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

4.7.1. 4.2. 3. 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 .8. 3.2.4. 3.5.4.Contents 2.5. 3.2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 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 3.3.2. 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.5.3. 3. 3. 3. 3.3. 3.1.5. 4.2.1. 3.2. 3.3. 4.6. 4. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.3. 2. 3.2.1. 4.3. 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. 4.3.2. 2. 3.2. 4.2. 3.1. 2.6. 2.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2.4.

5.4.4. 5.2. 5.8. 4. 4. 5. 5.7.4. 5. 4. 5.1.Contents 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. 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 .3. 4.3. 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. 4.4. 5.3. 5. 4. Gulliver.7.1. 5.2. 4. 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. 5. 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 5.2.3. 4. 5.1. 5.1. 4.4. 5.1.4. 5.4.6. 5. 5.

6.2. 6.4. 6. 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. 6.1. 6.1.3. 6.2.4.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.4.7. 6. 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. 6.2. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 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. 6.1. The Seasons William Cowper.5. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. 6. 6.2. 6.1.2. 6.4. 6. 6.4.

” at helping you refine your perception of literary phenomena and categories. and will highlight the contributions of their most representative literary personalities. Literature is always an important testimony to the evolution of this spirit. 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. but also an intimate acquaintance with the spirit of that culture and civilisation. and an “agent” in the cultural dynamics in a country. How this course can help you The study of this course will widen your perspective on English literature and its evolution. Fielding. Blake. this course will give you a minimum of contextual detail. You are expected and urged to bring to the understanding of this extended literary period the knowledge acquired in your previous study. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 1 . In this way. 3. Swift. such as was presented in your Cultural Studies course. Defoe. by encouraging your response to particular texts. 2. among others). but also to examine more closely particular texts by the most important authors (Shakespeare. It will familiarise you with the defining features of the literary trends and doctrines of these two centuries. and to the enrichment of your grasp of the English language. Course objectives As already mentioned. Before starting your study. Being concerned with aspects of literary history. You will be able to build a general picture of the main literary achievements of this period. the study of the present course will more efficiently contribute to your professional becoming. What this course is about This course is a brief introduction to English literature in the 17th and 18th centuries. and on certain texts – will hopefully help you to overcome the relatively great temporal and cultural distance separating us from those centuries.Introduction INTRODUCTION 1. It also aims at developing your “reading competence. this course aims at enlarging your understanding of British culture and civilisation. it would be helpful if you refreshed your acquaintance with the basic historical and cultural framework of the 17th and 18th centuries. Milton. It will thus contribute to the consolidation of your knowledge and understanding of British culture and civilisation. a carrier of values. The double focus of the course – on general aspects of a particular period or doctrine.

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

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.2. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. S. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. H. hopefully. • 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. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. Sterne –. Fielding and L. Defoe. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. • 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. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell.Introduction 4. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. The variety of these learning tasks will. and to draw your own conclusions. Richardson. • 4.1. as well as major representatives. They appeal not only to your memory. the epic poem Paradise Lost. 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). and Augustan satire. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . 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 with the evolution of this genre.

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

an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to.1. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. in Unit 1. For example. the term Enlightenment. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information.1. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. if necessary or desired. but the phrase of which that word is part. • Further reading. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course.Introduction 4. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words.3. Sometimes. other instruments meant to assist your study. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. not just Being. For instance.4. will also appear in Units 5 and 6.3. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. with the pages where you may find relevant information. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. at the end. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. Some terms may recur in several units. Thus. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. for the Great Chain of Being*.

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

your course work may take you more time. half of the answer is already contained in the question. however.1 SAA no. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. whose reading may take you some extra time.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. You may. theoretically. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. 2. 6. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. If your level of proficiency is lower. As in the case of the SAQs. 2. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . Most of the time. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. If you have no possibility to type your assignment. 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). 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. 1.2 SAA no. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%). clarity. 3.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. Of these hours. • the coherence. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. 1. Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected.

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

1.1.1. 1. 1. 1. 1.3.3. 1.2.1. 1. 1. 1.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 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 . 1.

Political. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of the Enlightenment. in the latter part of the 17th century. 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. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. 1. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society.1. at the end of this period. mentalities. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period. as the Enlightenment is often described. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. The victory of Reason over dogmatism.1.1. 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.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. The rise. religion. The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age. The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. The gradual achievement of political stability. literature. social and economic life. a powerful flourishing nation. nature and divinity during the Age of Reason. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688. philosophy. obscurantism and intolerance. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century. as well as the faith in progress. marked the entrance into modernity. science. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought.

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

the Enlightenment. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. 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. to superstition and obscurantism. for each sentence.1. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling.4.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 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. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment.3. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). The growing spirit of individualism. T F 4. appropriately.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. 1. T F 2. 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. continued the project of the Renaissance. 1. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. but also affective and instinctual. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. 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.1. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. Circle T (true) or F (false). The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. T F 3. the central concern of the Enlightenment. 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. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 5. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.

in the orbit of the crown.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. the decrease in the power of the Crown.4. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature.2. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. including readers of more modest education. T F 7. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. The division into Elizabethan. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. After 1688. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. 1. for instance. symmetry. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. with little or no classical knowledge. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. T F 8. that the notion of reading public emerges now. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. 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. regularity.1. It is significant. at the end of the unit. in one way or another. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life.1. and both writers and audiences were. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view.1. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. to 1. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. It was the main focus of literary attention. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . for proportion. read again subchapters. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality.

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

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

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

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

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

A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). The Conquest of Granada. George Villiers. 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.4. 1775. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. for instance. too. In The Rehearsal (1671). but serious drama declined during the 18th century. She Stoops to Conquer. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. a stylish and sophisticated world. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. Henry Fielding).g.4.4. John Gay. 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. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. 1777). mocks at certain theatrical conventions. 1773). but it appealed to a wide middle class public. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 1768.g. or The Mistakes of a Night. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. 1665. Heroic plays. Duke of Buckingham. 1722). which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. 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. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. who demanded models of virtue and decency.3. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. 1669-70). The School for Scandal. were a passing extravagance. Under the influence of French tragedies. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. 1769).

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. revise subchapters 1. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. at the end of the unit. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. If there should be major differences between them.4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. to 1.2. together with their most outstanding representatives. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.

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

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

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

of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. in a caricatural spirit. predominantly middle-class. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal. often by means of paradox. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man. part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits. 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.D. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public. 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. blank verse: unrhymed verse. a slow transition took place.).” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry. noble and heroic characters.-14 A. however.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 . From a literary point of view.C. of serious action. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers. 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. elevated style. It is. used to express observations of general truth. from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. Ovid. which are reduced to the comically trivial.

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

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

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

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

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

Marvell.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Thomson. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. Collins. 3.T.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare.T. 2. precision. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. there was a tendency towards simplicity. English Literature and Civilisation. Herbert. William Wycherley. 3.T. Marvell satire: Dryden. Cowley. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. The Literature of the Beginnings. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. 4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1.F. Ioan-Aurel (ed. Macsiniuc. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson. Goldsmith. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers.T. 9-32) 2. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Preda. Dryden. d.T.T.4. Goldsmith. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Cornelia. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele.T. b.F. Herrick. 2003 (pp. The Novel in Its Beginnings. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Donne. . 1983 (pp. 5. 7-49) 3.F. Pope. artificial. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 8. Milton the pastoral: Milton. Dryden. Blake the ode: Marvell. Sir George Sedley. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Luminiţa Elena.).T SAQ 2 a. Pope. 5. c. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. John Gay Further reading 1.F. Turcu. 2003 (pp. 4. 6.3. Duke of Buckingham. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. 7. John Vanbrugh). 6.2. The English Eighteenth Century.T. 2. Milton. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. Fielding. Carew. Sir George Etherege. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost.

12. 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. 2. 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 .3. 2.1.8. 2. 2.2.1. 2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.2.2. 2. 2. 2.2.6. 2.8. 2.2.2. 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. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.2.3. 2.

anxiety and even pessimism. Elizabethan England also witnessed an explosion of creative energies in the field of letters and arts. this spirit declined under the pressure of certain historical events* and cultural tendencies. Renaissance England reached the climax in its flourishing. but the outstanding achievements of writers like Thomas Kyd*.1. Under Queen Elizabeth I. High Renaissance English literature has its most accomplished expression in Shakespeare’s work. The spirit that dominated this age was typical of the Renaissance. Philip Sydney*. well-ordered universe. the sense of tradition as a guarantee for order. In the late Renaissance. The vision of a harmonious. 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. 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. stable and modern state. to scepticism. and Edmund Spenser* complete the literary picture of the glorious Elizabethan Age. The Elizabethan age: the English high Renaissance Features of the high Renaissance spirit 32 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Christopher Marlowe*. Increasingly prosperous and powerful owing to colonial expansion and economic progress. The emergence of the baroque sensibility The early and high Renaissance* in England developed under the Tudor monarchs*. to the perception of man as a bundle of contradictions and the view of the universe as threatened by instability. during whose reign England developed into a strong. idealism and confidence gave way to a growing sense of disorder and violence. The former expansiveness.

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

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

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

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

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

Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. at the end of the unit. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust.4. as well as the indicated fragment. which is only partly dissimulated. In Hamlet’s tormented soul.2. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. If they should differ significantly. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. 2. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. SAQ 3 Text 2. read again the preceding subchapter. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare.1. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected.

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

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

The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. illusion and truth.2. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. at the end of the unit. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood.2. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. it bleeds. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating.7. The protagonist.2. 2. Macbeth. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. to 2. kinsman and guest. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. If any of your solutions should not correspond. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. 1. ____________________ 4. at the instigation of his wife. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). ____________________ 5. innocence and corruption. he multiples his crimes. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. The baroque motif of madness is.6.2. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. / It weeps. underlining the theme of knowledge.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. you need to revise subchapters 2. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.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. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. paradoxically. ____________________ 3. disorder. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. one of Duncan’s sons. but. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. who has a trusting nature. ____________________ 2. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion.

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

a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio. myth.2. and Sebastian. while for physical labour he uses Caliban. on which he lives alone with his daughter. After the tragedies. Miranda. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. the jester. In its opening scene. duke of Milan. marvelous. Alonzo. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. He had long studied the arts of magic. They mix serious and comic action. has turned him into a slave. king of Naples. The Winter’s Tale. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead.2. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. the sense of a benevolent providential design. the theme of loss and recovery. the master of an island. the long journey. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. involving the shipwrecked characters. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. to take his throne. of exile and return). by his powers. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. the fairy-tale atmosphere. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. They may also be described as romance plays. Cymbeline. Alonzo. who instantly fall in love with each other. the shipwreck. magic. who. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. 2. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. Three lines of action develop.9. and certain themes and motifs (e.8. owing to the improbability of the action.g. Trinculo. is considered the finest. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. the choice of a remote setting. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. his faithful spiritservant. as well as other passengers. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. a drunken servant. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. The Tempest (1611). We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. the pronounced elements of the supernatural. respectively –.

the control of intelligence over nature. more importantly. evil Elizabeth Green – Ariel: The Tempest (1922) 44 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . On the island.” claiming his throne. Prospero’s project acquires a wider dimension through the union of Ferdinand and Miranda. Caliban Innocence vs. who reveals himself to them as “the wronged duke of Milan. a “thing of darkness. The grossest instincts of human nature and a fundamental viciousness are symbolically embodied in the grotesque figure of Caliban. 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. to master himself. who now repent.10. The power of innocence to redeem evil and restore order and the values of humanity is another important theme.” who can be controlled only by the art of magic. Ariel is commanded to bring all the characters before Prospero. whose youth and innocence are the premises for the undoing of the wrongs of the past. “neglecting worldly ends. Prospero. for the emergence of a regenerated world. represents pure spirit. to break his staff (symbol of supernatural power) and to drown his book (symbol of supernatural knowledge). Ariel.” he had also failed to see his brother’s true character. the personification of Prospero’s imagination. Major themes An important theme in The Tempest is that of the nature of power. His act of forgiveness is the highest demonstration of princely power. Prospero plans a safe return to Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. influenced by Ariel. the scholar-magician. In the final act.e.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Prospero’s initial plan had been revenge.” “on whose nature / Nurture [i. education] can never stick. and then to Milan. one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating creations. he learns. he has a change of heart and sees in the union of the lovers a possibility of reconciliation and of a new beginning. assumes a certain responsibility for his own dethronement: absorbed in his studies. The theme of power Ariel vs. He forgives his treacherous brother and those involved in his usurpation. At the opposite pole. he regains his authority and learns again the arts of power. at the end. but. and it is significant that this act is accompanied by his decision to abandon his magic. and to return to the world in his full humanity. 2. While Caliban and the plotting courtiers and servants demonstrate that both nature and society are capable of corruption.2. in Ferdinand and Miranda civilisation and nature are united in their most innocent forms. or of the wickedness of the servant turning against his master.

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

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

T F 3. Their styles are different. T F 2. but each of them. T F 4. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. If any of your choices should be wrong.3.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. 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. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. T F 7. in his own way. T F 6.2.2. 2. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero.12. 1. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. of which three are false. except that of terrifying him.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest.9 to 2. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. at the end of the unit. You must find them among the following statements. was first intended to bring discredit on them. 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. revise subchapters2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 5.

which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. which helps the poet to develop his subject.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. Dr.2. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*.e. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. writers had to face a new exigency. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime.3. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2.3. regardless of the subject of the poem. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. This is an elaborate figurative device. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing.” A new kind of poetry emerged. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . a cold intellectual exercise. a demand for “more matter and less words. a metaphor or an analogy. In spite of its logical. hidden. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. from a most ordinary circumstance. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. is contemplated from a certain distance. or discovery of occult [i. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. argumentative quality. By means of conceits. united] by violence together. but also his reason. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements.e.1. and the emotions involved. “More matter and less words” 2. as “a combination of dissimilar images. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. linked. The impression is that this experience. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. which starts from a comparison. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling. As extended comparisons.

In the following subchapters. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.3. and allegory. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. 2.3. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century.3. its decorative use of classical mythology. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 .The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. and 2. pastoral* conventions. In the treatment of both themes. at the end of the unit.3.1. and a highly original one. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. If they should differ considerably. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits.2. and the same realistic force. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. Use the space left below. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. revise subchapters 2.

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

If they should differ significantly. in the Reader). you need to revise subchapter 2.6. paying special attention to the last three stanzas.3. Here. in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. he develops one of his most famous conceits. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 .The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2.. Formulate your answer in the space left below. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read the poem again. at the end of the unit. as well. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love.2.

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

7. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. 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.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. and read the poem again. revise subchapter 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . 2. nature. according to some critics. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. from the Reader.3. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. and love of country. As a Puritan* patriot. Marvell left. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. at the end of the unit. Donne suggests his contradictory. In the last six lines. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3.6. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape.5. If there should be significant differences.

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

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

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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T. unexpected. use of conceits (extended comparisons. Othello. T SAQ 8 1. Hamlet. SAQ 6 Prospero might have better controlled Caliban in his “brutish” state. 7. 5. 4. 3. F. Hamlet. Hamlet. and the horrible crime has immediate effects on his conscience. he failed in his effort to enlighten Caliban. even if physically the lovers must be apart.) SAQ 9 The poet associates mutual love with the way in which a pair of compasses works. which would have enabled him to communicate (e. T. of a clean mind. 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”). He is not a cold-blooded killer.g. guided by rational will. the abstract and the concrete. “Sleep no more” anticipates the torments of Macbeth’s conscience. concise expression and density of meaning 2. to blend contraries (e. 4. 3. of his own sense of self. the development of conscience. 6. by keeping one foot fixed and moving the other round this centre. unable to find peace once it has been corrupted by evil.e. Othello. As a truly superior being. 2. attempt to reconcile contradictory or discordant experiences. endowed with speech. SAQ 7 1. he chose to raise Caliban to the condition of a rational creature. 2.g. passion and reason. King Lear. however. King Lear SAQ 5 In the first place. make his purposes known through words). Prospero seemed also to think that Caliban could be socialised through speech. He thus expected Caliban to overcome his primitive impulses and to develop more civilised tendencies (“purposes”). From Prospero’s point of view. made of two moving legs articulated at one end. F.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 1. complicated line of argument. led to his awareness of his condition as a slave. King Lear. which remain perfectly united. usually between highly dissimilar elements. As “chief nourisher in life’s feast. 5. surprising associations) 3. By 60 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . this hallucination proves Macbeth’s strong imagination. which organises and “manages” intense feeling and emotion.” sleep (i. From Caliban’s point of view. is a suitable emblem for their souls. innocent conscience) is part of the natural order of man’s existence. This instrument. etc. through language (knowing his “own meaning”). T. because the latter’s nature was hopelessly evil. F. analytical detachment from emotion 4. “The innocent sleep” is the symbol of moral integrity. Perfect circles (symbolising perfect love) may be traced by means of the compasses. which he resents.

SAQ 11 If we had time enough and the world were all ours. Paradoxically. 267-283. but the implication is that his will and reason are too weak to defend his faith. 273-287) 2. Your own passion “transpires” in the blush of your skin. 1991 (pp. 1983 (pp. your beauty will fade and my songs of praise will have no object when you lie in your grave. God would set him free for a complete experience of religious devotion. The speaker tries thus to persuade his mistress of his own constancy of feeling. which would restore the purity of his faith (being “chaste”).” Depending on the distance from the centre to the circumference.). Boris (ed. English Literature and Civilisation. vol. instead of letting it devour us slowly. Daiches. 97-105. and which would resemble rape. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). in the absence of joy. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. while rape presupposes the violation of one’s will. 1969 (pp. the inclination of the fixed leg may vary – it seems to “lean after” the moving leg. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. A Critical History of English Literature. 130-140) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 61 . 302-305) 3.” so there is always the certainty of reunion for the lovers. will long for him. the metaphor of the speaker’s “marriage” to God’s enemy suggests his sense of sin.). however. 34-40. Therefore let us enjoy each other while we are still young and you are beautiful. 3. I would spend ages in praising every part of your body. the poet’s love depends on the certainty of his mistress’s faithfulness and constancy: “Thy firmness makes my circle just. Taking him by force – by the force of the divine grace –. Penguin Books Ltd. The only way out of his loveless “marriage” to sin is a “divorce. since only worms will “enjoy” it. Preda.The late Renaissance and the Baroque analogy. because your charms deserve such praise. But. just as the mistress. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. vol. consent and legality. David. in fact. But I know time is merciless.. SAQ 10 Marriage is associated with love. Ford. Ioan-Aurel (coord. your virginity will then be worth nothing. so let us devour Time with the intensity of our desire. Further reading 1.. waiting for her departed lover.” which only God can effect. He loves God. as the moving leg will “come home” and join its “twin. 246-249. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 3.2. 3. 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 . 3.5. 3.3. works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3. 3.4.3. 3.1. 3.5. 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. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 3. 3.2.

In 1638. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. family. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country. Milton. His enormous learning. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. At Cambridge (1625-1629). as well as his moral inflexibility. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. religious and civil debates of his age. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e.g. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started. geography. rhetoric and the great works of the classics. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. mathematics. the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. baroque* vision. etc. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets.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. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. he continued to read intensively. music. 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. politics. theology. the greatest epic poem in English literature. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. written in English and in Latin. the freedom of the press.). Paradise Lost. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. etc. such as education. he studied Latin.1. religion. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. as a publicist. he approached a diversity of subjects. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. Greek and Hebrew. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation. After that. he went on a trip to Italy.

L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. with its pastoral delights. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . However. In the Sixth elegy. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. As a poet. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. etc. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work.1. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*.). for instance. However. who. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. On the other hand.2. Ovid*. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”].2. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. like a priest. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. his political hopes ended. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. is in touch with divine secrets. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. Virgil*. As in other poems.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. In some of them. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. 3. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. With the Restoration*. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. but Milton did not complete his plan. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment.

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

may appear unjust in a world in which corrupt priests prosper and accede to high offices. Milton’s sonnets Milton revived the tradition of the sonnet*. written at the death of a fellow-student at Cambridge. Confronted with the tragic inevitability of death.The works of John Milton 3. the shepherdpoet’s consolation is in his own sense of purpose. He wrote sonnets intermittently throughout his life.3. in two of his sonnets he reveals these anxieties in a direct. he defines his poetic ambition in terms which are both Christian and classical-humanist. The elegy Lycidas. The death of a promising young man makes the poet meditate on existential problems. or occasional and complimentary compositions. which had known a period of decline since the Elizabethan age*. personal manner. If in other poems of Milton’s early career this thought is expressed more obliquely. 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. The lamenting poet finds comfort in the thought that the soul of the dead friend is now with God.2.2. preparing himself seriously for becoming a priest. and they were either testimonies of personal experience and feeling. Milton’s concern with his poetic fulfilment 3. uses again the pastoral frame. Irrespective of their nature. Milton composed another poem in which. in a heavenly pastoral world. 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. not on earth. 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 the end of the elegy brings in a note of personal confidence. to fresh woods and pastures new. representing both himself and his dead mate as shepherds. in his determination to carry on with his task and do each day’s work: “Tomorrow. 66 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . variety and originality in the use of this poetic form. Milton adds a contemporary Christian relevance to the classical pastoral convention when he reflects on the corruption of the church.” Lycidas shows Milton again preoccupied by his own becoming a poet. The answer to such questions enlarges the frame of the pastoral elegy: the true reward for both merit and vice is in heaven. Milton’s sonnets demonstrate a remarkable flexibility. Lycidas – a pastoral elegy In the same year with L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1637). The death of the dedicated young man. again.

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

paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. when he was already blind. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. If there should be significant differences. and 3. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader). Read these sonnets (Texts 3. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. and he worked at it over several years. read again subchapter 3. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. at the end of the unit. Dante* –. 3. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. respectively. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer.2. and the two sonnets.1. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). Virgil.4.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet.3. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation.2. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

(divine) love and (Satanic) hatred. Finally. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels. the creation of the world and of man. and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. Starting from the dualism good/evil. brought about by his disobedience. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. Milton had thought.The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise. knowledge and ignorance/innocence. and his loss of Paradise.” full of the bitterness of defeat. etc. as he stated in the opening Invocation.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. His work is encyclopaedic. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. man’s temptation and fall into sin.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner. are gathered to listen to Satan. 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. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him.” forever deprived of the glory. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time. The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action.1. The “lost Archangel. of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell. in fact. “to justify the ways of God to men. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i. 3. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. Milton’s ambition was. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny. of Lucifer* from Heaven. but his erudition.e. predestination*. happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven. He interprets poetically the biblical events. obedience and rebellion.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso. which is never ornamental. is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 . in which man’s fall. over the years. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. original epic scenario. in theme a daring.4. accumulated throughout his life.

He contemplates with envy the beauty and the innocent happiness of Adam and Eve.4. The fallen angels are all called to a council in Satan’s infernal palace. explains to His Son the reason for his allowing this to happen.” He thus anticipates the moment of the Temptation. Chaos and Chance. Milton displays here at his best his gift of evoking vast spaces and general chaos. is rendered in one of the most highly poetic passages in the poem.” God anticipates the event of His Son’s incarnation.e.e. cunning]. God’s Son offers to pay this price for the reconciliation of man to his heavenly Father. surpass] hellish hate. to seek the newly created Earth. whose setting is in Heaven. the ascension from darkness to the light of his “native seat” – now forbidden to him –. and so “Heavenly love shall outdo [i. and their discussions are rendered in Book II. Satan has reached the Garden of Eden. The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Book III. to find the weakness of man and to seduce him to join their party. Satan. His voyage through the great gulf separating Hell from Heaven. and plans to “excite their minds / With more desire to know.e.2. Man’s sin of disobedience must be punished justly. the overwhelming discord of the elements of a yet uncreated world. and the only way to satisfy divine justice is a sacrificial death that would redeem man. The corruption of God’s creation was thought better than any kind of revenge.The works of John Milton The council of the fallen angels “fraud or guile [i. concentrates the doctrinal argument of the poem. knowing in advance that Satan will be successful in his attempt to “pervert” man. Satan is prevented from carrying out his design by the angels guarding Paradise. assumes the danger of trying to break free from the formidable prison of Hell. God.” Meanwhile. Divine justice and mercy Book IV: Satan’s arrival in the Garden of Eden 70 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The accepted solution is to reach the new world created by God. the “wild abyss” governed by Night. in which his success was due to deceit and dissimulation. i. Pandemonium*. whose splendour is described more effectively through Satan’s jealous eyes. 3. and He commands His angels to adore and celebrate man’s Saviour and “universal king. death and resurrection. by virtue of his leading position. set him free from sin. 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.” and to make them transgress God’s interdiction of tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

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

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

read the fragment again. If your answer should differ significantly from the offered suggestions.The works of John Milton SAQ 4 Text 3. and the “Spirit of God” infusing life into the primal ocean. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. A Prophecy. 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. more carefully. W. in the Reader presents. through Raphael’s words.7. the first moments in the creation of the world: the making of heavens and skies. 1794) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 73 .

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

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

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

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. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. It may be argued. which they fully assume. at the end of the unit. read the fragment again. however. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan.9. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.5. more carefully. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. If they should differ in major points. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 .The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3.

This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger. made happy in their innocent love. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels. which is itself a paradise. and that Milton gave the full measure of his literary genius in the character of Satan because he instinctively supported the idea of freedom. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free. and his great ambition is “to reign.1.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition. and his longing for the delights of his former existence torments him like an inner hell. He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting. Over a century after the poem’s publication. where there is “neither joy nor love.” He instigates the other angels to rebellion in the name of freedom from servitude. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom. Before his fall. From the beginning of the poem. he is envious of God’s omnipotence.e. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. he had been the first Archangel. 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. unwilling to serve a power that he considered tyrannical. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation. he naturally assumes the role of a leader.The works of John Milton 3.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire. Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan. but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost. “Imparadised in one another’s arms” – i.5. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. In Hell.

but by the evil subtlety of his mind and the corrupting power of his word. Satan’s greatness as a character comes from the sublime intensity of his negative passions. that he determines Eve to break the divine interdiction. but the epic poet insistently underlines their manipulative intentions. he is the promoter of suspicion and doubt. It is with “high 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. and “out of good still to find means of evil.5.The works of John Milton 3.2. It is also with “persuasive* words. He is determined “to do ill” – which is “the contrary to his high will” – or to pervert the good done by God. Satan is The Tempter. Satan’s speeches have an impressive convincing force. the destroyer of faith.” He is “the author of all ill. Awakening in man the impulse to question.” which actually lacked substance that he manages to revive the courage of the depressed fallen angels. His “immortal hate” makes revenge his only aim. Satan. 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. and he invests all his titanic energies in his destructive plan. The temptation of Eve is in fact the repetition of the earlier act of persuading the angels to join him in his rebellion. The negative power of rhetoric: Satan the Tempter Gustave Doré: Satan (1870) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 79 . Milton insists on the fact that they abandoned “the eternal splendours of Heaven” and followed Satan seduced by his promises of freedom and greatness. Satan can assert his freedom of action only in the sphere of evil. Satan represents the negation of the creative power of the divine Word: his revenge is accomplished not by force.” seeming reasonable and true.” and the “Enemy of Mankind. As God’s absolute antagonist.

) B. If there are significant differences. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. “and “The mind is its own place.. and 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. at the end of the unit. in Hell.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A.5. Read the whole fragment carefully. revise subchapters 3.5. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.1.3. and read the indicated fragment again.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.

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

Read this fragment and summarise its argument. in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable.2. Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. If there should be major differences. the pastoral elegy Lycidas. a necessary part of His design. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. in no more than 8 lines/80 words. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Subchapter 3. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso. Summary In this unit. at the end of the unit. you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3.5. in the Reader. the Nativity Ode. he prepared himself for it during long years. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. one of the greatest English poets. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III. 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 same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies.

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

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

at the end of the play. before the final battle. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. At the beginning of Book IV. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. God’s creation. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. 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.. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. 1. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest.2.1.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.6.3. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). 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 . Text 3. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. in which he explores his inner hell. and 2. and thus of destroying man. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.5. A revision of subchapter 3. Send-away assignment no. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.). the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.2.4.C. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. Texts 2.. 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. 2. In both of them. and the last paragraph of 2. romantic in The Tempest –. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. • Read attentively this fragment. one of the greatest Roman poets.1. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.2. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit.

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

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

1.6. 4. 4. 4. 4.2.1. 4.1.2 4.4. 4.2.1. 4.1. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 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 .2.7.1. 4.2.3. Gulliver.5.5.1. 4.1.2. 4.4. 4. 4.1. 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. 4. 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. “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.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. 4. 4. 4.

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

A certain coarseness of feeling. on the other. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains. lust. 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. jealousy. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). magnificent settings. Gallantry. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. refinement and sophistication. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. Conquest and seduction. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners.2. both of them highly conventional forms. or Court Wits. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. wit*. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. although each in its own way and for different reasons. exotic places. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. Sensational turns of situation. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. It made fun of the people from the countryside. and absolute villains. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the cynicism. adultery. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. an artificial. above all. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. The action was usually set in remote. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. and. 4.3. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. on the one hand. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*.1. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. fashionable manners. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*.1. sumptuous costumes. were essential for the true man of the world. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama.

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

Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. It displays typical Restoration characters. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723).1. refinement and sophistication.1. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. at the end of the unit. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. 1. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. Restoration comedy praised wit. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. by doing the exercise that follows. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. T F 6. such as the impoverished gallant.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. William Congreve. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. T F 8. T F 7. T F 3.1. T F 2. T F 5. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. hedonism and amorality at Court. T F 4. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. simple action. 4. T F 9. frivolity. elegance. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. to 4.3. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. read again subchapters 4. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language.

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

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

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

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

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

4. but to be a functional part of the community. too. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. Ostentation.2. The writer's art was a form of social communication. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. refinement with wisdom. “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. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. In the context of general progress. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature.4.5. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. of critical debate in every field. “grace and strength united.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. affectation were rejected. unnecessary ornament. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” Augustan wit 4.2. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. eloquence with restraint. where nothing seems to be studied. precision and clarity. 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. manners and taste. its effects were considerable on prose. or. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. of quick accumulation of information.3. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*.

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

Like other writers. think again and try to do the exercise once more. 4. The Tatler and The Spectator. whose essays were published several times in the century.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays. If they are significantly different. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3. To increase the efficiency of their undertaking.1. Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. at the end of the unit. in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop. 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). and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714). and by far the most popular ones. only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture.e. “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists. they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. Think of present relevance of this remark. on a separate sheet. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). collected in book form.

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

5. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. Identify at least eight such features. and write them in the indicated spaces below. 7. more carefully. 3. cheerful disposition.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. read again subchapter 4. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues.1. 8. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. If there should be major discrepancies.3. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 6. 1. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . common sense. 4. at the end of the unit. 2.

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

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

economic.4. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. religious. bigger than himself. In his last voyage. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. justice and freedom.3. and literary. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. a hater of pedantry and pretence. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.A Voyage to Brodingnag III. It is an allegorical satirical travel book. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. Laputa. Back in England.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. Glubbdubdrib. intelligent speaking horses. Jonathan Swift. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. Balnibarbi. Gulliver is finally expelled. philosophical. an uncompromising defender of truth. Like many of his contemporaries.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation. Luggnagg and Japan IV. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. the Yahoos. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. with a sharp sense of observation. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. building houses starting from the roof. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. respectively. he learns about the Struldbruggs. From this last country. the flying island. social and intellectual realities.4. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. or softening marble to make pincushions. and where human creatures. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend.A Voyage to Lilliput II. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. In Luggnagg. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage.A Voyage to Laputa. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. In it. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. in his potential as a rational creature. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable.4. curious and resourceful. In Balnibarbi.

The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. and he prefers now the company of horses. 3.5. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. 4. 2. 1. in Text 4. read the fragment carefully once more. His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. from the Reader. Find. 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). at the end of the unit. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers.

4. Gulliver. and they constitute a miniature picture of England. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. Gulliver is confronted. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. etc. In the Houyhnhnms. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. cruel and hypocritical. means de-humanisation. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. vain. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. his vulnerability increases. jumping over or creeping under a stick. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason. ruled by an enlightened monarch. etc. The fourth voyage. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. ambitious. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. in his last adventure. he sees ideal creatures.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. In the Yahoos. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . However. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. 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. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). by dancing on a rope. issues or figures. of the capacity for affection. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection.5. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. governed only by reason.6. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. from which he chooses to leave.4. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. In Brobdingnag. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling.). Dissenters and Catholics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. 5. 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.4.1. 5.1.3. 5.1. 5.2. 5.2. 5.2.6.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.3.2. 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 . 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.2.1.1. 5.3. 5.4.2. 5.5.3. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.2.6. 5. 5.

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

in Augustan terms. a reality that was close to the average reader’s experience became a source of imaginative interest. their common denominator was the attempt to convey an impression of authentic experience. the novel’s didactic vocation. The novelist no longer drew his plots from mythology. The ordinary aspects of life. its endeavour to propagate a certain moral and social code. Characters are no longer idealised. On the one hand. The knights and princesses of romances were replaced. The novel proposed norms of moral conduct and standards of social integration. a double tendency of the Age of the Enlightenment. vague and abstract figures. romances were therefore literature of escape. in the novel. The novel reflects. by common people. its normality. the novel’s aspiration was to fulfil the double mission of all Augustan literature: to entertain (to divert) and to instruct (to edify). It attempted to correct morals and educate manners by censuring vice and folly. For most women. in its concerns. it recommended patterns of behaviour and models of success that were relevant to the condition of middle class readers. truth to Nature – is what primarily distinguished the novel from romance. socially and materially dependent on men. On the other hand. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 119 . The readers of novels could identify themselves with the characters. Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Whereas the basic aim of romance was to entertain. to their relevance for the reader’s aspirations and possibilities. whose province was the spectacular and the extraordinary. In spite of the great diversity of novels in the 18th century. shows its assumed responsibility towards contemporary civilisation. Realism – or. with entertainment frequently subordinated to the instructive aim.2. but from contemporary life. its determination to participate in the general Augustan quest for an ideal of social harmony. 5.1. the province of the novel was the familiar. history. legend. By contrast. realised with an unprecedented wealth of social. because the depicted experience and universe were more or less familiar to them. 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. its emphasis on individual experience is the literary expression of the spirit of individualism associated with the growing importance of the middle classes. Thus.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel domestic universe. or previous literature. moral or psychological detail. The represented experience was meant to engage the reader’s interest both because it was familiar and because of its uniqueness. but distinct individualities. the novel reflected the general critical spirit of the Age of the Enlightenment and participated in its project of emancipation through education.

and 5. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Women were … 3. 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. 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. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. If there should be major differences.1. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion.1. read again subchapters 5. The rise of the middle classes … 2. on the other. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below.1. 1. … 4.2. at the end of the unit. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. and public/social norms and conventions. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.

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

122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ________________________ 7. ________________________ 5. in their confrontation with moral choice. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. 3. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. ________________________ 8. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. in an atmosphere of gloom. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line.. read again subchapter 5. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. trivial subjects. 1. after each sentence. ________________________ 2. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. ________________________ 4.3. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict.1.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. ________________________ 6. usually with supernatural ingredients. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values.

Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. They share a middle class. They were all stories of success.2. in actions. several adventure novels. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. on his fiction. Puritan* background. This confers vividness to their narratives. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. but also on the Continent. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). their social insertion. in circumstantial details. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems.1. 5. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. dynamic and versatile. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. to the influence. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position.2. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. cast in a picaresque form. in the next years. They are pragmatic. Mariner. published in 1719. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. when the writer was almost sixty. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.

of his moral strength to carry on against all obstacles.” and leaves home on board a ship. he learns that his prospering business in Brazil has made him a rich man. On his return to England.1920) 124 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a celebration of man’s power of spiritual endurance in adversity. Robinson becomes engaged in a heroic struggle for survival. has three children. as well by the more recent case of a sailor who had lived in complete solitude for five years on an uninhabited island. prudent and calculating mature man. not only physical but also spiritual.” He disregards his father’s advice of continuing the family trade and keeping within the limits of his “middle station in life. After several misadventures at sea.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. The subject is inspired by 17th century stories of castaways on desert islands. names him Friday and turns him into his loyal servant and receptive pupil. He marries. to buy slaves. where he has established a colony.” without “any appearance of fiction in it. Illustration to the first edition (1719) Robinson on the beach (illustration by N. he starts a voyage to Africa. In the hope of increasing his wealth. Robinson displays from a young age the romantic inclination of wandering. one of Defoe’s “honest cheats. the desire for adventure and for “seeing the world. he turns from a reckless. and the book ends with his promise of further accounts of his island. Son of a successful German merchant settled in England. but during a terrible storm he is shipwrecked on a desert island. in soon left a widower. Robinson settles in Brazil where he becomes a relatively prosperous plantation owner.” as he came to call his novels – the attempt to inculcate religion and morality through a gripping story which has the appearance of authenticity. C. Providence helps him finally leave the island. In the 28 years of solitary life. Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Robinson Crusoe is recommended as “a just history of fact.2. struggling to impose on an alien space his middle class idea of order. Wyeth . romantic youth into a realistic. he rescues a savage from his fellow cannibals. The only survivor. Under Defoe’s pen.2. such an experience became an archetypal one. in fact.” It is. After 26 years.

2.2. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. In this light. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . 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.3. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. If it should differ considerably. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). In his initial struggle with despair.2. Gradually. to the awakening of religious conscience. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. read again subchapters 5. as a political or economic utopia. and 5.1.” 5. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance.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. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. at the end of the unit. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter..2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

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

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

and 5. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. 5. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. though in quality [i.”? Answer in the space left below. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. at the end of the unit. as a servant.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.2. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts.e. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. between hate and admiration.7. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. If there should be significant differences. read again attentively subchapters 5. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to obey Mr.8. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor.6. 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.2.2.

The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. her sentimental response to them. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. B_ follows a similar evolution. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. excerpted from Pamela.4. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader.. at the end of the unit. 2. and considering also Text 5.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . 1. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. however. on the one hand. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. on the other. What counts. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. read again subchapter 5.. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr.9. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. which are captured in the process of their emergence. In Pamela’s letters and diary. and his developing love. in the Reader). If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions.

His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. and. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. Mr. Pope. they mirror a wide range of human types. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. in London.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Joseph’s sweetheart. including Pamela and her husband. Slipslop. performed by means of comic satiric devices. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. but a snobbish. burlesque and comic satire. irony. Mrs. Abraham Adams. started as a parody. modest and gentle creature. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners.3. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. but also by the maid. All important characters meet here. B_’s aunt. so that he sets out for home. 1790) 132 . Through the omniscient* narrator. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. whose servant he was. priggish* upstart. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. 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.” Mr. the author asserts himself. relationships and actions. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. above all. Cervantes. At this point. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*.3.1. Fielding was a master of parody. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. author of Don Quixote” (1742). A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. Mr. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. to his native village. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. as well as their inclusiveness. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. Fielding abandons parody. Booby. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. but a voice external to the story. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device.

Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. T F 3.2. read the text once more. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. Mr. is an ingredient of romantic plots. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. For instance. T F 2.5. T F 6. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. Wilson. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master.3. at the end of the unit. in the spirit of comedy. T F 4. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. for true or false) for each of them. Fielding likes to play with genres.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. whom they had met during their journey. T F 8. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. alluding thus to the older genre. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. carefully. T F 5. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. T F 7. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . which closes the plot. Read Text 5. 5. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”).” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. Cervantes. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. which turns out to be gentle*. 1.

in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. doctors. etc. By means of techniques of contrast. both honest and hypocrite priests. cruelty. Like his literary ancestor. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. often making him appear ridiculous. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). active goodness. etc. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. above all. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. Every social class. not an individual. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. but also moral instruction. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. but they placed their main interest in the individual.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.3. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession.4. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. For the author. At the same time. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . but manners. 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. which must give substance to faith. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. as he himself says. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with.3. Along the novel. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. in spite of the many instances of greed. in Fielding. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. In other words. he describes “not men. lawyers. masters. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious.3. as for Richardson. there are both good and bad innkeepers. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. In the beginning. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. Joseph emerges as morally mature. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. which often create comic effects. but good deeds and charity. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5.

of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language.4.3. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. 5. 5. He is a moralist. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. At the same time. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . 3. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. incorporated in the substance of his works. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.2. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.4. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. 1. unaffected. and 5.. through its moral and temperamental types.. like many Augustan writers. Explain them. provide the first theory of the novel. at the end of the unit.8. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. 5. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. read again subchapters 5. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. If they should differ substantially. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. Fielding is the most “Augustan. and he believes. drawing short comparisons. 2.

1. He digresses continually.4. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended.4. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. at the age of five. However. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. His father. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). in Joseph Andrews. the history of a private life.” in every sense.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. the relation between life and literature. of his uncle.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Walter.e. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. that. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. 5. he seems to have. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. the narrator. is an erudite philosopher.4.2. that he was. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. at every point. does not manage to give a shape to his story.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. With Sterne. by accident. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . other interesting things to relate. moulds reality into a literary pattern. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. i. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. corporal Trim. and his long. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. Walter Shandy. unpredictable narrative. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. Tristram. as well as of Parson Yorick. Fielding had demonstrated. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. the priest who baptised Tristram. In spite of his promises.

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

read again subchapter 5. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*.6.4. at the end of the unit.3. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. Write the answer in the space left below. Ch. in the Glossary to Unit 2.. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. V. I. To remember the features of the tragic hero. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. Read this short chapter (Text 5. see again the fall of princes. as well as the fragment from the Reader. SAQ 10 In Vol. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. If the difference is considerable.

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

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

7. Write them in the spaces indicated below. 1. go again through subchapters 5.5. at the end of the unit. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. which he discusses in the very text of the work. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. and 5. 3. and read the fragment attentively once more.4. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.6. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Instead of continuing the story..4. If they differ significantly. In this way. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. 2. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.

Sterne. Fielding. to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. Since its settlement on the literary scene. 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 . and Laurence Sterne. completely ignored by Augustan poetics. on the other hand. and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. At the beginning of the 18th century. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. in his novels of manners. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century.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. Lastly. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. However. Henry Fielding. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact. Samuel Richardson. the novel was a minor form. We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer. You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects. 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.

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

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

Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. and 5.1. clarity. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. as illustrated by this fragment.1. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words.2. therefore. the king rejects this tribute.4. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . Text 4. in grading your paper. Horrified. with special attention to subchapter 4. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. • the coherence. 2.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words.1. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. You will have. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. In order to win the good graces of the king. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. to revise the preceding unit.. SAA no. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.4. 1. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Text 5. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. Remember that. 3.

pragmatism. plainness. 4. She will accept humbly her social inferiority. vividness. and by the form of autobiographical record. 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. 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 . 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. 3. optimism. 4. realistic account. 5. The rise of the middle classes … coincides with the emergence of the novel as a literary genre. but this is a way of accomplishing more efficiently his honest intention of conveying a moral message. … novels focused on the ordinary and the familiar aspects of life. 2. 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. concreteness. SAQ 2 1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 6. He delights the reader with an extraordinary adventure and a story of success. all souls are equal. on contemporary social reality and on the experience of the common individual. 5. Women were … a consistent part of the novel’s reading public. immediacy. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. resilience. and also authors of novels. industriousness. SAQ 5 factuality. SAQ 4 Tenacity. patience. the capacity for learning from mistakes. He thus “cheats” the reader with the illusion of truth. inventiveness. 3. sharp sense of observation. which is given an air of authenticity by the meticulous. but she lives with the deep conviction that in the spiritual order of a Christian world. SAQ 3 Defoe’s own phrase refers to the purpose of his novels: to entertain and to instruct. rationality. 2. she may be deprived of the privilege of class and fortune. In the social order.

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

598-602. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Macsiniuc. 2003 (pp. Penguin Books Limited. David. Allen. 701-704. 712-718. 116127. 43-46. 76-80) 2. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 731-736) 3. 217-231. 37-42. Walter. vol.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. 53-59. 179-195. 1969 (pp. The English Novel. Editura Universităţii Suceava. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 143-163. A Critical History of English Literature.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 1991 (pp. Daiches. Cornelia. 6. 6. 6.1.2. 6. 6. 6.4.1. 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. 6. 6. 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 .3. 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. The Seasons William Cowper.2.2. 6. 6. 6.4.4. 6. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.3.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.2. 6. 6.1.

led to an increasing attention to emotional response.1. with its emphasis on order. and cultivated its public relevance. and Fielding). This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry. Neoclassicism*. Pope. One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts. to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. Addison. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. harmony. however. The interest in individual psychology. the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. the century of the Enlightenment*. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine. discipline. regarded art as the product of civilisation. For instance. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century. The sentimental novel* (e. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. elegance and decorum*. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling. The concern with personal. Swift.g. Like any modern age. and for night as a setting. which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice.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 .

which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. wild. His long poem in nine books. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. and folk literature in general. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. sublime landscapes. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . 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. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. In 1765. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. death and immortality. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). but its subject and mood are preRomantic. and misty. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret.D. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility.1. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation.1. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge.1.2. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue.

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

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

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.”


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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,
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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.”


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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.

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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

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

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

these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. to a large extent. Milton. whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. and Macpherson. but also a gifted painter and engraver. He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text.civilisation. The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature . the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. He was an admirer of Shakespeare. to the special way in which he produced his work. Apart from a volume of early verse. and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. Blake’s late fame is due. William Blake (1757-1827) 6. In Blake. which was accompanied by drawings and decorations. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. and recognised as one of the most original creators. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings.4. He was not only a poet. The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. the rural setting. Like other pre-Romantic poets. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way. William Blake. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. In his first great illuminated work. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. and he rejected the classical standards of style. A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). and being regarded as an eccentric artist. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. he turns his attention to the rural world. Gray. The combination of calligraphic text. Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. Thomson. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper). Each copy was then coloured by hand. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature. widening the range of meanings. 6.1. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns.4. our sense of a common fate for all humanity.

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

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

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

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

standing equal before God. 166 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . i. a gloomy reality makes itself felt sometimes. Beyond the children’s innocent visions of happiness and harmony. the ethical and social implications are more obvious.4. for instance. or the mind of others. The world is seen through the eyes of an angry observer. of “stony laws*”. 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. which deny man his freedom. Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence Blake’s graceful Songs of Innocence may appear to be simple and transparent. society and divinity. when this life ends. In London. in which man’s lot is hard work.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. it is suggested that human suffering and oppression is the result of “mind-forged manacles*”. envy and deceit.5.4. for instance.e. The fall from the paradise of Innocence to Experience is the entrance in a world of rules and constraints. even sarcastic. hate. 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. in the poems that he added in 1794: the Songs of Experience. In Songs of Experience. often. the reader cannot miss the implicit reference to the social reality of children’s exploitation and cruel treatment. Blake’s speakers in these poems are often bitter and ironic. protesting against the evils of his time. the greed of the powerful and their indifference to the sufferings caused by social injustice.4. love and joy have been replaced by fear. nature. The complete work offered now a set of contrary symbolic visions of man. A poem like A Poison Tree points out Title page of the murderous effects of secret hate. In the fallen state of Experience. full of indignation and anger. In The Little Black Boy – an anti-slavery poem –. disease. The Clod and the Pebble Songs of Experience contrasts selfless with selfish love. the child has a wonderful vision of all souls freed from their “clouds” of flesh – black or white –. 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. Like the chimney sweeper. In The Chimney Sweeper*. the reader cannot help noticing paradoxes and contradictions. the thirst for war. which is a promise of divine mercy. The serene and peaceful pastoral setting of the world of Innocence is set in opposition with the sombre world of Experience. poverty and oppression. The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Blake developed such implications into open statements. but the child in the poem is comforted by the vision of the Angel. but. The poet attacks the tyranny exercised on the individual by the church and state. of the prejudices and constraints with which man “enchains” his own mind. 6. and Nurse’s Song shows the (1794) jealousy consuming an adult who has lost the vision of Innocence. However.

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

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

at the end of the unit.. to regain the vision of Innocence. If there should be major differences between them. revise subchapters Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. except as an act of remembering. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. but he is no longer able to do that. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. to 6. and read the poem again more carefully.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.2.

170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. now threatened by the march of Progress. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall. The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience. the interest in early poetry. 6. The other feature is primitivism. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. The “Graveyard” poets (e. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest.4.. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings. imagination and feelings.2. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. g. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature. nature-civilisation. Subchapter 6.3. The last subchapter. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. In subchapter 6. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past.. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts.

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

The Book of Los. the Passions. to attend the religious service. the 39th day after Easter. in Unit 3. See also subchapter 4. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. philosophical and political convictions.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. on which the Ten Commandments were written. 2 in Unit 4. The custom in London was to bring the poor. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.1. Jerusalem.2.. The Book of Urizen. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 1.3. Milton. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. in Unit 5. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. Among the most important of them are America. belonging to the beginnings. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Pity. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. with His laws formulated as interdictions. or of gold or silver paint. wild landscapes. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. etc. The Four Zoas. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation.3. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. Paul’s Cathedral. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths.1. primitive: original. A Prophecy. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. as well as against the sophistication. etc.

English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. • the coherence.). clarity.” usurous: from usury. • 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. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). The Chimney Sweeper.12.13. in grading your paper.9. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power... 6. 6. Remember that.. SAA no. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.10. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.11. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. Send-away assignment no. meant to win a patron’s favour. gardens or estates. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . 6.8.. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. 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). Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. with his law of love. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. 6. and 6.

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

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

London: Secker and Warburg Ltd..). 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. Boris (ed.. vol. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Penguin Books Ltd. A Critical History of English Literature. David. 84-94) 3. Boris (ed. Penguin Books Ltd. vol. 652-658. vol. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). Further reading 1. Ford.English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. 1991 (pp. 1991 (pp. 1969 (pp. 671-684. Daiches..5 (“From Blake to Byron”).). The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”). Ford. 692-699) 2.

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

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

it is a tale Told by an idiot. Signifying nothing. to be in a state of anxiety and agitation (a se agita. And then is heard no more. TEXT 2. scene II) Macbeth: Methought* I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep.3. The death of each day’s life. a poor player. That struts* and frets* his hour upon the stage. moartea vieţii fiecărei zile. iar la ospăţul vieţii Cel mai de seamă fel. a se frământa) sound zgomot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 179 . Macbeth (Act II. full of sound* and fury. brief* candle*! Life’s but a walking shadow. Sleep that knits up* the ravelled* sleeve* of care. chinuitor) course fel de mâncare chief most important. desfirat. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. William Shakespeare. principal nourisher that which gives (someone) what is needed to grow. Macbeth (Act V.” the innocent sleep. William Shakespeare. a se furişa) petty inessential. semeţ. El. cel ce desface Fuiorul încâlcit al grijii – somnul: El. great nature’s second course*. Balm of hurt minds. trifling (mărunt.2. to creep. and tomorrow. trivial. desfăcut sleeve mânecă sore causing grief or sorrow (dureros. scalda grelei trude şi balsamul Durerii sufleteşti. Out*. out. a înnoda ravelled destrămat. Creeps* in this petty* pace from day to day. isprăveşte (stinge-te) brief short in duration candle lumânare to strut a umbla/păşi/călca mândru. cu un aer important to fret to be distressed. şi-a doua mană A marii firi. scene V) Macbeth: Tomorrow.Reader TEXT 2. sore* labour’s bath. crept to move quiety and slowly (a se târî. methought past tense from methinks (archaic): it seems to me to knit up a împleti. Chief* nourisher* in life’s feast* (…). ţanţoş. 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. neînsemnat) out (interjection) termină. To the last syllable of recorded time. and tomorrow.

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

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

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

o’erthrow me*. datorat to labour to work hard.7. mirean) moving of the earth earthquake to reckon a gândi. and bend Your force*. Batter My Heart Batter* my heart. a rătăci to lean. Reason your viceroy* in me. a ajunge în poziţie verticală wilt will thou you just corect. That I may* rise. and would be loved fain*. exact Text 2. hotărât twin îngemănat thy your to roam a hoinări. a fi supus (the speaker urges his beloved to face the separation calmly and quietly) tear-floods. and stand. a înfrânge bend your force concentrate. three-personed God*. therefore subject to change whose soul is sense in which physical presence is essential doth does to remove to take away. to long for) to grow erect a se îndrepta. like an usurped town. precis. Divorce me. and seek to mend. to struggle to no end vainly. untie*. a fi atent la (here: to seek to join. for I Except your enthrall* me. or break that knot again. John Donne. imprison me. But am betrothed* unto your enemy. 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. Take me to you. burn. for.: inflexibil. gladly betrothed unto logodit cu to untie a dezlega. Yet dearly I love you. a silui Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 183 . never shall be free. a se înclina to hearken a asculta. softly to whisper a şopti whilst while to melt a-şi înmuia firea. and make me new. a elibera to enthrall a supune. to undergo breach break. overthrew. 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.Reader pass away to die mildly gently. a înrobi. rupture stiff rigid. apply your force due cuvenit. a lua cu sila. Nor ever chaste. Labour* to admit you. breathe. blow. me should defend. except you ravish* me. a subjuga to ravish a răpi. to no end*. but oh. 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. to break. leant a se apleca. overthrown: a nimici. shine. But is captived. and proves weak or untrue*. sigh-tempests şuvoaie/potop de lacrimi. a presupune dull not intense sublunary: beneath the moon. 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. you As yet* but knock. ferm. to another due*. fig. I.

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

tentă dew rouă willing favourably disposed. a lua cu de-a sila strife violent struggle thorough through Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 185 . sfială. inappropriate (nefiresc) ashes cenuşă lust strong sexual desire (dorinţă. patimă) grave mormânt.Reader had we but… if only we had coyness timiditate. thy your state ceremonial treatment winged having wings. peculiar. a se plictisi slow-chapt power the power of its slowly devouring jaws to tear (tore. a se veseli to languish a se ofili. nuanţă. which.: swift. fig. a lâncezi. groapă youthful de tinereţe. fast chariot ceremonial carriage (car) yonder (poetic) over there vault burial chamber (cavou) quaint odd. tineresc hue culoare. torn) a smulge. 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. inclined instant fires the flush in her face. indicates her “willing soul” to sport a petrece. in spite of her coyness.

Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*. light denied*?” I fondly* ask. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. they serve him best. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*. returning. though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. lucky endueth endues. 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. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. John Milton. and present My true account. 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. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . who best Bear his mild yoke*. to prevent That murmur*. obscure. speed. appears [in me] much less – i. rush bud mugur. 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.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune.1. All is. however mean* or high.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3. but Patience. soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. and the will of heaven. a strict overseer TEXT 3. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. lest he. destiny mean humble. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. Toward which time leads me. John Milton. if I have grace to use it so. or soon or slow. '”Doth God exact* day-labour. in this dark world and wide. But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*. Yet be it less or more. As ever* in my great task-master's* eye. the subtle* thief of youth.2. chide*. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. opportune happy fortunate.

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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reach* then. then. was this forbid*? Why but to awe? Why but to keep ye low* and ignorant.Reader TEXT 3. a apuca Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 191 . and that advantage use On our belief. And what are Gods. Knowing both good and evil. Queen of the Universe. How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life To knowledge. and ye shall be like Gods. these and many more Causes import* your need of this fair fruit. producing every kind. What can your knowledge hurt him. shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared. in the day Ye eat thereof*. 3. by venturing* higher than my lot. if all be his? Or is it envy? and can envy dwell In heavenly breasts? These. modest thereof din ace(a)sta. and freely taste. that Man may not become As they. ye* shall not die. as they know. din el/ea (eat from the Tree of Knowledge) dim having weak or indistinct vision participating sharing godlike divine to proceed (from) to originate. that seem so clear Yet are but dim*. to emerge fair beautiful to import a însemna to reach a întinde mâna. 4.) venturing to venture: a îndrăzni. Me who have touched and tasted. yet both live And life more perfect have attained than Fate Meant me. Them nothing. John Milton. a se încumeta forbid forbidden low humble. Goddess humane. that all from them proceeds*. Warmed by the Sun. participating* godlike* food? The Gods are first. Paradise Lost (Book IX) 1. Why. Shall that be shut to Man which to the beast Is open? 2.8. do not believe Those rigid threats of death. ye you (pl. your eyes. His worshippers? He knows that. by the Threatener? look on me. I question it. for this fair* Earth I see. or this tree Impart against his will.

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

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

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

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

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


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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

But to be sure*. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). I must own* to you. is not a voluntary thing – Love. durere. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. dubious uncertain. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. and tender years*. it looked like love. punct culminant. and so it is: but love. like a thief. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. but now. when I expected some new plot*. can be. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). I beseech* you.4. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. to my grief*. Samuel Richardson. I am quite overcome*. a depăşi) TEXT 5. chinuri womb pântece. This was a good fortune. plin de viaţă) height culme. in which he confesses his affection for her. before. […] Forgive. upon me. forgive me! but I found. scop. B_. narrative. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings. 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. I had no reason to expect.Reader dish blid. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. so much affection. to find him capable of so much openness. born) a rezista. I imagine. but it has crept*. crept. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă. that my heart was too partial* in his favour.3.] This letter. nay*. nor when it began. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. and of so much honour too. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Samuel Richardson. did I say! […] I know not how it came. has greatly affected me. 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 I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. nenorocire pangs mâhnire. however. apogeu distress nefericire. than the dry*. intenţie to bear (bore. and before I knew what was the matter. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. […] O my dear parents. my dear father. a învinge. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. O my unguarded* youth.

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

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

contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu. But for not being what they would be thought*. face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie. tend* only to raise our mirth*. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. 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. 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. dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. 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. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility. fig. of our pity. 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. smaller faults. exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 .: the primary source licence liberty province domeniu. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. cu stângăcie. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not. which at first moved our compassion.

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

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

or seek for power. He chid* their wanderings*. Far other aims his heart had learned to prize*. but his sad emblem now. Oliver Goldsmith. If peace be his – that drooping* weary* sire*. a alina. but relieved* their pain: The long-remembered beggar was his guest. George Crabbe. Unpracticed he to fawn*. look within.Reader UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY TEXT 6. and ask if peace be there. Whom the smooth* stream and smoother sonnet please. a mângâia) TEXT 6.2. cucernic) e’er ever to fawn to seek attention and admiration by flattering (a se ploconi. distant godly pious. His house was known to all the vagrant* train*. nor wished to change his place. croit to prize a preţui. a mustra) wandering rătăcire to relieve to bring alleviation (a uşura. a aprecia the wretched cei sărmani/nenorociţi vagrant vagabond. hoinar. Or theirs. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast. The Deserted Village A man he was. 208 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a boy. cortegiu şir chid to chide. the matron* pale. to all the country dear. to scold (a dojeni. Go! if the peaceful cot* your praises share.1. Then his first joy. that offspring* round their feeble* fire. looks up to see The bare arms* broken from the withering* tree On which. Remote* from towns he ran his godly* race. chid: to rebuke. whose trembling hand Turns on the wretched* hearth* the expiring* brand*! (…) (…) yonder* see that hoary swain*. Go. propped* on that rude* staff*. Nor e’er* had changed. And passing rich* with forty pounds* a year. Or hers. whose age Can with no cares except his own engage. More skilled to raise the wretched* than to rise. cerşetor train alai. By doctrines fashioned* to the varying hour. he climbed the loftiest bough*. a linguşi) fashioned potrivit. The Village Ye* gentle* souls who dream of rural ease*. devout (evlavios. fiind considerat bogat pound liră remote far away. Who. modelat. passing rich trecând drept bogat.

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

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

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

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

Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. Or like harmonious thunderings* the seats* of heaven among. O what a multitude they seemed. Now like a mighty* wind they raise to heaven the voice of song. their innocent faces clean. a se juca to want to feel the need or longing for something. And taught me to sing the notes of woe. Beneath them sit the aged men. Because I was happy upon the heath*. 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). William Blake. 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. to be lacking something rose to rise (rose. Who make up a Heaven of our misery*. fii liniştit sight vision coffin sicriu.11. wise guardians of the poor. it is ironic that “sweep” becomes “weep” (a plânge) soot funingine to curl a se încreţi/cârlionţa hush taci. în preajmă to sport a zburda. The children walking two and two in red and blue and green. potoleşte-te. coşciug by aproape. these flowers of London town! Seated* in companies they sit with radiance* all their own*. with wands* as white as snow. Till into the high dome* of Paul’s* they like Thames’ waters flow. nedreptate misery intense unhappiness or suffering TEXT 6.12. but multitudes of lambs. Grey-headed beadles* walked before. They think they have done me no injury*. lest* you drive* an angel from your door. William Blake. Then cherish* pity. The hum* of multitudes was there. alături.Reader chimney sweeper coşar. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 213 . Holy Thursday (from Songs of Innocence) ‘Twas* on a Holy Thursday*. a se deştepta TEXT 6. risen): a se scula. Crying “weep*. And smiled among the winter’s snow. And because I am happy and dance and sing. hornar sold to sell. They clothed me in the clothes of death. weep!” in notes of woe*! “Where are thy* father and mother? say*?” “They are both gone up to church to pray.” weep see explanation above woe intense grief/sorrow/unhappiness thy your say? ia spune! heath câmpie stearpă injury rău.

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

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