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

5.2. 3.3.1. 3.3. 4.4. 4. 3. 3.5.1. 3.4.1. 3.8. 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.1. 3.3.1. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.3. 4.2.3. 3. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.1. 3.3. 3. 2.3. 2.5.2. 4. 3. 2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics 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.1. 4. 4.4. 3.5.5.

7. 5.4.3. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.4. 4.1. 5.1.5. 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. 5.2.4. 4. 5. 5.2.5. “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.4.4.2. 5. 5.2.6. 4.4. 5.2. 5. 4.1.3. 5. 5. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.4. 4. 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.Contents 4.6. 4. 5.4. 4. 5.3. 5.3.1. 5. 5.2.4. 5. Gulliver.2.3. 5.

6. 6.4.7. 6.2. 6.1. 6.2.4. 6.4.1. 6. 6.6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. 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. 6.2.2. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. 6.2. 6.1. 6. 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. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2.1.

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

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

The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. the epic poem Paradise Lost. Sterne –. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. 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). but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. H. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. They appeal not only to your memory. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century. and to draw your own conclusions. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. Defoe. hopefully. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. • 4. Richardson. The variety of these learning tasks will. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. Fielding and L. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. and with the evolution of this genre. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. as well as major representatives. 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. S. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. • 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.2.1.Introduction 4. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . and Augustan satire.

etc. state its theme • comment on / interpret a given fragment. Try to analyse your errors and to become aware of everything you have missed in the instructions of the SAQ. if the case may be. summarise its argument. after you have identified them in/after a provided short description • match a given literary fragment with a given paraphrase. You are given detailed instructions about what is expected from you. at the end of the unit. You are required to solve these SAQs in the blank spaces provided for each of them in textboxes. with the typological definition of a work. Do not get discouraged if some of your answers should not come near the suggestions offered at the end. Solutions and suggestions for SAQs You can check your answers to each SAQ by going to this section. • paraphrase a given fragment from a studied literary work. and you are advised to read those instructions carefully and to follow them. line. match incomplete statements so as to reconstruct an idea or a description • identify true/false sentences. Remember that what counts most is the process of thinking that leads you to a particular answer. etc. so as to re-describe certain important aspects about a literary period or a particular writer’s work • fill in blanks with the features of a certain literary movement or style. of a certain work or a provided fragment • explain the relevance or significance of a certain item (phrase.. an author’s work. fragment) • complete sentences. the independent intellectual effort that you are encouraged to put into your learning. narrative technique. stylistic features. etc. 4.3. • A self-assessed question (SAQ) is signalled in the course text by this icon accompanying a textbox. characterisation. 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. symbolic elements.lIntroduction answer questions about the theme. and. in the literary text you were asked to work on. 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). The estimated length of your answers will be indicated as number of words / number of lines. A line in your textboxes is estimated to contain ten words on the average. the title of a work. 4 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

In any case. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. As the texts are not very long. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader.2 will cover units 4 and 5. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. while SAA no. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. The table below represents the place. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. especially the poetry texts. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. and 6. 5. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. difficult. the number of tasks. 5. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. try to read each fragment more than once. before you start solving the task. this should not take you too much time. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. SAA no. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks.lIntroduction 4.5. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown.

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

glossary. 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. according to a pre-established schedule. 5. and 6. whose content follows a chronological line. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. list of key words. of the evolution of literary genres. representative authors. The three assignments will count. 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. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. which you must write and send to your tutor. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. At the end of Units 3.3 3 3 8 SAA no. and gallery of personalities). forms and styles. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. a revision of the course material. It is structured in six units of study.2 SAA no. respectively. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . together. as 40% of the final grade. as well as a list of suggested further reading. there are SAAs. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). along the 17th and 18th centuries in England.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge.

1.5. 1. 1.1. 1. 1. 1.3. 1.4.1. 1.3. 1.2.5. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1. 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. 1.3.4.

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

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

the central concern of the Enlightenment. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . for each sentence. the Enlightenment. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling.3.4. to superstition and obscurantism. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. 1. continued the project of the Renaissance. T F 2.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. appropriately. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. 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. Circle T (true) or F (false). 1. 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. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. but also affective and instinctual. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. The growing spirit of individualism. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). 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. T F 5. T F 3. 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.1. T F 4. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. Read the statements below and identify the true ones.

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

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

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

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. together with their most outstanding representatives. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. at the end of the unit. some of them of popular origin (the song. 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). 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.4.3. If there should be major differences between them. It was the only form of literature which. revise subchapter 1. In the following units of this course.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. 1. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). through its representation on stage. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. in the space left below. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them.

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

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

The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. for instance. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). She Stoops to Conquer. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure.4.3. 1722). but it appealed to a wide middle class public. or The Mistakes of a Night. 1773). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. 1669-70). This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. The School for Scandal. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. too. George Villiers. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. 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. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. Under the influence of French tragedies.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. were a passing extravagance. 1769). who demanded models of virtue and decency. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). The Conquest of Granada. John Gay.g. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. 1777). There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Heroic plays. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. a stylish and sophisticated world. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. Duke of Buckingham. 1768. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. 1665.4. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. Henry Fielding).4. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. 1775. 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. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. 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. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . In The Rehearsal (1671).

and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. together with their most outstanding representatives. at the end of the unit. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. If there should be major differences between them.4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 1.4. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.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. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to 1.

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

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

in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. Within these two centuries. read again subchapters 1. If there should be major differences between them. 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. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4.. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . between which there is continuity.5.5. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. Culturally. these two centuries correspond. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. modern science was born. roughly. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. obscurantism and intolerance. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. you will learn more about the periodical essay. at the end of the unit. more carefully.1.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. Within these two centuries. and 1. the image of the universe was changed. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.8. 2.3.10. 2. 2. 2. 2.2.2. 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. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.2.3. 2.3.1. 2. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 . 2. 2. 2.4. 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.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.2.7. 2.5.

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

Although very diverse. with its abundance of bloody deaths. The Jacobean and Caroline drama* is essentially baroque. Paul’s Cathedral in London (16751708): an example of baroque architecture 2. to the macabre. with the tendency of breaking proportions. The baroque vision of experience of the Metaphysical Poets required a new kind of poetic language. the spectacular and the sumptuous. 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. irony and ambiguity. for excess. The unexpected. reason and superstition. The Renaissance cult of rational order. or the world as stage.1. In lyric poetry. in literature. contrasts with the baroque taste for the extravagant. grandeur. The Renaissance celebrated Nature and life with its joys. Characteristic of the baroque spirit are the sense of ethical relativism and the exploration of the borderline between truth and illusion. the Baroque displayed a sharp consciousness of life’s ephemerality. The Baroque displays attraction to obscurity and melancholy. The best examples are Thomas Kyd’s revenge tragedy.2.1. the extensive use of paradox. of man’s limitations and the inevitability of death. and Christopher Marlowe’s characters. and not properly forming a “school. sensualism and mysticism. and. Characteristic baroque themes were those of life as dream and life as theatre. nothing reflects better its emergence than drama. the difficult – often irregular – rhythms. the tragic divisions in man’s soul. and in its dramatic conception. capable of rendering its 33 Revenge tragedy Metaphysical poetry Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” these poets distinguish themselves by the ingenuity with which they force the limits of language. but also to pomp.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. St. ornamental rhetoric and preference for convention and artifice. the concentration of expression in their poems stand in contrast with the Elizabethan smooth and orderly patterns of versification. proportion and symmetry. a tendency commonly associated with the baroque is represented by the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th century. the paradoxes and contrasts which make up man’s mixed nature. its sense of form.1. life and death. of confusing or transgressing limits. Even the Elizabethan dramatists cultivated elements which announced the Baroque. wisdom and madness. but his great tragedies belong not only chronologically to the Jacobean age: as embodiments of the baroque spirit. Shakespeare’s early comedies and history plays* are Elizabethan in spirit. both in its themes and motifs. they are the supreme dramatic achievement of late Renaissance. Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry The essence of the baroque sensibility is conflict and tension. striking imagery. destroyed by the monstrous excess of their ambition. refinement and cruelty. on which the “show” of life must end. splendour.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kinsman and guest.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. 1. paradoxically. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . Macbeth. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. The protagonist. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.6. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. innocence and corruption.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. to 2. If any of your solutions should not correspond. / It weeps. who has a trusting nature. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. it bleeds. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. ____________________ 4. The baroque motif of madness is. he multiples his crimes. 2. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). and unmotivated violence and cruelty. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king.2. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either.2. you need to revise subchapters 2. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. ____________________ 3. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. at the instigation of his wife.2. disorder. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. illusion and truth.7. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. ____________________ 2. one of Duncan’s sons. ____________________ 5.2. underlining the theme of knowledge. but. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. at the end of the unit. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth.

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

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

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

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

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

of which three are false. revise subchapters2. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music.2. T F 4. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. T F 2. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. 1. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 .9 to 2. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F 6. You must find them among the following statements. T F 5.12. except that of terrifying him. 2. T F 7. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. was first intended to bring discredit on them. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. T F 3.2. in his own way. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. at the end of the unit. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. 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. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. but each of them.

Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. 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*.” A new kind of poetry emerged.1.3. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. and the emotions involved. which helps the poet to develop his subject. linked.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play.e. argumentative quality. Dr. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. from a most ordinary circumstance. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*.2. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. hidden. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . 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. By means of conceits. a cold intellectual exercise.e. writers had to face a new exigency. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render. or discovery of occult [i. a metaphor or an analogy. The impression is that this experience.3. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. is contemplated from a certain distance. regardless of the subject of the poem. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. In spite of its logical.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. a demand for “more matter and less words. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. which starts from a comparison. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. but also his reason. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. united] by violence together. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. as “a combination of dissimilar images.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. As extended comparisons. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion. This is an elaborate figurative device. “More matter and less words” 2. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation.

and allegory. Use the space left below. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 .3. and 2. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. If they should differ considerably. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. its decorative use of classical mythology.1. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.3. revise subchapters 2. In the following subchapters.2. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. and a highly original one.3. pastoral* conventions.3. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. 2. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. and the same realistic force. at the end of the unit. In the treatment of both themes.

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

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

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

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 .The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. If there should be significant differences.3. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. Donne suggests his contradictory. As a Puritan* patriot. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone.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. at the end of the unit. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets.5. revise subchapter 2. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. from the Reader. according to some critics. nature. and love of country. 2.6. and read the poem again. Marvell left. In the last six lines.7.

lest it grow [i. on the scaffold. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun.3. 2. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal.8. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven.e. King Charles I Stuart.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. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. in contrasting colours. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. in this respect.e. On a Drop of Dew 2. 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. to change the form of ruling power). Although loyal to the Puritan cause. aspiring to union with almighty God. On the other hand. in which both of them act according to a divine order. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. shyness] and accept his passionate love. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. behaving with royal grace in his last minute.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress.3.7. is On a Drop of Dew. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. A natural detail. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . He showed a deep love for the countryside. however. The most illustrative poem. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. It is a seduction poem. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. Marvell often sees. for fear that it might grow] impure.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. pictured with remarkable precision.e.

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

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

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

3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3. 3.5. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.6.3. 3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3.4.4. 3. 3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.4.2. 3.3. 3.5.2. 3.4.1. 3.5.1. 3.1.2. 3.

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

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

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

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

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

Virgil.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. and of leaving to posterity an undying work.2. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. and 3. Dante* –.3. respectively. at the end of the unit. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. and the two sonnets. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. 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. If there should be significant differences. 3. and he worked at it over several years. when he was already blind. in the Reader). the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation.2. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest.1. read again subchapter 3.4. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It may be argued. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. however. which they fully assume.9. more carefully.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. read the fragment again. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. 3.5. at the end of the unit. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . If they should differ in major points. 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.

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

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

a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. “and “The mind is its own place.2.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. revise subchapters 3. at the end of the unit. and read the indicated fragment again. 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.5. Read the whole fragment carefully.1. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. and 3. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in Hell.. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.) B. If there are significant differences. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.5.

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

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

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

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

• What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.C. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. You may also consider it useful to pay attention to the following aspects when reading the text: • Satan’s present misery set in opposition with the memories of his former condition. Texts 2. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.4. and thus of destroying man. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. A revision of subchapter 3. in Milton’s Paradise Lost.. and 2. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.1. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. 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 . in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. romantic in The Tempest –. Send-away assignment no.5.6. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. one of the greatest Roman poets.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B.3. before the final battle. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer. 2. in which he explores his inner hell. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. God’s creation. Text 3. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. In both of them.2. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. 1.2.. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit.2. and the last paragraph of 2. At the beginning of Book IV.). Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. at the end of the play. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.1. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. • Read attentively this fragment.

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

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

3. 4.1. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. 4. 4.1. 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 .4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4. Gulliver. 4.2.2. 4. 4. 4.5.2 4.3. 4. 4.4. 4. 4.2.3. 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. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.2.4.

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

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

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

a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. T F 8. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. T F 5.1.1. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. frivolity. 4. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. William Congreve. T F 6. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. simple action.4. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. It displays typical Restoration characters. T F 3. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). T F 9. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. elegance. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. to 4. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. T F 4. such as the impoverished gallant. by doing the exercise that follows.1.3. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. Restoration comedy praised wit. read again subchapters 4. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 7. at the end of the unit. T F 2. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. hedonism and amorality at Court. 1. refinement and sophistication.

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

their agreement has serious implications. What is the idea of marriage that her conditions suggest? Answer in the space below. 94 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but she accepts Mirabell's marriage proposal on certain conditions. they establish and agree on the terms of a "contract. they seem to be playing a game. who is sincerely in love with Millamant and wishes to marry her.1." Presenting their expectations from each other in a half-joking way... as well as the indicated fragment. Read Text 4.1. in no more than 15 lines / 150 words. Mirabell is a reformed rake. Millamant is also in love. in Act IV. at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 2 In Congreve's play The Way of the World.4. If there should be significant differences. read again subchapter 4. which presents Millamant's demands. under the appearance of frivolity. However. In a witty dialogue.

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

. of infinite variety. and the poet might disregard them.e. was Shakespeare. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade. to make form and substance adequate to each other. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. for the Augustans. and to those patterns of behaviour. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour.2. i. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. skilful transgression. in satirical or burlesque* works. i. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. skill. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. required an elevated style. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. the emphasis on discipline in art. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. lacking ornament. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. a dignified diction. humble style. yet achieve great beauty. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*. was expected to use a common. The rule of decorum 4.3. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. for instance.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.2. The most eloquent example. on the other hand. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. comedy. 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]. since it dealt with noble characters and actions. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them. Epic and tragedy. This was the case of the genius. which usually presented ordinary people and actions.2.e. A poet’s innate talent needed training. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. the most valuable store of literary experience.

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

of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. but to be a functional part of the community. “grace and strength united.3. its effects were considerable on prose. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. In the context of general progress. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower.5. “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. where nothing seems to be studied. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure.2.2. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. manners and taste. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). refinement with wisdom. affectation were rejected. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. 4. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. unnecessary ornament. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Ostentation. or.” Augustan wit 4. eloquence with restraint. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. precision and clarity. of critical debate in every field. of quick accumulation of information. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. The writer's art was a form of social communication. too. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. 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.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled.

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

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

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

2. 7. 6. cheerful disposition. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. 4. 3. 5. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . read again subchapter 4. and write them in the indicated spaces below. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club.1.3. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. common sense.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. at the end of the unit. 1. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. more carefully. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. If there should be major discrepancies. Identify at least eight such features. 8.

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

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

whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles. curious and resourceful. and literary. Like many of his contemporaries. economic. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. Gulliver is finally expelled.4.3. Back in England. the flying island. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. Balnibarbi.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.A Voyage to Brodingnag III. with a sharp sense of observation. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. social and intellectual realities. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. or softening marble to make pincushions. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. building houses starting from the roof. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. It is an allegorical satirical travel book. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. In it. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. In Luggnagg. an uncompromising defender of truth. and where human creatures. justice and freedom. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos.4. In Balnibarbi. Luggnagg and Japan IV. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason. the Yahoos.A Voyage to Lilliput II.A Voyage to Laputa. he learns about the Struldbruggs. From this last country. respectively. bigger than himself. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. Jonathan Swift. Glubbdubdrib. in his potential as a rational creature. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. In his third voyage he visits several strange places.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. a hater of pedantry and pretence. religious. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. In his last voyage.4. intelligent speaking horses. philosophical. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. Laputa. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable.

2. 1. Find. SAQ 7 Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm master tries to understand human nature by analysing the behaviour of the Yahoos (since he perceives Gulliver to be one). read the fragment carefully once more. His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. and he prefers now the company of horses. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. from the Reader. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 4. incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. 3. at the end of the unit. in Text 4.5.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions.

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

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

however. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4. If there should be major differences. find anti-utopian elements in it. For Gulliver.6.6. more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the Reader. you need to read the fragment again. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit.4. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. and to revise subchapter 4.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. The careful reader will. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.4.5. 5. 5.1. 5.2.1. 5.6.2. 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 . 5.1. 5.2. 5.2.4. 5.4.7. 5. 5.2. 5.5. 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.4.2. 5.4.2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 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. 5. 5. 5.4.1. 5. 5.5.3. 5.3. 5. 5.

Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels.1.1. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity. Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. in the early years of the 18 th century. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. whose vast majority was middle-class. and there is a connection between. tolerance. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. 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. more inclusive reading public. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty. mostly imitations of French models. whose action was often set in remote. exotic settings. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5.1. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. the rise of the middle classes. in the light of the author’s aesthetic principles ♦ describe the peculiarities of the narrative technique and style used by the studied authors ♦ define the concept of metafiction and describe metafictional strategies in Sterne’s novel Unit objectives 5. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. and generally about women. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. and the development of the novel. natural rights.

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

Women were … 3. and public/social norms and conventions. on the other. 1. at the end of the unit. and 5. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. … 4. read again subchapters 5. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.2. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.1. on the one hand. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. If there should be major differences. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The rise of the middle classes … 2. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion.1.1.

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

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

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

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

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 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. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. as a political or economic utopia. Gradually.2. at the end of the unit. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. In this light. In his initial struggle with despair.1.” 5. If it should differ considerably. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat.2. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. to the awakening of religious conscience. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. read again subchapters 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words..3.2.2. and 5.

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

solid world. His simple. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. read the fragment and subchapter 5. rendered in a simple. containing. clarity. at the same time. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. the promise of symbolic meanings. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action.4. of familiar detail. His linear. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. at the end of the unit. he paid little attention to matters of form. concreteness. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5.2.4 once more and do the exercise again. with unmatched vividness. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . clear language. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. 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. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. 4. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. the frequent enumerations and inventories. which. 1. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience.2. 3.2. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. whose reality is difficult to doubt. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. 2. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. on a separate sheet. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. The richness of concrete detail. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories.

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

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

130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. 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. though in quality [i. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.e. Richardson’s mastery consists in the subtlety with which he suggests the gradual surfacing of unconscious feeling and with which he traces the heroine’s slow process of self-knowledge. at the end of the unit.7. between hate and admiration. 5.8. and 5. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. read again attentively subchapters 5.”? Answer in the space left below.2. If there should be significant differences. as a servant. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor.6.2.2. to obey Mr. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader.9. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. on the one hand. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. 2. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. at the end of the unit. in the Reader). and considering also Text 5. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. read again subchapter 5. What counts. In Pamela’s letters and diary.4. however. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. 1. which are captured in the process of their emergence.2. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions.. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. excerpted from Pamela.. B_ follows a similar evolution. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. on the other. her sentimental response to them. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. and his developing love.

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. drawing short comparisons. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition.2. 5. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. If they should differ substantially. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.8.3. 2. He is a moralist.2. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.3. Explain them..The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.2. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.. read again subchapters 5. and 5. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. and he believes.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . At the same time.4. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.. unaffected. 3. Fielding is the most “Augustan.4. 1. incorporated in the substance of his works. 5.3. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. 5. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. like many Augustan writers. through its moral and temperamental types. provide the first theory of the novel.5. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

we are drawn into an extremely irregular. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768.4. the narrator. is an erudite philosopher. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. With Sterne. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. other interesting things to relate.e. by accident. of his uncle. and his long. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. the history of a private life. the priest who baptised Tristram. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. he seems to have. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. that. i. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. 5. In spite of his promises. moulds reality into a literary pattern. However. Tristram. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking.1. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. His father. Fielding had demonstrated. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. that he was. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended.4. unpredictable narrative. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. corporal Trim. as well as of Parson Yorick. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. does not manage to give a shape to his story. Walter.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. He digresses continually. in Joseph Andrews. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. the relation between life and literature.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. Walter Shandy. at every point. at the age of five. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life.” in every sense. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III.2.

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

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

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

metafiction is fiction about fiction. as it explores – halfseriously. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –. of life as pure chance. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing. the narrated time and the time of reading. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. works which call attention to their own devices. The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. at the structural level. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits. The unpredictable.e. It is a half-amused. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. formless reality.6.4. on the author’s vision of life.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction. in the first four volumes. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create. As metafiction. Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. Sterne’s literary treatment of the notion of duration makes him a precursor of 20th century modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.e. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality. Metafictionally. i. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. i. Basically. the process of its own writing. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. Its extravagant. ultimately. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time.” with their digressions. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. In volume VI. which is connected. however. The meaning of metafiction depends. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality. Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness.

in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. Instead of continuing the story. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. 3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. In this way.. go again through subchapters 5. and read the fragment attentively once more. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.5. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. Write them in the spaces indicated below. 1. at the end of the unit.7. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. and 5. which he discusses in the very text of the work.6.4. If they differ significantly. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .4. 6. 6.4.4. 6.1. 6. 6. 6. 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.4.3. 6. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4. 6.1.1. 6. 6.3.2. 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.1.1. The Seasons William Cowper.

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

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

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

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

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.

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exerting a considerable influence on both of them. becomes an object of interest in itself. but also the feeling for it. the peace of autumn – bringer of “Philosophic Melancholy” –.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. not only the perception of nature. and that he never yet has felt what Thomson impresses. His poem educated. It appealed both to the Augustans and to the Romantics. as well as his glorification of “retirement in solitude” as the best state in which to “sing the works of nature.3. manifest as early as the 1730s. It contains reflections on the natural and social condition of man and on Nature as the manifestation of the divine ordering mind. As Dr. Pre-Romantic nature poetry One of the most significant shifts in poetic sensibility was the new attitude to nature. and the apparent cruelty of winter. “Winter.3.1. in which the descriptive detail was often used in order to create a certain mood.” inspired many other poets along the 18th century. more amusing. The Seasons In the Preface to the fourth part of The Seasons. In spite of its eclectic nature.” 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.” Thomson confesses that he knows “of no other subject more elevating. poetic renderings of current notions of natural history. Thomson is also famous for the patriotic lyrics that he wrote for the song Rule. The conventional Augustan “local” poem (or “topographical” poem*) looked at nature from the perspective of historical or classical mythological associations. Thomson practically inaugurated the trend of descriptive-meditative poetry. political comments. the splendour of summer. an expression of national pride. James Thomson (1700-1748) 158 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and the moral sentiment. “The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him. than the works of Nature. Samuel Johnson said. The Seasons has a unity ensured by the recurrent themes and motifs related to the observable natural universe. patriotic enthusiasm. Britannia.” The Seasons marked an important moment in 18th century poetry. praise of friends. Thomson evokes the glory and joy of reviving nature in spring. with a remarkable attention to detail and precision of notation. The Augustans were interested in nature only to the extent that it helped them emphasise the conquests of civilization. 6. the philosophical reflection. nature. in many generations of readers. James Thomson. etc. With James Thomson (1700-1748) and his long poem The Seasons (1726-1730). His praise of nature and of the countryside. in its magnificence and diversity. more ready to awake the poetical enthusiasm. Each of the four parts of the poem describes seasonal aspects of nature and rural life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

innocent question (“Little Lamb. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below.6.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. provoking more anxiety than certainty. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. with no explicit answer. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . at the end of the unit. who made thee [i. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. 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. Read this poem – Text 6. by ambiguity and even obscurity. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain.e. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. in Songs of Experience. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. dangerous tiger. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. you]?) and his own answer.6.4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If it should differ in major respects. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary.

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

English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . but he is no longer able to do that. to regain the vision of Innocence. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. and read the poem again more carefully.4.. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences between them. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.4. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. to 6. at the end of the unit.2.1.7. revise subchapters 6. except as an act of remembering. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast.

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

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

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

topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. Send-away assignment no.” usurous: from usury.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. in grading your paper. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. SAA no. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment.10. The Chimney Sweeper.. 6.13. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. Remember that.9. 6. with his law of love.8. and 6. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words.). the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. clarity.. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.. 6. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 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). He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power.12. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. gardens or estates.11. 6. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. • 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. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. meant to win a patron’s favour. • the coherence. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the subtle* thief of youth.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune. rush bud mugur. returning. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*. to prevent That murmur*. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. who best Bear his mild yoke*. but Patience. John Milton. opportune happy fortunate. speed. light denied*?” I fondly* ask.2. '”Doth God exact* day-labour. All is. obscure.1. chide*. Toward which time leads me. hath has subtle difficult to perceive or describe because fine or delicate my three and twentieth year my twenty-third year career swift movement ahead. destiny mean humble. Ere* half my days. John Milton. in this dark world and wide. they serve him best. if I have grace to use it so. appears [in me] much less – i. and the will of heaven. lest he. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. a strict overseer TEXT 3. though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness. and present My true account. however mean* or high. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. his state Is kingly – thousands at his bidding* speed* And post* o'er land and ocean without rest*: They also serve who only stand and wait. boboc showeth shows (My late spring shows no bud or blossom) semblance outward appearance to deceive to mislead (a înşela) manhood bărbăţie. As ever* in my great task-master's* eye. or soon or slow. Yet be it less or more. Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*. lucky endueth endues. Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless thee. Little Lamb. We are called by his name. not violent (blajin. îngăduitor) TEXT 6. He became a little child: I a child and thou a lamb. Gave thee clothing of delight. gentle and uncomplaining (blând. a suspina wept to weep (wept): a plânge leapt to leap. cuminte. a înlănţui. Helpless. For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek*. to groan a geme. I’ll tell thee. Softest clothing. By the stream and o’er* the mead*. Little Lamb. I’ll tell thee: He is called by thy* name. a ţâşni. naked. Into the dangerous world I leapt*. God bless thee.Reader TEXT 6.6. exhausted to sulk to be silent and resentful a se bosumfla. Infant Sorrow (from Songs of Experience) My mother groaned*. Little Lamb. leapt: a sări. Making all the vales rejoice*! Little Lamb. William Blake.5. wooly* bright. my father wept*. I thought best To sulk* upon my mother’s breast. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb. and bid thee feed*. Gave thee such a tender voice. piping* loud. Striving against my swaddling bands*. a închide weary tired. bound: a lega strâns. Bound* and weary*.The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) Little Lamb who made thee*? Dost thou know* who made thee? Gave thee life. Like a fiend* hid* in a cloud. Struggling in my father’s hands. a fi supărat/îmbufnat 210 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . supus) mild gentle. William Blake. luncă) wooly made of or feeling like wool (lânos) to rejoice to feel or show great joy thy your meek very quiet. a se arunca piping to pipe: to utter something in a high and thin voice fiend demon hid hidden swaddling bands scutece bound to bind. and he is mild*. te-a poftit să te hrăneşti o’er over mead meadow (pajişte. who made thee who made you dost thou know do you know bid thee feed ţi-a oferit hrană.

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

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

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

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

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