Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

© 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.

Contents

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

3.1.7.4.5.8.3.5.3.6.3. 3.3.3.4.2. 3.1. 3.4. 4.5.3.2.4.6.3.1.2. 2.4. 3.1. 4. 4.2.2.3. 3. 3.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 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 . 2. 2.2.3. 3.4.2. 3.1. 2. 3.3. 3.5.1. 3.4.5.1. 3.2.4. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3. 3.2.1. 3.3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 4.4. 4.2.5. 3.2. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.2. 4. 3.Contents 2.1.3. 2. 4. 4.4.3.5. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 2.1.1.1.1.

4.4.7. 5. 4. 5. 5.3. 4.5.3. 4.2. 5.2.3.7.2.3.4. 5.3. 4.Contents 4.2.6. 5.4.4. 5.1. 4.4.4.3. 5.4. 5. 4.2. 4.2.4.2.2.6.4. 5.3.1. 5. 4.1. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 4. 5. 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. 5. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.2.2. 5.2.3.4. 5. Gulliver.4.1.4. 5. 5. 4.8. 4.1.4.3.2. 5.1.2. 5.1.2. 5.3.4.5. 5.4.4.2.1. 5.3.3. 5.5.5.2.1. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.4.6. 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 .4.5.3.3.2.4. 5.1.

6.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.3.3.4.2. 6. 6. 6.1.4.2. 6. 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. 6. 6. 6.3. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.1.1. 6.4.2.4.2.2.4. 6.4. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6.7. 6.4.1.5.4. 6. 6.1.3. 6.1.4.2. 6.3. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6.2.2.3.2. The Seasons William Cowper.4.1.

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

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

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

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

4. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries.1. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. with the pages where you may find relevant information.1. 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). will also appear in Units 5 and 6.Introduction 4. For instance. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. for the Great Chain of Being*. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. For example. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. in Unit 1. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). Most of the books included there are available in any University library. but the phrase of which that word is part. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. other instruments meant to assist your study. if necessary or desired. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. at the end. Some terms may recur in several units. the term Enlightenment. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. Thus. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 .3.3. Sometimes. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. • Further reading. not just Being.

The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. and 6. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. while SAA no. In any case. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. especially the poetry texts.lIntroduction 4. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAA no. 5. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. The table below represents the place. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. 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. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. before you start solving the task. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. 5.5. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. difficult.2 will cover units 4 and 5. As the texts are not very long. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). the number of tasks. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. this should not take you too much time. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. try to read each fragment more than once. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries.

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

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

1.4.2. 1.1.4. 1. 1.1. 1.2. 1.1.4.5. 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 .3.1.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. 1. 1.3.4. 1. 1.5. 1.4.2.4.3.1. 1.4.1.1. 1.

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

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

Read the statements below and identify the true ones. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 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. Circle T (true) or F (false). The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. T F 3. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.1.4. 1. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world.3. T F 2. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. 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. T F 5. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). continued the project of the Renaissance. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. but also affective and instinctual.1. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. appropriately. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. the Enlightenment. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The 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. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . for each sentence. The growing spirit of individualism. to superstition and obscurantism. the central concern of the Enlightenment. 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. The poet Alexander Pope indicated.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. T F 4. 1. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole.

T F 8.4. that the notion of reading public emerges now.1. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. It was the main focus of literary attention. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 .2. regularity. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. including readers of more modest education.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. It is significant. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. symmetry. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. in one way or another. at the end of the unit. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man.1. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false.1. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. the decrease in the power of the Crown. for proportion. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. The division into Elizabethan. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. 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. and both writers and audiences were. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. read again subchapters. T F 7. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. in the orbit of the crown. to 1. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. 1. After 1688. with little or no classical knowledge. for instance. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion.

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

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

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

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

T F 7. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. T F 2.4. T F 5. For each sentence. centred on the theme of love.4. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. though each in a different way. with its noble characters. T F 6. identifying the four true ones. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. but. in miniature.2. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. in the last period of creation. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. Volpone (1606).4. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. T F 4. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. 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. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. in Paradise Lost. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. the hierarchy of English society. Epicoene. read the following statements. or The Silent Woman (1609). and 1. the satirical comedy. If you have failed to identify the true statements. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. 1. 1.1. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. read again subchapters 1. Milton’s Satan. reflecting. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). T F 3.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. or at least tinged with bitterness. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . His best plays. his comedies become darker. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy.

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

4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.2. at the end of the unit. revise subchapters 1. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences between them. together with their most outstanding representatives.4. to 1.4. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy.

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

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

Within these two centuries. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. modern science was born. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. roughly. and 1. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. obscurantism and intolerance. more carefully. you will learn more about the periodical essay. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England.. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. the image of the universe was changed. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . If there should be major differences between them.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.5. read again subchapters 1.5. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. these two centuries correspond. at the end of the unit.1. Within these two centuries. between which there is continuity. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. Culturally. as well as the faith in progress. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Novel in Its Beginnings.F. Cornelia. Goldsmith. Turcu. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. The English Eighteenth Century. precision. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Herrick. Luminiţa Elena.T. 6. English Literature and Civilisation. Herbert. Milton the pastoral: Milton. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 4.T. d. Macsiniuc. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. b. Sir George Sedley. 8. Dryden. Goldsmith.T.2. William Wycherley. 2003 (pp. Pope. Preda. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Collins. John Gay Further reading 1. 3. 7-49) 3. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Cowley. Blake the ode: Marvell. Milton. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period.F. 2. 5. 9-32) 2. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style.F. Ioan-Aurel (ed.T. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers.T SAQ 2 a. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. 2003 (pp.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Pope.F. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Literature of the Beginnings.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Marvell.).3. Fielding. Sir George Etherege. 1983 (pp. artificial. Carew.T. c. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. Thomson.T. .T. Marvell satire: Dryden. Donne. 7. 4. John Vanbrugh). 6.T. there was a tendency towards simplicity. 5.4. 3. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. Duke of Buckingham. Dryden. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. 2.

2. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3.11.4. 2.3.10. 2.7.3. 2.2.2.8. 2.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.2. 2.3. 2. 2.9.2. 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 . 2.7. 2. 2.3.3.3.12.8. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2. 2. 2. 2.2.3.2.1. 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.2.2.1.2.2.6.5. 2. 2.2.4.1. 2. 2.5.3. 2.6.2.3.2.1. 2.2.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

which is only partly dissimulated. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. SAQ 3 Text 2.2.4. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. 2. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. at the end of the unit. as well as the indicated fragment. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. Hamlet: the philosopher vs.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him.1. read again the preceding subchapter. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. If they should differ significantly. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust.

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

painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The noble protagonist.6. Othello. and its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. essence. Desdemona. the bond of a love marriage is the frame in which Shakespeare explores the theme of evil in connection with that of appearance vs. In Othello. Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down. innocence/guilt. acting against it. Scene from Othello. In Othello. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. Evil is that which destroys Nature. As a result of Iago’s manipulations. 2.2. and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic. evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. 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). To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. faithfulness/betrayal. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. unfaithful. Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. is led by Iago to believe his wife.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order.

2.2. 2. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. kinsman and guest.2. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. he multiples his crimes. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. illusion and truth. who has a trusting nature. underlining the theme of knowledge. you need to revise subchapters 2. it bleeds.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. paradoxically.6. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. The baroque motif of madness is. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. at the end of the unit. 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. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. / It weeps. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of your solutions should not correspond. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. but. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. at the instigation of his wife. Macbeth. disorder.7. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. ____________________ 3. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. to 2. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. ____________________ 2. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. 1. ____________________ 4. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either.2.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. one of Duncan’s sons. The protagonist. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). ____________________ 5. innocence and corruption.

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

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

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

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

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

of which three are false. T F 4. If any of your choices should be wrong. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . was first intended to bring discredit on them. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. 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. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. Their styles are different. T F 2. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. You must find them among the following statements. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit.3.2. T F 3. but each of them. 2. 1. at the end of the unit. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in his own way. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. except that of terrifying him.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. 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.9 to 2.2.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. revise subchapters2. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world.12. T F 7. T F 5. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. T F 6. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music.

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . its decorative use of classical mythology. revise subchapters 2. If they should differ considerably. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. 2. Use the space left below. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.2. In the treatment of both themes. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features.3.3. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century.3. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . at the end of the unit. In the following subchapters. and 2. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. and a highly original one. pastoral* conventions. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and allegory. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and the same realistic force.1.

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

he develops one of his most famous conceits. Read the poem again.2. you need to revise subchapter 2. If they should differ significantly.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. at the end of the unit. as well. Here. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 . in the Reader). in no more than 18 lines / 180 words.6.3. paying special attention to the last three stanzas.. Formulate your answer in the space left below.

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

paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. As a Puritan* patriot. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Donne suggests his contradictory. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.7.3. and read the poem again. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. 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.3. and love of country. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. from the Reader. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. Marvell left. In the last six lines. nature. 2. If there should be significant differences. at the end of the unit. according to some critics.5.6.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. revise subchapter 2.

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

What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below.3.8. after revising subchapter 2. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. paying attention to the logic of the argument. in its sexual fulfillment. more carefully.The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. which has the structure If…. then (therefore)…. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature. If the difference is considerable. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. in the Reader). but….8. Love. at the end of the unit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . read the poem again. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2.

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

Summary
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

56

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

Glossary
• 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

• •

• • • •

• •

• • •

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

• • • • • • • • • •

• •

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
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

• 58

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”).
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

59

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

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

The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.4.2. 3. 3.3.2.4.6. 3. 3.1.5.5. 3. 3. 3.1.4. 3.3. 3. 3.5.1. 3. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 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. 3.4.5. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.4.4.3.4. 3. 3.1.2.2. 3. 3.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.2.2. 3.5.3.4.

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

the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes.2. is in touch with divine secrets. As in other poems. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. who. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. Virgil*. with its pastoral delights. In the Sixth elegy. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. etc. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. However. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man. On the other hand. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. As a poet. Ovid*. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. for instance.2. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. 3.1. but Milton did not complete his plan. In some of them. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. However.). With the Restoration*. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. his political hopes ended. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. like a priest. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in no more than 8 lines/80 words. you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text. in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso. presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies. the Nativity Ode. he prepared himself for it during long years.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3.2. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. The same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a necessary part of His design. the pastoral elegy Lycidas. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. Read this fragment and summarise its argument. one of the greatest English poets. Summary In this unit.5. at the end of the unit. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. 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. If there should be major differences. Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. in the Reader. Subchapter 3. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III.

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

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

.5. At the beginning of Book IV. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy.1.2.2.4. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. God’s creation. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. 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.. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue.). the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. In both of them. romantic in The Tempest –. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.1. in which he explores his inner hell. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. and 2. 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 . at the end of the play. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. 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. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. A revision of subchapter 3. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3.C. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).6. • Read attentively this fragment. Send-away assignment no. and the last paragraph of 2. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. one of the greatest Roman poets. 1. Text 3. Texts 2. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. 2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. and thus of destroying man. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition.3.2. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.

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

and the image of the terrible gates. Incapable of obedience to God. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Luminiţa Elena.). Paradise is now a forbidden place. SAQ 5 a. 2. 153-163) 3.4. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. 1969 (pp. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. as God has made him. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. d. Editura Universităţii Suceava. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. Turcu. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. to be dictated by Reason. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. If Hell is a space of freedom. 2. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). Preda. 2.4. 1. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. vol.e. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. 2. b. 2003 (pp. SAQ 7 1.3. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). g. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. 3. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . f. under the guidance of Providence. English Literature and Civilisation. Further reading 1. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period.The works of John Milton Architect”). This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. Daiches. of human solidarity.. unless he exercises his will and reason. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. 435-449) 2. i. Man is not a free creature. 1. David. 1983 (pp. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). Ioan-Aurel (coord. A Critical History of English Literature. Forced to look ahead.e. 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. with passive virtue. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. If God leaves man’s loyalty. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. i. faith and love untested. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). The Literature of the Beginnings. c. e.

4.4.4. 4.5.1.1.5. 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 . “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4. 4. 4.4. 4.1.2. 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. 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.2.4.2.3.1.2.4. 4. 4. 4.4.4.5.3.4.1. 4. 4.4.3.2.3.1. Gulliver.7.2. 4.1.4.2. 4.4. 4. 4. 4.1. 4.3.1.2 4.1.6.2. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.

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.1. clarity and elegant restraint. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration. under the influence of French theatres. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. the cast of actors included women. 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. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. 4. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . ♦ define the purposes and literary strategies of the periodical essay as an instrument of cultural enlightenment ♦ explain the remarkable development of satire in the Augustan Age. and of considerable diversity. and Jonathan Swift. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment.1. addressing itself to an inclusive public. Alexander Pope. drama holds a place apart. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. it was a period of transition as well. and. From a literary point of view. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. under the patronage of king Charles II. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. Human nature. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change. Nature. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. Unit objectives 4.1. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. and their re-opening in 1660. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642. the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted.

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

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

T F 6. Restoration comedy praised wit. T F 8. simple action. hedonism and amorality at Court. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). by doing the exercise that follows. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. T F 2. If any of them should turn out to be wrong.3. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. such as the impoverished gallant.1. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. 4. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 5. at the end of the unit. It displays typical Restoration characters.1. read again subchapters 4.1. T F 4. to 4.4. T F 3. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723).1. William Congreve. T F 9. refinement and sophistication. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. elegance. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. frivolity. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. T F 7.

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

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

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

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

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

Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. “grace and strength united. In the context of general progress. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. precision and clarity. of critical debate in every field. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. where nothing seems to be studied. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. or.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. eloquence with restraint. 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. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. too. but to be a functional part of the community. “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. its effects were considerable on prose. The writer's art was a form of social communication. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.5. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled.2. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*.” Augustan wit 4. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. of quick accumulation of information.2.4. 4. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. manners and taste.3. affectation were rejected. unnecessary ornament. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. refinement with wisdom. Ostentation.

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

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

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

8.1. Identify at least eight such features. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. read again subchapter 4. and write them in the indicated spaces below. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1. 5. cheerful disposition. common sense. 7.3. 6. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. 3. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. 2. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. at the end of the unit. If there should be major discrepancies.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. 4. more carefully.

The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. admiration and condemnation. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. 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 . a passionate. the Duke of Monmouth. hypocrisy. 4. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. brave and fearless man. its cult of reason and common sense. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. Pope. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. selfishness. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. Political and religious dissensions.4. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. 15-18). and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. 1743). The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury.1. to religious debates and literary practices. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. from political and social life. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. often touched by ironic humour. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. struggle for power and profit. intrigues. contradictions and dark aspects. folly. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. appears also as a stormy spirit. genuinely gifted for leadership.2.4. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. and satire became their formidable weapon. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. disloyal and excessively ambitious. Samuel. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. greed. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. Bayes*. king David. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. are mingled: the evil conspirator. 4.4. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation.

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

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

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

The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. In the Yahoos. issues or figures. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4.4. In Brobdingnag. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. ambitious. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. governed only by reason. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. from which he chooses to leave. cruel and hypocritical. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . jumping over or creeping under a stick. Gulliver. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling.6. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. etc. his vulnerability increases. ruled by an enlightened monarch. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. The fourth voyage. by dancing on a rope. means de-humanisation. he sees ideal creatures. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. and they constitute a miniature picture of England. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. In the Houyhnhnms.). in his last adventure. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. of the capacity for affection. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority).4. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. 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. Gulliver is confronted. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. vain. However. Dissenters and Catholics. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. etc.5.

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

For Gulliver. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. and to revise subchapter 4. find anti-utopian elements in it. however. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . more carefully.6. The careful reader will. If there should be major differences.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. from the Reader. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit.4.6. you need to read the fragment again. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad. but to the whole of created reality. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things.” another word for “laurel”.4.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama). heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. landscape.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. Mr. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. boring. to deceive). In Pope’s satire. Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. inclination.” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. and distinction.” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. honour. fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance. trait . figuratively: undeveloped or inactive. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . 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. a strictly ordered hierarchical system. dulness: in a strict sense. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn.e. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. referring not only to external nature. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. “Mr. from dunce. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. or “humour. stupidity. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. slowness in thinking and learning. unexciting.” Nature: an inclusive concept. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. “Dull” also means uninteresting. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). In this kind of comedy. i. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible.3 in Unit 1. It derives from “bay. heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour. Bayes. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber.

and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. especially the main landowner in a village. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. Dryden. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. for the notion of sentimentalism. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.4. or literature in general. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1.4.” from Greek u = not. he translated from ancient authors. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer.4 in Unit 1. or who chats or talks idly. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. of imagination and originality. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. polished). 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. essays and dramatic works. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. perfect society (literally: “no place. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. elegant. Among the latter.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. founder of literary journalism. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism.e. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. Boileau. and topos = place). making literature “dull. i. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. author of poems. of taste or skill. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 5. squire: a country gentleman.

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

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

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

1. 5.2. 5.1. 5. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 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.3.7.1.2.3. 5.3. 5.3.8. 5. 5.1.3. 5.2.2.5.1.4.5.1. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.2. 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. 5.2. 5.2.4. 5.4. 5.2.1. 5. 5. 5.2.4.2.6. 5.4.2.4.3.2.3. 5. 5.4.4.4. 5. 5. 5.4.1.2.3.6.3. 5.5.

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

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

and 5. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Women were … 3.1.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. The rise of the middle classes … 2. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. on the one hand. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. If there should be major differences. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. and public/social norms and conventions. on the other. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . … 4. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. at the end of the unit.2. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. read again subchapters 5. 1. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.1. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.

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

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

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

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

Isolation is no longer a misfortune. to the awakening of religious conscience.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Gradually. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. If it should differ considerably. In this light.3. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. and 5. as a political or economic utopia. 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.. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. 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. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.” 5.1. read again subchapters 5. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .2.2.2. at the end of the unit. In his initial struggle with despair.2.

2. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. as well as the fragment in the Reader. or the felix culpa*. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience.” However. It has its spiritual rewards. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. perspicacity. Enumerate. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. at the end of the unit. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. as a self-reliant individual.2. which will serve his instinct for independence.. morally autonomous. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. 3. subchapter 5.3. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or by a sentence (e.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. in the space below.. SAQ 4 Read Text 5.2. g. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. perseverance.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. 2. ingenuity). the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall.” desires and “delights. In this connection. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. 4.g. inventiveness. He takes pleasure in his work). Like Adam. 1.. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. Changed in his “notion of things.

It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. solid world. read the fragment and subchapter 5. 2. the promise of symbolic meanings. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. on a separate sheet. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. whose reality is difficult to doubt.4 once more and do the exercise again. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. 1. 4.2. concreteness. at the same time. with unmatched vividness.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. containing. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. The richness of concrete detail.4. rendered in a simple. clear language. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. which. 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.2. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. 3.2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. he paid little attention to matters of form. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. of familiar detail. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. the frequent enumerations and inventories. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. His linear. His simple. at the end of the unit. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. clarity. in the Reader from the point of view of its style.

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

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

in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. though in quality [i.8. and 5. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. at the end of the unit. to obey Mr.2. If there should be significant differences. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination.6. as a servant.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.2. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. read again attentively subchapters 5.”? Answer in the space left below. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. between hate and admiration. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.7.2. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess.

He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. in the Reader). She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. B_ follows a similar evolution. and his developing love. 1. excerpted from Pamela.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. on the one hand. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling..2. What counts.. 2. which are captured in the process of their emergence. on the other.4. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. In Pamela’s letters and diary. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. at the end of the unit.3. read again subchapter 5. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. however. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. her sentimental response to them. and considering also Text 5.9. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 .

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

If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false.3. 5. at the end of the unit. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. T F 6. carefully. T F 2.2. alluding thus to the older genre. for true or false) for each of them. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel disclosures bring about the final clarification and the great reversal of the plot: Joseph turns out to be the son of a gentleman. whom they had met during their journey. Fielding likes to play with genres. read the text once more. which closes the plot. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. T F 3. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. T F 4. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. Wilson. Cervantes. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). which turns out to be gentle*. in the spirit of comedy. T F 8. For instance.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. 1.5. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . T F 5. Mr. T F 7. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. is an ingredient of romantic plots. Read Text 5. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes.

but also moral instruction. doctors. lawyers. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. 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. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. as for Richardson. cruelty. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. At the same time. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations.3. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. active goodness. as he himself says. etc. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. Joseph emerges as morally mature. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. which must give substance to faith. By means of techniques of contrast. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. he describes “not men. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. not an individual. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. In other words. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. but manners. Along the novel. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. both honest and hypocrite priests. In the beginning. often making him appear ridiculous. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. For the author. masters. but good deeds and charity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . profession and temperament is represented in his novels. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. in spite of the many instances of greed. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. there are both good and bad innkeepers. in Fielding. above all. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson.3. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. Like his literary ancestor. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. but they placed their main interest in the individual. Every social class. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. which often create comic effects.3. etc. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious.

3. provide the first theory of the novel. at the end of the unit. and 5.4. unaffected. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. incorporated in the substance of his works. and he believes. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. 5. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. 3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. 5.. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.4.5.3. 5. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. Fielding is the most “Augustan. like many Augustan writers..8. He is a moralist. Explain them. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 .. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.3. His commentaries and reflections on his own art.2. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition..2. 2. 1. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. read again subchapters 5. If they should differ substantially. At the same time. through its moral and temperamental types.2. drawing short comparisons. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.

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

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. gentleness. On the other hand. The “nonsensical. to preserve good humour in the middle of trouble. Characterisation by hobby-horse is a negation of conventional means of realistic character delineation. gathering “almost as many books on military frontispiece to vol. during the War of the Spanish Succession*. pitiful creature. but the uniqueness of each individual mind. Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The characters’ obsessions and idiosyncrasies are an intellectual barrier in their communication. above all.4. Tristram Shandy displays a unique combination of sentimentalism and comedy. Suffering is a permanence in Tristram’s world. “My uncle Toby” is the most memorable character in the book. He transforms his bowling green into a miniature military field. Tristram calls such obsessions hobby-horses. They cannot share their thoughts. Wounded in Flanders. It is not type (social. modesty and. There are many eccentric characters in 18th century fiction. character and destiny. Its approach to the frustrations of life is called by Tristram “true Shandeism. and this is made obvious in their endless conversations recorded in the novel. therefore. The narrator sees laughter as the ultimate defense of the sensitive soul against life’s miseries and limitations. Shandean* book” that Tristram is trying to write is meant to do good to the reader’s both heart and head. uncle Toby continues to live the reality of war through a substitute. with man as a vulnerable.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Among his most eccentric theories. but they can enter a dialogue of the hearts. and it is either dealt with sentimentally or revealed in its comic absurdity. which were expected to influence a man’s conduct.1 architecture as Don Quixote was found to have of chivalry. uniqueness is achieved in extreme. the early accidents in his son’s life cause him great distress. representing there the main battles as they William Hogarth. as comic eccentricity. but in Sterne’s novel all characters are eccentrics. good-humoured. absorbed in this activity. amiability. and discharged from the army. which influences all his thoughts and actions.” defined as the capacity to mock at the blows of fate. which becomes almost a parody of human individuality. However. generosity. Understandably. 5.3. doomed to pass from sorrow to sorrow. where compassion and empathy bridge the gap created by their singularity. to 137 The Shandean view of life Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ironic terms. a quixotic figure forming an eccentric couple with corporal Trim. His narrative emphasises a tragi-comic vision of life. Sterne places emphasis on the sentimental nature of his heroes as an aspect of their “moral character.” Toby Shandy is Sterne’s best accomplished sentimental character – the narrator continually praises his uncle’s good nature. He becomes completely Tristram Shandy. moral or psychological) that interests Sterne.” forgetting (1760) everything in pursuit of his obsession. the members of the Shandy family reach mutual understanding on the affective level. were being fought on the continent.

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

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

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

2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. go again through subchapters 5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. and 5. 1.6. If they differ significantly.. In this way.4. Instead of continuing the story. which he discusses in the very text of the work. at the end of the unit. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. Write them in the spaces indicated below. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel.4.5.7. and read the fragment attentively once more. 3.

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

Cinderella is the prototype of the obscure and neglected young person. which became popular in England through translation and imitation. to the lower ranks of society. and he seeks social integration. rogue) – belongs.e. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. minuteness: exactness in the rendering of small detail. epistolary manner: in a novel. Bildungsroman: German term. Cinderella: an old fairy story. jester: a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman. mirth: laughter. “beyond fiction”. fun. lifelikeness: closeness to life.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.e. attitude and subject are deliberately distorted so as to make them appear ridiculous. exact representation of life. picaresque: the origin of English picaresque novels is in the Spanish picaresque fiction of the 16th century. a term designating the contemporary mode of fiction – postmodern fiction – which is essentially self-reflexive. or “narcissistic” – i. Concretely. literacy: the ability to read and write. characteristically. tone. who achieves success owing to beauty and virtue. He is forced to 143 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . belonging to a high social class (as in gentleman). gentle: of good breeding. It was Aristotle who articulated this theory. The letter (epistle) as a literary species was widely used in the 18th century. harpsichord: an old musical instrument. literally: novel of formation. in which its form becomes explicitly its subject. The hero – the picaro (i. mimetic: the adjective derived from mimesis (Greek: imitation). a hobbyhorse is a toy. felix culpa: see subchapter 3.3 and the Glossary in Unit 3. happiness. persecuted by her stepmother and ugly stepsisters. whose style. played like a piano. ends up by marrying Prince Charming. hobby horse: a favourite topic or an obsessive. parson: an Anglican priest in charge of a local church. but producing a different sound. the way of telling the story through a character’s letters or through an exchange of letters. a Fool. metafiction: literally. consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse’s head at one end. gaiety. parody: the satirical imitation of a serious work. a term associated with the aesthetic view according to which the work of art is an imitation – a representation – of reality. in which the poor heroine. or education. booby: silly or stupid person. see again the Glossary in Unit 1). omniscient: describes the perspective of a narrator who appears to know all about the characters and their action. which dominated Western aesthetics until the end of the 18th century. fixed idea.

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

SAA no. In order to win the good graces of the king. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. Remember that. • the coherence. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Text 4.4. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. the king rejects this tribute. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task.1. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. 2. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. 1. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. as illustrated by this fragment. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag.. Horrified. with special attention to subchapter 4. in grading your paper. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. to revise the preceding unit. You will have. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. 3. therefore.2. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. Text 5.4. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.1. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. and 5.. clarity.

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

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

David. Daiches. A Critical History of English Literature. 2003 (pp. 712-718. 217-231.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 731-736) 3. vol. 76-80) 2. 1969 (pp. 143-163. The English Novel. Walter. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Penguin Books Limited. Macsiniuc. 37-42.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. 701-704. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 116127. 179-195. 598-602. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 43-46. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 53-59. Cornelia. 1991 (pp. Allen.

6.3.3.1. 6.3. 6.1.1.7.1. 6.3.4.1.2.4. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.5.2. 6. 6.4.4. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. 6.2. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6.1. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6. 6.3.2. 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.4. 6.2.4.4.2.2. 6.6.4.1. 6.2.3.1. 6.2.4.

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

1. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). whose life had passed in complete anonymity. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. death and immortality. but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. and misty. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. sublime landscapes. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past.D. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). In 1765.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. His long poem in nine books. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. 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. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. and folk literature in general. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry.2. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. wild.1.1.

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

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

154

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

155

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.”

156

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

157

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

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

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

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

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

Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. T F 2. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. that is.4. T F 7. 1. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. Spring.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. enjoy] to hear. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. If you have made mistaken choices. T F 3.3. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. and the three statements that are false. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. innocent delights. revise the whole subchapter. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. As a poet. at the end of the unit. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. For Blake. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Poems like Infant Joy. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. The Shepherd. The Blossom. and its origin was visionary experience. The Echoing Green. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. 6. T F 5. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. Laughing Song. their clarity of expression and their musicality.e. T F 6. T F 4. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

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

revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. in Songs of Experience.6. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. provoking more anxiety than certainty.e. If it should differ in major respects. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple.English pre-Romantic poetry 6.6. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. dangerous tiger. innocent question (“Little Lamb. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. who made thee [i. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. 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.4. at the end of the unit. with no explicit answer. you]?) and his own answer. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. Read this poem – Text 6. 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. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. by ambiguity and even obscurity.

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

English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. except as an act of remembering.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .2. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state.4. to 6. to regain the vision of Innocence. and read the poem again more carefully. revise subchapters 6.7.1. If there should be major differences between them. at the end of the unit.. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. but he is no longer able to do that.

One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. nature-civilisation. He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. now threatened by the march of Progress. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. g. imagination and feelings. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. 6. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature. The “Graveyard” poets (e. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. Subchapter 6. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. The other feature is primitivism.2. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson... In subchapter 6. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. The last subchapter.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. the interest in early poetry. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet.4.3.

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

philosophical and political convictions. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. Jerusalem. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. See also subchapter 4. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. in Unit 5. on which the Ten Commandments were written. etc. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.3.1. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. the Passions. The custom in London was to bring the poor. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. in Unit 3. the 39th day after Easter.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. Among the most important of them are America. The Four Zoas. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. 2 in Unit 4.1.3. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. The Book of Urizen. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Paul’s Cathedral. wild landscapes. etc. with His laws formulated as interdictions. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 1.. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. as well as against the sophistication. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. Milton. belonging to the beginnings. A Prophecy. or of gold or silver paint. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Pity. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. The Book of Los. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation.2. to attend the religious service. primitive: original. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people.

6. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau... The Chimney Sweeper. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. 6.. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.13. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.8. Send-away assignment no.). Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. • Read them and show that Blake’s treatment of the theme of childhood depends on the contrast between the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience on the same reality. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. in grading your paper.9. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus.11. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . SAA no. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.12. and 6. 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)..” usurous: from usury. Remember that. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. 6. • the coherence. 6.10. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. with his law of love. clarity. gardens or estates. meant to win a patron’s favour. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader
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
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

187

Reader

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
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

Reader

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
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

189

Reader

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

190

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

197

Reader

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 (…).

198

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

Reader
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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

199

Reader

UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
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

200

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mariner. Leviţchi. Virtue Rewarded. 1986 Shakespeare. Penguin Books Ltd. Penguin Books Ltd. with a glossary by W. 7 (Macbeth).). 1985 Richardson. Henry. 1984) Sterne. vol. vol. 1965 Fielding. 1963 Shakespeare.. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. William. John. edited. edited with an introduction by Ian Campbell Ross. Bucureşti: Editura Univers. Oxford University Press. Ltd. 5 (Hamlet). 1983 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 215 . Opere complete. The Complete Works. Joseph Andrews and Shamela. 1993 Defoe. Gentleman. Paradise Lost. Opere. William... Clarissa. Penguin Books Ltd. with and introduction by Margaret Ann Doody. Samuel. ediţie îngrijită şi comentată de Leon D. Penguin Books.. Dent and Sons Ltd. Norton & Company. London: W. London: Henry Pordes. edited with an introduction by Arthur Humphreys.. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 1980 Shakespeare. Opere complete. M. London and Melbourne: J. William. W. II New York. vol. Laurence. Vols. Samuel.J. Craig. XI (Furtuna) Bucureşti: Editura pentru Literatură Universală. 1996 Richardson. edited with an Introduction by Angus Ross. or the History of a Young Lady. Pamela. ediţie îngrijită şi comentată de Leon D. 1987 Milton. Ed. 1988 Shakespeare. H (Gen. by Peter Sabor. Leviţchi. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. Daniel. William. edited with an introduction by Angus Ross.English pre-Romantic poetry Sources Abrams. I. ed. M. Bucureşti: Editura Univers. or.

The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry. The Mid-Eighteenth Century. London and New York: Routlege. Clive (ed. A Short History of English Literature (transl. Cornelia.). 3. Robert A. Inc. 1988 Hunting. Jonathan Swift. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.F. 3). 1991 Greenberg. II New York.. Dicţionar al Literaturii Engleze. New York: W. Romanticism. Representation and the Popular Imagination. John.). Novel and Romance.). 1992 Daiches. J. Twayne Publishers. Robert. 1967 Cuddon. W. London: University of California Press. London: Penguin Books Ltd. Penguin Books Ltd. Émile. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory.. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Partial Magic. Macmillan Education Ltd. Hubert. Aiden. Jacobean Poetry and Prose: Rhetoric. Romul.. (vols. Coulson). Jonathan Swift. Literatura europeană în epoca luminilor. 1987 216 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . W. 1989 Ferber. Michael. 1965 Macsiniuc. David. 1991 Alter. V. Penguin Books Ltd.. A Critical History of English Literature.. 4. I. Martin. Gulliver’s Travels. 1660-1837. Bucureşti: Editura Ştiinţifică. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. Los Angeles. 1970 Corns. 5). 1991 Ford. The Macmillan Press Ltd. Penguin Books. 1961 Hammond. 1989 Munteanu. London: Penguin Books. Leavis). Vols. The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre. 2003 McDermott. 1993 Allen. Peter. 1979 Cartianu. History of English Literature. 1988 Butt. Penguin Books Ltd. The English Eighteenth Century. Margaret (ed. The Oxford Companion to English Literature.. 1971 Legouis. 1975 Bloom. (ed. Ed. Donne to Marvell¸ Cambridge University Press. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. New York. Bucureşti: Editura Enciclopedică Română.. 1985 Fairer. The English Novel. Boris (ed.).). The Image of Childhood (with an introduction by F.). 1996 Day. The Novel in Its Beginnings.R. 1969 Day. M..). A. Berkeley. Inc. David. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature (vols. An Annotated Text with Critical Essays...Bibliography SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Abrams. 2. Gerald (ed. The Odyssey to Tom Jones. Norton and Company. The Metaphysical Poets. 1963 Drabble.. Garden City: Doubleday & Company. London: W. David. H (Gen. Thomas N (ed. Joseph Andrews. Boyson and J. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd. Ana. Robert. 1993 Coveney. The Poetry of William Blake. Oxford University Press. The Poetry of Alexander Pope. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ioan Aurel Preda (eds. Norton & Company.). 1974 Nokes. Penguin Books. Walter.

2003 Volceanov. Editura Universităţii Bucureşti. 1983 Preda. Ian. London: George Allen and Unwin. Chatto & Windus. 1983 Sampson. Marthe. 1979 Richetti. ediţie îngrijită. Romanul începuturilor şi începuturile romanului.). English Literature and Civilisation. A Survey of English Literature from Beowulf to Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press. The Literature of the Beginnings. Tudor. Bucureşti: Editura “Grai şi suflet – Cultura naţională”. Bucureşti: Editura Univers. George. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. Kathleen. The Cambridge Companion to the EighteenthCentury Novel. 2003 Raine. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Richardson and Fielding. 3). 1994 Protopopescu. John (ed. 1991 Watt. 1970 Turcu. Luminiţa Elena. Fenomenul englez (vol. Cambridge University Press. Studies in Eighteenth Century Fiction and Romantic Poetry. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. George. Dragoş. Ian.” 2000 Watt. Studies in Defoe. 1996 Robert. Ioan-Aurel. Four Myths of Individualism. Cambridge University Press. Morfologia romanului european în secolul al XVIIIlea. Bucureşti: Editura Univers. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Ioan-Aurel (ed. 1974 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 217 .Bibliography Olteanu.). Editura Universităţii Suceava. Blake and the New Age. studiu introductiv şi note de Dan Grigorescu. 1974 Preda. Bucureşti: Editura Fundaţiei “România de Mâine. The Rise of the Novel.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful