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 3.2.5. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.3.4. 3.4. 3.3. 3. 3. 2.1.2. 3.1. 2. 4.1.2. 3.2.4. 3. 3.2. 2.4.1. 2.1.4. 4.2. 3. 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. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2.5.1. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.2. 4.3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. 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. 4. 3. 3.1. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.3.1. 2.

5.4. 4.2. 5. 4.5. 5. 5. 4. 5. 4.2.2. 5. 5.3. 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.2. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.4. 5. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.3. 5.4. 4. 4. 4.2.3. 4. 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. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.3.5. “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. 5. Gulliver. 5. 5. 4. 4.3. 5.4. 5.2. 4.2. 6.4.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.2.1. 6. 6. 6.3.4. 6.4.1. 6. 6.1. The Seasons William Cowper.4. 6.1.2. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2. 6. 6. 6.2.4. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 6. 6.2. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6.2. 6.3. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6.

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

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

• 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. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. Sterne –. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. The units of learning Unit 1 (The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background) offers a general picture of the literary scene and its intellectual-cultural context. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. Defoe. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. 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 most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . They appeal not only to your memory. hopefully. H. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. Richardson. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. and Augustan satire. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. S. and with the evolution of this genre. The variety of these learning tasks will. Fielding and L. • 4.2. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge.1. with main focus on Jonathan Swift.Introduction 4. the epic poem Paradise Lost. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. The SAQs encourage you to see your course work as more than a simple effort of memory (although the importance of memory in the process of learning must not be underrated). The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. and to draw your own conclusions. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century. as well as major representatives. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature.

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

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

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

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

lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . list of key words. 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. At the end of Units 3. The three assignments will count. It is structured in six units of study. glossary. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. representative authors. respectively. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. as well as a list of suggested further reading. as 40% of the final grade. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. a revision of the course material.2 SAA no. along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. according to a pre-established schedule. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge.3 3 3 8 SAA no.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time. 5. forms and styles. and 6. which you must write and send to your tutor. there are SAAs. whose content follows a chronological line. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. together. and gallery of personalities). More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. 1.2.1. 1. 1.4.2. 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. 1.2.1. 1. 1.1. 1. 1.1.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.4. 1.

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

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

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. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. 1. the central concern of the Enlightenment. with its belief in the perfectibility of man.4. T F 4. The growing spirit of individualism. 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. 1. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but also affective and instinctual. to superstition and obscurantism. T F 3. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being. for each sentence. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. Circle T (true) or F (false).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. 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 Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. T F 2. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. continued the project of the Renaissance. the Enlightenment.3. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world.1. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. T F 5.1. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. appropriately. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility.

the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. regularity.4. It is significant.1.1. in one way or another. at the end of the unit. read again subchapters. After 1688. for instance. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. in the orbit of the crown. It was the main focus of literary attention. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. The division into Elizabethan. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. 1. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. to 1. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. and both writers and audiences were. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. symmetry. including readers of more modest education. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . for proportion. when the literary audience becomes more diversified.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. T F 7. 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. the decrease in the power of the Crown. T F 8. The study and imitation of the great Latin and Greek authors and the concern with literary tradition as a reliable source of models made literature highly conventional.2. with little or no classical knowledge. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. that the notion of reading public emerges now. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith.1. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false.

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

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

If there should be major differences between them. through its representation on stage.3. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. It was the only form of literature which. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). revise subchapter 1. we shall look more closely at some of the most representative poetic works of these two centuries: the metaphysical poetry of Donne and Marvell (Unit 2). a new appreciation of older poetic forms. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . some of them of popular origin (the song. In the following units of this course.4. 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 space left below. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. 1. together with their most outstanding representatives. at the end of the unit.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4).

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

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

The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Duke of Buckingham. 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. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. or The Mistakes of a Night. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. The School for Scandal. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans.4. Under the influence of French tragedies. a stylish and sophisticated world. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure.g. The Conquest of Granada. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. Henry Fielding). George Villiers. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. for instance. 1768.3. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. 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. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. 1669-70).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. 1777). 1775.4. were a passing extravagance. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain.g.4. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. Heroic plays. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 1769). in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. 1722). In The Rehearsal (1671). mocks at certain theatrical conventions. too. John Gay. 1773). 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. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. 1665. She Stoops to Conquer. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. who demanded models of virtue and decency. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1.

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. together with their most outstanding representatives. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.4.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.2. If there should be major differences between them. at the end of the unit. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. revise subchapters 1. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.4. to 1.4. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

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

Within these two centuries. these two centuries correspond. read again subchapters 1. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. more carefully.5. modern science was born.5. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. obscurantism and intolerance. Culturally. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century.. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. If there should be major differences between them. the image of the universe was changed. as well as the faith in progress. Within these two centuries. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. between which there is continuity. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. you will learn more about the periodical essay. and 1. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 6 In what direction did English prose style tend to develop along the 17th and 18th centuries? Answer in the space below. at the end of the unit. roughly.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

). Donne. Fielding. 3. Dryden. Editura Universităţii Suceava. c. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. 2003 (pp. William Wycherley. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. precision. . Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică.T. Pope. 5. Sir George Etherege. Thomson.T. Goldsmith.F.T.4. 3. Milton.3.T. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson. Blake the ode: Marvell. Herbert. Marvell satire: Dryden.F. 5. artificial. Macsiniuc. the sonnet: Shakespeare. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Turcu. Dryden. 4.2. 2.T.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. The Literature of the Beginnings. there was a tendency towards simplicity. Luminiţa Elena. The Novel in Its Beginnings. b. Herrick.F. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. Sir George Sedley. 2. 1983 (pp.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. 2003 (pp. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. Cornelia. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare.F. 7. 6.T. Carew.T. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. Marvell. Pope. John Gay Further reading 1. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 7-49) 3. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers.T SAQ 2 a. John Vanbrugh). English Literature and Civilisation. Preda. Collins.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. Ioan-Aurel (ed. 9-32) 2. Cowley. d.T. 8. Goldsmith. Milton the pastoral: Milton. 6. The English Eighteenth Century. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. 4. Duke of Buckingham.

2.1.1.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. 2.4. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.2.6.3. 2. 2. 2.1. 2. 2.2. 2.2. 2.3.2. 2. 2. 2. 2.3.2. 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 . 2.2.1. 2.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

which is only partly dissimulated. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. at the end of the unit. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems.1.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. If they should differ significantly. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision.4. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. 2.2. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. SAQ 3 Text 2. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . as well as the indicated fragment. read again the preceding subchapter. Hamlet: the philosopher vs.

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

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

Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). one of Duncan’s sons. disorder. ____________________ 5. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. Macbeth.2.6. 1. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. ____________________ 4. ____________________ 2. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army.7. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of your solutions should not correspond.2.2. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. 2. innocence and corruption. but. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations.2. ____________________ 3. it bleeds. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. The baroque motif of madness is. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. kinsman and guest. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. illusion and truth. underlining the theme of knowledge. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. / It weeps.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. who has a trusting nature. at the end of the unit. paradoxically. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. you need to revise subchapters 2. The protagonist. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. to 2. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. at the instigation of his wife. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. he multiples his crimes. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion.

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

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

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

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

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

Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. except that of terrifying him. T F 5. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century.2. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. but each of them.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. of which three are false.9 to 2. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . Their styles are different. Prospero had lost his power as the duke of Milan because his studies distanced him from the immediate world which he was supposed to rule. was first intended to bring discredit on them.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. T F 3.3. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F 7. T F 2. T F 6. revise subchapters2. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. 1. 2. in his own way. You must find them among the following statements. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence.12. at the end of the unit. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. T F 4. The power of music has no effect on Caliban.2. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan.

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

3. revise subchapters 2.3. In the treatment of both themes. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . its decorative use of classical mythology. In the following subchapters. 2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and 2. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. at the end of the unit. and allegory. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. Use the space left below.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. pastoral* conventions. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . and a highly original one.3.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. and the same realistic force. If they should differ considerably.1.2. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.

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

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

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

3. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. nature.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2.6. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. 2.5. Donne suggests his contradictory. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. from the Reader. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. at the end of the unit. according to some critics. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. and love of country. If there should be significant differences. revise subchapter 2.7. As a Puritan* patriot. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . and read the poem again. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. In the last six lines. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. Marvell left. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3.

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

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

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

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

2.4.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3. 3.2.4. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.1. 3. 3.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.5. 3. 3.1. 3. 3. 3.6. 3. 3.5. 3. 3.2.4. 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. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.

Milton. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. His enormous learning. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. etc. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started.g. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. etc. as well as his moral inflexibility. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. theology. Greek and Hebrew.The works of John Milton By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ situate Milton’s literary activity in the historical context ♦ explain what features of Milton’s work define him as a Christian humanist ♦ identify themes. motifs and concerns in Milton’s earlier poems ♦ describe the kind of sonnet structure used by Milton ♦ analyse the way in which Milton develops imaginatively and interprets biblical events in Paradise Lost ♦ state and explain the theme of Paradise Lost ♦ summarise the argument that enables Milton to “justify the ways of God to men” in his epic poem ♦ define the main features of the character of Milton’s Satan ♦ describe Milton’s treatment of the characters of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost Unit objectives 3. At Cambridge (1625-1629). he continued to read intensively. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country. baroque* vision. In 1638. family. he went on a trip to Italy. religion. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. the freedom of the press. written in English and in Latin. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. he approached a diversity of subjects. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. the greatest epic poem in English literature. religious and civil debates of his age. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. rhetoric and the great works of the classics. Paradise Lost. he studied Latin. After that. music. politics. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation. as a publicist.). 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*.1. geography. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. mathematics. such as education.

His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. Ovid*. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. As a poet. However. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. but Milton did not complete his plan.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. In the Sixth elegy. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. In some of them.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. Virgil*. 3.2. On the other hand. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. is in touch with divine secrets. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work.2. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. With the Restoration*. to whose excellence he aspired to rise.). for instance. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. with its pastoral delights. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. who. As in other poems. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. etc. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes.1. his political hopes ended. like a priest. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . However.

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

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

in 1652. that. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised. at his age. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”). Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye).e. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. patiently. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. written in 1631.2. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. light denied?”).” By this time. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness.3. he admits. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time. but also by Christian humility. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind.The works of John Milton 3. Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. Milton meditates on his loss of sight.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII). He has reached the age of twenty four. since.” “mean or high” as it may be. who carry out the divine his daughters will. as King of Heaven. i. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour. When he wrote Sonet XVII.3.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits. In the first part of the sonnet. he must admit. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*. As a Christian poet. In Sonnet XVII. 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.1. with a certain sadness. angels). To prevent such a complaint. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces. but of God’s eternal will. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . confessing his temptation to ask. and confronts the evidence of a “late spring. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence.

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. and the two sonnets. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and of leaving to posterity an undying work.2. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation.3.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet.2. when he was already blind. Virgil. respectively. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. Dante* –. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. read again subchapter 3. If there should be significant differences. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. at the end of the unit. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. and 3. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657.4.1. and he worked at it over several years. 3. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. in the Reader). made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer.

is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. Starting from the dualism good/evil. of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. but his erudition.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise.e. over the years. His work is encyclopaedic. in which man’s fall. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action. Milton’s ambition was. and his loss of Paradise. “to justify the ways of God to men. in fact. and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain. 3.4. etc. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 .The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. Finally. Milton had thought. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse. accumulated throughout his life. obedience and rebellion. in theme a daring.1. The “lost Archangel. of Lucifer* from Heaven. which is never ornamental. predestination*. knowledge and ignorance/innocence. the creation of the world and of man. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell. man’s temptation and fall into sin. as he stated in the opening Invocation. happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven.” full of the bitterness of defeat. He interprets poetically the biblical events. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. brought about by his disobedience. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels. original epic scenario.” forever deprived of the glory. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. 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. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven. (divine) love and (Satanic) hatred.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation. are gathered to listen to Satan. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in which he explores his inner hell. and thus of destroying man. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. God’s creation. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest.5. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.6. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words.C. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2.4. and 2. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. 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. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.3. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. 2. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue.). Text 3. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. 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. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. and the last paragraph of 2. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 .2. A revision of subchapter 3.2. at the end of the play. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). before the final battle.1. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. Texts 2. In both of them. • Read attentively this fragment. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2.1. romantic in The Tempest –. 1. one of the greatest Roman poets. Send-away assignment no.. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.2.. At the beginning of Book IV. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed.

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

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

4.6. 4. 4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.5.2. 4. 4.2. 4.5. 4.2. 4.1.1. “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.3.5.4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.4. 4. 4.3.4. 4. 4.4. Gulliver. 4. 4.2.

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

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

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

Read the statements below and identify five true ones. T F 9. 4. at the end of the unit. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. T F 7.1. simple action. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. T F 3.3. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances.4. Restoration comedy praised wit. William Congreve. It displays typical Restoration characters. read again subchapters 4. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. hedonism and amorality at Court. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character.1. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. to 4. T F 2. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. refinement and sophistication. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. T F 4.1. T F 5. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 8.1. such as the impoverished gallant. 1. frivolity. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. by doing the exercise that follows. T F 6. elegance.

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

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

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

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

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

4. eloquence with restraint. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace.4. refinement with wisdom. or. Ostentation. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. The writer's art was a form of social communication. “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. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.” Augustan wit 4. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). its effects were considerable on prose. unnecessary ornament.2.5. of quick accumulation of information. affectation were rejected. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility.3. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . too. “grace and strength united. precision and clarity. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. The marked didactic tendency of much of the literature of this period reflects the Augustans’ pride in the conquests of their civilisation and their determination to assume responsibility for the defence of its achievements. manners and taste. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower.2. where nothing seems to be studied. but to be a functional part of the community. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. of critical debate in every field. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. In the context of general progress. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit.

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

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

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

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

The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. to religious debates and literary practices. selfishness. folly. and satire became their formidable weapon. intrigues. greed. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. the Duke of Monmouth.2.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. a passionate. Bayes*. its cult of reason and common sense. are mingled: the evil conspirator. 4. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. from political and social life. king David. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. contradictions and dark aspects. often touched by ironic humour. hypocrisy. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. Samuel. appears also as a stormy spirit. 1743). It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. disloyal and excessively ambitious.1.4.4. Pope. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. genuinely gifted for leadership. Political and religious dissensions. struggle for power and profit. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. 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 .4. 4. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. 15-18). admiration and condemnation. brave and fearless man. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation.

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

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

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

The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. means de-humanisation. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . etc.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature.5. In the Houyhnhnms. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. of the capacity for affection. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. 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. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. he sees ideal creatures. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. The fourth voyage. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. However. in his last adventure.4. his vulnerability increases. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). In the Yahoos. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. vain. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4.6. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. etc. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. Gulliver is confronted. by dancing on a rope. jumping over or creeping under a stick. Gulliver. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling. ambitious. from which he chooses to leave. Dissenters and Catholics. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. In Brobdingnag. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. cruel and hypocritical. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. ruled by an enlightened monarch. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. governed only by reason. issues or figures.). Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. and they constitute a miniature picture of England.4.

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

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

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

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

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

and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards.4. and topos = place). He excelled in all literary genres of his time. polished). squire: a country gentleman. or who chats or talks idly.e.3 in Unit 5.4. of taste or skill. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop.4 in Unit 1. perfect society (literally: “no place. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. Boileau. founder of literary journalism. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. Dryden. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. or literature in general. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.” from Greek u = not. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison.1. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. of imagination and originality. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. author of poems. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. for the notion of sentimentalism. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . making literature “dull. he translated from ancient authors. i. elegant. Among the latter. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. essays and dramatic works. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. especially the main landowner in a village.

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

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

the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. Ioan-Aurel (coord. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason. conflict and self-interest. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Daiches.). Macsiniuc. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. 1969 (pp.” the subtlety of his accusations.” SAQ 7 1. 537-550) 2. Editura Universităţii Suceava. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. They practice population control. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal. 2003 (pp. ultimately of imagination. The incapacity of choosing a ruler according to real merit. The English Eighteenth Century. the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses. 2. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. The individual is of no importance. The Novel in Its Beginnings. A Critical History of English Literature. which breeds imaginary ills. which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). The spirit of competition. and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). the “fineness. only the species counts. The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Just as the executioner will implacably carry out the capital punishment. The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. 4. and no personal choice in the matter of marriage. which is meant only for procreation. 1983 (pp. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. In the absence of affective attachment. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. Cornelia. the exclusion of opinion. Further reading 1. The irrational greed and avarice. the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves.33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence. vol. English Literature and Civilisation. The tendency to idleness. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship. 180-187) 3. 3. 5. Preda. which makes social progress inconceivable. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. David.. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5. 5. 5.1. 5. 5.1. 5. 5.4. 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. 5.1. 5.2. 5. 5. 5.4. 5.4.3. 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 5.2. 5. 5.2.1. 5. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2.

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

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

1. … 4. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.1. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. If there should be major differences. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Women were … 3. at the end of the unit. The rise of the middle classes … 2. and 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.1.2. read again subchapters 5. on the one hand.1. and public/social norms and conventions. on the other. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion.

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

It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. trivial subjects. ________________________ 4.. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 3. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. ________________________ 5.1. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. ________________________ 6. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. at the end of the unit.3. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society.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. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. usually with supernatural ingredients. read again subchapter 5. in an atmosphere of gloom. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. 1. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. ________________________ 7. ________________________ 2. after each sentence. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. in their confrontation with moral choice. ________________________ 8. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character.

several adventure novels. on his fiction. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail.1. Mariner. published in 1719. Puritan* background. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. in actions. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. They were all stories of success. when the writer was almost sixty. dynamic and versatile. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. their social insertion. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). Their rise to social respectability and wealth. to the influence. but also on the Continent. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. 5. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. in the next years.2. in circumstantial details. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. cast in a picaresque form. They share a middle class. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. They are pragmatic. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. This confers vividness to their narratives.

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

as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. and 5. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.2.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. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.2.” 5. as a political or economic utopia. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. 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. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. at the end of the unit. If it should differ considerably.2. In this light. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation.. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. In his initial struggle with despair. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition.2. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .3.1. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. to the awakening of religious conscience. Gradually. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. read again subchapters 5. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father).

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

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

Upon the death of her mistress.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. as well as for his didactic purpose. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. in Bedfordshire. not only in England but also on the Continent. cruel and greedy relatives. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. B’s relatives and friends. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. Pamela continues a diary. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending.5. In her new state. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. recording the details of her ordeal. Mr. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. His influence was considerable. B_’s hands. Mr. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. Faced with her resistance. In Pamela. whose affection she finally gains. As the first great sentimental novelist. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power.6.2. unanimously loved and admired. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. At the same time. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. hoping that she will give in. sensibility and morality. Mr. of the struggle between virtue and vice. B_. his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. 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. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. the latter’s son. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. The plot of Pamela. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence. B_’s sister.2. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. There. In Clarissa. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

If there should be significant differences. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty.6. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. read again attentively subchapters 5.e.7. though in quality [i. and 5. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.2. to obey Mr. as a servant. between hate and admiration. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. 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. 5.”? Answer in the space left below.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. at the end of the unit. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.8. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.2. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess.

3.. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. on the other. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. excerpted from Pamela. which are captured in the process of their emergence. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. read again subchapter 5. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. 2. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. and considering also Text 5.4. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. at the end of the unit. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. in the Reader). The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling.. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each.9. however. What counts. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. B_ follows a similar evolution. 1. on the one hand. and his developing love. In Pamela’s letters and diary. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. her sentimental response to them.2. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness.

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

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

lawyers. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. not an individual. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. as he himself says. Like his literary ancestor. profession and temperament is represented in his novels.4.3. above all. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). Along the novel. as for Richardson. in Fielding. For the author. but they placed their main interest in the individual. masters. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. Every social class. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. etc.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. doctors. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. but manners. By means of techniques of contrast. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with.3. in spite of the many instances of greed. etc. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. active goodness. 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. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. At the same time. which must give substance to faith. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. which often create comic effects. he describes “not men. both honest and hypocrite priests. there are both good and bad innkeepers. In the beginning. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. In other words. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. Joseph emerges as morally mature.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. but good deeds and charity. cruelty. but also moral instruction. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. often making him appear ridiculous. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means.

incorporated in the substance of his works. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. 2.. 3. unaffected. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. read again subchapters 5.3. 5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.2. 5. and 5. Explain them.. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.4.2.8.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. like many Augustan writers. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.2.3. at the end of the unit.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. through its moral and temperamental types. At the same time. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.3.. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. Fielding is the most “Augustan. and he believes. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. 5. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. If they should differ substantially.4. He is a moralist. 1.. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. provide the first theory of the novel. drawing short comparisons.5.

who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. that he was.” in every sense. unpredictable narrative. at the age of five. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. the priest who baptised Tristram. and his long. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. the relation between life and literature. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. However. which isolates each of them in his mental universe.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. Walter. Fielding had demonstrated. in Joseph Andrews.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son. corporal Trim. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. at every point. that. the narrator. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. is an erudite philosopher. by accident. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. does not manage to give a shape to his story.4. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. i. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre.4.e. other interesting things to relate.4. he seems to have. With Sterne. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5.1. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. of his uncle. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia).2. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . He digresses continually. 5. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. Tristram. His father. In spite of his promises. as well as of Parson Yorick. Walter Shandy. the history of a private life. moulds reality into a literary pattern.

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

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

and he takes great delight in digressions.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. the book is a comic oddity. It is.5. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. asterisks. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. Sterne defamiliarises them. the “imperfections of words. The zigzagging narrative. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. etc. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. watched as if by a slow motion camera.e. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. by exploiting them in a parodic way. does not seem to move towards any climax. points of suspension. 5. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. with its multitude of dashes. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. but also to how it is told. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. for instance. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. Sterne’s rambling narrative.4.4. so different from Fielding’s tight. 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. coherent plots. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally.4. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. there are several dedications scattered through the book. drawings and graphs. to a certain view of writing. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. Typographically.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. but also as an author.” Not only as a man. For example. i. and gives the impression of stagnation. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. in Sterne’s novel. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. The structure of the book is equally odd. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. makes the reader aware of them.

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

using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Write them in the spaces indicated below. which he discusses in the very text of the work. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. 1. and 5.. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. If they differ significantly.6.5.7. and read the fragment attentively once more. 3.4. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. 2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. go again through subchapters 5. at the end of the unit.4. In this way. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. Instead of continuing the story. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .

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

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

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

clarity. with special attention to subchapter 4. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. and 5. SAA no. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 3. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder.1. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea.4.. to revise the preceding unit. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. in grading your paper. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. as illustrated by this fragment.2. Horrified. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. the king rejects this tribute. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. Remember that. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. Text 4. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels..4.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. You will have.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . 2. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. Text 5.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. therefore. • the coherence. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. 1. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. 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.

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

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

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

1.1.4. 6.1. 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.2.4. 6. 6. 6.1. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.4.1. 6. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.2.2. 6.2. 6. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.4. 6.5.6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 .

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. The Shepherd. innocent delights. The Echoing Green. 1.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. that is. As a poet. Laughing Song. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. T F 2.3. The Blossom. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. enjoy] to hear. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. T F 4. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. For Blake. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). of the world seen through the eyes of the child. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. and its origin was visionary experience. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. T F 5. Spring. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. T F 6. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. revise the whole subchapter. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. T F 7. Poems like Infant Joy. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. and the three statements that are false.e. If you have made mistaken choices. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. T F 3. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. their clarity of expression and their musicality. 6.4. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. at the end of the unit.

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

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

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

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

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

Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.4. and read the poem again more carefully. to regain the vision of Innocence. at the end of the unit. but he is no longer able to do that. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. except as an act of remembering.2. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. revise subchapters 6..English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. to 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. If there should be major differences between them.7. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.4.1.

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

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

in Unit 5. Milton. belonging to the beginnings. The Book of Los.3.3. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. wild landscapes. primitive: original. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Paul’s Cathedral. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. etc. philosophical and political convictions. were typical settings in Gothic fiction.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. as well as against the sophistication. The Book of Urizen. or of gold or silver paint. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. Among the most important of them are America. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. etc. in Unit 3. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. Jerusalem. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. to attend the religious service. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. the 39th day after Easter. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). See also subchapter 4. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture.1. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. The custom in London was to bring the poor.2. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. with His laws formulated as interdictions. 2 in Unit 4. used to secure the hands of a prisoner.1.. The Four Zoas. the Passions. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Pity. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. A Prophecy. on which the Ten Commandments were written. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. in Unit 1. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1.

• 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. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.10. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6... Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.8. • the coherence.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus.). gardens or estates. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. 6. SAA no. 6. The Chimney Sweeper. Remember that. meant to win a patron’s favour. 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). Send-away assignment no. and 6.12. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .11. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher.. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. in grading your paper. 6.” usurous: from usury. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. clarity. with his law of love. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.. 6.13.9.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dull* sublunary* lovers’ love (Whose soul is sense*) cannot admit Absence. Care less eyes. where I begun. Whilst* some of their sad friends do say. And makes me end. But we by a love so much refined. lips. Yet when the other far doth roam*. Thy firmness makes my circle just*. Like gold to aery thinness beat.Reader Făcute-s visele. endure* not yet A breach*. And though it in centre sit. That our selves know not what it is. they are two so As stiff* twin* compasses are two. If they be two. if the other do. Though greater far. Like the other foot. But trepidation of the spheres. but an expansion. no: So let us melt*. No tear-floods. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning As virtuous men pass mildly* away*. obliquely run. Such wilt* thou* be to me. and some say. TEXT 2.6. is innocent. makes no show To move. John Donne. who must. and make no noise. 182 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It leans*. Moving of the earth* brings harms and fears. as that comes home. Inter-assured of the mind*. Thy* soul the fixed foot. which are one. to go. şi scurta viaţă Împrejmuită ni-e de somn. And whisper* to their souls. ‘Twere* profanation of our joys To tell the laity* our love. And grows erect*. Men reckon* what it did and meant. The breath goes now. and hearkens* after it. Though I must go. Our two souls therefore. but doth. nor sigh-tempests* move. and hands to miss. because it doth* remove* Those things which elemented* it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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

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

is not a voluntary thing – Love. I imagine. durere. before. intenţie to bear (bore. a depăşi) TEXT 5.4. my dear father. 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. when I expected some new plot*. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. punct culminant. to my grief*. than the dry*. and tender years*. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. and before I knew what was the matter. can be. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. a învinge. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. O my unguarded* youth. crept. and so it is: but love. nay*. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. But to be sure*.3. I had no reason to expect. so much affection. nor when it began. in which he confesses his affection for her. upon me. that I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. B_. Samuel Richardson. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. Samuel Richardson. For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă.] This letter. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings. […] Forgive.Reader dish blid. to find him capable of so much openness. I am quite overcome*. plin de viaţă) height culme. it looked like love. and of so much honour too. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. chinuri womb pântece. but now. that my heart was too partial* in his favour. however. placă de ceramică how to order the fire cum să potrivesc focul kiln cuptor potter olar to glaze a smălţui lead plumb firewood lemn de foc embers jăratec I plied the fire am întreţinut focul quite through cu totul. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). did I say! […] I know not how it came. I beseech* you. I must own* to you. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). has greatly affected me. like a thief. born) a rezista. but it has crept*. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. dubious uncertain. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. forgive me! but I found. […] O my dear parents. narrative. scop. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . apogeu distress nefericire. This was a good fortune. nenorocire pangs mâhnire. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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