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 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.5.4.5. 3. 3.1. 2.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.3.2. 3.4.1. 4. 4. 4.4. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3.3. 2.4. 4. 3. 4. 3. 3.1.1. 4.5. 3.8. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.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 .3.4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3. 2.2.3. 3.2. 3.6. 3.2.1. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.Contents 2. 2.4. 4.3. 2. 2.

4.7.3. 5.2. “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. 5.Contents 4. 5. 4. 5. 4. 5.1. 4. 4. 5. Gulliver. 5. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 5.3.4. 5.5. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.4.5. 5. 5. 4. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.1.4. 4. 5.4. 4.2. 4.2. 5.4. 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. 5.5. 4.6. 5. 4.2.2.

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 6.1.3. 6.4. 6. 6.4. 6.4. 6. 6.2. 6. 6. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.2. 6.1. 6. 6.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.2.1. 6.3.5. 6.4.6. 6.4.4. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.3.4.2. 6.

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

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

• Unit 6 (English pre-Romantic poetry) introduces you to the poetry of sensibility of the 18th century as the illustration of an important literary tendency. The variety of these learning tasks will. and with the evolution of this genre. 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).Introduction 4.1. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. Fielding and L. • 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. They appeal not only to your memory. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. hopefully. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. Richardson. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. Sterne –.2. the epic poem Paradise Lost. S. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. Defoe. and to draw your own conclusions. 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 . The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. • 4. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. as well as major representatives. and Augustan satire. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. 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. H.

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

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

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

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

as 40% of the final grade. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. together. according to a pre-established schedule. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge.3 3 3 8 SAA no. forms and styles. as well as a list of suggested further reading. along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. and 6. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. of the evolution of literary genres. The three assignments will count. representative authors. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. At the end of Units 3. there are SAAs. It is structured in six units of study. respectively. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs).lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. list of key words. which you must write and send to your tutor. a revision of the course material. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. and gallery of personalities). Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. A provisional study schedule may look like this: Week Unit Number of study hours Assignment Number of hours for the SAAs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Introduction Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Revision 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 28 SAA no. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. whose content follows a chronological line. 5.2 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. glossary. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook.

1.1. 1. 1.4. 1.1.4. 1.5. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .3. 1.4.3. 1. 1.1.2.

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

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

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

The division into Elizabethan. in one way or another. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. at the end of the unit. with little or no classical knowledge. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. After 1688. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. It was the main focus of literary attention. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. the decrease in the power of the Crown. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. for proportion. to 1.1.2. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. symmetry. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. for instance. read again subchapters.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. It is significant. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. T F 7.4. The study and imitation of the great Latin and Greek authors and the concern with literary tradition as a reliable source of models made literature highly conventional. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. including readers of more modest education.1. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. regularity. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition.1. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. in the orbit of the crown. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. 1. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. T F 8. that the notion of reading public emerges now. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. and both writers and audiences were.

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

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

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

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

T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If you have failed to identify the true statements. 1. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though each in a different way. in the last period of creation. or The Silent Woman (1609). Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. For each sentence. with its noble characters. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order.1. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. at the end of the unit. reflecting. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). or at least tinged with bitterness. identifying the four true ones. his comedies become darker. His best plays. centred on the theme of love. T F 7. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. the hierarchy of English society. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. in Paradise Lost. Milton’s Satan.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. and 1. in miniature. read the following statements. the satirical comedy. T F 4. Epicoene. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). T F 2.4. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). a genre which will survive into the 18th century. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. T F 6. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. but. T F 3. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. T F 5. Volpone (1606). dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters.4. 1.2. read again subchapters 1.

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

to 1. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. at the end of the unit. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .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. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.4.4. revise subchapters 1. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. If there should be major differences between them.4. together with their most outstanding representatives.

he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. 1612. with its trials. in political tracts and pamphlets. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. displaying a variety of styles. temptations. deliberately artificial and intricate. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. Later in the century. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman.5. on clarity and rationality. the universal language of the Renaissance. philosophical and theological writings. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. The development of an aphoristic style*. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. the essay* proved the most flexible. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. religious writings are particularly important. weaknesses. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument.1. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. Gradually. More and more. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611.5. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. Here. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. a precious and highly ornate language. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. blending concision with wit. 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). Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty.

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

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

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

• empiricism: a philosophical orientation which established the primacy of experience in the process of knowledge. The victory of the Parliamentary forces led to the abolition of monarchy in 1649. social contract. until 1660. Rousseau. widely used in all ages. Thomas Paine (the United States) are among the great representatives of this movement. anti-obscurantism. worth and capacity for self-accomplishment. Thomas Jefferson. anti-fanaticism. Voltaire. illustrating the close link between religion and politics in English history. Diderot (France). individual liberty. This return to the Ancients is the foundation of Renaissance humanism. natural law. • Elizabethan: related to the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). it evokes an attitude to life which stresses the individual’s dignity. John Locke.e. Concepts like human rights. when it was restored. David Hume (Britain). The founder of the revival of classical learning was Petrarch (see note below).C. artistic and literary life of the Renaissance was defined by a revived interest in the classical culture and its ideals. and by the search for a model of society in which man’s rights and duties should be exercised in freedom. social and moral thought. The subjects and heroes are taken either from myth. separation of powers were central to Enlightenment political. • Enlightenment: ideological and cultural movement in the 18th century in Europe and America. • essay: a prose composition of varying length. rejection of arbitrary authority and of absolutism are some of the characteristic attitudes of this age. The open conflict between king and Parliament set the whole nation to war. • classical revival: the intellectual. In a broader sense. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes. the folk tradition. legend. or from history.): “Man is the measure of all things”. state church) as a reaction against the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 25 • . civil rights. in which personal opinions and observations are presented in a formal or informal manner. • epic: long narrative poem celebrating the achievements of heroic personages. humanism. pragmatism. Tolerance. • Evangelical Revival: a trend which started within the Anglican Church (the official. Montesquieu. which began as an educational programme (the humanities – humaniora) propagating those values in Greek and Latin culture which could be harmonised with Christian values. characterised by anti-dogmatism and the cult of reason as the supreme guiding principle in human action. 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.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Caroline: (from Latin Carolus) related to the reign of Charles I Stuart (1625-1642) • Civil War (1642-1649): the pivotal event of the 17th century. the conviction that reality is ordered according to laws that are accessible to human reason). by the promotion of intellectual emancipation and the belief in social and moral progress. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable prose forms. and contributed to the intellectual preparation of the French Revolution (1789). reconciling a materialist account of reality with a rationalist attitude (i. The founders of English empiricism were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704).

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

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

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

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

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

2.2.3. 2.1. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.1. 2. 2. 2.8. 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 . 2.4. 2.3. 2.2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edgar. which has been interpreted in innumerable ways. Hamlet’s introspective. King Lear: the madness of tragic grief King Lear. if there is a purpose for its existence in the world of man. there is madness in nature itself. to believe him a traitor and usurper. is the victim of a staged play of appearances. who is disguised as a lunatic beggar. He is also accompanied by the faithful Earl of Kent in disguise and by the Court Fool. the quest for higher meanings. another “fall of princes” tragedy. of truth and illusion. Goneril and Reagan. in reality. Edgar. is also an exile from his own family. Cordelia. Hamlet feels overwhelmed by the real task that he is called to fulfil. son of Lear’s loyal supporter. exiled Lear wanders in a terrible storm in the company of Edgar. Tragically. Disappointed by the reticence of his youngest daughter.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The delay of Hamlet’s revenge his incapacity to act. whom he disinherits. Shakespeare develops the theme of evil by contrasting the natural order of the moral universe with the chaos produced by the 39 Storm and madness Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and. The earl of Gloucester joins them. an outburst of violence which evokes to Lear the cruelty of his daughters. Lear becomes the victim of the ingratitude of his two elder daughters. and he is thus reunited with his son without knowing it. after his eyes have been put out for having helped Lear.2. the Earl of Gloucester.” 2. as in Hamlet. which hide much wisdom under the appearance of playful nonsense. like Lear’s daughter Cordelia. questioning side is exacerbated by the irruption of evil in a universe that he had thought well-ordered. Maddened with grief. who deprive him of all prerogatives and turn him out of their castles. he is wondering: “Is there a cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?” Edgar’s disguised madness. of setting right again the “time” which is “out of joint. on the other hand. unconditionally loving ones. His intellectual energies are now concentrated in his search for the meaning of the ultimate questions of life and death. are skilfully brought together and create a new ironic dimension in the play. of human suffering.5. marks in fact a growth in his moral understanding. a bastard. to the themes of knowledge and self-knowledge. Lear strives to understand the roots of evil. is closely linked. both of them prove to be the loyal. through paradox. and the Fool’s comments. These explorations become more important than the technical matter of revenge. as his father has been deceived by his other son Edmund. like that of blindness. The storm scenes in the play contain the highest symbolic concentration. which helps him endure his suffering. starts with a folk tale motif: old Lear plans to leave his kingdom to his three daughters if he is pleased with their declarations of love. The storm outside matches the storm in Lear’s hurt soul. which would not undo the past. The motif of madness. Lear’s own madness. which is that of restoring a lost order.

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

The protagonist. illusion and truth. ____________________ 2. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. you need to revise subchapters 2. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. but. disorder.2.2.2. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. he multiples his crimes. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. The baroque motif of madness is. kinsman and guest.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. who has a trusting nature. at the instigation of his wife. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. ____________________ 5.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.6. ____________________ 4. underlining the theme of knowledge. at the end of the unit. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. / It weeps. If any of your solutions should not correspond. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. 2. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm.2.7. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. ____________________ 3. it bleeds. 1. to 2. one of Duncan’s sons. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. Macbeth. innocence and corruption. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. paradoxically. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. and unmotivated violence and cruelty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from cynicism and playfulness to passionate sincerity and the celebration of both physical love and spiritual union. sometimes presenting woman as inconstant and unfaithful. The various comparisons and analogies by which he describes their love function as arguments in his plea.” “tear-floods”). he resorts to the extravagant identification of a flea that has bitten both of them with their “marriage bed” and a “marriage temple. as this would be a triple “sin.” 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. and all that the faithful lover could hope for were symbolic rewards and favours for his constancy and humble submission. their love being so great and “refined. may afford an experience of the transcendental. These are conceits which illustrate the preference of the metaphysical poets for analogies between the macrocosm and the (human) microcosm.” In fact. Donne is highly playful in this poem. His love poetry is revolutionary in its rejection of the Petrarchan* conventions of courtly love*. Donne’s love poems In his love poems. superior – woman was an object of never fulfilled desire. Donne’s rejection of the Petrarchan tradition A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Flea: seduction and wit 50 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though greater. Another powerful example of Donne’s use of logical argument in a poem about love is The Flea. beautiful. and often emphasising the need for mutual love.” He tries to persuade his mistress not to kill the flea. when accompanied by genuine feeling. are however harmless to man. in which the speaker brings all his argumentative skill in support of his attempt to convince the woman to accept physical intimacy. unattainable lady and enjoy the pleasures of sensuality. Chaste. Their superior love is founded on spiritual union and is not dependent on physical presence for its survival. This is a seduction poem.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. but. according to which woman was always an unattainable ideal. A famous poem celebrating shared love is A Valediction*: Forbidding Mourning.4.3. dealing with profound personal feeling and emotion from the distance of intellectual argument. 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. he pleads that she should abandon the intransigence of the chaste. carrying the lover’s witty arguments to their logical extremes. He also suggests sometimes that physical union. sometimes speaking frankly of his erotic desire. in which their blood is now mixed. Mingling the trivial with the mystical sublime. Donne changes this conventional vision of love. shocking the reader by the unexpected analogy developed in the central conceit (the flea as symbolic marriage bed). and he seems to amuse himself. Donne adopts a wide range of tones and attitudes. which. Crying over their separation would bring to mind an analogy with earthly disasters (“sigh-tempests. in which the lover tries to persuade his mistress not to cry at his imminent departure.

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

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

In the last six lines. As a Puritan* patriot. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 2. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. Donne suggests his contradictory. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. 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. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. according to some critics. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2.6.3. at the end of the unit. nature. Marvell left. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. If there should be significant differences. from the Reader. and love of country. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). revise subchapter 2. and read the poem again.7.5. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.3. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 .

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

If the difference is considerable. in its sexual fulfillment. then (therefore)…. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. Love. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2. which has the structure If…. at the end of the unit. more carefully. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader).3. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature. 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. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. paying attention to the logic of the argument. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . after revising subchapter 2.8. but….The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment.8.

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

3. 3.2. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3. 3. 3.4. 3.4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1. 3. 3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.2. 3.3. 3. 3.5. 3. works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3.6.4. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.4.4.

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

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

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

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

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

and the two sonnets. when he was already blind. and of leaving to posterity an undying work.1. at the end of the unit. 3. Virgil. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. Dante* –. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. If there should be significant differences. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667.2. and 3. in the Reader).2. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem.4. read again subchapter 3. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. Read these sonnets (Texts 3.3. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. and he worked at it over several years. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. respectively. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.2.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3.1. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. “and “The mind is its own place. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A.5. revise subchapters 3. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. If there are significant differences. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.5.. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and 3. at the end of the unit. Read the whole fragment carefully. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. and read the indicated fragment again.) B. in Hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. 4. 4. 4.2. 4.3. 4.1. 4.2. 4. 4.7. 4.3. 4. 4.1. 4.3.4. Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. Gulliver.6.3. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. 4.2.4. 4. 4.4. 4.5. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.2.4.4. 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.1.1. 4.

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

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

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

T F 6.1. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. Restoration comedy praised wit. simple action. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . hedonism and amorality at Court. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. T F 8. refinement and sophistication. T F 4.1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. such as the impoverished gallant. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. William Congreve. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 2. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. by doing the exercise that follows.1. T F 9. at the end of the unit. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity.4. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. T F 3. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love.3. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. T F 7. to 4. elegance. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. 4. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. 1. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration.1. read again subchapters 4. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 5. It displays typical Restoration characters. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). frivolity.

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

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

In both cases. The return to the ancient models of the classical era was accompanied by the sense of an analogy between the present of England and the Roman times of Caesar Augustus*. Besides Dryden and Pope. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. The dialogue form of this essay allows Dryden to avoid being dogmatic and to look with healthy scepticism at a wide range of critical issues. John Dryden (1631-1700) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 95 . balance. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Two great writers constituted the main influence in the development of the Neoclassic literary doctrine in England: John Dryden in the 17 th century.1. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. and harmony extended beyond literature. In it.2. 4. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*. in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation.2. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. Joseph Addison*. The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. elegance. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique.

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

and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines).2. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. What are the main ideas in this fragment. a combination achieved through reason.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. to those of Nicolas Boileau*.g. If there should be significant differences. at the end of the unit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. SAQ 3 Text 4. but also to imported French ideas – e. or art*. and the indicated fragment.3. read again subchapter 4.3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. and he prefers now the company of horses.5. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. 3. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. Find. 2. in Text 4. His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. SAQ 7 Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm master tries to understand human nature by analysing the behaviour of the Yahoos (since he perceives Gulliver to be one). read the fragment carefully once more. and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the Reader. 1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. 4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.3. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5.2.4. 5. 5.3. 5.4.4. 5. 5. 5.3.1. 5.4.3.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. 5.2.5. 5.2.1. 5.2. 5. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.1. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 5. 5.6.2. 5.1. 5.5.2. 5.1. 5.3. 5.

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

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. it recommended patterns of behaviour and models of success that were relevant to the condition of middle class readers. romances were therefore literature of escape. For most women. a reality that was close to the average reader’s experience became a source of imaginative interest. vague and abstract figures. The knights and princesses of romances were replaced. The ordinary aspects of life. 5. On the other hand. truth to Nature – is what primarily distinguished the novel from romance. It attempted to correct morals and educate manners by censuring vice and folly. or previous literature. Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Whereas the basic aim of romance was to entertain.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel domestic universe. in its concerns. In spite of the great diversity of novels in the 18th century. The novelist no longer drew his plots from mythology. its emphasis on individual experience is the literary expression of the spirit of individualism associated with the growing importance of the middle classes. with entertainment frequently subordinated to the instructive aim. The novel proposed norms of moral conduct and standards of social integration. shows its assumed responsibility towards contemporary civilisation. in the novel. but from contemporary life. but distinct individualities. its normality. whose province was the spectacular and the extraordinary. to their relevance for the reader’s aspirations and possibilities. The readers of novels could identify themselves with the characters. in Augustan terms. On the one hand. legend. by common people. its determination to participate in the general Augustan quest for an ideal of social harmony. Realism – or. The novel reflects. The represented experience was meant to engage the reader’s interest both because it was familiar and because of its uniqueness. their common denominator was the attempt to convey an impression of authentic experience. because the depicted experience and universe were more or less familiar to them. history. Characters are no longer idealised. the province of the novel was the familiar. socially and materially dependent on men. the novel reflected the general critical spirit of the Age of the Enlightenment and participated in its project of emancipation through education. its endeavour to propagate a certain moral and social code. the novel’s aspiration was to fulfil the double mission of all Augustan literature: to entertain (to divert) and to instruct (to edify). realised with an unprecedented wealth of social. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 119 . moral or psychological detail. a double tendency of the Age of the Enlightenment.1.2. By contrast. Thus. the novel’s didactic vocation.

by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. at the end of the unit.1. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. … 4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. and public/social norms and conventions. 1. Women were … 3. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances.1. If there should be major differences. The rise of the middle classes … 2. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. and 5.1. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. read again subchapters 5. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. on the one hand. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. on the other.

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

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

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

C. Robinson displays from a young age the romantic inclination of wandering.” and leaves home on board a ship.” without “any appearance of fiction in it. On his return to England. he learns that his prospering business in Brazil has made him a rich man. such an experience became an archetypal one. he starts a voyage to Africa. prudent and calculating mature man. The only survivor. Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Robinson Crusoe is recommended as “a just history of fact. He marries.” as he came to call his novels – the attempt to inculcate religion and morality through a gripping story which has the appearance of authenticity. but during a terrible storm he is shipwrecked on a desert island. the desire for adventure and for “seeing the world. In the 28 years of solitary life. he rescues a savage from his fellow cannibals. Providence helps him finally leave the island.1920) 124 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Wyeth .” It is. names him Friday and turns him into his loyal servant and receptive pupil.2.2. In the hope of increasing his wealth. in fact. Robinson becomes engaged in a heroic struggle for survival. to buy slaves.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. and the book ends with his promise of further accounts of his island. has three children. Robinson settles in Brazil where he becomes a relatively prosperous plantation owner. where he has established a colony. of his moral strength to carry on against all obstacles.” He disregards his father’s advice of continuing the family trade and keeping within the limits of his “middle station in life. After 26 years. Illustration to the first edition (1719) Robinson on the beach (illustration by N. romantic youth into a realistic. After several misadventures at sea. as well by the more recent case of a sailor who had lived in complete solitude for five years on an uninhabited island. he turns from a reckless. in soon left a widower. struggling to impose on an alien space his middle class idea of order. not only physical but also spiritual. one of Defoe’s “honest cheats. a celebration of man’s power of spiritual endurance in adversity. The subject is inspired by 17th century stories of castaways on desert islands. Son of a successful German merchant settled in England. Under Defoe’s pen.

as a political or economic utopia.1. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases.2.2. to the awakening of religious conscience. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). Gradually.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. Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s novel lends itself to a variety of interpretations: as an allegory of man’s evolution from the state of nature to civilisation and its institutions. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. and 5. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. In his initial struggle with despair.3. read again subchapters 5.” 5.2. In this light. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat.2.. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If it should differ considerably. at the end of the unit. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter.

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

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

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

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

If there should be significant differences. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. at the end of the unit.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. as a servant.7.8. between hate and admiration. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to obey Mr. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. though in quality [i. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts.e. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.6. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 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. and 5.”? Answer in the space left below.2. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. 5. read again attentively subchapters 5. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.2.

What counts. In Pamela’s letters and diary.3. and considering also Text 5.2.. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. in the Reader).4. her sentimental response to them. on the other. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. read again subchapter 5. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. however. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. which are captured in the process of their emergence. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. B_ follows a similar evolution. 2.. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. at the end of the unit. on the one hand. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . 1. and his developing love. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart.9. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. excerpted from Pamela.

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

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

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

5. like many Augustan writers. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . At the same time. If they should differ substantially. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. He is a moralist. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. and 5. 1.4.3. at the end of the unit. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. read again subchapters 5.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. 5.2. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5..2. 2. through its moral and temperamental types. 5. 3.3.8.. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. and he believes. Fielding is the most “Augustan. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.2. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.4. drawing short comparisons. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. His commentaries and reflections on his own art... Explain them. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. provide the first theory of the novel. incorporated in the substance of his works. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. unaffected.3.

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

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

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

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

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

3. and 5. In this way. go again through subchapters 5. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 ..The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.4.4. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. which he discusses in the very text of the work. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Write them in the spaces indicated below. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. If they differ significantly. and read the fragment attentively once more.5. 1. 2.6. Instead of continuing the story. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.7. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. at the end of the unit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1991 (pp. 179-195. Editura Universităţii Suceava. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 1969 (pp. 143-163. David. 217-231. Macsiniuc.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Cornelia. 53-59. A Critical History of English Literature. Daiches. 598-602.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). The English Novel. 701-704. Penguin Books Limited. Walter. 712-718. 731-736) 3. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 116127. 76-80) 2. 37-42. vol. Allen. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 43-46. 2003 (pp.

6. 6.1. 6.4. 6.1.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.4. 6.4.1. 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 .1.3. 6.4.4. 6. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 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. 6. 6. 6.2. The Seasons William Cowper.1.2. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 6. 6.3.3. 6. 6.

which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine.g. For instance. Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. elegance and decorum*. the century of the Enlightenment*. Neoclassicism*. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry. and Fielding). to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling 150 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The interest in individual psychology. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest. as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. Swift. harmony. however. This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. with its emphasis on order. discipline. Addison. and cultivated its public relevance. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century.English pre-Romantic poetry By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ explain the shift in literary taste that occurred in the latter half of the 18th century ♦ define the main interests and tendencies in pre-Romantic poetry ♦ point out elements of continuity and discontinuity between pre-Romantic poetry and Augustan literature ♦ compare the representation of the rural universe in the works of 18th century poets ♦ describe the pre-Romantic approach to the theme of nature ♦ specify pre-Romantic and Romantic features of William Blake’s work ♦ analyse Blake’s notions of Innocence and Experience in the context of particular poems ♦ describe the contrasting visions in poems by Blake Unit objectives 6. The sentimental novel* (e. was eminently the Age of Reason. Pope. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. regarded art as the product of civilisation. led to an increasing attention to emotional response. and for night as a setting. One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts. the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. The concern with personal.1. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. Like any modern age.

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

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

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

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


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

and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. “Autumn.3. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759)..” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood.2. He was interested in the mediaeval past. from the third part. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. social satire. but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. in popular superstitions and the supernatural. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. Passages of moral and political commentary. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. Like Thomson and Collins. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. with its short. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. He preferred the classical form of the ode*. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. unrhymed stanzas. William Cowper. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age. which actually inspired Thomson). The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography. records his observations and reflections. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. living in retirement from the city. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746). in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . at the end of the unit. read text C again. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. If there should be major differences. more carefully. William Collins 6.3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. to 6. to regain the vision of Innocence. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. at the end of the unit.4. If there should be major differences between them.7.. and read the poem again more carefully.2.4.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. except as an act of remembering. revise subchapters 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . but he is no longer able to do that.1.

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

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

etc. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. wild landscapes. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. Milton. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. belonging to the beginnings. as well as against the sophistication. The Book of Urizen. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms.. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. the Passions. A Prophecy. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. Among the most important of them are America.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors.3. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. Pity. or of gold or silver paint. the 39th day after Easter. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. The Four Zoas. 2 in Unit 4. See also subchapter 4. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5.3.2. philosophical and political convictions. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. on which the Ten Commandments were written.1. Paul’s Cathedral. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. with His laws formulated as interdictions. Jerusalem. The Book of Los. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . in Unit 5. to attend the religious service. primitive: original. in Unit 1. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. etc. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. in Unit 3. The custom in London was to bring the poor.1. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated.

your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). • the coherence.11. 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). clarity.10.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. The Chimney Sweeper. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. with his law of love. • Read them and show that Blake’s treatment of the theme of childhood depends on the contrast between the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience on the same reality. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6.). 6.12.13. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.8. in grading your paper. Send-away assignment no. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. SAA no. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. 6. gardens or estates... Remember that.. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.” usurous: from usury. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest.9.. 6. 6. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. and 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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