Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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




Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature



© 2006

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 4.5. 3. 4.3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 3. 2. 3. 4. 3.Contents 2.4. 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. 4.4. 3.1. 4. 2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.5. 2.4. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. 3.1. 2. 3. 4.5.4. 4.2.4. 3. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 3. 3.1. 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. 5.7. 4. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 5.2. 4.3.1. 4. 4.6.4. 5.5.5. 5. 5. 4. 4. 5.3. 5. 4.3. 4. 5.2.3. 5. 5. 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 5.2.1. 5.4. 5.2.3. 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 . Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.5.4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.8. 5. 5. 5. 5.Contents 4. 5. Gulliver. 5.5.3.

6. 6. 6.1. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6. 6. The Seasons William Cowper.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. 6.4. 6.5.1. Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. 6.4. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4.3. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.3. 6.1. 6. 6. 6. 6.4.4. 6.3. 6.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 1.1.3. 1.1.1. 1. 1.5.4. 1.2.4. 1. 1. 1. 1.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.4.1.

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

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

the Enlightenment. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. Circle T (true) or F (false).1. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. The growing spirit of individualism. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . appropriately. the awareness of the complex interdependencies in a modern civilisation made it necessary to reconcile the individual pursuit of happiness and freedom with the general wellbeing. the central concern of the Enlightenment. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. 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. for each sentence.4. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.1. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 1. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. T F 4. continued the project of the Renaissance. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. T F 5. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. 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. to superstition and obscurantism. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. T F 3.3. 1. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. T F 2. but also affective and instinctual.

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

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

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

revise subchapter 1. through its representation on stage. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. 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. together with their most outstanding representatives. 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). at the end of the unit. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. some of them of popular origin (the song. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6).3.4. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the space left below. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. It was the only form of literature which. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. In the following units of this course. 1. If there should be major differences between them. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama.

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below. together with their most outstanding representatives.2. revise subchapters 1.4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.4. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.4. to 1. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . If there should be major differences between them.

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

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

at the end of the unit. more carefully. Culturally. roughly. 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. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. and 1. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4.5. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. between which there is continuity.. obscurantism and intolerance. these two centuries correspond. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . Within these two centuries. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. modern science was born. as well as the faith in progress. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. the image of the universe was changed.5. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Within these two centuries. you will learn more about the periodical essay. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. The victory of Reason over dogmatism.1. read again subchapters 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.3. 2. 2. 2.1. 2.3.2. 2.3.1. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.2.8. 2. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 .2.2. 2. 2.2. 2. 2. 2. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius. 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which hide much wisdom under the appearance of playful nonsense. is the victim of a staged play of appearances. The earl of Gloucester joins them. of human suffering. to the themes of knowledge and self-knowledge. unconditionally loving ones. Goneril and Reagan. the Earl of Gloucester. if there is a purpose for its existence in the world of man. he is wondering: “Is there a cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?” Edgar’s disguised madness. a bastard. is also an exile from his own family. which is that of restoring a lost order. Maddened with grief. the quest for higher meanings. who deprive him of all prerogatives and turn him out of their castles. His intellectual energies are now concentrated in his search for the meaning of the ultimate questions of life and death. another “fall of princes” tragedy. as his father has been deceived by his other son Edmund. 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. through paradox. which helps him endure his suffering. who is disguised as a lunatic beggar. Disappointed by the reticence of his youngest daughter. Hamlet feels overwhelmed by the real task that he is called to fulfil. The storm outside matches the storm in Lear’s hurt soul. Tragically. both of them prove to be the loyal.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The delay of Hamlet’s revenge his incapacity to act. Lear strives to understand the roots of evil. 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 . and. of setting right again the “time” which is “out of joint.5. on the other hand. there is madness in nature itself. marks in fact a growth in his moral understanding. Cordelia. The storm scenes in the play contain the highest symbolic concentration. in reality. after his eyes have been put out for having helped Lear. to believe him a traitor and usurper. exiled Lear wanders in a terrible storm in the company of Edgar. which would not undo the past. whom he disinherits. He is also accompanied by the faithful Earl of Kent in disguise and by the Court Fool. like that of blindness. like Lear’s daughter Cordelia. The motif of madness. These explorations become more important than the technical matter of revenge. Lear becomes the victim of the ingratitude of his two elder daughters. son of Lear’s loyal supporter. King Lear: the madness of tragic grief King Lear. Edgar. as in Hamlet. Lear’s own madness. of truth and illusion. and the Fool’s comments. an outburst of violence which evokes to Lear the cruelty of his daughters. Edgar. and he is thus reunited with his son without knowing it. questioning side is exacerbated by the irruption of evil in a universe that he had thought well-ordered.” 2.2. is closely linked. are skilfully brought together and create a new ironic dimension in the play. which has been interpreted in innumerable ways. Hamlet’s introspective.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the same realistic force.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. In the following subchapters. its decorative use of classical mythology. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry .3. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and a highly original one. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and allegory. at the end of the unit. In the treatment of both themes. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 .3. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. Use the space left below. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. 2. If they should differ considerably. revise subchapters 2. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century.1.3. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. and 2. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. pastoral* conventions. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.3.

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

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

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

Donne suggests his contradictory. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.6. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . from the Reader. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. 2. nature. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. according to some critics. and read the poem again. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). revise subchapter 2. Marvell left. In the last six lines.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2.3. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. and love of country. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape.7. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. As a Puritan* patriot. If there should be significant differences.5.

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

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

4. 3.3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.5.2. 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 .4.1. 3.4. 3.2. 3. 3. 3. works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3. 3. 3. 3.2. 3.1.1. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3. 3.

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 . at the end of the unit. of classical erudition with biblical themes. 2. c. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere.e. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power. 1. there is a strong emphasis on music. In each poem. c. the crowing of the cock. with its simple pleasures.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience. In Il Penseroso. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep. b. and on the happiness of rural life. c. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming. The secular* pleasures of common life. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. the integration. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities. in L’Allegro. polyphonic sounds of the organ.2.1. in Il Penseroso. gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. b.” contemplative mood. b. If your choices should be wrong. In the latter. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. In both poems. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 3. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme. to master a variety of styles. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods. but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark. and 3.The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive. Milton’s literary ambition was a. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a. he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. 3. in his poetic work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created. sweetness. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. in Book VII. not immutable [i. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision. God entrusted His Son with the act of Creation and the latter’s “powerful Word / And Spirit” gave life and order to “unformed” matter and turned chaos into cosmos. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. instigated by Lucifer.” for the evocation of the making of the world. It is interesting that. the “divine historian. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power.The works of John Milton 3.4.” Man himself was created as a “better race. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve.4. and. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being.e. in Milton’s poem. and fear to transgress!” 3. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. after the defeat of the rebel angels.3.4. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V.” Raphael leaves them. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. innocence and “virgin modesty. so that he may know more about his enemy.e. In Book VIII. King Anointed*”. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. sent by God. in order to prolong his guest’s visit. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. Satan. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. Adam admits that. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. the angel Raphael. as this diminished W. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. not before repeating his warning. In Milton’s interpretation. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. 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. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. that cannot change]. space]” left by the fallen angels.” to fill in the “vacant room [i. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. Adam is grateful to Raphael.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. at the end of the unit.2. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.. Read the whole fragment carefully.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and read the indicated fragment again. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. If there are significant differences. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. and 3.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. revise subchapters 3. in Hell. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. “and “The mind is its own place.) B.3. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.1. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .5.

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

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

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

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

Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. and thus of destroying man.. 2. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. • Read attentively this fragment. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. God’s creation. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.4. In both of them. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). At the beginning of Book IV. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.3. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. Text 3. in which he explores his inner hell. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. Send-away assignment no. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed.2. 1. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. 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. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.5. 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 .).. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. 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. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit.1. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. and the last paragraph of 2.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. before the final battle. A revision of subchapter 3. and 2. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. at the end of the play.C.2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. one of the greatest Roman poets.6. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.1. Texts 2. romantic in The Tempest –.2.

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

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

The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.3. 4.1. 4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.4. 4.2. 4.3. 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4. 4.3. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.4.1. 4. 4.2 4. 4.4. 4.3.4. 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4. 4.1. 4. 4.5. Gulliver.6.4.

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

Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. exotic places. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . refinement and sophistication. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. 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. Sensational turns of situation. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London.1. The action was usually set in remote. lust. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. adultery. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. although each in its own way and for different reasons. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. the cynicism. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*.3. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. magnificent settings.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. wit*. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. It made fun of the people from the countryside. an artificial. Gallantry. Conquest and seduction. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). were essential for the true man of the world. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. fashionable manners. and absolute villains. jealousy. and. A certain coarseness of feeling. or Court Wits. above all. both of them highly conventional forms. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection.2. on the one hand. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. 4.1. sumptuous costumes. on the other. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama.

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

4. 1. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. at the end of the unit. read again subchapters 4. T F 3. elegance. T F 9. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. William Congreve. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. to 4. Restoration comedy praised wit. T F 7. frivolity.1. such as the impoverished gallant. T F 4. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. It displays typical Restoration characters.1. T F 2.1. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 5. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 8. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). Read the statements below and identify five true ones. simple action. refinement and sophistication. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. hedonism and amorality at Court. 4. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. T F 6. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances.1.3. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. by doing the exercise that follows.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot.

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

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

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

It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. a dignified diction. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. comedy. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade. the emphasis on discipline in art. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre.e. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature.2. The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety].. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. i. was expected to use a common. The rule of decorum 4.2. for the Augustans. Epic and tragedy. since it dealt with noble characters and actions. to make form and substance adequate to each other. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. on the other hand. The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. was Shakespeare. This was the case of the genius. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. i. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*.e. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . The most eloquent example. skill. in satirical or burlesque* works. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. skilful transgression. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. of infinite variety. required an elevated style. A poet’s innate talent needed training. yet achieve great beauty. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. and to those patterns of behaviour. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. and the poet might disregard them. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide. To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour. the most valuable store of literary experience. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. lacking ornament. humble style.2.3. for instance.

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

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

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

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

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

If there should be major discrepancies. 6. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and write them in the indicated spaces below. 7. Identify at least eight such features. 2. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. 5. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. 1. 3. cheerful disposition. 8. read again subchapter 4.3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. a cultivated mind and superior understanding.1. more carefully. common sense. at the end of the unit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” where Dryden would come regularly. it may also refer to a woman’s lover. Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank.1. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. coffee houses: since the 1650s. the acquired competence of the writer. profession or interest. greatly concerned with appearances. For instance. but is intended to impress others. political or religious orientation. dress or behaviour which is not natural. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1.1. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Art may generally refer to the work of man. In her empire of darkness and confusion. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). affectation: a manner of speech. his craftsmanship. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. In Pope’s satire. and the Glossary in Unit 2. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature). Anarch: a personification of anarchy.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. which designated a fashionable. well-dressed man. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. “Will’s Coffee House. admirer. baroque: see again subchapter 2. or escort. achieved by training and practice.

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

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

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

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

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

5.2. 5.5.3. 5.3.1. 5.3.3. 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 .2. 5. Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5. 5.2. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4. 5.1. 5. 5. 5.1. 5. 5. 5.4. 5. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 5. 5. 5. 5.

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

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

SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. and 5.1. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . at the end of the unit. 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. Women were … 3. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies.2. The rise of the middle classes … 2. on the one hand. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. 1. read again subchapters 5. on the other. … 4.1. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. If there should be major differences. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. and public/social norms and conventions.1.

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

Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas.. read again subchapter 5. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values.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. ________________________ 2. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. in an atmosphere of gloom.1. • 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. in their confrontation with moral choice. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. ________________________ 6. at the end of the unit. ________________________ 8. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. ________________________ 4. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. trivial subjects. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. after each sentence. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. ________________________ 7. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. 3. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1.3. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. ________________________ 5. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. usually with supernatural ingredients.

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

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

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

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

The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. at the end of the unit. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. read the fragment and subchapter 5.2. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. which. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. the frequent enumerations and inventories. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. 1. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. His linear. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. with unmatched vividness. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. solid world. rendered in a simple. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience.4. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. on a separate sheet. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. clear language. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. containing. 4. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. 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. clarity. whose reality is difficult to doubt. he paid little attention to matters of form. concreteness. His simple.4 once more and do the exercise again. at the same time. 2. 3. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable.2. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. of familiar detail. The richness of concrete detail. the promise of symbolic meanings. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality.

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

Through its subject and theme. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. as a traditionally dominant class. This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy. the freedoms that he takes with her.2.7. that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. She sees social hierarchy as “natural.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership. B_. to set moral standards to the nation. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant. the rights of the individual. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. a complete novelty in fiction. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. F. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. Richardson’s implicit radical message. Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity.

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.”? Answer in the space left below. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2.7. as a servant. 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. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. between hate and admiration. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. to obey Mr. 5.e. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. at the end of the unit. and 5.6.2. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.2. If there should be significant differences. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. though in quality [i. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination.8. read again attentively subchapters 5.

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

Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. author of Don Quixote” (1742).3. including Pamela and her husband. Mr. and. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. they mirror a wide range of human types. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. to his native village. priggish* upstart. irony. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. Mrs. The multitude of incidents during their journey acquaints the reader with the most diverse aspects of English countryside life and with an impressive variety of human types. Cervantes. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. B_’s aunt. in London. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5.3. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. relationships and actions. as well as their inclusiveness. started as a parody. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. but also by the maid. Slipslop. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. above all. performed by means of comic satiric devices. All important characters meet here. so that he sets out for home. Through the omniscient* narrator.1. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. Pope. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. Mr. At this point. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. Booby.” Mr. Fielding abandons parody. but a snobbish. modest and gentle creature. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. but a voice external to the story. Abraham Adams. burlesque and comic satire. Joseph’s sweetheart. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. 1790) 132 . Fielding was a master of parody. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. and he thought to propose his own version of morality.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. the author asserts himself. whose servant he was. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress.

which turns out to be gentle*.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. read the text once more. carefully.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. in the spirit of comedy. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. T F 4. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. 5. for true or false) for each of them. T F 6. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. Cervantes. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. T F 8. T F 2.3. T F 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. T F 7. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Read Text 5. Wilson. is an ingredient of romantic plots. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. T F 3. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. which closes the plot. For instance. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. 1. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Mr. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. Fielding likes to play with genres. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key.2. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue.5. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. alluding thus to the older genre. at the end of the unit. whom they had met during their journey.

masters. At the same time. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. but they placed their main interest in the individual. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. lawyers. which often create comic effects. but a species” (Joseph Andrews).3. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. In the beginning. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. often making him appear ridiculous. above all. By means of techniques of contrast. Along the novel. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. doctors. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. For the author. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. in spite of the many instances of greed. cruelty. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. etc. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. Fielding offers aesthetic delight.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. which must give substance to faith. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. Like his literary ancestor.3.3. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. both honest and hypocrite priests. as for Richardson. but also moral instruction. not an individual. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. Joseph emerges as morally mature. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . profession and temperament is represented in his novels. etc. Every social class. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. there are both good and bad innkeepers. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends.4. but manners. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. active goodness. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. as he himself says. he describes “not men. 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. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. in Fielding. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. but good deeds and charity. In other words.

he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. at the end of the unit.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. If they should differ substantially.8. Fielding is the most “Augustan. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. At the same time.. and he believes. He is a moralist. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.2. provide the first theory of the novel.. 3. 1. 5.3. and 5. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.3. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.5.. 5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 .4. drawing short comparisons. incorporated in the substance of his works. read again subchapters 5.4. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.. Explain them. through its moral and temperamental types.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. 2.3. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.2. unaffected. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. like many Augustan writers.

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

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

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

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

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

and read the fragment attentively once more. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. 2. and 5. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . go again through subchapters 5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. 3.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. at the end of the unit. 1. Instead of continuing the story. which he discusses in the very text of the work.4. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. Write them in the spaces indicated below. In this way.7..5. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.6. If they differ significantly.

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

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

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

and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. the king rejects this tribute. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 3. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. You will have. Horrified. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. with special attention to subchapter 4.1. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Remember that. and 5. SAA no. 2. clarity. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss.4. Text 5.4.. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. therefore. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. to revise the preceding unit.1. In order to win the good graces of the king. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . in grading your paper.1. 1. Text 4. as illustrated by this fragment.2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. • the coherence.

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

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

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

4.2.4. 6. 6. 6.2.7. 6.2. 6. 6.2. 6. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 .4.1. 6.3.3. 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.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.3.4. 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.1.3.2. 6.1.4. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.3.3. 6. 6. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.

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

published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). but its subject and mood are preRomantic. wild. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). His long poem in nine books.1.1. death and immortality. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century.2. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 .D. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. 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. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. and misty. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. and folk literature in general.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. 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. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. sublime landscapes. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. In 1765.1. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian.

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

Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century.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. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry.2.3. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. the state of nature began to be idealised. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. the interest in the local and national past. and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic.1. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. Samuel Taylor Coleridge). sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions. The pre. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. The return to blank verse 6.g. such as the song and the ballad. The great novelists (e. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. characteristic of the Enlightenment. busy life of the city with moral confusion. Towards the end of the century. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. In the following subchapters. 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. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. In the latter part of the century. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. The emphasis on sentimental response. but also literary forms.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. the inspiration from folk myths and legends.

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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

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

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

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

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

which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. 1. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. Poems like Infant Joy.3. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. Spring. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. and its origin was visionary experience. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The Shepherd. T F 2. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. enjoy] to hear. For Blake. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. T F 5. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. T F 3. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. at the end of the unit. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. If you have made mistaken choices.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. revise the whole subchapter.e. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. T F 6. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. T F 4. As a poet. The Blossom. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. Laughing Song. 6.4. their clarity of expression and their musicality. The Echoing Green. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. that is. T F 7.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. and the three statements that are false. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . innocent delights.

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

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

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

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

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

7. If there should be major differences between them.1. revise subchapters 6. to 6. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.2. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. and read the poem again more carefully. to regain the vision of Innocence. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . except as an act of remembering.4. at the end of the unit. but he is no longer able to do that. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words..4.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.

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

favour melancholy or morbid themes. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. which has survived in parts of Scotland. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts. ruins. which they could climb more easily. Initially. Energy: for Blake. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). For the small farmers. for instance. Imagination was free Energy. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 4.2. or Erse. goddess of Memory. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. Sometimes. Celtic: related to the Celts. and horror. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. graveyards. Their father was Zeus. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. the enclosures meant ruin.e. as the next subchapter will show. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. Haunted castles. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. for the sake of more profitable farming. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. decorum: see subchapter 4. passion. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. Ireland and Wales. Gray is sadly ironic.2. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. putting fences round) common land.

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

and Holy Thursday (Texts 6.12.13.” usurous: from usury. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. Remember that. Send-away assignment no. • 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..10. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 6. meant to win a patron’s favour. • the coherence. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. 6. and 6. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. The Chimney Sweeper. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. 6. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.. clarity. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. in grading your paper. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. gardens or estates. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song..).9.11.8. with his law of love. 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). SAA no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

my dear father. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. it looked like love. a învinge. but it has crept*. punct culminant. and before I knew what was the matter. dubious uncertain. is not a voluntary thing – Love. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos.4.3. 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. in which he confesses his affection for her. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. when I expected some new plot*. intenţie to bear (bore. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. […] O my dear parents. nay*. plin de viaţă) height culme. and of so much honour too. has greatly affected me. Samuel Richardson. This was a good fortune. but now. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*. crept. I am quite overcome*. I beseech* you. scop. I imagine. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. I must own* to you. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). durere. nenorocire pangs mâhnire.Reader dish blid. O my unguarded* youth. For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. than the dry*. to my grief*. forgive me! but I found. that my heart was too partial* in his favour. apogeu distress nefericire. a depăşi) TEXT 5. chinuri womb pântece. to find him capable of so much openness. that I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. […] Forgive. before. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. narrative. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). can be. But to be sure*. however. so much affection. upon me. and so it is: but love. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. did I say! […] I know not how it came. and tender years*. 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.] This letter. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă. I had no reason to expect. nor when it began. born) a rezista. like a thief. Samuel Richardson. B_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the sky the little birds fly. William Blake. robă walking their rounds făcându-şi rondul binding to bind. for it is yet day. green pajişte verde at rest calm. That so many sweet flowers bore*. And ‘Thou shalt not’* writ* over the door. And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst*. and let us away* Till the morning appears in the skies. So I turned to the Garden of Love.” “Well. a ţopăi to echo a răsuna Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 211 . bound: to tie briar a wild bush with branches that have thorns (măceş. borne: to give birth to grave mormânt tomb-stone piatră funerară gown mantie. And binding* with briars* my joys and desires. And the dews* of night arise. to disappear to leap (leaped/leapt) a sări. no. iarbă neagră) TEXT 6. bore. And the gates of the Chapel were shut. And Priests in black gowns* were walking their rounds*. “Then come home my children. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Innocence) When the voices of children are heard on the green*.Reader TEXT 6.8. And tomb-stones* where flowers should be.7. And I saw it was filled with graves*.” The little ones leaped* and shouted and laughed And all the hills echoed*. go and play till the light fades away*. a sălta. And then go home to bed. the sun is gone down. Where I used to play on the green.” “No. midst middle ‘Thou shalt not’ ‘You shall not’ (the interdictory formula beginning the ten commandments in the Bible) writ written bore to bear. tranquil. And laughing is heard on the hill. And we cannot go to sleep. William Blake. Come. well. And every thing else is still. The Garden of Love (from Songs of Experience) I went to the Garden of Love. And the hills are all covered with sheep. at ease dew rouă let us away să megrem to fade away to die. My heart is at rest* within my breast. Besides. come leave off play. let us play.

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

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

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

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