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

2. 3.4. 3. 4. 3. 4. 3.3. 3.4. 2.3.5. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.4.2.7. 2.3.4. 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. 3.1.5. 3.Contents 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 . 4. 3. 4.4. 3. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3. 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. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 2.4.3. 4. 2. 3.5. 2.3. 4.5. 2.2.5. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.

4.4.1. 5.3.3. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.3. 5.4. 5.6. 4. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Gulliver. 5. 5.4. 4.2. 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.3.4. 5.4.3. 5.4. 5.2.5. 4. 5.4. 5. 4. 4. 4. 5.Contents 4.2. 4.2.6. 4.5. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.1. 5. 5.3. 4. 5. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.4. 4.4.3. 5. 5.1.5.

2.3. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.1. 6.3. 6.2. 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 6.2. 6. 6.3. 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.4.4.3. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 6. 6.1.6. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.4. 6.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.1. 6.4. 6.4.2. 6.1. 6.4.4. 6. 6.3. 6.3.2.

among others). this course aims at enlarging your understanding of British culture and civilisation.” at helping you refine your perception of literary phenomena and categories. It also aims at developing your “reading competence.Introduction INTRODUCTION 1. 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 1 . the study of the present course will more efficiently contribute to your professional becoming. Swift. but also to examine more closely particular texts by the most important authors (Shakespeare. How this course can help you The study of this course will widen your perspective on English literature and its evolution. and on certain texts – will hopefully help you to overcome the relatively great temporal and cultural distance separating us from those centuries. Fielding. You will be able to build a general picture of the main literary achievements of this period. The double focus of the course – on general aspects of a particular period or doctrine. a carrier of values. It will familiarise you with the defining features of the literary trends and doctrines of these two centuries. In this way. It will thus contribute to the consolidation of your knowledge and understanding of British culture and civilisation. this course will give you a minimum of contextual detail. Before starting your study. and an “agent” in the cultural dynamics in a country. 2. and will highlight the contributions of their most representative literary personalities. Being concerned with aspects of literary history. but also an intimate acquaintance with the spirit of that culture and civilisation. such as was presented in your Cultural Studies course. Milton. Literature is always an important testimony to the evolution of this spirit. You must bear in mind that the teaching of a foreign language does not presuppose only a good command of its grammatical structures and vocabulary. by encouraging your response to particular texts. You are expected and urged to bring to the understanding of this extended literary period the knowledge acquired in your previous study. What this course is about This course is a brief introduction to English literature in the 17th and 18th centuries. it would be helpful if you refreshed your acquaintance with the basic historical and cultural framework of the 17th and 18th centuries. Defoe. Course objectives As already mentioned. Blake. and to the enrichment of your grasp of the English language.

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

The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. as well as major representatives. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. Sterne –. the epic poem Paradise Lost. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. H. The variety of these learning tasks will. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. and with the evolution of this genre. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. S. • 4. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. and to draw your own conclusions.1. hopefully. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. Defoe. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. Richardson. 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. They appeal not only to your memory. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century.Introduction 4. 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). Fielding and L. • Unit 6 (English pre-Romantic poetry) introduces you to the poetry of sensibility of the 18th century as the illustration of an important literary tendency.2. and Augustan satire.

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

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

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

50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. If your level of proficiency is lower. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). theoretically. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. your course work may take you more time. You may. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. 3.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. 2.2 SAA no. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. Most of the time. to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. • the coherence. 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. whose reading may take you some extra time. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%). If you have no possibility to type your assignment. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. clarity. 6. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. 2.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. 1. Of these hours. 1. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Each assignment must be completed and sent to the tutor in the allotted study week (see Your study schedule below). As in the case of the SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected.1 SAA no. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. however. half of the answer is already contained in the question.

At the end of Units 3. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). as 40% of the final grade. More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. there are SAAs. respectively. forms and styles. glossary. which you must write and send to your tutor. whose content follows a chronological line.3 3 3 8 SAA no. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. and gallery of personalities). of the evolution of literary genres. 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. together. 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. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. representative authors. 5. a revision of the course material. along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. and 6.2 SAA no. It is structured in six units of study. as well as a list of suggested further reading. The three assignments will count. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. list of key words. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary.

1.2. 1.5. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1. 1. 1.4. 1. 1.3.4. 1.1.5. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1. 1.

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

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

The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. T F 5. 1. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. 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. T F 4. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. the central concern of the Enlightenment.4. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being. The 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. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. T F 3. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world.3. 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. the Enlightenment. continued the project of the Renaissance. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. 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. to superstition and obscurantism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 2. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The growing spirit of individualism. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). Circle T (true) or F (false). Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 1. for each sentence. but also affective and instinctual. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling.1.1.

1. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. 1. that the notion of reading public emerges now. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. at the end of the unit. and both writers and audiences were. The division into Elizabethan. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. to 1. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned.2. T F 8. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. After 1688. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. with little or no classical knowledge. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. for proportion. T F 7.4. 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. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. It was the main focus of literary attention. in the orbit of the crown. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. including readers of more modest education. for instance.1. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. the decrease in the power of the Crown. regularity. symmetry. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. read again subchapters. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. in one way or another. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. It is significant. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 .

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

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

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

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

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

This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. 1775. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies.g. were a passing extravagance. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. Duke of Buckingham. 1669-70). and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). 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. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. 1773).4.4.3. Heroic plays. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. 1665. too. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. 1722). these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. John Gay. who demanded models of virtue and decency. a stylish and sophisticated world. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. 1777). Henry Fielding). The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. She Stoops to Conquer. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. The School for Scandal. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. or The Mistakes of a Night. In The Rehearsal (1671). It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance.4. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. Under the influence of French tragedies. for instance. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. 1768. The Conquest of Granada.g. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. 1769). Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. 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 it appealed to a wide middle class public. The feeling that some dramatic forms were out of their time and were maintained artificially led to the emergence of a burlesque* kind of comedy. George Villiers. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10.2.3. 2. 2. 2.2. 2. 2.1.3. 2.3. 2.3. 2.2.4. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2. 2.3. 2.3. late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.2. 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 .8. 2. 2. 2.3.2. 2. 2. 2.1. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. or to impose upon it. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show. The playmetaphor. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead. a profound spiritual transformation and growth. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants.11.2. which “delight and hurt not. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. of performance. 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. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty.” The sea-journey Music 2. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel. sublimating its primitive energies. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. order and harmony. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero.2. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . whose magic art controls every incident. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. Another pervading symbol is that of music. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. then at least man should strive to discern in it.

T F 2. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. T F 3.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . The power of music has no effect on Caliban. 2. T F 6. Their styles are different. was first intended to bring discredit on them. 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.2. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art.9 to 2. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies.12. at the end of the unit. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest.2. in his own way. You must find them among the following statements. T F 5. except that of terrifying him. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. revise subchapters2. T F 7.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. of which three are false. but each of them. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F 4.

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

and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. and 2.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. If they should differ considerably. at the end of the unit.1. revise subchapters 2. and the same realistic force. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. pastoral* conventions. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . In the treatment of both themes. In the following subchapters. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features.2. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and allegory. and a highly original one. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith.3. its decorative use of classical mythology. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century.3.3. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Use the space left below. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.

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

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

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

If there should be significant differences. from the Reader. nature.5. Donne suggests his contradictory. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. In the last six lines.7. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . according to some critics. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). and love of country.3. at the end of the unit. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. and read the poem again. 2. As a Puritan* patriot.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Marvell left. revise subchapter 2.6. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words.3. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.

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

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

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

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

3.4.3.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.5. 3. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3. 3.1. 3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.4.2.4. 3.1. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.4. 3.2. 3.1.3. 3. 3.

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

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

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

or occasional and complimentary compositions.2. 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. the shepherdpoet’s consolation is in his own sense of purpose. The answer to such questions enlarges the frame of the pastoral elegy: the true reward for both merit and vice is in heaven. Confronted with the tragic inevitability of death. 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. not on earth. Irrespective of their nature. variety and originality in the use of this poetic form. in a heavenly pastoral world. Milton’s sonnets Milton revived the tradition of the sonnet*. to fresh woods and pastures new. Milton’s concern with his poetic fulfilment 3. Lycidas – a pastoral elegy In the same year with L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1637). in his determination to carry on with his task and do each day’s work: “Tomorrow. The death of the dedicated young man. 66 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The death of a promising young man makes the poet meditate on existential problems. written at the death of a fellow-student at Cambridge. and the end of the elegy brings in a note of personal confidence. uses again the pastoral frame. preparing himself seriously for becoming a priest.3.2. representing both himself and his dead mate as shepherds. personal manner. The elegy Lycidas. Milton’s sonnets demonstrate a remarkable flexibility. which had known a period of decline since the Elizabethan age*. may appear unjust in a world in which corrupt priests prosper and accede to high offices. and they were either testimonies of personal experience and feeling. again. He wrote sonnets intermittently throughout his life. Milton composed another poem in which. The lamenting poet finds comfort in the thought that the soul of the dead friend is now with God. The early death of his Cambridge mate was an occasion for meditating on the possibility of his own death before having accomplished the great work for which he had been preparing himself for so long. Milton adds a contemporary Christian relevance to the classical pastoral convention when he reflects on the corruption of the church. in two of his sonnets he reveals these anxieties in a direct. If in other poems of Milton’s early career this thought is expressed more obliquely. he defines his poetic ambition in terms which are both Christian and classical-humanist.The works of John Milton 3.” Lycidas shows Milton again preoccupied by his own becoming a poet.

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

Dante* –. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). Read these sonnets (Texts 3. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words.2.2. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. 3. and the two sonnets. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. respectively.3. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. at the end of the unit.1. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. when he was already blind. If there should be significant differences. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he worked at it over several years. read again subchapter 3. and 3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Virgil. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem.4.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. in the Reader). As the several Invocations in the poem suggest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. If they should differ in major points. 3. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. It may be argued.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . read the fragment again. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. How do these lines present Adam and Eve at the moment of their exile into the world? Your answer should not exceed 12 lines /120 words.5. which they fully assume.9. however.

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

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

at the end of the unit.) B. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. Read the whole fragment carefully. “and “The mind is its own place. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. and 3.5.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.5. in Hell. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.2. If there are significant differences.1. and read the indicated fragment again.3.. revise subchapters 3.

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

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

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

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

1. 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. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. In both of them. and 2.2. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. God’s creation. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words.). which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. before the final battle. Send-away assignment no. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. in which he explores his inner hell.C. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.3.2. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. • Read attentively this fragment. and thus of destroying man. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. 1. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. Texts 2. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy... 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 . romantic in The Tempest –. Text 3. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. A revision of subchapter 3. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. 2. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).6. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. 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. one of the greatest Roman poets. and the last paragraph of 2. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2.5. at the end of the play. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.1.4.2. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. At the beginning of Book IV.

b. is that one may choose right or wrong.. or reason.e. clarity. and reason makes man.. i. like that of the angels. The poet places his trust in Providence. not God. SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom. is thus not attributable to God. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all. SAA no. Created “just and right. SAQ 2 In the first section (the octave). rational spirit of the Creator (he refers to Him elsewhere as “the great 86 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . God cannot use His infinite power and knowledge to prevent the errors of those who are free to choose. comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come.” In the case of man. but the consequence of evil influence. Remember that. Milton emphasises the geometrical. his blindness.a. since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free. The fall of man.” man shared the perfection of the angels (“the Ethereal Powers and Spirits”) and their complete freedom of will and judgment. 3. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 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 works of John Milton • • himself before God his determination to turn his suffering into satisfaction his impressive self-knowledge The weight of this task in this SAA is 50%. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence. 2.c. however. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will. responsible for his choices. in grading your paper. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour). 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. The implication is that God gave man conscience. the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will. both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time. • the coherence. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). The paradox of freedom.

2003 (pp. 2. SAQ 7 1. d. 1983 (pp.). 2. as God has made him.. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). with passive virtue. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. g. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. and the image of the terrible gates. A Critical History of English Literature. unless he exercises his will and reason. The Literature of the Beginnings. Paradise is now a forbidden place. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 2. e. vol. b. Forced to look ahead. SAQ 5 a. c. 435-449) 2. If God leaves man’s loyalty. David.The works of John Milton Architect”). and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. to be dictated by Reason. 2. Turcu. Incapable of obedience to God. 1. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. Man is not a free creature. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”).4. English Literature and Civilisation. 1969 (pp. 3. Editura Universităţii Suceava. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. Daiches. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. Luminiţa Elena. 153-163) 3. i. Ioan-Aurel (coord. faith and love untested. 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. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice.e. 1. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell.4. If Hell is a space of freedom. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Preda.3.e. f. under the guidance of Providence. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). Further reading 1. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. of human solidarity. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . i. 4.5. 4. 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.2.2 4. 4.4. 4. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. 4.1. 4.2. 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. 4.1. 4.4.1. 4. 4. 4. 4.3.1. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.2. Gulliver.3.4. 4.1.2. 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 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. 4.3.4.

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

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

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

frivolity. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. hedonism and amorality at Court.1. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. elegance. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. T F 3. refinement and sophistication. at the end of the unit. 1. Restoration comedy praised wit. T F 8.4. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration.1. such as the impoverished gallant. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. read again subchapters 4. simple action.1. by doing the exercise that follows. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single.3. to 4. T F 2. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age.1. T F 9. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). It displays typical Restoration characters. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 7. William Congreve. 4. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. T F 4. T F 6. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. T F 5.

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

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

or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. In both cases. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. and harmony extended beyond literature. 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. Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . elegance. and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. 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. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation. in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. Besides Dryden and Pope.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.1. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique. balance. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. In it. 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*. 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. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*.2. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. Joseph Addison*. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. 4.2.

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

read again subchapter 4. and the indicated fragment.2.3. or art*.3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . What are the main ideas in this fragment. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. at the end of the unit. If there should be significant differences. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works.g.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. to those of Nicolas Boileau*. SAQ 3 Text 4. a combination achieved through reason. but also to imported French ideas – e. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines).

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

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

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

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

and write them in the indicated spaces below. 7. read again subchapter 4.1. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 2. 1. If there should be major discrepancies. cheerful disposition. more carefully. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. 6. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. common sense. 4. 5. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. at the end of the unit. 8. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. Identify at least eight such features.3. 3.

are mingled: the evil conspirator. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. 1743). Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. appears also as a stormy spirit. disloyal and excessively ambitious.4.2. genuinely gifted for leadership. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. and satire became their formidable weapon. greed. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. struggle for power and profit. its cult of reason and common sense. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. Bayes*. from political and social life. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. admiration and condemnation. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. made king by the Goddess Dulness* in a realm turned to complete confusion by the vain ambitions of the Dunces – the multitude of bad writers and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 103 . 15-18). The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. intrigues. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. often touched by ironic humour. Pope. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. 4. 4. king David. Political and religious dissensions. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682).1. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. folly. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets.4. to religious debates and literary practices. contradictions and dark aspects. Samuel. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. the Duke of Monmouth. hypocrisy. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.4. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. brave and fearless man. selfishness. a passionate. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5.4. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Boileau. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. he translated from ancient authors.1. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. i. elegant. making literature “dull.4. of imagination and originality. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . essays and dramatic works. of taste or skill.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners.” from Greek u = not. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. author of poems. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. especially the main landowner in a village. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. or literature in general. Dryden.3 in Unit 5. in which he outlines the features of an ideal.4 in Unit 1. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. and topos = place). wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic.e. squire: a country gentleman. founder of literary journalism. or who chats or talks idly. polished). for the notion of sentimentalism. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). perfect society (literally: “no place. Among the latter.

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

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

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

5.3. 5.2.7. 5. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5. 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. 5.2.3. 5.4. 5. 5. 5.2.4. 5. 5.3. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.1. 5. 5.4.3. 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 Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 5. 5. 5.

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

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

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

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

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

the constant striving towards accuracy of description. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. Puritan* background. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. to the influence. in circumstantial details.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. published in 1719. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. on his fiction. when the writer was almost sixty. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. dynamic and versatile.1. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). They were all stories of success. in the next years. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. cast in a picaresque form. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. 5. in actions. This confers vividness to their narratives. their social insertion. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . but also on the Continent. They share a middle class. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality.2.2. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. They are pragmatic. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. several adventure novels. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. Mariner.

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

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

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

in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. 3. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. the promise of symbolic meanings. the frequent enumerations and inventories. 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. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. read the fragment and subchapter 5. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. clear language. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. concreteness. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. he paid little attention to matters of form. solid world.4. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. which. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. with unmatched vividness. The richness of concrete detail. clarity. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. on a separate sheet. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness.2.4 once more and do the exercise again. at the end of the unit. 2. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. at the same time. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. 4. His linear. 1. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. His simple. of familiar detail. containing.2. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. rendered in a simple. whose reality is difficult to doubt.

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

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

”? Answer in the space left below. to obey Mr. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.2. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations.2. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. though in quality [i. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. 5.7. If there should be significant differences. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. read again attentively subchapters 5.2. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. at the end of the unit. 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. as a servant. 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. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. and 5.6.e. between hate and admiration.8.

. which are captured in the process of their emergence. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. B_ follows a similar evolution. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. In Pamela’s letters and diary. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. and considering also Text 5.9. 2. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . excerpted from Pamela. read again subchapter 5. on the other. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. in the Reader). What counts.3. 1. however. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. at the end of the unit. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5..4.2. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. on the one hand. her sentimental response to them. and his developing love. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling.

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

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

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

drawing short comparisons. read again subchapters 5. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. At the same time.3.4. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.3. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. 2. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.5. 5. incorporated in the substance of his works..4. through its moral and temperamental types. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. provide the first theory of the novel.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. like many Augustan writers.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.. If they should differ substantially. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. 3.2. unaffected. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.8. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 5. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech.2. He is a moralist.. at the end of the unit. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.. and he believes. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. 5. Explain them. Fielding is the most “Augustan. 1.2. and 5. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.

4. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. His father. the priest who baptised Tristram. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps.e. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). that. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the narrator. He digresses continually. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. in Joseph Andrews. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. With Sterne. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. i. Tristram. Walter Shandy. 5. that he was. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. the relation between life and literature. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. In spite of his promises. other interesting things to relate. the history of a private life. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. Walter. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. corporal Trim.1. moulds reality into a literary pattern. However. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5.4. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. he seems to have. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. of his uncle.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. at the age of five. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. at every point.2.4.” in every sense. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. does not manage to give a shape to his story. is an erudite philosopher. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. as well as of Parson Yorick.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Fielding had demonstrated. by accident. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. unpredictable narrative. and his long.

with man as a vulnerable. therefore. Tristram calls such obsessions hobby-horses. 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. On the other hand. Suffering is a permanence in Tristram’s world. but the uniqueness of each individual mind. uniqueness is achieved in extreme. Tristram Shandy displays a unique combination of sentimentalism and comedy. The narrator sees laughter as the ultimate defense of the sensitive soul against life’s miseries and limitations.4.1 architecture as Don Quixote was found to have of chivalry. The “nonsensical. as comic eccentricity. during the War of the Spanish Succession*. However. amiability. 5. representing there the main battles as they William Hogarth. He becomes completely Tristram Shandy. which were expected to influence a man’s conduct. but in Sterne’s novel all characters are eccentrics.” defined as the capacity to mock at the blows of fate. pitiful creature. above all. and it is either dealt with sentimentally or revealed in its comic absurdity. good-humoured. where compassion and empathy bridge the gap created by their singularity. gathering “almost as many books on military frontispiece to vol.3. gentleness. which becomes almost a parody of human individuality. ironic terms. generosity. Its approach to the frustrations of life is called by Tristram “true Shandeism. They cannot share their thoughts. and this is made obvious in their endless conversations recorded in the novel. He transforms his bowling green into a miniature military field. Wounded in Flanders. were being fought on the continent. doomed to pass from sorrow to sorrow. absorbed in this activity. to preserve good humour in the middle of trouble. Understandably. Characterisation by hobby-horse is a negation of conventional means of realistic character delineation. Sterne places emphasis on the sentimental nature of his heroes as an aspect of their “moral character.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Among his most eccentric theories.” Toby Shandy is Sterne’s best accomplished sentimental character – the narrator continually praises his uncle’s good nature. the members of the Shandy family reach mutual understanding on the affective level. “My uncle Toby” is the most memorable character in the book. modesty and. character and destiny. There are many eccentric characters in 18th century fiction. the early accidents in his son’s life cause him great distress. His narrative emphasises a tragi-comic vision of life. It is not type (social. and discharged from the army. which influences all his thoughts and actions. Shandean* book” that Tristram is trying to write is meant to do good to the reader’s both heart and head. to 137 The Shandean view of life Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The characters’ obsessions and idiosyncrasies are an intellectual barrier in their communication. a quixotic figure forming an eccentric couple with corporal Trim. moral or psychological) that interests Sterne.” forgetting (1760) everything in pursuit of his obsession. but they can enter a dialogue of the hearts.

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

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

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

6. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. If they differ significantly.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Instead of continuing the story. which he discusses in the very text of the work. 3. and 5.5. at the end of the unit. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. Write them in the spaces indicated below. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. go again through subchapters 5.4. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.7. 2. 1. In this way. and read the fragment attentively once more. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel.

and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene. the novel was a minor form. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. Samuel Richardson. Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. Sterne. 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. and Laurence Sterne. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental. on the other hand. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance. Lastly. in his novels of manners. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact. Fielding.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Summary The birth of the novel is a literary phenomenon that must be seen as part of the process of modernisation defining the Age of the Enlightenment in England. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer. which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. Since its settlement on the literary scene. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • realism romance character to divert and instruct parody comic novel of manners sentimental novel narrative technique metafiction convention 142 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects. to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. At the beginning of the 18th century. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. However. Henry Fielding. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century. completely ignored by Augustan poetics.

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

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

2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. SAA no. with special attention to subchapter 4.. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. clarity. therefore. Text 5. 2. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 1.1. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. • the coherence. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. 3. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. You will have.1. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. Horrified.4. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. Text 4. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). In order to win the good graces of the king. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag.2. and 5. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. Remember that.. the king rejects this tribute. as illustrated by this fragment. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss.4. in grading your paper. to revise the preceding unit.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.

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

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

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. 37-42. Walter. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Allen. David. 1969 (pp. 731-736) 3. A Critical History of English Literature. 179-195. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 76-80) 2. The English Novel. 217-231. 43-46.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 143-163. 712-718. vol. 2003 (pp. Penguin Books Limited. 53-59. 1991 (pp. 598-602. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Daiches. 116127. Macsiniuc. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. Cornelia. 701-704.

2. 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.1. 6. 6.2. 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.3.1.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.2. 6.3. 6.2. 6.4. 6. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.4.4. 6.4. 6.4. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6.1. The Seasons William Cowper.1.2.2. 6.4. 6.7. 6.2.

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

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

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

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

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


As Dr. an expression of national pride. and the apparent cruelty of winter. 6. praise of friends. It contains reflections on the natural and social condition of man and on Nature as the manifestation of the divine ordering mind. James Thomson (1700-1748) 158 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . “Winter. Each of the four parts of the poem describes seasonal aspects of nature and rural life. With James Thomson (1700-1748) and his long poem The Seasons (1726-1730). the peace of autumn – bringer of “Philosophic Melancholy” –. The Seasons In the Preface to the fourth part of The Seasons. more amusing. It appealed both to the Augustans and to the Romantics. Thomson practically inaugurated the trend of descriptive-meditative poetry. Thomson evokes the glory and joy of reviving nature in spring. Britannia. Pre-Romantic nature poetry One of the most significant shifts in poetic sensibility was the new attitude to nature. Samuel Johnson said.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. in many generations of readers. the splendour of summer. becomes an object of interest in itself. etc. not only the perception of nature. James Thomson. the philosophical reflection.” 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. poetic renderings of current notions of natural history. as well as his glorification of “retirement in solitude” as the best state in which to “sing the works of nature.” The Seasons marked an important moment in 18th century poetry. and that he never yet has felt what Thomson impresses. more ready to awake the poetical enthusiasm. The Augustans were interested in nature only to the extent that it helped them emphasise the conquests of civilization.3.3. Thomson is also famous for the patriotic lyrics that he wrote for the song Rule. nature. and the moral sentiment. exerting a considerable influence on both of them. political comments.1. than the works of Nature. manifest as early as the 1730s. in its magnificence and diversity. His praise of nature and of the countryside. In spite of its eclectic nature. patriotic enthusiasm. His poem educated.” Thomson confesses that he knows “of no other subject more elevating. “The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him. with a remarkable attention to detail and precision of notation. The Seasons has a unity ensured by the recurrent themes and motifs related to the observable natural universe. but also the feeling for it.” inspired many other poets along the 18th century. The conventional Augustan “local” poem (or “topographical” poem*) looked at nature from the perspective of historical or classical mythological associations. in which the descriptive detail was often used in order to create a certain mood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In London. love and joy have been replaced by fear.e. The Clod and the Pebble Songs of Experience contrasts selfless with selfish love. the reader cannot help noticing paradoxes and contradictions. for instance. The world is seen through the eyes of an angry observer. In The Chimney Sweeper*. In Songs of Experience. protesting against the evils of his time. A poem like A Poison Tree points out Title page of the murderous effects of secret hate. the greed of the powerful and their indifference to the sufferings caused by social injustice. nature. the ethical and social implications are more obvious. when this life ends. hate. for instance. it is suggested that human suffering and oppression is the result of “mind-forged manacles*”. i. Blake’s speakers in these poems are often bitter and ironic. the thirst for war. often. The serene and peaceful pastoral setting of the world of Innocence is set in opposition with the sombre world of Experience. In the fallen state of Experience.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. Like the chimney sweeper. The complete work offered now a set of contrary symbolic visions of man. even sarcastic. the reader cannot miss the implicit reference to the social reality of children’s exploitation and cruel treatment.4. poverty and oppression. standing equal before God. a gloomy reality makes itself felt sometimes. of “stony laws*”. society and divinity. which deny man his freedom.4.5. of the prejudices and constraints with which man “enchains” his own mind. In The Little Black Boy – an anti-slavery poem –. and Nurse’s Song shows the (1794) jealousy consuming an adult who has lost the vision of Innocence. full of indignation and anger. Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence Blake’s graceful Songs of Innocence may appear to be simple and transparent. 166 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The fall from the paradise of Innocence to Experience is the entrance in a world of rules and constraints. the child has a wonderful vision of all souls freed from their “clouds” of flesh – black or white –. 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 fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Blake developed such implications into open statements. 6. but. The poet attacks the tyranny exercised on the individual by the church and state. disease. but the child in the poem is comforted by the vision of the Angel. or the mind of others. envy and deceit. However.4. in the poems that he added in 1794: the Songs of Experience. the ironic implication in the poem is that the English colonisers “taught” Christianity to the natives only to be able to exert better control over them. which is a promise of divine mercy. in which man’s lot is hard work. 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. Beyond the children’s innocent visions of happiness and harmony.

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

in Blake’s view: “Attraction and Repulsion. in Blake’s view. bearing even the same titles. compared with “flowers” and “Thames’ waters. In the poem of Innocence.” or with a “multitude of lambs. which are thus strengthening their own power. “contrary states of the human soul. Contraries are essential to progression. and His Priest. Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence. The two poems entitled Holy Thursday* deal with the hypocrisy of the church. but also complementary aspects of man’s imagination.” in a country that is “rich and fruitful. He sees nothing “holy” in the beautiful picture. for keeping man at a distance from God. and he is also a child. like that of Hell as a punishment for sin. tyrannical figure. in Songs of Experience. since those are “babes reduced to misery.4.” The angry speaker protests against the duplicity of a society that feeds its poor “with cold and usurous* hand. The double vision in Blake’s Songs Several other poems in Songs of Experience have a counterpart in Songs of Experience. in fact.English pre-Romantic poetry 6.7. as Blake indicated in the subtitle. 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.” In the counterpart poem. seeing it as an instrument of oppression and a source of corruption. Reason and Energy*. The Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience is bitterly ironic about the way in which “God. was seen by Blake as an instrument by which the church kept men in a state of obedience. with its “mysteries”*. which allows the rich and powerful of this world to ease their conscience and “buy” Heaven by occasional and festive acts of charity. this sad reality is shadowed by the speaker’s idyllic description of the poor children of London.” Blake’s Songs suggest that Innocence and Experience are not only inevitable stages in human growth. One of the targets of Blake’s critical attacks is the Church. a double awareness of his own innocence and of the hypocritical and cruel world around him. Blake made in fact a distinction between the God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament. imposing constraints and inflicting punishment. but with ways of seeing and feeling. served by the institutionalised churches.” which lead to contrary visions. Blake hated nevertheless the church as an institution. was responsible.” The idea of Heaven as a reward of happiness for earthly misery. A deeply religious person. the spectator to the same scene has a quite different vision. The church.” Such corresponding poems illustrate the fact that Innocence and Experience are not necessarily to be associated with ages in man’s life. a stern. There is a Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience as well. This is the God of the world of Experience. indeed. 168 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . They reveal. but he seems to be fully aware of his condition in an unjust world. He displays.

4. If there should be major differences between them. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. to regain the vision of Innocence. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. and read the poem again more carefully. revise subchapters 6. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.. at the end of the unit. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. but he is no longer able to do that.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. except as an act of remembering.1. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .7.2.4. to 6.

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

171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . for the sake of more profitable farming. for instance. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. Imagination was free Energy. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. goddess of Memory. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. For the small farmers. which has survived in parts of Scotland. decorum: see subchapter 4. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. and horror. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. in Unit 4.2. putting fences round) common land. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. favour melancholy or morbid themes. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. the enclosures meant ruin. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. Initially. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. Their father was Zeus. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. Ireland and Wales.e. which they could climb more easily. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. passion. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.2. Energy: for Blake. or Erse. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery. Celtic: related to the Celts. Sometimes. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology. graveyards. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. ruins. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. Gray is sadly ironic. as the next subchapter will show. Haunted castles.

Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. orphaned children from the charity schools to St.. belonging to the beginnings.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. as well as against the sophistication. with His laws formulated as interdictions. the 39th day after Easter. in Unit 1. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated.1.1. Among the most important of them are America. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. Milton.3. or of gold or silver paint. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). used to secure the hands of a prisoner. Pity. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 .3. The Book of Urizen. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. in Unit 3. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. See also subchapter 4. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. etc. philosophical and political convictions. The custom in London was to bring the poor. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. The Four Zoas. 2 in Unit 4. The Book of Los. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. A Prophecy. on which the Ten Commandments were written. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. wild landscapes. etc. the Passions.2. to attend the religious service. in Unit 5. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. Jerusalem. primitive: original. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. Paul’s Cathedral. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1.

Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher..English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus.11. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .). 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).10.” usurous: from usury. clarity.12.9. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.8. gardens or estates.. with his law of love. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. in grading your paper. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. 6. • Read them and show that Blake’s treatment of the theme of childhood depends on the contrast between the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience on the same reality. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.13.. 6. Remember that. Send-away assignment no. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. meant to win a patron’s favour. SAA no. The Chimney Sweeper. 6. 6. and 6. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. • the coherence. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power.

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

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

1991 (pp. 84-94) 3. Penguin Books Ltd. 671-684.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”).. Ford. A Critical History of English Literature. vol. vol. Penguin Books Ltd. 1969 (pp. Ford. Boris (ed.). Boris (ed. Daiches..English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. vol.). David. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. Further reading 1.. 652-658. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd.5 (“From Blake to Byron”). 692-699) 2. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 1991 (pp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

if I have grace to use it so. or soon or slow. returning. lest he. Yet be it less or more.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. '”Doth God exact* day-labour.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness. John Milton. the subtle* thief of youth.1. to prevent That murmur*. But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. speed. soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. As ever* in my great task-master's* eye. opportune happy fortunate. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. they serve him best. obscure. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear. lucky endueth endues. though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. and the will of heaven. Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth. destiny mean humble. That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. and present My true account. chide*. All is. 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. who best Bear his mild yoke*. Toward which time leads me. his state Is kingly – thousands at his bidding* speed* And post* o'er land and ocean without rest*: They also serve who only stand and wait. boboc showeth shows (My late spring shows no bud or blossom) semblance outward appearance to deceive to mislead (a înşela) manhood bărbăţie. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*. in this dark world and wide. but Patience. light denied*?” I fondly* ask. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment. Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*. appears [in me] much less – i. John Milton. rush bud mugur.2.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . however mean* or high. Ere* half my days. a strict overseer 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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What can your knowledge hurt him. for this fair* Earth I see. Knowing both good and evil. that all from them proceeds*. and that advantage use On our belief. Me who have touched and tasted. was this forbid*? Why but to awe? Why but to keep ye low* and ignorant. Shall that be shut to Man which to the beast Is open? 2. shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared. John Milton. by the Threatener? look on me. as they know. ye* shall not die. reach* then. din el/ea (eat from the Tree of Knowledge) dim having weak or indistinct vision participating sharing godlike divine to proceed (from) to originate. Queen of the Universe. do not believe Those rigid threats of death. Why. that Man may not become As they.Reader TEXT 3. and freely taste. your eyes. His worshippers? He knows that. if all be his? Or is it envy? and can envy dwell In heavenly breasts? These. 4. Paradise Lost (Book IX) 1. And what are Gods.) venturing to venture: a îndrăzni. participating* godlike* food? The Gods are first. a apuca Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 191 .8. that seem so clear Yet are but dim*. producing every kind. modest thereof din ace(a)sta. and ye shall be like Gods. Them nothing. in the day Ye eat thereof*. these and many more Causes import* your need of this fair fruit. a se încumeta forbid forbidden low humble. by venturing* higher than my lot. 3. Goddess humane. or this tree Impart against his will. How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life To knowledge. I question it. then. yet both live And life more perfect have attained than Fate Meant me. to emerge fair beautiful to import a însemna to reach a întinde mâna. ye you (pl. Warmed by the Sun.

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

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

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

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

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


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 (…).


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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