitudes was there. And because I am happy and dance and sing. wise guardians of the poor. with wands* as white as snow. William Blake. sold: a vinde (the boy’s father has put him to work to bring money in the family) weep the boy is so young that he could scarcely cry “sweep!” )to advertise his work in the streets). these flowers of London town! Seated* in companies they sit with radiance* all their own*. alături. weep!” in notes of woe*! “Where are thy* father and mother? say*?” “They are both gone up to church to pray. lest* you drive* an angel from your door. Who make up a Heaven of our misery*.12. coşciug by aproape. to be lacking something rose to rise (rose. a se deştepta TEXT 6. And taught me to sing the notes of woe. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Innocence) ‘Twas* on a Holy Thursday*.” weep see explanation above woe intense grief/sorrow/unhappiness thy your say? ia spune! heath câmpie stearpă injury rău. Then cherish* pity. Till into the high dome* of Paul’s* they like Thames’ waters flow. Because I was happy upon the heath*. fii liniştit sight vision coffin sicriu. risen): a se scula. And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King. The Chimney Sweeper (from Songs of Experience) A little black thing among the snow. Now like a mighty* wind they raise to heaven the voice of song.

Nor poverty the mind appal*. And their ways are filled with thorns*.13. a iubi) lest ca să nu. re-built th in the late 17 century. especially by keeping order wand baghetă dome hemispherical roof St Paul’s Cathedral the largest cathedral in London. who helped the priest in various ways. William Blake. And where-e’er the rain does fall. sterp. ghimpe where-e’er wherever to appal to make someone feel shocked and upset (a îngrozi) 214 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ca nu cumva to drive (from) a alunga. gentle light (strălucire) all their own coming from inside themselves hum a low continuous murmuring sound mighty very strong and powerful thundering tunet the seats of heaven among among the seats of heaven: in the sky (allusion to judgement seat. Babe can never hunger there. neroditor thorn spin. a goni TEXT 6. roditor fed to feed (fed): a hrăni usurous cămătăresc (see again the Glossary) bleak sterp. fruitful fecund. fertil. And their fields are bleak* and bare*. It is eternal winter there. In a rich and fruitful* land Babes reduced to misery. the 40 day after Easter. Fed* with cold and usurous* hand? Is that trembling cry a song? Can it be a song of joy? And so many children poor? It is a land of poverty! And their sun does never shine. soft. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Experience) Is this a holy thing to see. rece. in the Revelation) to cherish to treasure something (a preţui. a monument of baroque architecture seated aşezaţi radiance great happiness that shows in someone’s face. when the ascension of Christ to heaven is celebrated beadle an officer in British churches in the past. and to the Last Judgement. lugubru bare gol.Reader ‘twas it was th Holy Thursday Ascension Day. For where-e’er* the sun does shine.

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