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 the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.1.1. 3. 3. 2. 4. 4. 3.4.3. 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.2. 3.2.5. 3. 3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 3. 3. 2.4. 3.3. 3. 2. 2. 3.5. 4. 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 . 4. 3. 2.2.Contents 2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.4.1. 3.4. 2.3. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.

2. 4. 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 . 5.6. 5. 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. 4.2. 5. 5.2. 5.4. 4.2. 5.4. Gulliver.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. 4. 4.2. 5.1.2. 4. 5. 5. 4.4.4. 4.2. 5. 5. 5. 4.3.7. 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 5.3. 5.8. 5.3. 5.4. 5.1. 4.3. 4. 5. “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.5.4. 5.2.

The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.2. 6. 6. 6.4.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.5.3. 6.3. 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. 6.2.3. 6.4. 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. 6.3. 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. 6.3. 6. 6. 6. 6.7. 6.2. 6.4.4. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.

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

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

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

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

• the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names).1. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. with the pages where you may find relevant information. not just Being. for the Great Chain of Being*. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. • Further reading. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6.1. the term Enlightenment. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. if necessary or desired. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. Thus. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to.Introduction 4. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . For instance. Some terms may recur in several units. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. Sometimes. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge.3. For example.4. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. but the phrase of which that word is part. 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. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1.3. other instruments meant to assist your study. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. in Unit 1. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. at the end. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. Most of the books included there are available in any University library.

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

If you have no possibility to type your assignment. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. You may. • the coherence. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. theoretically. Most of the time. clarity. however. If your level of proficiency is lower. Of these hours. 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. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. 6. 1. to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings.2 SAA no. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). 3. Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work. half of the answer is already contained in the question.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. 2. 2.1 SAA no. 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). Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. As in the case of the SAQs. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. your course work may take you more time. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%). 1.

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

1.4. 1. 1. 1. 1.5.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.4. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 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 .2.1. 1. 1. 1.

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

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

The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. appropriately. T F 5. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. to superstition and obscurantism. Circle T (true) or F (false). for each sentence. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . continued the project of the Renaissance. the Enlightenment. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733).3. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. the central concern of the Enlightenment. The development of modern science and the rise of philosophical empiricism are major aspects of the process of intellectual modernisation in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature.4. 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. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. T F 4. T F 2.1. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. T F 3. 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. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 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. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The growing spirit of individualism. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. but also affective and instinctual. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. 1. 1. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational.1.

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

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

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

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

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

1. T F 2.4. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. centred on the theme of love. in miniature. read the following statements. the satirical comedy. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. or The Silent Woman (1609). T F 4. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. though each in a different way. T F 3. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. in Paradise Lost. His best plays. the hierarchy of English society. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. T F 7. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. identifying the four true ones. Volpone (1606). For each sentence. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5).4. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 6. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. reflecting. but. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. Milton’s Satan. or at least tinged with bitterness. If you have failed to identify the true statements. 1. and 1. his comedies become darker. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). in the last period of creation. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. Epicoene.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. 1.2.4. T F 5. read again subchapters 1. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. with its noble characters. at the end of the unit. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy.

1775. In The Rehearsal (1671). 1768.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 1669-70). Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. She Stoops to Conquer. a stylish and sophisticated world. for instance. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . were a passing extravagance. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. 1665. 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.4. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. who demanded models of virtue and decency. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. 1769). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1.g. 1773). but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. 1777). and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 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.g. Heroic plays. Duke of Buckingham. or The Mistakes of a Night. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. 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. George Villiers. The School for Scandal. mocks at certain theatrical conventions.4. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. Henry Fielding). 1722). or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. 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. Under the influence of French tragedies. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. too. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. The Conquest of Granada. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. John Gay.3.4. but it appealed to a wide middle class public.

If there should be major differences between them. to 1. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . revise subchapters 1. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.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.4.4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit.4. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy.2. together with their most outstanding representatives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.6.2. 2.1.1. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 . 2. 2. 2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.3. 2. 2. 2.3.1. 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. 2.6.12. 2. 2. 2.3. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.2. 2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Hamlet’s tormented soul.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. 2. as well as the indicated fragment. which is only partly dissimulated. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected.2. SAQ 3 Text 2.1. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge.4. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . read again the preceding subchapter. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. If they should differ significantly. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. at the end of the unit. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems.

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

evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. Evil is that which destroys Nature. In Othello. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. the bond of a love marriage is the frame in which Shakespeare explores the theme of evil in connection with that of appearance vs. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. innocence/guilt. painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . faithfulness/betrayal. Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down.2. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. 2.6. and its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. As a result of Iago’s manipulations. essence. is led by Iago to believe his wife. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order. Othello. and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption. The noble protagonist. 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). unfaithful. acting against it. Desdemona. In Othello. Scene from Othello.

a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. illusion and truth. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. kinsman and guest. you need to revise subchapters 2. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. who has a trusting nature. paradoxically. disorder. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). one of Duncan’s sons. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. at the instigation of his wife. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. ____________________ 3. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. The baroque motif of madness is. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. / It weeps.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. Macbeth. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. 1. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . he multiples his crimes.2. The protagonist. at the end of the unit. ____________________ 4. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm.2. but. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne.2. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment.7.6. 2. innocence and corruption.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 Each of the following sentences refers to one or several of the three tragedies mentioned so far. ____________________ 2. it bleeds. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. to 2. If any of your solutions should not correspond.2. underlining the theme of knowledge. ____________________ 5. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power.

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

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

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

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

Another pervading symbol is that of music. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature.2. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2.2. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature.11.” The sea-journey Music 2. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. order and harmony.12. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. whose magic art controls every incident. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. of performance. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero. 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. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. then at least man should strive to discern in it. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. sublimating its primitive energies. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. which “delight and hurt not. a profound spiritual transformation and growth. The playmetaphor. or to impose upon it. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel.

staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. 2. of which three are false. You must find them among the following statements. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. except that of terrifying him. T F 7. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. T F 6. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century.2. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical.12.3. T F 5. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 2. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. in his own way.9 to 2. T F 3. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 .The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. but each of them. revise subchapters2. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. T F 4. Their styles are different. 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. at the end of the unit. 1. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. was first intended to bring discredit on them. If any of your choices should be wrong.

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

the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. its decorative use of classical mythology. at the end of the unit.3. pastoral* conventions. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. 2. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and the same realistic force. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry .2.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. If they should differ considerably. and 2. and allegory. revise subchapters 2.1. In the following subchapters. Use the space left below. In the treatment of both themes.3. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and a highly original one.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences.

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

. paying special attention to the last three stanzas. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. he develops one of his most famous conceits.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. Read the poem again. you need to revise subchapter 2. at the end of the unit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 .2.3. Formulate your answer in the space left below. in the Reader). in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. If they should differ significantly.6. Here. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. as well.

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

5. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart.3. If there should be significant differences. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. according to some critics. nature.6. In the last six lines. Donne suggests his contradictory. from the Reader. 2. and love of country. As a Puritan* patriot. and read the poem again. revise subchapter 2. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. Marvell left. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.7. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). at the end of the unit.3. 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. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.

Although loyal to the Puritan cause. A natural detail. The most illustrative poem. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. 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.7. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. however.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. King Charles I Stuart. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them.e.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. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. shyness] and accept his passionate love. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. in which both of them act according to a divine order. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency.e. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. On a Drop of Dew 2.3. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. pictured with remarkable precision.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. It is a seduction poem. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. 2.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. On the other hand. to change the form of ruling power). Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. aspiring to union with almighty God. in this respect. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. in contrasting colours. behaving with royal grace in his last minute.3.e. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. He showed a deep love for the countryside. Marvell often sees. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. on the scaffold. lest it grow [i. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. is On a Drop of Dew. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail.8. for fear that it might grow] impure.

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

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

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

4. 3. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.4.3. 3.1.5.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.2. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3. 3.2.4. 3. 3. 3. 3.1.5. 3. 3. 3. 3.3.2. 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 . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sweetness. space]” left by the fallen angels.” Man himself was created as a “better race. that cannot change].” to fill in the “vacant room [i. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. in order to prolong his guest’s visit.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. after the defeat of the rebel angels. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . Adam admits that. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision. not immutable [i. the angel Raphael.3. Satan. sent by God. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember.” Raphael leaves them. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. as this diminished W. so that he may know more about his enemy.” for the evocation of the making of the world. 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. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions.4.4. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. not before repeating his warning. Adam is grateful to Raphael. in Milton’s poem. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. innocence and “virgin modesty. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels. King Anointed*”.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. 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. In Book VIII. It is interesting that.e. In Milton’s interpretation.The works of John Milton 3. and. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world.e.4. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V. instigated by Lucifer. in Book VII. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. the “divine historian. and fear to transgress!” 3.

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

Credulous Eve tastes from the forbidden fruit and tries to convince Adam that its effect is not to open the way to “evil unknown. since the “link of nature” is so strong between them that he cannot imagine living without her. while Adam tries to convince her that together they would be more safe from harm. most subtle*] beast of all the field. W.5. the thundering skies weep. but he regains the strength of his hate and appears to Eve (1808) her in the splendid shape of the Serpent. Book IX: Eve and the Serpent (illustration by John Martin. the “subtlest [i. Eve is amazed at the miracle of a beast capable of speech and. Blake: Satan finds Eve alone. Adam and Eve have a difference of opinion: Eve insists that they should divide their daily labour and work in different places. Meanwhile.e. for a moment. their inward the fall on Nature peace. The seduction of Eve Book IX presents the great scene of Eve’s seduction by Satan. 1827) 74 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . hate / Mistrust. her argument wins: she is willing to put her innocence to trial. suspicion. discord” – which make reason and will helpless. Adam is chilled with horror at Eve’s irresponsible mistake but decides to share her fate. he is disarmed by her Satan with Adam and angelic grace.4. At last.” Back to guarded Paradise in this disguise.” 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. and all The effects of Nature is in pain. The disaster of the original sin shakes the foundations of the natural order: Earth trembles. whose spirit has entered the body of a serpent. Satan gives voice again to his torments and to his ambition of destroying God’s creation. and. Their former innocent sensuality is now replaced by guilty lust and the feeling of shame. and all harmony between them is destroyed by bitter reciprocal accusations. The “calm region” of their state of mind. is now troubled by the “higher winds” of negative passions – “anger.” 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.The works of John Milton 3.

He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. in the middle of this speech. in which these moves are illustrated.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3.4. He flatters Eve. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan.” _______ g. _______ b. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. but. at last. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. at the end of the unit. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity. annihilate Sin and Death.6. on a separate sheet. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. _______ c. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death. hoping to arouse her pride. The world after the Fall In the next books. or fragments. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. they taste its fruit. which will bring her close to the condition of God. He denigrates God. Satan’s victory seems complete. Match these sentences with the fragment. but he also adds symbolic episodes. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge. If any of your matches should be wrong. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat. _______ d. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. a. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . _______ f.8. in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX.” is the one who will. as God himself predicts: His Son. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. at the end of each sentence. 3. _______ e. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis. read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again.

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

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

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

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

His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.5. If there are significant differences. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. revise subchapters 3.5.1. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. at the end of the unit.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.) B. Read the whole fragment carefully. “and “The mind is its own place. and read the indicated fragment again.2. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. and 3.3. in Hell..

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

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

Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. his courage and majesty. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. presented in subchapter 3.4. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. 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.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. put in the service of evil.3. but also in which man may.5. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell. the creation of the world and of man. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision. Subchapter 3. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. Undoubtedly.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. however. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels. Subchapter 3. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. which are. his love of freedom. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. at any time. as a sign of consecration or sanctification.

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

The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B..3. and 2. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. romantic in The Tempest –. and the last paragraph of 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. Texts 2.C. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy.2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.2. one of the greatest Roman poets. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed.1. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. and thus of destroying man.. in which he explores his inner hell. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.5. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Send-away assignment no.). Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.1. At the beginning of Book IV. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. • Read attentively this fragment. at the end of the play. Text 3. A revision of subchapter 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 .2.6. In both of them. before the final battle. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.4. 2. God’s creation. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. 1. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words.

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

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

3. 4.2. Gulliver. 4. 4.2 4. 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. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.1. 4.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.1. 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.4.4. 4. 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. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4.4.2. 4.

under the influence of French theatres. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. and. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. it was a period of transition as well. and their re-opening in 1660. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment. Alexander Pope. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . addressing itself to an inclusive public. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. From a literary point of view. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642.1. 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. clarity and elegant restraint. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. Unit objectives 4. Nature. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age.1. Human nature. and Jonathan Swift. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration.1. the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted.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. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. the cast of actors included women. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change. drama holds a place apart. under the patronage of king Charles II. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. ♦ 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. and of considerable diversity.

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

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

Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). T F 8. such as the impoverished gallant. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. Read the statements below and identify five true ones.1. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single.1.1. at the end of the unit. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 6. elegance. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. William Congreve. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. Restoration comedy praised wit. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. T F 5. 4. T F 9. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . by doing the exercise that follows. T F 4. simple action. T F 3. refinement and sophistication. 1. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. read again subchapters 4. T F 7. hedonism and amorality at Court.3. to 4. It displays typical Restoration characters. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances.1. frivolity. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*.4. T F 2. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour.

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

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

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

on the other hand. The rule of decorum 4. a dignified diction. Epic and tragedy. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. to make form and substance adequate to each other. The most eloquent example. since it dealt with noble characters and actions. yet achieve great beauty. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . humble style. 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*. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning. This was the case of the genius. of infinite variety. required an elevated style. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. was Shakespeare. skill. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. was expected to use a common. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. the emphasis on discipline in art. lacking ornament. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. A poet’s innate talent needed training. The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them. but a general intellectual tendency in the age.e..2. i. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. comedy. and to those patterns of behaviour. skilful transgression. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. in satirical or burlesque* works. for the Augustans.2.3.e. the most valuable store of literary experience. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience. for instance. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide. The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety]. and the poet might disregard them. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. i.2. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine.

2. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. and the indicated fragment. or art*. but also to imported French ideas – e.g. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 3 Text 4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below.3. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. read again subchapter 4.3. a combination achieved through reason. at the end of the unit. If there should be significant differences. What are the main ideas in this fragment. to those of Nicolas Boileau*.

The writer's art was a form of social communication. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. manners and taste.” Augustan wit 4. affectation were rejected. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. Ostentation. of quick accumulation of information. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style. too.4. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The Neoclassic concern with standards of good writing must be seen in connection with an important feature of Augustan literature: its integration with social life. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. its effects were considerable on prose.5. but to be a functional part of the community. refinement with wisdom. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. unnecessary ornament.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.2. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. precision and clarity. where nothing seems to be studied. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. eloquence with restraint. or. “grace and strength united.2. 4. In the context of general progress. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3. 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. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. of critical debate in every field.

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

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

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

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

Pope. admiration and condemnation. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. Bayes*. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. the Duke of Monmouth. from political and social life. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. contradictions and dark aspects. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. 4. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. and satire became their formidable weapon. struggle for power and profit. greed. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. Political and religious dissensions. to religious debates and literary practices. king David.4. brave and fearless man. intrigues. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. its cult of reason and common sense. 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 . folly. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. Samuel. 15-18). selfishness.1. disloyal and excessively ambitious. are mingled: the evil conspirator. appears also as a stormy spirit. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. hypocrisy. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. 4. genuinely gifted for leadership. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. 1743). The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. a passionate. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682).2.4. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. often touched by ironic humour.

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

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

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

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

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

6. and to revise subchapter 4. you need to read the fragment again. If there should be major differences. more carefully. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . The careful reader will. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. For Gulliver.6. from the Reader. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.4. find anti-utopian elements in it. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. however.

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

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

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

” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. or who chats or talks idly. he translated from ancient authors. elegant. founder of literary journalism. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .e. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. making literature “dull. in which he outlines the features of an ideal.” from Greek u = not.3 in Unit 5. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism.1. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. polished). squire: a country gentleman. or literature in general. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. perfect society (literally: “no place. author of poems. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. of taste or skill.4. Dryden. and topos = place). He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. i. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. Boileau. of imagination and originality. especially the main landowner in a village. for the notion of sentimentalism.4 in Unit 1. Among the latter. essays and dramatic works.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1.4. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn.

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

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

180-187) 3. only the species counts. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. Cornelia. The incapacity of choosing a ruler according to real merit. and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). The Novel in Its Beginnings.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Just as the executioner will implacably carry out the capital punishment. 537-550) 2. The tendency to idleness. which is meant only for procreation. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation.). the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. 1983 (pp. The English Eighteenth Century. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. The spirit of competition. A Critical History of English Literature. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship.33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .. the “fineness. which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. conflict and self-interest. vol. The irrational greed and avarice. 4. Preda.” SAQ 7 1.” the subtlety of his accusations. which breeds imaginary ills. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. 3. 5. David. which makes social progress inconceivable. ultimately of imagination. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason. In the absence of affective attachment. The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance. The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. Ioan-Aurel (coord. Macsiniuc. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. 2003 (pp. 2. and no personal choice in the matter of marriage. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. They practice population control. the exclusion of opinion. the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses. the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves. English Literature and Civilisation. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence. the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation. Further reading 1. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. The individual is of no importance. 1969 (pp. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. Editura Universităţii Suceava. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. Daiches. 5. 5. 5.2. 5. 5. 5.4. 5. 5.1.4. 5.2.2. 5.4.3. 5.3.1. 5. 5. 5.3.4. 5.5. 5.6.3. 5.8. 5.2. 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. 5.1. 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.4. 5. Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.3. 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.

exotic settings.1. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5. emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. natural rights.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. mostly imitations of French models.1.1. and the development of the novel. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity. more inclusive reading public. and there is a connection between. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. 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. whose action was often set in remote. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. tolerance. 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. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. and generally about women. the rise of the middle classes. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels. whose vast majority was middle-class. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged.

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

on the one hand. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. If there should be major differences. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances.1. and 5. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. at the end of the unit. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1. … 4. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.1. The rise of the middle classes … 2.1. and public/social norms and conventions. Women were … 3. read again subchapters 5. on the other. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion.2. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. 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.

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

• SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. ________________________ 7. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas.. 1. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. 3. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. trivial subjects.3.1. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. ________________________ 4. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. ________________________ 5. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. ________________________ 2. usually with supernatural ingredients. read again subchapter 5.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. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. in an atmosphere of gloom. ________________________ 8. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . after each sentence. in their confrontation with moral choice. ________________________ 6. at the end of the unit.

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

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

as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation.2. as a political or economic utopia. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. to the awakening of religious conscience. In his initial struggle with despair.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. Gradually. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. at the end of the unit. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father).2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.3. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. and 5. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter.2. In this light.1. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. 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.” 5. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.. read again subchapters 5.2. If it should differ considerably.

. perseverance. at the end of the unit.2. In this connection. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. g.2. or the felix culpa*. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience.” desires and “delights. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. morally autonomous. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion.” However. or by a sentence (e. 2.g. in the space below. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value.3. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. as well as the fragment in the Reader. Changed in his “notion of things. ingenuity). as a self-reliant individual. subchapter 5. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. Like Adam. He takes pleasure in his work). 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which will serve his instinct for independence. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. perspicacity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. It has its spiritual rewards. 4.. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. inventiveness. 1..” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. 3.2. Enumerate. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work.

127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . solid world.2. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. at the end of the unit. at the same time. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. His simple. rendered in a simple. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. with unmatched vividness. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. 1. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. clarity. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5.4 once more and do the exercise again. His linear. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. 2. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. 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. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure.2. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. on a separate sheet. which. the frequent enumerations and inventories. The richness of concrete detail. containing. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. whose reality is difficult to doubt. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. 4. 3. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. the promise of symbolic meanings. of familiar detail. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. clear language. read the fragment and subchapter 5.4. in the Reader from the point of view of its style.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. concreteness. he paid little attention to matters of form.

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

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

7.e. between hate and admiration.2. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. 5. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though in quality [i. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.”? Answer in the space left below. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. If there should be significant differences. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. at the end of the unit. to obey Mr.2. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. read again attentively subchapters 5. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. it is easier for her to stand his abuses.2. as a servant. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and 5.8.6. 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.

. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. however. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. 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.3. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings.. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. In Pamela’s letters and diary. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. which are captured in the process of their emergence. 2. read again subchapter 5. on the other. on the one hand. What counts. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. excerpted from Pamela. 1.9. her sentimental response to them. and considering also Text 5. B_ follows a similar evolution.2.4. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. and his developing love.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. in the Reader). The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. at the end of the unit.

Mr. so that he sets out for home. 1790) 132 . He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life.” Mr. Abraham Adams. Mr. Slipslop. to his native village. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. All important characters meet here. but also by the maid. burlesque and comic satire. author of Don Quixote” (1742). Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. performed by means of comic satiric devices. as well as their inclusiveness. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. Joseph’s sweetheart. irony. 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. Cervantes. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. started as a parody.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. but a voice external to the story. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Pope. above all.3. Fielding was a master of parody. the author asserts himself. in London. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. B_’s aunt. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. and. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5.1. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. Fielding abandons parody. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. including Pamela and her husband. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. whose servant he was. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. relationships and actions. Booby. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. Through the omniscient* narrator. they mirror a wide range of human types. but a snobbish. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. priggish* upstart.3. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. At this point. modest and gentle creature. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. Mrs. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill.

Cervantes. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. in the spirit of comedy. 1. Fielding likes to play with genres. which closes the plot. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. read the text once more. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. 5. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. T F 2. Read Text 5. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. Mr. for true or false) for each of them.3. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. is an ingredient of romantic plots. T F 3.5. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. T F 4. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F 8. T F 7. whom they had met during their journey.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. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. alluding thus to the older genre. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . Wilson. at the end of the unit. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false.2. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. carefully. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. T F 6. T F 5. For instance. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. which turns out to be gentle*.

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

Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition.5.. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. At the same time. 2. through its moral and temperamental types. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. 3. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.8. unaffected. Fielding is the most “Augustan. 5.. He is a moralist. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . incorporated in the substance of his works.3. at the end of the unit. 5. and he believes. 1.2. If they should differ substantially. 5.3. like many Augustan writers. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language.4. read again subchapters 5. provide the first theory of the novel. and 5.2. Explain them.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.. drawing short comparisons.4. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.3. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.2. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech.

a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction.1.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. of his uncle. that he was. does not manage to give a shape to his story. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. and his long. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. 5. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. as well as of Parson Yorick. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant.4. which isolates each of them in his mental universe.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5.4. His father.” in every sense. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. With Sterne. Walter. in Joseph Andrews. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. other interesting things to relate.2. at the age of five. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.4. moulds reality into a literary pattern. In spite of his promises. corporal Trim. by accident. Tristram. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account.e. i. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. the relation between life and literature. is an erudite philosopher. the history of a private life. unpredictable narrative. he seems to have. He digresses continually. the priest who baptised Tristram. that. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). at every point. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. Fielding had demonstrated. However. the narrator. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. Walter Shandy. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking.

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

6. Ch. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. If the difference is considerable. see again the fall of princes. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. SAQ 10 In Vol.3. V. To remember the features of the tragic hero.. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. in the Glossary to Unit 2. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. read again subchapter 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. at the end of the unit. as well as the fragment from the Reader. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. Read this short chapter (Text 5. I. Write the answer in the space left below. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

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

the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.4. and read the fragment attentively once more. 3.7. Write them in the spaces indicated below. 2.6. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.5. which he discusses in the very text of the work. 1. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . In this way.4. and 5. go again through subchapters 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Instead of continuing the story. If they differ significantly. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.. at the end of the unit.

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

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

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

You will have. 3. 1. 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. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention.2. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%.1. clarity. in grading your paper. Horrified. the king rejects this tribute. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. 2. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. and 5. Remember that. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule..1. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. Text 4. as illustrated by this fragment. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. therefore. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5.4.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. Text 5. to revise the preceding unit. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel.4. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. SAA no. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. with special attention to subchapter 4. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island.1. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. In order to win the good graces of the king. • the coherence.

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

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

37-42. The English Novel. Cornelia. Macsiniuc. 712-718. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 116127. A Critical History of English Literature. 598-602. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 179-195.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Allen. 1969 (pp. 43-46. David. Penguin Books Limited. 731-736) 3. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 53-59. Walter. Daiches. 143-163. 76-80) 2. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 2003 (pp. vol. 701-704. 217-231. 1991 (pp.

4. 6.4. 6.2. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4. 6. 6.3. 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. 6. 6. 6. 6.4.3. The Seasons William Cowper.5.6. 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 .2.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.4.1. 6.2. 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. 6.1. 6.2. 6.2. 6.4. 6.4.3. 6.1.4.

Addison. The interest in individual psychology. as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. with its emphasis on order. and cultivated its public relevance. and Fielding).g. This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. the century of the Enlightenment*. harmony. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest. For instance. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry. elegance and decorum*. the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice. Pope. Neoclassicism*. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. regarded art as the product of civilisation. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling.1. Swift. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts. Like any modern age. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling 150 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The sentimental novel* (e. Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. led to an increasing attention to emotional response. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. however.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. The concern with personal. discipline. and for night as a setting.

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

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

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

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


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

more carefully.. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age. He preferred the classical form of the ode*. which actually inspired Thomson). and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. Passages of moral and political commentary.3. read text C again. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746). Like Thomson and Collins. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. unrhymed stanzas. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. in popular superstitions and the supernatural. with its short.” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. from the third part. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. “Autumn. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759). Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . 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. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. records his observations and reflections. living in retirement from the city. social satire. William Cowper. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature. at the end of the unit. He was interested in the mediaeval past. William Collins 6. If there should be major differences. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement.2.3.

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

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

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

For Blake. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. revise the whole subchapter. If you have made mistaken choices. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. at the end of the unit.3. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition.e. T F 4. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. T F 3. 1.4. T F 5. The Shepherd. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. The Blossom. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). and its origin was visionary experience. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. T F 2. T F 7. their clarity of expression and their musicality. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. Laughing Song. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 6. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. As a poet. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. enjoy] to hear. The Echoing Green. T F 6. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. innocent delights. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. and the three statements that are false. that is. Spring. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. Poems like Infant Joy.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work.

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

which reproduces Blake’s poem The Lamb. If there should be a significant difference between them. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 165 .” Answer in the space below. in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 7 Read Text 6.5. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. 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. in the Reader. Focus on the way in which the child imagines the creator of the lamb. at the end of the unit. and in which he represents to himself its “making.

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

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

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

except as an act of remembering. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. but he is no longer able to do that. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .7. at the end of the unit. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. to regain the vision of Innocence.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. to 6.4.. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 6. and read the poem again more carefully. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.2.1.4. If there should be major differences between them.

The other feature is primitivism. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the interest in early poetry. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest. nature-civilisation. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste.. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. now threatened by the march of Progress. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. Subchapter 6. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall. imagination and feelings. The last subchapter. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit. He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson. In subchapter 6.3. g. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings.. 6. The “Graveyard” poets (e.4.2. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake.

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

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

” usurous: from usury..11.). 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).. • the coherence. The Chimney Sweeper. Send-away assignment no. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. with his law of love.. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 6. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.8. • 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. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . and 6. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher..10. meant to win a patron’s favour. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. Remember that. 6. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words.12. in grading your paper. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. clarity. SAA no. 6.9. gardens or estates.13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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and red as a tile*. making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat. a se desprinde clay lut. how many of them fell in*. a prelucra above more than earthen de lut. and. such as the potters* burn in. or glazing* them with lead*. and placed my firewood* all round it. 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.. This set me to studying how to order* my fire. I could not make above* two large earthen* ugly things – I cannot call them jars* – in about two months’ labour. so as to make it burn me some pots. I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels* in the fire burned as hard as a stone. though I had some lead to do it with. to pity a căina awkward incomod. to tell how many awkward* ways I took to raise this paste*. how many cracked* by the over-violent heat of the sun. and how many fell out*. in a word how. yet I made several smaller things with better success – such as little round pots. 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*. a frământa. to bring it home and work it. and the heat of the sun baked* them strangely hard*. and pipkins*. misshapen*. dificil paste cocă misshapen diform fell in to fall. the clay* not being stiff* enough to bear its own weight*. 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. But all this would not answer my end*. to temper* it. oală Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 201 . which was to get an earthen pot to hold what was liquid. to dig* it. and bear* the fire. ugly things I made. fallen) in: a se prăbuşi. and observed that they did not crack at all*. I had no notion of a kiln*. after having laboured hard to find the clay. when I went to put it out* after I had done with it. de pământ jar oală. being set out too hastily*. When I saw them clear red.Reader TEXT 5.2. I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours(…). a cădea fell out to fall. (fell. I was agreeably surprised to see it. Robinson Crusoe It would make the reader pity* me. flat dishes*. (fell. and how many fell in pieces with only removing* as well before as after they were dried. one upon another. dug a săpa to temper a amesteca. with a great heap of embers* under them. what odd. anevoios. pitchers*. Daniel Defoe. and said to myself that certainly they might be made to burn whole if they would burn broken. and I had hardly patience to stay till they were cold before I set one upon the fire again with some water in it to boil me some meat. (…) Though I miscarried* so much in my design* for large pots*. but I placed three large pipkins and two or three pots in a pile. fallen) out: a se desface. which none of these could do. or rather laugh at me. 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 (…). and any things my hand turned to*. vas to miscarry a da greş design intenţie pot vas. It happened after some time. which it did admirably well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For where-e’er* the sun does shine. sterp. Babe can never hunger there. who helped the priest in various ways.Reader ‘twas it was th Holy Thursday Ascension Day. especially by keeping order wand baghetă dome hemispherical roof St Paul’s Cathedral the largest cathedral in London. soft. fruitful fecund. a monument of baroque architecture seated aşezaţi radiance great happiness that shows in someone’s face. and to the Last Judgement. And where-e’er the rain does fall. And their fields are bleak* and bare*. in the Revelation) to cherish to treasure something (a preţui. 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. fertil. roditor fed to feed (fed): a hrăni usurous cămătăresc (see again the Glossary) bleak sterp. rece. It is eternal winter there. re-built th in the late 17 century. neroditor thorn spin. Nor poverty the mind appal*. William Blake. a goni TEXT 6.13. 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. the 40 day after Easter. In a rich and fruitful* land Babes reduced to misery. ghimpe where-e’er wherever to appal to make someone feel shocked and upset (a îngrozi) 214 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . when the ascension of Christ to heaven is celebrated beadle an officer in British churches in the past. ca nu cumva to drive (from) a alunga. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Experience) Is this a holy thing to see. lugubru bare gol. a iubi) lest ca să nu. And their ways are filled with thorns*.

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